Guss chased, but never caught, in Deery race at Oskaloosa
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June 24, 1999

By Bill Martin

OSKALOOSA, IA (June 24, 1999) - Sometimes, says Ray Guss Jr., it's easier to be chased than to have to do the chasing. Guss, of Milan, Ill., won the twice-postponed Deery Brothers Summer Series race Thursday night at the Southern Iowa Speedway.

His primary pursuit came from none other than Jeff Aikey, who has already won three I.M.C.A. Sunoco Late Model series championships and tops the point standing for the current series.

Guss lined up fourth, took the lead early and battled with pole starter, Boone McLaughlin of Mediapolis, before Aikey entered the fray.

Aikey started on the outside of the fourth row. His challenges for the front were interrupted by caution flags, two of which came out for debris on the track.

"I felt I was best down in turns three and four, because I was a little skatey in turns one and two," said Guss, whose otherwise considerable racing experience is limited to a handful of races at the Oskaloosa half-mile. "I think two or three yellows might have saved me. Aikey was really coming on and started challenging me. I'd get back out on him again after the yellows. I really seemed to get going on the re-starts, but a few laps later he'd start closing back in."

Drivers rounding out the top five each had or matched their best showings of the 1999 series. McLaughlin was third, Lancaster, Mo.'s Chris Smyser was fourth and Harry Walker of Washington ran fifth.

Heat winners were Aikey, McLaughlin, Walker and Mark Burgtorf of Quincy, Ill. The "B" feauture was won by Gary Webb of Blue Grass, the series' other three-time champ.

The 1-2 finish by Guss and Aikey duplicated their showing in the May 18 Deery race at the Davenport Speedway.

"I drew four and they drew seven. It might have been turned around last night, me trying to catch him, if the re-draw had gone the other way," said Guss, now the winner of 10 career Deery features. "It's one of those cases where if you get out there and you can hold a guy off, it's easier being the rabbit, the one being chased. It would have been a lot tougher if I'd been the one who had to catch him."

Rain and wet track conditions had forced the postponement of the Deery race at Oskaloosa from June 16 and then again from June 23.


Feature: 1. Ray Guss Jr., Milan, Ill.; 2. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls; 3. Boone McLaughlin, Mediapolis; 4. Chris Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.; 5. Harry Walker, Washington; 6. Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, Ill.; 7. Mark Holtmeyer, Quincy, Ill.; 8. Mike Smith, Jewell; 9. Curt Martin, Independence; 10. Gary Webb, Blue Grass; 11. Rob Toland, Hillsdale, Ill.; 12. Tommy Elston, Keokuk; 13. John Werner, Davenport; 14. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown; 15. Brian Fullenkamp, Eldon; 16. Greg Kastli, Waterloo; 17. Fred Remley, Blue Grass; 18. Greg Hunter, Independence; 19. Kevin Kirkpatrick, Waterloo; 20. Dave Schrader, Montrose; 21. Jody Wood, Kahoka, Mo.; 22. Tom Darbyshire, Morning Sun; 23. Ed Hollenbeck, Burlington; 24. Chris Fontana, Pella; 25. Steve Ihm, Hazel Green, Wis.; 26. Ben Schaefer, Raymond.

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