Kolby Sabin
Kolby Sabin

Kolby Sabin
Des Moines, IA

Hobscheidt Runs Away With Ron Little Memorial Win At Stuart
587
6/29/2023

6/29/2023

Stuart Speedway


Hobscheidt Runs Away With Ron Little Memorial Win At Stuart

When Mike Van Genderen purchased the Stuart Speedway prior to the 2019 season one of his first goals was to raise the level of prominence for the annual Ron Little Memorial. At the time it was to be the "20th and final" edition of the event honoring the popular driver who passed away due to medical issues at the track and it was such a big turnout that MVG and the Little family decided to carry on with the tradition. Now add in the fact that the race is usually the final shows of the annual Midwest Madness Tour presented by Western Iowa Race Results and this has become one of my "must attend" events on the calendar each year.

The pits were full with 140 race cars including drivers from far and wide with long distance travelers having the chance to race for five straight nights starting with Worthington, Minnesota, on Sunday night, winding through Spencer on Monday, Park Jefferson on Tuesday, Alta on Wednesday and wrapping up here at Stuart on Thursday and as I scanned through the roster it made all of the work that I put in to tracking the state point standings well worth it. All of these names that I was familiar with, but had never or rarely seen in person all doing battle on one of my favorite tracks!

The track was in near perfect condition for the heat races with the morning rains helping to ward off the hot afternoon/evening sun and the racing was intense, especially in the Modifieds and Sport Mod divisions where drivers would have to advance, or end up watching the main event from the catwalk. A bit of a longer farming session than usual took place prior to those B-Mains and with the sun setting the surface was now primed for action with the Sport Mods up first for twenty laps.

Race fans outside of southwest Iowa may not be familiar with Matt Avila, but the driver from Prescott definitely showed that he is an up and comer starting from the pole position and leading the entire distance to pick up the win against this talented field. Jake Sachau, who was behind the wheel of Jace Whitt's #26J, would provide a bit of a challenge early to Avila, but there was never a doubt who was going to win this one.

Taylor Kuehl was making a nice run up from seventh and had just taken the second spot when the only caution of the race waved with two laps remaining when New Mexico's Jackson Harpole and Mitchell Morris tangled in turn three. On the restart, with David Schwartz and Kuehl lined up behind the leader, that first double row made contact with both of them driving toward the infield before making a recovery. This allowed Sachau to go from fifth to second at the checkers as Avila captured his fourth win of the 2023 season. Kuehl was able to hold onto third ahead of IMCA National Points leader Cam Reimers while current All Iowa Points leader Brayton Carter finished fifth after starting eleventh.

The Stock Cars would be up next and, well what can you say but "Woof, what a stinker." Actually a "show killer" would have been more accurate as despite the talent level of the field and the great condition of the racing surface we would see eleven, count them, eleven caution flags in the first twelve laps of scored racing. I will withhold the names of the offenders, but one of them actually caused three cautions when on the one where he had "some help" prior to spinning, officials were unable to determine who actually hit him as they raced down the back stretch following a restart even after taking a closer look on the IMCA.tv replays.

Colorado's Angel Munoz would lead the first two laps before the fifth starting Damon Murty would sweep around him on the outside. However, when the cushion pounding Murty slapped the wall in turns one and two on lap nine he would slow dramatically heading down the back stretch and would then limp his #99D back to the pit area. This would hand the lead over to Jake Sachau who has transitioned from the Sport Mods to the Stock Cars in 2023 and he would be challenged by Buck Schafroth who had raced his way up from tenth.

A flat tire on that final caution would sideline Schafroth and when the final ten laps clicked off under green it would be Sachau taking the win in convincing fashion. Troy Jerovetz made his way through the field from eighteenth to finish second. Tom Berry Jr. slipped by Austin Bouzek off the final turn to finish third and young Rowdee Van Genderen was impressive finishing fifth, just ahead of his crew chief Ty Hill who had come from the outside of row eleven.

With that one finally in the books IMCA's Jim Stannard and I agreed that the Sport Compacts would likely now go fourteen laps without a caution and, sure enough.......

Front row starters Owen Richards and Kolby Sabin battled side-by-side for the lead during the first two laps around the quarter-mile before Sabin took control on lap three. There would be no catching the current IMCA National Points leader and the current All Iowa Points leader from there as Sabin posted the victory. Jake Paysen was able to take second away from Richards with Shannon Mahlberg and Andrew Akers filling out the top five.

Despite the late hour I was committed to staying for the twenty-five lap Modified feature with Colorado native Tripp Gaylord leading the opening lap. His front row companion Jacob Hobscheidt would take the point on lap two and would start to drive away before the caution waved on lap six when Mike Lineberry and Nick Roberts tangled in turn two. The back of the field would jumble up heading into turn one on the restart, but once back to green we would go caution free the rest of the way.

Hobscheidt's biggest challenge would come as he dealt with a couple of lapped cars late in the race, first when he spun a suddenly slowing Cory Wray to the infield going down the back stretch and a couple of laps later when he door slammed one of the Rogoztkes out of the bottom line exiting turn four. Neither resulted in a caution though and Hobscheidt's lead was over a straightaway as he took the checkers. Dylan Thornton would take the runner-up honors, Gaylord would maintain third and Todd Shute passed California transplant Jerry Flippo on the final lap for fourth.

It was now 10:45 and with just shy of a three hour drive ahead of me, plus another long road trip in the works for Friday night I decided to skip out on the Hobby Stock and Outlaw Mini Mod features although a good portion of the large crowd on hand seemed to be ready for more action. As always a big thanks to MVG for the VIP treatment and you can bet that the Ron Little Memorial will be back on my calendar for 2024. And, in a few more years when I can call it a career on my day job, one of my bucket list items will be to follow the entire Midwest Madness Tour!

Rains from Thursday and this morning have wiped out my plans for tonight as the Sprint Invaders show at Jacksonville is cancelled, the MLRA race at CJ is rained out and the weekly show at the Davenport Speedway has fallen by the wayside. So I will take tonight to make it a two day celebration of my wife's birthday and then on Sunday we look forward to the Sprint Invaders show at the Benton County Speedway in Vinton where Bill W and I will have the pleasure of working with one of my favorite announcers Ryan Clark.

Hope to see you there!

Photo Credit: Jared Bailey Photography

Article Credit: Jeff Broeg, Back Stretch at PositivelyRacing.com

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