Donovan Triumphs in Season Opener!
Brookings native and veteran Sprint Car driver Donovan Peterson takes the top spot this past Saturday at the fast 3/8ths mile of I-90 Speedway just west of Hartford, South Dakota.
It all began with quite the thrill as Peterson took the Trondson Engines Willey Wilson Motorsports #3 Sprinter off turns one and two in the hot lap sessions. Donovan went into the corner looking for the perfect line, but with the track being a little looser than normal, he launched his car off the racing surface and nearly into the cornfield. With a couple severe bounces as he left the speedway, the veteran driver kept the car on all four wheels and away from trouble.
“That’s never a great way to start out the night,” says Donovan, “But, we were able to keep the car straight and make some changes to get it ready for the heat race. I am sure it was quite a show for the fans… I could tell I was off the ground for quite awhile.”
Donovan started on the inside of the third row at fifth for the start of the eight lap heat race in which he was able to advance forward in the first few laps to put the Trondson Engines Willey Wilson Motorsports #3 in the third position. The leader dropped out of the race advancing Donovan to second and into a safe transfer position to make the redraw for the Main Event.
Peterson drew a number 11 to put him on the outside of the front row for the start of the 20 lap contest and finally, on the third restart, Donovan was able to conquer the lead through the first turns of one and two keeping the car on the bottom and in the moisture.
With many cautions, Donovan held the number one spot to nail down the first win of the year in the Willey Wilson 360 Sprint Car.
“The cautions kind of helped,” explains Donovan. “Every time we caught lapped traffic the yellow came out and I didn’t have to worry about finding a line around them. I could tell I had Dusty (Ballenger) behind us, so I knew I couldn’t slack behind the wheel. But the car was just about perfect and I knew that we would be tough to pass.”
The last race of the year Donovan and Dusty Ballenger battled it out to which Donovan had the lead for most of the race, but it was Ballenger beating him to the line and winning the championship.
Up next for the Peterson is the season opener this coming Friday in Rock Rapids, Iowa for the beginning of the HRA traditional non-wing sprint cars followed by Saturday’s I-90 Speedway event in which Donovan will be piloting the Willey Wilson winged 360 as well as his own HRA non-wing sprinter.
Follow Donovan through his website, www.donovanpetersonracing.com, and for your twitter fans out there, be sure to go to www.twitter.com/donovanpeterson!
Special thanks to Trondson Engines, GeoComfort Geothermal Systems, Key Auto Sales, Willey Wilson Motorsports, Jim’s Automatic Transmissions, Ziebarth Trucking, West Sioux Brake & Exhaust, and Driver Websites.