A rollercoaster four days at Boone Speedway ended with Kyle Strickler on top of the dirt track racing world.
Strickler led all 40 laps of Saturday’s Modified main event at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. The victory lane scene that followed was an emotional one.
“This is the greatest race ever. Winning it means so much to me,” he said. “There is so much history here. I’d always wanted to put my name of the T-shirt and now I’ve done it.”
The win came a night after Strickler’s Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot triumph and paid $2,700. Richie Gustin, the 2011 champion, defending champion Dylan Smith and Canadian Aaron Turnbull completed the top four.
Strickler had been disqualified from a runner-up finish in his Wednesday qualifier for use of unapproved wheels. He won his Friday qualifier and started at the front on the outside row in Saturday’s big dance.
“It was pretty cool to be able to rebound that way at Super Nationals, and to start a row further ahead than we could have,” he said. “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. This is just phenomenal.”
After a multi-car pileup on the front stretch that stopped the race on lap 18, the feature stayed green to the finish.
The common theme to the other three main events was family.
Rookie Devin Smith joined brothers Donavon and Dustin as a Super Nationals champion, scoring the Stock Car crown and a $3,200 check. He also won the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions, earning $1,175 and matching Donavon’s 2012 Super Nationals double.
Shannon Anderson led all 30 laps in winning his career third Hobby Stock title and $1,750. His father Jeff won two Super Nationals Stock Car championships.
Johnathon Logue, son of five-time Modified champion John Logue, was reeling in leader Randy Roberts before a lap 17 restart in the SportMod main. He was in first when the next circuit as scored and drove to his first Super Nationals title, good for $1,925.
Keith White ended a string of bad luck at Boone by winning the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions for Modifieds.
He ran in front the last 11 of 12 laps, holding off Mason Big Eagle for what turned out to be the $2,100 checkers.
The Luellen family celebrated twice.
Austin Luellen led all 10 laps of the Stephenville Starter Race of Champions for Hobby Stocks. That victory paid $800.
Older brother Clinton then all 10 laps of the BSB Manufacturing Race of Champions for SportMods for a $1,300 payday.
All four race of champions events ran caution free.
IMCA PR – Byron Fitcher photos
Last Chance “A” 01 — 1. Mike VanGenderen, Newton; 2. Jimmy Gustin, Marshalltown; 3. Todd Shute, Des Moines; 4.
Drew Armstrong, Alexander, Ark.; 5. Brandon Blochlinger, Concordia, Kan.; 6. Jeff Emerson, Millsap, Texas; 7. Cory
Wray, Jamesport, Mo.; 8. Cody Graham, Mesa, Ariz.; 9. J.P. Dowell, Killeen, Texas; 10. Andy Obertello, Hollister, Calif.;
11. Alex Hanson, Northwood; 12. Clay Hale, Cameron, Mo.; 13. Trent Loverude, New Ulm, Minn.; 14. Russ Reinwald,
Juneau, Wis; 15. Russ Dickerson, Boone.
Last Chance “A” 02 — 1. Ryan Ruter, Kanawha; 2. Justin O’Brien, West Union; 3. Ricky Stephan, S. Sioux City, Neb.; 4.
Justin Auringer, Waterloo; 5. Jay Goosmann, Merrill; 6. Joel Bushore, Boone; 7. Travis Dickes, Madison, Neb.; 8. Jay
Steffens, North Platte, Neb.; 9. Jim Thies, Mapleton; 10. Danny Holt, Topeka, Kan.; 11. Rich Lewerke, Mason City; 12.
Greg Gretz, Athelstane, Wis; 13. Nicholas Link, Rolla, Kan.; 14. Jim Cole, Sioux City; 15. Keith White, Little River, Texas.
Last Chance “A” 03 — 1. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 2. Dustin Smith, Lake City; 3. Josh Truman, Indianola; 4. Mark
Elliott, Webster City; 5. Darin Duffy, Urbana; 6. Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup; 7. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 8. Sean Jerovetz,
Sobieski, Wis; 9. John Logue, Jr., Boone; 10. Ryan McDaniel, Olivehurst, Calif.; 11. Ryan Watnem, Humbolt; 12. Eric
Dailey, Armstrong; 13. Kyle Brown, State Center; 14. Regan Tafoya, Farmington, N.M; 15. Wayne Johnson, Minot, N.D..
Last Chance Heat 01 — 1. Drew Armstrong, Alexander, Ark.; 2. Jeff Emerson, Millsap, Texas; 3. J.P. Dowell, Killeen,
Texas; 4. Tim Ward, Gilbert, Ariz.; 5. Dustin Kraklio, Durant; 6. Dean Abbey, Waco, Texas; 7. Michael Albertsen,
Audubon; 8. Tyler Wilson, Krakow, Wis; 9. Bill Pittaway, Corpus Christi, Texas; 10. Mat Stallbaumer, Tecumseh, Kan.;
11. Greg Taylor, Sioux City; 12. Chris Derenne, Luxemburg, Wis; 13. Larry Hall, Rochester, Minn.; 14. Scott Olson,
Blairsburg; 15. Nate Zimmerman, Janesville, Minn..
Last Chance Heat 02 — 1. Keith White, Little River, Texas; 2. Danny Holt, Topeka, Kan.; 3. Joel Bushore, Boone; 4.
Brandon Beckendorf, Danube, Minn.; 5. Brad Pounds, Bakersfield, Calif.; 6. Chad Porter, Madison Lake, Minn.; 7. Drew
Christianson, Minot, N.D.; 8. Clay Sellard, Ellis, Kan.; 9. Todd Stinehart, Waseca, Minn.; 10. Tony Cox, Boone; 11.
Randy Dolberg, Mills, Wyo.; 12. Steve Reynolds, Springfield, S.D.; 13. Matthew Kiner, Aurora, Neb.; 14. Tony Snyder,
Readlyn; 15. Devon Havlik, Iowa Falls.
Last Chance Heat 03 — 1. Eric Dailey, Armstrong; 2. Sean Jerovetz, Sobieski, Wis; 3. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 4. Jeff
Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 5. Larry Sutton, Beloit, Kan.; 6. Cory Sample, Winnemucca, Nev.; 7. J.J. Scott, Iowa City; 8.
Mikey Bell, Quitman, Ark.; 9. Dan Menk, Franklin, Minn.; 10. Mark Griffin, Canton, Pa.; 11. Jeff Streeter, Madera, Calif.;
12. Jordy Nelson, Marysville, Kan.; 13. Racer Hulin, Laurel; 14. Travis Hatcher, Honey Creek; 15. David Pries,
Last Chance Heat 04 — 1. Brandon Blochlinger, Concordia, Kan.; 2. Trent Loverude, New Ulm, Minn.; 3. Cory Wray,
Jamesport, Mo.; 4. A.J. Ward, Ionia, Mich.; 5. Scott Davis, Boone; 6. Ron Pope, Mason City; 7. Chad Ten Naple, Sioux
City; 8. Clint Wendel, Mason City; 9. Brint Hartwick, Quitman, Ark.; 10. Mike Petersilie, Hoisington, Kan.; 11. Tim Pessek,
Hutchinson, Minn.; 12. David Goode, Copperas Cove, Texas; 13. Brian Calhoon, Beloit, Kan.; 14. Randy Artz, Battle
Mountain, Nev.; 15. Wade Cross, Phillips, Neb..
Last Chance Heat 05 — 1. Ryan Ruter, Kanawha; 2. Jim Cole, Sioux City; 3. Greg Gretz, Athelstane, Wis; 4. Mason Big
Eagle, Manor, Sk; 5. Brian Knoell, Falun, Kan.; 6. Clint Hatlestad, Glencoe, Minn.; 7. Scott Hogan, Vinton; 8. Tom Berry,
Jr., Medford, Ore.; 9. David Brown, Kellogg; 10. Curt Lund, Redwood Falls, Minn.; 11. Kenneth Buck, Canton, Pa.; 12.
Cole Ferguson, Dexter; 13. Daniell Loggins, Sioux City; 14. Rob Charapata, Oconto, Wis; 15. Randy Havlik, Madrid.
Last Chance Heat 06 — 1. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 2. Kyle Brown, State Center; 3. John Logue, Jr., Boone; 4. David
Schuster, Waterville, Minn.; 5. Mitch Keeter, Webb City, Mo.; 6. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, Ill.; 7. Kurt Moeding, Mason City;
8. Blake Peeler, Trimble, Mo.; 9. Shane Hiatt, Rising City, Neb.; 10. Tony Hilgenberg, Waukee; 11. Scott Simatovich,
State Center; 12. Joe Spillman, Marble Falls, Texas; 13. Shawn Bearce, Sioux City; 14. Eric Sinness, Williston, N.D.; 15.
Tyler Limoges, Redwood Falls, Minn.; 16. Coty Albers, Wellsburg.
Last Chance Heat 07 — 1. Russ Reinwald, Juneau, Wis; 2. Todd Shute, Des Moines; 3. Alex Hanson, Northwood; 4.
Josh Long, Little Suamico, Wis; 5. Chad Wernette, Sheridan, Mich.; 6. Jacob Anson, Albion, Neb.; 7. Wayne Graybeal,
Springfield, Mo.; 8. Levi Nielsen, Mason City; 9. Josh Sherbon, Cedar Falls; 10. Tyler Prochaska, Iowa Falls; 11. Robert
Jenning, Slater; 12. Duane Rogers, Imperial, Calif.; 13. Shay Woods, Humeston; 14. Jason Schneiders, Sioux City; 15.
Kyle Ligenza, Columbus, Neb..
Last Chance Heat 08 — 1. Justin O’Brien, West Union; 2. Travis Dickes, Madison, Neb.; 3. Rich Lewerke, Mason City; 4.
Chris Fleming, Union Springs, N.Y.; 5. Greg Elliott, Webster City; 6. Jeff Dolphin, Britt; 7. Joren Boyce, Minot, N.D.; 8.
Austin Wonch, Stanton, Mich.; 9. Kody Scholpp;; 10. Jeremy Frenier, Fort Morgan, Colo.; 11. Jacob Murray, Hartford;
12. Eric Elliott, Boone; 13. Jim Peeler, Milan, Mo.; 14. Bill Davis, Jr., Des Moines; 15. Chance Saffran, Hopkinton.