Auto racing: Carter, McBirnie get wild wins at Harris Clash
SPRING VALLEY — Cayden Carter watched some chaos play out in front of him.
Then the young IMCA Modified driver from Oskaloosa, Iowa, zoomed past the chaos and completed a remarkable run from deep in the A Main field to win the prestigious Harris Clash for the first time in his career.
“We had a good car all night,” Carter said. “I got on the bottom early and started rolling. My family puts a lot of time and money into this, and I can’t thank everyone who helps us out enough. I’m just thankful to be here.”
Carter was an unlikely recipient of the $3,000 winner’s check, which he collected at the end of a program that lasted nearly six hours. He started 17th in the 24-car field and patiently worked his way through eight rows of drivers who started in front of him.
He worked his way into the top three with 10 laps to go in the 30-lap race, then was in the right spot when the two drivers who had spent the previous four laps battling for the lead — 2017 Clash champion Richie Gustin and two-time IMCA SuperNationals champion Kyle Strickler — collided going through Turns 1 and 2. They were both charged with the caution and sent to the back of the field.
Carter inherited the lead and pulled away from front-row starter Troy Cordes and home-track standout Brandon Davis, of Hayfield.
“We got by Richie once, but he had a really good car, and I don’t know if we could’ve beat him tonight,” Carter said. “It’s too bad what happened with him and Strickler, but I’d rather be lucky than good any day.
“(Gustin and Strickler) were sitting down on the bottom (after their crash), and I was about one second away from junking my car, too, so we got lucky there, and it worked out for us.”
The caution that ended Strickler’s chance to win and Gustin’s repeat bid was the fourth of a race that saw three lead changes.
Cordes, who started the race on the outside pole, led the first 17 laps. But the first caution of the race allowed Gustin to get past him and grab the lead for the first time, after coming from the back of a 13-car B Main to win it and qualify for the Clash A Main.
Davis, who won his heat race earlier in the evening, drove a car owned by fellow local driver Greg Jensen.
He started the feature in Row 2 and ran in the top three throughout the entire 30 laps.
“We were just having fun,” Davis said. “The draw was huge, starting on the pole (in a heat race). I’d never driven this car before. It was kind of a handful … interesting. It was a fun car to drive.”
McBirnie wins wild Sportsmods feature
Jake McBirnie was the beneficiary of a late-race call that went against Deer Creek track regular Jared Boumeester in the Harris Clash IMCA SportMods A Main.
Boumeester, from Waseca, led the first 18 laps of the 20-lap race. He survived the first five cautions of the race, each time rebuilding a solid lead. But on a restart with three laps to go, he was pushed up into the wall exiting Turn 2 by Johnathon Logue. Boumeester then came back down the track, making contact with at least one other car.
After a lengthy discussion, track officials ruled Boumeester got into the wall on his own, then initiated the contact with Logue when he came back off the wall. Boumeester was sent to the back of the pack, then to the pits after vehemently disagreeing with officials.
That set up a two-lap dash to the finish. McBirnie shot past Logue on the high side of the track coming out of Turn 2 and pulled away to win the $1,000 winner’s check.
“It was pretty crazy,” McBirnie said of the late-race fireworks. “We almost got turned into the backstretch wall on that deal and we made it out somehow.
“Jared had to go to the back. … I’m not sure how that happened, but if he’d have been up front at the end, it would have been a heck of a race.”
Tuesday marked the first time the Harris Clash has been held at Deer Creek, a track that doesn’t run IMCA-sanctioned cars on a regular basis. It marked the first time IMCA cars had run at Deer Creek in the 17-plus years the Queensland family has owned and operated the facility.A total of 151 cars checked in to the pits, 96 A-Modifieds and 55 SportMods. Those drivers represented 17 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin — and one Canadian province (Saskatchewan).Gustin won the Dash at The Clash, a 10-lap, $500-to-win race that 10 drivers qualified for at special qualifying races held between May 27 and Aug. 2.
Heat winners – Mike Hanson; Brian Mullen (Seymour, Wis.); Mike Mashl (Depere, Wis.); Garett Wilson (Carlisle, Iowa); Billy Kendall (Baxter); Troy Cordes (Dunkerton, Iowa); Kyle Strickler (Mooresville, N.C.); Adam Hensel (Baldwin, Wis.); Jesse Dennis (Corning, Iowa); Jacob Hobscheidt (Plattsmouth, Neb.); Brandon Davis (Hayfield); Kyle Brown (Madrid, Iowa).
Dash at The Clash winner – Richie Gustin (Gilman, Iowa).
B Main winners – Gustin; Chris Abelson (Sioux City, Iowa); Hunter Marriott (Brookfield, Mo.); Clint Hatlestad (Glencoe); Cayden Carter (Oskaloosa, Iowa); JD Auringer (Evansdale, Iowa).
A Main – 1. Cayden Carter (Oskaloosa, Iowa); 2. Troy Cordes (Dunkerton, Iowa); 3. Brandon Davis (Hayfield); 4. Adam Hensel (Baldwin, Wis.); 5. Mike Hanson; 6. Kelly Shryock (Fertile, Iowa); 7. Billy Kendall (Baxter); 8. Joel Rust (Grundy Center, Iowa); 9. Jesse Dennis (Corning, Iowa); 10. Clint Hatlestad (Glencoe); 11. Justin Kay (Wheatland, Iowa); 12. Chris Abelson (Sioux City, Iowa); 13. JD Auringer (Evansdale, Iowa); 14. Brian Mullen (Seymour, Wis.); 15. Matt Ryan (Davenport, Iowa); 16. Hunter Marriott (Brookfield, Mo.); 17. Jay Noteboom (Hinton, Iowa); 18. Corey Dripps (Reinbeck, Iowa); 19. Mike Mashl (Depere, Wis.); 20. Richie Gustin (Gilman, Iowa); 21. Ricky Thornton Jr. (Clive, Iowa); 22. Kyle Strickler (Mooresville, N.C.); 23. Jacob Hobscheit (Plattsmouth, Neb.); 24. Garett Wilson (Carlisle, Iowa); 25. Kyle Brown (Madrid, Iowa).
IMCA SPORT MODS
Heat winners – Johnathon Logue (Logansport, Iowa); Austin Howes (Memphis, Mo.); Justin Remus (New Ulm); Nate Whitehurst (Mason City, Iowa); Joe Docekal (Dysart, Iowa); Austen Becerra (Carthage, Ill.); Jared Boumeester (Waseca); Nate Chodur (Lake Mills, Iowa).
B Main winners – Joey Schaefer (Waterloo, Iowa); Sam Wieben (Dysart, Iowa); Jared Nytroe (Brandon, S.D.); Alex Schubbe (North Mankato).
A Main – 1. Jake McBirnie (Boone, Iowa); 2. Johnathon Logue (Logansport, Iowa); 3. Joe Docekal (Dysart, Iowa); 4. Joey Schaefer (Waterloo, Iowa); 5. Austin Schrage (Cresco, Iowa); 6. Brayton Carter (Oskaloosa, Iowa); 7. Chris VanMil (Barnesville); 8. Austen Becerra (Carthage, Ill.); 9. Nate Chodur (Lake Mills, Iowa); 10. Sam Wieben (Dysart, Iowa); 11. Thomas Nelson (Aurora, Co.); 12. Alex Schubbe (North Mankato); 13. Josh Appel (Mason City, Iowa); 14. Austin Howes (Memphis, Mo.); 15. John Albrecht (Glencoe); 16. Jared Nytroe (Brandon, S.D.); 17. Tyler Soppe (Sherrill, Iowa); 18. Jared Van Deest (Holland, Iowa); 19. Nate Whitehurst (Mason City); 20. Jaek Sachau (Denison, Iowa); 21. Justin Remus (New Ulm); 22. Cole Bents (Rushmore); 23. Kyle Bentley (Fairbank, Iowa); 24. Jared Boumeester (Waseca).