Fayette County Speedway
Guss holds off Aikey for Fayette County victory
WEST UNION, Iowa (July 14) – Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill, saw his luck go from one extreme to the other Tuesday night at Fayette County Speedway. Guss held off Jeff Aikey of Waterloo, Iowa, to win the 40-lap Deery Brothers Summer Series main event, earning $2,000 as well as regaining the second spot behind Aikey in the series standings on the IMCA-sanctioned tour.
The West Union program had been interrupted by rain and rescheduled after four heat races were in the books June 17. Guss broke that night, returned to town with a new car and had to start at the back of a consolation race. Guss won that race, started the main from inside row six and took the lead for good on the 18th circuit.
Aikey moved to the high side to reel in Guss and pulled alongside on several occasions, but was forced out of his preferred line by lapped traffic. Tom Darbyshire of Morning Sun, Iowa, was third and defending series champion Boone McLaughlin of Mediapolis, Iowa, ran fourth.
Terry Neal of Ely, Iowa, made a stellar run toward the front after being forced to the pits to make repairs after he was part of a multicar tangle on the opening circuit.
Neal re-started at the rear and worked his way back to fifth. Jason Frankel of Quincy, Il., took a provisional and moved up 14 spots from his original starting position to finish sixth. Tyler Bruening was a career-best seventh.
Darbyshire led the first five laps from his outside row one start. Aikey used the bottom groove to take over the point, leading to lap 15 while Guss forged through the front half of the field. The two swapped the front spot on three consecutive laps. Guss pulled away after halfway, then had to hold Aikey at bay as the laps counted down. The series victory was his first of the season and career 12th.
While Guss’s luck took a turn for the better, the same couldn’t be said for the four drivers knocked out of the race before the first lap could be scored. Darren Ackerman got sideways and flipped when the field came around four wide. Travis Smock, Bryan Klein and Jay Johnson were involved in the melee and could not continue.
Tuesday’s race was the first tour event held at West Union since 1998. Aikey, already a five-time Deery champion, had won two of the four previous series races there.
Wednesday's second half of the midweek doubleheader marks the first-ever visit by the Deery Series to Upper Iowa Speedway at Decorah.
Deery Brothers @ Fayette County: (1) Ray Guss Jr., (2) Jeff Aikey, (3) Tom Darbyshire, (4) Boone McLaughlin, (5) Terry Neal, (6) Jason Frankel, (7) Tyler Bruening, (8) Matt Ryan, (9) Joe Zrostlik, (10) Greg Kastli, (11) T.J. Criss, (12) Justin Kay, (13) Chad Lerch, (14) Charlie McKenna, (15) Rob Toland, (16) Matt Strassheim, (17) Hershel Roberts, (18) Jon Passick, (19) Rick Dralle, (20) Darren Ackerman, (21) Travis Smock, (22) Bryan Klein, (23) Jay Johnson, (24) Luke Goedert. Heat race winners: Neal, Lerch, Bruening, Smock. Consolation winners; Guss, McKenna