Burgtorf edges Guss for third Deery victory
DUBUQUE, Iowa (April 18) — Race fans went home buzzing about the start, the finish and every lap in between of the first-ever Deery Brothers Summer Series event at Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway. Mark Burgtorf of Quincy, Ill., got back to his winning ways Sunday night, reeling in long-time leader Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., with seven laps left to capture his third $2,000 victory in five IMCA Late Model tour events this spring. | Slideshow
Guss ended his night as the runner-up and saw his advantage over Burgtorf in the point race pared to four markers. Dan Shelliam Hazel Green, Wis., made the second feature appearance of his Deery career and finished third. Rookie contenders Jason Rauen of Farley, Iowa, and Andy Eckrich of Iowa City, Iowa, rounded out the top five.
Polesitter Jeremiah Hurst led the first two laps before giving way to Rauen. A myriad of cautions slowed the race before Guss took the lead on lap nine. Guss stretched his advantage to most of a straightaway midway through the 50-lap feature, Burgtorf, Shelliam, Mike Murphy Jr. and Rauen used all the lines and weaved around back runners, making up ground on Guss during a lengthy fight for the second spot.
That edge eventually went to Burgtorf, who went to the top to pass Guss for the point on lap 44. Guss kept the race close, crossing the finish line a few lengths back. Eckrich worked his way to fifth while hard charger Murphy moved up 10 spots and finished sixth.
The early excitement came on the opening lap, when Kevin Blum of Colona, Ill., flipped in the first set of turns. IMCA’s reigning points champion wasn't injured, but two wreckers were called to transport his car back to the pits.
Notes: Burgtorf's Nelson Motorsports team fields a Pierce Race Car with sponsorship from Casey's General Stores, Outdoor Power and Gem City Ford. ... Burgtorf is tied with Curt Martin for second on the career series victories list with 25. .... His three victories matches his '09 total; he won four series race in '01. ... The series has averaged more than 52 cars over the first five events, five cars better than last year's pace. ... Ray Guss Jr. won the $250 Sunoco bonus. ... With weekly IMCA points starting on Friday, the series is idle until May 18 at Marshalltown (Iowa) Speedway.
Deery Brothers @ Dubuque: (1) Mark Burgtorf, (2) Ray Guss Jr., (3) Dan Shelliam, (4) Jason Rauen, (5) Andy Eckrich, (6) Mike Murphy Jr., (7) Jeff Aikey, (8) Jeremiah Hurst, (9) Darrel DeFrance, (10) Tom Goble, (11) Greg Kastli, (12) Charlie McKenna, (13) Tyler Bruening, (14) Matt Strassheim, (15) Joel Callahan, (16) Todd Malmstrom, (17) Nate Bueseling, (18) Josh Most, (19) T.J. Criss, (20) Jason Frankel, (21) Terry Neal, (22) Boone McLaughlin, (23) Tom Darbyshire, (24) Kevin Blum. Heat race winners (among 44 cars): Burgtorf, Shelliam, Hurst, McKenna, Guss. Consolation winners: Murphy, Blum.