Guss takes Knoxville for fourth series victory
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (July 28) — Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., stretched his Deery Brothers Late Model Series points lead Wednesday at Knoxville Raceway with a 35-lap victory worth $2,000, his series-leading fourth triumph and second in a row.
Guss, who started sixth in the 24-car field, took the lead from Jeff Guengerich of Washington, Iowa, on the 10th lap and led the rest of the way. Seventh-starting Darren Miller of Chadwick, Ill., making a rare Late Model start since shutting down his family-owned team in ’09, rallied to finish second while 19th-starting Jeff Aikey of Waterloo, Iowa, was third. Jeremiah Hurst of Dubuque Iowa, recovered from a first-lap spin to finish fourth and Brian Harris of Davenport, Iowa, rounded out the top five. Outside-front row starter Jay Stewart of Blair, Neb., led the first two laps but faded to finish 15th. | Slideshow
Three early cautions slowed the action before an official lap was complete, then T.J. Criss and Kevin Blum tangled in turn four on the second lap, knocking both drivers out of the race.
Stewart led two circuits before Guengerich took command with Guss hot on his heels. Guss took the lead on the 10th lap with a high-side pass exiting turn two, and he built nearly a straightaway by the halfway point.
After a lap-17 caution bunched the field, a red flag appeared on the restart when Charlie McKenna of Clear Lake, Iowa, caught the berm and barrel-rolled five times in turn one. He climbed from his car and wasn’t seriously injured.
The green stayed out the rest of the way with Guss maneuvering through lapped traffic the final six laps. Miller made up some ground on Guss in the late-going but fell 10 lengths short at the checkers.
Notes: Guss drove a Hershel Roberts-owned MasterSbilt Race Car is powered by a Mullins Engine and sponsored by Sears Seating, Roberts Custom Software and Roemer Machine & Welding. ... Guss has 20 career series victories. ... Polesitter Tyler Bruening finished 14th. ... The event was a makeup from a July 8 rainout. ... Mark Burgtorf of Quincy, Ill., second in the series points, was a no-show. ... The 56-year-old track hosted its 50th Late Model event. ... Charlie McKenna had a major accident for the second straight series race; he slammed the turn-three wall July 21 at Southern Iowa Speedway while battling for second. ... Next up for the series is an Aug. 3 event at Farley (Iowa) Speedway, the first series race at the track since 2003 and just the fourth all time.
Deery Brothers @ Knoxville: (1) Ray Guss Jr., (2) Darren Miller, (3) Jeff Aikey, (4) Jeremiah Hurst, (5) Brian Harris, (6) Andy Eckrich, (7) Jeff Guengerich, (8) Josh Most, (9) Todd Cooney, (10) Nate Beuseling, (11) Terry Neal, (12) Craig Roberts, (13) Kelly Tapper, (14) Tyler Bruening, (15) Jay Stewart, (16) Mark Preston, (17) Charlie McKenna, (18) Colby Springsteen, (19) Robby Warner, (20) Cory Goldbeck, (21) Tom Darbyshire, (22) T.J. Criss, (23) Kevin Blum, (24) Ryan Giles. Heat race winners (among 32 cars): Neal, Guss, Most, Guengerich. Consolation winner: McKenna. Provisional starters: Darbyshire, Criss, Blum, Giles.
Correction: Fixes winning purse.