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Dubuque Speedway

Harris leads all 50 laps in Dubuque's Deery opener

April 3, 2011, 4:53 am
From series reports
Runner-up Andy Eckrich (56) takes a last stab at Brian Harris (21). (Barry Johnson)
Runner-up Andy Eckrich (56) takes a last stab at Brian Harris (21). (Barry Johnson)

DUBUQUE, Iowa (April 2) — The first checkered flag of the silver anniversary Deery Brothers Summer Series flew for Brian Harris of Davenport, Iowa. Harris led all 50 laps of Saturday’s opening night IMCA Late Model tour opener at Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway, building up a big lead and then holding off Andy Eckrich of Iowa City after the sole caution of the contest came with nine circuits to go. | Slideshow

The series victory was Harris’ career fourth and paid $2,000. Eckrich was second with Iowans Tom Darbyshire of Morning Sun, Tyler Bruening of Decorah and Terry Neal of Ely rounded out the top five.

After drawing the outside row two start, Harris went immediately to the top groove. He caught up with the back of the field by lap 15 and led the second-running Darbyshire by a full straight at midway.

Harris had lapped 13 cars before the late caution came out. Eckrich, the 2010 tour rookie of the year, had started 15th, caught Darbyshire for the second spot and was making up ground while Harris looked for a way around three-wide backrunners.

The yellow resulting from defending champion Ray Guss Jr.’s flat tire erased what was still a sizable lead for Harris, who stuck to the higher line following the restart and then outran Eckrich coming out of the turns and took the win by two car lengths.

Darrel DeFrance was 13th in upping his perfect series attendance streak to 368 consecutive events. Guss raced his way back to 14th.

All three of Harris’ previous Deery victories came in 2005. Todd Malmstrom won the $250 Sunoco Race Fuels feature qualifier drawing.

Nineteen race dates comprise the 25th annual tour. Next up are the $3,000 to win Slocum 50 at 34 Raceway in West Burlington on April 9 and the April 10 event at Quincy, Ill., Raceway.

Deery Brothers @ Dubuque: (1) Brian Harris, (2) Andy Eckrich, (3) Tom Darbyshire, (4) Tyler Bruening, (5) Terry Neal, (6) Bryan Klein, (7) Rob Toland, (8) Jason Perry, (9) Justin Reed, (10) Mark Burgtorf, (11) Mike Murphy Jr., (12) Colby Springsteen, (13) Darrel DeFrance, (14) Ray Guss Jr., (15) Matt Strassheim, (16) Jeff Aikey, (17) Charlie McKenna, (18) Dan Shelliam, (19) Justin Kay, (20) Jason Frankel, (21) Todd Malstrom, (22) Luke Goedert, (23) Jay Johnson, (24) Billy Tuckwell. Heat race winners: Neal, Darbyshire, Bruening, Springsteen, Harris. Consolation winners: Perry, Aikey.

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