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34 Raceway

Denny Eckrich captures Deery opener, $5,555

April 7, 2013, 5:24 am
By Bill Martin
Denny Eckrich (50) slips past his younger brother Andy (56) to take command at 34 Raceway. (John Vass)
Denny Eckrich (50) slips past his younger brother Andy (56) to take command at 34 Raceway. (John Vass)

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (April 6) – The lucrative season opener on the 2013 Deery Brothers Summer Series belongs to Denny Eckrich.

The Tiffin, Iowa, driver battled younger brother Andy much of the way before winning Saturday’s Brenton Slocum Memorial 50 at 34 Raceway. The IMCA Late Model tour victory paid $5,555 as he topped reigning series champion Jeff Aikey of Waterloo, Iowa, and 21st-starting Brian Harris of Davenport, Iowa. | Slideshow

Andy Eckrich of Iowa City and Jason Utter of Columbus Junction, Iowa, completed the top five as 46 cars enter the 27th annual series opener.

Andy Eckrich started on the pole with Denny lined up right behind him for the initial green. With Andy running on top and Denny on the bottom, both caught up with the back of the field by lap 11 and continued their side-by-side, bumper-to-bumper tussle.

Denny was briefly in front on lap 19 and took over that position for good four lead changes later. Aikey, now in pursuit of his eighth career series title, moved into second on lap 39 and began to reel in the leader.

The 50-lapper came to an end before he could complete that quest, however, and Aikey finished two lengths off the pace.

Notes: Denny Eckrich's Barry Wright Race Car is sponsored by Precision Performance, Mac Tools and Grove Automotive. ...The victory was the series career third for Eckrich. ... He also took home the $538 Honus Bonus for leading lap 38. ... Both the top two finishers had their cylinder heads removed during postrace tech inspection and passed with flying colors. ... Tom Darbyshire of Morning Sun, Iowa, raced from 20th to third before getting into the backstretch wall on lap 33. ... Aikey won the $250 Sunoco Race Fuels drawing while Harris earned the $555 hard charger prize for his 21st-to-third run. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Curt Martin, Rob Moss, Joe Ross, Brandon Queen, Rick Wendling, Tyler Bruening, Chuck Hanna, Larry Harris, Curt Schroeder, Jay Johnson, Ray Guss Jr., Travis Denning, Sam Halstead, Jay Chenoweth, Mike Garland, Rob Toland, Kelly Pestka and Shawn Mulvany. ... A pair of $3,000 to win shows are next for the series April 13 at West Liberty (Iowa) Raceway and April 14 at Dubuque (Iowa) Speedway, an event postponed nine days.

Brenton Slocum Memorial: (1) Denny Eckrich, (2) Jeff Aikey, (3) Brian Harris, (4) Andy Eckrich, (5) Jason Utter, (6) Colby Springsteen, (7) Jeremiah Hurst, (8) Justin Kay, (9) Tom Goble, (10) Joel Callahan, (11) Nate Beuseling, (12) Darrel DeFrance, (13) Spencer Diercks, (14) Jeff Mitrisin, (15) Matt Strassheim, (16) Tom Darbyshire, (17) Dan Shelliam, (18) Mike Murphy Jr., (19) Ron Klein, (20) Dean Wagner, (21) Todd Malmstrom, (22) Luke Goedert, (23) Travis Smock, (24) Jon Merfeld. Heat race winners (among 46 cars): Diercks, Utter, Denny Eckrich, Shelliam, Mitrisin. Consolation winners: Murphy, Callahan. Provisional starter: Kay.

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