Callahan collects $7,500 at Yankee Dirt Classic
FARLEY, Iowa (Sept. 14) – The presents just kept coming Saturday for Joel Callahan. The Dubuque, Iowa, racer celebrated his 49th birthday with his career first Deery Brothers Summer Series feature victory. The biggest payday on the 2013 IMCA Late Model tour was good for $7,500 and came during the Yankee Dirt Track Classic at Farley Speedway.
“There are so many good drivers in this series I’m just happy to be able to compete with them,” said Callahan, who got under Chris Simpson on the 33rd of 75 laps and then led to the finish. “We’ve been pretty good this year. We try to set our sights in Deery races to make the top 10, for the competition that’s out there.”
Simpson ran in front the first 32 times around the half-mile oval and ended in second. Simpson, of Oxford, Iowa, and Callahan were rarely separated by more than a couple car lengths; the only caution of the contest came on lap 52.
Home-state drivers Ryan Dolan of Lisbon, Denny Eckrich of Tiffen and Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls completed the top five.
Callahan started racing at the age of 40 — hence his car number — and won regular season track titles this season at both Farley and Dubuque Speedway, sharing the credit for those and his Deery accomplishments with crew chief Stan Thomas and family members, a number of whom are on his crew.
He made his first Deery Series appearance in 2010 and had owned a trio of career-best third-place finishes, the most recent of them last month in Des Moines. Callahan’s first Deery win came in his 50th main event start.
Notes: Callahan’s sponsors include Tri-State Spray Systems, Ehrlich Concrete, DB&T, Grand Haven Retirement Community and American Trust. ... Chad Simpson earned $3,000 in topping Denny Eckrich in Thursday’s tuneup event. ... Saturday’s feature paid at least $500 to every starter. ... Tyler Bruening won last year's race. ... Ninth-place finisher Brian Harris leads the IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series point standings. ... Tom Goble won hard charger honors. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Todd Malmstrom, Kevin Kile, Greg Kastli, Rick Dralle, Terry Neal, Brunson Behning, Jeremy Grady, Chad Holladay, Dean Wagner, Joe Ross, Darrel DeFrance, Todd Hansen, Curt Martin and Mike Zemo Jr. ... The series wraps up its season with a Sept. 20-21 doubleheader at Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway and Davenport (Iowa) Speedway. ... Friday’s program at Indee includes a $500 to win non-qualifiers feature.
Yankee Dirt Classic: (1) Joel Callahan, (2) Chris Simpson, (3) Ryan Dolan, (4) Denny Eckrich, (5) Jeff Aikey, (6) Andy Eckrich, (7) Rob Toland, (8) Justin Kay, (9) Brian Harris, (10) Jay Johnson, (11) Jon Merfeld, (12) Tom Goble, (13) Ron Klein, (14) Ray Guss Jr., (15) Cory Goldbeck, (16) Spencer Diercks, (17) Dan Shelliam, (18) Rob Moss, (19) Mike Murphy Jr., (20) Jason Rauen, (21) Nick Marolf, (22) Matt Ryan, (23) Nate Beuseling, (24) Kyle Hinrichs, (25) Tommy Elston. Heat race winners (among 53 cars): Kay, Callahan, Eckrich, Harris, Rauen, Toland. Consolation winners: Shelliam, Hinrichs, A. Eckrich. Last-chance winner: Elston. Provisional starters: Guss, Beuseling.