Lee County Speedway
Woodworth picks up $2,000 at Lee County
By Jake CroxtonLee County Speedway
DONNELLSON, Iowa (Aug. 29) — With a diverse field of heavy hitters from the regional Dirt Late Model scene and IMCA competition, it was a local driver who stole the show and picked up $2,000 in the fifth running of the Miller Lite-Pepsi American Short Track Nationals at Lee County Speedway.
Denny Woodworth of Mendon, Ill., hooked his Dennis L. Woodworth Attorney at Law-sponsored MasterSbilt Race Car to the hub of the tacky 3/8-mile oval and dispatched of early leader Jason Utter on lap 14 of the caution-free 35-lapper.
From there, Woodworth built a seemingly insurmountable advantage as the leaders worked traffic. Through the race's middle stages, both five-time Lee County Speedway champion Tommy Elston and two-time and defending race winner Brian Harris established themselves as the cars on the move. Harris pulled to within five lengths of Woodworth with five laps remaining, but was unable to make up the remaining ground before the checkers.
"There were a lot of good cars here, there was no doubt about that," Woodworth said. "(My car) was good on the bottom. The car turned and I didn't have to fight it. It rolled good in both corners and you weren't going to move me off the bottom."
While Woodworth's victory may come as a surprise to some, the racing attorney had a runner-up finish on his resume in O'Reilly Auto Parts Midwest LateModel Racing Series competition at the Lakeside Speedway in late April and a top-10 finish in World of Outlaws Late Model Series action at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway before stepping out of the race car for a while because of illness.
"We went to a lot of races around the country: Lucas Oil races, MLRA, MARS, World of Outlaws races," Woodworth said. "We made every one of those shows and had some good luck and some good runs with them, too."
Harris, who charged from 10th starting position, led Elston and Utter to the line in the battle for second.ï¿½Mark Burgtorf came from the seventh row to crack the
top five. Jay Johnson held on for sixth ahead of Iowa City's Matt Furman, veteran Gary Webb, who was making just his second start of 2007 for Leroy Brenner, Kevin Kile and Chris Smyser.
Miller Lite-Pepsi American Short Track Nationals: (1) Denny Woodworth, (2) Brian Harris, (3) Tommy Elston, (4) Jason Utter, (5) Mark Burgtorf, (6) Jay Johnson, (7) Matt Furman, (8) Gary Webb, (9) Kevin Kile, (10) Chris Smyser, (11) Kurt Kile, (12) Dave Eckrich, (13) Darrel DeFrance, (14) Tom Darbyshire, (15) Jeremy Grady, (16) Rickey Frankel, (17) Jamie Wilson, (18) Chris Fontana, (19) Jeff Guengerich, (20) Sam Halstead, (21) Johnny Johnson, (22) Gary Russell, (23) Lynn Monroe, (24) Boone McLaughlin, (25) Denny Eckrich. Heat race winners: Furman, Woodworth, Jay Johnson.