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Harris plays spoiler in classic Indee Open Series Finale at Independen


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Harris plays spoiler in classic Indee Open Series Finale at Independence Motor Speedway


by Ryan Clark

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (Aug, 28) - Brian Harris said he was unaware of the progressive purse that was being offered in the 2007 Climate Seal Insulation Indee Open Series. Instead, he made a rare appearance at the speedway pay off as he played the role of spoiler with a surprising win in the series finale at Independence Motor Speedway.


Additional prize money was being offered to competitors based on their attendance in the six-race series. Normally a $2,000-to-win event for late models, drivers were shooting for step-ladder bonuses based on their number of appearances, topping out at a possible $6,000 winner's share.


Of the 14 drivers eligible for the $6,000 payday, 10 made the 24-car starting field. Of the remaining 14 drivers in the feature, only five were looking to cash in on the standard $2,000-to-win. Harris, in only his second series appearance of the season, was in that group of five.


At the start of the 40-lap headliner, veteran Jeff Bair rocketed into the lead from his outside front row starting position on the smooth, fast 3/8-mile oval. Series points leader Chad Simpson settled into second and his brother, Chris Simpson, followed suit into third.


With Bair running the high groove and Chad Simpson working low, the leaders engaged in a nose-to-tail battle until they encountered lapped traffic on lap nine. At that time, Simpson shot inside of the leader as they weaved through the slower cars.


Swapping the lead as they navigated the backmarkers, Simpson came out in front on the 13th circuit. As Simpson led, Ace Ihm was working the low groove of the speedway from a fourth row start. On lap 15, Ihm made his way under Chris Simpson and Bair to settle into second.


Simpson continued his run up top with Ihm on the bottom until they entered heavy lapped traffic a short time later. The pair then swapped racing grooves multiple times as they negotiated the slower cars.


The lead pair remained unchanged until the race's first caution flag waved on lap 26. On the restart, Simpson again assumed command with Ihm in tow until the field entered the first set of turns. At that time, Simpson jumped the cushion and was attempting to straighten his machine when it veered sideways in front of the pack.


Driving low, Ihm's right rear tire clipped Simpson, sending Ihm sideways and into a barrel roll in front of the field. Although neither driver was injured, the night was over for both of them.


While under red, Chris Simpson and Bair, who would have restarted in first and second, were both sent to the back of the pack for exiting their cars to work on them on the front straightaway. This allowed Curt Martin and Terry Neal to restart on the front row when racing resumed.


On the restart, Martin took the advantage and began to pull away from the field until the event's final caution flag waved on lap 37.


Martin held the point on the restart with Neal in second and Harris, who started in the eighth row, in the third position. When the green flag waved, Martin pushed to the high side entering the first set of turns when his motor expired. This allowed Harris to sneak by for the lead.


Harris led the final three circuits to score the thrilling victory ahead of Neal. Justin Mitchell, in his first-ever appearance at the speedway, made an impressive run from a fifth row start to finish third.


By simply taking the green flag in his qualifier, Chad Simpson clinched the series' points title.


Regularly $700-to-win, six drivers were eligible for the maximum prize of $2,100 in the modified division. All six of those drivers found themselves among the first four rows of the 25-car, 20-lap main event.


At the drop of the green flag, J.D. Auringer took advantage of his outside front row starting spot to take the early lead. Running the high side, Auringer paced the field while Ron Barker and Kevin Pittman went to work on the low side.


Auringer extended his lead early as Barker and Pittman engaged in an exciting wheel-to-wheel battle for second. Barker held the edge and the top three remained unchanged until the race's first caution flag was displayed on lap 14.


On the restart, Auringer again charged ahead of the field as his competitors battled for position behind him. As laps wound down, Mark Schulte pulled into a fight with Barker and Pittman for second as all four leaders were shooting for the $2,100 payday.


Continuing his dominating performance on the high side, Auringer led the field to the checkers, scoring the monster payday in the process. Barker ran second and clinched the series' points title. Schulte made a late race pass to secure third ahead of Pittman.


In other action, Tony Olson took command on the third lap to drive to victory in the B modified division. Olson held off the late surge of Jr. Boyer to take top honors. Chris Snyder finished third.


In the stock car division, Tom Schmitt took advantage of his pole position start to drive to victory. Damon Murty and Ken Even completed the top three.




First heat - 1. 11 Ace Ihm, Hazel Green, Wis.; 2. 0 Jeff Bair, Solon; 3. 32 Chris Simpson, Marion; 4. M2 Scott Megonigle, Cedar Rapids; 5. 22C Charlie McKenna, Clear Lake; 6. 43 Jeremy Grady, Story City; 7. 80 Jerry Dedrick, Vinton; 8. 78K Bryan Klein, Cedar Rapids; 9. 19 Jill George, Cedar Falls.

Second heat - 1. 25 Chad Simpson, Mt, Vernon; 2. 53W Gary Webb, Blue Grass; 3. 45 Curt Martin, Independence; 4. 145 Dale Hackwell Jr., Washburn; 5. 78 Dale Stolte, Springville; 6. 77C Mitch Current, Maquoketa; 7. 98 Jason Rauen, Farley; 8. 58 Hershel Roberts, East Moline, Ill.; 9. 4 Leon Thomsen, Waverly.

Third heat - 1. 99D Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown; 2. 77X Kurt Kile, Nichols; 3. 88 Kevin Kile, West Liberty; 4. 21H Brian Harris, Davenport; 5. C10 Darin Burco, Independence; 6. 77K Stephan Kammerer, Blue Grass; 7. 4D Rick Dralle, Waterloo; 8. 27B Travis Smock, Independence; 9. 85 Kelly Tapper, Boone.

Fourth heat - 1. 28X Justin Mitchell, Cedar Rapids; 2. 28C Terry Neal, Ely; 3. 22 Darin Duffy, Hazleton; 4. 9 Bobby Hansen, Center Point; 5. 61R Jon Rogers, German Valley, Ill.; 6. 77 Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls; 7. 37 Roger Ciesielski, Waterloo; 8. 14B Levi Benn, Dyersville.

First B feature - 1. Stolte; 2. Rauen; 3. McKenna; 4. Roberts; 5. Dedrick; 6. Klein; 7. George; 8. Grady; 9. Thomsen; 10. Current.

Second B feature - 1. Burco; 2. Kammerer; 3. Smock; 4. Benn; 5. Tapper; 6. Ciesielski; 7. Aikey; 8. Dralle; 9. Rogers.

A feature - 1. Harris; 2. Neal; 3. Mitchell; 4. Kevin Kile; 5. Duffy; 6. DeFrance; 7. Webb; 8. Kurt Kile; 9. Benn; 10. Burco; 11. Rauen; 12. Stolte; 13. Hackwell; 14. Martin; 15. Kammerer; 16. Bair; 17. McKenna; 18. Megonigle; 19. Ihm; 20. Chris Simpson; 21. Chad Simpson; 22. Smock; 23. Roberts; 24. Hansen.



First heat - 1. 41P Keith Pittman, Waterloo; 2. 70 Jerry King, Waterloo; 3. 14B John Burbridge, Delhi; 4. 11B Mike Burbridge, Delhi; 5. 7J Jacob Seegmiller, Dubuque; 6. 10 Jim Gillenwater, Keokuk; 7. 81 K.C. Ansel, Dubuque; 8. 93 Craig Haupt, Sumner; 9. 57B Dennis Betzer, Central City.

Second heat - 1. 26P Kevin Pittman, Waterloo; 2. 27M Mark Schulte, Delhi; 3. 00 J.D. Auringer, Waterloo; 4. 37B Ron Barker, Dubuque; 5. 86 Jeff Morris, Long Grove; 6. 13 Jim Schaefer, Waterloo; 7. 98 Jason Snyder, Dunkerton; 8. 18L Jerry Luloff, Independence.

Third heat - 1. 2 Joey Schaefer, Waterloo; 2. 93K Jeff Kriz, Waterloo; 3. 21B Keith Blum, Bettendorf; 4. 4D Brett Diercks, Davenport; 5. 33 Steve Wetter, Platteville, Wis.; 6. 9 Leon Wilson, Hopkinton; 7. 9M Scott Moffitt, Mechanicsville; 8. 87 Terry Folkers, Central City.

Feature - 1. Auringer; 2. Barker; 3. Schulte; 4. Kevin Pittman; 5. Morris; 6. Luloff; 7. Wetter; 8. King; 9. Haupt; 10. Betzer; 11. Gillenwater; 12. Kriz; 13. Joey Schaefer; 14. Moffitt; 15. Seegmiller; 16. Blum; 17. Jim Schaefer; 18. Ansel; 19. Snyder; 20. Folkers; 21. Keith Pittman; 22. J. Burbridge; 23. Wilson; 24. M. Burbridge; 25. Diercks.



First heat - 1. 18 Tom Schmitt, Independence; 2. 99D Damon Murty, Chelsea; 3. 30 Ken Even, Waterloo; 4. 11R Roger Samec, New Hartford; 5. 14M Brian Mahlstedt, Ionia; 6. 6X Bob Ahrendsen, Cedar Rapids.

Second heat - 1. 57V Mike Van Genderen, Newton; 2. 3 Jarod Weepie, Dunkerton; 3. 15 Norman Chesmore, Quasqueton; 4. 22 Cory Bauer, Monticello; 5. 91 Rick Suckow, Oelwein; 6. 28X Chip Kohl, Marion.

Feature - 1. Schmitt; 2. Murty; 3. Even; 4. Weepie; 5. Mahlstedt; 6. Bauer; 7. Van Genderen; 8. Ahrendsen; 9. Kohl; 10. Samec; 11. Chesmore; 12. Suckow.



First heat - 1. 42 Jr. Boyer, Calmar; 2. 32 Chris Snyder, Evansdale; 3. 26 Joel Cox, Evansdale; 4. Z19 Wayne Hora, Anamosa; 5. 40J Jason Doyle, Cedar Rapids.

Second heat - 1. 12D Joe Docekal, Dysart; 2. 25 Alan Wessels, Strawberry Point; 3. T23 Tony Olson, Cedar Rapids; 4. 20T Scott Thomas, Waterloo; 5. 19 Gary Squires, Center Point.

Feature - 1. Olson; 2. Boyer; 3. Snyder; 4. Docekal; 5. Hora; 6. Squires; 7. Thomas; 8. Cox; 9. Doyle; 10. Wessels.

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