Aikey Rules Independence Deery LM Go
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — The winner of the first IMCA Late Model tour event held at Independence Motor Speedway was back in victory lane following the most recent Deery Brothers Summer Series feature.
Jeff Aikey led the last 29 circuits in winning Monday’s 40-lapper. The 25th series event at Independence paid a fitting $2,525 to win.
Early leader Ray Guss Jr., point leader Mike Murphy Jr., Tyler Bruening and Dean Wagner completed the top five.
Guss led the first 11 laps from the pole, chased by Murphy and Aikey. A lap 10 caution gave Aikey the opportunity to restart on his preferred higher line and he was quick to rocket past Guss for the front spot.
Aikey and Guss ran bumper to bumper or door to door before catching up with the back of the field on lap 25. Murphy and “B” qualifier Bruening were dueling for third when the second and final caution of the contest came out four laps later and took lapped cars out of the equation.
As the race wound down, Guss pulled alongside Aikey on several occasions but was never able to complete the pass. Murphy settled into third while Wagner, also a qualifier from the “B” features, was in and out of fourth before Bruening put the clamps on.
Multiple lanes provided plenty of passing opportunities. Travis Smock, Joel Callahan and Denny Eckrich each improved 11 positions from their spots on the original starting grid.
Aikey earned the first of his all-time best 56 series feature wins at Independence on June 2 of 1987. Four of those victories have now come at Indee, the last two in consecutive fashion. Aikey also leads Deery drivers with six career series titles.
Jeff Aikey, Ray Guss Jr., Mike Murphy Jr., Tyler Bruening, Dean Wagner, Jay Johnson, Curt Martin, Greg Kastli, Andy Eckrich, Travis Smock, Joel Callahan, Denny Eckrich, Jason Utter, Justin Kay, Joel Brasch, Gary Webb, Jon Passick, Jeff Mitrisin, Joe Zrostlik, Sam Halstead, Dan Shelliam, Darrel DeFrance, Matt Strassheim, Greg Hunter.