BVR racing season gets off to hot start; 14-year-old mixes it up with big boys in Mods

Monday, April 28, 2008

After a winter of uncertainty and doubt, Buena Vista Raceway returned to racing action Wednesday night in Alta. Cars hit the track for the first race of the year, and began its new season under promoter Jeff Herrig.

As with previous years at BVR, the sleek Modifieds highlighted the evening's action. This race mixed experienced veterans and fresh young talent. And young is an understatement. Starting third on this night was Nate Caruth, a 14 year-old driver from Ames. The young driver started the race off beautifully, taking the lead right from the start. However, experience does matter in racing, and on a restart, Jay Noteboom of Hinton took advantage of the young driver, slipping past into the lead. Caruth held second over the next several laps, with Jeremy Mills, a Garner native, and Mike Hansen of Alton, chasing after him. With six to go, another caution flew, and Caruth was again victimized on the restart by both Mills and Hansen. Up front, Noteboom continued to lead, and never relinquished it after taking it from Caruth early in the race. Noteboom powered to the win, followed by Mills in second and Hansen third. Caruth fell to fifth by the end of the race, but showed he could hang with the big boys.

The Stock Car Division saw a sparse field, with only ten cars for the A-Main. Dustin Smith of Lake City led the pack to the green, and promptly set off to a half-straightaway lead. Behind him, six cars all fought for the second position, among them Brain Blessington of Breda and Dustin's brother David Smith, also of Lake City. David and Blessington fought off several competitors to gain second and third, but no one was catching Dustin. He powered his number 85 car to the victory, well ahead of second place finisher Blessington. David Smith was third.

The Sport Modified Division saw the return of several drivers, including Chris Ableson, the man who dominated at BVR for most of last summer in his 1X car. However, this night belonged to another number 1, this one belonging to Brett Meyer of Ames. Meyer, in his 1M, took the green from the outside pole, and powered away from the rest of the pack. Luke Wanninger of Jefferson followed in Meyer's wake, fending off some other competition. Ableson had to come from deep in the field, and eventually challenged Wanninger for second. No one could touch Meyer, though, with an easy win, with Wanninger second and Ableson third.

The Hobby Stock boys hit the track, with another Smith leading the way. Doug Smith, also of Lake City, took the lead on the second lap, and never looked back. The number 12 car set sail and left everyone in his wake. He left Matt Mahoney, of Pierson, and brother Devin Smith to fight it out for second. The race was never in question, and Doug cruised on to the victory, with Mahoney second and Devin third.

New for this year was the elimination of the Bomber division, and a new name for the former "4-Bangers." The newly named Sport Compact division hit the track for its A-Main event.Daniel Smith, of Lake City, led from the pole, and held the lead over Shawn Turner nearly the entire race. Turner, a Sioux City native, stalked Smith over the course of the 8 lap race, finally making his move on the final lap. After a bump from Turner in turn one, Smith lost control long enough for Turner to get by. Turner held off a hard charge from Smith off the final turn to earn the victory. Smith came home second, with Elijah Zevenbergen of Ocheyedan coming in third.

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