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American Iron Race Report – Iowa Speedway

The first round of the 2007 Midwest Region of NASA kicked off at Iowa Speedway on April 28th and 29th, 2007. The weather was perfect in the mid 70’s both days which proved to be quite a change from the 40 degrees and rain from the 1st event of 2006. Iowa Speedway is a brand new track in Newton Iowa, in the center of the state. It is setup for a 7/8 mile 14 degree banked oval for the NASCAR racers. NASA was using the infield course in addition to the banking in NASCAR turns one and two to create a 1.3 mile "roval".

Saturday qualifying had some familiar names at the top of the charts. David Algozine snagged the AI pole followed closely by Brian Groth. Groth’s weekend was ended short in qualifying by terminal engine failure which sidelined the 2005 & 2006 Midwest Region AI champ for the weekend. Matt Erickson missed qualifying and started the race at the back of the AI field. The AIX pole was claimed by Chris Griswold grabbed the AIX pole with Fred Fetzer lining up beside him for the race. Qualifying Results for Saturday:

 

 

Saturday AI Qualifying

Driver Best time

1. David Algozine 53.227

2. Brian Groth 53.730

3. Ted Swartz 54.520

4. Jeff Henderson 55.615

5. Bryan White 57.296

AIX

1. Chris Griswold 50.088

2. Fred Fetzer 52.783

3. Richard Cranston 55.142

4. Eugene Vantluka 56.629

 

 

 

The race started with a twist as Griswold missed the call to grid and overall pole position replacing a leaking oil line that appeared to late to get fixed before the race started. Fetzer would assume the lead at the start with Richard Cranston and Gene Vantluka in tow. David Algozine got a good start and pulled up to Fetzers bumper after only a few laps. Matt Erickson also had a good start and worked his way up from the tail of the AI pack to right behind Algozine’s bumper. The three kept tight for quite a few laps until Algozine worked his way past Fetzer to gap Erickson. That would not last long as Erickson again pulled up to Algozine’s bumper. They battled close for many laps until some lapped traffic got between them which Algozine used to his advantage to hang on for the AI win. Fetzer would take the AIX win as Griswold started 8 laps down and finished in the back of the field, 6 laps down. Saturday race results are as follows.

 

Saturday Race AI

1. David Algozine 52.587

2. Matt Erickson 53.007

3. Bryan White 55.576

4. Jeff Henderson 55.307

5. Ted Schwartz 54.778

AIX

1. Fred Fetzer 53.048

2. Richard Cranston 53.674

3. Eugene Vantluka 56.498

4. Chris Griswold 49.870*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday qualifying for AIX was similar to the previous day. AI had Matt Erickson on the top spot followed by Dave Algozine and Ted Schwartz all within a half of a second. The track proved to be a bit faster in qualifying, with some excellent lap times being laid down. The team members for Bryan White and Andy Berberich swapped spots as Andy would drive the #18 Firebird on Sunday, while Bryan would take over Andy’s 944 Porsche in the GTS run group.

Sunday Qualifying AI

1. Matt Erickson 52.707

2. David Algozine 53.052

3. Ted Schwartz 53.208

4. Andy Berberich 54.077

5. Jeff Henderson 54.397

AIX

1. Chris Griswold 49.147

2. Fred Fetzer 51.491

3. Richard Cranston 55.299

4. Eugene Vantluka 56.252

Sundays race had Griswold on point as the green flag dropped. He took off on a mission as if he had something to prove. By the end of the race he lapped the entire field, just short of two times to take the AIX win. The AI race was much more disputed as Algozine pulled past Erickson at the start and tool the lead entering the banking in turn one. They battled nose to tail for a few laps until Algozine washed up the banking a bit between NASCAR turns one and two which allowed Erickson to slip underneath. They battled side by side all the way through the turn three hairpin. Algozine was hounded by the #12 until Matt eventually washed up a bit wide entering the speedway. Algozine then dove underneath and cleared Matt by the start finish line. They would battle for many laps until Mat would take back the position from Dave as he took it a bit wide entering the speedway. Matt would clear Dave and would hold him off as they worked their way through traffic. That was some great racing guys. Ted Schwartz would have his first official finish in AI, a great 3rd place finish in AI. Jeff Henderson would finish the race despite a broken front wheel hub.

 

 

Sunday Race Results AI

1. Matt Erickson 52.129*

2. David Algozine 52.549

3. Ted Schwartz 53.894

4. Andy Berberich 53.965

5. Jeff Henderson 54.678

AIX

1. Chris Griswold 49.908

2. Fred Fetzer 52.143

3. Richard Cranston 55.430

4. Eugene Vantluka 56.531

 

 

 

 

* Track Record

 

Congratulations to all on an excellent race weekend. Track Records were set by Matt Erickson in AI with a 52.129, and Chris Griswold in AIX with a 49.870. Iowa Speedway did an excellent job running a first class facility. The next round is a cross over event with the Ohio Indiana Region at Putnam Park in Indiana on May 19th and 20th. Check out NASA Midwest - National Auto Sport Association for more details and information.

 

Sincerely,

Chris Griswold

NASA Midwest Region AI / AIX Director

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