It’s a good thing Tyler Soppe got a quick start.
After earning the fourth slot heading into Sunday’s International Motor Contest Association SportMod featured race, Soppe was able to jump ahead to the lead after Lap 1.
By staying ahead of the pack, the Sherrill, Iowa, native was able to avoid a lot of the carnage behind him. Fifteen laps and a dozen cautions later, Soppe took home the checkered flag at the Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway.
“We got the lead in the first lap and that helped,” said Soppe. “There was some action going on back there.”
Sunday marked the most crowded night yet at the Speedway in terms of the number of vehicles on hand. Two weeks ago, the 4-Cylinder race featured three cars. This week’s total was triple the amount. IMCA Hobby Stock’s featured 14 cars, SportMods contained 24 and there were 18 drivers in Modifieds — all season-highs for Dubuque.
As a result, there wasn’t a lot of breathing room between turns. The night was dominated by wrecks and visible frustration.
Soppe had barely taken the lead before the first crash in his race. Throughout the event, he had the likes of Steve Miller, Gage Neal, Jerry Miles and Scott Busch nipping at his backside. With exception to Busch, each of Soppe’s chasers succumbed to cautions.
“I’d like to say we hit on something but you never know. Hopefully take it to the next track,” said Soppe. “Tonight, it was good enough to win.”
The Hobby Stock class also saw a number of wrecks, but as he’s been able to do all season, Fairfax, Iowa’s Dakota Simonsen was able to stay above the fray. Entering Sunday, Simonsen led Cascade, Iowa’s Brandon White in the season series point total by 11 points. He built on that season lead with his fourth win at the track this year.
Cautions led off the 4-Cylinder race, too. But when that dust settled, the 10-lap feature quickly became a two-man show. Dubuque’s John W. Campbell was able to stay in front of Terry Edge’s No. 41 car for the first nine laps.
On the very last turn of the race Edge slipped below Campbell’s No. W1 to edge him at the finish line.
“That last turn, I had to take a chance,” said Edge, a Fayette, Wis., native. “I tried to do it as clean as I could — which I did, I succeeded. I was a little worried about going into the wall, but when that didn’t happen, he got behind me and I took home the trophy. I had to take the shot if I could make it clean.”
Dubuque’s Tyler Madigan won the 20-lap Modified feature. Sunday’s 25-lap Late Model feature ended after the Telegraph Herald went to press.