Late Model: Hawkeye Downs race notes

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. (September 4, 2004) - Two of the three faces standing atop the podium at the ASA Late Model Series Barron Motor Supply 100 presented by KHAK/KRNA had not been there before. Doug Mahlik in the No. 98 Mahlik Motorsports...

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. (September 4, 2004) - Two of the three faces standing atop the podium at the ASA Late Model Series Barron Motor Supply 100 presented by KHAK/KRNA had not been there before.

Doug Mahlik in the No. 98 Mahlik Motorsports Chevrolet won his first ASA Late Model Series event in the Hawkeye Downs Speedway event, taking the lead on lap 86 and holding on for the win. He was followed across the line by Scott Baker and Don St. Denis, capturing a podium finish in his very first ASA Late Model Series race.

"It's been a long time; we haven't won a feature in any kind of series in a long time," Mahlik exclaimed from the winner's circle. "We are part-time racers. I got all my family and volunteers here and nobody gets paid - we don't even have a sponsor. So this is a pretty big achievement for this team and it means a lot." Mahlik is the seventh different winner in ASA Late Model Series competition this season.

Baker had a very fast car, starting fourth on the grid and had moved to second on the first lap. He spent much of the first part of the race dogging leader Ryan Tedesco, until he spun on lap 25 while making a move for the lead on the inside groove.

"I feel so bad for the TopGun Racing Team," Baker said after climbing from the No. 94 Chevrolet. "They gave me a fast car tonight. I should have been a little more patient with Ryan. I knew I could beat him; I just stepped on the gas too early and spun myself out. It was my own fault - driver error. I feel bad because we had the car to beat tonight."

One consolation for Baker is that he was able to make up valuable points in the chase for the inaugural ASA Late Model Series Championship. He currently sits in second, and finished several positions ahead of points leader Bobby Stremme who drove his No. 53 Meijer Chevrolet to tenth place on the 0.50-mile oval.

Finishing third was St. Denis, a newcomer to the series. The Windsor, Ontario, driver wasn't even supposed to be in the car. Owner Larry Varney was going to use his nephew Claude Plante, but he wanted to go Modified racing, and plans for another driver also fell through. It wasn't until 8:30 p.m. last night that a deal was struck between Varney and St. Denis to bring the No, 16 Wynn's Ford to ASA Member Track Hawkeye Downs Speedway.

"This was a last minute decision here to come," St. Denis explained. "He (Varney) asked me if I wanted to go racing, and I said 'Let's go.' "

Rounding out the Top -5 was Stephen Leicht who led 17 laps, and Landon Cassill who had to pit on lap 57 to change right side tires which went flat when he hit the outside wall earlier in the race. Cassill, a Fairfax, Iowa resident who frequently competes at Hawkeye Downs Speedway, had to come from the back of the back once he came out of the pits.

Two-time ASA National Tour champion Gary St. Amant finished sixth. In a team car to Cassill, he had to make the starting lineup via one of the qualifying races, and started dead-last when the team elected to make changes to his car before the feature event. Rounding out the Top-10 was Jack Moore, pole winner Brad Osborn, Scott Whetzel and Stremme.

Tedesco led the most laps of the event at 69, and unofficially there were three lead changes and nine caution flags during the 100-green flag lap event.

As the ASA Late Model Series inaugural season comes to a close with just two races remaining, the next event will be held Saturday, September 11 at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wis. Tickets are available by calling the track at (608) 835-9700.

The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.

- www.asaracing.com -

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Series Stock car
Drivers Landon Cassill , Stephen Leicht