This past Sunday afternoon was more of the usual loud action, madness, and family fun at the Rockford Speedway. The skies were sunny and clear at 70 degrees for the weekends Speedway Fair, but the real action was over at the track, as the 2nd “Iron Man” 4-cylinder event of the year roared to life.
As most race fans know, there are many ways for drivers to score cash prizes (everything from top finishers, laps completed, to a “beauty contest” for best paint job) meant hard nosed competition for the drivers. The race is won by finishing 200 grueling laps, and there is an intermission at lap 100 where the track is changed to add tire obstacles and a different route around the track. The series is 3 events in total, and laps carry over from each event, which makes this a unique one of a kind race.
At the intermission of the event it was very closely contested amongst the top 3 drivers. Michael Sorenson Sr (#28x) of Woodstock IL was in 1st with Jason Kurth (#21k) of Juda, WI in 2nd with winner of the 1st event, Ryan Lagestee (#34) of Schererville, IN never more than a lap or so behind in 3rd place.
As the cars lined up for the second half of the event, everyone could feel the excitement growing in the grandstands. It started out looking like a mirror image of the first half duel between Kurth and Sorenson, but lap 128 signaled a sudden end to the day for Sorenson Sr as he suddenly left the track with mechanical difficulties. This is where the action really picked up and got interesting.
From the stands, #21k Jason Kurth appeared to have a healthy lead and he was cruising towards victory. He was demonstrating great driving skills and patience as he navigated his way around the track, but what he didn’t know was #34 Ryan Lagestee was still in the race and finishing laps like a madman. The crowd was loud, and the pace of this enduro event was off the charts.
The race ended with #21k Jason Kurth completing his 200 th lap and crossing the finish line to the checkered flag. #J55 Jason Johnson took 2 nd with 199, and #937 Jeff Law took 3rd with 196. #112 Dan Schmeissing and #34 Ryan Lagestee each finished 195. The final event is 250 laps, so anything can still happen in the top 5.
The current Iron Man Series leader is Ryan Lagestee with 395 laps, Jason Kurth is in 2nd place with 392, and Jeff Law is in 3 rd with 382. Current series leader Ryan Lagestee, when asked what he likes about racing the 4-cylinder cars in this type of event, said with a grin, “I like how the cars are all on an even playing field, but the way you maneuver your car and navigate makes up the difference” he said with a tone of honest modesty.
The final series event will conclude this fall on Sunday, October 20 th at 1pm. You would be wise not to miss it. Also, this weekend, Saturday June 8th , do not miss our “world famous” Trailer Race of Destruction. The event starts at 7:07pm and tickets are on sale now through our website!
Aaron Hildebrand (Writer)