- Sept. 25 - I-80 Speedway at Nebraska Raceway Park by Sam Holbrooks


Kelly Boen spin - I-80 Speedway Cornhusker Classic

Kelly Boen goes for a spin after getting together with #6 Al Humphrey. (Below) Boen voices his displeasure with Humphrey as an official waves him off. (Joe Orth)

Kelly Boen - Al Humphrey - I-80 Speedway Conhusker Classic

Kyle Berck after his "Cornhusker Classic" win at I-80 Speedway. (Joe Orth) 

MLRA/NCRA: Berck Bags "Cornhusker Classic"

Dan Robinson & David Smith, Jr.

GREENWOOD, Neb. - Sept. 25. Defending NCRA series champion Kyle Berck of Marquette, Nebraska started on the outside of the front row and never looked back to claim his third O’Reilly/NCRA late model feature victory of the season Saturday as the series' premier division closed out its 27th season at Nebraska Raceway Parks I-80 Speedway during the annual running of the “Cornhusker Classic.” As been the case since the running of this event, it was co-santioned by the National Championship Racing Association (NCRA) and the Missouri based Lucas Oil MLRA.  

Berck, of Marquette, Neb., claimed the 2010 "Cornhusker Classic" by leading all 30 laps. Berck started on the outside pole position and took an early lead on lap one when pole sitter Brad Looney had trouble taking the green flag.

Earlier in the evening, Looney had started in the seventh spot for heat race number two. His strong drive through the field paid off with a pole starting position for the A Feature. Kyle Berck secured the outside row one spot after starting in the fourth position in heat race number one.

Billy Koons - Dustin Vance - I-80 Speedway Cornhusker Classic

Billy Koons, Jr. and Dustin Vance race in close quarters at I-80. (Joe Orth)

With Looney's lapse, Berck, aboard the familiar #14 Dorothy Lynch Homestyle Dressing/Stroble Construction sponsored Swartz Race Car chassis, outran Joe Kosiski at the start and quickly took the lead for the $3000-to-win feature. The race went caution on lap two when five-time and 2010 series champion Kelly Boen of Henderson, Colorado and Al Humprhey got together, retiring Humphrey early to the pits. 

On the restart, Berck again throttled away from the rest of the field with Kosiski and current Lucas Oil MLRA points leader Looney giving chase. Both drivers battled for the runner up position before Looney finally took control of the position on lap 12. 

This was Berck's first win with the Lucas Oil MLRA in the 2010 season and his 14th career win with the series. Berck attributed his great race run to chassis builder, Audie Swartz, who traveled from Ohio to help him with his car.

Al Purkey - Billy Koons - I-80 Speedway Cornhusker Classic

Al Purkey drives his #33 between #29 Billy Koons and another car on his way back to sixth place after suffering an early flat tire in the co-sanctioned event. (Joe Orth) 
An early race caution between Kelly Boen and Al Humphrey on lap two caused the 6H of Humphrey to go to the pits. Berck lead Joe Kosiski's #53 MasterSbilt to the restart, while Looney followed in the third spot. Looney moved into the second position on lap 12 of the 30-lap feature, but could not catch Berck for the remainder of the race.

At the races midway point Boen, aboard the # 07 Roadrunner Fabrication/Peterson Fluid System sponsored Rocket, was again involved in the next caution when he and former two time series champion Al Purkey tangled, sending Purkey to the pit area with a flat tire. Purkey was able to start on the tail of the lead lap and recover to finish in the ninth position.

On the final restart there was no catching Berck as he led the final distance to take his 23rd career series victory and solidify a top ten finish in the final 2010 point standings. Looney finished a strong second to secure his points lead with

Kelly Boen - Mike Wiarda - I-80 Speedway Cornhusker Classic

Mike Wiarda (#1) and Kelly Boen race each other early in the event before both retired to the pits. (Joe Orth) 

the Lucas Oil MLRA, while Travis Dickes had an outstanding run to come home third. Kosiski settled for fourth, while Dave Eckrich had a solid run to finish fifth, maintaining his second place points position. Only 20 points separate the top three drivers in the MLRA points championship.
Rain poured through the night Friday and clouds loomed for most of Saturday in Greenwood, but rain and clouds would not keep the Cornhusker Classic competitors from putting on a great race at I-80 Speedway. Fans trickled in throughout the night as the skies cleared and cars packed in and outside the pit area. The Cornhusker Classic drew nearly 200 cars throughout the three night event. The crew, with help from long time race supporter Patrick M. Pinney Contractors, worked hard all afternoon to get the track surface ready for racing.

Sept. 25 - MLRA/NCRA Cornhusker Classic - I-80 Speedway
1. Kyle Berck, 2. Brad Looney, 3. Travis Dickes, 4. Joe Kosiski, 5. Dave Eckrich, 6. Jason O'Brien, 7. Craig Preble, 8. Bryant Goldsmith, 9. Al Purkey, 10. Scott Koskovich, 11. Corey Zeitner, 12. Billy Koons, Jr., 13. Bill Koons, 14. Dwane Pospisil, 15. Jase Kaser, 16. Dustin Vance, 17. Jason Hobscheidt, 18. Brian Kenkel, 19. Mike Wiarda, 20. Dan Battaglia, 21. Justin Asplin, 22. Shawn Harker, 23. Steve Kempt, 24. Al Humphrey, 25. Kelly Boen, 26. Andrew Kosiski
Heat winners (32 entries): Berck, Looney, Wiarda, Humphrey; B-Main winner: Koons

Joe Orth photo


Updated 11/02/10

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