Andy Eckrich.(John Vass photo)
Bros:. Eckrich picks up $10,000 "Pepsi USA Nationals" Paycheck at 34
WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa - Sept. 4. Andy Eckrich picked the perfect night to turn momentum around
and remain in contention for the Deery Brothers Summer Series
championship. Eckrich reeled
in, then held off Ray Guss Jr. in a green, white, checkered finish for the $10,000 victory at Sunday’s "Pepsi
USA Nationals" Deery Series main event at 34 Raceway.
The defending IMCA Late Model tour champion and current series point leader, Guss ran in front
most of the 99-lapper before getting stuck in lapped traffic. Eckrich, the 2010 Deery rookie of the year, went
around on the higher line and wound up beating Guss to the checkers by a car length.
Rounding out the unofficial top five were Justin Reed, Jay Johnson and
Guss had the pole but it was outside row one starter Tyler Bruening who was scored first
across the stripe through lap 22.
Jay Johnson races with #45 Denny Woodworth on his way to a
fourth place finish at the "Pepsi USA Nationals" at West Burlington.(John Vass)
That impressive run came to an end while the frontrunners negotiated lapped cars and Bruening
spun after trading paint with Guss.
Three cautions for debris came around midway, as Guss set the fast pace ahead of Eckrich and Johnson. Eckrich
finally got the best of that battle, tried inside and outside grooves, and was briefly in front before Guss got the
Staying close, Eckrich made what proved to be the winning pass when Guss got caught up with
slower traffic with eight laps left.
Denny Woodworth and Reed were deciding third place when Woodworth spun to bring about the
final caution. Eckrich held on the last two times around the oval for his third series win of the season, and
the fourth of his brief Deery career.
Jason Perry got the final provisional, started last in the field of 26 and advanced 17
positions for end in ninth and earn hard charger honors.
Drawing winners for sets of Brodix-made cylinder heads were feature qualifier Sam Halstead and
non-qualifier Boone McLaughlin.
Andy Eckrich takes the high
route around Ray Guss, Jr. for the lead and ultimately the $10,000 win in the "Pepsi USA Nationals" at 34
Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. (John Vass)
The Sunday show at West Burlington had been rescheduled from Saturday because of inclement weather. Time trials
and five heat races were on the Friday card; T.J. Criss was the $750 winner of the J & J Steel Ironman
Challenge on opening night.
Part of the Deery Series for 13 years, the 2011 Pepsi was held in memory of former track owner
and promoter Johnny Johnson.
Deery drivers are in action again tomorrow, when the silver anniversary series headlines
opening night action at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals at Boone Speedway.
Pepsi USA Nationals at 34
1) Andy Eckrich, 2) Ray Guss Jr., 3) Justin Reed, 4) Jay
Johnson, 5) Tom Goble, 6) Colby Springsteen, 7) Jeff Aikey, 8) Tyler Bruening, 9) Jason Perry (prov.),
10) Matt Bailey, 11) Keith Pratt (prov.), 12) Charlie McKenna (prov.), 13) Darrel DeFrance, 14) Sam
Halstead, 15) T.J. Criss, 16) Denny Woodworth, 17) Mark Burgtorf (prov.), 18) Jeff Guengerich, 19)
Terry Neal, 20) Jay Chenoweth, 21) Joey Gower, 22) Matt Strassheim, 23) Justin Kay, 24) Mike Garland
(prov.), 25) Lonnie Bailey, 26) Nate Beuseling
John Vass photo