By Brad Grupe


(Cedar Rapids, IA 042001) The McLeod USA Mid-American Stock Car Series and the McLeod USA Mid-American Super Truck Series both opened their 2001 campaign at Hawkeye Downs Speedway Friday night in front of an estimated 2500 fans.


The Barron Motor Supply Thunderstocks, A-1 Performance Marine Legends, Coke Women on Wheels and 2-Person Cruisers were also in action Friday night.


Art Christoffersen, President and CEO of McLeod USA Publishing, took home top honors in the McLeod USA Mid- American Super Truck Series season opener Friday night. The win marked the Toddville, IA drivers first career win in the truck series.



Jerry Seibel of Campbellsport, WI paced the 22 truck field in qualifying, turning the half-mile in 20.151 seconds. Due to concerns with impending weather series officials elected to set the grid for the  40-lap feature based on qualifying results.


Gordon Swanson of Apple Valley, MN held the early lead after starting outside row one. A turn three crash on the second lap sent the field scrambling for cover and knocked a couple entries, including Vincent Wilkinson of Sandwich, IL from the field.


 When racing resumed, Swanson continued to hold the point until Conrad Jorgensen of Lakeville, MN took command on lap six.  As those two continued to battle Christoffersen, who started  13th, was working toward the front. Christoffersen was up to third by the eighth trip around the oval and then used both the high and low grooves to pick his way to the front. He moved into the lead on lap 19 after passing Jorgensen in turn four.


A caution with 12 laps top go bunched the field but Christoffersen picked up where he left off and left Swanson and Seibel behind once racing resumed.


Christoffersen, in a Ford, crossed the stripe well ahead of Swanson, Seibel, Ricky Lemmens and Kim Hedberg.


The 22 trucks in attendance set an opening day record for the series as well as a record number of entries for the series at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.



            Peter Hernandez, of Mokena, Il grabbed the forty-lap feature for the Mid-American Stock Cars which was the first of his career in the series. Hernandez is in his third year of competition with the Mid-AM Stock Car Series


            Twenty drivers put their cars through qualifying paces with local driver Dr. JJ Meyer setting fast time of 20.165. Meyer competes regularly in the Hawkeye Downs Budweiser Sportsman division.


            Due to concerns with the weather, the field was set according to qualifying results.


            Mike Monroe, Pell Lake, WI led in the early going with Brandon Blashe of Little Chute, WI and Hawkeye Downs regular Dave Johnson of Ankeny, IA in close pursuit. Monroe began to pull away with ten laps scored but the gap was erased for a caution on the 11th circuit. Monroe continued to lead after the restart with Peter Hernandez moving up fast after starting in the 13th slot.


            The yellow waved again with nineteen laps down after a spin. During that caution, Monroe retired to the pits which put Hernandez on the point for the restart. He was followed by Bill Prietzel, Franklin, WI., and JJ Meyer of Cedar Rapids, IA.


Curt VanDerWal of Oskaloosa took the third spot just past the halfway point while Hernandez continued to hold a safe lead over Prietzel.


With nine laps remaining a thunderstorm hit the track, which caused officials to throw the checkers and score the race as complete.


Hernandez scored the win in a Monte Carlo, followed by Prietzel, VanDerWal, James Swan of Lake Geneva, WI and Kevin Lee of Homestead, IA.


            BJ Goodin picked uip right where he left off last season and started the 2001 Legends season with a win over AL Smith. Goodin started the 25-lap feature in 11th and wasted little time in powering to the front.


            In 2-Person Cruiser action, the tandem of Bob Ahrendsen and Mike Desoto appeared to have the win in hand when Matt Jones and John Morgan played their cards just right, using a lapped car as a pick and making the winning move.             Ahrendsen/Desoto had to back out of the throttle to avoid the slower car which also allowed Darryl and Scott Jones to slip by into second.


The other feature which was completed before a thunderstorm scrubbed the last two events was the Thunderstocks. Mike Walsh took the lead with nine laps to go after  Greg Hentrich dominated the early going.  The action  was tight enough but the caution waved with 9 laps remaining  bunching the field and enabling Walsh to take command on the restart.


The remaining Thunderstock feature and the Women On Wheels feature will be run at a later date.







1. Peter Hernandez, Mokena, Il                   Chevy Monte Carlo

2. Bill Prietzek, Franklin, WI                        Dodge Avenger

3. Curtis VanDerWal, Oskaloosa, IA           Chevy Monte Carlo

4. James Swan, Lake Geneva, WI                Chevy Monte Carlo

5. Kevin Lee, Homestead, IA                       Chevy Monte Carlo

6. Rod Brewe, Kaukauna, WI                       Chevy Monte Carlo

7. Dave Johnson, Ankeny, IA                       Chevy Monte Carlo

8. Mel Schappert, Cedar Rapids, IA            Chevy Lumina

9. Brandon Norris, Somonauk, IL                 Chevy Monte Carlo

10. Mike Anderson, Sheboygan, WI            Chevy Monte Carlo

11. Scott Johnson, Ankeny, IA                     

12. Jimmy Becker, Burlington, IL                Dodge Intrepid

13. Josh Bauer, Randon Lake, WI               Chevy Monte Carlo

14. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI         Pontiac Grand Prix

15. Mike Monroe, Pell Lake, WI                 Chevy Monte Carlo

16. Brandon Blashe, Little Chute, WI          Chevy Monte Carlo

17. John Henecke, Hiawatha, IA                  Pontiac Grand Prix

18. Monty Coffman, Barrington, IL  Pontiac Grand Prix

19. Bruce Scheff, Swisher, IA                       Ford Thunderbird



1.      Art Christoffersen, Toddville, IA            Ford

2.      Gordon Swanson, Apple Valley, MN      Chevrolet

3.      Jerry Seibel, Campbellsport, WI            Chevrolet

4.      Ricky Lemmens, Kewaunee, WI            Chevrolet

5.      Kim Hedberg, Farmington, MN  Chevrolet

6.      Mark Anderson, Minnetonka MN         Chevrolet

7.      Jeff Steenberger, Waupon, WI               Ford

8.      Gary Fredrickson, Lakeville, MN          Ford

9.      Al Brace, Wausau, WI                             Chevrolet

10.  Jamie Farrell, New Prague, MN Chevrolet

11.  Mike Martindale, Machesney Park, IL Chevrolet

12.  Zack Hedburg, Farmington, MN            Ford

13.  Mark Eberhart, Ripon, WI                     Ford

14.  Conrad Jorgensen, Lakeville, MN         Chevrolet

15.  Donnie Woller, Merrill, WI                     Chevrolet

16.  Bill Prietzel, Franklin, WI                        Chevrolet

17.  John Vig, Jr., Shakopee, MN                 Ford

18.  Randy Garrison, Beatrice, NE                Chevrolet

19.  Danny Heinritz, Green Bay, WI Chevrolet

20.  Vincent Wilkinson, Sandwich, IL            Chevrolet

21.  Andy Jirik, Lonsdale, MN                      Chevrolet

22.  Jason Hicks, Lake Geneva, WI              Ford



A-1 Performance Marine Legends

1.      BJ Goodin, Hiawatha

2.      Al Smith, Cedar Rapids

3.      Kevin Foreman, Cedar Rapids

4.      Kyle Hinrichs, Swisher

5.      Gene Peterson, Des Moines

6.      Chris Sevey, Waterloo

7.      Tom Frady, Cedar Rapids

8.      Matt Montieth, Port Byron, IL

9.      Larrie Solbrig, Cedar Rapids

10.  Lane Swearinger, Davenport

11.  Bob Spiegel, Bettendorf

12.  Eric Appleget, Ely

13.  Keith Moline, Cedar Rapids



2-Person Cruisers

1.      Matt Jones/John Morgan

2.      Darryl Jones/Scott Jones

3.      Bob Ahrendsen/Mike Desoto

4.      Marty Klees/Eric Gintert

5.      Tim Kemmerer/Ed O’Brien

6.      Steve Luedtke/Mike Carver

7.      Brian Dvorak/Matt Poduska

8.      Shellie O’Brien/Ed O’Brien

9.      Scott Siems/Chris Shakespeare



1.      Mike Walsh, Cedar Rapids

2.      Greg Hentrich, Hiawatha

3.      Cory Houdek, Anamosa

4.      Kevin Sanborn, Ely

5.      Mike Block, Cedar Rapids

6.      Mike Desoto, Cedar Rapids

7.      Lisa Dumond, Cedar Rapids

8.      Frank Auen, Garrison, IA

9.      Travis Dodney, Cedar Rapids

10.  Roger LaCoursiere, Cedar Rapids

11.  Dan Thompson, Cedar Rapids

12.  Aaron Meyer, Cedar Rapids

13.  Chip Kohl

14.  James Sheldon, Cedar Rapids

15.  Jodi Cranston, Cedar Rapids