Joey Danley conquers the Highbanks of Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE
Story by Greg Soukup
Photo by Joe Orth
If you looked up ‘Perfect Night for Racing’ in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Saturday night at Eagle Raceway!! Temperatures started out in the low 80’s with lots of sun and a northerly breeze, cooling to the high 60’s by A Feature time.
The large crowd that showed up for Double Down Duel presented by Hormel and Miller Lite on June 2nd 2018 were treated to lots of racing thanks to the 160 cars that pulled into the pits. Despite 1 ¾” of rain the night before the track prep crew did their magic and by the time the finales rolled out there were 2 racing lines and plenty of action.
The only major incidents both occurred in the IMCA Racesaver Sprint Car B Feature. On the initial start there was a big mess going into turn 1, resulting in the #28 of Tom Belsky rolling over. On the second try another pile-up happened in turns 3 and 4 that had the 3G of Bill Garrow going up and over. Neither driver was seriously injured, but both cars were badly damaged.
IMCA Racesaver Sprint Cars then rolled onto the track for their A Feature at Eagle Raceway. Paul Hendrickson’s 19J, the 0 of Chase Weiler, Gene Ackland in the 14G and Neil Nickolite in the 12N led the pack at the end of the first circuit. Ackland got sideways in turn 1 and ended up hopping the Armco guardrail in the air before coming to a halt on the grass inside the fence on all 4 wheels. A complete restart was then called for. The first official lap saw Weiler out front, the 7 of Toby Chapman second, Ryan King’s 93 third and Nickolite fourth. Chapman moved to the lead on lap 2 with King remaining in third and Hendrickson falling to fourth. Joey Danley got past Hendrickson the next, moved up to third after another circuit and grabbed second the next time around. Danley moved to the lead on lap 5 as Stu Snyder put the #5 into fourth. Snyder advanced to third the next lap. Despite heavy traffic Danley held off the field to the checkers. The final top 4 were Danley Chapman, Snyder and Tyler Drueke who took the #12 into fourth with four laps left.
Danley’s victory was his first this season, after suffering several failures to begin the year. He said “Finally! It’s been a rough start for sure. I lost one motor already and had some other rough luck, but we finally put one together tonight. I initially started 11th, but that wreck at the beginning helped us out a little bit. We just kind of set sail from there and drove it right to the front. That was some heavy traffic though. I thought I was going to lose the lead in traffic, but evidently I built up enough of a lead and that’s probably the only reason I held on there. I was struggling at the end. When I got out there in clean air that’s what won us the race because once I caught the lapped traffic I couldn’t figure out how to get around them”. Danley’s sponsors include Heiserman Flooring, Nissen Hardwood Floors, Automotive Services, Russell Shoulders Racing Engines, CleanRite Sweeping and Empire Fencing.