Marolf Gets Redemption During Deery Series Opener at 34 Raceway
Nick Marolf grabbed the season opening win for the 2017 IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series campaign. The win helped erase his memory of his last visit to 34 Raceway.
Marolf's previous visit to the 3/8-mile clay oval in West Burlington, Iowa was, as he called it, 'forgettable'. It was 17 years ago during the Pepsi USA Nationals when he spit the driveshaft out from underneath the car during hot laps.
“That was early in my career and we were just trying to make laps. That night was forgetful. I’d like to not remember it at all,” Marolf said. “We got lucky tonight with the redraw and got to start close to the front (third). I ran with Jay Johnson and then was able to pass Darrel in (turns) three and four for the lead.”
While drivers swapped positions behind him, no one could find a way past Marolf before the checkers flew. DeFrance, competing in his 468th consecutive series event, ended as the runner-up and also won the $250 Sunoco Race Fuels feature qualifier drawing.
Chad Holladay, Matt Ryan and defending series champion Tyler Bruening completed the top five. Holladay earned hard charger honors, advancing a dozen positions. Luke Goedert was a plus 11 on the night and finished sixth.
The winner of Saturday’s second heat, Marolf was leading that race when Andy Eckrich got upside down.
His victory in the main event was the career second for Marolf, whose first tour win had come Sept. 14, 2012 at Farley Speedway.
“We’ve led quite a few races since then but haven’t been able to capitalize,” he said. “It felt like it has been been so long since we won. Now it feels like we’ve gotten that monkey off our back.”
Saturday’s show was also the 49th series race held at West Burlington, more than at any other track.
Round two of the 31st annual Deery Brothers Summer Series takes Late Model drivers and fans to West Liberty Raceway on Saturday, April 8 for another $2,000 to win event. Marolf will be both the national and series points leader going into that race.
IMCA DEERY BROTHERS SUMMER SERIES
WEST BURLINGTON, IA
APRIL 1, 2017
1. Nick Marolf, Wilton;
2. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown;
3. Chad Holladay, Muscatine;
4. Matt Ryan, Davenport;
5. Tyler Bruening, Decorah;
6. Luke Goedert, Guttenberg;
7. Richie Gustin, Gilman;
8. Scott Fitzpatrick, Wheatland;
9. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls;
10. Jake Neal, Omaha, NE;
11. Jeff Tharp, Sherrill;
12. Curt Schroeder, Newton;
13. Jesse Sobbing, Malvern;
14. Jay Johnson, West Burlington;
15. Joel Callahan, Dubuque;
16. John Emerson, Waterloo;
17. Curt Martin, Independence;
18. Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque;
19. Rob Toland, Davenport;
20. Jonathan Brauns, Muscatine;
21. Paul Conrad, Colo;
22. Denny Eckrich, Tiffin;
23. Todd Malmstrom, Silvis, IL;
24. Shawn Mulvany, Moline, IL.