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The Hawkeye Downs ‘Summer Shootout ‘ Has Seen Dirt, Asphalt And Short Track Racing’s Very Best

September 3, 2015
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Photos © Kyle Ealy Collection

Summer Shooutout Past Winners (PDF)

By: Eric Huenefeld / For nearly half of its 90 year history, the speedway known as Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa has hosted some of America’s top short track racers during the summertime months.

Beginning in 1973, when promoter Keith Fleck organized the first ‘Falstaff 100,’ a tradition was born in eastern Iowa. Through the years, the race has went through several name changes, with the ‘Miller 100’ moniker, the one most synonymous with the summertime tradition, retired after the 2011 event.

But despite the name changes, one thing remains true…for 40 of the last 42 summers…history has been made at Hawkeye Downs during the summer months. The spectacle now known as the ‘Coors Light Summer Shootout presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics’ has seen some of the very best from both asphalt or dirt test the Hawkeye half mile.

© Kyle Ealy Collection
© Kyle Ealy Collection

No one has won more races in the heat of the summer at Hawkeye Downs than has West Salem Wisconsin’s Steve Carlson. ‘The King of the Short Tracks’ captured an impressive seven wins in what was then the ‘Miller 100,’ becoming just the second driver to win back-to-back summertime showcases in 1996 & 1997. Carlson also won four straight Miller 100’s from 2007-2010. Carlson could have been an eight-time winner at Hawkeye, had it not been for a mechanical misfortune with just six laps remaining in 1991, which ended his chances for what would have been his first victory at the track, instead putting another short track legend, Joe Shear, in victory lane for the first time at Hawkeye Downs.

Shear was a two-time ARTGO Challenge Series winner at ‘The Downs’, claiming victory after Carlson’s misfortunes in 1991 and again tasting victory in 1995 after getting past Minnesota’s Jim Weber in the middle stages of that 100 lap event. Besides Carlson and Shear, Davenport Iowa’s Justin Diercks is the only other asphalt racer to claim victory multiple times in 100 lap races at Hawkeye Downs, winning consecutive shows in 2002 and 2003 while holding off local favorites Johnny Spaw and Dudley Fleck in the process.

© Kyle Ealy Collection
© Kyle Ealy Collection

Prior to the 1989 season, Hawkeye Downs was one of the America’s premiere dirt tracks in one of America’s dirt racing hubs. Winners of summertime 100 lap events at Hawkeye Downs during the ‘dirt years’ read like a ‘who’s who,’ with Dirt Late Model Hall of Famers Billy Moyer, Rodney Combs, Ed Sanger, Curt Hansen and Larry Phillips all past champions. Phillips, the only 5-time NASCAR National Champion, actually claimed his 100 lap victory at Hawkeye Downs when the track was paved, reaching victory lane in 1990, one of his nearly 40 feature wins that season.

Two other NASCAR National Champions, Tom Hearst and Roger Dolan, also found victory lane at Hawkeye Downs in the summer months, with Dolan winning twice (1983 & 1986) while Hearst captured victory in 1985. Five-time USAC Stock Car Series champion and Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Butch Hartman won the ‘Falstaff 100’ lap race at Hawkeye Downs back in 1973 on the way to his third straight USAC Stock Car title.

Last year, in the first incarnation of the ‘Coors Light Summer Shootout’ Seymour Wisconsin’s Ty Majeski entered victory lane at the famed half-mile. The win was part of an incredible season for Majeski, who not only captured the ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year honors, but was also crowned the 2014 Series Champion. Majeski faces stiff competition in his quest to repeat Saturday night, with challengers from seven states expected to converge on Eastern Iowa. Georgia hot shoe Bubba Pollard, along with two-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion Dan Fredrickson lead the list of contenders, along with 2011 Hawkeye Downs winner and 2012 Midwest Tour Champion Jonathan Eilen and 2011 Series Champion Andrew Morrissey.

Local favorites Griffin McGrath and Caleb Adrian will look to give the hometown fans a chance to make some noise, while Dixieland 250 winner Nick Murgic, four-time Oktoberfest winner Travis Sauter and teenagers Paulie Shafer and Derek Kraus also look to make their case for victory. Illinois’ Austin Nason and Wisconsin’s Skylar Holzhausen come to Hawkeye Downs looking for victory and chance to close the gap on Majeski in the ARCA Midwest Tour championship chase, while aces Ricky Baker, James Swan and brothers Chris and Jason Weinkauf will also be gunning for victory, along with a host of top-notch short track racers.

All of the excitement takes place at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa this Saturday evening, as the ARCA Midwest Tour takes to the track for the ‘Coors Light Summer Shootout presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics.’ Joining the ARCA Midwest Tour will be the Quest Industrial Mid American Stock Cars and the INEX Legends. Qualifying begins at 5:45 PM, with the first green flag set to wave 7 PM. Adult admission is $18, with Students (ages 13-17) admitted for $10 and Kids 12 and under admitted FREE!

For more information on the ARCA Midwest Tour, please visit arcamidwestour.com. For more information on Hawkeye Downs, please visit hawkeyedowns.org.

Entry List News

ARCA Midwest Touring Stars Roll into Hawkeye Downs Speedway with Some Heavy Competition

September 1, 2015
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by Kari Shear-Carlson / Sep 1, 2015 – Drivers from seven different states will be making their way to the Midwest for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment’s Coors Light Summer Shootout presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA this Saturday night, Sept 5th.

Current point leader and most recent Midwest Tour event winner, Ty Majeski, and the rest of the Midwest Touring Stars and Cars will be going up against the talents of young and old. Derek Kraus, who just turned 14 this Tuesday, will be joining the Tour and making his debut at the event. Bubba Pollard from Senoia, GA, Dan Fredrickson of Lakeville, MN, and Brad Tilton from Cheyenne, WY are just a few of the names that will be joining the ARCA Midwest Tour this Saturday night.

But it won’t just be the outsiders coming in for the challenge. Local up and coming driver, Caleb Adrian, and Hawkeye Downs veteran and former Midwest Touring Star, Griffin McGrath, hope to lead the way at their home track.

This Saturday night will be anyone’s game. You don’t want to miss the biggest Labor Day weekend short track event in Iowa! The ARCA Midwest Tour will also be joined by the Mid-American Stock Car Series and Legends cars. Spectator gates open at 5:00pm. Qualifying will get started at 5:45pm. Opening ceremonies for the full night of racing will begin at 6:45pm with racing to follow at 7:00pm.

For more event details, log on to arcamidwesttour.com

Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).

To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedway.

Expected Entries
Coors Light Summer Shootout presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics
ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment
Saturday Night September 5, 2015
Hawkeye Downs, Cedar Rapids, IA
25 as of 9/1/15

Car # Name Hometown State
4 Brad Tilton Cheyenne WY
5 Travis Sauter Prairie Du Sac WI
7 Paul Shafer, Jr Portage IN
9 Derek Kraus Stratford WI
12 Nick Murgic Rosemount WI
14 Austin Nason Roscoe IL
24 Jim Olson Harvard IL
26 Bubba Pollard Senoia GA
28 Jake Finney Sycamore IL
29 Caleb Adrian Walcott IA
31 Nick Barstad Prior Lake MN
36 Dan Fredrickson Lakeville MN
39 Andrew Morrissey DeForest WI
43 Matt Kocourek Franklin WI
52 Ricky Baker Plainfield IL
58 Cardell Potter Camp Douglas WI
64 Griffin McGrath Cedar Rapids IA
75 Chris Weinkauf Merrill WI
76 Jason Weinkauf Merrill WI
77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN
78 Skylar Holzhausen Bangor WI
91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI
97 Cole Anderson Northfield MN
97 James Swan Lake Geneva WI
O1 Claire Decker Eagle River WI

News

Coors Light Summer Shootout and Music Festival Presented by McGrath Powersports & Liz Girl Logistics Fan Information

July 4, 2014
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Where: Hawkeye Downs Speedway and Expo Center, Cedar Rapids, IA

When: Saturday, July 5th, 2014 (Rain Date: Sunday, July 6th at 2PM)

Ticket Prices: Ages 13+ are $20, ages 12 and under are FREE (Includes concert & racing)

Times:
2:15PM ARCAMT Practice Begins
4:00PM ARCAMT Qualifying
4:45PM Autograph Session and concert with live music
5:50 Opening Ceremonies
6:00PM Racing Begins
9:00PM Logan Mize in concert

(Full Schedule – http://shtrk.us/h14s)

Divisions: ARCA Midwest Tour, Hornets (http://shtrk.us/h14e)

News

ARCA Midwest Tour Brings High Caliber Talent to the Hawkeye State

July 2, 2014
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Sparks Will Fly at Hawkeye Downs Speedway This Saturday Night

by Kari Shear-Carlson
July 3, 2014 – The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment will make its return to Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA on Saturday, July 5th, 2014 for the Coors Light Summer Shootout and Music Festival presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics 100 lap event.

The caliber of competition in this year’s line-up is amongst one of the highest the ARCA Midwest Tour has seen all season.

Not only will the field be filled with the talent of the ARCA Midwest Touring Stars such as current point leader, Nathan Haseleu, current Rookie of the Year point leader, Ty Majeski and 2011 event winner Jonathan Eilen, but drivers from all over the country are making their way to the Hawkeye state to be a part of this explosive event.

Brian Campbell, winner of the season opener in Toldeo, OH, Jeff Choquette of West Palm Beach, FL, winner of the 2011 Iowa Speedway event, Travis Sauter, the most recent winner in the ARCA Midwest Tour, along with local driver and former Touring Star, Griffin McGrath, who also finished second in the Howie Lettow Memorial at the Milwaukee Mile earlier this year, are all amongst the heavy hitters lined up for this Saturday’s 100 lap event.

“Hawkeye Downs is the first track I ever raced at. I’m always excited to have the Tour back in Cedar Rapids, but this event has created even more excitement to an already great series,” said McGrath.

After suffering a season ending injury coming out of turn four in 2010, Jonathan Eilen came back in 2011 with an emotional victory showing redemption to the .5 mile oval. “I was so happy to be able to come back to this track and show that wall who is boss,” said Eilen from victory lane that night.

On Saturday night the battle for a victory won’t be the only one fans should keep their eyes on. The ARCA Midwest Tour is just over the halfway point in their season and the points battle is tight. Nathan Haseleu holds only an 11 point lead over Ty Majeski who is also the Rookie of the Year point leader.

With the caliber of talent that will be rolling into Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Saturday, anything is possible. Spend your 4th of July weekend watching sparks fly as the ARCA Midwest Touring Stars and hottest talent from around the country all fight to claim the title of winner of the Coors Light Summer Shootout presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics.

What: Coors Light Summer Shootout and Music Festival

Where: Hawkeye Downs Speedway, Cedar Rapids, IA

When: Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Ticket Prices: Ages 13+ are $20, ages 12 and under are FREE

Times: 2:15PM ARCAMT Practice Begins, 4:00PM ARCAMT Qualifying, 4:45PM Autograph Session and concert with live music, 5:50 Opening Ceremonies, 6:00PM Racing Begins, 9:00PM Logan Mize in concert

Divisions: ARCA Midwest Tour, Hornets

Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).

To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at tim@arcamidwesttour.comor Steve Einhaus at steve@arcamidwesttour.com.

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.