2017 Silver Dollar Nationals

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1988 - Separate disputes broiling at 34 Raceway, Donnellson

Burlington, Iowa (July 29, 1988) - A rift has developed between the International Motor Contest Association and Clinton driver Duke Jackson. Unfortunately, 34 Raceway, owner/promoter Larry Kemp and the state’s other late model pilots are also being devoured by the chasm.

At issue is an IMCA late model Summer Series race in Vinton July 14, won by Darrel DeFrance. Upon completion, Red Dralle indicated he wanted to claim Jackson’s engine for the $1,525 fee. Jackson refused the claim, and all hell broke loose. Kemp, co-promoter of the race, told Jackson he would lose his Summer Series points but retain his points at 34 Raceway, where he led a season-long battle with Burlington’s Ron Jackson.

Several days later, IMCA office manager Rick Haefner informed Duke Jackson he was suspended from racing at IMCA tracks for 21 days (his eligibility will return next weekend) and would lose both his Summer Series and local track points.

Kemp chose to stick to his original edict, and let Jackson compete at 34 Raceway the following week. The IMCA then sent letters to all late model drivers, telling them they would be penalized for competing in any race with Duke Jackson.

When Jackson once again participated at 34 Raceway last Saturday, six others - Lem Blankenship, Kevin Cale, Ron Jackson, Jeff Johnson, Frank Springsteen and Dave Warth - all left their late models on the trailers and did not compete.

On Sunday, promoters from the IMCA’s five sanctioned late model tracks - Kemp, Eldon’s Dale Gegner, Independence’s Jerry Blue, Marshalltown’s Barry Nuese and Steve Priske, and Webster City’s Bill Rice – met with the IMCA in Amana. There, they were told the original ruling stands.

“All we’re doing is enforcing the rule as it is written,” said IMCA executive secretary Bill Haglund. “Those rules were mailed to all 1987 members before the season began. Jackson was a member in 1987 and was aware of the penalty.”

Kemp and the other promoters maintain they were told, when the IMCA added the late model class last year, they would be allowed to determine the rules.

“I’m going to resign from IMCA because I'm just burned out on the late model thing,” he said.

One final note: All may not yet be resolved. It appears several technicalities in the IMCA rules were not followed when Dralle made the claim.

“I got a call from the guy that owns Duke Jackson’s car, and they have retained an attorney,” said Kemp. “They’re pursuing their rights.”

There won’t be racing in Donnellson, and nobody really realizes just how close the Lee County Speedway came to shutting down for the season.

This past week has been truly hectic for promoter Deo Loney and the Lee County Fair board – currently at odds over the operation of the 3/8-mile clay oval.

The two no longer have a contract for the completion of this season. That was dissolved last Tuesday, July 19 - prior to the opening of the Lee County Fair. Loney and the fair board are scheduled to meet Wednesday to try and come to terms for the rest of the summer.

Right now, racing is in limbo at Donnellson - on that, both Loney and fair board president Wayne Hennies agree. When or if it will resume remains up in the air.

“We’ll take a breather this week, but we will have races starting August 5 and then every Friday at least through August,” said Loney. “We’ll make a big show out of our season championship.”

‘There’ll be no races this week,” said Hennies. “It is anticipated agreements will be negotiated to continue for the remainder of the season. Right now, we’ve got nothing."

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