The 37-year-old NASCAR driver from Wilton slipped past Waterloo’s Bill Zwanziger at the start of the 16th lap and raced on from there to capture the 25-lap late model feature race Friday night in front of a smoldering host of diehard racing fans at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.
It was the fourth time this year that Hearst, the Downs NASCAR point leader, has captured the speedway's late model main.
Hearst, who had started the race in the middle of 23 other drivers, had little trouble adding to his point total after passing Zwanziger, running away from the pack for his first Downs feature win since June 20th. Zwanziger did maintain his position, finishing second ahead of Waterloo's Dick Schiltz. Ed Sanger, also of Waterloo, was fourth, followed by Independence’s Rick Wendling, Marion’s Steve Keppler and Waterloo’s Red Dralle. Kalona's Mike Niffenegger came home eighth ahead of the Viola vet Kenny Walton, Cedar Rapid's Darrell Dake and Cedar Fall's Denny Osborn. Mike Frieden of Cedar Rapids was twelfth.
Scotch Grove veteran Jerry Naylor captured the Street Stock heat while his son Dave and Monticello's Jay Iben grabbed first place finishes in the Sportsman runs.
Dralle, Keppler, and Wendling all took Late Model heats with Jerry Naylor winning his third Street Stock main in his last three Downs appearances after a brief retirement.
The younger Naylor (Dave) also edged Wapello’s Ron Pallister in the 12-lap Sportsman feature.
Late Model -
1. Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
2. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
3. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
5. Rick Wendling, Hazelton, Iowa
6. Steve Keppler, Marion, Iowa
7. Red Dralle, Waterloo, Iowa
8. Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa
9. Kenny Walton, Viola, Iowa
10. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
11. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls, Iowa
12. Mike Frieden, Swisher, Iowa
2. Ron Pallister, Wapello, Iowa
3. Mike Phillips, Muscatine, Iowa
4. Dan Thomas, Morning Sun, Iowa
5. Jay Iben, Monticello, Iowa
Street Stocks –
1. Jerry Naylor, Scotch Grove, Iowa
2. Chopper Safely, Marion, Iowa
3. Gus Hughes, Monticello, Iowa
4. Dave Albert, Marengo, Iowa
5. Gary Gramblin, Anamosa, Iowa