The World came to Iowa, and here’s what happened

img_0641To say that bringing a Cyclocross (CX) World Cup to Iowa City is a big deal would be an understatement.

Moving a CX World Cup out of Europe, particularly northern Europe, is a big deal. Northern Europe OWNS cyclocross, after all. 

Well, until now, that is.

Ten years ago, a rabid cyclocross fan, Dr. John Meehan, thought it’d be cool to host a cyclocross race on the cross country course at the University of Iowa, where he worked as a surgeon. (Quite an accomplished surgeon, leading the world in pediatric robotic surgery practices).

As a fan of cyclocross, he had to either get to Europe to watch the biggest races or see the best racers and he thought “Hey, we could do this. (bring a World Cup to Iowa City)”

So, he did. 

It took 10 years, an armored car full of money and a whole state of volunteers, but he did it. On Sept. 24, 2016, the world came to Iowa City to race the UCI Telnet Jingle Cross World Cup. One of only nine in the world this year.

Then, it rained. Torrential rains. Cedar Rapids-flooding type of rains. And everyone in Iowa City smiled. (Except, maybe, the bike mechanics who try to keep the racers bikes working through hell and high water).

img_0676Three days of racing were held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. On Friday, amateurs and age-group cyclists tackled the fresh mud, working it into a rich, deep, thick peanut butter for the elite professional races late in the evening. British national champion Helen Wyman and German Marcel Meisen won the women’s and men’s races in front of thousands of mud-hungry, beer-happy fans who defended upon Iowa City from across the globe to watch the best in the world tackle the infamous Mount Krumpit and good old Iowa mud.

On Saturday, the sun broke free of its grey blanket and temperatures rose into the 80’s as riders from France, Belgium, Italy, Argentina, Canada and even Australia took their final practice laps on the hilly, muddy course.

Meanwhile fans spent the morning and early afternoon riding through picturesque eastern Iowa, trying to ride up Mount Krumpit or riding in the Build-A-Bear kids race with the Grinch himself!


Mid-afternoon, the elite women lined up – the front row sounded like an international roll-call: French, Belgian, Italian riders, as well as a couple of Americans. Iowa’s own Amanda Miller (Burlington), took her spot in row two. In a moment, they were off for a 40-minute lung-busting, leg (and bike) breaking race through the Johnson County fairgrounds. Mud, sand and no fewer than three times up Mount Krumpit on each lap.

Making her home state proud, Miller rode near the front, friends and family going crazy as she ran up through the crowds on Mount Krumpit and took the lead through a long, sandy stretch.

Making all of the U.S.A. proud, American Katie Compton finished first, and was joined on the podium by fellow American Kaitlin Antonneau, and just behind another American, Ellen Noble in fifth. Amanda Miller hung on to finish in tenth. Great result for the U.S.

In the men’s race the world champion Wout Van Aert did what world champions do – find a way to win. After some early stumbles, bumbles and crumbles, he found himself far behind the leaders. And the leaders? All pretty much from Belgium. Except for that one dude from the Netherlands. And, eventually, that red-headed guy from the U.S., Stephen Hyde.

img_9028While Wout found a way to win (by breaking the legs of every competitor out there and putting nearly a minute on the second placed guy), Hyde turned himself inside out to maintain contact with the lead group and found himself in a sprint dual to the finish with Toon Aerts (yes, Belgium), finishing tenth – a great finish for the American rider.

So the racing was exciting and some Americans did well, but who cares if that was in Iowa City, Louisville, Kentucky, Portland, Oregon or Augusta, Maine?

Well, we do. Or should anyway.

The fact that a doctor from Iowa City could dream this big – big enough to shift a world paradigm – keep the dream alive, invite others to share his dream and then make it all happen – is a great lesson for all of us living between two rivers.

This state has proven time and time again that it’s worthy of greatness, not just flyoverness: The richest triathlon in the world, The world renown Drake Relays, The incomparable Bix 7. And, of course, that little ride across the state in July.

When Iowans put their heads together, great things happen. World Cups happen. Dream big Iowa. They will come.

You know we can do it.*
*What is “it”? That’s up to you to decide!

Prestigious Regatta in Des Moines this weekend – Cancelled


While this decision was a difficult one, safety of the rowers is our number one concern. With the updated forecast for heavy rain north of Des Moines, and an already high river, the Army Corps of Engineers was unable to reduce the flow on the river, and the river level is expected to rise to increasingly unsafe levels. This unfortunately leads us to cancel the 2016 Head of the Des Moines Regatta.


On quiet mornings and picturesque evenings, rowers can be seen gliding swiftly and silently through the Des Moines River on long, sleek rowing shells, training for one of the oldest and most prestigious regattas in the Midwest – Head of the Des Moines, held this Saturday in Des Moines.

Crews from around the Midwest, both club and collegiate, will be challenging each other and the river in the 3-mile head race, a one-way timed race from the Botanical Center to Prospect Park.

The river will be a hub of activity from 8 am until late afternoon with boats, entering at Prospect Park, rowing to the start, then making their way back to the finish line during their heat.

Iowa, Iowa State and Drake field crews as they host other collegiate teams from Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and more.

The Des Moines Rowing Club, host of the event, has two boathouses stacked with rowing shells, from one-person “singles” to the ships of the river, 60-foot-long “eights” which carry eight crew  and their coxswain (pronounced “cox-n”) through the water fast enough to pull a water skier.
Crews of two, four or eight, as well as singles, can be seen on the Des Moines river in the early morning, after work and on weekends practicing their stroke, gaining fitness and enjoying the camaraderie of being on a crew as their cox-n guides them up and down the river and through their drills or workout.

Ric Jurgens, former CEO of Hy-Vee, took up rowing after retiring from the grocery business and rows with a crew of four in the early morning each week.

Getting a great workout on the water is one of the things I like most about rowing,” said Jurgens. “The beauty of the river is a glorious place to be. I also love the unique team aspect of the sport –– even a leisurely tempo row requires precision in order to affect a good row. Throw in the fact that the teammates are your friends and that’s a wonderful lagniappe.”

Brenda Copley, a board member of the Des Moines Rowing Club agrees, but goes deeper into the allure of rowing.

“I love being on the water,” said Copley. “I am originally from Michigan where open water is plentiful, and rowing allows me to be on the water.”

Beyond the joy and beauty one finds while slicing silently through the water while the sun breaks over the eastern horizon, Copley sees benefits that go beyond.

img_7346-x2“There are not that many team-based competitive outlets for middle-aged women where you can develop individually, and that personal development has a direct impact on the team or crew,” she said. “Having been a high school level gymnast, I always loved the feeling of power through your whole body in a single movement, and rowing has come the closest to replicating that feeling. I’ve also found this to be the only activity that I can completely tune out my job, family and to-do list. I come away from a row with a clear head and recharged mind.”

Catch the action all day long from several points along the river. The Neal Smith Trail provides the perfect way to watch from a bicycle or by foot, following the race for most of its length. Prospect Park is a beehive of activity as the center of operation for visiting crews. Watch in awe as crews prep boats and themselves for the grueling task at hand and Dock Masters guide the hundreds of boats in and out of the river in a choreographed dance that would make Dancing With the Stars Len Goodman smile.

The action at Prospect Park begins in the early morning hours, around 7, with racing beginning at 8:30 at the Botanical Center. More information can be found at

The world is headed to Iowa City

img_1152-xlOrganizers for Jingle Cross, Inc are making final preparations for the biggest weekend of bicycle racing in the Midwest region, Sept. 22-25. The Volkswagen Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross Festival will be held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds for a 13th year. New events have been added for Saturday, including World Cup cyclo-cross races for professional athletes and the Volkswagen Jingle Cross Gravel Grinder and Road Fondo by Clif Bar for recreational riders. Elite races on Friday and Sunday will be part of the national Pro Cyclocross Calendar (Pro CX).

The festival features over 60 cyclo-cross races for amateurs and professional cyclists, kid’s races, live music, fireworks (Thursday night), great food, featured beverages from Deschutes Brewery, and much more. Jingle Cross began in 2004 as a small local race, and has grown to national prominence with more than 2,500 registered participants and thousands of spectators. The Pro CX and amateur races for Volkswagen Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross Festival on Friday and Sunday are free for spectators.

img_6441-xlThe spotlight for international cycling will be on Iowa City on the 24th for the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup races for men and women. Traditionally held in late November or early December, the 2016 event moved to September to accommodate the inclusion of World Cup cyclo-cross races for the first time. Sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body for the sport of cycling, this prestigious event is the second of nine World Cup races for the 2016-17 season.

Tickets for the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup races cost $15, and are available online at or locally at any MidWestOne bank location. Children ages 10 and younger will be admitted free on Saturday. NBC Sports Network will stream the event live online Sept. 24 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. (ET), and will re-air the event on its national network from 6-8 p.m. Sunday and 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. Monday (all times ET; check your local listings).

“Cyclo-cross is traditionally a European-based sport. This year the international schedule features not one, but two cyclo-cross World Cup events in the United States, Las Vegas and Iowa City. Having back-to-back races on American soil speaks volumes for the growth of the sport here. Jingle Cross brings another quality venue and organization to the world stage,” said Micah Rice, vice president of national events for USA Cycling. “Jingle Cross continues to be a top event for the Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar as well. Spectators are in for real treat to have a variety of events for all levels of cyclists for three full days.”

jameyThe new Volkswagen Jingle Cross Gravel Grinder and Road Fondo by Clif Bar has been added to the schedule for amateur cyclists. Former pro cyclists Christian Vande Velde, Jason McCartney and Tim Johnson will participate in the ride and in post-ride activities. McCartney and Vande Velde are both former pro road cyclists who competed in Grand Tours, and Johnson is a six-time U.S. Cyclo-cross national champion. Participants can take part in either a 60-kilometer ride that rolls over a road-gravel-dirt course, or a 70-km road-only course. Both fondo ride options will begin at 8 a.m. CT on Saturday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Registration is $75, and the entry fee includes a commemorative T-shirt, socks, water bottle and admission to the Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup.

“We are excited to bring World Cup and Pro Cyclo-cross races to Iowa City and make this such a prestigious event for the state and the Midwest,” said Jingle Cross race director John Meehan. “This is an opportunity to watch the best bike racers in the world right here in Iowa City. For amateur riders, it is one of the few times they can race the same course as the world’s best racers. And for spectators, you can’t beat the high-energy racing all three days in a fun-filled party atmosphere, with announcers, music, food and beverage options all around the course.”

Meehan is a pediatric surgeon and is world-renowned for pioneering minimally invasive robotic surgery for children. He now lives in Seattle, Washington, but returns to Iowa every year to manage the Jingle Cross event. Meehan received his medical degree from the University of Iowa and worked at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. All proceeds from Jingle Cross have been donated to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital since the first year, and this will continue in 2016.

img_6902-l“I wanted to make more than just a great bike race. I wanted it to also have a special purpose. I am so proud that this event has grown to be in the international spotlight, but still has its heart here in the local community to help others. Jingle Cross has extraordinary partnerships with Iowa City officials and Convention and Visitors Bureau,” added Meehan, who has worked closely with Josh Shamberger, the president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and his staff.

For a detailed schedule of events, visit the official Jingle Cross web site, Follow the race on Facebook (UCIJingleCross) and on Twitter (@JingleCross). Follow the Pro Cyclocross Calendar on Twitter at @USACProCX.

About USA Cycling

Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including BMX, cyclo-cross, mountain bike, road, and track. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 64,000 members; 2,700+ clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions over 3,100 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit

Iowa triathlete wins the Des Moines Marathon

By Lance Bergeson. Photos by David Mable.

Matt Hanson ran a 31-minute 10K split to win the Des Moines Triathlon.

Matt Hanson ran a 31-minute 10K split to win the Des Moines Triathlon.

Matt Hanson has traveled halfway around the globe for triathlons this year. So when the opportunity arose for the Storm Lake resident to hop in his car and drive to a race 155 miles away, he jumped at the chance.

Hanson made the journey to Iowa’s capital city a prosperous one Sunday, topping all of the professionals to claim the Des Moines Triathlon in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 35 seconds at the Iowa State Capitol. Hanson ran down Des Moines’ TJ Tollakson with a superb 31:28 split on the 10-kilometer run and take the top prize of $1,500 in the Olympic-distance event.


“I’ve always wanted to do this race, but it never fit into my schedule,” said Hanson, better known as a two-time Ironman winner. “It fit very well. Not bad (payday) for a couple hours’ work.”

Will Jurkowski of Boulder, Colo., finished second overall in 1:52:41.


Abby Levene finishes in 2:07, winning the women’s professional race.

The women’s champion was second-year professional Abby Levene in 2:05:24. Levene, a former Princeton University and University of Colorado runner, covered the 10k run in 34:55 to easily outclass the women’s field. Brittany Warly of Englewood, Colo., was second in 2:07:43.

“My goal was to go out and be aggressive,” said Levene, a 25-year-old graduate student in environmental health policy in Boulder, Colo. “I love it (triathlon) because it’s a test of who is going to grind it out the hardest, in a masochistic way kind of. Once I get to the run it’s like, ‘phew.’ ”

Cameron Dye and Sarah Haskins were absent from the Olympic swim-bike-run event, opening the door for two new champions. For a while it appeared 2015 runner-up TJ Tollakson of Des Moines might move up a spot on the podium. Tollakson, 36, moved out to a comfortable lead on a cool, cloudy morning with a strong 20:57 time on the 1,500-meter swim and even better 53:26 on the 40k bike leg.

Tollakson, however, is coming off knee surgery from nine weeks ago to take out a bone in his knee. The recovery limited the manufacturer of Dimond bikes to roughly 30 miles of running before the race. His lack of running fitness was apparent. He dropped to sixth place in 1:54:20 after a 38:02 run leg.

“I expected that. I wanted to run 6:20 pace and that’s what I did,” Tollakson, 36, said. “Nine weeks is too soon to be running, but I wanted to be here. This is the first race I’ve finished this year. My main goal is to get some fitness.”

Hanson has worked extensively on his swimming since turning professional after winning Ironman Texas in 2015. He trailed Tollakson by less than a minute after the first transition out of the swim. Hanson produced the third-best bike time of 55:23, but the gap to Tollakson grew to nearly 3 minutes entering the run transition.

TJ Tollakson built a sizable lead on the bike leg of the race.

TJ Tollakson built a sizable lead on the bike leg of the race.

“He had a monster bike,” Hanson said of Tollakson. “The bike went well – I didn’t have my legs right away. I’m not used to the short distance stuff. It’s painful.”

Hanson found his running legs on Meredith Trail exiting Gray’s Lake and passed Tollakson nearly the halfway point. Hanson’s 10k time ended up as the fastest by 1:14.

Both Tollakson and Hanson, 31, are targeting fall Ironmans after enduring some rough patches in 2016. Tollakson didn’t finish Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in April after suffering a flat tire. Then his knee problem surfaced.

Hanson was challenging for the lead at Ironman Texas in May when he collapsed on the run at 23.5 miles. He also crashed on his bike three times at Ironman Cairns in June. He took two weeks off before resuming training.

Tollakson is looking forward to Ironman Arizona in November. Hanson, the 2014 Ironman Chattanooga winner, will return to Tennessee for that race in three weeks

“I had a great day,” Hanson said. “Anytime you win against a field like this you know you are on the right track.”

Used with permission: The Des Moines Register, Lance Bergeson

Des Moines Triathlon celebrates tenth year this weekend

IMG_2224-LWith its roots steeped in what began as the richest triathlon in the history of the sport, the Des Moines Triathlon continues its Labor Day triathlon, offering now both a sprint and Olympic distance event in the heart of the capital city.

Though no longer a Hy-Vee sponsored event, Premier Event Management, the company that has managed the race since its inception in 2007, partnered with TransAmerica to continue the legacy of rich purse, rigorous standards and exciting action.

The 2015 edition marked the first year without the financial support of Hy-Vee, and though scaled down from the heights of the event, which had served as an Olympic-qualifying event and the 5150 National Championship in past years, it continued to operate as a first-class event for thousands of athletes.

One year ago, international professional triathletes Greg and Laura Bennett, Mirinda Carfrae and Cameron Dye, and local professional triathlete TJ Tollakson dove into Gray’s Lake to challenge for the generous prize list and honor of being crowned king and queen IMG_2513-Lof the Des Moines Triathlon under Iowa’s gold dome.

In 2016, things look even more exciting with the Elite Professional men taking to Gray’s Lake at 6:45 a.m on Sunday, Sept. 4 with the Elite Professional women starting 5 minutes later. For the next two hours, athletes of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities will dive into the lake to begin their journey of 32 or 16 miles to the steps of the state capitol.

On Saturday, Sept. 3, kids will be racing in the IronKids Triathlon, at the same venue as the pros, starting in Grey’s Lake. With age-graded waves starting at 8 a.m., kids from 6 to 15 can compete in distances appropriate for them.

The Des Moines Triathlon Expo will be held at the Greater Des Moines Wellmark YMCA at 5th and Grand in downtown Des Moines on Sept. 2 and 3. Hours for the expo, which is free and open to the public are Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Complete information about the Des Moines Triathlon, IronKids and the Triathlon Expo can be found at 

Streets around the Grey’s Lake venue will be closed both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Be sure and check this link for specifics. STREET CLOSURES

A look inside: Roosevelt Roughriders

Roosevelt High School's Mikal Settle (10) hands off to Martavin Hall (1) in the first quarter Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines.

Roosevelt High School’s Mikal Settle (10) hands off to Martavin Hall (1) in the first quarter Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines.

By R.H. Slaughter

The Roosevelt Roughriders ushers in a new era on Des Moines’ west-side this fall, as Erik Link becomes Roosevelt’s new coach. The Des Moines North High grad has been on the college level for 12 years (Drake, Iowa State, Montana St., and Auburn), and two years on the prep level at Keller (TX), and his alma mater North.

Link will be asked to change the culture and instill confidence in a program that can show sparks but often struggled in Class 4A. Optimism is high on the west-side as summer workouts were well attended.  Roosevelt will rely on a roster that either saw or will see plenty of action this season.

The ‘Riders offense will be anchored by QB Korbin Blankenship (SR) (36-95-5, 362 yds, 2 TDs) and junior OL Sam Jackson, Payton Lawton, and Mason Lovan upfront. Josh Hawkins and Eian O’Brien will return in the receiver slots. Hawkins and O’Brien combined for 11 reception for 85 yards and 1 TD.

The defensive unit is led by Nick Ballard, Clarke Solo, Matt Daniels, and Lexx Klinge. Ballard is the leads with 17.5 total tackles from last season.

Roosevelt Roughriders 2016DMRoosevelt_logo

Class/Districts: 4A, District 1

2015 Record: 0-9 overall, 0-5 districts

Head Coach: Erik Link

Playoffs: did not qualify in 2015

Returning starters names/position on Defense: Desean Bradley, Clarke Solo, Lexx Klinge, Kendell Jackson, Nick Ballard, Matt Daniels, Nick Schnack (K).

Returning starters names/position on Offense: Korbin Blankenship, Eian O’Brien, Josh Hawkins, Sam Jackson, Mason Lovan, Payton Lawson

Returning Letterwinners: 37

Any athletes being recruited or interested in playing at the next level? Any commits already in your sport or another one? Eian O’Brien, Dre’Kar Jackman, Clarke Solo, Kendall Jackson and Nick Ballard are being recruited and looked at from schools ranging from Division II to mid-level FBS. Blankenship, Jackson, and Daniels among several who received interest from schools

Interesting storylines: Former Iowa State football star Jeff Woody joins the staff to coach the running backs and special teams.

Offense scheme:  2-back system

Defense scheme: 4-3

Assistant coaches (any changes?): Jeff Woody, Joe McQuerry, Greg Meyer, Mike Giese, Scott Houser, P.J. Hedrington, Patrick Lewis, James Smith, Walter Woods, Tristan Maxey

Team Goals: G.B.E.D. “Get Better Every Day”

Big questions for the season: With a new staff in place and some turnover, can the Roughriders keep pace and compete with a challenging non-district and district schedule?

Your opinion on the Top 4 teams in Class 4A: Dowling, Valley, Bettendorf, Ankeny Centennial

2016 Roughriders Schedule

08/26 @ Des Moines Lincoln

09/02 Des Moines Hoover

09/09 @ Ankeny Centennial

09/16 Ottumwa

09/23 @ Waukee

09/30 Johnston

10/07 Sioux City East

10/14 @ Sioux City North

10/21 @ Des Moines East

Bold –  denotes district play


Shane Stewart kicks off Knoxville Nationals with a win

12386Shane Stewart Holds Off Schatz on Night No. 1 of the 56th Annual Knoxville Nationals!
by Bryan Hulbert and Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 10, 2016) – For the third year in a row, and fifth time overall in Knoxville Nationals preliminary competition, Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart parked the Jeff Gordon Foundation No. 2s in Victory Lane; winning Wednesday’s Brandt Professional Agriculture Qualifying Night to open up the 56th annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores.

It was Stewart’s second consecutive year topping the Capitani Classic and his Knoxville Nationals prelim night. The $12,000 score is Shane’s tenth overall win at the Knoxville Raceway and win No. 6 on the season with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.

Referencing the words of Ralph Capitani, warning that Shane would be tough to beat, Shane stated, “I hope you’re interviewing me one more time this week. Man, I tell you what, I’ve got a great car right now, but I know that we’re going to have to pick it up just a little bit more to beat that No. 15 (Donny Schatz). He’s just so darn good here on the bottom and I have so many people ask me how he’s so good, but he just…everything just slows down in the racecar for him. He’s so good at changing lanes and not scrubbing off speed, so I’ve got to get better at that if I’m going to beat him”.

Gridding the field fourth, Stewart gave chase the first nine circuits as Jeff Swindell took off with the lead over Wayne Johnson from the front row. Into third on the third round, Stewart carefully closed in on the No. 47. Setting up Swindell for the pass on Lap 9, Stewart made the slide through turns one and two but was denied the top spot.

Regrouping on Lap 10, the slide came again through the first two turns. Leaving almost no room for error, Swindell was forced to roll out of the throttle, taking away enough momentum for Stewart to hold off the turn to take the lead.

Under caution on Lap 12 for Lynton Jeffrey, who lost a wheel on the No. 12 machine, Shane no longer had Swindell to contend with, as Donny Schatz had moved into the runner-up spot on the eleventh round. Charging low on the No. 2c, the No. 15 was kept at bay by 0.012 seconds to complete Lap 13. Taking the lead the following lap, his advantage was short lived as Stewart drove back to the point.

Slowed again with eight laps to run, Stewart got the jump on the restart, but Schatz was quick to pick up the pace, challenging again for the top position on the podium on Lap 19. Now three times denied, the nine-time champion watched as Shane pulled his advantage to 1.390 seconds at the drop of the checkered flag.

“It’ll be a different racetrack on Saturday for sure. We’ve been trying to find speed on the top of this place ever since we’ve been coming here,” said Donny of his runner-up appearance. “It seems like there’s nights you can do it, and nights you can’t, but we know what to do to run the bottom, but right now, we’re just curious of what it’s going to do on Saturday and which way it’s going to go. Right now, that’s the million-dollar question.”

unnamedMoving up from fifth, Chad Kemenah brought the Hunter Racing No. 10h to the final podium step. On his finish, Chad stated, “This is good for Saturday, and takes a little bit of pressure off, but, my brother’s had the racecar good all year long and that’s what we’ve been good at is being consistent, so maybe on Saturday, we can be just as consistent, or a little bit better.”

Coming from eighth, Daryn Pittman brought the Great Clips No. 9 to fourth with Jamie Veal from seventh to complete the top-five. Having to start 20th on the field, Greg Hodnett was the highest finishing Pennsylvania driver on the night with a hard charging run to sixth in the Heffner Racing No. 27. After leading early on, Jeff Swindell faded to finish seventh with Wayne Johnson also falling back to eighth. Ninth went to Rico Abreu with Dusty Zomer tenth after running as high as fourth in the opening laps.

With 47 drivers drawing in for Wednesday’s Brandt Professional Agriculture Qualifying night, Heat Race wins went to Chad Kemenah, Paige Polyak, Rico Abreu, Dusty Zomer, and Greg Hodnett. The C-Feature was topped by Josh Baughman with the B-Feature going to Sammy Swindell. The night’s quick time was achieved by Daryn Pittman with a time of 14.791 seconds.

Following Wednesday’s action, Daryn Pittman sits atop the points with 485. Jamie Veal is second with 477, followed by Donny Schatz, Chad Kemenah, and Shane Stewart who rounds out the top-five in standings with 472 markers.

The 56th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores continues Thursday night! Tickets are still available! To order tickets, or find more information about the Nationals, visit


Locally-owned obstacle race moves to Adel for its third year

IMG_6438-XLThe Titan MOB obstacle race is entering its third year of challenging athletes with mud, ropes, ladders and walls, and this year at a new location: Nile Kinnick Farms on the north side of Adel. We caught up with Jamie and Josh, founders and directors of the race, who are recently married and live in Des Moines, making this a true locally-owned event. Held on August 20, this year the Titan MOB will again be supporting the local charity Children’s Cancer Connection.

What drew you two to take this on? 
Josh started participating in Spartan Races about five years ago and we had to travel to them. It got us thinking, since we both love being physically active, and we love the great outdoors, and there is no National OCR events like Spartan or Tough Mudder in the area, that Why Not Create one?!?! Des Moines has a great running base – tons of running enthusiast and the running community is great about supporting local events, so we thought “Why not create an obstacles course race for the community?”

IMG_6078-XLHow many obstacles in each of your events? (5K, 10K) 
It’s a new course this year as we’re moving to Adel. That said, we are in the process of laying out the course and figuring out logistically how to get a 5K and 10K route mapped out in our new location. We’re targeting 20 to 25 obstacles in the 5K, and 25 to 30-plus in the 10K. What differentiates the competitive vs. noncompetitive waves? 
 We are offering cash prizes (cash purse) for the competitive heat to the top three males and top three females. The Competitive requires you to complete the 10K route and you must attempt all obstacles. If you can’t complete an obstacle, you must complete the penalty at that obstacle before moving on. In the Non-Competitive heats, our “Titan FUN” heats, the participants have the option of completing either the 5K or the 10K route. And while we encourage participants to attempt every obstacle, they can certainly go around them if they are not comfortable with attempting it. Camaraderie is always amazing in these heats!

titanadWhat would you say are the “keystone” obstacles – those that just NEED to be a part of an obstacle race? 
Keystone obstacles for any race of this type would be walls, water and/or mud hazard, monkey bars, and an item that you either carry or drag. We add to this by having six different styles and sizes of walls that increase in height as you go along. We like to take advantage of the natural obstacles that exist due to the terrain of the property we use for the event. We feel the key to having a great course is having a good balance between obstacles and running. They need to be spread throughout the course very strategically so the participants don’t feel like they’re running as far, while also being mindful of bottle necks at obstacles that cause people to have to wait in line to attempt an obstacle.

How do you see the sport moving forward? IMG_7651-XL
I don’t think obstacle racing has reached its peak yet. Obstacle Course racing seems to cast a wide net – from those who perform competitively to those who enjoy having fun with friends getting muddy and challenging each other with the reward of a party like atmosphere at the end. This sport really has something for everyone.

Any big changes you want people to know about Titan MOB? 
I think the course at the new location in Adel is going to be amazing. The majority of it will be through the timber, which will prove to be much more challenging than prior years at Living History Farms. The larger obstacles will be visible to the spectators allowing them to cheer on their family and friends. We have also added more sponsors, more food vendors, and live music to make the atmosphere of this event that much more exciting.

You can find all the information you need at Josh and I really hope people come out and try this new venue. We think everyone will find it really challenging, beautiful and, of course, fun!

Shane Stewart doubles up at Knoxville

By Bryan Hulbert and Bill Wright

10636636_536420273198036_6743367231529101174_oKNOXVILLE, Iowa (August 7, 2016) – For the second year in a row, Shane Stewart was the man to beat at the Knoxville Raceway as the driver of the Larson-Marks No. 2 became the first driver to double up in the Capitani Classic, winning the fifth instalment of the Sunday spectacular presented by Kustom Concrete Pumping.

This was Shane’s ninth career 410cid score at the Knoxville Raceway. The victory was quite the way to kick off the team’s week in Iowa as Shane’s last performance at the Marion County half-mile with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series ended with parts flying.

“I tried to clean out the trailer the last time I was in town,” chuckled Shane in Victory Lane. “I’ve got to thank Justin [Marks] and Kyle [Larson]. We haven’t had the best of seasons but they’ve stuck with us and keep giving us everything we need to stay out here and keep doing our jobs.”

12381“We’ve changed several cars to try and make things faster and some nights, it looks like we on the upward swing, but then the valley comes and when you’re in the valley, you cherish moments like this because this sport can be very humbling.”

Shane extended his well wishes to Bryan Clauson and his family before wrapping up his post-race interview, which included Ralph Capitani’s nod as his pick to win the 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores.

Taking three shots at the start of the A-Feature, Shane took the lead on the first round, only to chase Kerry Madsen the next two attempts. One lap in, Brad Sweet and Aaron Reutzel came together to bring out the caution. Madsen would not be able to keep Shane Stewart at bay, as the lead changed hands on the third round.

Finding the tail of the field on Lap 8, Shane found the road blocked; allowing the No. 29 of Kerry Madsen to close in. There was a red on Lap 15 as Bronson Maeschen spun, collecting Danny Lasoski who was running fifth. The pair emerged unscathed.

On the start, Brian Brown dropped the Casey’s General Stores/FVP No. 21 to the deck with the run on Madsen, but the Keneric Racing No. 29 was able to power back to the silver position. With the laps starting to dwindle, Stewart again worked into traffic, but it was not enough for anyone to challenge as Shane crossed 3.459 seconds ahead of Kerry Madsen.

“In the long run, I actually stayed with him [Shane] and I thought well, I’m still in this thing, but on that last short run, he just ran off and left everybody,” said Madsen. “I’m just happy to hold onto second and happy for the guys after working so hard. It’s a good tune up I guess.”

Ending where he started, Brian Brown claimed the final podium step, “We’re right here where we need to be and to be on the podium with these two guys, I don’t care where you’re at, it’s a good night,” said Brown who also extended well wishes to the Clauson family.

Strong in the closing laps, Washington’s Jason Solwold advanced from 11th to fourth after battling several laps with Pennsylvania hot-shoe, Brent Marks, who ended his night fifth. Joey Saldana brought the Roth No. 83 across sixth with Oklahoma’s Daryn Pittman, who advanced from the B-Main, coming from 20th to seventh in the Great Clips No. 9. Dusty Zomer from 15th was eighth with Randy Hannagan ninth. The top-ten rounded out with Jamie Veal.

2688The night’s Pole Shuffle offered up a nice $2,000 bonus thanks to Greenland Homes. The first of seven rounds saw Dustin Selvage and Randy Hannagan taking two laps with Selvage taking the win. Making it to round three, Dustin fell to Brian Brown, who took his No. 21 through the sixth round before falling to Shane Stewart. Stewart advanced to the championship round with Kerry Madsen. It was Madsen who earned the pole in Sunday’s championship event.

Kerry Madsen set quick time in Group A, while Pittman was the fastest in Group B. Kerry Madsen, Paul McMahan, Zomer, Veal, Wayne Johnson and Lasoski won heats. Twin B-mains were topped by Chad Kemenah and Daryn Pittman.

It’s time for the “Granddaddy of Them All”, the 56th Annual 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores! Join us, starting this Wednesday, August 10 through Saturday, August 13. Tickets are still available! To order tickets, or find more information about the Nationals, visit!

5th Annual Kustom Concrete Pumping Capitani Classic Results

Time Trials Group A (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (14), 15.188; 2. 55L, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (4), 15.195; 3. 83, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (6), 15.224; 4. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (13), 15.247; 5. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (3), 15.281; 6. 5, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (10), 15.286; 7. 7, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (7), 15.310; 8. 19M, Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA (11), 15.312; 9. 18JS, Jason Solwold, Mount Vernon, WA (2), 15.380; 10. 10H, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (16), 15.394; 11. 7P, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (28), 15.440; 12. 82, Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD (23), 15.503; 13. 49K, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (22), 15.558; 14. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (1), 15.559; 15. 18W, Colby Copeland, Roseville, CA (24), 15.588; 16. 49X, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (19), 15.594; 17. 3H, James McFadden, Ormeau, QLD, Aust. (17), 15.619; 18. 27, Greg Hodnett, Spring Grove, PA (20), 15.667; 19. 4, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA (12), 15.680; 20. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (8), 15.692; 21. 47, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (18), 15.709; 22. 29W, Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA (27), 15.710; 23. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (21), 15.713; 24. 84, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (31), 15.717; 25. 3G, Brandon Wimmer, Fairmount, IN (30), 15.719; 26. 1B, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (15), 15.722; 27. 12H, Daniel Harding, Perth, WA, Aust. (29), 15.832; 28. 7J, Joe Swanson, Etna Green, IN (9), 15.914; 29. 88N, DJ Netto, Hanford, CA (26), 16.109; 30. 1X, Chad Trout, Dover, PA (25), 16.218; 31. 23, Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA (5), NT.

Time Trials Group B (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 9, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (25), 15.504; 2. 1H, Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH (5), 15.515; 3. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (1), 15.526; 4. 2S, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (13), 15.594; 5. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (9), 15.626; 6. 7W, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (24), 15.704; 7. 71M, Dave Blaney, Concord, NC (10), 15.710; 8. 11N, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (2), 15.720; 9. 2, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO (21), 15.757; 10. 71, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (18), 15.767; 11. 2C, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (8), 15.824; 12. 49, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (3), 15.840; 13. 93, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (23), 15.876; 14. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (26), 15.896; 15. 09, Matt Juhl, Sioux Falls, SD (19), 15.904; 16. 17, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (16), 15.917; 17. 18, Ian Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, Aust. (20), 15.932; 18. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (17), 15.943; 19. 70, Danny Holtgraver, Pittsburgh, PA (11), 15.981; 20. 56N, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (27), 16.001; 21. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (29), 16.012; 22. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (22), 16.055; 23. 71A, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (14), 16.120; 24. 10V, Rager Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (4), 16.136; 25. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (28), 16.142; 26. 68, Chase Johnson, Penngrove, CA (12), 16.148; 27. 10, Dakota Hendrickson, Omaha, NE (30), 16.176; 28. 22, Tony Shilling, Knoxville, IA (31), 16.227; 29. 28AM, Brian Paulus, Mooresville, IN (6), 16.246; 30. 28X, Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, MO (15), 16.496; 31. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (7), 16.704.

Group A Heat one (started), 8 Laps, 2:09.6: 1. Kerry Madsen (4); 2. Brian Brown (3); 3. Dustin Selvage (2) / 4. Chad Kemenah (1); 5. Danny Dietrich (8); 6. Brad Sweet (5); 7. Jon Agan (7); 8. Tim Shaffer (6); 9. Joe Swanson (10); 10. Brandon Wimmer (9) DNS – Trey Starks

Group A Heat two (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Paul McMahan (1); 2. James McFadden (6); 3. Brent Marks (2) / 4. Aaron Reutzel (4); 5. Brady Bacon (3); 6. Kraig Kinser (8); 7. DJ Netto (10); 8. Chris Martin (7); 9. Jac Haudenschild (9); 10. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5)

Group A Heat three (started), 8 Laps, 2:10.0: 1. Dusty Zomer (1); 2. Joey Saldana (4); 3. Jason Solwold (2) / 4. David Gravel (3); 5. Greg Hodnett (6); 6. Jeff Swindell (7); 7. Colby Copeland (5); 8. Daniel Harding (9); 9. Chad Trout (8); DNS – Scott Bogucki (8)

Group B Heat one (started), 8 Laps, 2:09.7: 1. Jamie Veal (1); 2. Shane Stewart (3); 3. Dave Blaney (2) / 4. Daryn Pittman (4); 5. Danny Holtgraver (7); 6. Sheldon Haudenschild (5); 7. Josh Baughman (6); 8. Mark Dobmeier (9); 9. Austin McCarl (8); 10. Tony Shilling (10); 11. Bob Weuve (11)

Group B Heat two (started), 8 Laps, 2:11.6: 1. Wayne Johnson (1); 2. Randy Hannagan (2); 3. Lynton Jeffrey (5) / 4. Bronson Maeschen (3); 5. Dale Blaney (4); 6. Ian Madsen (6); 7. Davey Heskin (7); 8. RJ Johnson (8); 9. Brian Paulus (10); 10. Chase Johnson (9)

Group B Heat three (started), 8 Laps, 2:10.6: 1. Danny Lasoski (2); 2. Josh Schneiderman (1); 3. Tasker Phillips (3) / 4. Matt Covington (4); 5. Matt Juhl (5); 6. Paige Polyak (6); 7. Terry McCarl (7); 8. Rager Phillips (8); 9. Jonathan Cornell (10)

Pole Shuffle Round one (started), 2 Laps, :32.8: 1. Dustin Selvage (1); 2. Randy Hannagan (2);

Pole Shuffle Round two (started), 2 Laps, :32.9: 1. Dustin Selvage (2); 2. Dave Blaney (1);

Pole Shuffle Round three (started), 2 Laps, :31.9 (NTR): 1. Brian Brown (1); 2. Dustin Selvage (2);

Pole Shuffle Round four (started), 2 Laps, :32.2: 1. Brian Brown (2); 2. Tasker Phillips (1);

Pole Shuffle Round five (started), 2 Laps, :32.2: 1. Brian Brown (2); 2. Joey Saldana (1);

Pole Shuffle Round six (started), 2 Laps, :32.3: 1. Shane Stewart (1); 2. Brian Brown (2);

Pole Shuffle Round seven (started), 2 Laps, :32.6: 1. Kerry Madsen (1); 2. Shane Stewart (2);

B main Group A (started), 12 Laps, 3:22.4: 1. Chad Kemenah (4); 2. Brad Sweet (5); 3. Aaron Reutzel (1) / 4. Brady Bacon (2); 5. David Gravel (3); 6. Greg Hodnett (9); 7. Tim Shaffer (6); 8. Kraig Kinser (12); 9. Colby Copeland (7); 10. Jeff Swindell (10); 11. Daniel Harding (14); 12. Chris Martin (11); 13. DJ Netto (16); 14. Chad Trout (15); 15. Joe Swanson (13); 16. Jon Agan (10) DNS – Sam Hafertepe Jr., Danny Dietrich, Brandon Wimmer, Scott Bogucki, Trey Starks, Jac Haudenschild

B main Group B (started), 12 Laps, 3:25.3: 1. Daryn Pittman (1); 2. Dale Blaney (2); 3. Bronson Maeschen (4) / 4. Matt Covington (3); 5. Josh Baughman (7); 6. Sheldon Haudenschild (5); 7. Ian Madsen (8); 8. Terry McCarl (12); 9. Austin McCarl (13); 10. Matt Juhl (6); 11. Davey Heskin (11); 12. Danny Holtgraver (10); 13. Mark Dobmeier (16); 14. Rager Phillips (15); 15. Brian Paulus (19); 16. Bob Weuve (20); 17. Chase Johnson (17); 18. Paige Polyak (9); 19. RJ Johnson (14); 20. Tony Shilling (18) DNS – Jonathan Cornell, Dakota Hendrickson

A main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Shane Stewart (2); 2. Kerry Madsen (1); 3. Brian Brown (3); 4. Jason Solwold (11); 5. Brent Marks (9); 6. Joey Saldana (4); 7. Daryn Pittman (20); 8. Dusty Zomer (15); 9. Randy Hannagan (8); 10. Jamie Veal (12); 11. Chad Kemenah (19); 12. Dale Blaney (22); 13. Josh Schneiderman (16); 14. Tasker Phillips (5); 15. Lynton Jeffrey (18); 16. James McFadden (17); 17. Dave Blaney (7); 18. Danny Lasoski (10); 19. Bronson Maeschen (24); 20. Paul McMahan (13); 21. Dustin Selvage (6); 22. Wayne Johnson (14); 23. Brad Sweet (21); 24. Aaron Reutzel (23). Lap Leaders: K. Madsen 1-2, Stewart 3-25. Hard-charger: Pittman.