By Bill Martin

The home track of the IMCA Modified division hosts opening night for the Arnold Motor Supply Hawkeye Dirt Tour.

IMCA Modifieds race for $1,000 to win and a minimum of $150 to start their Monday, May 29 main event at Benton County Speedway.

The Memorial Day program is a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier and marks the sixth time in the tour’s eight-year history that the opening night show was held in Vinton, site of the first-ever IMCA Modified event in 1979.

New tour title sponsor Arnold Motor Supply provides a portion of $5,650 point funds to be paid each of the next three seasons. The champion takes home $1,000 along with a Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite Pellet Grill, valued at $700, courtesy of the Spencer-based auto parts supplier.

Top 10 point fund amounts will be paid in their entirety to drivers with perfect tour attendance and also include $900 for second, $800 for third, $700 for fourth, $600 for fifth, $500 for sixth, $400 for seventh, $300 for eighth, $250 for ninth and $200 for 10th. The tour champion must also attend the national banquet in November to receive their full point fund share and grill.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. for the 2017 lidlifter and racing starts at 6 p.m. Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and free for five and under. Pit passes are $25.

Also running are IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional and All-Star Performance State, but no track points will be awarded in the sanctioned divisions.

Nine HDT dates, all paying a minimum of $1,000 to win, are on this year’s tour schedule and are qualifying events for 2017 or 2018 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballots.

Joel Rust of Grundy Center was the opening night feature winner last year. Other winners at Vinton include Vern Jackson of Waterloo, Jeff Waterman of Quincy, Ill., Cay­den Carter of Oskaloosa, Richie Gustin of Gilman and Jason Wolla of Ray, N.D.

The Sunday, May 28 Prelude special at Benton County boasts a $2,000 top prize and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational berth for the Modifieds.

Track points will be awarded in all divisions and racing gets underway at 6 p.m.

More information is available from promoter Mick Trier at 515 201-5526 or the IMCA home office at 319 472-2201.

2016 Hawkeye Dirt Tour top 20 point standings – 1. Chris Abelson, Sioux City, 342; 2. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, 326; 3. Joel Rust, Grundy Center, 320; 4. Corey Dripps, Reinbeck, 306; 5. Kyle Brown, Madrid, 264; 6. Mark Elliott, Webster City, 222; 7. Richie Gustin, Gilman, 196; 8. Brian Irvine, Oelwein, 160; 9. Cody Laney, Torrance, Calif., 155; 10. Tim Ward, Harcourt, 153; 11. Ja­cob Murray, Hartford, 152; 12. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, 149; 13. David Brown, Kellogg, 145; 14. Justin Kay, Wheatland, 137; 15. Kurt Kile, Nichols, and Ryan Maitland, Waterloo, both 127; 17. Jesse Hoeft, Forest City, and Ethan Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif., both 123; 19. Ryan Ruter, Kana­wha, 110; 20. Dakota Hayden, Wilton, 108.