New Drivers Dominate Rock Island Grand Prix

The winds of change blew again at the storied Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix powered by Mediacom, and this year they brought rain as well. Saturday morning showers forced a change in the practice schedule but heat races and Sunday Feature races went on as scheduled for almost 300 race entries.

After dominating the past three years with multiple race wins, Cal Stewart and Tony Neilson combined for just one win in the 24th running of the World’s Largest Karting Street Race. That win went to Stewart over 33 drivers in the premier Travis DeVriendt Memorial Briggs & Stratton 206 Heavy race, held each year to encourage suicide awareness.

The drafting starts early behind Iowa’s Tony Neilson in the Travis DeVriendt Memorial Briggs & Stratton 206 Heavy race that kicked off the Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix (pic – Lori Biehl Photography, loribiehlphotography.com)

After that, checkered flags and coveted Rock trophies were handed to a new list of drivers who conquered The Rock in 2018. Maryland’s Rory Van De Steur made a statement as one of the nation’s best shifter drivers winning both the King of the Streets race and the 125cc Open Shifter battle.

Bermuda’s Scott “Skitchy” Barnes won his second Rock in Margay Ignite Senior edging out Jeff Dolian of Texas by 76 one-thousandths of a second at the line to became the 12th foreign driver to win at Rock Island and the first since British Columbia’s Remo Ruscitti in 2016.

Rory Van de Steur takes the checker flags from Tommy Argy III to win the King of the Streets (pic – Lori Biehl Photography, loribiehlphotography.com)

Quad-Cities area driver Morgan Schuler put on a solid effort and benefitted from some racing luck to capture the two Yamaha Super Can races. Quincy native Riley Scott also notched two wins, including one over his father, Jeff. The elder Scott won the Briggs & Stratton 206 Masters race, marking the second time a father-son duo had won at Rock Island, the first being Lance and Josh Lane in 2013.

The three Vintage classes were won by Dave Fisher (Open), Shawn Welte (Sportsman) and Ken Wooldridge (Mac).




Van der Steur, whose father Gunnar also raced in the 125cc Masters class, saw the race as a tune up for the SuperKarts USA SuperNationals this fall in Las Vegas. 25 drivers took the grid for the King of the Streets race sponsored by LeCont tires.

“It’s an honor to win here against national-level competition,” Van der Steur, told the local media. “Coming here last year really helped me get used to this track. I love racing here.”

Schuler was victorious when Neilson and Stewart both crashed fighting for the lead on the final lap in each race.

Rory Van de Steur gets the cape and crown from Roger Ruthhart after winning the King of the Streets 125cc Open Shifter race (pic – Lori Biehl Photography, loribiehlphotography.com)

“I’d rather be lucky than good,” Schuler told the local newspaper, “especially in street racing, where we know anything can happen. I’ve been leading races here before when the same thing has happened to me, so I guess this was the reward for running well and being in position. The break finally came around and went my way for a change.”

“I kind of have to pinch myself,” said Riley Scott. “Winning against guys like that, and winning on the same day as my dad makes me think I’m still dreaming.”

Other first-time RIGP winners included Jeff Scott, fellow Illinoisan Jacob Bolen who won the Margay Ignite Junior Shootout after it was ruled that three drivers passed the leader under a yellow flag, Tennessee’s Devon Smith-Harden in 80cc Shifter and Fisher, Wooldridge and Welte in Vintage.

Bus Stop corner: Drone’s eye view shows racing through Turn 2 (pic – Jordan Brandenburg)

Other winners were Michael Welsh in B&S 206 Heavy 2, Tim Goettsch in Yamaha Medium, Pete Vetter in Margay Ignite Masters and Lance Lane in 125cc Masters.

And just when you think racers can’t go any faster, two new lap speed records were set. Ashton Wheeler put down a 39.110 in Margay Ignite Junior and Pete Vetter clocked a 38.089 in Ignite Masters. The fastest lap of the weekend was by Austin Wilkins in the 125cc Open Shifter class with a 31.244, several ticks shy of the track record of 31.084 he put down in the 2016 King of the Streets race.

 

Travis DeVriendt Memorial Briggs & Stratton 206 Heavy 1
1, Cal Stewart, Concord, N.C.; 2, Jeff Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 3, Justin Wishard, Pecatonica, Ill.; 4, Connor Lund, Valparaiso, Ind.; 5, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 6, Riley Scott, Quincy, Ill; 7, Bowen Carlock, Saltillo, Miss.; 8, David Borntreger, Muscoda, Wis.; 9, Logan Smith, St. Charles, Mo.; 10, Allen Borntreger, Muscoda, Wis.; 11, Chad Peppers, Davenport, Iowa; 12, Scott Barnes, Bermuda; 13, Marlon Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 14, Jeremy Remick, unknown; 15, Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill.; 16, Jerry Miller, Blue Grass, Iowa; 17, Jason Crane, Quincy, Ill.; 18, Dillon Morley, Moline, Ill.; 19, Ken Williams, High Ridge, Mo.; 20, Kyle Myers, Bristol, Ind.; 21, Kenneth Bennett, unknown; 22, Michael Welsh, Bettendorf;, Iowa; 23, Derek Hastings, Columbus, Ohio; 24, Matt Pewe, Davenport, Iowa; 25, Robby Warner, Quincy, Ill.; 26, Joshua Skelley, Davenport, Iowa; 27, Gage Kemp, Bellevue, Iowa. Did not finish: Nelson Ullinskey, Kewanee, Ill.; Justin Johnson, Goshen, Ind.; Chad Patch, Davenport, Iowa; Russell Jolly, Fairfax, Va. Pole winner: Neilson. Fast lap: Wishard, 36.532.

80cc Shifter
1, Devon Smith-Harden, Nashville, Ind.; 2, Kyle Kennedy, St. Peters, Mo.; 3, Gage Rucker, Truxton, Mo.; 4, Tyler Sawyers, Harrison, Ohio; 5, Troy Allard, Bristol, Ind.; 6, Chris Worthington, Nashville, Tenn.; 7, Justin Laudick, Martinsville, Ind.; 8, Chase Allard, Bristol, Ind. Pole winner: Smith-Harden. Fast lap: Kennedy, 33.200.

Yamaha Super Can Heavy 1
1, Morgan Schuler, DeWitt, Iowa; 2, Gage Rucker, Truxton, Mo.; 3, Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa; 4, Shane Wells, Blue Grass, Iowa; 5, Troy Porter, Rock Island, Ill.; 6, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 7, Cal Stewart, Concord, N.C.; 8, Michael Dittmer, Davenport, Iowa; 9, Casey Jacobs, Colona, Ill.; 10, Carter Pease, East Moline, Ill.; 11, Tim Goettsch, Bettendorf, Iowa; 12, Michael Welsh, Bettendorf, Iowa; 13, Pete Vetter, Arnold, Mo.; 14, Don Newman, Coal Valley, Ill.; 15, Todd Bolton, Bowen, Ill. Pole winner: Dittmer. Fast lap: Schuler, 35.059.

Margay Ignite Junior Shootout
1, Jacob Bolen, Leland, Ill.; 2, Carter Pryor, Caseyville, Ill.; 3, Ashton Wheeler, Donahue, Iowa; 4, Reid Sweeny, St. Louis, Mo.; 5, Kayla Carlson, Princeton, Iowa; 6, Trevor Eggemeyer, Troy, Ill.; 7, Joey Kall, Mt. Prospect, Ill.; 8, Nicholas Mercer, Woburn, Mass. Pole winner: Wheeler. Fast lap: Wheeler, 39.110 (new record).

Briggs & Stratton 206cc Heavy 2
1, Michael Welsh, Bettendorf, Iowa; 2, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 3, Jeff Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 4, Cal Stewart, Concord, Ind.; 5, Justin Wishard, Pecatonica, Ill.; 6, Joshua Skelley, Davenport, Iowa; 7, Logan Smith, St. Charles, Mo.; 8, Bowen Carlock, Saltillo, Miss.; 9, Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill.; 10, Matt Pewe, Davenport, Iowa; 11, Chad Peppers, Davenport, Iowa; 12, Jerry Miller, Blue Grass, Iowa; 13, Mahlon Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 14, Brodie Myer, Leamington, Ont., Canada; 15, David Borntreger, Muscoda, Wis.; 16, Connor Lund, Valparaiso, Ind.; 17, Chad Patch, Davenport, Iowa; 18, Joseph Rapp, Bettendorf, Iowa; 19, Travis Allard, Bristol, Ind.; 20, Kyle Myers, Bristol, Ind.; 21, Justin Johnson, Goshen, Ind.; 22, Jason Crane, Quincy, Ill.; 23, Austin Dahlgren, Rock Island, Ill.; 24, Derek Hastings, Columbus, Ohio; 25, Allen Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 26, Dillon Morley, Moline, Ill.; 27, Robby Warner, Quincy, Ill.; 28, Nelson Ullinskey, Kewanee, Ill.; 29, Riley Scott, Quincy, Ill. 30, Gage Kemp, Bellevue, Iowa. Pole winner: Neilson. Fast lap: Wishard, 36.725.

King of the Streets 125cc Open Shifter
1, Rory van der Steur, Chesapeake City, Md..; 2, Austin Wilkins, Wylie, Tex.; 3, Josh Lane, Pingree Grove, Ill.; 4, Tim Hollowell, Lebanon, Ill.; 5, Scott Barnes, Bermuda; 6, Devon Smith-Harden, Nashville, Ind.; 7, Pierce Baldus, Shawnee Mission, Kan.; 8, Jason Campbell, Gilbert, Az.; 9, Cody Elliott, Lake Geneva, Wis.; 10, Tony Malito, Carmel, Ind.; 11, Zach Schiff, Columbus, Ohio; 12, Aaron Bromberek, Lemont, Ill.; 13, Tyler Fling, Decatur, Ill.; 14, Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill.; 15, Jason Ewers, Fishers, Ind.; 16, Brian Chatfield, Brooklyn, N.Y.; 17, Christopher Rock, Kerkonkson, N.Y.; 18, Joe Ruch, McCordsville, Ind.; 19, Tim Hannon, Cuddebackville, N.Y.; 20, Lance Lane, Algonquin, Ill.; 21, Josh Martin, Tulsa, Okla.; 22, Chad Lee, Hanceville, Ala.; 23, Tyler Sawyers, Harrison, Ohio; 24, Alex Conlin, unknown. Pole winner: R. van der Steur. Fast lap: Wilkins, 31.387.

Yamaha Super Can Heavy 1
1, Morgan Schuler, DeWitt, Iowa; 2, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 3, Todd Bolton, Bowen, Ill; 4, Gage Rucker, Truxton, Mo.; 5, Don Newman, Coal Valley, Ill.; 6, Shane Wells, Blue Grass, Iowa; 7, Carter Pease, East Moline, Ill.; 8, Cal Stewart, Concord, N.C.; 9, Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa; 10, Michael Welsh, Davenport, Iowa; 11, Troy Porter, Rock Island, Ill.; 12, Tim Goettsch, Bettendorf, Iowa. Pole winner: Neilson. Fast lap: Stewart, 35.125.

Margay Ignite Senior Shootout
1, Scott Barnes, Bermuda; 2, Jeffrey Dolian, Plano, Tex.; 3, Pete Vetter, Arnold, Mo.; 4, Gage Kemp, Bellevue, Iowa; 5, Keith Scharf, Kirkwood, Mo.; 6, Hunter Richardson, Edwardsville, Ill.; 7, Evan Stamer, Glen Carbon, Ill.; 8, Gage Rucker, Truxton, Mo.; 9, Matt Chubb, St. Charles, Mo.; 10, Ken Williams, High Ridge, Mo.; 11, Tyler Jasperson, Rosemont, Ill.; 12, Brandin Moore, Alton, Ill.; 13, Josiah Tracy, Whitesboro, Tex.; 14, Justin Vancil, Quincy, Ill.; 15, Michael Scharf, St. Louis, Mo.; 16, Greg Mefford, Glen Carbon, Ill.; 17, Peter Schaefer, Moline, Ill.; 18, Scott Banner, Brockport, N.Y.; 19, Max Geitzenauer, Anamosa, Iowa; 20, Colin O’Donnell, Shawnee Mission, Kan.; 21, Austin Dahlgren, Rock Island, Ill.; 22, Ron Tipton, Navarre, Fla.; 23, Rockwell Secrest, St. Charles, Mo.; 24, Colin Predith, Grover, Mo.; 25, James Newbold, St. Louis, Mo.; 26, Robert Roman, Quincy, Ill. Pole winner: Vetter. Fast lap: Vetter, 38.205.

Briggs & Stratton 206cc Masters
1, Jeff Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 2, Michael Welsh, Bettendorf, Iowa; 3, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 4, Robby Warner, Quincy, Ill.; 5, Jason Crane, Quincy, Ill.; 6, Jerry Miller, Blue Grass, Iowa; 7, Travis Allard, Bristol, Ind.; 8, Ken Williams, High Ridge, Mo.; 9, David Cole, Grand Rapids, Mich.; 10, Ken Bratsch, Bettendorf, Iowa; 11, Mark Cerk, unknown; 12, Kenneth Bennett, White Pigeon, Mich.; 13, Robert Bromberek, Lemont, Ill.; 14, Casey Newmarch, Long Grove, Iowa; 15, Shawn Welte, Onalaska, Wis.; 16, Brandon Kopke, Davenport, Iowa. Pole winner: Neilson. Fast lap: Welsh, 36.880.

Yamaha Super Can Medium
1, Tim Goettsch, Bettendorf, Iowa; 2, Cal Stewart, Concord, N.C.; 3, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 4, Aaron Bromberek, Lemont, Ill.; 5, Carter Pease, East Moline, Ill.; 6, Hunter Richardson, Edwardsville, Ill.; 7, Todd Bolton, Bowen, Ill.; 8, Don Newman, Coal Valley, Ill.; 9. Shane Wells, Blue Grass, Iowa; 10, Kristopher Porter, Rock Island, Ill.; 11, Dustin Blomme, Eldridge, Iowa; 12, Morgan Schuler, DeWitt, Iowa; 13, Michael Welsh, Davenport, Iowa. Pole winner: Bromberek. Fast lap: Neilson, 34.789.

Margay Ignite Masters Shootout
1, Pete Vetter, Arnold, Mo.; 2, Jeffrey Dolian, Plano, Tex.; 3, Keith Scharf, Kirkwood, Mo.; 4, Greg Jasperson, Rosemont, Ill.; 5, Colin Predith, Grover, Mo.; 6, Ken Williams, High Ridge, Mo.; 7, Scott Geitzenauer, Anamosa, Iowa; 8, Brandin Moore, Alton, Ill.; 9, Greg Mefford, Glen Carbon, Ill.; 10, Brett Diercks, Bettendorf, Iowa; 11, Ron Tipton, Navarre, Fla.; 12, James Newbold, St. Louis, Mo.; 13, Peter Schaefer, Moline, Ill.; 14, Ken Bratsch, Bettendorf, Ill.; 15, Robert Roman, Quincy, Ill.; 16, Scott Barnes, Bermuda. Pole winner: Scharf. Fast lap: Vetter, 38.089 (new record).

Briggs & Stratton 206cc Medium 1
1, Riley Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 2, Cal Stewart, Concord, N.C.; 3, Jeff Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 4, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 5, Justin Wishard, Pecatonica, Ill.; 6, Gage Kemp, Bellevue, Iowa; 7, Michael Welsh, Bettendorf, Iowa; 8, Dillon Morley, Moline, Ill.; 9, Evan Stamer, Glen Carbon, Ill.; 10, Jeremy Remick, unknown; 11, Scott Barnes, Bermuda; 12, Brodie Myer, Leamington, Ont., Canada; 13, Marvin Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 14, Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill.; 15, Gage Rucker, Truxton, Mo.; 16, Mahlon Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 17, Allen Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 18, Chris Rossiter, Marseilles, Ill.; 19, Joseph Rapp, Bettendorf, Iowa; 20, Russell Jolly, Fairfax, Va.; 21, Nathan Rossiter, Marseilles, Ill.; 22, Joshua Skelley, Davenport, Iowa; 23, Matt Pewe, Davenport, Iowa; 24, Aimee Lohfink, Oconto Falls, Wis.; 25, Robby Warner, Quincy, Ill. Pole winner: Scott. Fast lap: Neilson, 36.281

125cc Shifter Masters
1, Lance Lane, Algonquin, Ill.; 2, Jason Ewers, Fishers, Ind.; 3, Christopher Rock, Kerhonkson, N.Y.; 4, Chad Lee, Hanceville, Ala.; 5, Terry Riggins, Anderson, Ind.; 6, Tim Sawyers, Harrison, Ohio; 7, Jason Campbell, Gilbert, Ariz.; 8, Jeff McClellan, Indianapolis, Ind.; 9, A.J. Noud, Avon, Ind.; 10, Tim Hannen, Cuddebackville, N.Y.; 12, Josh Martin, Tulsa, Okla. Pole winner: Noud. Fast lap: Campbell, 32.053.

Vintage
OPEN: 1, Dave Fisher, Rock Island, Ill.; 2, Aaron Kruger, Lincoln, Neb.; 3, J.T. Torres, Bettendorf, Iowa; 4, John Schmidt, Oswego, Ill.; 5, Jessie Hicks, Moline. SPORTSMAN: 1, Shawn Welte, Onalaska, Wis.; 2, Kirk Gustafson, Moline, Ill. MAC: Ken Wooldridge, Urbana, Ill.; 2, Steve Welte, Onalaska, Wis.; 3, Randy Duncalf, Taylor Ridge; Fast lap: Fisher, 37.516.

Briggs & Stratton 206cc Medium 2
1, Riley Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 2, Jeff Scott, Quincy, Ill.; 3, Tony Neilson, Delmar, Iowa; 4, Cal Stewart, Concord, N.C.; 5, Joshua Skelley, Davenport, Iowa; 6, Justin Wishard, Pecatonica, Ill.; 7, Evan Stamer, unknown; 8, Marvin Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 9, Chris Rossiter, Marseilles, Ill.; 10, Mahlon Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 11, Aaron Snyder, North Aurora, Ill.; 12, Matt Pewe, Davenport, Iowa; 13, Nathan Rossiter, Marseilles, Ill.; 14, Gage Kemp, Bellevue, Iowa; 15, Allen Borntreger, Elroy, Wis.; 16, Dillon Morley, Moline, Ill.; 17, Michael Welsh, Bettendorf; 18, Gage Rucker, Truxton, Mo. Pole winner: Neilson. Fast lap: Skelley, 36.203.

125cc Open Shifter
1, Rory van der Steur, Chesapeake City, Md.; 2, Austin Wilkins, Wylie, Tex.; 3, Tim Hollowell, Lebanon, Ill.; 4, Scott Barnes, Bermuda; 5, Devon Smith-Harden, Nashville, Ind.; 6, Alex Conlin, unknown; 7, Kyle Kennedy, St. Peters, Mo.; 8, Tyler Fling, Decatur, Ill.; 9, Cody Elliott, Lake Geneva, Wis.; 10, Pierce Baldus, Shawnee Mission, Kan.; 11, Aaron Bromberek, Lemont, Ill.; 12, Brian Chatfield, Brooklyn, N.Y.; 13, Josh Lane, Pingree Grove, Ill. Pole winner: R. van der Steur. Fast lap: Wilkins, 31.244.

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