Cline, Hovey take racing titles
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 2:10 AM
Adam Cline of Decorah (USRA Hobby Stocks) and Troy Hovey of Castalia (USRA B-Mods) took home the winner's share of the national points fund money for their efforts during the 2013 campaign.
The only class to never have a repeat champion is the USRA Hobby Stock division, and that will remain the same going into the 2014 season as Cline snagged his first USRA Hobby Stock national championship in 2013.
In his 25 starts at the Upper Iowa Speedway and Fayette County Speedway in West Union, the youngster won 12 feature races. He finished outside the top eight in just two main events.
Despite winning the track championship at both facilities, fellow Decorah driver Steve Larson had to settle for second in the final USRA Hobby Stock national points. Steve Holthaus of Cresco was third, Decorah's Josh Ludeking finished fourth and Steven Dwyer of La Crosse, Wis., took the fifth spot.
In the closest points battle ever for a USRA national championship, the battle for the USRA B-Mod title literally came down to the last lap of the last race on the last night for points.
Hovey led the charge for most of the last half of the season, but Brad Smith of Belton, Kan., rode two wins and a runner-up finish in the first week of October to jump into the top spot.
Smith won the main event on a Thursday night at the Lakeside Speedway for his 14th win of the season while Hovey charged from the 17th starting spot to finish second behind him. Both drivers were in the line-up Saturday night at the Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo., where Smith rolled to another win.
Hovey returned to Northern Iowa for a pair of shows the next weekend. He topped a strong field Friday, Oct. 11, at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis., and then settled for a runner-up finish on Saturday night during the Iron Man Challenge finale at the Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah.
It was enough to propel Hovey back into the points lead with a deficit that Smith could not overcome the following weekend. In the end, Hovey claimed the crown by a single point over Smith. Hovey finished out the 2013 season with 17 main event wins, including two Iron Man Challenge trophies.