This past weekend was a great weekend for Eagle Watching at the Versailles State Park.A Bald eagle adult and eaglet were photographed by Natalie Brinson.(Photographs made with a telephoto lens from a long distance.)
VINTON, Iowa – Opening night brings the XSAN Hawkeye Dirt Tour back to the first track the IMCA Modified division called home. The Tuesday, May 13 IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature at Benton County Speedway pays $1,000 to win, a minimum of $150 to start, and is a qualifying event for the 2014 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. Previous tour winners at Vinton include Vern Jackson of Waterloo in 2011, Jeff Waterman of Quincy, Ill., in 2012 and Cayden Carter of Oskaloosa last May.All three will be back in town for opening night, as part of a strong contingent of local competitors and drivers from Iowa and Illinois chasing series points.Defending series champion Ronn Lauritzen of Jesup said he’d be at Vinton to begin his quest for back-to-back crowns.Among the many other drivers also confirmed for the opener are 2013 runner-up Mike Van Genderen of Newton, third in points and 2011 series champion Mark Elliott of Webster City, defending track champion Joe Docekal of Dysart, and former track champions Scott Hogan of Vinton, Troy Cordes of Dunkerton and J.D. Auringer of Waterloo.Pit gates and the grandstand will open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 6:30 p.m. and racing begins at 7 p.m.Modifieds chase IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Belleville Motorsports North Central Region, Allstar Performance State and special series points. Completing the program are IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, vying for national, regional and state points. Spectator admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-10 and free for five and under. Pit passes are $25. More information about the Hawkeye Dirt Tour opener is available from promoter Mick Trier at 515 201-5526 or by calling the IMCA home office at 319 472-2201.In addition to first-year title sponsor XSAN of Silver Bay, Minn., contingency award sponsors for the fifth annual Hawkeye Dirt Tour include Aero Race Wheels of Estherville; Bob Harris Enterprises of Roland; Brinn Transmissions of Bay City, Mich.; BSB Manufacturing of Wellington, Kan.; CPD Racing Tools of Fort Dodge; Dakota Track Side of Minot, N.D.; Design 500 Racewear of Tukwila, Wash.; HJC Motorsports of Cerritos, Calif.; Howards Cams of Oshkosh, Wis.; Jerovetz Shock Service of Suamico, Wis.; KSE Racing Products of White House, Tenn.; Moser Engineering of Portland, Ind.; Out-Pace Racing Products of Freeport, Ill.; R2C Performance Products of Forest Park, Ill.; Schoenfeld Headers of Van Buren, Ark.; Seals-It of Ellington, Conn.; and Wehrs Machine of Bangor, Wis.