DeVries Soars To Third IMCA Lady Eagle Crown

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IMCA Lady Eagle Champion Kaytee DeVries. (Jim Steffens Photo)
IMCA Lady Eagle Champion Kaytee DeVries. (Jim Steffens Photo)

SPENCER, Iowa – Before they left the house to go racing, Kaytee DeVries promised young daughter Nova she’d do her best to win a trophy for her that night.

DeVries did that on 19 occasions on the way to winning her third IMCA Lady Eagle crown.

A veteran of eight Mach-1 Sport Compact campaigns, DeVries became the winningest female driver in IMCA history, pushing her career total to 59 checkers while racing to track championships at Buena Vista Raceway and Kossuth County Speedway.

Despite the late start to the season, she made 51 starts at nine different tracks and posted wins in three different states.

“It’s a good feeling to know you won something that so many other people are going after,” said DeVries, from Spencer, Iowa, and also the Lady Eagle winner in 2015 and 2016. “Each year I learn new things racing and it’s a big accomplishment to achieve it again.”

“There’s a lot of good competition in this class and every season it gets better,” she continued. “I like going to different tracks and racing with so many of the people you see in national points.”

Fourth in the national standings, DeVries started the season with a pair of late-May feature wins at Algona. She’d top the podium four times in all at Kossuth County – taking home the tall fair night feature trophy, much to Nova’s delight – with another five wins at Clay County Speedway and half a dozen more at BVR.

Her 19 checkers were a single-season career best.

“A lot of our tracks are about 45 minutes from home and we usually get around 50 starts a season,” DeVries noted. “I didn’t think we’d get that many races in this year. We watched how tracks started opening for practice and then when we did start racing it was with no fans in the stands, which was really different.”

DeVries’ husband Jay totaled 79 wins in a Sport Compact before moving up to the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock division and earning his career first victory in his first start in that class this summer at Park Jefferson Speedway.

“I didn’t like racing when we first met,” admitted DeVries. “Jay has raced since 2005 and I didn’t start until 2010. Now I’m the one that says let’s go racing.”

More than 200 female drivers vied for the Lady Eagle crown this season.

Another former Lady Eagle winner, Tiffany Bittner of Norfolk, Neb., had led female drivers with 46 Hobby Stock wins from 2009-2016. She’d also won twice in an IMCA Sunoco Stock Car.