BOONE, Iowa – Inches made the difference when Donavon Smith won the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals Stock Car championship in 2009.
That modest margin of victory was the same in Wednesday night’s qualifying feature at Boone Speedway.
Electronic timing showed Smith beat Dan Mackenthun to the checkers by all of .043 of a second in the race for the pole start in Saturday’s main event. Wayne Gifford was third, a similar fraction of a second behind Mackenthun.
Smith had started the 25-lapper from the 16th spot, Mackenthun from 11th.
The rest of the top eight finishers advancing to Saturday’s inside row are Casey Werkmeister, Trent Murphy, Jason Ward, Jason DeShaw and Abe Huls.
Werkmeister led the first 17 circuits. Both Gifford and Smith drove by following a lap 18 restart. Two-time Super Nationals champion Jeff Anderson had started on the pole, ran in the top four most of the way and, along with Damon Murty, got caught up and slowed down in traffic on lap 21.
Gifford was a half a car length ahead of Smith taking the white flag. The finish was so close that just a second separated first from fifth place.
Smith will start his sixth straight main event and Murphy his fifth consecutive feature on Saturday night. Mackenthun and Ward are now three-time qualifiers.
Gifford, Werkmeister, DeShaw and Huls all are in the Stock Car show for the first time. Huls is the first driver from Illinois to qualify for the Stock Car main at Super Nationals.