There’s No Stopping Levon Van Der Geest
Levon Van Der Geest of Merrill, Wisconsin, won the 30 lap feature for the Midwest Truck Series picking up his first ever win at Madison.
Dave Edwards and Chester Ace brought the field to the green flag. Edwards and Ace ran side by side for the lead with Ace taking a slight advantage on the outside with Dale Nottestad grabbing the third spot ahead of Joe Valento.
On lap 5 Ace drifted up the track coming out of turn four allowing Edwards to try to get under the leader, but he was unable to make the pass. One lap later it was three wide for the lead coming out of turn four which led to several trucks getting together coming out of turn one, bringing out the caution and sending Valento and Edwards to the back of the field.
Ace chose the outside for the restart with Nottestad taking the inside position with Jeff Holtz and Kevin Knuese in the second row. The leaders ran side by side until lap 10 when Ace took the lead, but Knuese powered his way up to second and then took the lead on lap 11. But speedy Levon Van Der Geest was on the move as he pulled to the inside of Ace to take second on lap 12. Two laps later as Knuese was opening up a five truck length lead, Ace made contact with the front stretch wall ending his night, but the race stayed green.
A spin on lap 16 brought out the caution flag and took away Knuese’s advantage. On the restart Knuese led the field back to the green from the outside with Van Der Geest running strong on the inside and Nottestad and Holtz racing side by side for third. On lap 18 VanDerGeest made his move coming out of turn four to take the lead and open up a two length lead. But a multi-truck incident in turn one would bring out the caution flag on lap 20 and end the night for James Swan and Holtz.
Van Der Geest and Knuese brought the field back to green. VanDerGeest quickly jumped out to a two truck length lead over Knuese with Rusty Hansen a distant third. With five laps to go the advantage for the leader was five truck lengths and growing as the top three pulled away from the field while Kenny Joosten and Jeff Watters were fighting it out for fourth.
But there was no stopping LeVon Van Der Geest who cruised to victory lane followed by Knuese, Hansen, Watters, and Joosten.
“This feels amazing because we barely made it out here for the feature after problems earlier in the night,” said Van Der Geest. He also recalled the roller coaster ride at Madison for him in 2019 that began back in May when his truck suffered heavy damage in the season opener.
Fast qualifier was Van Der Geest with a trip of 18.750 (96.000 mph). AJ Kreager, Alex Ertmann, and Joe Valento won the 8 lap heat races.