Summer’s Last Stand with the I.W.A.

(Webster, Wisconsin – August 27, 2015) – It’s cool enough to warrant hoodies at night, the sun is setting earlier and the International Watercross Association just held the last race of their season this past weekend; all signs that summer is drawing to a close. For the first time, the circuit traveled to a new venue in Rock Valley, Iowa for a Friday – Saturday race hosted in conjunction with the Sioux Valley Snowmobile Club.

Photo by Eric Sherman Images
Photo by Eric Sherman Images

The course at the Rivers Bend Campground wasn’t the weekend’s only new feature. The drag racing show ran through completion on Friday afternoon, with 2015 championship points champs being named. In his rookie season, Ryan Erickson clenched the top points position in 600 Drags. With that and his fresh Grantsburg World Championship under his belt, Erickson is one to keep an eye on.

In a similar manner, Krista Maki-Zurn wrapped up her perfect season, winning in the 800 Drags class literally every time she hit the water this season and taking the points championship in the process. When the fastest sleds in the circuit took to the course, clocking speeds over 70 miles per hour, it was Ryan Keith who flew past his competition to earn his first feature win of the year in the Mod Drag class.

16 drivers signed up to compete in Friday evening’s head-to-head Rivers Bend Shootout, with the winner taking the glory and a nice stack of cash. After sweeping nearly every race this season, including ones that earned him two World Championship titles, it came as no surprise that Brian McCurdy, Jr. was the last man standing as the sun set over the course.

Brian McCurdy, Jr. - Photo by Eric Sherman Images
Brian McCurdy, Jr. – Photo by Eric Sherman Images

As the wind whipped through the surrounding corn fields, racers geared up and fans lined the shores for a full day of oval racing Saturday. Nick Matilla, another rookie in the circuit, has been a top competitor all season. Patience paid off in the Semi Pro Stock feature as he ran a close, smart race and took the lead when the front runner went down. His first feature win earned him enough points to also bump him into the top position in the points race.

Like his teammate Maki-Zurn, Joe Swanson was a driver to beat all season but was never once bested. He continued his winning streak last weekend to take the checkered flag and the title of Semi Pro Open points champ. Having won the world championship in Grantsburg, Swanson will have to make the move up to Pro Open next season.

In the Pro Ranks, Kyle Carpenter outrode the field to add another win to his list of season accomplishments, which now also includes a points championship in the Pro Stock class. Untouchable all year, Brian McCurdy, Jr. notched another hole in his win belt as he rocketed around the course in the Pro Open final, nearly lapping back of the pack drivers by the end of the 8 lap feature. If you haven’t already sensed a trend, he also won the points championship title in his class.

Rachel O'Brien - Photo by Eric Sherman Images
Rachel O’Brien – Photo by Eric Sherman Images

Keep an eye on www.iwaracing.com for the release of the 2016 schedule and to check out full year-end points standings.

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