The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Local Man Grand Marshal Of NASCAR Race

by Dessa Rodeffer,  Quill Publisher

Newton, Iowa - At the Iowa Speedway September 15th, a local Biggsville man, and leader in the Ethanol World, Raymond Defenbaugh, CEO of Big River Resources, West Burlington, IA, was honored as Grand Marshal of the final race of the season of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Saturday's race had several interesting features.

One was that they allowed the general public to listen to the instructions given to the drivers.

Mr. Defenbaugh was a special guest at the Driver's Meeting where owners were introduced and welcomes extended to the drivers and special guests, before NASCAR rules for the race were given to the drivers. The meeting is a required event for drivers.

Another interesting feature at Newton was the Iowa Speedway Ministries which the general public was again, invited to stay for. During a short vesper service, drivers were invited to come forward and give their testimony, or thoughts.

Brian Silas, 25, driving the #99 car, from Stuart, Florida, came forward to share one of his favorite passages from the Bible in II Timothy 4:7 NIV: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Brian's best finish was 16th at Daytona in 2009 with career winnings is $190,840 according to the NASCAR program.

Jennifer Jo Cobb of Kansas City, KS came to the podium with her favorite verse, which was also in II Timothy.

She referred to all the failures and trials she has gone through in racing and said she feels it is not about winning as a woman, but it's about facing her fears and finishing the course. Her father at 65, still races and is an inspiration she said, and she hopes that someone will see how hard she tries and works and a sponsor will pick her up.

II Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Jennifer is 39 with her best finish 6th at Daytona in 2011. Her career winnings are $430,373 according to the Iowa Speedway program.

At 5:00 p.m. racers took the track for their qualifying laps for positions.

At 7:00 p.m. introductions of the track owners, the Grand Marshal, and sponsors were made before each of the NASCAR drivers came on stage and were introduced.

Owner, Rusty Wallace will be inducted into the hall of fame in February of 2013, it was announced.

At 7:30 the National Anthem was sung and the jets flew over, and Grand Marshal Ray Defenbaugh, gave the traditional "Drivers Start Your Engines" to start the race off.

Defenbaugh, who rode around in the shiny black convertible pace car for two laps preceding the checkered flag start, said, it was quite an interesting experience riding around in the pace car watching from the unique position of the track. The fans became excited as the racing engines grew louder and took to the track. The combination of the cheering crowd and the loud engine noise was quite a way to begin a race."

Ryan Blaney in his #29 RAM, gained $37,600 for the night's first place win in the 175 mile 200 lap race at age 18, the youngest driver to win the series.

2. Ty Dillon, age 20, in his #3 Chevrolet truck, gained $25,065 for the night's second place win. He is the grandson of and driver for Richard Childress, Childress said if he had one more round to go, he could have come in first. There was only a .168 second difference.

Sponsors of the evening's race was Growth Energy/American Ethanol and HyVee Food Chain. Owners of the Newton Track are Stanley Clemens, Rusty Wallace (also the designer of the track), Conrad Clemens and his two sons.

The traditional - "Drivers, Start Your Engines!" - was given by last week's Grand Marshal Ray Defenbaugh, Biggsville, at the final race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in Newton, IA Friday. Ray was escorted throughout the day with full access to the NASCAR racing world at the Iowa Speedway, and visited with top drivers and owners.