30th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals CPP AutoCross Series Recap

Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series racers from around the country celebrated Independence Day weekend by descending on Des Moines for the 30th Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals presented by BASF! This was the biggest event of the Goodguys season to date and not surprisingly brought out the largest contingent of AutoCross racers, with more than 100 contenders tearing around the track through the course of the weekend.

The action was nonstop on Friday and Saturday as racers carved corners and dodged cones, each of them gunning for the fastest times and a chance to run in Saturday’s Duel in Des Moines Shootout presented by Optima Batteries. Josh Leisinger sealed up the PRO-X class win in his Summit-sponsored ’64 Corvette, running a best time of 44.176 seconds. He was joined in the PRO-X portion of the Duel in Des Moines by teammate Roger Burman, Robby Unser in the Speedway Motors-sponsored ’70 Camaro, and Joe Green in his replica Shelby Cobra. Leisinger topped Green and Burman topped Unser in the first round, leading to a duel of Summit-sponsored Corvettes in the final. Leisinger didn’t waver and ran a 44.215 to Burman’s 44.807 to claim the shootout win.

Ron Scott Jr. pulled a similar double-up trick in the PRO class in his ’63 Corvette, running a 44.696 to win the class and meeting up with Jason Brady, Brendan King, and Rich Gregory in the shootout. Scott and King advanced past the first round and met in the final – Scott’s Corvette versus King’s ’71 Camaro. King ran a strong 45.192 in the final, but Scott pulled out his best run of the weekend – a 44.527 – to claim the shootout victory.

Chris Jacobs was another double-up winner in the Forgeline Street Machine class racing the CHRA ’87 Corvette. A 45.475-second run sealed his class win and put him in first place on the Street Machine shootout ladder, followed by Tim Molzen, Corey Carstensen, and Andrew Chenoweth. Jacobs met Carstensen’s ’87 Monte Carlo in the final round, where the 45.879 of Carstensen was not quite enough to top Jacobs’ 45.623.

The double dipping continued in the LMC Truck class, where Preston Folkstad raced his ’84 C10 to the class win with a 48.522-second top time, beat fellow LMC Truck class racer Jim Fields in the first round of the shootout, and met up with Tom Adjutant from the FiTech Challenger class in the final. Adjutant had run a best class time of 49.438 in his ’64 Acadian wagon and slowed a little to 49.908 in the final shootout run, which allowed Folkstad to win with a 49.338-second run.

Kyle Bohling rounded out the class winners, taking the FiTech Challenger class victory in his ’27 Track T with a best time of 47.546.

Nearly 40 racers came out to compete in the Wilwood All American Sunday class, making for an exciting day of late-model action. The class was won by Brendan King in his 2015 Z06 Corvette with a best time of 45.233, but King was defeated by Josh Jones’ 2002 Z06 Corvette in the second round of the All American Sunday Shootout. Jones faced off against Chad Gates in his 2018 Camaro SS in the final round of the shootout, where Jones ran a 47.695 and Gates ran a 46.378 to claim the shootout victory.

Photos by Damon Lee, Jason Lubken & Terry Lysak

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.