It was a rare appearance at the Deer Creek Speedway for Mitch Hovden and Kris Jackson on Saturday, but they both ended the night by planting their feet in familiar territory.
Hovden, the five-time and defending national champion in his division presented by Medieval Chassis, bested a 29-strong field of American Racer USRA Stock Cars on the high banks of ‘The Creek’ to claim victory in the opening feature for the Arnold Motor Supply Iron Man Challenge.
After taking the lead initially, Hovden relinquished the top spot to Lynn Panos on the third lap. Panos then gave way two laps later to 2016 Iron Man titlist Kyle Falck before Hovden regained command for good on lap 8.
Defending Iron Man champion Dillon Anderson closed in on Hovden in the closing laps but had to settle for the runner-up paycheck while Hovden beat him to the finish line by a little more than a half-second.
Ames, Iowa’s Pat Graham managed to get by Falck for third to thwart a podium sweep by the Decorah, Iowa, drivers while Jake Lampert of Caledonia, Minn., completed the top five.