Kody Vanderwal Bests The Rest In Challenge Cup XLVI

Racecars and fireworks lit up the night for the 46th running of Colorado National Speedway’s Challenge Cup on August 14, 2021.

After a firework display to celebrate the night’s special event, the Super Late Models headed out for the 150-lap Challenge Cup XLVI. Polesitter #5, Cody Dempster, led the first lap, but lost it to the #43, Kody Vanderwal, only a few laps later. Vanderwal, #43, settled into a comfortable lead while the #22 of Chris Eggleston took second place.

On Lap 19, a single car spun in Turn Two, the #02 of Steve Thompson. Everyone got around him safely, and the track stayed green. Vanderwal in the #43 continued to lead. On Lap 73, just before the halfway point, another car went for a spin, the #95 of Chris Muhler. Vanderwal was credited with the lead at the halfway point, earning him a $1,000 check from Coca-Cola.

A planned seven-minute break was called at the halfway point. Crews were allowed to enter the racetrack to check tire pressures and discuss the condition of their cars with their drivers. A fan from the stands was invited to roll a giant die to determine the fate of the #43 of Vanderwal at the race’s halfway “invert.” A four was rolled, indicating Vanderwal would restart in the fourth position.

The #32, Brett Yackey, was expected to lead the field back to green after the invert. However, Yackey’s #32 racecar experienced an issue during the caution laps and needed to be pushed back into the pits. This left the first position to #5, Cody Dempster. Dempster’s #5 and Chris Eggleston’s #22 dueled for the lead while the #43 of Vanderwal fought #11, Darren Robertson, for the third position.

Eventually Vanderwal caught Dempster’s #5 and nudged him out of the way, earning the second position. Vanderwal set his sights on Eggleston for the race lead. The field was slowed for the second time as the #02 of Steve Thompson found trouble in Turn Three. Vanderwal restarted in first position and easily maintained the lead until another caution was thrown with 14 laps to go for debris. Nobody could challenge Vanderwal for the race lead as the laps wound down and the #43 machine ultimately took home the checkered flag—and another $5,000—for his efforts.

QUICK TIME: #5 Cody Dempster, 15.661
FEATURE: #43 Kody Vanderwal


2021 Kody Vanderwal
2020 Eddie Vecchiarelli
2019 Preston Peltier
2018 Brett Yackey
2017 Preston Peltier
2016 Kyle Ray
2015 Dominic Ursetta
2014 Dominic Ursetta
2013 Darren Robertson
2012 Adam Deines
2011 Chris Eggleston
2010 Dan Savage
2009 Chris Eggleston
2008 Ronnie Hults
2007 PJ Mattorano
2006 Scotty Backman
2005 Darren Crocker
2004 Jerry Robertson
2003 Rick Carelli
2002 Jerry Robertson
2001 Dave Finley
2000 Roger Avants
1999 MK Kanke
1998 Joe Bellm
1997 Richard Burton
1996 Jerry Robertson
1995 Rick Carelli
1994 Rick Carelli
1993 Bruce Yackey
1992 Steve Carlson
1991 Tom Carlson
1990 Fred Campbell
1989 Rick Carelli
1988 Terry Phillips
1987 Terry Phillips
1986 Larry Phillips
1985 Larry Phillips
1984 Larry Phillips
1983 Butch Speicher
1982 Larry Phillips
1981 Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa
1980 Odie Robertson, Littleton, Colorado
1979 “Wild Bill” Liebig, Rapid City, South Dakota
1978 Clayton Peterson Jr., Grand Island, Nebraska
1977 Terry Bivins, Kansas City
1976 Tommy Bartolomew, Waterloo, Iowa
1975 Odie Robertson, Littleton, Colorado

CJ Wilson in the #9 machine led the Grand American Modifieds to green for their 30-lap feature, followed closely by the #6, Scotty Scott. It didn’t take long for Scott’s #6 to find the race lead. He maintained the first position until Wilson’s #9 took it over with 14 laps left. However, field was slowed for a caution soon after. The #41 machine of Eric Vos had gone sideways by himself in Turn Four. The wreckage was cleared, and the race resumed with 13 laps to go.

Scotty Scott, #6, found himself in the lead shortly after the restart with Wilson’s #9 hot on his tail. The #9 lost speed, though, and was passed by the #13 of Darin Clarke for second place. Clarke’s #13 went after Scotty Scott’s #6, but he couldn’t pull it off. Scotty Scott was crowned the winner on his second start in the Grand American Modified series.

QUICK TIME: #13 Darin Clark, 16.859
DASH: #2 Tim Douglas
FAST DASH: #9 CJ Wilson
FEATURE: #6 Scotty Scott

The Super Stocks were first to take to the track for their 25-lap feature event. The #19 of Shelby Cortese led the 22-car field to green but quickly lost the lead to Tim Coate’s #86. Cortese, #19, had some serious speed in the backstretch, but couldn’t make it stick going into Turns Three and Four. Six laps in, a multi-car incident in Turn Four involved #98, Joel Perri; #23, Jorden Abeyta; #33, Gary Cortese and #99, Sam Messerli. The wreck caused a lengthy caution.

The restart with 19 laps left saw the #86 of Tim Coates dueling it out with #3, Mike Cox, for the first position. A few laps later, the #3 Cox machine took the lead while Coates in the #86 and Alex Rodriguez in the #90 battled hard for second place. With seven laps left, the field was slowed again for another multi-car incident. The #55, Damien Lockhart, chased Gary Cortese’s #33 machine into the wall just past the start-finish line, collecting polesitter Shelby Cortese’s #19. All drivers exited their cars safely. Once the wreck was cleaned up, the green flag was thrown for a green-white-checker finish. Mike Cox, #3, showed the way to the checkered flag, fending off a challenge from the #90 of Alex Rodriguez.

QUICK TIME: #15 Jereme Wall, 19.534
DASH: #99Jr Ryan Raley, Jr.
FAST DASH: #90 Alex Rodriguez
FEATURE: #3 Mike Cox

Figure 8 cars were up next for their 20-lap feature event. Polesitter Daniel Wood, #7, took the lead early, showing the way for the pack of 13 cars through “The X.” Behind Wood’s #7, the field began to get strung out about halfway through the race, resulting in some chaos at the track’s crossroads. The #64 of Michael Kephart had some seriously close calls, narrowly missing the leaders as he gunned it through “The X.”

It seemed the #15 of Jereme Wall was the only one who had anything for race leader Daniel Wood, #7. However, before he could snag the lead, Wall’s #15 cut a right front tire. The #15 didn’t let up, though, and pushed through to finish the race on three tires and a sparking rim.

Daniel Wood, #7, captured the victory.
DASH: #15 Jereme Wall
FEATURE: #7 Daniel Wood


Super Late Models (halfway point)
Pos No. Name Hometown
1. 43 Kody Vanderwal LaSalle
2. 22 Chris Eggleston Thornton
3. 5 Cody Dempster Parker
4. 32 Brett Yackey Greeley CO
5. 11 Darren Robertson Westminster
6. 05c Nick Cooper (R) Loveland
7. 12 Bruce Yackey Greeley
8. 84 Matt Zwingelberg Parker
9. 82 Michael Scott Hillsdale WY
10. 14 Brody Moore (R) Dillon
11. 95 Cris Muhler Brighton
12. 28 Nick Williams Milliken
13. 16 Steve Mills Colorado Springs
14. 02 Steve Thompson (R) Scottsbluff NE
15. 31 Rick Smith Gering NE
16. 34 Rudy Vanderwal LaSalle
17. 37 Ethan Hunter Colorado Springs CO
DNS 29 Matt Brunker Lakewood CO

Super Late Models (FINAL FINISH)
Pos No. Name Hometown
1. 43 Kody Vanderwal LaSalle
2. 11 Darren Robertson Westminster
3. 5 Cody Dempster Parker
4. 22 Chris Eggleston Thornton
5. 12 Bruce Yackey Greeley
6. 05c Nick Cooper (R) Loveland
7. 84 Matt Zwingelberg Parker
8. 82 Michael Scott Hillsdale WY
9. 95 Cris Muhler Brighton
10. 14 Brody Moore (R) Dillon
11. 28 Nick Williams Milliken
12. 16 Steve Mills Colorado Springs
13. 32 Brett Yackey Greeley CO
14. 34 Rudy Vanderwal LaSalle
15. 02 Steve Thompson (R) Scottsbluff NE
16. 37 Ethan Hunter Colorado Springs CO
17. 31 Rick Smith Gering NE
DNS 29 Matt Brunker Lakewood CO

Grand American Modifieds
Pos No. Name Hometown
1. 6 Scotty Scott (R) Arvada
2. 13 Darin Clark Cheyenne
3. 51 Kyle Clegg (R) Hudson
4. 9 CJ Wilson (R) Penrose
5. 0 Ron O’Neil Colorado Springs
6. 2 Jim Douglas Co. Springs
7. 17 Holly Clark (R) Colorado Springs
8. 89 Jacob Smith (R) Littleton
9. 37 Landon Birney Cheyenne
10. 1G Dale Geist Colorado Springs
11. 41 Eric Vos Wheatridge
12. 24 Nathan Gasser Fort Lupton
13. 82 Justin Karrol LaSalle
14. 4 Zach Mullins Greeley
15. 6x Ben Hendricks Cheyenne WY
DNS 59 Charles Wilson Penrose

Super Stocks
Pos No. Name Hometown
1. 3 Mike Cox Englewood
2. 90 Alex Rodriguez Phoenix AZ
3. 86 Tim Coate Highlands Ranch CO
4. 49 Chris Cox Keenesburg
5. 11w Scott Long Lyman NE
6. 1NE Troy Witthar Arvada
7. 15 Jereme Wall Commerce City
8. 196 Robert Davey Erie
9. M60 Morris Christner (R) Elizabeth
10. 21 Chris Nelson Arvada
11. 32 Cody Milan Fort Collins
12. 45E Rebecca Simpson Colorado Springs
13. 13B Brandon Claiborn Lafayette
14. 55 Damian Lockhart Hudson
15. 33 Gary Cortese Avondale
16. 19 Shelby Cortese Thornton
17. 23 Jordan Abeyta Denver
18. 4 Chris Jordan Mead
19. 14e Eric Phelps Cheyenne WY
20. 99 Sam Messerli Thornton
21. 99Jr Ryan Raley Jr Bennett
DNS 98 Joel Perri Arvada

Figure 8s
Pos No. Name Hometown
1. 7 Daniel Wood Greeley
2. 52 Jared Wall Commerce City
3. 2 Jeremy Jackson Denver CO
4. 92 Jason Wall (R) Brighton Co
5. 17 Harry Livermore Jr Denver CO
6. 15 Jereme Wall Commerce City CO
7. 64 Michael Kephart (R) Commerce City CO
8. 1 Issac Martinez Denver CO
9. 67 Kaleigh Swenson (R) Strasburg CO
10. 38 Cassidy Creekmore Littleton CO
11. 18 Dennis Stepanich III Thornton CO
DNS 72 David Martinez (R) Denver
DNS 78 Charles Martinez Denver

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