BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 2) – You couldn’t ask for a better day to start the 31st annual IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. Plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the low 70’s usher in the opening night program of America’s Racin’ Vacation at Boone Speedway. The Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models headlines a Monday card that also includes qualifying for both Hobby Stocks and Northern SportMods.Brian Harris is the point leader coming into the Labor Day Deery show. Tonight’s 50-lap main event will pay $3,000 to win and a minimum of $300 to start. Sunday saw 105 Northern SportMods and 83 Hobby Stocks go through pre-tech. An open practice session followed, before a complimentary chili feed and a rockin’ performance by the band Helferstout.Inspection for both divisions resumed Monday morning. By noon, another 75 SportMods and 44 Hobbies had gone through the tech tent. Two 25-lap qualifiers will determine the front eight starters in the inside and middle row for Saturday’s Hobby Stock main event.Northern SportMods run a single 25-lapper this evening to determine the front eight on the inside row of their Saturday grid. Tonganoxie, Kan., driver Ben Kates started his 2013 season in Arizona and traveled extensively in his home state before taking up residence in Boone this summer. In addition to the Harris Clash, you’ve probably seen his name in weekly results from tracks in central and northern Iowa. “I’ve raced all over the place, really,” said Kates, who turned 18 in July. “I really enjoy the competition here. This is definitely the place to be for SportMod racing.” He won once in five starts at Boone. Kates owns seven feature wins in 63 starts from his third full season in the division. “Last year I started eight at Super Nationals and I finished eighth,” he said. “I’ve never qualified on Monday so I’m hoping to change that this year.” Kates is keeping pretty fast company at Super Nationals and friend and competitor Carter VanDenBerg is pitted in the next stall. The first hot lap session started at 2 p.m. Racing begins at approximately 3 p.m.
Alexandra Ting | Daily TrojanHave ball, will travel · Senior libero Taylor Whittingham and the women’s volleyball team begin a road trip on Wednesday against Arizona.After splitting their most recent home games before heading out on the road, the women’s volleyball team looks to rest up and put the games behind them. With a long road trip this week, the Trojans hope to continue improving their level of play, despite their difficult schedule ahead. “I think we are only in school eight days in November,” head coach Mick Haley said. “That is two days a week basically.”While it is easy sometimes to forget that these athletes are students, they certainly do not forget. Even with road trips, the student-athletes have to try and keep up with school work and find a way to maintain their academics in order to avoid the looming threat of academic probation that would keep them from playing. “We know that we are going to be on the road for a long period time,” senior captain Taylor Whittingham said. “That might be a struggle with homework, missing classes or stuff like that.” For the next two games against Arizona and ASU, the Women of Troy will have to be able to continue keeping their errors low, but will have to improve in their attack and their defense at the net in order to score points off of more than just kills and aces.“The one thing going forward for the rest of this month that I would really focus on would be serving,” Haley said. “The second thing would be to continue to improve our team blocking. Those two things will help us as much as anything. “However, the team has little time to practice before these games due to their traveling schedule. Traveling takes its toll on both players and coaches alike, but it will have to be overcome for the Trojans to continue to win games. “On Tuesday we travel, Wednesday we play and Thursday we travel to Tempe and will try to get a practice in there,” Haley said. “Then we play early Friday at 6 p.m., but we can’t get out that night, which is terrible because we have to get up early to get them back by 9 the next morning on Saturday.”The key thing for this road trip will be rest. Without proper rest, the Trojans will be in a position for potential injuries and mental lapses during the games. Also, it is important that they get the rest they need this week, because they have another road trip the following week.“I am trying to get them as much rest before we go to Stanford and Cal, which is the next hard trip,” Haley said. “I am really worried about those two back-to-back trips, because it has a tendency to really take its toll on their physical and mental prep.”The women’s volleyball team will take on Arizona at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and ASU at 6 p.m. on Friday.