Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights Tour top 10 point standings – 1. Ethan Braaksma, Newton, 231; 2. Kyle Brown, Madrid, 192; 3. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, 179; 4. Corey Dripps, Reinbeck, 166; 5. Jason Brees, Meriden, 158; 6. David Brown, Kellogg, 145; 7. Cody Laney, Torrance, Calif., 133; 8. Al Hejna, Clear Lake, and Chris Abelson, Sioux City, both 116; 10. Kollin Hobdon, Pahrump, Nev., 108. The Aug. 30 feature pays $1,000 to win and is a qualifying event for the 2021 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. The 2020 Dirt Knights finale will be broadcast by Speed Shift TV. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and racing follows 6 p.m. hot laps. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods are also on the card, in $500 to win features. There are no entry fees for the draw/redraw show. Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and ages 6-14, and free for five and under. Pit passes are $30 for adults and $15 for ages 14 and under. VINTON, Iowa – Another chapter in IMCA Modified history will be written on Sunday, when the Speed Shift TV Dirt Knights Tour comes to Benton County Speedway. Braaksma owns the distinction of having won tour features in three different states, Park Jefferson Speedway in South Dakota, Buena Vista Raceway in Iowa and Fairmont Raceway in Minnesota. Sunday’s race will be the 10th tour event held at Vinton since 2011. Most of the previous events were mid-May or Memorial Weekend openers; the upcoming race was rescheduled from May 25. The 100th event in tour history will be held at Vinton, the track where the IMCA Modified division first raced more than 40 years ago. Winner of three of the first six Dirt Knights events this season, Ethan Braaksma is poised to become the 11th different champion in as many years the tour has been held.
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When Syracuse hosted Wake Forest on Sept. 12, Syracuse had seven kickoffs. Five of them were too deep in the end zone for the Demon Deacons to attempt a return. Of the first 33 kickoffs Norton had this season, 17 — more than half — went for touchbacks.“It’s kind of more natural for me to do kickoffs,” Norton said. “Since I started kicking when I was younger, (kickoffs) came more easily for me.”Norton, a senior who is 17-of-38 on touchbacks this season, has traded spots as a kickoff specialist and a field goal specialist during his time at Syracuse. When incumbent kicker Ross Krautman missed most of the 2013 season, Norton made 10 of his 15 field goal attempts at a position he didn’t expect to compete in. He came in as the field goal starter in 2014 before being unseated by freshman kicker Cole Murphy four games in.Now, Norton is back focusing solely on the position he feels most comfortable with. His leg is the strongest on the team but far from the most accurate. It’s what’s kept him from holding the field goal job down, but what’s also allowed him to thrive this season as a reliable kickoff specialist.“Ryan came in here with a strong leg, and he knew that there was a good chance that that could be his role coming into the season,” special teams coordinator Tim Daoust said. “That’s what he had done for us in the past and he’s back to his form from a couple years ago.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDaoust said Norton and Murphy came into training camp in competition for both facets of the kicking game, and the two separated from each other at each position. Still, they both work on the other’s craft at every practice.Murphy said the two critique each other at the other’s position. While the primary focus, Murphy said, is improving his own game, the two also make an effort to give each other pointers.“There’s a lot of the same things over and over,” Murphy said. “A lot of it’s mainly just keep your eyes back, swing straight through the ball, swing your target. Attack your plant foot. Don’t swing around, things like that. It’s little things.”In the training room, Norton said sometimes there are things he wants to fix or areas he wants to get stronger in. While others might be lifting weights, Norton will be doing one-legged squats, jumping, or working on other explosive leg movements. It’s important to have a strong core and lower body if you’re a kicker, Murphy said.Norton visualizes his kicks before they come. He tells himself that he knows he can do it. It’s what he works on all week for.When Syracuse played Pittsburgh on Saturday, Norton was instructed to kick it short with 25 seconds left in the first half. He didn’t place the ball where he wanted, and was eventually called for a late hit on a tackle to end the play.“You kick yourself,” Norton said of the mistake that eventually cost SU three points in a 23-20 loss.In his job, there’s only so many chances to execute. And in his job, there’s only so many definitions of success. For almost all of 2015, Norton has done the job that’s been asked of him.“At this level, everybody’s got a guy back there that can be a game changer,” Daoust said. “He’s at a much higher percentage than he’s had in the past … I know he’s doing a nice job with that.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm Contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @SamBlum3