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Archive for July, 2008

Autograph Night at Dixie Motor Speedway

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

The Pro Sports Graphics Modifieds were back in action as Dave “The Weiner” Christensen picked up where he left off two weeks ago by pacing the field in time trials with a 16.428. Don Gilbert sat on the front row when the green flag flew but did not stay there long as Mike Currie grabbed the lead on lap 4. Currie would not do much better as Chuck Silva wasted little time making his way through the field to take the point on lap 7 with Christensen in tow. It looked like an easy win for Silva but Christensen had other ideas as he worked his way by the point leader on lap 13 only to have Silva steal it back three laps later. This time Silva would hold it for good as he took the win over Christensen, Mike Luberda Sr. Currie and Jeff Reamer. Luberda picked up the win in the heat race

The Bus Stop Inn Pro Late Models had “Big Daddy” Mark Welch with fast time at 16.346. Bernie Murphy and Blake Childers took Heat race honors. Tony Hoose started on the pole for the 30 lap feature and made the most of it as he jumped into the lead ahead of Scotty Watkins. Marty England worked his way into 2nd and began to challenge for the lead when Eric Headley’s motor blew, oiling down the track. After an extended clean up, it was time to go green again but England had a flat and was unable to continue. Meanwhile, Welch was working his way through the 20-car field and Hoose soon found he had company. Welch made numerous attempts but came up short as Hoose held on for his first Dixie Feature win. Ed Doutre got by Watkins for 3rd followed by Curt Genow’s Servpro machine.

The Drive Train Specialist Sportsman had Don Riley pacing the field with a 17.420. Brad McGeathy and Jon Giffel took heat wins. Dennis Roys grabbed the lead to start the 25 lap Sportsman feature as Riley and Kevin Harder worked through the field. Riley got by Roys on lap 8 and was soon battling with Harder. Harder got by Riley after a restart but Riley would return the favor one lap later and this time would go unchallenged for the win. Harder came home in second followed by Julian Fluty, Dale Malusi and Giffel.

In his first appearance of the season, Robbie Johnston set fast time in the Wilson Marine Factory Stocks with a 16.651. Ed Newman Jr. and Will McCallum took heat race honors. Scott Merrow led the first 6 laps of the feature until he cut a tire and Bob Robinson got by. Robinson claimed the win in his first Dixie appearance followed by Maverick Morrow, Mike Walther Eddie Hayden and Cam Hiltz.

Jeff Roethlisberger set fast time among 30 Bombers with an 18.072. Heat winners were Troy Shinabarger, Kyle Maize and Chris Stearns. In the B-Main, Danny Honeysette got spun around in turn 2 of the first lap and took a shot from oncoming traffic. After a lengthy red flag period, he was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures and then released. Shinabarger went on to claim the win followed by Bob Kern, Ricky Dinius Jr., Devon Platz and Scott Platz. Jordan Lechota outlasted the field in the $300-to-win A-Main trailed by Jason Congdon, Stearns, Rob Kern and Anthony Jurek.

In Dixie Figure-8 action, Scott Platz came home with the win followed by Ricky Dinius, Andrew Burton, Rob Kern and Stick Boy Hitsman.

This week it’s a Dixie Double-Header with the “Big One VI” on Saturday, featuring Super Sprints, Outlaw Supers going 100 laps and School Bus Fig-8’s. It’s the General RV “Eve of Destruction” on Sunday at 6pm featuring School Bus Fig-8’s, Dixie Crash Cars, Chain Gang races, Figure-8 Trailer races and more. For info, go to dixiemotorspeedway.com or call 989-624-9778.

Whitney, Watson, Adkins, Adams and Reynolds Victorious at MRP

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

In racing action The evening started with the Sunesis Construction Late Models and Milan, Indiana’s Bill Sheets set fast time of the 18 cars on hand with a 12.89 lap. That was as good as it would get for Sheets as while leading the heat event he broke and was done for the evening. Tom Sheets would go on to take over and win heat number one with John Whitney Jr. winning heat number two. In the feature event Whitney set sail up front but 6th place starter Barry Doss was making quick work of the cars in between them. Despite much pressure Whitney would go on to win the event in his Stephan Heating & Cooling, Amaze-A – Stitch Embroidery, Sauls Construction sponsored machine. Barry Doss would come home second with 12 place starting Billy Williams coming home 3rd followed by Jim Moon and 16th starting Jim Pickelheimer Jr. coming home 5th.

Next up was the Chevette special as each class at MRP has a night in which extra money is paid out and tonight it was the Chevette class and with 19 cars on hand it looked like it was going to be a great show. What was supposed to be a $600 to win event turned out to be much more than that as numerous fans and businesses contributed to the total with the total 1st place money being $930 and an extra $100 going to the 2nd place finisher. In heat race action it was Miles Tarvin and Jeff Watson taking wins and an extra $25 each courtesy of Watson’s sponsor the Crosstown Carryout. Come feature time it looked as though Miles Tarvin would take yet another win but Watson would have none of it and got by Tarvin on lap 9 went on to and take his first feature win of the 2008 season. Special thanks to those businesses and individuals who contributed the extra money as an additional $430 was added to the top two finishers payout as a direct result of fans and businesses in attendance
donating money. Following Watson and Tarvin across the line was Nick Hodges, Josh Francis, and Allanah Weis.

In the Cheapbowlingballs.com Modified event it looked as though Dave McWilliams was going to be the man to beat as he took the win in heat #1 with Aurora, Indiana’s Matt Hamilton winning heat number 2. It was exciting action from the get-go as McWilliams and MRP points leader Ray Branscum put on a great show battling for the lead but it didn’t take long for 5th place starter Doug Adkins to get to the high side and continue to take it deeper and deeper into the corner each lap before eventually disposing of both McWilliams and Branscum at the same time. The “Buzzard” went on to win his fourth feature event of the season here at MRP in his Loose Gruff chassis sponsored by the 239 Auto Group. Following Adkins across the line was Ray Branscum, Dave McWilliams, Bruce Gould and Spencer Watson.

In the first ever Hobby Stock / Bomber event at MRP, fifteen teams made the visit to the ¼ mile speed plant and it was KC Raceway regular Jamey Adams taking to 20 lap A-Main event. Adams in his 33 Auto Sales, RA Smith Photo, Advance Auto, Graphic Creations sponsored machine took the lead on lap 4 and went on to lead the remaining laps. Following Adams was Jim Helterbran, Bruce Gray Jr, Rob Schuler, and Shane Newman. Gray and Newman won the heats. The Hobby Stock/ Bomber class is expected to make another visit to MRP in September.

It was another exciting night for the Phantom Fireworks Pure Stock division with the top eight cars battling right together throughout the feature event. When it was over it was the ageless one, Ed Reynolds, taking another feature win. Following Reynolds was Tim Carpenter, Mike Keller, Kevin Hess, and tail-end starting Derrick Davis. Reynolds and Scott Hess won the two heats but heat number two was not without excitement as Dustin Puckett Jr got loose overcorrected and rolled over his machine in turn number two. Not only was Dustin unhurt but the car was able to be repaired and Dustin came home 11th in the feature event. Moler Raceway Park will be back in action August 1st featuring 600 cc Mini Sprint Special.

On the card for the evening will be the 600cc Mini Sprints, Sunesis Construction Late Models, Cheapbowlingballs.com UMP Modifieds, Phantom Fireworks Pure Stocks and MRP Chevettes. Gates open at 4:30, hot laps at 7 and racing at 8 p.m.

For more information an any event at Moler Raceway Park log onto
www.molerracewaypark.com

Brown Wins Street Stock Thriller at TNT

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

This time, however, another player was involved. Mass City, Michigan’s Jeff Brown held off both drivers in a mad three-wide dash to the line to highlight the action on 94.5 FM WRJOldies night at the track.

It was Brown’s first win of the season at TNT, in two starts. Two others notched their first wins on Saturday night – Clearwater Lake’s Terry Stebbeds in the WISSOTA Midwest Mods and Rhinelander’s Denny Tushoski in the TNT Bombers.

Merrill’s Jason Isaacson notched his sixth feature win in the TNT Stingers to round out the night’s action.

Schuenemann and Kurtti started in the fourth row of Saturday night’s ten-car Street Stock main event. Both made their way into the top four quickly, but had a difficult time passing Dave Williams, who held down the second spot.

Finally on lap 10, Kurtti made his way past on the high side. He found himself eight car lengths behind Brown who was trying to run away and hide after taking the lead from the outside pole on lap two.

Kurtti had trimmed the lead to five car lengths on lap 12 when the caution flew as John Johnson, Jr. made contact with Bill Froehlich.

Starting on lap 14, Brown and Kurtti waged a side-by-side battle for the lead.
Kurtti was given credit for the top spot on lap 15, but Brown maintained momentum on the high line and fought right back to retake the top spot.

Kurtti challenged again and got ahead of Brown coming to the line for two laps to go, but a caution flag for Jake Mullins’ stalled race car negated the pass and set up a three-lap showdown.

On lap 17, Schuenemann finally passed Williams for third and was in position to
challenge for the win when the green flew again.

Scheuenmann was the first to launch an attack, battling side-by-side with Kurrti for second, just one car length off the lead. It remained that way until the final lap when the two tried to split Brown in turn three. Kurtti when high, Schuenemann went to the bottom. They came to the line three wide with Brown across first. Schuenemann edged out Kurtti for second.

Stebbeds, making his sixth start of the season, took his first win of the year in the WISSOTA Midwest Mods. He wrestled the lead away from Will Roffers on lap two and never looked back. His closest competitors were Jason Zdroik and Jerry Grasse, but they were too focused on racing each other hard. They were both sent to the back of the pack for an incident in turn two at halfway.

From there Stebbeds easily held off Bruce Belland, who maintained a 30-point
advantage over Roffers in the class point standings with four points nights
remaining.

The TNT Bombers once again ran up against the time limit. It took four tries just to complete two laps. Ben Hendricksen took the early lead, but something went amiss on his car on lap six, sending him to the pits. That opened the door for Denny Tushoski to assume the point.

On lap 11 caution flew yet again setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Tushoski opened up a little gap while Jay Wilberding and John Johnson battled for second. A three-car wreck in the back of the pack put a premature end to the race on the last lap.

Tushoski, making his third start of the season, won with Wilberding holding of
Johnson for second. Todd Brass finished fourth but still trimmed Johnson’s lead in the Bomber points to four by virtue of a heat race win.

There were five lead changes among four drivers in the TNT Stinger Feature. Cory Dickman and Leo Nippa were among the early leaders, but both succumbed to mechanical failures while at the front.

Will Lundberg held the lead for a short while, but Isaacson made the pass on lap nine and led the final seven laps to claim win number six. Bill Martin finished second and put himself in the catbird seat for the Stinger championship. His nearest competitor in the points, Nick Visser, was a no show on Saturday. Now Martin has a 30-point lead over Isaacson.

Racing continues next Saturday at TNT Speedway with Mole Lake Casino & Lodge
sponsoring the action. Hot Laps begin at 7:00 PM, with racing at 7:45.

Thomas and Prochnow Enter Rice Lake Speedway Victory Lane

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Thomas made perhaps the move of the night early in the Midwest Modified feature
event to secure an early lead that he never relinquished. He started on the outside of the second row but going down the back chute on the opening lap, he accelerated and split the front row cars of Grant Southworth and Mark Turner and by the end of lap one, the lead was his. He quickly built on his advantage as Turner and Southworth hung tough against the pressure of Ryan Viltz and Mark Gerth. Eventually Viltz was able to work into the second spot as he set off after the leader Thomas.

Southworth had a great top five run going until the rookie spun with five laps to go and was out of action after he got rocked by Tito Viltz who couldn’t avoid him. This gave Ryan Viltz the opportunity to take a shot at Thomas but Mark was strong on the start and didn’t provide any openings for Ryan. Two more late yellows gave Ryan Viltz a couple more chances but each time Thomas responded as he drove home for the win with Ryan Viltz and Gerth next in line. Ronnie Rihn recovered from an early set back to finish fourth ahead of Tito Viltz who was making his open wheel debut.

Cory Crapser took the early lead in the Modified main event with Aric Lindberg,
Prochnow and Keith Tourville close behind. Crapser led the first three laps as the lead pack was in tight formation until the yellow flew when Kevin Adams rolled to a halt on the front chute, his evening ending way to early.

On the restart things got crazy as leader Crapser spun in turn one and while most of the field was able to avoid him, he did collect Mike Anderson and Dave Mayala with both Crapser and Mayala being eliminated.

The last seventeen laps of the race went nonstop with Prochnow quickly getting
around Lindberg to take over the lead. As he started to stretch his advantage, Luke Schilling was on the move along with Anderson as both advanced toward the front. Schilling moved into the second spot and started to close on the leader at the halfway point while Rich Lofthus also started to pick up positions.

Schilling closed in on Prochnow and took a couple of looks down low, but Prochnow was strong off the corners and reasserted himself, as he started to stretch the lead again while Lofthus closed up on Schilling.

At the finish, Prochnow had a comfortable lead with Schilling holding off Lofthus for second. Tourville and Anderson completed the top five.

Redetzke survived a late challenge from Scott Gilberts as the rookie solidified his point lead in the Late Model division. Another rookie, Scott Meeds, led the opening three laps of the Late Model feature with Pat Hoffman challenging him. Redetzke worked his way up from the fifth starting spot and with a great move to the high side, swept past both Davin Larson and T.J. Adams to move into position to challenge Meeds. He then blew by Meeds on the high side to take over the lead.

Meanwhile, Paul Brust, Duane Mahder and Shawn Mahder were all working their way to the front with Brust eventually moving into second and the Mahders trailing.

Meeds’ strong run ended at the ten lap mark when he spun and the yellow flag waved.

Action resumed in a big way on the green as Redetzke again took the lead. Shawn
Mahder was running very well on the bottom and he got past his father at the green and then passed Brust for second going through turn three. However, Shawn appeared to get lose as he left the corner and he and Brust made contact with both cars sliding up toward the wall where they were joined in the collision by Duane Mahder who came flying in to be a part of the tie up. Both Duane Mahder and Brust were eliminated from the event.

The last fourteen laps went nonstop with Redetzke continuing to lead. However,
Gilberts, who was mired deep in the pack suddenly caught fire and he moved into
second and closed up on Redetzke. He made several serious attempts in the late going but Jesse fought him off to take the win. Shawn Mahder worked his way back up to third with Adams and Hoffman next in line at the wire.

Myers had an easy time of it as he started on the pole and led the entire distance in the nonstop Super Stock feature event. In the early going he was challenged by Paul Erikson but he gradually pulled away from him and then had to only worry about the lapped traffic after that. Eric Olson made the most determined run of the event as he started eighth on the grid and methodically worked his way to the front passing car after car. At the end, he had closed up on third running Steve Hallquist but didn’t have the time to make a pass as Destin Lorimor completed the top five.

Possibly the best race of the night was once again the Street Stock finale. Rookie Jeff Antczak and Adam Soltis battled wheel to wheel in the early laps until Kesan moved into position to challenge them. Kesan was able to drive under Soltis and take over the lead but the driver on the move was Tommy Richards. Starting outside row three, he moved to the cushion and showed great speed as he drove up into the second spot and closed on Kesan.

The two frontrunners then engaged in the kind of side by side battle that the Street Stocks are famous for. Lap after lap they circled the track running as hard as possible inches from each other, but not making contact or taking each others line away. First Kesan would nose in front and then it would be Richards. Both drivers got a scare when they entered turn three and found Ryan Asp facing the wrong way in their path but Asp got going and they both continued unharmed.

With just a lap or two to go, Kesan was again able to edge in front and despite a last lap charge by Richards, Jay held on by a car length for the win. Clark Swartz finished third with Scott Clark and Soltis completing the top five.

The Pure Stocks completed the evening with another nonstop feature race and it was second year driver Wojcik coming through for his second win of the season here. Matt Larson and rookie Will Hargreaves battled for the lead in the opening lap with Larson edging in front briefly. Then Joel Hinrichs moved up from the second row and drove into the lead. Hinrichs looked good up front but Wojcik had other ideas as he moved in on Hinrichs and was able to drive under him for the lead. As they battled, Danny Richards was also coming up after starting in the ninth position.

At the finish, Wojcik had about three car lengths on Hinrichs with Richards closing fast. Hargreaves hung on for fourth with Dusty Brown edging out Uncle Darwin for fifth.

Next Saturday, August 2nd , Thompson-Nelson Insurance Agency and AAM Customs present the racing program. All six classes will be in action as per normal with the Northern Vintage cars also on hand to add to the fun. On Friday and Saturday, August 8th and 9th, T’s Promotions will present the Rumble at Rice Lake, the highest paying Late Model event of the year here with Saturday night’s winner to receive $6,000.Other classes will also be in action with more details pertaining to the weekend expected to be released shortly.

Impressive Back-to-Front Run Gives Swanson ABC ‘Summer Sizzler’ Win

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

So Swanson started 18th in the 19-car field for the 20-lap A-main presented by Auto Value Auto Parts, with $400 awaiting the winner.

No problem.

Polesitter Greg Jaeger edged ahead of Ken Tyykila for the
early lead, and Shawn McFadden slipped past Tyykila for second. The lead
pair pulled away from the field by a healthy margin during the first
half of the event, which ran non-stop, while Dale Coddington struggled
to get around Tyykila.

Swanson, meanwhile, methodically picked off each position, using a higher line around the red-clay oval than most of his competition, until he broke into the top ten only seven laps into the run.

Jaeger and McFadden had just put backmarker Justin Bretall a lap down one circuit after midrace when the complexion of the race changed due to a Adam Traaholt spin. Swanson restarted sixth and moved outside to challenge Pat Beeksma for fourth, just as Coddington did to finally overtake Tyykila, but Swanson then used the same move to pass Coddington on lap 13.

Swanson slipped to the inside on McFadden a lap later, but when Traaholt’s car stopped atop the infield marker tires a moment later McFadden got a reprieve. So on the restart Swanson went back to his favored outside route, sped around McFadden, and was about to do the same to Jaeger when Jim Anderson’s car scraped the guardrail and slowed with three laps left.

Jaeger was unable to hold off Swanson’s charge any longer after the restart, and the second-year Ashland pilot scooted off to his fifth feature win of the season here. McFadden followed Jaeger closely at the stripe, and Coddington and Tyykila completed the top five.

“Talk about a fun race!” Swanson exclaimed in victory lane, with the win moving him into a tie for fourth place in the division’s points standings.

In other AmsOil Dirt Track Series action, three drivers earned landmark wins and two others were equally impressive in their efforts.

It took three attempt to get the 20-lap WISSOTA super stock feature going, but once underway there were no caution flags to slow the action, and it turned into a nailbiter.

On that third restart polesitter Ron Hmielewski lead Kevin Eder and Nick Oreskovich away from the pack. Hmielewski started to build a lead, but once Eder got into a rhythm he drew up to and alongside the leader by lap 8.

For the next eight laps Hmielewski and Eder ran side-by-side, while Scott Lawrence, after passing Oreskovich for third, pulled up to join the lead battle on lap 12. The three of them ran within inches of each other and even three-wide at times, as Eder and Hmielewski exchanged the lead at the start-finish line and Lawrence searched for a way past. Eder didn’t have a clear advantage on Hmielewski at the stripe until they sped under the white flag, and the finish was still in doubt until Eder came off turn 4 for the final time
mere feet ahead for his first-ever WISSOTA-sanctioned win.

Just behind him, Hmielewski nipped Lawrence by less than a hlaf-foot for runner-up honors in a finish that couldn’t have been decided if not for the transponder system utilized by the track. Joe Oliver weaved through the thick traffic well back of the leaders to take fourth, just ahead of Oreskovich.

“I never had so much fun racing a guy,” the Ashland speedster stated afterwards about his run with Hmielewski. “He raced me clean the whole way.”

Lawrence’s effort, combined with a hard-fought sixth-place performance by Randy Spacek, moved him into a one-point lead over Spacek in the super stock standings.

Kent Baxter of Dorchester made that long haul worth his while, running off to a straightaway victory over the rest of the WISSOTA modified field for his first feature win here ever. Baxter dominated from the drop of the green, with no yellows to interrupt his run after a failed first attempt to start the 20-lap race.

Behind him Dean Yrjanainen won a three-car battle for third and then took second place away from Scott Hudack on lap 4. But Baxter’s car was just too stout on this night, running the middle to upper groove to perfection with only one minor stumble along the way, which he recovered from without giving up any ground.

Yrjanainen’s steady run nearly became a nightmare when he developed a flat right-rear tire on the final lap, dropping him from second to sixth under the checkers. Jerry Hartman and Bill Byholm came on strong late and blew by Yrjanainen for second and third, respectively, while Al Uotinen and Hudack filled out the top five.

The mod points battle tightened up considerably, as Jeff Spacek’s lead was trimmed to just two over Byholm and Uotinen.

The pure stock feature was a down-to-the-wire affair as well, with Superior’s Jeff Christman squeeking past Dustin Follett at the stripe for his first-ever ABC Raceway win. Christman, making his first appearance here this summer, started next-to-last in the 11-car field but, like Swanson would do later, utilized the outer lane of the track while his fellow racers searched for a preferred groove.

The night nearly came to an early end for both Christman and Follett, as one lap in to the run Follett was turned sideways in the middle of the back straight and “t-boned” by Christman in the passenger-side door for the race’s first caution flag. Both drivers were able to continue, although it wasn’t discovered until later that Follett suffered a severe shoulder injury.

Zene Anderson paced the event until lap 5 of the ten scheduled, when Follett made a move for the lead. Three laps later Christman took third away from Tim Carlson, and the next time around he slipped by Anderson, setting up the dramatic finish.

Coming off the last turn Christman drew alongside Follett and scraped against the front-straight concrete wall, but his momentum carried him past by half a car-length. Anderson held off division points leader Chad Carlson and Tim Carbon for third.

Cory Casari of Hurley won the WISSOTA street stock feature in impressive fashion. He worked by Canadian visitor Don Craig for second place just before the 12-lapper’s only caution flag was thrown on lap 2, for Steve Anderson’s stopped racer. From there Casari used an inside move to overtake Paul Milanowski and pulled away to an eight-length win.

John Kallas worked the perimeter route to climb into second with two laps to go after starting eighth, and Greg Kuklinski finally edged past Craig on the final lap for third. Divisional points leader Larry Haderly finished fifth.

In the WISSOTA Midwest modified 15-lap main event, Shane Halopka was victorious for the third time this season, but the race was marred by a violent wreck that damaged seven cars, eliminated three of them and saw Adam Archer suffer minor injuries. The incident occured on lap 3, when Mike Truscott’s car was bounced off the back-straight guardrail and into the tight-knit traffic. Several cars scattered and slammed into each other, and points leader Duane Dunbar’s car became airborne for just a moment as it rode over
another, but the majority of the damage came when those drivers trailing the incident came upon it quickly with nowhere to go and no chance to avoid it, including Archer’s.

After a red-flag stoppage that lasted over half an hour, Halopka brought the field back to the green flag and survived two more caution-flag slowdowns for minor incidents before speeding off to a straightaway margin of victory. Lance Solem was impressive in his second-place effort, fending off strong challenges from Truscott, Jimmy Latvala and Steve Stuart.

During the night’s intermission several drivers “passed the helmet” throughtout the grandstands to collect donations for former driver and track worker Chris Lustig, who has struggled with a variety of health issues in recent months. Fans again dug deep and generously contributed $735 toward this worthy cause.

Next Saturday, the track will host its fifth annual “Pure Excitement 25″ pure stock special, presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportman’s Club. A total purse of over $4,000 has been raised for the entry-level division, with the winner’s share set for at least $650. Hot laps are set for 6:15 pm, with racing starting at 7. “Racenight” will air live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, from 4:30-6 pm with at-the-track news and weather updates. The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2
miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, or log on to the track’s website, .