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Archive for July, 2017

Deragon Wins First, Hanson Takes Two at ABC Cancer Fundraiser, HoF Night

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Ashland, WI,– On a night when ten new inductees were added to the track’s Hall of Fame and several thousand dollars were raised for local cancer treatment and research programs, one driver scored a milestone feature win and another won two features in one night at the ABC Raceway on Saturday.

The five-division PolyDome Dirt Track Series program included the formal inductions to the Hall of Fame in a ceremony presented by Zar’s Banquet Hall of Ashland, while Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland, in conjunction with Heartland Communications Group of Ashland, presented the Raceway’s annual “Race to a Cure” fundraiser program. Ninety-four race entries competed in front of a near-capacity crowd that took advantage of free grandstand admission on a hot, humid late July night in northern Wisconsin.

The first-time winner was Ashland’s Matt Deragon, who is enjoying his rookie season in the WISSOTA Super Stocks. Despite a string of four straight top-ten finishes ending last week, the former three-time ABC Pure Stock track champion ran a smart low-groove line to his first feature win in his new class.

Deragon led every lap after starting on the pole, fending off the early challenges of Terran Spacek. Don Muzzy’s mishap after the first completed lap was the only slowdown of the race, as Deragon then sped away while Spacek lost second to DJ Keeler and third to divisional points leader Nick Oreskovich on consecutive laps.

It took Keeler a while to reel in Deragon – the leader’s advantage was nearly a full second by mid-race – but eventually he did catch up, when Deragon started to sift through slower traffic. But Keeler could not do much more than play follow-the-leader, as he, too, had to protect his position once Spacek, his father Randy Spacek, and Oreskovich erased the two-second cushion that the lead pair had enjoyed.

Keeler tried one final outside pass coming to the checkered flag, but Deragon held on by just shy of half a second for the landmark victory. The feature win was Deragon’s 17th overall at Ashland but first in anything but a Pure Stock, while Shane Kisling’s 17.804-second lap was the fastest set during the 20-lap run.

Hanson’s night was huge in terms of redemption after seemingly losing his chance at challenging Kyle Copp for the WISSOTA Pure Stock championship. Two weeks ago the “young gun” from Iron River was within four points of leader Copp in the standings, but mechanical woes kept him from starting that Saturday’s feature. Then last weekend Hanson gave away a feature win due to a “jump” penalty on a late-race restart, handing the victory to Copp.

Hanson started off this night’s action with his first feature win since opening night in mid-May. Cory Jorgensen led early from the pole, with Randy Graham and Hanson leading a tight pack of cars in hot pursuit. However, Chad Carlson, who was within that pack, lost the left-rear tire and axle shaft from his car on lap 2, which forced the race’s only stoppage.

Hanson restarted second and immediately went to work on Jorgensen with an outside pass for the lead. Hanson then put some distance on the field, as Graham, Dylan Shelton, Justin Weinberger and Copp all got by Jorgensen over the next few laps. Shelton overtook Graham for second on lap 6 of the 12 scheduled, and Weinberger used an outside move to steal second with one lap to go. By the time the checkers were shown, though, Hanson’s lead was several car-lengths, with Weinberger, Shelton, Copp and Graham completing the top five.

Later Hanson added a heat win to his tally, as did Copp, so when the time came to run the regularly-slated feature at the end of the night Hanson made sure he was in position to make it three-for-three. Annika Hammitt held on to the lead through four caution-flag stoppages – including one for her stalled ride after contact by Graham while battling for the lead. Hanson, who started on the outside of row 4, was already to third after the first slowdown, for a Jeff Christman spin, and he worked his way around Graham to second on the restart.

Hanson was about to pass Hammitt in heavy traffic when her contact with Graham occurred, and after Matt Olson and Jorgensen spun on consecutive restart attempts, Hanson finally completed the winning pass on lap 4, with Copp following suit to second.

The lead pair pulled away quickly, with Copp staying in Hanson’s tire tracks all the way to the finish as Hanson completed the three-race sweep. After the race, Copp’s car failed a technical inspection of its brakes, and as a result of the night’s action Copp’s 39-point advantage in the standings completely disappeared, leaving Hanson and Copp in a tie for the divisional lead going into the month of August.

Shelton was awarded second, Graham third, Hammitt a season-best fourth, and Joe Pajtash fifth in the final rundown.

Washburn’s Pat Cook sped away from his pole-position start and led all 20 laps for his second career WISSOTA Modified feature win. Cook built a lead of 4.2 seconds just prior to the race’s lone stoppage, and then again of nearly three full seconds afterwards, en route to the win.

Cook was already two-and-a-half seconds up on fellow front-row starter Paul Niznik just five laps into the affair, and he extended that margin when Neil Balduc began battling Niznik for second on lap 8. But contact with Kevin Eder forced Steve Lavasseur to spin for the Mods’ first caution flag in a feature since lap 6 of the June 16 show – a span of 102 green-flag laps.

Balduc and Tanner Byholm overtook Niznik for second and third as the race went back under green, and Steve Stuart stormed past Byholm for third within another lap, but again Cook was safely away from the chaos. Balduc’s car lost grip while sliding through the high side of turn 4 with 12 laps to go, and Stuart, in very close pursuit, tagged the back of Balduc’s car, but both drivers maintained their momentum and their positions.

Stuart finally got by Balduc for second as the pair came to the white flag, but Cook was too far away to challenge, winning by a 2.997-second cushion and setting a race-best 17.552-second lap in the process. Niznik and Paul Wrazidlo completed the top five, while 11th-finishing Bill Byholm saw his points lead in the division shrink significantly, from 20 points to 11 over Lavasseur and 16 over Cook.

On a night when his family’s business was one of the presenting sponsors, Tyler Vernon not only won his third WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature of the season but also took over that division’s points lead. Vernon started outside on the fourth row but took advantage of eight yellow-flag stoppages that kept the field close over the 20-lap run.

Brady Jokinen had things under control early on, building impressive leads despite a lap 3 spin by Bill Muhlig and a lap 5 Jared Stricker loop. Wayne Stricker then spun his ride on the lap 5 restart, and he later would drop out of the event.

Vernon took advantage of a loose-handling Tyler Hudack ride to knock him out of fourth on lap 6, and he took third from George Truscott during the next go-’round. Vernon then grabbed second away from Gunner Peterson just a lap before Ryan Barningham’s spin on lap 9.

One circuit after that restart Vernon pounced on Jokinen and grabbed the lead, and despite three more late restarts – on laps 15 and 17 for a pair of two-car get-togethers, and on lap 18 for a spun McLean Andrews with the leaders bearing down on him – Vernon managed to maintain a couple car-lengths on the field. Paul Suzik worked some outside-line magic to move from fifth place to second over those same five laps but could get no closer to Vernon than seven-tenths of a second at the final stripe, with Hudack a close third and Ryan Adamzak edging Duane Dunbar for fourth.

Vernon turned a one-point deficit on Wayne Stricker coming into the evening’s action into a ten-point advantage on Adamzak going into the final four weeks of the regular season; Stricker now sits third, 22 points back. Jokinen set the fastest lap of the race early with a circuit in 18.293 seconds.

Prior to the race, Peterson announced that he would donate his paycheck from the night’s action to the overall fundraiser collection; he finished eighth in the feature and third in his heat race.

Trego’s Graham seemingly came from out of nowhere to slip through the ABC Six-Cylinder feature field and escape with his fourth win of the season.

Graham, who came into the night fourth in the Sixes’ standings but just 11 points out of the lead in the hotly-contested division, started the 15-lapper on the outside of the fourth row but moved up to third after a lap 2 restart due to a two-car crash. He then used the outside line to work his way past DeJay Jarecki for second on lap 4, and within another tour he had a run on John Darwin for the lead.

Graham built up a lead of 1.85 seconds on the battle for second between Darwin and Tiffany Hudack by the race’s midpoint, but that lead disappeared when the pace was slowed for Devin Dalbec’s spin on lap 8. After a second attempt to restart, Graham had his hands full as Hudack challenged at every turn. However, the defending champ’s efforts went unrewarded, even after a lap 12 yellow, and Graham held on for the win by just shy of half a second.

Scott Ovaska slipped back early but recovered for a third-place finish, a distance back of the leaders, causing his points lead to shrink from five to one over Hudack, while Graham pulled to within seven. Tyler Vernon claimed fourth to put him just nine points out of the lead, and Forrest Schultz roared back from an early-race crash to take fifth. Graham’s 18.577-second lap was the quickest of the run.

Monies collected for the fundraiser were generated by various means, including a dollar-per-vote favorite driver ballot, a numbered-button sale from which a large number of prizes were raffled off, and collection canisters located throughout the facility in which fans could drop off donations. Prizes provided by Lake Shore Cafe, Moore’s Army-Navy Store, Kravin’ Frozen Yogurt, the Proctor (MN) Speedway, and the AmsOil Speedway in Superior, as well as half of the cash revenue generated by the button sales, were raffled off.

During intermission of the race program, drivers Nick Oreskovich and Kevin Eder dropped candy from the flagstand to a huge crowd of younger fans in attendance, and the ABC Raceway held ceremonies introducing its fourth class of Hall of Fame inductees. Two local businesses – FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland, and the NAPA Auto Parts Stores of Ashland and Washburn – were honored as unanimous selections for their long-time support of the Ashland track and of area stock car racing

The four new members added in the Volunteers and Contributors category, for long-time service to the overall success of the Raceway, were George and Mary Bowers, Mike Eder, Tom Lajcak and Nick Nye. In the Drivers category, eight-time ABC Raceway champ Don Copp, 1978 Late Model champion Jim Eliason, five-time ABC Street Stock champ Larry Haderly, and two-time Red Clay Classic winner Scott Hipsher were added.

On Saturday, August 5, the Midwest Modifieds will be spotlighted for their 11th annual “Mid-Mod Madness” special, to be presented by Lake Shore Cafe of Ashland. All five regular weekly divisions will be in action as the regular racing season heads into its “stretch run,” with all five points championships battles hotly contested.

Hot laps start at 6:15 pm, followed by qualifying heats at 7. Adult grandstand admission tickets are prices at just $11, while children are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. “Z-93 Race Night” will air live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and stream online at, 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 more information log onto the track’s website, or on race days call (715) 682-4990.

Schutt leads all the way for featured Street Stocks win on Ozarks Food Harvest Night at Lucas Oil Speedway

Monday, July 31st, 2017

WHEATLAND, Missouri – Brian Schutt led all 25 laps to capture the Big O Tires Street Stocks feature Saturday night in the program headliner at Lucas Oil Speedway.

But the flag-to-flag triumph was anything but a comfortable drive for the veteran from Lebanon, Mo.

“I’ll tell you what, I don’t get that nervous that much any more, but this place made me nervous tonight,” Schutt said after his second feature victory of the season earned him the $500 winner’s check.

“It’s about the hardest place in the country to get around and to figure out,” Schutt added. “You really have to be on our toes to get the set-up right to get around this place.”

Other feature winners on Ozarks Food Harvest Night, Presented by KOLR 10 and Z 27 included Eric Turner (Pitts Homes USRA Modified), Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods) and Todd Shute (Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models).

Schutt started outside front row and led throughout, with Darrin Crisler moving into second on lap three. The two stayed that way, comfortably in front of the rest of the field, until a caution on lap 21 when Ted Welschmeyer slowed in turn one.

That bunched the field and set up a four-lap shootout with Kenny Carroll in third and James Flood fourth. The race went green for two laps until Josh Halbrook spun to bring out one more yellow and set them up, in the same running order, for a two-lap sprint.

Schutt was able to hang on for his second win of the season with Crisler finishing second, Flood third and Marc Carter fourth.

“The restart before the end I made a couple of mistakes and I thought, ‘I’m gonna have to get my stuff together here or I’m going to get passed,’ ” Schutt said. “You kind of get in a rhythm and a caution comes out and the tires cool down. It takes a couple of laps to get then fired back up again.

“It was real nerve-wracking there at the end.”

Toby Ott, the season points leader with five wins, spun ion lap two, bringing out the race’s first caution. That dropped Ott, running third at the time, all the way to 15th for the restart.

Ott rallied to finish fifth, preserving his season points lead with just two Big RV Adventure Weekly Racing Series programs remaining in 2017.

Turner earns USRA Modified win: After three second-place finishes this season, Eric Turner finally found his way to victory lane in the Pitts Homes USRA Modified feature.

Turne passed fellow Hermitage resident Jason Pursley with seven laps remaining and went on to hold off Pursley in the 20-lap main event. He said it was gratifying to prevail after being close so often in 2017.

“It’s an old car, but a new-to-us chassis,” said Turner, who was driving a Moyer Victory Circle car. “I just want to thank all the fans. We have a great crowd here tonight.”

Pursley made sure he would leave with his points lead – eight at the start of the night over Jason Pursley – with his runner-up finish. Nic Bidinger of Perry, Kan., was third and Cutshaw was fourth.

Jackson takes B Mods feature: Kris Jackson of Lebanon, Mo., inherited the lead when leader Andy Bryant suffered mechanical issues and went on to grab the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature win.

Bryant passed Kris Jackson on the outside coming out of turn four to complete lap four to take the lead. But his pursuit of a third straight feature win and fourth of the season ended on a lap eight restart when his car lost power in turn two.

That left it to Jackson and Strong to duel over the final 12 laps with Jackson riding the high side and Strong using the low groove. Jackson went on to win by about eight car lengths.

“I don’t know what Andy broke, but I hate it for him,” Jackson said. “He was really good tonight. He’s come a long way the last couple of years and my hat’s off to him. But, if you can’t finish, you can’t win. Tonight, it’s ours and we’re glad to be back in victory lane.”

It was Jackson’s third win at Lucas Oil Speedway this season, but first since May 13.

Mike Striegel finished third with David Hendrix in fourth.

Shute wins again in Late Models: Todd Shute’s dominance in the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model division continues as he captured a third straight feature victory.

Shute, of Des Moines, Iowa, lapped up to the seventh-place finisher in the 24-car lineup in a race that went caution-free. Johnny Fennewald was second, about a quarter-lap behind Shute and Jon Binning was third.

Shute started inside of row two and grapped the lead from Fennewald on lap five. He pulled away from there to keep his roll going in the car owned by Eddie and Sandy Young of Sedalia.

“When you’re gonna make the move on those guys, you have to make it right now,” Shute said, adding that he marveled at the big crowd.

“What a crowd. Every Saturday night the grandstands are pretty much full,” he said. “We appreciate you guys coming out to watch us try to put on a show for you.”

The Lucas Oil Speedway event is the largest one-day food drive of the year for Ozarks Food Harvest. The Springfield-based organization serves approximately 30,000 individuals per week, distributing 17 million meals annually through its network of 270 organizations and programs in 28 counties.

Totals for the 2017 drive were not immediately available, but fans donated 9,825 pounds of food last year at the speedway. Since the yearly event began in 2008, nearly 46,400 pounds of food had been collected at Lucas Oil Speedway, providing 38,600 meals to those in need.

More information about the Ozarks Food Harvest can be found at

Next up: The 8th annual USMTS Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout Presented by Foley Equipment rolls into Lucas Oil Speedway next Saturday, Aug. 5. It’s part of The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup as the stars of the United States Modified Touring Series make their only appearance of 2017 at the speedway. The Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods and the Big O Tires Street Stocks will also be in action. Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:35.

Ward scores first win at Marshalltown, all other classes have repeat winners

Monday, July 31st, 2017

The Marshalltown Speedway saw only one new winner on Friday night. That winner came from the Modified division, where Tim Ward made a first time appearance in victory lane in 2017. The Late Model, Stock Car, Northern SportMod, Hobby Stock and Mod Lite classes all saw repeat winners.

Travis Stensland kept his win streak alive in the Mod Lite division. Stensland started sixth, and led by lap one, holding down that top spot all the way to the checkers. Mike Morrill started eighth, and finished as the runner up, third went to tenth place starter, Josh May, fourth to Bryan Zehm and Jeff Stensland rounded out the top five. Stensland has won the last five races at the speedway.

Sam Wieben made it two in a row by winning the IMCA Northern SportMod A main. Wieben took the lead at lap four after starting ninth on the grid, passing then leader Tom Rawlins. Wieben then took to the rim of the track, circling the track flawlessly on his way to the checkers. Curt Hilmer was second, third went to tenth place starter Travis Peterson, Johnathon Logue came from twelfth, to finish fourth, and Jake McBirnie was fifth. Wieben captured his second win of the season, in back to back victories.

Shannon Anderson in the IMCA Hobby Stocks also made back to back visits to the winner’s circle. Anderson came from twelfth starting spot, to reach the rear bumper of leader Gene Nicklas in less than two laps. By lap five, Anderson had the lead. The closing laps found Leah Wroten apply pressure to Anderson, but to no avail, as she finished as the runner up. Eric Knutson was third, followed by Gary Pfantz in fourth, and Luke Bird in fifth. Anderson scored his ninth win at Marshalltown this year.

The 18 lap IMCA Stock Car feature did not start well. Curt Hook barrel rolled several times off the top of turns three and four before lap one was in the books. Thankfully, he was okay. When the race did get underway, Damon Murty got to the front quickly from his fifth row starting spot, chasing down leader Michael Jaennette, and taking command by lap seven. Jaennette’s attempts to regain the lead fell short, having to settle for second behind winner Murty. Thirteenth place starter Todd Reitzler had a good run to finish in third place, and Steve Meyer finished fourth, just holding off fifth place finisher, Donavon Smith. Murty also made it two in a row, and claimed his fifth win of the regular season.

It was a fight to the finish in the 20 lap IMCA Modified A Main. Jenae Gustin looked poised to take back to back wins, as she led much of the latter portion of the race. But then Tim Ward got to her bumper with five lap remaining. He was able to slip around Gustin with one lap left. Gustin’s last corner slide would then fall short, Ward taking the win, Gustin having to settle for second. Jesse Hoeft came from eleventh starting spot, to take third, fourth was Jake Murray, and Ronn Laurtizen started thirteenth, and finished fifth. This was Ward’s first win of the year at the speedway.

The night was capped off by the 20 lap IMCA Late Model feature and it was Richie Gustin going to victory lane with back to back wins. Gustin finished a comfortable distance ahead of second place Darrel DeFrance. Joe Zrostlik was third, Justin Mitchell started tenth, and finished fourth, and Paul Nagle, who led the early portion of the race, was fifth.

Regular season racing continues next Friday night, August with racing in all six divisions. The green flag drops at 7:30.

Anderson in the Mods at Red Cedar

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Menomonie, Wisconsin-The Red Cedar Speedway presented the Dunn County Fair Night and Double Buzzer Hornet Special Night Two presented by Tractor Central. The WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets were all in action. Feature winners included Mike Anderson, Jeff Brauer, Shane Halopka, Mike Knudtson, George Richards, and Derek Krumrie.

The Tim’s Automotive Modifieds heats were won by Kevin Adams and Cory Mahder but it was Mike Anderson racing from sixth to the win at feature time. Chet Atkinson moved from the pole to lead lap one of the feature when an early yellow flag flew for a spinning Brandon Jensen and Mike Knopps as Knopps was sent to the rear. Atkinson led the restart but Jake Hanson and Jason Richardson were involved in a caution in turn four. Neither car continued. Once again under green, Atkinson was under heavy pressure by Cory Williams, but Mike Anderson powered under both to the point. Anderson continued to lead as Mark Hessler used the high side to move to second and seventh starting Mahder moved to third.

A spinning Josh Hessler collected Steve Hallquist and slowed the action for the final time. Anderson enjoyed a several car length lead as Hessler and Mahder raced side by side for second and Adams raced side by side with Ashley Anderson for fourth. Late in the running Anderson was enjoying a comfortable lead as Mahder claimed second and drove very hard to try to close. It was Anderson by several car lengths at the checkers with Mahder finishing in a strong second. Hessler, Adams, and Ashley Anderson were in the top five.

The General Beer Super Stocks ran three heats with Ben Hillman, Jeff Brauer, and Tommy Richards each driving under the checkers. The very strong Brauer on the pole for the main event showed writing on the wall as he endured three cautions on his way to leading every lap of the event. Early, he and Rick Hallquist moved away from a large pack racing for third but Brauer stretched his legs and moved out to a straightaway advantage.

The first caution saw a rare spin by Richards and he was relegated to 19th on the restart. The yellow flew immediately again as Tony Falkner spun. It was Brauer at the point as Steve Thomas moved into second. A final caution was drawn by a spinning AJ Morissette.

Back under green it was Brauer to the checkered flag undaunted. There was great racing action behind him as several tough drivers had a shoot out for the top five. Meanwhile, Richards was attacking the track in a fervor as he blasted from the back and tried to break into the front runner’s action. Thomas looked solid in second as Hallquist drove home in third. Jesse Redetzke finished fourth and Ben Hillman bested Richards for fifth.

There were four Midwest Modifieds heats as Gunner Watkins, Grant Southworth, Travis Anderson, and Denny Cutsforth each won their battles. The feature start saw an immediate chain reaction caution as they took the green. There were at least eight cars involved as Calvin Iverson and Josh Smith moved to the work area and the rear on the start. The 15 car was not able to continue.

Pole sitter Shadow Kitchner lead lap one but the race was stalled due to a four car incident in turn two. Iverson was not able to continue. Again, it was Kitchner but Shane Halopka had quickly raced to second from fourth. A caution flag flew for a spinning Cutsforth, which included perhaps some misguided extracurricular action while under yellow. Not long after restarting, Cutsforth spun again and was relegated pit side.

The green flag saw Colin Chaschuk becoming hung up on the inside of turn two and the yellow flew again. As they returned to action, it was Halopka snatching the lead as Mark Thomas moved to second. Travis Anderson moved into third as Gunnar Watkins followed him into fourth. Gant Southworth was able to overtake fifth as they all raced unchanged the remainder of the race as Halopka took the checkers.

The Street Stocks saw Michael Knudtson and Danny Richards win the heats as Knudtson swept the night, winning the feature. It wasn’t all that easy however, as 14 year old Braden Brauer drove from the outside of the front row to lead the race and look very strong. Although Knudtson was able to get near Bauer, the leader looked very good chasing his first feature win. A yellow flag flew on one occasion as Danny Richards was called for a lap nine caution. It was the break Knudtson needed as he used an aggressive inside move at the restart to take the lead. He went on to pull away for the win but Brauer was impressive in second. Richards used the remaining laps to scorch his way back into the top three. Ron Hanestad and Ashley Wahlstrom rounded out the top five.

The Pure Stocks heats were won by Kent Harmon and George Richards as Richards swept the night. Kent Deutsch lead early as Krysta and Dustin Doughty trailed in the top three. Dustin Doughty moved to second and then the lead. Meanwhile, Harmon and Richards battled for second as a spinning Cole Hill drew the caution. The green, white, checkered restart saw Richards challenge Doughty on the outside for the win. At the white flag they were side by side and continued to remain the same the entire last lap as Richards bested the two by a fender at the checkered flag.

Chad Walera and Derek Krumrie won their heats as Krumrie went on the sweep the night and the entire Double Buzzer Hornet Special winning both heats and features. A first lap caution saw Waldera spin and collect William Voeltz, Ross Hoffman, and John Wilson. All four cars were eliminated. Jason Holte took the lead but Bradley York drew the caution with a very hard trip into the turn four wall. On the restart, Krumrie overtook Leslie Jackson and closed on the leader. Holte bobbled once in turn four and Krumrie pounced for the lead. Krumrie drove to the win and was followed to the line by Holte, Jackson, Jordan Langer, and Dean Butler. However, the technical check after the race drew disqualifications for Jackson and Butler. Langer was scored in third, as Colin Nyseth and Dave Clausen were awarded top five finishes.

The Red Cedar Speedway is off on August 04, but returns with a vengeance the following week. Thursday, August 10, 2017 features the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) Special plus USRA Limited Late Models and WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. One night later, the WISSOTA Challenge Series / Mahder 55 Memorial Race brings $5555.55 to win the WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Late Models. The Super Stocks, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks are also in action. Once again, Realtor Shelly Watkins will pay out $50.00 to the hard charger. The money is awarded to the feature winner who won from the furthest position in the field. Seventh starting Michael Knudtson earned the Hard Charger bonus on this night of racing.

Pollard in a League of His Own at Five Flags

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Pensacola, Fla. — Five Flags Speedway (FL) hosted its third Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco event of the 2017 season Friday night. A talented field of 25 Super Late Model drivers made their way to the Pensacola half-mile oval, but at the end of the night it was one driver in a league of his own.
Bubba Pollard made the 125-lap race look easy as he cruised under the checkered flag, claiming his 15th career Southern Super Series win. Pollard took over the lead just before the race reached the halfway mark and never bothered looking back.

“This is actually a different race car than what we’ve been racing all year,” Pollard said. “It just goes to show you that we have good race cars. We’ve just got a really good piece right now.”

One late-race caution on lap 90 erased the gap between first and second, threatening to end Pollard’s dominating performance. Donnie Wilson would have a chance steal back the lead from Pollard as the two restarted side-by-side. The ten-lap shootout proved to be more of the same, however, as Pollard got the jump, once again running away with the show.

“I know it wasn’t the most exciting race, but I appreciate all the fans coming out,” Pollard said to a crowd of cheers. “It’s great to see this many people and I can’t thank them enough.”

Practice makes perfect, and that’s exactly what Pollard contributed his wild string of success to.

“We’ve been racing a lot more the last couple of months, about every weekend,” Pollard said. “It definitely helps being in this seat each and every week; all we do is learn more and more. We just keep gaining. We’ve got some big races here toward the end of the year, so hopefully by then we’re going to learn all we can.”

Third-place finisher and defending SSS champion Donnie Wilson is another driver still searching for the perfect formula. He took over the lead from Cole Williams just 19 laps into the feature, but ran into some frustration with lapped traffic, allowing Pollard to catch up and contend for lead.

“It was a good run for us,” Wilson said. “We finished second the first Blizzard Series race and had bad luck on the second one. I think I ran this one a little too hard but we’ll be back. We’re getting closer.”

Jeff Choquette finished the night one position short of where he wanted to be. Choquette had showed strength earlier that afternoon when he was fastest in both practice sessions, but wasn’t able to transfer that momentum into the feature.

“This was a salvage position,” Choquette said. “I think we were running fourth there for a while with fifth place running us down. We got a late-race restart and were able to get up through the gears pretty good. We got to second and were just lucky enough that it was a short enough run to be able to hold [Wilson] off.”

Choquette knows the competition is fierce, but he’s ready to pick up where he left off.

“It just goes to show you that we have a car we’re not happy with,” Choquette admitted. “We’ve got one win under our belt, so hopefully we can get the next one. You know we run in second, we’re right there. But we just weren’t in the league with [Pollard], he was in a league of his own.”

Defending Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes and Casey Roderick completed the top five. Stephen Nasse unofficially took over sole possession of the Southern Super Series points lead with a sixth-place finish.

Next up for the Southern Super Series is a trip to Mobile International Speedway (AL) on August 19 for the Lee Fields Memorial race.