Jim Falls, WI- A nice field of race cars, a smooth multi-groove track, cool but comfortable weather and a new track sponsored greeted a large crowd of eager fans on Sunday night as Gordy’s County Market presented the first race of the 2012 race season.
The first feature race of the season was off to an auspicious start as the night began with a multi-car pileup in turn one at the drop of the green flag. What turned out to be a nasty start to the year, though, ended up being the beginning of a great night of feature racing nonetheless! Jake Stai led the WISSOTA/ Amsoil Midwest Modifieds to the first green flag of the night with Josh Smith along side. Racing would only last a matter of seconds when six cars tangled in turn one resulting in several cars being taken of the track on the hook and the 2011 track champion, Cory Crapser, off to the pits for a tire change. When racing resumed Stai jumped to an early lead as lap one ended with Grant Southworth, coming from third, grabbing second, as Olson ran third. With five laps in the books, Southworth surged into the lead with Stai settling in for second as Olson continued to run third. Meanwhile, back in the pack, Crapser was picking his way through traffic and had worked his way up to fourth after starting dead last. By lap ten, Southworth continued to lead with Crapser moving tight on his rear bumper. Olson continued to run third with Shane Halopka moving into fourth, after starting seventh, as Stai dropped to fifth. With three laps to go, Crapser made his move and snatched the lead from Southworth and the rest is history! By race end, Crapser had finished as the winner and Southworth finished second followed by Halopka, Josh Smith and Jake Smith, who joined the top five during the last lap.
The WISSOTA/Amsoil Super Stocks were up next with Eric Olson and Marcus Simonson leading the way. Olson was off to a quick start, leading the first two laps of the race, with Mike Keller and Shane Kisling battling for the second spot. By lap six, the 2011 National Champion, Kisling, had made his move to grab the top spot as Olson and Keller fought it out for second with Olson running second. Meanwhile a spirited fight was going on for fourth between Tommy Richards and Mark Stender, who had moved up from their seventh and eighth starting spots. By lap ten, Kisling had separated himself from the rest of the field by a considerable margin as Olson continued to run second followed by Keller, Richards, and Stender. Lap fifteen saw the same results with Kisling comfortably in front. At end of the twentieth and final lap, Kisling left no doubt that he would be a force to reckoned with again in 2012 as he took the win followed by Olson, Keller, Richards and Stender.
A stellar field of WISSOTA/Amsoil Modifieds took to the track next with Darrell Nelson and Bryan Nayes leading the field to the first green of their race year at Eagle Valley Speedway. Nelson took the early lead, leading the first five laps with Nayes, Curt Myers, Kevin Adams and Mark Gerth in a back and forth battle, fighting it out for the remaining top five spots. As lap six was beginning, the second caution of the night and the first and only caution in the Modified feature stopped the racing action as Donald Cimfl spun out in turn three. When racing resumed Adams saw his chance as he surged past Nelson relegating Nelson to second followed by Myers, Gerth and Nayes. Midway through the race, Adams continued to lead with Myers giving him some quick looks as Nelson dropped to third. Matt Leer had been on the move, running fourth after starting eighth as Gerth remained in the top five, running fifth. With five laps to go, Adams continued to lead, but Myers was still in hot pursuit as the front runners began running into lapped traffic. Nelson and Leer ran third and fourth and Jesse Glenz moved into fifth. As the checkered flag flew, Adams, the 2011 National Champion took win. Myers followed in second and Nelson, Glenz and Leer rounded out the top five in what proved to be a race that kept the fans on
the edge of their seats!
Eric Olson and Simon Wahlstrom were on the front row for the start of the WISSOTA/Amsoil Street Stock feature. Olson shot to the lead early and led the first four laps of the feature with Wahlstrom, Adam Soltis, Cody Kummer, and Mitchell Kesan fighting it out for the other top five spots. The third caution of the night, and the only one in the Street Stock
feature, occurred as lap five began when Danny Richards slowed in turn two after his car and a couple of others tangled a bit. When racing resumed, Olson once again led with Soltis moving into second followed by Wahlstrom, Kummer and Mike Knudtson. It was during lap seven that Soltis had had enough of running second and made the move on Olson for the lead. Olson assumed the second spot for one lap to be replaced by Kummer at the end of lap nine. In the end, it was Soltis taking the win with Kummer still running second. Olson, Knudtson, and Kesan rounded out the top five.
Eagle Valley Pure Stock action would once again prove to be fast and furious as Clay Potaczek and Jason Havel led the field to the green. Potaczek, in a fast looking and brightly colored car, took the early lead with Havel, Pat Smith, George Richards and Bryan Ciolkosz sparing it out for the other top five spots. With six of the twelve laps completed, Potaczek continued to lead as Richards held on to second, Havel ran third and Smith and Ciolkosz fought it out for fourth.
Despite the best efforts of the rest of the field, Potaczek held on for the win with Richards, Kolby Keih (joined in the battle late), Havel and Dalton Hazelton (another late comer) rounding out the top five.
With just three competitors available, the Eagle Valley Hornets did their best to make a race out of the situation. Hopefully, more cars will join in the fun soon and racing will be a bit more exciting for the fans. In spite of the low numbers, the race was competitive with Jay Welk taking the win followed by Scott Westaby and Derek Knutson.
Racing action continues on Sunday, April 29 with another night of exciting racing. As is usually the case, hot laps begin at 5:30 with racing at 6:00. Be ready for a night of fast action “When the Valley Heats Up”! See the Eagle Valley Speedway website for further information at: http://www.eaglevalleyspeedway.net