Travis Sauter won Round Two of the Triple Crown Challenge at Madison International Speedway based on his first place finish in the second feature and a fourth place finish in the first feature just edging Nathan Haseleu who finished first
and fifth. Haseleu is the overall point leader in the Triple Crown Challenge with 199 points followed by Jeremy Miller with 174, Bobby Wilberg and Rich Bickle Jr. at 153 and Gary LaMonte at 129.
Will Rece and Andy Jones were also winners in the Ho Chunk Gaming Sportsman and Pellitteri Waste Systems Legends on Johnny Ziegler Tribute Night at MIS. Haseleu Takes Home Checkered Flag in First Feature Nathan Haseleu took the lead over Andrew Morrissey with four laps to go and hung on to win the 50 lap feature for the Super Late Models. The win was his third in a row in the Triple Crown Challenge Series.
Twenty-one Super Late Models answered the call in the first feature. A high-flying front row of Andrew Morrissey and Jeremy Miller brought the field to the green flag. Miller grabbed the early lead while Wilberg and Morrissey were fighting it out for second place. On lap 3 Wilberg had the advantage over Morrissey with Bickle Jr. and Storm rounding out the top five. Tim Lampman brought out the first caution flag when he spun in turn two on lap 7.
Morrissey elected to move to the outside of Miller on the restart which proved to be a good move as he took the lead away from Miller. Jeff Storm pulled to the outside of Wilberg in the battle for third place and the two raced side by side with Bickle Jr. right behind. On lap 11 Wilberg would win the fight for third while both Bickle Jr. and Haseleu would pass Storm on lap 13.
On lap 15, Bickle Jr. dropped to the low side of Wilberg to take third with Haseleu following Bickle Jr. through the opening. Out front Morrissey and Miller had built a ten car length lead over the rest of the field. On lap 20, Haseleu motored past Bickle Jr. for third and was quickly closing on the leaders as they were working their way through lapped traffic. Two laps later Travis Sauter found his way to the top five, but he was still several lengths behind the fourth place car of Bickle Jr.
The race remained under green with everyone chasing Morrissey until the caution flag came out on lap 33 when Kelsey Bauer spun in turn two. Now it was drama time. This time on the restart Morrissey lined up on the inside, but which driver was going to make the move to line up outside the leader. Miller chose to stay behind the leader, but Haseleu chose to
challenge Morrissey on the outside. The two raced side by side with Haseleu getting a slight advantage on the outside only to have Morrissey regain the lead on the inside. On lap 36 Morrissey would get the room he needed and took a two car length lead over Haseleu. Morrissey quickly built up his advantage to seven car lengths with ten laps to go. The best
race behind Morrissey was the battle for fourth between Sauter and Miller. But just when it appeared that Morrissey was going to cruise to victory lane, the caution flag came out on lap 45 when Bauer and Mike Held got together on the backstretch.
On the restart, Haseleu chose the outside line again with Bickle Jr. and Sauter behind the leaders in row two. Morrissey
held a slight advantage with Haseleu regaining the lead a lap later. With four laps to go Haseleu had a half car length lead until gaining a full car length lead with two laps to go. From there Haseleu would maintain the lead the rest of the way to pick up the win followed by Morrissey, Bickle Jr., Sauter, and Miller in fifth.
Travis Sauter Picks Up the Win in Second Feature Travis Sauter took the on lap 22 and never looked back as he won the 43 lap feature for the Triple Crown Challenge Round 2 for the Super Late Models.
In the second feature, Jeff Storm and Russ Blakely raced side by side for the lead with Bobby Wilberg and Gary LaMonte going side by side for third. Neither Storm nor Blakely could get more than a car lengths lead as they took turns leading. Wilberg was applying heavy pressure on the pair by lap 12, but it appeared that the two would continue their side by side battle indefinitely.
On lap 18, Travis Sauter moved past Wilberg for third while Blakely was gaining the lead over Storm. On lap 19 Sauter
powered past Storm for second and focused his attention on Blakely. On lap 22 Sauter dropped to the inside of Blakely coming out of turn four to take the lead.
Sauter had built up a ten car length lead by the half way point of the race followed by Blakely, Wilberg, Storm, and Andrew Morrissey. With ten laps to go Sauter had a huge lead over the field with Blakely and Wilberg doing battle for second place. Wilberg would take the second position from Blakely on lap 35 while Jeremy Miller was quietly working his way up to third place. Nathan Haseleu joined the top five with six laps to go and needed to get by the fourth place of car of Morrissey to win the overall title but was unable to do so. Sauter was simply too powerful out front and led the rest of the way to pick up the win in the 43 lap feature. Jeremy Miller finished in second place followed by Wilberg, Morrissey, and Haseleu.
“We were way too tight in the first race so we made some adjustments that really paid off here in the second race. I had
no idea that we had a shot to win the overall points tonight so this is great,” said Sauter from victory lane. Haseleu was
fastest in qualifying with a lap of 17.674 followed by Storm (17.731), Sauter (17.774), Bickle Jr. (17.792), and Wilberg (17.836). Will Rece Goes Wire to Wire for Sportsman Checkered Flag
Will Rece won the 20 lap feature for the Ho Chunk Gaming Madison Sportsman. Mike Taylor and Will Rece paced the field of thirteen cars to the green flag. Rece jumped out to a big lead with Ace taking second place from Taylor on the second lap. Robert Hansberry Jr. slid by Ace on the inside coming out of turn two on lap 3 to take second place. Meanwhile, Todd Ambrose was up to third on lap 4 with Taylor and Ace rounding out the top five.
Rece had built up a ten car length lead over Hansberry Jr. and it appeared to be smooth sailing for the leader. Matt
Lundberg moved past both Taylor and Ace to take fourth place on lap 9. On lap 12 Ambrose was all over Hansberry Jr. for second and maneuvered his way to the inside and went right on by to take the spot. But was there enough time to catch Rece?
A spin just ahead of the leaders brought out the caution flag with four laps to go and took some of the wind out of Rece’s sails. Lundberg moved to the outside of Rece on the restart while Ambrose chose the inside line behind the leader. Rece quickly regained his lead with Ambrose up to second and only two car lengths behind. Hansberry Jr. passed
Lundberg for third with two to go. Ambrose gave it his best shot, but there would be no denying Rece who won his second
feature of the 2012 season. Hansberry Jr. finished in third place followed by Lundberg and Wutke.
“It was a little greasy and a little warm out there tonight,” said Rece. “I didn’t honestly think I would have
this much success in my first season.”
Todd Ambrose took the early lead in the first ten lap qualifying race. On lap 2 Robert Hansberry Jr. took second from TJ Goldade coming into turn three and began to hunt down the leader. Despite his best efforts, Hansberry Jr. would come up short as Ambrose would win by a car length. Goldade would finish in the third position.
In the second qualifying race Mike Winters took the early lead with Matt Lundberg and Tommy Wutke fighting it out for second. Lundberg would eventually earn the second spot and quickly position his car right on Winters’ bumper. Winters was not about to be intimidated as he made the most of his first race at MIS and picked up the win followed by Lundberg and Will Rece.
Hansberry Jr. continued his lock on qualifying for the Sportsman by setting fast time with a circuit of 21.058 followed by Lundberg (21.096), Ambrose (21.285), Wutke (21.318), and Goldade (21.378).
Andy Jones Wins Third Feature of the Season at MIS
Andy Jones won the 25 lap feature for the Pellitteri Waste Systems Legends. Todd Schmitz and Kevin Griffin brought the sixteen car field of Pellitteri Waste Systems Legends to the green flag. Schmitz was able to take the early lead with
Vince Bartolotta and Chris Lishamer up to second and third on lap 4. Bartolotta was looking for the lead when the caution flag came out when the car of Jacob Krueger made contact with the wall coming out of turn one.
Wasting no time, Bartolotta took the lead on the restart with Chris Lishamer in second and Andy Jones up to third before the caution came out on lap 7 for the car of Anthony Metallo made contact with the wall in turn one. Andy Jones vaulted to the lead on the restart from outside the second row. Bartolotta and Cory Talaska raced side by side until lap 10 when Talaska took the second position. Out front Jones quickly built up a lead over Talaska and his fellow competitors. Lishamer, Rachael Pinkerman, and Max McNamara had a good race for the third spot while Jones was cruising out front.
The last thing Jones wanted to see was the caution flag, but it came out on lap 20 when Jeff Lechnir’s car had a small fire and was forced to pull off the track. McNamara’s night nearly ended prematurely as he was forced back to the pits with engine problems only to return prior to the race going green again.
Jones continued to lead after the waving of the green flag while Pinkerman took the second spot away from Talaska. Jones would never look back and lead all the way to victory lane to pick up his third feature win of the season. Pinkerman finished second followed by Talaska, Bartolotta, and Lishamer.
“It was an interesting race going inside and outside, but I saved the best for the end,” said Jones. “The track had a lot of grip by the time the feature came around.”
In the first twelve lap qualifying race Rachael Pinkerman took the early lead for the first two laps before Andy Jones worked his way to the outside to take the top spot. The caution came out on lap 4 when Max McNamara spun on the backstretch. Jones continued to lead when the green flag waved again…and again…and again after a series of cautions and easily picked up the win. Following Jones in the top three were Anthony Metallo and Tony Moyer.
Kevin Griffin and Chris Lishamer raced side by side for the first two laps before the caution flag came out for a spin in turn two. Lishamer picked up the lead after the race resumed followed closely by Cory Talaska. On lap 6 Talaska worked his way to the inside and took over the lead and led the rest of the way to victory lane followed by Lishamer and Bartolotta.
McNamara was the fast qualifier in the Legends with a lap of 13.994 followed by Talaska (14.053), Jones (14.152), Lishamer (14.161), and Pinkerman (14.299).
Racing continues at Madison International Speedway on Friday, July 13th with Union Night at the Races featuring the Rockweiler Insulation Late Models, Ho Chunk Gaming Madison Sportsman, and the Pellitteri Waste Systems Legends. Pit gates open at 3:30 with practice at 4:45, qualifying at 6:15 and racing to follow. For more information checkout the track website at madisoninternationalspeedway.com or call the track office at 608.835.9700.