NEW RICHMOND, Wis.– Qualifying heat races began shortly after 7:30 Friday night for the Modified Masters at the Cedar Lake Speedway.
Earlier in the day, Josh Angst was wrestling with the thought of not attending, but made the decision to head toward New Richmond, Wis.
The 28-year-old from Winona, Minn., set the tone during the first race of the night. After racing into second on the opening lap, Angst shadowed polesitter Steve Wetzstein for the next nine laps but could never find a way underneath.
As the lead duo took the white flag, Angst moved up to the outside groove and pulled even with Wetzstein as they raced into the final turn. Angst nipped Wetzstein by a nose as they reached the checkered flag.
During the second round of heat races, Angst raced to a second-place finish from seventh on the starting grid. The effort was enough to lead all drivers in passing points for the night.
Shortly before 11 p.m., “The Candy Man” completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Sybesma Graphics Pole Dash which earned him the pole for Saturday night’s 70-lap, $50,000-to-win, $2,000-to-start main event that will take the green flag three-wide.
“This is awesome,” Angst said. “It was actually closer to two o’clock when we decided we were gonna come. It was definitely worth it. I never imagined this.
“The first heat race we were pretty good and we just kept tweaking on it and it just kept getting better.”
Ryan Gustin, who has three career USMTS wins here, raced from fourth to second in the dash race and will start in the middle of the front row with third-place finisher Rodney Sanders to his right.
The second row of Saturday’s main event will be filled by Jimmy Mars, Joe Duvall and Thursday night’s winner, Zack VanderBeek.
Jake Hartung, Cade Dillard and Johnny Scott will make up the third row and the fourth row will consist of Cory Crapser, Jake Timm and Terry Phillips.
Each competitor battled in two 11-lap heat races Friday, with starting positions and drivers mixed. The top 12 drivers in passing points are locked into tomorrow’s championship race. The next 12 (13th-24th) are locked into the “B” Main and the next 12 go to the “C” Main. The remainder will run in “Last Chance” races on Saturday.
Saturday’s main event will produce the biggest winner’s check in the 19-year history of the USMTS, and the first time in track that the Cedar Lake Speedway will pay out $50,000 to win a Modified event. Midwest Mods will also compete on Friday and Saturday.
Breakfast is served in the west restaurant beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, and Apple River tubing begins at noon. Hot laps start at 6:30 with the first green flag gets unfurled at 7 p.m.
Spectator tickets are $35 for adults or $15 for students. Pit passes are $45.
RacinDirt will have the entire production live with an explosive broadcast featuring a multi-camera production, dedicated host, pre- and post-race interviews, FK Rod Ends Instant Replay and other video elements. Visit www.racindirt.com to order your pay-per-view package today.
The Cedar Lake Speedway is a high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located 1.0 mile east of SR 35 on SR 64, then 4.2 miles north on CR C to CR CC, then left 1.8 miles. For more information, call (612) 363-0479 or (715) 248-7119 or check out www.cedarlakespeedway.com online.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.