Posts in 'Eagle River Speedway' Track
June 10th, 2016
EAGLE RIVER, WI– Natalie Decker added another win to her already impressive State Park Speedway (WI) resume on Thursday night. The 18-year-old racer from Eagle River, Wisconsin drove her No. 04 Super Late Model to Victory Lane during ‘The Happening.’ Dubbed one of the biggest races of the year at the track in Wausau, Wisconsin, and showcasing twin 50-lap feature, Decker took the checkers in the first 50-lapper of the night and brought home a fourth-place finish in the second. “Winning the first 50-lap feature that night was so special to our team because the race was honoring Father Grubba,” said Decker. “And being in victory lane with him was such an honor.”
Decker starter on the pole of the first 50-lap feature and quickly jumped out to the early lead. She led over half of the race before she was challenged by MG Gajewski. Gajewski took the lead, but Decker continued to fight back. On a late race restart, Decker battled tough with Gajewski and on the white flag lap Gajewski lost control of his car, spinning in turn two and giving the win to Decker.
“The second caution of the race came out with only two laps to go. On the restart MG was on the inside and I was on his outside. I knew it would be tough to beat him with only two laps remaining, he is one of the hardest guys to beat at SPS. My car was tight off so getting back to the gas was a challenge on the outside,” said Decker. “When MG spun in turn two on the last lap, my spotter Tom Ress, told me over the head set that I won. It really wasn’t the way I wanted to win, but a win is a win.” With the invert Decker started the second 50-lap feature from the seventh position. She worked her way towards the front, getting into the top five, and earning a fourth-place finish.
“I was one of the fastest cars out there and finished fourth, but I wanted more laps because my car was so good,” said Decker. “It was a great night of racing and really awesome to see all the racing icons of the past, present and future come together in honor of Father Grubba. It was a very special night and State Park Speedway put on a first class event.” Decker hits the track again this Wednesday for the Dick Trickle Memorial race at Marshfield Motor Speedway (WI). Decker picked up a win at Marshfield just a few weeks ago and looks to continue her central Wisconsin winning streak.
“I am super excited to go back to Marshfield Motor Speedway for the Dick Trickle Memorial Race,” said Decker. “Tom Ress, my crew Chief, and I have been discussing this upcoming race and I told him he really had a great set up in the car for me at the last race there. I am just focusing on driving that track better and harder on Wednesday night.” For more information on Natalie Decker, follow her on Twitter at @ndecker04 and
like her page on Facebook by searching “Natalie Decker.”
May 29th, 2016
Jim Falls, Wisconsin – the Eagle Valley Speedway and Gordy’s Market presented the EVS Hornets, EVS Pure Stocks, and the WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, and Modifieds. Feature winners included Kevin Adams, Curt Myers, Michael Truscott, Danny The Modified feature saw Kevin Adams dive below Paul Nitznik and Ashley Anderson in turn one of the opening lap and take a lead which he would never relinquish. Adams drove a blistering pace the entire 20 laps as Ashley Anderson and Mike Anderson set chase. With a few laps remaining, Mike began to test the waters in the low groove and was able to pass Ashley on the last lap for the second position. Dave Baxter drove home in fourth and Matt Leer rounded out the top five.
The Super Stock feature saw the seemingly unbeatable Curt Myers drive to the lead in the first lap and not look back as the defending National Champion appears focused on trying to go back to back nationally. His car is amazingly fast and shows outstanding corner speed. Behind him, a spirited battle for position saw a very fast Nick Oreskovich nab second from the pole sitter, Terran Spacek. A spinning Keith Corcilious drew the caution and just short of the halfway point, Tommy Richards overtook Spacek for third. The field ran the last half of the race well-spaced on the track as Mark Stender rounded out the top five.
The Midwest Modifieds drove cover to cover for the second consecutive week as Collin Hazelton and Ross Fuhrman led them to green. Fuhrman took the early point as Antonio Pintaro raced the low line, passing for the lead with about five laps completed. Michael Truscott moved from his fifth starting position to second as Nick Koehler moved from eighth to third. At the halfway point, Truscott was able to wrestle away the lead from Pintaro. The always tough Truscott, who has struggled somewhat to find victory lane this season drove to the checkered flag for the solid win. Pintaro ran an outstanding race to finish second and Koehler had to settle for third. Shane Halopka took fourth over Bob Wood after a several lap battle for the position.
The Street Stock feature was lead to green by Dalton Hazelton and Travis Hazelton and after an aborted start for Travis leaving too early, the race began. On the first lap, cars drove three wide as Danny Richards took the lead. A spinning Kolby Kiehl saw Travis Hazelton sent to the rear, but on the restart Richards continued to lead. Richards drove to a solid win over Kiehl who looked terrific in second. Kiehl himself held a comfortable lead over third finishing Dalton Hazelton. Travis Hazelton rounded out the field.
The Pure Stocks pitted Mat Holmes and Wayne Braun on the front row as Holmes lead the first circuit of the feature. A mad scramble deep in the field saw four wide racing as Mike Knopps appeared to consider trying to make it five wide at one point. A spinning Nicholas Hazelton reset the field. It was Holmes in the lead on the restart but a spinning Shane Geist found himself stuck in the mud in the infield. The restart saw Knopps take the lead, but Holmes spun in turn four and several cars were unable to avoid the carnage. Richards inherited the lead and found himself in a tussle with Knopps for the win. With two laps remaining, Knopps drove below Richards to the front but Richards immediately answered with a crossover move to take back his lead. It was Knopps looking destined to win as he again passed for the lead, but in corner four, coming to the checkered flag, Knopps blew a tire and Richards pounced, winning the drag race to the finish line.
Once again, the Hornets came in droves as 18 cars competed for the feature win. Jess Seim and Ashley Seidler held the front row as Seim took the lead on the green. Spins on the first two attempts at a start reset the field, however upon going green, the event ran cover to cover. Seim took the point and drove a flawless race to the checkers. Chad Prissel drove from his seventh starting position to threaten for the lead but settled for second at the line. Brad York raced from eighth to third having beat out Derrick Johnson for the position. Austin Berger finished the run in fifth.
The Eagle Valley Speedway will return to racing action on Thursday, June 02, 2016, as Southworth Chevrolet, Tim’s Automotive and Miller Lite / Country Jam Promo present the 2nd Annual Midwest Modified Special. The Midwest Modifieds will race for increased payout and the prestige of the win. All six classes of cars with the EVS Hornets, EVS Pure Stocks, and the WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, and Modifieds be in action. Thanks go out to the fine sponsors each week, including Oium Blacktop and Kelly Oium Well Drilling and Pump Service who give away a bicycle to one boy and one girl every racing night.
August 11th, 2014
WISSOTA Street Stock racers from throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula converged on the challenging 1/3rd mile tri-oval at Eagle River Speedway on Friday NIght (Aug 8th) for the 5th Annual Jake Mullins Memorial Race. 14 of the best in the class started the feature, however a 5-car pile up on the ‘hairpin’ third turn knocked out the winner of the second Heat race, one of the favorites to win the feature, Glenwood City, Wisconsin’s, Ron Hannestad.
With the field down to 11 drivers, the large turnout of fans still didn’t know who would be the favorite. As the race was winding down it turned out to be a bumper to bumper, two and sometimes three wide race between the tracks defending class champion and current class point leader, Jordan Kurtti of Bruce Crossing, Michigan, Tomahawks’s one-two punch of Derek Eberl and Nate Langberg, Eagle River’s Jason Jenson and Rice Lake’s Jim Randall.
Jenson, Langberg and Kurtti were in a nip and tuck battle early on, as Eberl and Randall patiently worked their way through traffic. With only a couple laps to go the fans were on the edge of their seat wondering if it would be Kurtti, Eberl, or Randall. As the checkered flag flew, Kurtti held off Randall with Eberl taking a third.
Upper Peninsula racers took 4 of the 6 features. The first feature was in Junior Sprints, and that is where the ‘Yooper’ dominance began. Greenland’s Wyatt McIntyre got back into the Auto Value Winners Circle by holding off Lake Tomahawk’s Hunter Tingley and Shiocton’s Dylan Larson. McIntyre was trailing Tingley by a quarter lap with only two laps to go. The talented 11 year old made up a lot of ground to win the race.
Next win for a Michigan driver came in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds when Twin Lakes Jesse Aho made an impressive pass on the inside of the ‘sweeping’ 2nd turn on Rhinelander’s Dan Melton. Once Aho passed Melton, the Class Champion for the past 3 years looked to be running away from the pack. That is until a caution with 3 laps to go put Phillip’s Cole Spacek and Eagle River’s Tadd Schoonover back into contention for the win. Aho was able to hold Spacek and Schoonover on his back bumper to take the win.
With Aho, Kurtti, and McIntyre being the defending champions in their class and the current class point leaders, it was not a surprise to see these 3 take their features. However the biggest surprise of the night came when Escanaba’s Matt Peterson won his first feature in the Micro Sprint 600 class. Peterson hit speeds of over 80 miles per hour on a track that was drying out by the end of the night. Officials, and fans were simply waiting for the defending Micro Sprint 600 champion and current class point leader, Jered Cech of Rhinelander to pass Peterson and go on for another routine win.
That never happened, as Peterson kept Cech and Deerbrook’s Jake Reif in his dust.
“I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t think that either Jered (Cech) or Jake (Reif) would eventually catch up to (Matt) Peterson, but neither one of them could get close enough to make the move on Peterson,” commented track announcer, Skip Schulz.
Preventing Upper Peninsula drivers from capturing a ‘sweep’ of the features was Rhinelander’s Cory Allen in the Truck Class and CJ Hedges, Jr., of Tomahawk in the Pure Stock Feature.
Allen is in a tight point battle with the Truck Class Point leader Dylan Spiegelhoff of Rhinelander. An accident in the Heat Race knocked Allen out, which forced him to win the feature. Surprisingly Allen’s stiffest competition in the feature was not from Spiegelhoff, but from Eagle River’s James Koga. Allen took the win when Koga had problems late in the race handling the hairpin third turn. Koga still took a second, with Spiegelhoff getting a 3rd.
The class that is turning out to be one of the most exciting to watch is in Pure Stock. 13 evenly matched cars started the feature. Wabeno’s John Danielson quickly jumped out to a lead, but was challenged right away by Eagle River’s Don Scharf and Rhinelander’s Michael Brown. During this battle in the front of the pack, Tomahawk’s CJ Hedges, Jr., was passing one car at a time. When the flags were crossed, depicting the half way point of the race, Hedges had worked his way to the front to challenge Brown and Scharf. When Scharf and Brown went wide in the 3rd turn, Hedges ran the edge of the infield grass to get the lead. A lead he would hold on, giving his race team a new knickname, “Hedges on the Edges” Racing.
It is Hedges Team and fans that are joining with Eagle River Speedway to hold a special night for an 11 year old girl that lost a courageous health battle, Tori Stevens. The Tori Stevens Memorial Race will be held on Friday Night, August 15th. Hedges Racing has picked up sponsors to give away bicycles to lucky young fans. They are looking for other business’s, race teams, and individuals to also purchase a child’s bike to give away. Contact either CJ Hedges in Tomahawk or Eagle River Speedway if you are willing to purchase and bring a new Child’s Bike for this special Tori Stevens Memorial Race. Those races will be this coming Friday Night (Aug 15th), gates open at 5:00 pm Central time, with Hot Laps to begin at 7:00 pm Central Time.
July 15th, 2014
The rain may have held off for the Stock Car races at Eagle River Speedway on Friday night, but threatening skies didn’t hold the racers back from making some exciting moves to pass cars. It was in both WISSOTA Sanctioned classes that the defending Class Champions had to pull the ‘rabbit’ from out of the hat to win their respective features.
In the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, Phelps, Wisconsin’s Jerry Grasse used his 21 years of racing experience to keep the class’s defending champion for the past 3 years, Jesse Aho, in check. That is until Aho made a move that few drivers have ever attempted in the track’s 40 year history. That is to go as low on the track as you can go going into the sharp ‘hair-pin’ third turn. As Aho was ‘hugging’ the dirt/grass inside line, Grasse held as tight of an inside line as he could. However the move worked for Aho, and he went on to hold off Grasse in a bumper to bumper final.
“Sometimes you simply have to go wherever there is an opening, and that’s what I did,” commented Aho. “I really have to thank my dad (David) for setting the car up, and with this car and the set-up I feel I can really go anywhere on the track,” Aho stated.
In the WISSOTA Street Stock Feature, fellow Upper Peninsula driver and defending class champion, Jordan Kurtti had to have patience in working his way through the pack to challenge for the win. Kurtti started out in the 5th spot. He didn’t move up one spot till the 9th lap of the 20 lap feature. With only 5 laps to go, Kurtti ‘thread the needle’ and passed two cars. Then on the next lap, Kurtti took an inside line waiting for the leader, Tomahawk’s Derek Eberl to drift wide. When Eberl went wide on that 16th lap, Kurtti got the lead. A lead he held on to win the feature.
The Micro Sprint 600′s turned out to be a Father-Son duo. Hitting speeds of over 80 MPH on the 1/3rd mile Tri-Oval, Jerry Reif held off his son Jake for the win. The Kawasaki-powered alcohol burning motorcycle engine propelled winged Micro Sprint team from Deerbrook held off the defending champion, Jered Cech of Rhinelander.
So far this year, the driver to beat in the new Truck Class is Rhinelander’s Dylan Spiegelhoff. It was a Rhinelander driver that won the Truck Feature, but it wasn’t Spiegelhoff, it was Cory Allen. Allen ran an excellent race holding off both Spiegelhoff and Eagle River’s James Koga.
Just like the Truck Feature the driver that was expected to win the Pure Stock Feature was Tomahawk’s CJ Hedges, Junior. Problem for Hedges was that he started in 8th position, and had to get around 7 cars in only 15 laps. Hedges got around 2 drivers in the 2nd lap, another two in the 4th lap. Then it turned out to be a 3 way battle for the lead between Rhinelander’s Tyler Lundberg, and Tomahawk’s Michael Brown. This 3 way battle went on right to the final lap. When the checkered flag dropped it was Brown with the win, Lundberg on Brown’s bumper for second, and right behind Lundberg was Hedges.
With the Upper Peninsula’s Wyatt McIntyre returning to the Auto Value Victory Lane in the Junior Sprint feature, there was an exciting race for second between Rhinelander’s Parker Retzlaff and Shiocton’s Dylan Larson. Larson had won the earlier Heat race and took the preceeding week’s feature. On Friday Night, Retzlaff edged Larson for second place.
Racing returns to Eagle River Speedway this coming Friday Night. Gates open at 5:00 pm CT, with hot laps to begin at 7:00 pm CT.
July 10th, 2014
A large turnout of fans saw 82 cars take on the challenging 1/3rd mile tri-oval at Eagle River Speedway for the 4th of July Fireworks Special. A special that not only included the Auto Value WISSOTA Midwest Modified Special, and the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association Micro Sprint 600 special, and the colorful Harry’s Fireworks show during intermission, but ‘special,’ because the 40 year old track had to make up 3 of the Features that were rained out the previous Friday NIght.
A ‘marathon’ of racing began with the ‘make-up’ features in the WISSOTA MIdwest Modifieds, WISSOTA Street Stock, and the Pure Stock Feaure.
The WISSOTA MIdwest Modified Feature saw a racing veteran of over 20 years, Jerry Grasse of Phelps, run a perfect race in defeating Cole Spacek. Spacek of Phillips, had his hands full in keeping two of the fastest cars behind him. That is Tomahawk’s Jeff Klopstein and the tracks class champion for the past 3 years, Jesse Aho of the Upper Peninsula. All 3 drivers saw Grasse hit his mark going in and coming out of the 3 corners, each corner with it’s own ‘personality.’
As Grasse was leaving the Auto Value Victory lane, the WISSOTA Street Stockers were already getting the green flag in their make-up feature. A race that saw a past WISSOTA National Street Stock Champion, Kirk Bogdonavich in a bumper to bumper battle with Tomahawk’s Nate Langberg from the first lap to the 10th lap. Problem for both Bogdonavich and Langberg is this make up feature was a 20 lap race, and the driver that worked his way from the middle of the pack to pass Langberg, was the Eagle River Speedway WISSOTA Street Stock defending champion, Jordan Kurtti.
Could the Upper Peninsula driver find a way to get around one of the best WISSOTA Street Stock drivers of all time, Kirk Bogdonavich? Answer, yes. With only two laps to go on the 20 lap ‘make-up’ feature, Kurtti got on the inside of Bogdonavich on the ‘hair-pin’ third turn to get the lead and hold on to get the win.
Just as Kurtti had to have the patience to work his way through the middle of the pack to take the checkered in the WISSOTA Street Stock ‘make-up’ race, Tomahawk’s CJ Hedges,Jr., had to do the same in the Pure Stock Feature. A feature that didn’t run the previous week due to rain. Unlike Kurtti, Hedges didn’t wait till there was only two laps left in the race to grad the lead.
Hedges started in the 7th spot, and by the 5th lap of the 15 lap feature, Hedges was leading the pack. Once Hedges got the lead, the large turnout of fans focused their attention on the battle between Pelican Lake’s, Herb Dettman and Eagle River’s Ron Drake, Jr.. Drake was coming off his Feature win the previous week at Adventure Mountain Speedway in Greenland, Michigan. AS Hedges cruised past the flag pole for the win, Dettman was able to hold off Drake for 2nd.
55 laps had run, and the Fireworks Special had yet to begin!
“The fans really got their ‘money’s worth. Here we had 3 great races, exciting finishes of ‘features,’ and we still had not seen the drivers that came from throughout Wisconsin and Michigan to run in the Auto Value Fireworks Special in the MIdwest Modifieds, or the many BMARA (Badger Midget Auto Racing Association) Micro Sprint 600 drivers compete. Not to mention the large turnout of drivers competing in the WISSOTA Street Stock, Pure Stock, Trucks…and even to our own surprise, the Junior Sprints,” commented track announcer Skip Schulz.
While the Junior Sprints were not scheduled to race, when the children between the ages of 5 and 12 brought their Junior Sprints to the track, track officials allowed them to race. A decision that made ‘history,’ when the 2-time defending champion, Wyatt McIntyre of Greenland, Michigan’s two year unbeaten streak in Features had ended. Shiocton’s Dylan Larson who broke McIntyre’s streak by winning a Heat race 3 weeks ago, was leading McIntyre in the feature when McIntyre tried going on the inside of Larson on the ‘sweeping’ second corner. McIntyre went to low and hit an infield barrier. McIntyre was not injured. Larson went on to win the Feature ending McIntyre’s amazing 2 year run.
18 cars did the parade lap to open the Auto Value WISSOTA Midwest Modified Fireworks Special. The 25 lap feature turned into a ‘family affair.’ A race that would set the stage for an exciting finish and a prelude to a big weekend for Chippewa Falls, Michael Truscott. Truscott got by Kent Baxter of Colfax on the 5th lap, the same lap that Toivola, Michigan’s, Jesse Aho also got by Baxter. That set the stage for a battle between the driver that has won the track points championship for the past 3 years, Jesse Aho, and the brother of Aho’s wife, Michael Truscott. Aho, who grew up 15 miles from where Truscott grew up, knew that while Truscott does not race at Eagle River Speedway on a weekly basis, Truscott is having a ‘banner’ season. Truscott would hold off Aho to win the feature, and would go on to win his second consecutive feature at ABC Raceway in Ashland the following night.
Having the 4th of July fall on a Friday Night, the holiday weekend brought new drivers to compete in the WISSOTA Street Stock class. While the only drivers that were allowed to run in the ‘make up’ feature at the start of the night, the ‘second’ WISSOTA Street Stock feature would match up the drivers that compete at the track on a regular basis with new drivers. Some that have made the trip to the popular Northern Wisconsin tourist community in the past and some that made it to this unique track for the first time.
So who would come end up getting the win and who would end up making the ‘top three?”
In the Heat races, the weekly ‘regulars’ best finish was a 3rd place finshes in both heats., Eagle River’s, Ron Vanduesson took a 3rd in the first heat. A race that saw Ladysmith’s Adam Soltis hold off Medord’s Cody Kummer. Glenwood City’s Ron Hanestad defeated Bogdonavich in the second heat, with Bruce Crossing, Michigan’s Kurtti. Those heat races gave the odds on favorite to win the feature to those that don’t race at the track on a regular basis.
“Never bet against the odds,” commented Ryan Glembin of Eagle River Speedway. “Especially when you have the talent and the cars that we had at the track on Friday Night.”
Winning the WISSOTA Street Stock Fireworks Special Feature was Kummer, with Soltis taking a second, and Hanestad getting a third. Best a weekly ‘regular’ could do, was Kurtti who took a 4th.
The race that had the stands, packed with fans, ‘rockin,’ was the BMARA Micro Sprint 600 feature. A race that also put those that race at the track on a regular basis against a large contingent of drivers from Southern Wisconsin. A class that had a ‘split’ in the heat races, with Deerbrook’s Jerry Reif holding off fellow ‘regular’ and defending class champion, Rhinelander’s Jered Cech to win the first heat. However in the second heat, Sun Prairie’s Brandon Sletten defeated one of the drivers that took his Micro Sprint 600 to speeds over 90 mph last year, Jake Reif.
Thus would the fastest cars on the track, the Micro Sprint 600′s go the same way as the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and the WISSOTA Street Stocks, where those that compete at the track on a weekly basis take the back seat to those that made the trip north for the first time of the year?
Not in this class. The BMARA Micro Sprint 600 Feature would go to the tracks defending champion, Rhinelander’s Jered Cech. Cech’s Honda-powered, alcohol burning, winged sprinter held off Jake Reif to get the win. One of the two drivers from Southern Wisconsin that has made the trip north for the last two races to prepare for this past Friday NIght’s ‘special,’ was Madison’s Zach Bodeen. Bodeen took a third.
Wausau’s Dan “Yogi” Schmidt gave notice that the Truck Division points championship has not been given to the driver that has won every feature, other then the opening night, that is Rhinelander’s Dylan Spiegelhoff. Schmidt’s challenge in the Truck Feature was not Spiegelhoff, but fellow Wausau racer, Adam Jennejohn. Schmidt edged Jennejohn by a ‘bumper’ at the finish line to garner his first Feature win of the season.
Hedges continued to show his talent by winning the regularly scheduled Pure Stock Feature. Taking a second was Tomahawk’s Tyler Musoff, with Drake getting a third.
Exciting racing returns to the 1/3rd mile Tri-Oval this coming Friday Night. Gates open at 5:00 pm Central Time.
June 15th, 2014
Was it the fact that it was Friday the 13th, or was it because of the full moon, or could it have been a combination of both? Whatever one believes, it was a large turnout of fans and racers that saw exciting, and at times ‘interesting’ racing at Eagle River Speedway. The superstitions were voiced early in an action packed night of racing.
At the start of the night, the first Heat in the new Truck Division saw Rhinelander’s Jeff McDonald get out to an early lead and built that lead to over a quarter of a lap on his nearest competitor, Eagle River’s Jim Koga. Then on the final lap, McDonald pulled off the track for reason’s only known to McDonald. While the fans were watching McDonald head to the over-flow pit area in the infield, Koga was nowhere to be found. To make one wonder if the ‘Friday the 13th,’ or the ‘full moon’ superstitions were coming into play, the driver that appeared to be gaining ground on the leaders was Wausau’s Adam Jennejohn. That is until Jennejohn hit the outside wall coming out of the ‘hair-pin’ final turn.
“OK, we only have one driver left to take the checkered…hmmm, who is the winner and what is the ‘official’ places of the drivers?” questioned long-time track announcer Skip Schulz?
The official results gave the win to Forest Crandall of Birnamwood.
The Truck racer that went into the night with the point lead, Dylan Spiegelhoff of Rhinelander won the second Heat and the Truck Feature. The only driver to crack into the Top 3 in the Feature from that ‘interesting’ first heat was Crandall.
It was in the Junior Sprint Heat that Greenland, Michigan’s, Wyatt McIntyre was defeated for the first time in 2 years. Shiocton’s Dylan Larson may be top young to have heard that Friday the 13th can bring bad luck. The 10 year old stuck right to McIntyre’s duo-winged Junior Sprinter for the first 6 laps, then when the two came upon lapped traffic in the 7th lap, Larson passed McIntyre and held on for the win. McIntyre would come back to hold off Larson to win the Feature.
Whether it was the turn-out of racers in each of the classes, many racers that took to the 1/3rd mile Tri-Oval for the first time, or the superstitious beliefs, all of the races saw crashes, spin-outs, and yellow flags being brought out throughout the night. This excitement of the Heat races carried on to the Features.
It wasn’t just the fans that were treated to the mishaps and mistakes from the drivers, even some of the racers took advantage of the Yellow flag being brought out.
This was evident in the Pure Stock Feature as those that started in the middle of the pack were having a hard time breaking free of some of the slower cars in front of them. This forced those that had the car and skills to challenge for the win to ‘thread the needle’ when it came to passing cars. The one that really ‘shined’ on the full moon night was Tomahawk’s CJ Hedges. Hedges went from the 10th spot at the start to draft the leader Jason Melton of Rhinelander in the 5th lap. On the proceeding lap, Hedges got on the inside of Melton on the ‘sweeping’ 2nd turn to take the lead. A lead the current Pure Stock Class point leader would not relenquesh.
With Hedges proving that you can go from the back of the pack at the start of the race to win the feature, would this be possible for the defending Eagle River Speedway WISSOTA Street Stock Champion, Bruce Crossing, Michigan’s, Jordan Kurtti. Kurtti, who won the 1st Heat Race started the feature in the 7th spot. While Kurtti was patiently moving up as the race progressed, it was the battle at the front of the pack between Eagle River’s Ryan Glembin, Tomahawk’s Nate Langberg, and 1994 WISSOTA National Champion KIrk Bogdonavich of Phillips that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Glembin held an outside line throughout the battle with Langberg and Bogdonavich. With the ‘door’ open on the inside, Langberg and Bogdonavich were to busy fighting each other off to make the move on Glembin. Bogdonavich held the second spot from the 3rd lap to the 13th lap, then on 14th lap, Langberg got by Bogdonavich. Langberg did everything he could to try to pass Glembin, with Glembin holding off Langberg for a photo finish.
As far as Kurtti? Ended with a 4th place finish.
With one defending Class Point Champion failing to break into the Top 3, would a full moon bring bad luck for the 3-year Consecutive WISSOTA Midwest Modified Class Champion, Jesse Aho of Toivola, Michigan? That looked to be a good possibility when a Track Champion from a past Northern Wisconsin track, Cole Spacek of Phillips holding off Aho in the 2nd Heat, and a past Eagle River Speedway Class Champion, John Kallas of Hurley winning the 1st Heat. To make things even more difficult for Aho was one of WISSOTA’s top Midwest Modified Drivers, Jeff Klopstein, Jr., making his first trek north from Tomahawk to Eagle River.
Klopstein grabbed an early lead, as Aho had to work his way through the crowded field from the 7th position. Klopstein, a former fellow Upper Peninsula resident (L’Anse), didn’t have time to be concerned about Aho, he was too busy in a tight race with Spacek, Kallas, and Eagle River’s Ben Pitlik. When Pitlik drove into the back end of Kallas, that put him in the back and opened up the battle between Klopstein, Spacek, Kallas, and guess who moved up to join the pack…yep, Jesse Aho.
With only 4 laps to go in the race, Aho showed why he has been the WISSOTA Midwest Modified Class Champion at Eagle River Speedway since 2011. Aho made an impressive move to pass Klopstein.
“The way these new (Midwest) Mods are set up, I can get the car to handle even when the track is drying out. I have too, I race at many tracks in Wisconsin where this is a common condition,” commented Aho at the start of the night.
It was 2 Micro Sprint 600 drivers that came from Southern Wisconsin to compete at the 40 year old Eagle River Speedway. Vance Lein and Zach Bodeen of the Madison area. The challenging track didn’t seem to scare these two as they opened the night challenging the talented ‘regulars,’ as the only driver to beat them was 17 year old Jake Reif of Deerbrook. Reif’s Kawasaki powered Micro Sprint held off the Suzuki-powered sprinters of Lein and Bodeen in the Heat Race.
The Feature followed suit by exciting the fans when some of these 85 MPH sprinters were spinning out in the tough 3rd ‘hairpin’ corner. Bodeen left the feature early, and Lein fell from the 3rd spot to the 4th spot when he was passed by the class’s defending champion, Jered Cech of Rhinelander. Cech went into the night with a narrow 3 point lead over Eagle River’s Bob Hicks and a 6 point lead over Jake Reif.
Cech and his Honda was unable to get by the Son-Father combo of Jake and Jerry Reif who took first and second in the Feature.
Whether one blames the thrills of the night on it being a full moon, Friday the 13th, or a combination of the two, it will be a few years before Eagle River Speedway will see racing on a night with a Full Moon and Friday the 13th. This won’t happen for another 35 years, when Eagle River Speedway will be celebrating it’s 75th year of racing.
Racing will return this coming Friday Night, In addition to racing in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, WISSOTA Street Stock, Micro Sprint 600′s, Trucks, Pure Stock, and Junior Sprints, the 1/3rd Mile Tri-Oval will see the ABC Raceway 6 cylinders also compete. Hot Laps begin at 7:00 pm CT, with racing to start at 7:30 pm CT. Excitement is already building for the Friday NIght, July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, when the track will host an increased purse WISSOTA Midwest Modified Special and a Special Race for the Micro Sprint 600′s. The other classes will also compete on the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.