Menomonie WI, May 6 – The fourth attempt to get the 2011 racing season under way at the Red Cedar Speedway was successful, with a big crowd, full pit area and sunny skies to boot. National driving star Jimmy Mars was home this weekend, and he made it look easy with an unchallenged win in the Late Model feature to highlight the racing program on opening night. Other feature winners Friday included Kevin Adams, Steve Thomas, Matt Leer and Bill Skoug.
The first two attempts to get the Late Model feature going resulted in yellow flags and a two car collision eliminated Kerry Hanson from further action. On the third attempt, Jake Redetzke, who had bobbled on the earlier false starts, this time got a much better start and jumped into the early lead. Mars moved up from the second row to quickly bird dog the leader as he looked for an opening. Five laps into the event, Mars got a strong run off turn two and ducked under Redetzke to take over the lead. Once in front, he then gradually moved away from the field.
The pack got shuffled when John Kaanta got sideways in turn four and while a major collision was avoided and the race remained under green, several cars were able to take advantage and make a quick move toward the front.
As Mars moved away from the pack, Chad Mahder advanced from the seventh starting spot to take over third from Mike Prochnow and then set out after Redetzke for third.
Mars had to be careful as he worked through traffic in the closing laps but he cruised home with nearly a straightaway advantage over the field. Redetzke held off a late rush by Mahder for second with Prochnow and Ashley Anderson completing the top five.
Adams for off a tight three car battle as the defending track champion took the Modified main event. He started on the pole and was able to edge past Mark Gerth into the high groove and take the early lead. Craig Thatcher and Dave Cain quickly moved into the second and third spots as the top three drew away from the field. Adams maintained his slight lead as Cain dropped to the low side of the track and raced Thatcher side by side for second.
After a few laps Thatcher was able to contain Cain and solidify the second spot but he seemed unable to close in on Adams. The margin between the two remained relatively static, but one mistake by Adams and Thatcher was ready to pounce. However, that never occurred and Adams drove home with several car lengths to spare for the win. Cain maintained third as Brandon Jensen made a nice run up to the fourth spot from the fourth row while Brent Prochnow completed the top five.
The Super Stock feature had a couple of lead changes in the last few laps that kept the race very interesting right to the checkered flag. Jason Forehand used the top side to take the initial lead with Steve Thomas, Shane Kisling, Ben Hillman and Luke Plank battling behind him. Thomas got up on the high side himself and he really picked up the pace as he went buzzing by Forehand to take over the lead.
Once in front, Steve put a little distance on the pack while the battle for second remained a hot one with Kisling, Forehand and Hillman arguing for the position. Kisling moved to the high side to take over second and then he gradually began to reel in the leader. In fact, the top four cars all bunched up in the waning laps as they raced for the win.
Kisling was able to get to the inside of Thomas off turn two and powered into the lead as the laps ran down. However, Thomas would have none of that and on the following lap, Steve was able to get back under Kisling and regain the lead as the white flag waved. Kisling tried to return the favor in turn one but his car jumped out from under him and moved up the track and Hillman was quick to take the position.
Ben pushed hard on the last lap but Thomas hung on for the win. Kisling settled for third ahead of Forehand and Aaron Wilson.
The Midwest Modified feature was also a crowd pleaser with some good battles for position and a late race pass for the win. Ryan Viltz led the early going of the main event but he was then tracked down by Cory Crapser who moved into the lead. Viltz remained right there to continue battling him but he was joined by Matt Leer, Clark Swartz and Jordan Hessler.
Leer was able to get past Viltz and take over the runner up slot and he began to close on Crapser for the lead. Meanwhile, Shane Halopka was making a strong run also as he pulled into a challenging position. With five laps remaining, Crapser slipped up the track just enough that Leer was able to power under him in turn one and take over the top spot. Halopka continued his charge and he got past Crapser also and closed on Leer. An all out charge on the final lap came up short as Leer took home the win. Crapser held on to third followed by Viltz and Swartz.
The Pure Stock feature was not quite as smoothly run as the other main events. Several yellow flags slowed the action and one of the incidents saw the leader planted in the infield.
Chaz Ducommun was the early leader of the race, but he was challenged by Randy Burton and Nick Traynor. Traynor was able to take over the top spot but the battle continued as Burton, Gunnar Watkins, Bill Skoug and Kory Hathaway all were battling for position. Skoug found an opening on the bottom side of the track and was able to drive into the lead, but shortly after in a heavy battle to maintain that spot, he was turned around in turn four and the yellow flag waved.
Skoug was returned to the lead for the three lap sprint to the finish with Hathaway becoming his main threat. Kory went to the extreme high side of the track and drew even with Skoug on the final circuit but he bounced off the turn three wall and lost enough momentum that Skoug was able to drive home for the win. Hathaway gathered himself and was able to come home third. Apparent third place finisher Traynor weighed in light and was disqualified, moving Jeremy Dahl, Jason Supri and Ducommun into the top five.
Racing action in all four classes will continue next Friday, with the first green flag set to drop at 7 p.m.
Red Cedar Speedway
May 6, 2011
WISSOTA Late Models
20 lap Feature – Jimmy Mars, Menononie; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire; Chad Mahder, Eau Claire; Mike Prochnow, Menomonie; Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Steve Laursen, Cumberland; Scott Gilberts, Menomonie; Jake Hartung, Elmwood; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Rick Hanestad, Boyceville; Scott Duval, Bloomer; Greg Nippoldt, Roberts; Cory Mahder, Elk Mound; T.J. Adams, Hayward; Chris Oertel, Marshfield; Caley Emerson, Forest Lake MN; Kerry Hanson, Baldwin.
8 lap Heat 1 – Redetzke; Prochnow; Laursen; Kaanta; Co. Mahder; Hartung; Nippoldt; Oertel; Hanestad.
Heat 2 – Mars; Gilberts; Anderson; Ch. Mahder; Hanson; Duval; Emerson; Adams.
15 lap Feature – Kevin Adams, Cameron; Craig Thatcher, Knapp; Dave Cain, Corcoran MN; Brandon Jensen, Hammond; Brent Prochnow, Colfax; Mike Anderson, Colfax; Mark Gerth, Menomonie; Jay Richardson, Spring Valley; Jesse Glenz, Cadott; Bryan Nayes, Chippewa Falls; Mark Hessler, Menomonie; Cory Williams, Spring Valley; Jason Swan, Chippewa Falls; Don Brightbill, Hudson; Steve Hallquist, Eau Claire; Matt Steffen, Mondovi.
8 lap Heat 1 – Thatcher; Jensen; Gerth; Anderson; Nayes; Hessler; Swan; Williams.
Heat 2 – Cain; Adams; Richardson; Prochnow; Hallquist; Glenz; Steffen.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
15 lap Feature – Steve Thomas, Menomonie; Ben Hillman, Menomonie; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Jason Forehand, Eau Claire; Aaron Wilson, Menomonie; Luke Plank, Eau Claire; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Darrel Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Mike Keller, Menomonie; Tom Karis, Menomonie; Brad Banitt, Red Wing MN; Bart Steffen, Eau Claire; Jay Quilling, Menomonie; Bernie Christiansen, Menomonie; Rick Hallquist, Eau Claire.
8 lap Heat 1 – Thomas; Plank; Hazelton; Steffen; Wilson; Karis; Christiansen; Hallquist
Heat 2 – Kisling; Hillman; Forehand; Olson; Banitt; Keller; Brad Johnson
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Matt Leer, Bruce; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls; Ryan Viltz, Chetek; Clark Swartz, Bloomer; Jordan Hessler, Elk Mound; Jake Smith, Rice Lake; Nick Koehler, Bloomer; Zach Manley, Cameron; Dan Svee, Colfax; Justin Supri, Eau Claire; A.J. Roschen, Hudson; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Jake Smeltzer, Menomonie; Kevin Smeltzer, Menomonie; Taylor Luethner, Superior; Nate Spence, Spring Valley; Kerry Halopka, Wheeler; Brad Spence, Spring Valley; Rich Lofthus, Bloomer.
8 lap B Feature – J. Smeltzer; Luethner; K. Smeltzer; K. Halopka; Scott Guthrie; Jason Williams; Ben Schultz
8 lap Heat 1 – Lofthus; Hessler; Svee; Manley; J. Smeltzer; Tyler English; Josh Smith
Heat 2 – S. Halopka; Swartz; Koehler; Anderson; K. Smeltzer; Williams
Heat 3 – Viltz; Crapser; Roschen; Supri; K. Halopka; Luethner; Schultz
Heat 4 – Leer; Ja. Smith; N. Spence; B. Spence; Mike Truscott; Brad Hudson
10 lap Feature – Bill Skoug, Osseo; Kory Hathaway, Elmwood; Jeremy Dahl, Knapp; Jason Supri, Chippewa Falls; Chaz Ducommun, Chetek; Dustin Doughty, Ladysmith; Scotty Schoettle, Osseo; Gunnar Watkins, Elk Mound; Donovan Gregory, Baldwin; Randy Burton, Menomonie.
6 lap Heat 1 – Watkins; Dahl; Schoettle; Burton; Supri; Gregory; Colt Hartwish
Heat 2 – Hathaway; Ducommun; Skoug; Nick Traynor; Doughty; Mike Schnider.