Menomonie WI, August 5 – Mark Hessler won his first feature race in two years in topping the WISSOTA Modified feature event to highlight the racing program Friday night at the Red Cedar Speedway. Other feature winners on the last regular Friday night of racing in the 2011 racing season were Steve Thomas, Shane Halopka, Bill Skoug and Eric Schultz.
The point championships were also on the line Friday. Chad Mahder clinched the Late Model title last weekend as the Late Models had the night off Friday, and Jeremy Dahl had such a big lead all he needed to do was take the green flag in the Pure Stock feature to assure himself of that title. However , the other three divisions were very close and Friday night’s features would decide those four titlists.
Hessler led all the way to win his first Modified feature race at Red Cedar in the last two seasons as he started on the outside pole and jumped into the early lead. Kevin Adams and Mark Gerth were battling for the point title with Adams holding a two point lead as the green flag dropped for the main event. Steve Hallquist and Mark Hanson challenged Hessler early while most of the other action involved Adams. Racing his way up from the fourth row, Adams was slashing through traffic when he and Brent Prochnow got together with both then hitting the wall in turn three. Prochnow was done while Adams limped to the work area to replace two flat tires.
Hessler continued to lead on the green but it was only one lap later when Bryan Nayes got into the wall in turn three and Adams, with no where to go, plowed into him, necessitating another trip to the work area. Hessler continued to lead with Ross Prochnow now on the move into second and Gerth was gradually working his way to the front also.
One more yellow occurred with six laps complete when once again Adams was the third party in the collision after Steve Lavasseur and Wayne Stricker got together initially.
The last nine laps went nonstop and Hessler pulled away from the field as his car was working excellently in the top groove. Ross Prochnow remained a solid second and while Hanson made a last lap attempt to slide under Gerth for third, it failed and ultimately provided Gerth with his razor slim margin of victory in the points.
Adams came from the back of the pack with half his body bashed in and the other half flapping in the wind, but when he couldn’t make a last lap pass on Mike Anderson for fifth and Gerth held off Hanson, Gerth won the title by a mere point.
Thomas did all he could to win the Super Stock point title, as he won his third main event of the season but it proved to not be quite enough as Ben Hillman raced his way far enough forward to edge Thomas by four points. Brad Johnson started on the pole and with his finest run of the year, led the first five laps of the event as Thomas, Mike Keller and Jason Forehand chased him. Unfortunately for Johnson, his motor didn’t hold together past the five lap mark and with oil and smoke all over the back chute , he rolled to a halt.
Thomas took the lead on the restart, and riding the cushion, pulled away from the pack. Forehand pulled in to challenge Keller for second, but a yellow for a grinding three car crash on the back chute saved Mike while eliminating the cars of Tom Karis, Jay Quilling and Bernie Christiansen.
Thomas continued to lead on the green as both he and Forehand, still alive in the points race, tried to do the best they could to improve their position. However, Hillman got up on the cushion and moved forward well from his fifth row start, and when he drove past Forehand in the late going to take third, he guaranteed that the title would be his. Keller held on for second in the feature while Shane Kisling rounded out the top five.
The Midwest Modified race was just as close as when the green flag flew for the feature race, Cory Crapser held a one point lead over Matt Leeer. Mark Thomas started out with his best run of the year as he took the early lead with a real battle going on behind him for second. As Thomas continued to hold the top spot, Nick Koehler, Kevin Smeltzer, Zach Manley, Justin Supri and Clark Swartz all battled for position with Shane Halopka moving up from the fourth row and Crapser and Leer also advancing.
Two early yellows kept the field bunched but each time Thomas would continue to lead with Manley moving into second and putting on the most pressure. Finally, Zach would get to the low side of Thomas and take over the lead. The race remained very competitive as Supri moved to the cushion and really was on a charge as he raced into second. Then it was Halopka’s turn as he found some racing room in the middle of the track and was able to split Supri and Manley and take over the top spot. Meanwhile Leer and Crapser were both moving to the front too as they carried on their personal battle.
Halopka took his fourth Red Cedar win of the year, tops for the division as he held off the heavy challenges of Supri for the top spot. Leer found a late opening and moved into third and when Crapser got edged by Manley for fourth by inches at the line, that gave the title to Leer by a single point.
Todd Roshell, in his first appearance of the year at Red Cedar , took the early lead in the Pure Stock finale with Gunnar Watkins chasing him. Jason Supri, Kory Hathaway and Dahl were all on the move from farther back in the pack but the top two had established a good early lead.
That all changed in a split second as Roshell grenaded a motor down the back chute, dumping liquid all over the track while at the same time Watkins slowed with steam coming from under the hood of his car, with both the top runners done at the same time.
Chaz Ducommun inherited the lead and held off Skoug for a lap before Bill moved to the high side and drove past the leader to claim the front spot. Ducommun tried to stay with Skoug, but Bill had the groove covered as he drove on for his third Red Cedar win of 2011. Ducommun held on for second while Dahl, who won only one main event but was remarkably consistent all year, settled for third and the point title. Hathaway and Rod Ryba completed the top five.
The Hornets have raced at Red Cedar five times in 2011 and the #7s car has sat in victory lane all five times. Friday Eric Schultz won another easy win although for the first time this year he didn’t lead every lap as Jeremy Johnson led the opening round before Schultz blew past him and disappeared into the Dunn County night. Brenden Uetz ended up claiming the runner up honors with Brent Voeltz, Ben Passa and Jerry Zebro completing the top five.
Next Friday night, August 12th, 24/7 Telecom and Keyes Chevytown present the 2011 Season Championship races. The Late Models will be back and all five classes will be in action with the heat races lined up by points the drivers have earned all season and the feature races determined by the finishing order in the heats. Race time is 7 p.m.
Red Cedar Speedway
August 5, 2011
15 lap Feature – Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Ross Prochnow(Boyceville), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), Paul Niznik(Medford), Steve Lavasseur(River Falls), Cory Williams(Spring Valley), Steve Hallquist, Dave Baxter, Don Brightbill, Robbie Johnson, Bryan Hessler, Wayne Stricker, Bryan Nayes, Brent Prochnow
8 lap Heat 1 – Adams, M. Hessler, B. Prochnow(Colfax), Hallquist(Eau Claire), Lavasseur, Stricker, Brightbill, Nayes, Johnson
Heat 2 – Glenz, Hanson, Gerth, Anderson, R. Prochnow, Baxter, Niznik, B. Hessler, Williams
WISSOTA Super Stocks
15 lap Feature – Steve Thomas(Menomonie), Mike Keller(Menomonie), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Jesse Redetzke(Eau Claire), Luke Plank(Eau Claire), Aaron Wilson(Menomonie), Andy Grymala(Superior), Wayne Dean(Fall Creek), Rick Hallquist, Bart Steffen, Brad Edington, Cody Carlson, Tony Falkner, Donnie Talmage, Jim Harris, Tom Karis, Jay Quilling, Bernie Christiansen, Brad Johnson
8 lap Heat 1 – Plank, Grymala, Wilson, Hillman, Dean, Hallquist, Christiansen
Heat 2 – Johnson(Wilson), Forehand, Harris(Menomonie), Redetzke, Steffen(Eau Claire), Edington, Falkner
Heat 3 – Keller, Thomas, Kisling, Karis(Menomonie), Talmage(Amery), Carlson, Quilling
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Justin Supri(Eau Claire), Matt Leer(Bruce), Zach Manley(Cameron), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Clark Swartz(Bloomer), Mark Thomas(Menomonie), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Mike Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Jake Smeltzer, Nick Koehler, Mark Clements, Sam Fankhauser, Denis Czech, Brad Spence, Mitch Anderson, Jordan Hessler, Kevin Smeltzer, Travis Anderson, Chris Huther, Scottie Schoettle
8 lap Heat 1 – Manley, Koehler(Bloomer), T. Anderson(Colfax), Supri, K. Halopka, Spence, Schoettle
Heat 2 – Swartz, Thomas, Clements(Bloomer), Southworth, Hessler(Elk Mound), Fankhauser, M. Anderson
Heat 3 – Crapser, S. Halopka, K. Smelter(Menomonie), Leer, Truscott, Czech, J. Smeltzer
10 lap Feature – Bill Skoug(Osseo), Chaz Ducommun(Chetek), Jeremy Dahl(Knapp), Kory Hathaway(Elmwood), Rod Ryba(Boyd), Jason Supri(Chippewa Falls), Mike Schuebel(Boyd), Dave Nogle(Hastings MN), Bryan Ciolosz(Boyd), Taylor Hoffman(Ridgeland), Gunnar Zurek, Gunnar Watkins, Todd Roshell
6 lap Heat 1 – Dahl, Ducommun, Watkins(Elk Mound), Roshell(Stanley), Schuebel, Nogle, Hoffman
Heat 2 – Hathaway, Skoug, Ryba, Supri, Ciolosz, Zurek
8 lap Feature – Eric Schultz(Downing), Brenden Uetz(Menomonie), Brent Voeltz(Glenwood City), Ben Passa(Mindoro), Jerry Zebro(Ridgeland), Jeremy Johnson(Elmwood), Scott Westaby(Jim Falls), Duane Cormican(Glenwood City)