Menomonie WI, May 18 – Craig Thatcher made his return to the winner’s circle as he topped a wild Modified main event to highlight the Friday night racing program at the Red Cedar Speedway. There were three other first time winners in Dustin Doughty, Josh Smith and Rocky Kempe while Rick Hanestad, Ben Hillman and Jake Redetzke made their second visits of the year to victory lane on a night with a big seven division program.
The Modified main event topped a wild night of racing that included a heart stopping multi car crash that saw defending national Modified champion Kevin Adams ride out a series of wild barrel rolls in an accident that took out a number of cars. Matt Leer took the initial lead from the outside pole but there was a huge cluster of cars battling right behind him for position and there was little give and take going on. Mark Hanson fought Leer for the top spot as the pack racing dangerously close together at high speed.
They somehow made it four wide through turn four but when they tried the same thing in turn one, the results were disastrous. Adams’ car jumped up on the side of another car, his racer dug into the racing surface and he took off in a wild series of wicked barrel rolls down the track. The huge cluster of cars he was racing with tried to take evasive action with a series of crashes insuring. Adams bounced out of his car unhurt, but the machine was heavily damaged. Also involved and not able to continue were Mark Hessler, Steve Hallquist, Jerry Weigel and Jay Richardson.
Leer continued to lead on the restart with Brent Prochnow challenging him but it was Thatcher who was on the move. He found an opening on the low side of the track and was able to shoot past three cars on one corner, which gave him an open shot at the leader. Leer tried to fight off the former national champion but Thatcher was strong on the bottom of the track and he ducked under Leer to take over the lead.
Also on the move was Mike Anderson who had started in the sixth row but was making steady progress. Late in the event he also got under Leer to take over the second spot. He started to cut into Thatcher’s lead but ran out of time as Thatcher raced home for the win. Leer held on to the third spot over Hanson and Brandon Jensen. Thatcher became the fifth different winner in five nights of Modified racing.
Another first time winner was Smith, who won what may have been the most entertaining race of the night in the Midwest Modified feature. Nick Koehler fought off Kerry Halopka to take the early lead but he was soon joined by fellow Bloomer resident Clark Swartz as they battled wheel to wheel for the lead. For several laps they jockeyed back and forth with first one and then the other edging in front. Smith started in the second row and was hanging right in there with the leaders while Cory Crapser worked his way up from the fifth row to battle side by side with Smith.
Josh went to the extreme high side of the track and nearly pulled into the lead before a yellow flag slowed his challenge. Undaunted, he again went to the top of the track in a bold move and was able to squeeze past Swartz on the high side to take over the lead. Crapser then made a move on the bottom and was able to race into second. Koehler picked up the pace and those three raced for the win, with Smith fighting off his challengers while scrapping off the wall on several occasions. Crapser finished second ahead of Koehler with Swartz and Shane Halopka next in line.
Jason Havel raced to what appeared to be his fourth Pure Stock win of the year but in post race inspection, he refused to give up his transmission on a claim and was therefore disqualified which elevated Dustin Doughty to his first win of the year. Krysta Swearingen made some bold moves on the high side in the last going, and raced her way up into what would eventually be second place. Bill Skoug, Jeremy Dahl and Randy Burton completed the top five.
Jake Redetzke claimed his second Late Model win of the year in a nonstop twenty lap finale. Cory Mahder charged past Greg Nippoldt and Chad Mahder to take the early lead but it didn’t take many laps for Redetzke to move up from the third row to challenge. He closed in on Cory, but Mahder wasn’t in the mood to easily give up the lead, and Jake had to try both high and low to find a way by. Finally, he got a good run off the high side and blasted into the lead as they raced down the front chute.
Once in front, he gradually pulled away from the pack while John Kaanta put on the charge after starting in the fourth row. He gradually worked his way to the front and caught Mahder with a few laps left. Sliding past Cory on the high side, he moved into second and started cutting into the leader’s advantage, but Redetzke was too far out front to be caught as he drove home for the win. Cory Mahder held off his cousin Chad for the third spot with Mike Prochnow completing the top five.
Hillman won his second Super Stock feature of the season in a hard fought battle with Jesse Redetzke and Eric Olson. Redetzke and Steve Thomas battled for many laps in the Super Stock feature before Olson caught them to make it a three car battle. Suddenly Hillman appeared on the scene and he was able to drive to the low side and charge past the group and take over the top spot. Aaron Wilson also became a player as he got a good run on the top side and nearly stole the lead before a yellow slowed his progress. The late yellow bunched the field and Hillman had his hands full, but he held off Redetzke and Olson to claim the win. When both Thomas and Wilson dropped out with mechanical issues near the end, Mike Keller and Wayne Harris Jr both raced into top five finishes.
Veteran racer Hanestad has suddenly become a force in the Street Stocks, winning his second straight feature race at Red Cedar. Despite the fact he started on the pole, the win was not an easy one and he actually needed a late race move to take the win. He did battle in the early going with Mike Knudtson and Adam Soltis for the lead, with Soltis claiming the top spot. They were soon joined by Eric Olson, who had moved up from the fourth row to challenge. Hanestad went to the high side of the track, a move not necessarily one that he would normally do, but it worked on this occasion and he got great momentum and blasted into the lead.
The last few laps were thrilling, as Olson and Soltis both tried to drive under Hanestad for the lead, but the veteran held on for the win, with the Ladysmith drivers finishing behind him. Knudtson and Keith Tourville had their own battle for position, with Knudtson claiming the spot.
Rocky Kempe recovered from an early spin to claim the Hornet win, as that division made their first of several appearances for the year at Red Cedar. Jeremy Johnson and Dave Clausen followed Kempe home in their main event.
Next Friday night will be Military night at Red Cedar with the Memorial Day holiday on the horizon. All active and retired military members will be admitted to the races free, with proof of service required. Race time Friday night will be 7 p.m. with a regular six division program scheduled.
Red Cedar Speedway
May 18, 2012
WISSOTA Late Models
20 lap Feature – Jake Redetzke(Eau Claire), John Kaanta(Elk Mound), Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Chad Mahder(Eau Claire), Mike Prochnow(Menomonie), Scott Gilberts(Menomonie), Rick Hanestad(Boyceville), Greg Nippoldt(Roberts), Scott Duval(Bloomer), Kerry Hanson(Baldwin), Justin Fegers, Ben Hillman, Neil Eckhart, Lucas Peterson, Brent Larson
8 lap Heat 1 – Redetzke, Prochnow, Larson(Lake Elmo MN), Nippoldt, Fegers(MoundMN), Hillman, Peterson, Hanson
Heat 2 – Gilberts, Kaanta, Co. Mahder, Ch. Mahder, Hanestad, Duval, Eckhart
18 lap Feature – Craig Thatcher(Knapp), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Matt Leer(Bruce), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Brandon Jensen(Hammond), Robby Bunkelman(Abbotsford), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Ross Prochnow(Boyceville), Jake Hartung(Elmwood), Rich Lofthus(Bloomer), Cory Williams, Brent Prochnow, Don Brightbill, Jesse Glenz, Scott Splittstoesser, Jay Richardson, Jerry Weigel, Steve Hallquist, Keith Tourville, Mark Hessler, Kevin Adams
8 lap Heat 1 – Thatcher, Adams(Cameron), Hanson, Jensen, Weigel(JimFalls), Richardson, Hessler, Tourville
Heat 2 – Gerth, Lofthus, Leer, Williams(Spring Valley), Bunkelman, Brightbill, Robbie Johnson
Heat 3 – Glenz(Cadott), Splittstoesser(Cottege Grove MN), B. Prochnow(Colfax), Anderson, R. Prochnow, Hallquist, Hartung
WISSOTA Super Stocks
18 lap Feature – Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Jesse Redetzke(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Mike Keller(Menomonie), Wayne Harris Jr(Bloomer), Tom Karis (Menomonie), Chad Johnson(Colfax), Brad Edington(Elk Mound), Jim Harris(Menomonie), Rick Hallquist(Eau Claire), Tony Falkner, Wayne Bignell, Aaron Wilson, Steve Thomas, Brad Johnson, Gunnar Watkins
8 lap Heat 1 – Hillman, Thomas(Menomonie), Keller, C. Johnson, Watkins(Elk Mound), Hallquist, Harris Jr, Bignell, Luke Plank
Heat 2 – Redetzke, Olson, Karis, Wilson(Menomonie), Edington, J. Harris, B. Johnson, Falkner
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Josh Smith(Eau Claire), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Clark Swartz(Bloomer), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Justin Supri(Eau Claire), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Jake Smith(Eau Claire), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Mike Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Kevin Smeltzer, Jake Smeltzer, Chris Huther, James Green, Lance Leu, Mitch Anderson, Crystal Hansen, A.J. Roschen, Brad Spence
8 lap Heat 1 – Koehler, T. Anderson, Supri, M. Anderson(Spring Valley), Spence(Spring Valley), Green, Leu
Heat 2 – Swartz, Roschen(Hudson), K. Halopka, Huther(Medford), J. Smeltzer(Menomonie), Hansen
Heat 3 – Crapser, Jo. Smith, Truscott, S. Halopka, Ja. Smith, K. Smeltzer
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature – Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Cody Kummer(Medford), Sam Fankhauser(Chetek), Jared Loos(Greenwood), Brent Szymoniak(Eau Claire), Josh Wahlstrom(Menomonie), Mitch Kesan, Ashley Husby, Troy Fransway
8 lap Heat 1 – Soltis, Olson, Knudtson, Lindner, Wahlstrom, Kesan, Szymoniak
Heat 2 – Kummer, Tourville, Hanestad, Fankhauser, Husby(Menomonie), Fransway
10 lap Feature – Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Krysta Swearingen(Little Canada MN), Bill Skoug(Osseo), Jeremy Dahl(Knapp), Randy Burton(Menomonie), Colt Hartwich(Chippewa Falls), Jesse Bryan(Menomonie), Scottie Schoettle((Osseo)
6 lap Heat – Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Doughty, Skoug, Schoettle, Dahl, Burton, Bryan, Swearingen, Hartwich
10 lap Feature – Rocky Kempe(Chippewa Falls), Jeremy Johnson(Elmwood), Dave Clausen(Mondovi), Derek Baskin(Menomonie), Derek Knutson(Chippewa Falls), Barret Hammond(Prescott), Matt Klukas(Colfax), Brandon Uetz(Menomonie), Eric Nelson(Chippewa Falls), Dan Prissel(Mondovi), Jess Seim