Menomonie WI, June 22 – Rick Hanestad got to the front early, pulled away from the pack and rode home to an easy win in Late Model racing action Friday night at the Red Cedar Speedway. Hanestad was one of five feature winners who visited victory lane for the first time at Red Cedar in 2012. Only Aaron Wilson, with his second Super Stock win of the year, was a repeat winner Friday. The other first time winners included Mark Hessler, Shane Halopka, Sam Fankhauser and Bill Skoug.
Kerry Hanson and Cory Mahder shared the front row of the Late Model finale, but before a lap could be completed, Robby Bunkelman lost the driveshaft in his car and the yellow flag waved. The restart saw Hanson and Mahder again battle for the lead but Hanestad soon joined them in a three way fight for the top spot. At one point, Hanestad thought about splitting the other leaders as they battled but he instead waited until they got sorted out and then he picked off Hanson and then drove past Mahder to take over the lead.
Once in front, he put some distance on the field as the fight for second then dominated. Scott Gilberts picked up the pace and he was able to drive into second while A.J. Diemel moved up to battle Hanson for position.
The race remained under green and Hanestad continued to pull away from the field, building up nearly a straightaway lead over the field as Gilberts was not able to close on him at all. Diemel raced into third and started to close the distance on Gilberts, but they remained in the same running order to the finish. Hanson fought off John Kaanta over the second half of the race to hold fourth place.
Hessler fought off an early challenge from Jake Hartung and got to the cushion, where he was able to race away from the field early in the Modified main event. Hartung and Mark Gerth then fought for second with Ross Prochnow and Brandon Jensen joining the battle. As Hessler moved away from the pack, the battle behind them intensified with Prochnow and Jensen coming together, which triggered a yellow flag and eliminated both cars from the race.
Between lap ten and eleven, the yellow waved three times for minor spins, but once the full scale racing resumed, Hessler again got up on the cushion and drove away from the field. While the battle for second was heavy, Mark used this opportunity to disappear from the field. Mike Anderson worked his way up from the fifth row and eventually took over the second spot, but he was well behind Hessler and couldn’t dent his big lead. Gerth made a late charge that saw him drive past Hartung for third with Cory Williams completing the top five runners.
Wilson had his car performing well as he moved up from the fourth row to win his second Super Stock feature of the year. Chad Johnson held the lead briefly until he was overtaken by Tom Karis. Wilson had been moving up using the cushion, but when Karis beat him to that line, Aaron simply moved down to the middle of the track and drove under Karis to take over the lead. Once in front, Wilson maintained a comfortable edge as the last ten laps of the event went nonstop and Wilson controlled the field for the win. Jason Forehand and Mike Keller both made charges from deep in the pack to hit the top five as Forehand came from ninth to third behind Karis, with Jesse Redetzke wedged in between him and the thirteenth starting Keller who completed the top five.
Shane Halopka, back in his old car after his top ride was wrecked at another track recently, swept past Clark Swartz to take his first Midwest Modified win of the year. Swartz jumped into the lead from the outside pole, but the action was quickly shut down when Jake Smeltzer came off the wall and spun down into traffic on lap three, collecting Mark Thomas and Dave Shackleton. Both Smeltzer and Thomas were eliminated from the event by the hard collision.
Swartz continued to hold the lead on the restart but Halopka was on the move, closing in and then driving past Clark to take over the lead. A good battle broke out behind them as Kevin Smeltzer, Travis Anderson, Nick Koehler and Cory Crapser jockeyed for position. As Halopka pulled away and Swartz ran comfortably in second, Koehler picked up the pace as he found an opening on the inside and raced up to third, with Smeltzer holding off Crapser for fourth at the finish.
Fankhauser dominated the Street Stock feature, starting on the pole and pulling away from the field in the nonstop main event. While Sam put distance quickly on the field, the battle for second was a dandy with five drivers swapping positions on the track on each lap. Mike Knudtson held the spot briefly but when he started to fade it was Keith Tourville who took over the spot and tried to fight off Adam Soltis, Cody Kummer and Ron Hanestad. They went at it on each lap as they swapped lines on the track. After fading back slightly, Soltis really picked up the pace at the end of the race and moved up to second, with Kummer following him past Tourville. Hanestad also charged up at the end, nipping Tourville for the fourth spot as Fankhauser rode home for the early win.
Krysta Swearingen battled with Jesse Bryan and Skoug in the early laps of the Pure Stock feature. The action got tight with Jeremy Dahl rolling to a halt with a flat tire and triggering the yellow flag.
Skoug motored past Bryan on the green and took over the lead, which he then started to build on. Bob Seidler was having a great run in first appearance of the year, as he battle with Bryan and Randy Burton for position. Skoug continued to maintain a comfortable margin and Burton moved into third and started a battle with his team mate Bryan. While Skoug continued on for his first win of the year, Bryan fought off Burton for second with Seidler next in line and Swearingen awarded fifth at the finish.
Next Friday will bring one of the biggest races of the year to the Red Cedar Speedway. The Dart Challenge Series, WISSOTA’s traveling series for the Late Models, will make its first appearance at Red Cedar in a number of years. Upwards of thirty Late Models from a four state area are expected to be in racing action with many of the biggest names in the Late Model ranks to be on hand to take on the tough local competitors. A hefty check for $3,000 in on the line for the winner of the Late Model main event.
Along with the Late Models, a full program in all five of the other classes that race at Red Cedar will also be held which includes the WISSOTA sanctioned Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Street Stocks along with the Red Cedar Pure Stocks.
Pit gates will open at 3 p.m. , the spectator gates at 5 p.m. and race time is 7 p.m. Adult tickets for this big show are reasonably priced at $15 with students and seniors admitted for $10 and all children 12 and under are admitted free.
Red Cedar Speedway
June 22, 2012
WISSOTA Late Models
20 lap Feature – Rick Hanestad(Boyceville), Scott Gilberts(Menomonie), A.J. Diemel(Elk Mound), Kerry Hanson(Baldwin), John Kaanta(Elk Mound), Mike Prochnow(Menomonie), Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Jim Rychtik(Port Washington), Brent Larson(Lake Elmo MN), Greg Nippoldt(Roberts), Justin Ochsner, Steve Laursen, Steve Isenberg, Robby Bunkelman
10 lap Heat 1 – Kaanta, Gilberts, Hanestad, Prochnow, Larson, Laursen, Rychtik
Heat 2 – Diemel, Hanson, Bunkelman(Abbotsford), Mahder, Isenberg(Marshfield), Nippoldt, Ochsner
18 lap Feature – Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Jake Hartung(Elmwood), Cory Williams(Spring Valley), Rich Lofthus(Bloomer), Jay Richardson(Spring Valley), Craig Thatcher(Knapp), Brent Prochnow(Colfax), Scott Pomeroy(Brooklyn Park MN), Zack Drews, Don Brightbill, Robbie Johnson, Jesse Glenz, Brandon Jensen, Ross Prochnow, Steve Hallquist, Kevin Adams, Matt Leer, Keith Tourville
10 lap Heat 1 – Anderson, Richardson, B. Prochnow, Adams(Cameron), Drews(Ringle), Ashley Anderson, Thatcher
Heat 2 – Hartung, Williams, R. Prochnow(Boyceville), Glenz(Cadott), Brightbill(Hudson), Leer, Pomeroy
Heat 3 – Gerth, Hessler, Lofthus, Jensen(Hammond), Hallquist(Eau Claire), Johnson, Tourville
WISSOTA Super Stocks
18 lap Feature – Aaron Wilson(Menomonie), Tom Karis(Menomonie), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Jesse Redetzke(Eau Claire), Mike Keller(Menomonie), Rick Hallquist(Eau Claire), Steve Thomas(Menomonie), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Brad Edington(Elk Mound), Brad Johnson(Wilson), Chad Johnson, Ben Hillman, Gunnar Watkins
8 lap Heat 1 – Thomas, Karis, C. Johnson(Colfax), Watkins(Elk Mound), Keller, Hillman, Steffen
Heat 2 – Redetzke, Wilson, B. Johnson, Hallquist, Forehand, Edington
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Clark Swartz(Bloomer), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Kevin Smeltzer(Menomonie), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Dave Shackleton(Knapp), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Justin Supri(Eau Claire), Jake Stai(New Auburn), Mark Clements, Ross Fuhrman, Mitch Anderson, Chris Huther, Ron Jablonske, James Greene, Brandon Lofgren, Bonnie Jablonske, Mark Thomas, Jake Smeltzer
8 lap Heat 1 – Crapser, Koehler, Clements(Bloomer), Fuhrman(Ashland), Huther(Medford), R. Jablonske, Stai
Heat 2 – T. Anderson, K. Smeltzer, J. Smeltzer(Menomone), K. Halopka, Lofgren(Taylor), B. Jablonske
Heat 3 – S. Halopka, Swartz, Shackleton, Thomas(Menomonie), M. Anderson(Spring Valley), Greene, Supri
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature – Sam Fankhauser(Chetek), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Cody Kummer(Medford), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Jared Lindner(Greenwood), Jamey Fisher(Rice Lake), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Josh Wahlstrom(Menomonie), Ralph Stark(Withee), Mike Knudtson, Andrea Keeney
8 lap Heat 1 – Kummer, Soltis, S. Wahlstrom, Knudtson(Osseo), J. Wahlstrom, Stark
Heat 2 – Fankhauser, Hanestad, Lindner, Tourville, Fisher, Keeney
10 lap Feature – Bill Skoug(Osseo), Jesse Bryan(Menomonie), Randy Burton(Menomonie), Bob Seidler(Chippewa Falls), Krysta Swearingen(Little Canada MN), Jeremy Dahl(Knapp), Scottie Schoettle(Osseo), Mike Grover(Chetek), Andrew Conklin(Ladysmith)
8 lap Heat 1 – Dahl, Skoug, Grover, Seidler, Colt Hartwich(ChippewaFalls)
Heat 2 – Schoettle, Bryan, Swearingen, Burton, Conklin