Menomonie WI, Aug. 3 – It was the regular season finale Friday night at the Red Cedar Speedway and point titles were decided in the six divisions that were in action Friday. And, although it was the last regular season event of the year, four first time winners found their way to victory lane on a stifling Friday night led by Modified feature winner Robby Bunkelman. Other first time winners in 2012 at the speedway included Tom Karis, Jay Kesan and Jeremy Johnson.
Securing point titles at the track following racing action Friday were Rocky Kempe, Bill Skoug, Adam Soltis, Cory Crapser, Aaron Wilson and Mike Anderson while Scott Gilberts wrapped up the Late Model title last Friday.
Bunkelman and Keith Tourville ran side by side nearly the entire Modified main event before Bunkelman was able to edge out to the smallest of advantages late in the contest to take his first win of the year here. While Tourville and Bunkelman battled for the lead, Kevin Adams, Jake Hartung and Mike Anderson fought for the third spot. They raced side by side too and jockeyed back and forth for position on the track.
First Bunkelman would surge ahead slightly and then Tourville would turn a good lap and move back in front. Bunkelman would finally make the middle groove work just a little bit better for himself and he would pull in front by a car length. Also picking up the pace was Mark Hessler who fell back slightly and then began to climb back into the battle by using the high side of the track.
At the finish, Bunkelman won by a car length over Tourville with Hartung fighting off a charging Hessler for third while Adams completed the top five. Robby became the ninth different winner in the Modified class this season at the speedway.
A late race pass allowed Karis to win his first Super Stock main of the season. Eric Olson was the early leader as he fought off the challenge of Jason Forehand. Then Mike Keller, up from the third row moved to the middle of the track and he was able to edge past Olson to take over the lead. Jesse Redetzke also moved in to fill the lead pack until Karis started to make his move midrace.
Tom came charging up and quickly moved into contention as he drove past Redetzke and Olson and closed on the leader. Karis gradually worked down inside Keller and with a strong move in turn four, slid up past the leader to take over the point. Keller then dropped to the inside line and tried to return the move, as he very nearly got past Karis to retake the top spot. Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson had really picked up the pace after starting eighth, and he drove past Olson and began to close on the lead duo.
Keller continued to challenge Karis for the lead, and on the final corner made one last strong move but he came up a car length short. Wilson ran out of time as he was closing rapidly on both the front runners at the checkered with Olson and Redetzke completing the top five.
Kesan was a first time winner in a nonstop Street Stock main event. Keith Tourville was the early leader of the race with Kesan and Troy Fransway applying the heavy pressure early. Fransway was able to duck under Tourville and take over the lead but just when it looked like he might start to pull away, Kesan picked up the pace and gradually edged past Fransway on the low side to take over the point. About this time also, Adam Soltis began to charge as he raced past Tourville and Fransway and closed on Kesan.
Kesan continued to run his clean line and while Soltis found his rear bumper on the last lap, he wasn’t in a position to make a passing attempt and settled for second behind Kesan. Fransway hung on for third ahead of Tourville and Mike Knudtson.
Also winning his first feature of the year was Hornet driver Jeremy Johnson. He started on the pole of the twenty one car feature and after a first lap tangle slowed the action, he took off on the restart and built up a big lead. However, as the race progressed, Brent Voeltz began to track him down and at the finish, only a car length separated the two as they raced to the finish line. Derek Baskin had his own battle as he fought off Jay Welk for third with William Voeltz completing the top five.
A wild opening lap scramble in the Midwest Modified feature saw cars spinning in all directions as they collided with each other and on the second attempt to start the race, the field was short four cars. Jake Smith jumped into the early lead but Travis Anderson was putting the heat on, and was able to drive past Smith in the corner and take over the top spot. Smith wasn’t giving up though, and came right back to pressure for the front spot.
Behind them, there was quite a battle going on as Cory Crapser and Shane Halopka tried to work their way to the front as well as battle each other for position. While they gradually made progress through the pack, the green flag remained out and Anderson and Smith were able to open up quite a lead over the rest of the field.
Smith continued to press the issue, but Anderson had his groove and refused to wilt under the pressure as he raced home for the win. Crapser and Halopka closed somewhat on the leaders but had to settle for third and fourth as Clark Swartz raced into fifth at the end.
The Pure Stocks had only a handful of cars Friday, but their nonstop main event produced the closest finish of the night. Dustin Doughty led all but the last hundred feet of the main event, but it was the most important part of the track surface that he couldn’t claim on the last lap as he was edged out by four time winner Jeremy Dahl. Doughty led from the onset of the race but Dahl gradually worked his way forward after starting fifth on the grid. He closed in and tried to pass Doughty in the first turn but both cars slid up the track and Dustin continued to lead.
As the laps ran down, Dahl again closed up and moved to the high side of Dustin. They raced side by side down the back chute and continued to be door to door and they raced down to accept the checkered flag. They were right together as they crossed the line , and the officials were needed to make a decision as it was almost too close to call. Dahl received the win with inches to spare of second place Doughty with Krysta Swearingen, Randy Burton and Jesse Bryan next in line. Point champion Bill Skoug failed to finish but had just enough cushion in the points to hold off Dahl.
Next Friday night, August 10th, the Late Models return as Season Championships will be decided in all seven classes that now run regularly at the speedway. Cars will be lined straight up for the heat races by points earned during the 2012 season and will qualify for the feature races based on their heat race finishes. Race time is 7 p.m.
The season will then conclude on August 17th with a regular, seven class show that will also function as the rain date for the Season Championships if needed.
Red Cedar Speedway
Aug. 3, 2012
18 lap Feature – Robby Bunkelman(Abbotsford), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Jake Hartung(Elmwood), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Brent Prochnow(Colfax), Cory Williams(Spring Valley), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), Jay Richardson, Jerry Weigel, Larry Prochnow, Mark Hanson, Robbie Johnson, Steve Hallquist
8 lap Heat 1 – Anderson, Williams, Hessler, Adams, B. Prochnow, Hallquist, Hanson, L. Prochnow, Johnson
Heat 2 – Hartung, Gerth, Bunkelman, Tourville, Weigel(Jim Falls), Glenz, Richardson, Craig Thatcher
WISSOTA Super Stocks
18 lap Feature – Tom Karis(Menomonie), Mike Keller(Menomonie), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Jesse Redetzke(Eau Claire), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Steve Thomas(Menomonie), Rick Hallquist(Eau Claire), Luke Plank(Eau Claire), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Jim Harris, Mike Weber, Matt McEathron, Terry Kroening, Brad Johnson, Jason Forehand
8 lap Heat 1 – Thomas, Karis, Wilson, Olson, Plank, Weber, Steffen, Kroening
Heat 2 – Keller, Forehand(Eau Claire), Redetzke, Hillman, Hallquist, Harris, McEathron, Johnson
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Travis Anderson(Colfax), Jake Smith(Eau Claire), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Clark Swartz(Bloomer), Kevin Smeltzer(Menomonie), Mark Clements(Bloomer), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Lance Leu(Medford), Jake Smeltzer, Dave Shackleton, Mitch Anderson, James Green, Justin Supri, Grant Southworth, Josh Smith, Ben Schultz, Jason Richardson
8 lap Heat 1 – Crapser, Southworth(Bloomer), Supri(Eau Claire), K. Smeltzer, Shackleton(Knapp), Leu, Richardson
Heat 2 – S. Halopka, Swartz, Jo. Smith(Eau Claire), Clements, Green(Menomonie), M.Anderson
Heat 3 – Ja. Smith, Koehler, T. Anderson, K. Halopka, J. Smeltzer(Menomonie), Schultz
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature – Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Troy Fransway(Elk Mound), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Cody Kummer(Medford), Jared Lindner(Greenwood), Ashley Husby(Menomonie), Ralph Stark(Withee)
8 lap Heat 1 – Hanestad, Soltis, Knudtson, Husby, Lindner
Heat 2 – Kummer, Tourville, Kesan, Fransway, Stark
10 lap Feature – Jeremy Dahl(Knapp), Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Krysta Swearingen(Little Canada MN), Randy Burton(Menomonie), Jesse Bryan(Menomonie), Gunnar Zurek(Menomonie), Andrew Conklin(Ladysmith), Bill Skoug(Osseo)
8 lap Heat – Dahl, Doughty, Burton, Bryan, Skoug, Swearingen, Conklin, Zurek
10 lap Feature – Jeremy Johnson((Elmwood), Brent Voeltz(Glenwood City), Derek Baskin(Menomonie), Jay Welk(Cadott), William Voeltz(Glenwood City), Brenden Uetz(Menomonie), Rocky Kempe(Chippewa Falls), Buddy Hanestad(Boyceville), Dan Prissel(Mondovi), Joseph Kurschner(Wheeler), Chad Prissel, Matt Klukas, Dean Butler, Steve Kirby, Jake Rubenzer, Dave Clausen, Justin Lamm, Cassie Hanestad, Jake Hanson, Tyler Lamm, Eric Nelson
8 lap Heat 1 – Johnson, B. Voeltz, Welk, Uetz, D. Prissel, Hanson, Butler, Clausen, Kirby, J. Lamm, C. Hanestad
Heat 2 – Baskin, Kempe, B. Hanestad, W. Voeltz, Klukas(Colfax), C. Prissel, Kurschner, Rubenzer, T. Lamm, Nelson