(KAUKAUNA, WI) June 4 – The defending track champion came out swinging on opening night.
Edgerton’s Casey Johnson, who started 11th in the field, fought off a late race surge from Freedom’s Brent Strelka to capture the caution plagued super late model feature at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna Thursday night.
Oshkosh veteran Pete Vandermolen outraced fellow front row starter Jeff Van Oudenhoven into the lead two laps into the 35 lap contest. Vandermolen began to stretch his lead when an amber flew for a lap four melee on the dogleg.
Among the drivers caught up in the wreck were Jesse Oudenhoven, Dennis Prunty, Travis Rodewald, Mickey Schallie, Corey Manders and Alex Stumpf. The wreck sidelined Rodewald and Manders.
After a cleanup racing resumed with Taylor Vandermoss grabbing the lead on the restart with Jeff Van Oudenhoven in tow. The duo pulled away with Van Oudenhoven sticking with a car length of the fellow Appleton racer. The veteran Van Oudenhoven looked both high and low.
The sizeable margin the lead duo enjoyed was wiped out on lap twenty when the yellow flew for a three car tangle involving Oudenhoven, Schallie and Grant Griesbach.
On the restart Vandermoss pulled away from Van Oudenhoven, Lowell Bennett and Johnson, who shot into the second spot with 13 laps remaining. Johnson poured the coals onto his Chase Motorsports ride and began quickly slicing away at Vandermoss’ lead. A Michael Anthony spin with 12 laps remaining tightened the field once again. Back under the green Johnson motored around Vandermoss to take the lead. Freedom’s Strelka mounted a late race charge from his row four starting spot and closed the gap on Johnson.
Another caution flew with three laps remaining and when the green flag finally came back out. Strelka dove inside of Johnson but could not muster a pass as Johnson took home the win. Strelka placed second, followed by Vandermoss, Appleton’s Andy Monday and Darboy’s Sawyer Effertz.
The feature was delayed by caution flags seven times. 12 of the original 20 starters finished the race.
It was an entirely different story in the late model feature, as Braison Bennett and Bryan Monday had the crowd on their feet. As the white flag was displayed Bennett passed Monday for the lead. In a photo finish at the checkers Monday squeezed past the third generation racer to win the caution free thriller. Bennett settled for second. Oshkosh’s Brian Henry scored a solid third place finish. Appleton drivers Brandon Reichenberger and Mike King rounded out the top five finshers.
At the checkers Will Timmers and Mike Meyerhofer collided on the frontstretch, with Timmers wrecking hard into the frontstretch retaining wall. His car was battered and Timmers received medical treatment from the paramedics.
¼ Mile late model features were won by Neenah’s Tom Spierowski and Mackville’s Chad Devine.
In the first main event Spierowski fought off a pair of “24’s” in Rick Spoo and rookie Nick Van.
In the second contest Devine maintained the lead and fought off a fierce challenge from Mike Reichenberger and Spierowski in the waning laps.
Hometown driver Trevor Howard shook loose from the tenacious duo of Jeff Treml and Larry Raygo and checked out with six laps to go to capture the caution free super stock feature. Trailing at the checkers were Treml, Raygo, Shane Krueger and Tony Wilz.
Freedom’s Jason Van Handel skillfully weaved his way through lapped cars en route to copping the sport truck feature. Kylee Vandermoss took second place money at the checkers, followed by Kasey Vanderloop, Tanner Fickel and defending track champion Kyle Quella.
Fast qualifier Scott Wolf of Appleton kept all challengers at bay in the final circuits to win the Sizzlin’ 4 feature. Trailing at the checkers were Emory Beattie, Dan Thomson, Mitchell Opsahl and Arianna Beattie.
“Rock Star” Russ Lorbiecki emerged triumphant in the Figure 8 feature.
Next Thursday night June 11 will kick off the running of the 49th annual Ken’s Sports Red, White & Blue state championships with the Red race. Next Thursday night will also mark the debut of the new V6 “Rockin’ Roval” class. Racing gets underway at 6:45 p.m. You can check frrc.us for more information or follow the club’s Facebook page.
SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE – Casey Johnson, Edgerton; Brent Strelka, Freedom; Taylor Vandermoss, Appleton; Andy Monday, Appleton; Sawyer Effertz, Darboy; Lowell Bennett, Neenah; Dennis Prunty, Allenton; Alex Stumpf, Woodville; Pete Vandermolen Jr., Oshkosh; Jeff Van Oudenhoven, Appleton; Eugene Gregorich Jr, Amherst; Jesse Oudenhoven, Kaukauna; Mickey Schallie, Darboy; Curt Tillman, Rockton, Il; Randy Schuler, Mequon; Mike Anthony, Appleton; Bobby Kendall, Montello; Grant Griesbach, Pewaukee; Travis Rodewald, Manitowoc; Corey Manders, Hilbert
SEMI-FEATURE- Stumpf; Rodewald; Manders; Tillman; Tom Gee, Sobieski; Brady Baldry, Oshkosh; Trevor Vandermolen, Oshkosh
HEATS 1) Stumpf; Rodewald 2) Effertz; Oudenhoven
DASH – Gregorich Jr.
FAST TIME: Johnson, 19.362
LATE MODEL FEATURE- Bryan Monday, Appleton; Braison Bennett, Neenah; Brian Henry, Oshkosh; Brandon Reichenberger, Appleton; Mike King, Appleton; Eddie Muenster, Green Bay; Will Timmers, Kaukauna; Todd Verhagen, Freedom; Kenny Richards, Montello; Matt Wittman, Appleton
HEAT – Muenster; Richards
DASH- Bryan Monday
FAST TIME- Bennett, 20.106
¼ MILE LATE MODEL FEATURES 1ST) Tom Spierowski, Neenah; Rick Spoo, Neenah; Nick Van, Greenville; Jerry Schneider, Appleton; Mike Reichenberger, Appleton 2ND) Chad Devine, Mackville; Mike Reichenberger, Appleton; Tom Spierowski, Neenah; Jeff Beschta, Appleton; Tim Baumann, Neenah
SUPER STOCK FEATURE – Trevor Howard, Kaukauna; Jeff Treml, Greenleaf; Larry Raygo, Omro; Shane Krueger, Kaukauna; Tony Wilz, Menasha; Cole Bigelow, Kaukauna
HEAT – Treml; Krueger
FAST TIME – Krueger, 16.003
SIZZLIN’ 4 FEATURE – Scott Wolf, Appleton; Emory Beattie, Little Chute; Dan Thomson, Menasha; Mitchell Opsahl, Freedom; Arianna Beattie, Little Chute; Larry Gintner, Neenah
HEATS 1) Beattie; Thomson 2) Opsahl; Wolf
FAST TIME – Wolf, 18.149
SPORT TRUCKS FEATURE – Jason Van Handel, Freedom; Kylee Vandermoss, Appleton; Kasey Vanderloop, Freedom; Tanner Fickel, Neenah; Dan Vixmer, Fond Du Lac; Kyle Quella, Appleton
HEATS 1) Quella; Vixmer 2) Cody Vanderloop, Freedom; Fickel
FAST TIME – Bobby Wautier, Denmark 16.554
FIGURE 8 – Russ Lorbiecki, Sussex