Oshkosh, August 26- Friday was a cloudy, late summer day, but that helped track crews provide a smooth fast track for the invasion of the Corn Belt Clash Late Model- George Scheffler Memorial Race at the Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway. Add to that, the final round of the IMCA Modified King of the Ring series and the Grand Nationals, a field of 109 cars, including 41, Corn Belt series late models, 47 IMCA Modifieds and 21 Grand National put on a great show.
The Gold Star Racing Products Grand Nationals put 21 cars on the grid with Brian Vinney, Jr grabbing the lead at the start with Tim Doehling, Rich Garb, Todd Ascherlen, Charlie Sancinati and Dan Sorce bunched behind. At the mid point of the event, Vinney continued to set the pace with Doehling relentless behind. Sancinati and Sorce were next in line with Jeff and Kenny Richards moving to the front.
The first caution appeared on lap 13, and Vinney resumed the lead on the restart. Doehling held the runner up spot with Kenny Richards moving into third. Larry Richards, Sancinati, Tim Reichenberger and Jeff Richards were right behind. Doehling was running tight to the inside and on lap 15 was able to get inside the leader in turn one and on the following lap, took over the lead. Kenny Richards followed and pressure to the inside as well. On the following circuit, Richards was able to make a run, getting the nose inside entering turn one. There was contact through the corner with Doehling spinning to the infield out of turn 2, bringing out the caution. Officials called Richards for the incident and put Doehing back at the point, and Richards retired to the pit.
Doehling was able to lead the final 3 laps with Larry Richards making a solid run on the outside, but Doehling was able to claim his first feature win of the season. Jeff Richards took third place with Reichenberger. Vinney, Jr and Sancinati flashing by to complete the top six.
The third leg of the IMCA Modified King of the Ring saw Marcus Yarie and Benji LaCrosse tied for the series lead. Both won their heat races, and started the main event in row 2, It was LaCrosse, that made the early move and took the lead after the opening lap with Dan Roedl, Yarie, Jeremy Christians, Tim Robbins and Brian Drexler behind. LaCrosse hooked mid way up the track and Roedl was running the outside line. The rest of the field was bunched2 and 3 wide behind. Yarie moved up to second on lap 4 and was just behind the leader. A lone caution for a spin appeared on lap 9, with LaCrosse and Yarie still leading the way. Roedl was holding third. Tim Lemirande was the quickest car in the field having moved from his 16th starting spot into fourth for the restart. Drexler and Christians were still in the top six.
With the green flag out for the balance of the 30 lap event, is was flat out throughout the field with LaCrosse and Yarie showing the way. The battle for third remained a tight bunch of cars with plenty of hard racing. By lap 20, the leaders had pulled away a bit with Lemirande running in third. Mike Mullen, Drexler, Roedl, Steve Schneider, Chad Bartel and Chris Engels made the group behind.
LaCrosse was running into lapped traffic and was able to move through while keeping Yarie at bay. That changed on lap 21, when Yarie suddenly pulled off the track to the infield in turn 3, when a belt broke on his car. All that was left for LaCrosse to do was continue to work traffic and he not only won his second race of the series and third of the season, but clinched the King of the Ring tile by completing the 30 lap contest well ahead of Lemirande, his hard charge secured the runner up spot. Mullen won the battle for third. Drexler collected fourth place with Schneider and Bartel rounding out the top six.
The Corn Belt – George Scheffler Memorial feature put 24 cars on the track, and once the green flag appeared, the series pulled off a non-stop 40 lap event for the second straight year.
It took the first 10 laps for the field to sort out a bit with Chris Simpson in the top spot by that time and Jimmy Mars in chase. Mars was able to wrestle the top spot away on lap 12 and when the leaders started to get into lapped traffic a couple laps later, it was in a tight 7 car pack. Despite having Simpson right behind, Mars was able to carefully pick his way through the pack. Once through, the field continued to string out. Mars was able to move where he needed to holding the top spot for the rest of the way. Simpson was able to make several runs, but not a serious challenge for the lead. The cars behind, made a race long battle for the next five spots.
Mars collected his second straight Scheffler Memorial check with Simpson taking runner up honors, Mitch MaGrath spent most of the last half of the race chasing the leaders in third and finished there, with Chad Simpson taking fourth place. Local drivers, Nick Anvelink and Jared Siefert, rounded out the top six places in the stellar field.
The final regular season race will take place on Championship night, this next Friday, September 2 at the SpeedZone. All six regular season divisions will crown their season champions with racing starting at 7 PM.
CORN BELT CLASH – GEORGE SCHEFFLER MEMORIAL LATE MODELS
40 Lap Feature l. Jimmy Mars 2. Chris Simpson 3. Mitch McGrath 4. Chad Simpson 5, Nick Anvelink 6, Jared Siefert 7. Dave Eckrich 8. Paul Parker 9. Doug Blashe 10. David Fieber
12 Lap Consy First l. Fieber
Second l.Jason Autter
10 Lap Heats First l. Eckrich
Second l. Mike Mullen
Third l. Chris Simpson
Fourth l. Nick Anvelink
Fast Qualifier Chris Simpson 15.322
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY IMCA MODIFIEDS
30 Lap King of the Ring Feature l. Benji LaCrosse, Green Bay 2. Tim Lemirande, Sun Prairie 3. Mike Mullen, Seymour 4. Brian Drexler, Oshkosh 5. Steve Schneider, Chilton 6. Chad Bartel, Shiocton
10 Lap Consy First l. Lemirande 2. Mark Joski, Green Bay
Second l. T.J. Smith, Menasha 2. Brian Mullen, Seymour
Third l. Matt Klenz, West Bend 2. Eric Scribner, Lena
8 Lap Heats First l. Marcus Yarie, Wausau 2. Jeremy Christians, Horicon
Second l. Dan Roedl, Beaver Dam 2. Mike Mullen
Third l. Chris Engels, Green Bay 2. Brian Crapser, Milwaukee
Fourth l. Schneider 2. Drexler
Fifth l. LaCrosse 2. Tim Robbins, Omro
GOLD STAR RACING PRODUCTS GRAND NATIONALS
20 Lap Feature l. Tim Doehling, Omro 2. Larry Richards, Montello 3. Jeff Richards, Montello 4. Tim Reichenberger, Oshkosh 5. Brian Vinney, Jr 6. Charlie Sancinati, Two Rivers
8 Lap Heats First l. Kenny Richards, Montello 2. Sancinati
Second l. Jeff Richards 2. Doehling
Third l. Dan Sorce, Sheboygan 2. Derek Schrauth