Snellenberger Fends Off Czarapata in Speedzone Badger Stock Debut!
Oshkosh, WI, July 19, 2013 – The sound of racing engines returned to Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway after a week off as the track grounds were used by Lifest. The Badger Modified and Badger Stock Tour were joined by the Hansel Trucking IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds for an action packed special event at the third-mile clay oval. Close finishes were the theme of the night with the main events settled by less than a car length in several classes.
Benji LaCrosse would put on a passing exhibition in the Badger Modified main event charging from the tail of the field after making a pit stop during the opening laps of the contest. LaCrosse would then methodically pick his way through traffic and run down race leader Eric VanIten. As the white flag flew LaCrosse would dart to the inside of VanIten diving into turn one with the lead. The pair would race down the backstretch with LaCrosse gaining the upper hand and then fending off VanIten’s last ditch passing attempt to score a popular victory. Even more impressive was the fact that the win occurred in a newly built car after having his pervious ride destroyed just one week ago in another Badger Mod event at the Dodge County Fairgrounds.
The Badger Stocks made their debut at the Oshkosh Speedzone showing fans why the class is so popular at other area tracks. The thundering horde of talented drivers muscled their machines around the raceway and pulled off a green to checkered finish. As the race wound down it was a pair of champions Rod Snellenberger and Brandon Czarapata racing for the win. Czarapata would get under Snellenberger as the final lap began but Snellenberger repelled the challenge to lead Czarapata to the stripe by less than a car length to take the win.
The Hansel Trucking IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds would see point leaders Todd Wiese and Steve Schneider chasing vising driver Josh Long to the checkered flag.
The Badger Modified main event was turned loose with Lance Arneson and Eric VanIten making up the front row. Benji LaCrosse would duck into the pits when the caution flew on the first lap of the contest, returning in time for the drop of the green flag.
VanIten assumed the lead while Kurt Moeller, defending track champion Brian Drexler, Marcus Yarie and Arneson traded positions behind the leader. By lap eight Yarie established himself in the second spot and began to run down VanIten. On the next lap Yarie briefly took over the top spot before VanIten rallied using the high line. On the next lap Yarie attempted to dive past VanIten in the bottom groove but the maneuver didn’t go as planned as the pair made contact with Yarie spinning in turn two. Yarie would be sent to the tail of the field while VanIten continued in the lead though his ride had significant sheet metal damage.
Under caution Badger Mod tour point leader Mitch McGrath headed to the pits for some quick work returning in time to join the race as the green flag flew.
VanIten was not slowed by the damage showing the way while fending off the challenges of Drexler. Third spot would be contested in a side by side battle between Arneson and Moeller which continued past the halfway point of the contest.
Moeller would get the upper hand on Arneson who moments later got tangled up with Craig Priewe while doing battle for position spinning into the infield and out of harm’s way on lap 18.
LaCrosse and Yarie meanwhile had been slicing through the pack moving back among the leaders by lap 20. VanIten continues to increase his lead with each passing lap as second place now proved to be a battle between Drexler and Brian Mullen.
With six laps to go in the contest Drexler’s machine began to show signs of smoke slowing slightly and allowing Mullen to grab the second spot. The running order received a major shake-up with four laps to go as Yarie and Moeller made contact in turn two while doing battle for the third spot sending Moeller careening into the infield tires.
VanIten, Mullen, Moeller, Drexler and a hard charging LaCrosse would do battle for the in a four lap shoot-out to the finish. LaCrosse working the low grove quickly dispatched Moeller, Drexler and Mullen coming alongside VanIten as the white flag waved. At the same time Drexler saw his fine run come to an end with his engine expiring as he rolled into the infield. LaCrosse would outpace VanIten the final two turns taking the win by less than a car length. VanIten would settle for second ahead of Mullen and Moeller who scored his best career Badger Mod Tour finish by calming fourth. McGrath had come back through the field after his earlier pit stop to gain fifth.
The Badger Stocks proved to be simply amazing as the field of 24 would run their entire feature without a caution while trading paint and positions throughout the field.
Jerry Leary briefly paced the event before Rod Snellenberger took command of the contest slowly pulling away from the pack. David Bouche, Kyle Fredrick and Brandon Czarapata became engaged in a heated duel for runner-up honors while Snellenberger continued to increase his lead.
By the halfway point Snellenberger opened up a full straightaway lead while working though lapped traffic. With less than ten laps to go Czarapata finally established himself in the second spot setting a pace that allowed him to slowly reel in Snellenberger.
Czarapata managed to reach Snellenberger’s rear bumper with two laps to go and he began to search for a way to grab the lead spot. As the white flag flew Czarapata briefly managed to work under Snellenberger, but Snellenberger proved up to the challenge powering back to the lead down the backstretch as the pair headed for the final turns. Snellenberger allowed his car to roll off the final turn and drift to the high side with his momentum enough to take the victory. Czarapata made the finish exciting with a close second followed by Fredrick, Bouche and John Heinz in the top five spots.
The Hansel Trucking IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds would be competing for points tonight and the field or regulars were joined by several other drivers competing with their home track Luxemburg Speedway off this evening.
The opening laps were spiced by a few caution flags the lead changed hands several times before Rob Krull secured the position. On the restart the field fanned out four wide at the front of the field with Josh Long running the extreme bottom line winning the drag race to take over the lead position of lap five. Division point leader Todd Wiese worked by Krull for the second spot and moments later Steve Schneider who had already won two features this second scrambled into the third spot.
The final caution flew with eight laps left in the contest and when the race resumed Long went back to showing the field the fast way around the track. Wiese continued to challenge from the second spot but Long would prove too tough taking the win by five car lengths. Wiese claimed second and added to his point lead. Schneider earned third ahead of Jon Schultz and Krull who completed the top five.
The next event on tap will be presented by Coor’s Light. On Tuesday Night July 23rd the annual “Walk of Fame” will take place. The evening is a throwback to the heyday of motorsports and a tribute to those who raced at the Leo’s Speedway, the predecessor to the Oshkosh Speedzone track which had operated at the former fairgrounds until the mid-1970’s.
Several drivers will be inducted into the “Walk of Fame” for their contributions to the success of the old Leo’s Speedway. Throwback pricing is in effect with grandstand admission just $5.00. In addition fans will only pay $1.00 for tap beer, soda or hot dogs.
The show will feature all five point divisions in action featuring the Automotive Supply Company IMCA Modifieds with Hansel Trucking IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds, Outlaw Chassis Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Ellington Mutual Insurance Dirt Devils all on the card. Nearly 120 cars are expected to participate in the show.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Benji LaCrosse; 2.) Eric VanIten; 3.) Brian Mullen; 4.) Kurt Moeller; 5.) Mitch McGrath; 6.) Craig Priewe; 7.) Joe McGrath; 8.) Eddie LeMay Jr; 9.) Eric Mahlik; 10.) Jeremy Christians; 11.) Jerrod Anvelink; 12.) T.J. Smith; 13.) Tom Schaal; 14.) Mark Weisnicht; 15.) John Schultz
BADGER STOCK CARS MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Rod Snellenberger; 2.) Brandon Czarapata; 3.) Kyle Fredrick; 4.) David Bouche; 5.) John Heinz; 6.) Dustin Loberger; 7.) Devin Snellenberger; 8.) Justin Jacobson; 9.) Jerry Leary; 10.) Harley Simon; 11.) Shawn Havel; 12.) Larry Karcz Jr.; 13.) Eric Arneson; 14.) Tyler Smith; 15.) Dave DeGrave
HANSEL TRUCKING IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Josh Long; 2.) Rodd Wiese; 3.) Steve Schneider; 4.) Jon Schultz; 5.) Rob Krull; 6.) Andy Kleczka; 7.) Cody Hokenstad; 8.) Jeffrey Schmuhl; 9.) Chris Budzban; 10.) Jeremy Cota; 11.) J.J. Anderson; 12.) Bernie Miller; 13.) Kevin Bethke; 14.) Colten Van Hierden; 15.) Brock Saunders
First Consolation: 1.) Anderson; 2.) Cota; 3.) Van Hierden; 4.) Saunders; 5.) Tristin Peebles; 6.) Todd Ewald
First Heat: 1.) Schultz; 2.) Wiese; 3.) Kleczka; 4.) Hunter Parsons
Second Heat: 1.) Krull; 2.) Long; 3.) Randy Theys; 4.) Schmuhl
Third Heat: 1.) Wyatt Block; 2.) Kevin Bethke; 3.) Budzban; 4.) Schneider
Fourth Heat: 1.) Kelsy Hayes; 2.) Miller; 3.) Cory Wegner; 4.) Cody Hokenstad
This article was posted to the website on July 20th, 2013