Oshkosh, September 2 – September ushers in changes in all we do each year. The unoffical end to summer, school starting, football, and the end of weekly racing programs.
A clear, cool day welcomed a nice crowd that watched a field of 160 cars compete in the final regular season racing program of the season Friday night at the Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway. In the end, three drivers successfully defended 2015 titles by garnering the crown again in 2016. One added a second title to his career standings and a pair celebrated first career titles.
The Gold Star Racing Products Grand Nationals opened the feature portion of the big night. Jay Schaalma set the pace early with a tight field behind. Following a lap 3 caution, Larry Richards used the fast outside line to secure the elad and start to open a lead. Nick Schumacher, Tim Reichenberger, Kodiak Wirtz, Steve Weber and Jeff Richards were bunched through the mid point of the race. Over the final laps, Richards maintained the fast pace at the helm and took the checkered. Schumacher, Wirtz, Reichenberger, Jeff Richards and Webber rounded out the top six.
Entering the night, Larry was only 6 marks behind in the point chase, the battle was won by collecting his 3rd feature flag of the season, but the war was won by son, Jeff, who with his 5th place finish, garnered his second career SpeedZone track title by 4 points. The results now give each Richards team member, Larry, Jeff and Richard, 2 career titles in the division.
Brandon Ross set the pace for the Outlaw Chassis Street Stock feature for three laps before Adam Crapser powered into the lead using the outside line. Crapser opened a gap as the field sorted out behind. At the mid point, Crapser held a sizable lead with Paul Ambrosius, Jeff Jungwirth, Brady Baldry, Ross, Jeff Wicinsky and Lexii Ashcraft behind. A caution appeared on lap 11 for a spin and bunched the field on the leader. The leader did not look like a rookie on the restart, holding onto the outside line and holding off several challenges before a final caution slowed the race on lap 15. This time, it was Wicinsky that made the run from third to the inside of Crapser on the restart. Ambrosius was still in the hunt, and for a couple laps, it was a three bay battle which Wicinsky was finally able to take control of with 3 laps remaining. Wicinsky drove to his second straight feature win and had Crapser and Ambrosius tight behind at the line. Alex Crapser, edged Jungwirth for the fourth place finish, with Ashcraft rounding out the top six.
Defending champion, Steven Gawaresky, used an 8th place finish to secure his second straight division title.
The Automotive Supply Company IMCA Modifieds put 24 cars out of a tough 40 car field on the feature grid.. Joel Seegert took charge at the start with Rod Solem, Jeff Bodendorfer, Eric Scribner, Mitch Stankowski and Mike Wedelstadt bunched behind. The field never separated and the lead pack stayed close over the first half of the race. The pace seemed to pick up even more as the race moved to the second half, still caution free, Seegert was holding the top spot with Solem, Wedelstadt, Scribner, Jay Matthias, defending and current point leader, Marcus Yarie, andBodendorfer behind.
On lap 17, Solem and Wedelstadt were able to slip by Seegert and one lap later, the caution appeared and set up a furious challenge for the final 2 laps. Solem was now the leader, with Wedelstadt, Seegert, Yarie, Scribner and Matthis behind. Yarie was able to sneek inside Wedelstadt after the restart and moved to the inside of the leader as the pair picked up the white flag. The anticipated close finish was denied bt a last lap spin the forced the dash to end with Solem collecting his first career division feature win, in only his second race of the 2016 season. Yarie settled for the runner up finish, but also secured his second straight division track championship. Wedelstadt took third with Scribner, Stankowski and Brian Drexler rounding out the top six.
The Jim’s Auto Repair IMCA Stock cars put a full 26 car field on the track for their feature event with Dan Nelson claiming the lead at the start followed by Dion Wahl, Chase Parker, Karley Stadler, Harley Simon and David Hoerning. Hoerning made his way to the front and was able to take the elad on lap 7. By the mid point of the race, Hoerning was still in control with Jerry Winkler, defending and current point leader, Travis Van Straten, Jerry Kope, Kyle Frederick and Stadler bunched behind.
Three separate cautions on lap 13 kept things anxious at the front and when racing finally resumed, Winkle was able to make his way to the front and open a slight lead. Frederick pulled into the runner up spot on lap 16but could not close in on Winkler, keeping the field bunched for the second place finish. The final lap was also cut short by a late race caution, which allowed Winkler to take the easy ride to victory lane for the second time this season. Frederick took the runner up spot over Hoerning. Van Straten successfully defended his 2015 title finishing 4th and taking the 2016 campaign by 11 points over Winkler. Sadler finished a strong run holding off Aaron Stolp for the fifth place finish.
The Nolte’s Auto Repair and Towing sponsored IMCA Sport Mod division feature also had a stellar 25 car field on the grid with Grant Plonske leading the opening circuit before Brekken Kelinschmidt took command and opened a lead on the field. By lap 5, Kevin Bethke had moved into second and brought current point leader, Tom Schneider, and Lucas Lamberies along to the front for a tight battle fo the lead. The leaders started to swap positions as they pulled ahead of the field a bit. At the lap 10 mark, Kleinschmidt was still in control with Schneider, Bethke, Lamberies, Chris Budzban and Chase Randerson in persuit. On lap 14, Schneider was able top get to the inside and took over the top spot with Lamberies making a move wide outside to move into second. The first caution of the race appeared on lap 18 and set up a wild finish with Schneider still leading with Bethke, Lamberies, Budzban and Jeff Steenbergen set for the final dash.
On the restart, Lamberies dove from the outside of Bethke to the inside of Schneider entering turn one. The slide job attempt saw the car break lose and slide up into Schneider with contact between the two in turn 2. Both continued with the field storming behind. The side panel dropped off of Schneiders car on the back chute which the field avoided and Schneider collected the white flag. As the field made their way out of turn 2 for the final time, the caution was displayed for the debris, ending the final sprint. Schneider collected his 6th feature win of the season and claimed his first career division track title by 15 points over Bethke, who finished second in the race. Budzban took home the third place finish with Steenbergen in fourth. Cody Schroeder made his first appearance of 2016 and finished fifth with Randerson rounding out the top six.
The Ellington Mutual Insurance Dirt Devils ran the final feature of the night with Alvin Testroete leading the way for the first 4 laps before Kasey Gross moved into the top spot and started to opena lead. Jordan Klemmer took up second on lap 6 with current point leader, Chris Maas, moving into third. Shaun Bangart and Nate Lisowe made up the top five at half way. The lone caution of the race came out on lap 14 and erased the lead Gross had built. The field was bunched for the restarrt, and Maas moved into second, and inside Gross. The pair swapped back and forth over the final laps. Gross was leading entering the final lap, but Maas made a final push to retake the top spot and secure his third feature win of the season and along with it, his first career track title at the SpeedZone by 8 points over Gross, also finishing second in the race. Bangert and Lisowe were next with Mike Meier and Klemmer rounding out the top six.
The next event on the schedule is the Crashin’ for a Cause Charity Demolition Derby and Thunder over Wisconsin Fireworks Celebration on Saturday September 17.
The track will host their annual Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday September 23 and 24 with an open practice set for Thursday September 22.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY IMCA MODIFIEDS
20 Lap Feature l. Rod Solem, Seymour 2. Marcus Yarie, Wausau 3. Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont 4. Eric Scribner, Lena 5. Mitch Stankowski, Shawano 6. Brian Dreler, Oshkosh
8 Lap Consy First l. Ed Lemay, Oakfield 2. Mike Klenz, West Bend
Second l. Mark Schuennemann, Shawano 2. Steve Schneider, Chilton
Third l. Brian Crapser, Milwaukee 2. Kenny Richards, Montello
8 Lap Heats First l. Jeff Bodendorfer 2. Drexler
Second l. Solem 2. Scrobner
Third l. Wedelstadt 2./ Jay Matthias, Green Bay
Fourth Yarie 2. Jeremy Christians, Horicon
Fifth l. Joe Seegert 2.. Stankowski
JIM’S AUTO REPAIR IMCA STOCK CARS
20 Lap Feature l. Jerry Winkler, Oshkosh 2. Kyle Frederick, Oconto 3. David Hoerning, Appleton 4. Travis Van Straten, Hortonville 5. Karly Stadler, Oshjkosh 6. Aaron Stolp, Milwaukee
8 Lap Heats First l. Winkler 2. Stadler
Second l. Jerry Kope, Oshkosh 2. Van Straten
Third l. Harley Simon, Seymour 2. Steve Hiles, Hortonville
NOLTE’S AUTO REPAIR AND TOWING IMCA SPORT MODS
20 lap Feature l. Tom Schneidere, Chilton 2. Kevin Bethke, Neeah 3. Chris Budzban, Luxemurg 4. Jeff Steenbergen 5. Cody Schroeder, Green Bay 6. Chase Randerson, Oshkosh
8 Lap Heats First l. Bethke 2. Randerson
Second l. Brock Saunders, Greenville 2. Schneider
Third l. Steenbergen 2. Greant Plonske
OUTLAW CHASSIS STREET STOCKS
20 Lap Feature l. Jeff Wicinsky, Winneconne 2. Adam Crapser, Milwaukee 3. Paul Ambrosius, Seymour 4. Alex Crapser, Milwaukee 5. Jeff Jungwirth, Oshkosh 6. Lexxi Ashcraft, Oshkosh
8 Lpa Consy l. Joe Minks, Menasha 2. Mike Carter 3. Patty Winkler, Larsen 4. Jason Fairbank, Oshkosh
8 Lap Heats First l. Ambrosius 2. Brady Baldry
Second l. Jesse Krahn, Beaver Dam 2. Jeremy Kemnetz
Third l. Wicinsky 2. Jungwirth
GOLD STAR RACING PRODUCT GRAND NATIONALS
20 Lap Feature l. Larry Richards, Motello 2. Nick Schumacher 3. Kodiak Wirtz,
4. Tim Reichenberger 5. Jeff Richards, Montello 6. Steve Weber
8 Lap Heats First l. Derek Schrauth 2. Jay Schaalma
Second l. Jeff Richards 2. Wirtz
ELLINGTON MUTUAL INSURNACE DIRT DEVILS
20 Lap Feature l. Chris Maas 2. Kasey Gross 3. Shaun Bangart 4. Nate lisowe 5. Mike Meier 6. Jordan Klemmer
8 Lap Heats First l.Bangart 2. Gross
Second l. Maas 2. Klemmer
Third l. Anthony Fletcher 2. Adam Broehm