Oshkosh, September 1- A perfect day for racing greeted drivers and fans to the final regular season race at the Oshkosh SpeedZone Raceway. LaSure’s Banquet Hall sponsored the final point night of the season.
A field of 127 cars used the fast track and cooler temp to put on a very competitive night of racing.
The Don Herman Auto Repair IMCA Sport Mods took the track first for feature action with Kelsy Hayes taking the lead at the start followed by Hunter Parsons, Kayden Besaw and Kyle Raddant. Point leader, Colten Van Hieren started mid pack and took the far outside line on the start and passed ½ the field three wide to be in fifth after one lap. He was in the runner up spot on lap 2 and after a caution on lap 4, took charge of the race and pulled away from the field.
Several cautions during the race kept bunching up the field, but, Van Hierden would not be denied his first ever track title by outrunning the field after each restart and claimed the checkered flag and track title, his first in his seven year career. Raddant chased and challenged Van Hierden on each restart but settled for the runner up finish. Brock Saunders took third with Jeff Steenbergen, Hayes and Brandon Berth rounding out the top six.
Jason Fish controlled the opening 2 laps of the Gold Star Racing Products Grand National feature with Ervin Kurtz, Rich Garb, Tim Reichenberger and Tim Simon behind. The lone caution of the race appeared on lap 4, and it was a flat out duel for the remainder of the race. Garb took over the top spot on the restart with Reichenberger taking the runner up spot. Defending and current point leader, Jeff Richards, moved into third with Steven Wirtz coming from mid pack and following into fourth. The battle up front saw Richards take the elad on lap 8 and after a couple laps, it was Wirtz, doing something not done too often the season, passing Richards for the lead on lap 10. Wirtz started to open a lead and the battle for second was great for the final ½ of the race, Richards held off Garb and Reichenberger until lap 14, when Garb reclaimed second and 3 laps later, Reichenberger took over third. Wirtz claimed his first ever SpeedZone feature win in only his second run of the season here. Garb and Reichenberger followed with Richards sealing his second straight track championship by finishing fourth. Brian Vinney, Jr and Larry Richards rounded out the top six.
It was time for the Automotive Supply Company IMCA Modified showdown with the top three drivers within 12 points of each other entering the race. Current point leader, T.J. Smith, had to make the main by winning a consy while Brian Drexler and Steve Schneider started in the front half of the field.
Tim Robbins led the opening 2 circuits before Mike Klenz led lap 3. Joey Taycher moved ahead just before a lone caution on lap 5. Justin Ritchie moved into the runner up spot after the restart and took over the lead on lap 8. He started to open a lead on the pack as Marcus Yarie came from mid pack and moved into second on lap 12 and set out to catch the leader. Yarie closed the gap and was right behind with 5 laps remaining, and made a hard charge to the inside on lap 16, but was fought off and Ritchie was able to pull ahead by a couple car lengths over the final laps to win his first feature here this season. Yarie took the runner up finish. Paul Parker started the main in 18th after coming through a consy and steadily worked through the field to take a strong third place finish. Brian Mullen, Taycher and John Schultz had a tight race for fourth to the finish with Mullen taking the spot ahead of Taycher and Schultz. In the point battle, all three contenders got bunched in the back of the field. But when Smith was able to pass Drexler on lap 9, he sealed the deal with an 11th place finish with Schneider in 13th and Drexler in 16th, to earn his first career Modified title by seven points over Drexler in the final tally.
The Nolte’s Auto Repair and Towing Street Stock were next up with Chad Martin leading the opening lap. A pair of cautions before lap 2 set up and non stop finish. The second caution saw point leader, Jeff Wicinsky forced to the pit after a turn three accident. Fortunately, he carried a 30 point lead into the main event, which had already sealed the track title. On the restart, Brandon Ross took over the lead with brother, Jordan taking second. Adam Crapser moved to third with Brady Baldry, Jeff Jungwirth and Lexii Aschcraft right behind. Brandon Ross opened a gap on the field with Jordan Ross holding the runner up spot until lap 15, when lapped traffic came into play. Crapser was able to secure second and closed some on the leader, but Ross drove off with his second feature win over the last three weeks. Crapser took second with Baldry able to take third. Jordan Ross finished fourth with Jungwirth and Jesse Krahn rounding out the top six.
The Lynn’s Service Center IMCA Sport Compact Dirt Devils were the final event for the night with Mike Meier taking the lead early. After a pair of cautions, Mitch Meier moved into the top spotwith Chris Maas, Cody Pankow, Taylor Becker and Jordan Klemmer lined up behind. The point battle was between Klemmer and Pankow, with Klemmer holding the nod by 4 points entering the race. Pankow was able to gain a spot by moving into the runner up spot after a final caution on lap 14. Te top five ran nose to tail over the final laps, with Meier claiming his 1st feature win of the season. Pankow finished second with Maas, Becker and Klemmer behind. Klemmer was able to take his first career track title by a mere point following the finish.
The program was the final regular season race of 2017. The final events on the schedule are the Crash’n for a Cause Charity Demolition Derby on Saturday September 16.
The final race will take place with the SpeedZone Fall Classic on September 22 nd 23rd. There will be an test and tune session on Friday night, the 22nd, with all of the racing action taking place on Saturday, the 23rd.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY IMCA MODIFIEDS
20 Lap Feature l. Justin Ritchie 2, Marcus Yarie 3. Paul Parker 4. Brian Mullen 5. Joey Taycher 6, John Schultz
10 Lap Consy First l. T.J. Smith 2. Adam Reed 3. R.J. Gerber
Second l. Parker 2. Jason Czarapata 3. Mike Mueller
8 Lap Heats First l. Ritchie 2. Mike Klenz
Second l. Yarie 2. Dan Roedl
Third l. Schultz 2. Brian Drexler
Fourth l. Tim Robbins 2. Taycher
JIM’S TOWING AND RECOVERY IMCA STOCK CARS
20 Lap Feature l. Travis Van Straten 2. Justin Jacobsen 3. Jeremy Christians 4. Kevin Hebbe 5. Devin Snellenberger 6. Cory Wegner
8 Lap Heats First l. Hebbe 2. Karlt Stadler
Second l. Jerry Winkler 2. Barry Streck
Third l. Jacobsen 2. Trent Nolan
DON HERMAN AUTO REPAIR IMCA STOCK CARS
20 Lap Feature 1. Colen Van Hierden 2. Kyle Raddant 3. Brock Saunders 4. Jeff Steenbergen 5. Kelsy Hayes 6/ Branden Berth
10 Lap Consy First l. Tim Sheppard 2. Tom Schneider 3. Russ Franks
Second l. Jason Ebert 2. Mitch Fairbank 3. Paul Buckholz
8 Lap Heats First l. Hayes 2. Saunders
Second l. Wayne Morgan 2. Kevin Bethke
Third l. Raddant 2. Hunter Parsons
Fourth l. Van Hierden 2. Berth
NOLTE’S AUTO REPAIR AND TOWING STREET STOCKS
20 Lap Feature l. Brandon Ross 2. Adan Crapser 3. Brady Baldry 4. Jordan Ross 5. Jeff Jungwirth 6. Jesse Krahn
89 Lap Heats First l. Chase Solomon 2. Jungwirth
Second l. Dan Kraus 2. Baldry
Third d l. Brandon Ross 2. Jeff Wicinsky
GOLD STAR RACCING PRODUCTS GRAND NATIONAL
20 Lap Feature l. Steve Wirtz 2. Rich Garb 3. Tim Reichenberger 4. Jeff Richards 5. Brian Vinney, Jr 6. Larry Richards
8 Lap Heats First l. Jeff Richards 2. Jason Fish
Second l. Larry Richards 2. Wirtz
LYNN’S SERVICE CENTER IMCA SPORT COMPACT DIRT DEVILS
20 Lap Feature l. Mitch Meier 2. Cody Pankow 3. Chris Maas 4. Taylor Becker 5. Jordan Klemmer 6. Mitchell Lee Fairbank
8 Lap Heats First l. Mike Meier 2. Fairbank
Second l. Mitch Meier 2., Maas