By Ed Reichert
MENOMONIE, AUG. 10 – It was Season Championship night Friday at the Red Cedar Speedway and one hundred and nine cars signed in for racing action in the seven classes the speedway now runs. Drivers lined up for qualifying races based on their season long points earned and the feature races were lined up straight off the heat race finishes.
There were several close finishes in the main events and when the final checkered flag of the night was waved, crowned as Season Champions were Jake Redetzke in the Late Models, Mike Anderson in the Modifieds, Ben Hillman in the Super Stocks, Shane Halopka in the Midwest Modifieds, Jay Kesan in the Street Stocks and Jeremy Dahl in the Pure Stocks. The Hornet feature fell victim to the track’s curfew and will be made up next Friday night as a part of the regular season finale.
Redetzke and point champion Mike Prochnow had a good battle in the Late Model feature with them spending much of the contest racing side by side. They shared the front row and Prochnow used the outside to edge into the early lead over Redetzke. John Kaanta moved into the third place with Scott Gilberts following him through the pack.
Redetzke closed on Prochnow and dove to his inside where he pulled up beside Mike. They raced side by side with Redetzke making numerous attempts to get by, but each time Mike would edge out past him again. Time after time, Redetzke would push to the inside of Prochnow but Mike would continue to hold him off.
Meanwhile, Gilberts was riding the tail of Kaanta as they battled for third. Just past the halfway point, Jake made another rush at Prochnow and this time he was able to get up beside him and as they raced down the back chute, he edged in front of Mike for the first time and was able to clear him as they moved into turn three.
Mike stayed close for a couple of laps and tried to fight back, but Jake was able to eventually pull away and put some distance on Prochnow in the late going. Mike started to fade with Kaanta quickly closing on him and making an attempt to pass on the low side. Redetzke was able to stretch his lead in the last few laps as he drove on for his third feature win of the year at Red Cedar. Kaanta actually edged past Prochnow with a couple of laps to go, but Mike fought back and took the spot at the line with Gilberts and Kerry Hanson following.
Anderson had to fight his way past Mark Gerth to win the Modified title after Gerth got the jump on Cory Williams to take the early lead. Anderson came from the second row to move into second and he began to pressure for the lead. First working the low side without success, he then moved to the cushion and closed on Gerth. Meanwhile , Kevin Adams had moved into third and was trying to catch the leaders while Brent Prochnow, Craig Thatcher and Jake Hartung were having a good battle for position.
Anderson was able to gain momentum on the high side and racing through turn three, he swept past Gerth to take over the lead. Gerth was able to stay relatively close, but not able to put on a serious challenge. After a lap seven yellow, Anderson again put some distance on Gerth and maintained it the rest of the event as he took his second Red Cedar win of the year. Gerth finished a strong second ahead of Adams, with Hartung moving into fourth ahead of Prochnow at the finish.
The Super Stock feature also saw a good two car battle for the lead after some early surprises. Steve Thomas was on the pole and he edged into the early lead ahead of Jesse Redetzke and Ben Hillman with Aaron Wilson also becoming a part of the lead pack. Thomas continued to hold the lead with plenty of pressure behind him but on lap seven , Thomas lost control and spun all by himself in turn four and the yellow flag waved.
Thomas went to the tail and Hillman inherited the lead. However, Ben was quickly challenged by Wilson who was on the move forward. Wilson was putting heavy pressure on Hillman who was trying to hold him off using the low side.
Going through turn four, Hillman bounced to the outside and Wilson dove inside him in an attempt to pass for the lead. However, Hillman’s being forced to the outside actually proved to be a blessing as he found momentum on the high side and actually started to stretch his lead again over Wilson. Despite the best efforts of Wilson, Hillman worked the high side to his benefit as he drove home the winner by three car lengths to earn his sixth feature win at Red Cedar. Tom Karis made another strong run to the front to take third ahead of Eric Olson and Cory Davis.
The Midwest Modified feature was another down to the wire, two car battle for the lead with the issue not decided until just over a lap remained in the event. Cory Crapser and Shane Halopka sat side by side in the front row with Crapser edging into the lead using the low side of the track. However, Halopka was not going to give up easily and he pushed the cushion hard, racing off the turns on three wheels and edging up next to Crapser each time they would race down the straightaways. Lap after lap, Halopka would fly off the corners and pull up beside Crapser, but each time Cory would have just enough to hold him off as they went into the next turn.
The race was red flagged after a hard crash in turn three on lap ten. Clark Swartz, Jake Smeltzer and Mark Thomas all came together hard, and Swartz was complaining of a hip injury afterward. City of Menomonie Fire and Extrication crews were summoned to the scene and Swartz was removed from his car and transported to the local hospital for evaluation. At press time, no further word on his condition was available.
After a lengthy delay, the race was restarted with six laps to go. Once again the same battle broke out, as Crapser ran the low line and Halopka was pushing the outside , three wheeling off the corners and racing up to challenge on each straightaway. Shane remained within a car length of Cory and one time they even made a little contact coming off turn two. With just over a lap to go, Crapser bobbled slightly in turn four and his car got sideways with him losing momentum. Halopka went flying by on the outside and while Crapser tried to recover on the last lap, Halopka wouldn’t give up the lead as he raced to the title and his third Red Cedar win of 2012. A wild scramble on the final lap behind the leaders saw Nick Koehler, who had moved up to challenge the leaders at one point spin, with Grant Southworth coming from tenth on the grid to finish third ahead of Jake Smith and Travis Anderson.
Despite a small field of Street Stocks, they didn’t disappoint as they probably ran the closest and most crowd pleasing of all the feature races with the leaders racing three wide most of the main event. Jimmy Randall started on the pole but it was Jay Kesan on his outside that was able to edge into the early lead. As Randall raced to catch Kesan, Keith Tourville moved to the cushion and made it work. He edged past Kesan to take over the lead but he couldn’t but his challengers away, and with a lap both Kesan and Randall had caught him as they raced around the track. Kesan had the inside , Randall squeezed into the middle and Tourville ran the high side as they raced lap after lap in three wide formation. Never once touching each other, they nevertheless continued to race at top speed in the three wide formation.
And behind them, Adam Soltis and Ron Hanestad were racing side by side and no more than a couple of car lengths behind the leaders. It was an impressive display of driving that was very entertaining. Near the end , Randall faded back about a car length and Kesan and Tourville were left to settle the issue. Tourville pushed as hard as he could, but Jay had the momentum and he edged the hard charging Tourville by less than a car length for the win. Randall finished third with Hanestad edging Soltis.
Jeremy Dahl started on the outside pole of the Pure Stock feature and ran away with the event. He took the lead immediately and pulled away from the field. The race was stopped once for a spin, but on the green he again pulled away to maintain a big lead all the way to the finish and earn his fifth feature win at Red Cedar. There was a spirited battle for second with Randy Burton eventually taking the position ahead of Krysta Swearingen. Jesse Bryan and Mike Grover completed the top five.
Next Friday, August 17th, the regular season finale will be held at the speedway. Along with a complete show in all seven classes that race at the track, the Hornet Season Championship race, postponed Friday due to the track curfew, will also be held. Race time is 7 p.m.
Red Cedar Speedway
August 10, 2012
WISSOTA Late Models
20 lap Feature – Jake Redetzke(Eau Claire), Mike Prochnow(Menomonie), John Kaanta(Elk Mound), Scott Gilberts(Menomonie), Kerry Hanson(Baldwin), Greg Nippoldt(Roberts), Steve Isenberg(Marshfield), Mark Rose(Elcho), Robby Bunkelman(Abbotsford), Todd Green(Eau Claire)
8 lap Heat 1 – Redetzke, Kaanta, Gilberts, Nippoldt, Bunkelman
Heat 2 – Prochnow, Isenberg, Hanson, Green, Rose
18 lap Feature – Mike Anderson(Colfax), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Jake Hartung(Elmwood), Brent Prochnow(Colfax), Brandon Jensen(Hammond), Craig Thatcher(Knapp), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Jerry Weigel(Jim Falls), Keith Tourville, Larry Prochnow, Paul Niznik, Cory Williams, Mark Hessler, Robbie Johnson, Don Brightbill, Steve Hallquist
8 lap Heat 1 – Williams(Spring Valley), Anderson, Hartung, Glenz, Hanson, Johnson
Heat 2 – Gerth, B. Prochnow, Hessler(Menomonie), Hallquist(Eau Claire), L. Prochnow(Menomonie), Brightbill
Heat 3 – Adams, Thatcher, Jensen, Tourville(Dairyland), Niznik(Medford), Weigel
WISSOTA Super Stocks
18 lap Feature – Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Tom Karis(Menomonie), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Cory Davis(Turtle Lake), Jesse Redetzke(Eau Claire), Mike Keller(Menomonie), Brad Edington(Elk Mound), Steve Thomas(Menomonie), Brad Johnson(Wilson), Wayne Dean, Luke Plank, Rick Hallquist, Ryan Olson, Terry Kroening, Kenny Davis, Jim Harris, Karl Dicks
8 lap Heat 1 – Thomas, Wilson, Plank(Eau Claire ),C. Davis, Edington, K. Davis
Heat 2 – Redetzke, Keller, Dean(Fall Creek), Harris(Menomonie), Johnson, Kroening
Heat 3 – Hillman, Karis, E. Olson, Hallquist(Eau Claire), R.Olson(Chippewa Falls), Dicks
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Jake Smith(Eau Claire), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Kevin Smeltzer(Menomonie), Josh Smith(Eau Claire), Dave Shackleton(Knapp), Justin Supri(Eau Claire), Mitch Anderson, Shawn Wihren, Nick Koehler, Mark Clements, Jake Smeltzer, Mark Thomas, Kyle Steffen, Clark Swartz
8 lap Heat 1 – Crapser, Koehler(Bloomer), Swartz(Bloomer), Southworth, Shackleton, Jo. Smith, Wihren
Heat 2 – S. Halopka, K. Halopka, Supri, J. Smeltzer(Menomonie), Thomas(Menomonie), Steffen, Ben Schultz
Heat 3 – T. Anderson, Ja. Smith, Clements(Bloomer), K. Smeltzer, M. Anderson(Spring Valley), Robbie Johnson
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature – Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Troy Fransway(Elk Mound), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Jared Lindner(Greenwood), Ashley Husby(Menomonie), Andrea Keeney(Hudson)
8 lap Heat 1 – Randall, Soltis, Hanestad, Knudtson, Fransway
Heat 2 – Kesan, Tourville, Lindner, Husby, Keeney
10 lap Feature – Jeremy Dahl(Knapp), Randy Burton(Menomonie), Krysta Swearingen(Little Canada MN), Jesse Bryan(Menomonie), Mike Grover(Chetek), Gunnar Zurek(Menomonie), Mark Henning(Chippewa Falls), Tracy Hallquist(Chippewa Falls), Andrew Conklin(Ladysmith), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Dustin Doughty
8 lap Heat 1 – Bryan, Swearingen, Zurek, Henning, Conklin, Bill Skoug
Heat 2 – Dahl, Burton, Doughty(Ladysmith), Grover, Hallquist, Berlin
10 lap Feature – postponed to August 17th
6 lap Heat 1 – Rocky Kempe(Chippewa Falls), Brenden Uetz(Menomonie), Joseph Kurschner(Wheeler), Chad Prissel(Durand), Dean Butler(Wheeler), Tyler Lamm, Steve Lundborg
Heat 2 – Brent Voeltz(Glenwood City), Eric Schultz(Downing), Jeremy Johnson(Elmwood), Dan Prissel(Mondovi), Jake Hanson(Downing), Steve Kirby, Grady Boigenzahn
Heat 3 – Robert Ellsworth(Prairie Farm), Derek Baskin(Menomonie), William Voeltz(Glenwood City), Eric Nelson(Chippewa Falls), Matt Klukas, Cassie Hanestad.