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Red Cedar Speedway opens Season 42 on April 17

by Brad Erickson

MENOMONIE (APRIL 17, 2015) — The gorgeous weather which met a large opening night crowd for the Red Cedar Speedway’s 42nd season opener shed no premonition for the night to come.  Seven classes of cars took to action as the Hornets, Pure Stocks, and the WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Modifieds, and Late Models took to action.  Racers and track workers were ready to perform and entertain; and that they did, under less than ideal track conditions.  The more than casual fans of racing are aware spring time in Wisconsin and the frost leaving the ground can lead to unpredictable racing surfaces which tend to be full of both traction and unfortunately ruts.

Feature winners included Tim Johnson, Shane Halopka, Jesse Redetzke, Cory Mahder, and AJ Diemel.  Due to time constraints, the Pure Stock and Hornet features were delayed until next week.  Delays in the action were caused by multiple cautions and two roll overs in the night.

The Johnson Motors Super Stocks were the first class to take to the track for feature action as Lucas Plank and Jesse Redetzke won the two heats earlier, with Redetzke scoring his win from the sixth starting position.   Nick Oreskovich and Tommy Richards paced the Super Stocks to the start with Oreskovich taking the early lead as Richards drove the high side closely behind.  Redetzke soon began to show he was a force as he closed on the leaders on the low side of the track.

As Richards began to show signs of a problem and started to fade, Redetzke powered to the lead under Oreskovich, bringing Curt Myers in tow into second.  Jason Forehand joined Myers as the two tried to track down the leader.  Myers was able to mount a charge and peak underneath Redetzke for a short lived lead, but Redetzke was too strong as he roared back to the front.  Myers wouldn’t give in as he continued to pressure for the lead as a spinning Oreskovich brought out the caution.

A Delaware style restart posted Redetzke alone on the point with Forehand and Myers in the second row.  Redetzke drove away for the eventual win as Myers and Forehand battled for the runner up.  Myers gained the position and Tim Johnson grabbed third late.  Forehand and Gunnar Watkins rounded out the top five.

The Southworth Chevrolet Midwest Modifieds entered feature action after Tad Brettig and Ben Schultz both parlayed outside front row starts and Michael Truscott charged from fifth starting position to win their respective heats.   The normal race fan wouldn’t have a lot of doubt Shane Halopka could win the feature from his pole position start, which he did. However, it wasn’t as cut and dried as it may seem.  Firstly, the strong Kent Baxter flanked him and secondly there were 15 laps to run to decide a winner.  That winner wasn’t decided until the final turn.

Halopka did take the early lead off the start but Truscott flexed his muscle and drove past to the point.  Halopka was able to stay close, but Truscott certainly looked tough out front.  As the race wore on, both cars entered into and cleared lapped traffic very well as Baxter maintained a comfortable third.  In the waning laps, Halopka was able to mount a charge down the backstretch, but Truscott was simply too strong as he regained the lead.  The two ran together; however in the last turn, Truscott hit a rut, violently turning his car toward the wall.  Although he was able to gather it back up and not crash, Halopka stuck lightening quickly and took advantage of the misfortune.  Halopka led to the line, with Truscott following home in a both disappointing and grateful second position.  Baxter, Cory Bruggeman, and Dave Shackelton closed out the top five.

The Tim’s Automotive Modifieds were sure to put on a show is it pitted Cory Mahder and Kevin Adams on the front row with the extremely tough traveler, Blake Jetvig, Matt Leer, and Mike Anderson in the top five.  Several hundred feature wins were represented in the elite group.  The remaining field was further compiled of excellent runners.   Add this to the fact Mahder went from eighth to second and Adams from sixth to win the first heat, and Leer won the second heat from fifth, it appeared as if action was guaranteed.

The first ten laps of the feature was outstanding as Adams worked high and Mahder low for two laps at the green until Adams had to grab a handful of steering wheel as he bounced through turn two and Mahder secured the point.  Adams began to lurk toward the front as Leer secured third and Anderson and Jetvig battled for the fourth position.

A caution flag flew just as action was being spread everywhere on the track, drawing the group tight once again. On the restart Anderson came to life but soon his left front suspension broke as he three wheel the car into third and tried to close on the leaders.  His modified dug into the racing surface in turn three and as his complete left suspension and wheel tore free from the car and the yellow flag flew once again.

On the restart, Mahder powered to the lead and led the remaining one third of the race.  Adams lost a position to Leer but battled back as David Baxter joined the battle for third.  Mahder was never seriously challenged the rest of the way as he drove to a what became a solid victory late in a race that was packed with action for two thirds the way through.  Adams finished second, Baxter drove from 14th to third, Leer and Kerry Halopka, who has made an impressive move from the Midwest Modified to the “A-mod” finished out the top five.

The T.L. Sinz Plumbing Late Models entered the track with the two heat winners, Rick Hanestad and Scott Gilberts mired deep in the pack in the fourth row as the Schmidt’s owned the front row at the start.  AJ Diemel proved he was a force to be reckoned with as he moved in to make it three wide off turn four on the first lap.  There was contact, causing Diemel to spin.  Jim Schmidt was relegated to the rear of the field on the complete restart as Diemel moved up to the outside of the front row.

At the drop of the green, Diemel made quick work of Justin Schmidt and set off into the night.  Mike Prochnow raced to second and Gilberts moved to third.  As the two waged a battle for second, which Gilberts eventually won, Diemel stretched his lead to an eventual near half lap as sixth place was in danger of going a lap down at the finish.   Jake Redetzke and Greg Nippoldt closed out the top five.

My apologies with the Street Stock results as to do to a note issue, I am going by memory.  The Conrad’s Auto Salvage Street Stocks took to the track and were led to green by Justin Pogones.  Ashley Wahlstrom showed she wasn’t afraid of the boys and applied immediate pressure, fighting with the lead pack.  A yellow flag flew early for a crash which eliminated Wahlstrom and a second competitor.  The restart found defending National Champion Tim Johnson in the lead within a lap as Pogones and Ron Hanestad followed.  Sam Fankhauser, who was relegated to the back during the first caution turned up the wick and blasted his car to forth and was soon joining the leaders.  A roll over by Kolby Kiehl brought out a red flag.  Upon the cleanup and restart, the race finished without incident as Johnson won, followed by the Pogones, Fankhauser, Hanestad, and Cody Kummer in the top five.

The late hour and poor and even further deteriorating racing surface caused the Red Cedar Speedway to postpone the running of the Kadinger Auto Salvage Pure Stocks and Value Implement Hornets until next Friday night.

Red Cedar Speedway returns to racing action on Friday, April 24, 2015 as Conrad’s Auto Salvage brings you the WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Modifieds, and Late Models along with the Kadinger Auto Salvage Pure Stocks and Value Implement Hornets.  In addition, the Pure Stocks and Hornets will have their makeup features.

T.L. Sinz Plumbing Late Model Feature: AJ Diemel, Scott Gilberts, Mike Prochnow, Jake Redetzke, Greg Nippoldt, Rick Hanestad,  Jim Schmidt, Justin Schmidt, Todd Green, Adam Hensel

Heat One: Hanestad, Nippoldt, Jim Schmidt, Hensel DNF, Redetzke DNF

Heat Two: Scott Gilberts, Mike Prochnow, AJ Diemel, Justin Schmidt, Todd Green

Tim’s Automotive Modified Feature: Mahder, Adams. Baxter, Leer, Halopka, Eichens, Robbie Johnson, Jetvig DNF, Anderson DNF, Peterman DNF, Brightbill DNF, Hessler DNF, Tim Johnson DNF, Fisher DNS, Hallquist DNS

Kevin Adams, Cory Mahder, Blake Jetvig, Don Eichens, Robbie Johnson, Jay Richardson, Don Brightbill DNF, William Fischer DNS

Heat Two: Matt Leer, Mike Anderson, Kerry Halopka, Tim Johnson, Brady Peterman, Jordan Hessler, David Baxter, Steve Hallquist DNS

Johnson Motors Super Stock Feature: Redetzke, Myers, Johnson, Forehand, Watkins, Oreskovich, Steffen, Karis, Olson, Anderson, Spacek, Falkner DNF, Richards DNF, Plank DNF, Harris DNF, Johnsen DNF, Hallquist DNF

Heat One: Lucas Plank, Jason Forehand, Nick Oreskovich, Tim Johnson, Gunnar Watkins, Mike Anderson, Tom Karis, James Harris, Cole Spacek DNF

Heat Two: Jesse Redetzke, Tommy Richards, Curt Myers, Eric Olson, Bart Steffen, Tony Falkner, Chad Gullixson, Rick Hallquist, William Johnsen

Southworth Chevrolet Midwest Modified Feature: Halopka, Truscott, Baxter Bruggeman, Shackelton, Southworth, Schultz, Koehler, Smith, Nitzik, Kolek, Hessler, Booth, Hanson, Keeney DNF, Davis DNF, Brettig DNF, Tautges DNS, Anderson DNS, Wahlstrom DNS

Heat One: Tad Brettig, Grant Southworth, Corey Bruggeman, Cory Davis, Daniel Tautges DNF, Travis Anderson DNF, Josh Hessler DNF

Heat Two: Ben Schultz, Kent Baxter, Paul Niznick, Karl Kolek, Jake Hanson, Dave Shackelton DNF, Josh Wahlstrom DNF

Heat Three: Mike Truscott, Shane Halopka, Jake Smith, Nick Koehler, Michael Booth, Brad Seavers, Andrea Keeney

Conrad’s Auto Salvage Street Stock Feature: Tim Johnson, Justin Pogones, Sam Fankhauser, Ron Hanestad, Cody Kummer, Adam Soltis, Kyle Dykhoff, 1, Hunter VanGilder, Mike Knudtson, 26, Kolby Kiehl, Wahlstrom, 74