By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) July 19 – Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway is just past the half way mark in the 2011 racing season. Titles in all 6 divisions are still up for grabs with 7 point nights remaining.
Despite several early rainouts forcing the track to open later than anyone else and the addition of another track racing on Saturday nights, Thunderhill Raceway still has seen a total of 148 different drivers take the green flag. The track also saw its biggest crowd in 10 years over the 4th of July weekend. Of those 148 drivers 30 of them won features. A feature win is worth 40 points every spot after that gets deducted by one point.
The Kelsey Racing IMCA Modifieds have seen 6 different feature winners in the first 9 weeks. Jeremy Jacobs, Dan Ratajczak and Todd Dart each have 2 feature wins. Mike Wedelstadt, Evan Madden and Eugene Gregorich each have 1 feature win. Defending Champion Jay Matthias has been a model of consistency averaging a 4th place finish each night and he is the point leader holding a 10 point edge over Jacobs, Ratajczak sits 12 back, Dart 15 back and James Tebon rounds out the top 5, being 28 points behind. Of all the feature winners, when combined share a total of 11 Thunderhill track titles in just the Modifieds.
Jacobs took home the Mod title in 2004. Gregorich also holds 4 titles in the Modifieds and one in the IMCA Stock Cars at Thunderhill and Dart has 6 titles at the Hill as well as Street Stock Championship in the early 90’s at the Seymour Tri-Oval.
Dart also leads the Modified division in features with 42 wins, Gregorich sits second with 23 and Ratajczak sits third for with 20 wins.
The Algoma Motors IMCA Stock Cars have seen 5 different feature winners. Troy Muench leads the division with 3 feature wins. Rookie Luke Lemmens and Defending Champion Greg Gretz each have 2 feature wins. Brandon Czarapata and Kyle Fredrick each have one. Muench leads the point standings by 18 marks over Dave Bouche. Jeremy Wiitala sits third 22 points back. Gretz sits 28 points back in third. Muench’s lead is the largest of all 6 divisions. Lemmens is currently ranked 6th in the IMCA National rookie standings, he is also a former IMCA Hobby Stock Champion at the Hill.
Muench, Bouche and Wiitala each have a Thunderhill Street Stock title under their belt. Bouche in 95’ Muench in 03’ and Wiitala in 09’. Muench is the defending Stock Car Champion at Luxemburg Speedway. Bouche also holds Street Stock titles at Luxemburg Speedway and Manitowoc Expo. Wiitala was last years rookie of the year, he also holds a title in the Bomber class at the Hill and is Street Stock Champion at Seymour Speedway.
The Butch’s Auto IMCA Northern Sport Mods have seen 5 different feature winners. Defending Champion Eric Arneson and Brad Lautenbach each have three feature wins. Jesse Kroll, Tyler Hackett and Tom Stark each won once. The top 4 are separated by only 24 points. Lautenbach sits a top the standings by 13 points over Hackett, 14 over Arneson and 24 over Kelsy Hayes.
Lautenbach is the all time leader in the Sport Mods with 16 feature wins and is eying his first ever track title. Hackett is in his second year of racing after switching over from racing four-wheelers, he holds feature wins at Luxemburg and Thunderhill. Arneson’s 3 feature wins this year are his first ever at the Hill. Arneson holds a title at Luxemburg Speedway and is a IMCA Wisconsin State Champion. Hayes is also in her second year in the Sport Mods and was crowned rookie of the year last season.
The Coors Light IMCA Hobby Stocks come in with tightest points battle of all the divisions, the top 5 are only separated by 9 points. The class has seen 4 feature winners, Brandon Peterson and Tom Brumlic each have 3 wins a piece. Second year driver Travis Hackett has 2 and Marcus Moede has 1. Peterson has been averaging a 3rd place finish each night that has pushed him to the top of the standings. State points leader Tom Brumlic sits second just 6 points back. By winning the last 2 feature Hackett moves to third 7 back. Moede sits 4th 8 behind and CJ Weckler is 9 back in 5th. The Hobby Stocks will crown a new Champion this season as no driver in this class has ever won a title.
In the last 3 weeks 3 different drivers have held the points lead in the Lackie Rentals and Remodeling Street Stocks. The division has seen 6 different feature winners, 3 of which got their first career wins in the division. Defending Champion Geno Sternard holds a division high 4 feature wins. Nick Everard, Aaron Thornton, David Baenen, Les Sternard and Jimmy Anderson each have 1 feature win to their credit this season.
Geno sit’s a top the standings with a 3 point edge over Tony Everard, 9 points over his uncle Les for third and Nick Everard sits fourth 23 marks back.
The Denil Auto and Trucking Feisty Fours have had four different winners with the top 4 separated by just 13 points. Calvin Stueck has been dominant in the class with 4 feature wins, Joey Scoon and rookie TJ Everard have 2 wins a piece and one A-Main win for Matt Borths.
Stueck has a 4 point lead over Kasey Gross, last years rookie of the year Joey Scoon sits third 5 points back with Matt Borths fifth 13 back of the leader. Joey Scoon was last years rookie of the year. Gross is the defending Champion at Tomahawk Speedway. He is the only driver in the title hunt that has won a track title.
Thunderhill is located at the John Miles Fair Park on Sturgeon Bay’s east side with racing in the six divisions beginning every Saturday night through the summer. IMCA Modified, IMCA Stock Car, IMCA Northern Sport Mod, IMCA Hobby Stock, Street Stock and Feisty Fours in action. Pit gates open at 3:30 P.M. racing starts at 6:00 P.M. You can also follow Thunderhill Raceway on Facebook and Twitter.