Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
[nggallery id=41 /]
by Tom Wagner
(Sturgeon Bay, WI – 6/25/2011) – A late race pass was the difference as former track champ Jeremy Jacobs raced to the IMCA Modified feature win in the 3rd annual Nathan Bouche Memorial Saturday night at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway in Sturgeon Bay.
Top division prizes on the night also went to Brandon Czarapata in the IMCA Stocks Cars, Eric Arneson in the IMCA Northern Sport Mods, Geno Sternard in the Street Stocks, Tom Brumlic in the IMCA Hobby Stocks and Joey Scoon in the 4 cylinder class.
For the bulk of the IMCA Modified headliner, it appeared that the die was cast; Jacobs would finish second to Tony Wedelstadt. The second generation racer from Fremont took the lead at the drop of the green, and while never able to pull completely away, he maintained a consistent edge on a trio of pursuers – Jacobs, Jay Matthias and Shawn Kilgore.
But with two laps to go, Jacobs made a charge, diving to the bottom through one and two. The two raced hard through the corner with Jacobs taking control down the backstretch. After leading 18 laps, Wedelstadt could only watch as Jacobs pulled away heading to the white flag. He then fell prey to Matthias and Kilgore as both shot by on the low line.
The win for Jacobs was his second of the season after taking the victory on opening night.
Czarapata scored the IMCA Stock Car win in only his second visit of the year. Starting from the front row, he led every lap, but saw several leads wiped away by a series of cautions.
Jeremy Wiitala took over the second spot on the 8th lap, but Czarapata proved to be the master of the restart, never giving the runner-up a chance to draw even.
A late rally by Troy Muench scored a third place finish, preserving his point lead for another week. Todd Polster ran in the lead pack though the event to grab fourth ahead of Shawn Havel.
The IMCA Northern Sport Mod feature proved to be a duel between the two co-point leaders entering the night; Arneson and Brad Lautenbach,
Arneson took the top spot from Jarred VanLaanen on the 8th lap, after a two-lap side by side battle following restart prompted by leader Tom Stark’s breakdown. Lautenbach worked his way past VanLaanen as well to grab second.
Arneson took control of the higher preferred line, leaving the bottom groove open for Lautenbach. Lautenbach made several runs, diving under the leader, but each attempt fell short as Arneson was able to carry the momentum on the higher line.
Holding the advantage to the checker, Arneson’s third win of the season moved him into solo possession of the division lead by a single marker over Lautenbach.
Chris Benes kept the pressure on the point leaders finishing an impressive third. Randy LeMieux, Jr raced from his sixth row starting spot to fourth ahead of VanLaanen.
Sternard came a long way in a short amount of time to catch Kipp Burlo en route to the Street Stock win. Burlo took the lead at the drop of the green, and built what appeared to be a safe cushion.
Sternard moved into second on the 10th lap, chased down the leader and passed him with a strong move on the outside line through one and two with just one lap to go.
It was the second straight win for the defending class champ, and third overall on the season.
Ford Malvitz turned in a career best performance, running up front the entire way, placing third. Point leader Tony Everard was fourth, with Les Sternard joining his nephew in the top five.
Brumlic used an outside move to get around Marcus Moede and leader Dave Schmidt on the sixth lap of the IMCA Hobby Stock feature.
Scott Boulanger eventually secured second after a hard fought battle with Brandon Peterson, Moede and Schmidt. He cut into Brumlic’s advantage, but ran out of time before he could mount a serious challenge.
Scoon shot to the inside of Matt Borths on a restart on the second lap of the 4 cylinder feature, dominating the rest of the way, as he posted his second feature win of the season.
With his car sidelined after banging the wall in the heat, Kasey Gross jumped behind the wheel of father Charlie’s machine to place second.
This Saturday night, Poh’s Corner Pub and Bissen Asphalt will host the show. The Raceway’s regular six divisions will be on hand, with the finale of the night the ever popular trailer race of destruction.
The night will also mark the 300th feature run in the IMCA Stock Car class since the track reopened in 1993. The winner will receive an extra $300, as well as a special commemorative trophy.
Prestige Yacht Coatings 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 at 6:00 PM. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.racethunderhill.com
Thunderhill Raceway Results 6/25/11
IMCA Modified 20 Lap Feature – Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg,: Jay Matthias, Depere: Shawn Kilgore, New Franken: Tony Wedelstadt, Fremont: Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont: Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station
Heat 1 – Tony Wedelstadt: James Tebon, Algoma
Heat 2 – Jacobs: Chris Derenne, Luxemburg
IMCA Stock Car 20 Lap Feature – Brandon Czarapata, Appleton: Jeremy Wiitala, Green Bay: Troy Muench, Namur: Todd Polster, Sturgeon Bay: Shawn Havel, Algoma: Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg
Semi-feature – Dan Sell, Suring: Kyle Frederick, Gillett: John Anschutz, Brussels: Bret Koehler, Two Rivers
Heat 1 – Greg Gretz, Kewaunee: Mike Wietor, Green Bay
Heat 2 – Czarapata: Polster
Heat 3 – Scott Reinhardt, Baileys Harbor: Havel
IMCA Northern Sport Mod 20 Lap Feature – Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls: Brad Lautenbach, New Franken: Chris Benes, Algoma: Randy LeMieux, Jr, Sturgeon Bay: Jarred VanLaanen, Green Bay: Tyler Hackett, Algoma
Heat 1 – Tom Stark, Egg Harbor: VanLaanen
Heat 2 – Jeff Lautenbach, Sturgeon Bay: Steve Georgenson, Sturgeon Bay
Street Stock 15 Lap Feature – Gene Sternard, Sturgeon Bay: Kipp Burlo, Sturgeon Bay, Ford Malvitz, Sturgeon Bay: Tony Everard, Green Bay: Les Sternard, Sturgeon Bay: Dave Baenen, New Franken
Heat 1 – Burlo: Jeremy DuBois, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 2 – Malvitz: Les Sternard
IMCA Hobby Stock 15 Lap Feature – Tom Brumlic, Denmark: Scott Boulanger, Luxemburg: Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay: Dave Schmidt, Algoma: C.J. Weckler, Sturgeon Bay: Marcus Moede, Algoma
Heat 1 – Moede: Travis Hackett, Algoma
Heat 2 – Weckler: Peterson
4 Cylinder Feature – Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay: Kasey Gross, Gleason: Matt Borths, Sturgeon Bay: Theodore Everard, Green Bay: Steve Skippon, Sturgeon Bay: Calvin Stueck, Clintonville:
Heat – Scoon: Borths