Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
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By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) August 17 – Fresh off a feature win in the Street Stocks last week, Dave Bouche would muscle his way inside Bret Koehler with 4 laps remaining to take home his first IMCA Stock Car feature of the season at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway. Brad Lautenbach passed Rod Solem and held off Eric Arneson on his way to winning the “King of The Hill” Sport Mod Tournament. Other feature winners were Eugene Gregorich Sr. (IMCA Modified), Eric Arneson (IMCA Sport Mod), Marcus Moede (IMCA Hobby Stock), Aaron Thornton (Street Stock), and Calvin Stueck (Four-Cylinders)
John Anschutz and Bret Koehler would do battle in the early goings of the Stock Car main event. Koehler would edge Anschutz and take the top spot. Dave Bouche would power to second by lap three and run down Koehler. Both drivers would be running the low groove, as Bouche waited for an opening point leader Troy Muench and defending Champion Greg Gretz would join the battle. The top four would run nose to tail down low.
With 5 laps remaining Gretz would be the first to try the top side and he would pull along side and pressure Bouche for the second spot. Koehler would leave just enough opening coming into turn 3 and Bouche would tuck in battling to the inside. Koehler and Bouche would lock horns with smoke and sparks coming off their racecars, when the dust settled Bouche would take the lead. A caution with 2 laps remaining would set up a dash to the checkers. Muench and Gretz would be right on Bouche’s bumper on the restart but Bouche would pull away and pick up the win, his 20th career at Thunderhill. Gretz would have to settle for second, followed by Muench, last weeks winner Charlie Kroll and Todd Polster rounding out the top five.
Muench holds a 25 point lead over Gretz going into the final night.
“The Professor” Eugene Gregorich Sr. would lead every lap winning his 2nd feature of the season in the IMCA Modifieds.
Eugene Gregorich would work the top groove around Chris Derenne in the opening laps of he Modified feature. Gregorich would pull out to a sizable lead as James Tebon quickly worked to second. Tebon would try the low and high groove trying to chase down Gregorich but it wouldn’t be enough as Gregorich cruised to victory in the caution free event. Tebon took home second, third for point leader Jay Matthias, with Todd Dart fourth and Jeremy Jacobs fifth.
Gregorich captured his 41st Thunderhill feature in a car that was built in 2002. The Modified originally built as a Harris Chassis for Brian Mullen, which Gregorich cut apart and basically made a Franken Stein machine with his own rear suspension design which Gregorich has affectionately named “2010 Hairy Fat Boy” Chassis.
By virtue of his third place finish Matthias holds a 10 point edge over Dart heading into the last point night.
Eric “Chummy” Arneson would take the lead away from Jeff Lautenbach midway through the IMCA Sport Mod feature and pick up his 6th checker of the season.
Jeff Lautenbach would do battle with Tom Stark early in the Sport Mod feature. Jeff would have the lead running the low groove as Stark challenged to the outside. While heading into turn 3 Stark and Jeff Lautenbach made contact sending Stark sliding through grass. Stark would stay in the gas and come back on track in the fifth spot. A few laps later Stark’s engine would expire in a plume of smoke and his night would be over.
Defending Champion Eric Arneson wasted no time chasing down the leader driving around Jeff at the midway point. Arneson would go uncontested picking up the victory. Tyler Hackett would take a solid second, Rod Solem in his first visit of the season would place third, point leader Brad Lautenbach took home fourth with Jeff Lautenbach holding onto fifth.
Brad Lautenbach will go into the final point night with a 4 point edge over Arneson.
Marcus Moede would his use his backup car and claim his second feature of the season in the IMCA Stocks.
The Hobby Stocks saw Kim Denil, Dave Schmidt and Marcus Moede exchange the lead, with Moede taking charge on lap 4. Schmidt would find the top groove and began to chase Moede down. With 2 laps remaining Schmidt would pull even with Moede but Schmidt would get to high out of turn 2 and tag the backstretch wall. Moede would take the win, Schmidt would soldier on to second, CJ Weckler third, Travis Hackett and point leader Brandon Peterson rounded out the top five. As Moede pulled into victory lane his radiator hose blew, had the race been a lap longer he wouldn’t have finished.
Second place point contender Tom Brumlic would encounter trouble allowing Peterson to extend his lead to double digits.
The 300th Street Stock feature goes to Aaron “The Hammer” Thornton as he would nail down his second feature of the season.
Drama would start early the Street Stocks as point leader Geno Sternard would suffer transmission trouble in his heat race that would send him scattering to find a different car for the feature. Andy Paluch who was in his third night of the season gave up his front row starting spot and loaned his racer to Sternard who would then start dead last on the grid.
Fresh off another heat race win Kipp Burlo pulled away to a huge lead early in the Street Stock feature. 2004 Street Stock Champion Aaron Thornton would make his first appearance in nearly 2 months and wage battle with Jimmy Anderson and Rick Sternard. With 5 laps remaining Thornton would take the second spot and quickly close in on Burlo. With 2 laps remaining Thornton would make the pass for the lead passing Burlo down low, a lap later Burlo’s machine would slow and head into the pits ending his night. Thornton would take home the win, followed by Les Sternard, Anderson, Nick Everard and Rick Sternard.
Geno Sternard would finish two spots behind Tony Everard leaving those two drivers tied for the point lead with one night to go.
Matt Borths would battle Kasey Gross early in the Feisty Four main. Gross would work to the inside taking the lead just before the midway point. While leading Gross would clip an infield tire sending his machine rolling on its roof. Gross would emerge uninjured but his night would be over. Once the race was restarted point leader Calvin Stueck would work to the outside of Matt Borths with two laps remaining and capture his 6th feature of the season.
Floors by Josh will host Championship night on Saturday, September 3. Their will be a Trick or Treat them for the kids. Champions will be crowned in all 6 classes. 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 You can also follow Thunderhill Raceway on Facebook and Twitter.
KELSEY RACING IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee; 2. James Lee Tebon. Algoma; 3. Jay Matthias, De Pere; 4. Todd Dart, Algoma; 5. Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg
HEAT 1: Chris Derenne, Luxemburg
ALGOMA MOTORS IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1. Dave Bouche, Algoma; 2. Greg Gretz, Kewaunee; 3. Troy Muench, Union; 4. Charlie Kroll, Forestville; 5. Todd Polster, West Jacksonport
HEAT 1: Bret Koehler, Two Rivers
HEAT 2: Muench
HEAT 3: Polster
BUTCHS AUTO IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1. Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls; 2. Tyler Hackett, Algoma; 3. Rod Solem, Seymour; 4. Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; 5. Jeff Lautenbach, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Jarred VanLaanen, Green Bay
HEAT 2: Tom Stark, Egg Harbor
COORS LIGHT IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1. Marcus Moede, Algoma; 2. Dave Schmidt, Algoma; 3. CJ Weckler, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Travis Hackett, Algoma; 5. Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Schmidt
HEAT 2: Weckler
LACKIE RENTALS STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1. Aaron Thornton, Maplewood; 2. Les Sternard, Sturgeon Bay; 3. James Anderson, Forestville; 4. Nick Everard, Green Bay; 5. Rick Sternard, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Rick Sternard
HEAT 2: Kipp Burlo
DENIL AUTO 4 CYLINDER FEATURE: 1. Calvin Stueck, Clintonville; 2. Matt Borths, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Charlie Gross, Gleason; 4. Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Brittany King, Appleton
HEAT 1: King
TISLER SALVAGE SPORT MOD KING OF THE HILL: 1. Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; 2. Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls; 3. Rod Solem, Seymour; 4. Steve Georgenson, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Kelsy Hayes, Sturgeon Bay