By Edward Anschutz
Mark it in the record books as Thunderhill featured its first ever “Topless Night” in the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Northern Sport Mods. The winners were Dan Ratajczak in the Modifieds and second year driver Tyler Hackett in the Sport Mods. Ratajczak sits third all time in the Modifieds with 20 feature wins. Each driver took home extra cash for their respective wins.
In the newly added Spectator Eliminator, the crowd was treated to the legendary “Land Shark” Jeff Schroeder making his debut at Thunderhill. The “Land Shark” synonymous with North Eastern Wisconsin race tracks gave the Thunderhill fans a white knuckle moment smashing head on into the front stretch wall after the checkers. Schroeder would walk away unscathed but his all original 1969 Chevrolet Impala with only 80,000 miles was destroyed. Schroeder who calls Bonduel home had driven the car to track and had to call a family member to come pick him up.
Schroeder said he will return with his street legal 1935 Chevrolet 3 window coupe, powered by a blown 355 small block with dual carburetors and a 4 speed Muncie. If you want to take on the Land Shark go to the track website for the sign up sheet and rules. The winner receives a minimum cash prize of $75.
We have video footage of Schroeder’s crash on the Thunderhill Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thunderhillraceway Special thanks to Pain Racing for the video.
Jamie Suchocki and Mike Pierrard returned to the Hill for the first time in 2011. Pierrard a former champion in the Street Stocks and IMCA Stock Cars was relocated to Georgia last June by his employer.
Suchocki a former feature winner in the IMCA Stock Cars is now calling Iowa home as his wife Heather and their children relocated to Hawkeye country in early spring for her job. Jamie’s return didn’t go as planned as he suffered a flat tire during the feature. Pierrard and Suchocki hope to be back in Wisconsin and race a few more times before the season ends.
Sturgeon Bay’s Nick LeMieux took a hard tumble midway through the Feisty Four feature. LeMieux’s #36 clipped the wall coming out of turn four, sending his car into a barrel roll down the front stretch coming to a halt landing on the passenger side under the flagman. Safety crews went to work and safely removed a sore and shaken LeMieux from his wrecked racer. He was then put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. While being loaded in the ambulance, LeMieux gave a thumbs up to the crowd, he then received a huge round of applause from the fans.
LeMieux suffered a severe concussion and a sprained lumbar (lower spine). He is at home recovering from the vicious crash. With the injury he will not be able to race any more this season. All of us at Thunderhill are wishing Nick a speedy recovery.