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Matthias Claims IMCA Modified Victory

By Chris Budzban

July 5, 2008; Sturgeon Bay, WI – DePere’s Jay Matthias held off Luxemburg’s Jeremy Jacobs to capture his first IMCA modified feature win of the season at the Forest County Potawatomi Thunderhill Raceway. Meanwhile, Sturgeon Bay’s Bernie Reinhardt picked up his fourth IMCA northern sport mod feature victory.

The IMCA modifieds got off to a rocky start with a couple of cautions without getting a lap in. Brett Wenzel and Randy LeMieux, Jr. battled for the lead early, with Mike Wedelstadt closing in fast. Wedelstadt tried to squeeze between LeMieux and Wenzel, but made contact with Wenzel sending both drivers into a spin. LeMieux was handed the lead and tried the high line around the track, but Matthias dove underneath to take the lead away. A late caution would set up a 2 lap dash to the finish, with Matthias edging out Jeremy Jacobs by inches at the line. Julie McDermid took third, LeMieux fourth and Wedelstadt recovered to take fifth.

The IMCA stock cars also had their share of caution flags early, shuffling the point leaders to the front early on. Luxemburg’s Willie DeGrave and Casco’s Matt Junio fought side by side for nearly the entire feature, with Junio getting the lead on the outside. Several cautions would shorten the race, with Junio pulling away for the victory. Shawn Havel spun early on the in race, but charged back through the field to take second from DeGrave at the checkers. Todd Polster and Charlie Kroll rounded out the top five.

Luxemburg’s Dave DeGrave found his way back to the winner’s circle in the IMCA hobby stock division. DeGrave took the lead from Scott Boulanger on the inside, and dodged lapped traffic on his way to victory. Boulanger would hang on to second, followed by C.J. Weckler, points leader Jarred VanLaanen and Keith Kickbusch.

Bernie Reinhardt continued his recent dominance of the IMCA northern sport mod division, taking home his 4th feature win in the last 5 races at Thunderhill. Wausau’s Marcus Yarie charged to second place on the outside, but Reinhardt had already checked out by then. Yarie held on to second, followed by Jeff DuBois, points leader Jeff Vlies and Keith Kickbusch.

Seymour’s Jeremy Wiitala made a three-wide pass and survived a late caution to take his 3rd feature win of the season at Thunderhill. Early on it was Aaron Thornton with the lead, but trouble on a restart ended his night prematurely. Wiitala got around last week’s winner Todd Everard and cruised to victory. Everard followed in second, John Sternard took third, Thom Terrien fourth and Dan Merkle fifth.

The 4 cylinders were not able to run their feature due to curfew. Tony Everard and Kipp Burlo took home heat wins in the division.

Next week is sponsored by Havel Welding of Brussels. Racing gets underway at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening. The track’s website is www.racethunderhill.com. For more information, call (920) 743-7052.

RACE SUMMARY

IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE – Jay Matthias, DePere; Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg; Julie McDermid, Oconto Falls; Randy LeMieux, Jr., Sturgeon Bay; Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont

Semi-feature – Shawn Kilgore, New Franken; Brian Joski, Luxemburg

Heat 1 – Tim Czarneski, Denmark; Matthias
Heat 2 – Jacobs; Wedelstadt
Heat 3 – Todd Dart, Algoma; Rick Johnson, Gills Rock

IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE – Matt Junio, Casco; Shawn Havel, Brussels; Willie DeGrave, Luxemburg; Todd Polster, Sturgeon Bay; Charlie Kroll, Forestville

Semi-feature 1 – Scott Pagels, Egg Harbor; Tim Czarneski, Denmark
Semi-feature 2 – Darren Otto, Green Bay; Pat Davister, Luxemburg

Heat 1 – Dave Bouche, Algoma; Von Eytcheson, Forestville
Heat 2 – Kroll; Tony Bouche, Algoma
Heat 3 – Havel; Junio
Heat 4 – John Heinz, Green Bay; DeGrave

IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE – Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg; Scott Boulanger, Luxemburg; C.J. Weckler, Sturgeon Bay; Jarred VanLaanen, Green Bay; Keith Kickbusch, Kewaunee

Heat 1 – Boulanger; Jeff Lautenbach, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 2 – Jason LaViolette, Little Sturgeon; Frank Paul, Luxemburg
Heat 3 – Marcus Moede, Luxemburg; DeGrave

IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MOD FEATURE – Bernie Reinhardt, Sturgeon Bay; Marcus Yarie, Wausau; Jeff DuBois, Luxemburg; Jeff Vlies, Kewaunee; Keith Kickbusch, Kewaunee

Heat 1 – DuBois; Dennis Miesler, Luxemburg
Heat 2 – Reinhardt; Brad Lautenbach, New Franken

STREET STOCK FEATURE – Jeremy Wiitala, Seymour; Todd Everard, Green Bay; John Sternard, Sturgeon Bay; Thom Terrien, New Franken; Dan Merkle, Bailey’s Harbor

Heat 1 – Everard; James Iverson, Luxemburg
Heat 2 – Aaron Thornton, Maplewood; Terrien

4 CYLINDER FEATURE – CURFEW

Heat 1 – Tony Everard, Green Bay; Kasey Gross, Gleason
Heat 2 – Kipp Burlo, Sturgeon Bay; Charlie Gross, Gleason

Thunderhill Raceway