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“Frog Station Flash” Ratajczak Conquers Mods at Thunderhill

73 Ratajczak - 3

By Chris Budzban

August 15, 2009; Sturgeon Bay, WI – Frog Station’s Dan Ratajczak passed Two Rivers’ Kyle Kudick and held off defending track champion Todd Dart to pick up his 1st feature win of the season in the IMCA modified division at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway.

A pileup in the middle of the pack sent Jay Matthias and points leader Shawn Kilgore down pit lane early. Both would rejoin the field, but Kilgore later pulled off with more issues. On the restart, Kudick jumped to the outside of Ryan LeMieux to grab the lead. Another caution flag flew, and Ratajczak took aim at Kudick. He made a daring cut down into turn 1 to make the pass, and slid up in front of Kudick’s bumper taking the lead. A late caution bunched the field again, as Ratajczak was able to fend off Dart for the win. Dart settled for second, followed by Kudick, Billy LeMieux and Art Siefert.

Brussels’ Shawn Havel captured his 4th feature win in the IMCA stock car division. Defending champion Matt Junio of Casco took the lead early on in the contest, with Pat Davister and Havel battling for second. Havel would get by Davister halfway through, and then set his sights on Junio. With 2 laps remaining, Havel dove to the inside of Junio and took the lead away and the win. Junio took second, Davister third, Von Eytcheson fourth and Greg Gretz fifth.

Kewaunee’s Eugene Gregorich passed James Iverson on his way to winning the IMCA northern sport mod feature. Iverson created a nice lead from his front row starting position, but Gregorich sliced through the pack and started to close in halfway through the contest. Gregorich made the move on the inside stick, and cruised to the feature win. Brad Lautenbach grabbed the second spot, followed by Iverson, Jeff DuBois and Martin Kelsey.

Kewaunee’s Luke Lemmens raced around James Bosman and held off Brandon Peterson to pick up the victory in the IMCA hobby stocks. The contest had an early red flag, with Sturgeon Bay’s CJ Weckler ending up on his roof. Weckler would escape without injury. Lemmens went to the outside of Bosman on the restart and never looked back. Peterson finished second, followed by Frank Paul, Bosman and Jarred VanLaanen.

The NEW super stock division put on quite a show, as early on it looked like Dennis Weidner and Todd Everard would duel for the top spot throughout the race. Weidner suffered a mechanical issue, and Everard dropped out with a flat tire. The lead was handed momentarily to Jeremy Wiitala, but Tim Jandrin quickly took over the top spot. Wiitala fought back on the outside to regain the lead, and then was hounded by John Sternard to his inside. Sternard got by Wiitala with 2 laps remaining to pick up the victory. Wiitala finished second, Jandrin third, James Anderson fourth and Gene Sternard fifth.

Sturgeon Bay’s Kipp Burlo picked up another win in the 4 cylinder division.

Next week’s races are sponsored by Wisconsin Custom Machine of Denmark. Racing gets underway at 6pm with IMCA modifieds, stock cars, hobby stocks, northern sport mods, NEW super stocks and 4 cylinders in action. For more information, visit www.racethunderhill.com or call (920) 743-7052.

RACE SUMMARY

IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE – Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station; Todd Dart, Algoma; Kyle Kudick, Two Rivers; Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay; Art Siefert, Green Bay

Semi-feature – Kevin Sternard, Sturgeon Bay; James Tebon, Algoma

Heat 1 – Kudick; Jay Matthias, DePere

Heat 2 – Siefert; Ratajczak

Heat 3 – LeMieux; Brett Wenzel, Two Rivers

IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE – Shawn Havel, Brussels; Matt Junio, Casco; Pat Davister, Luxemburg; Von Eytcheson, Forestville; Greg Gretz, Kewaunee

Heat 1 – Eytcheson; Kyle Wanner, Sobieski

Heat 2 – Davister; John Anschutz, Brussels

Heat 3 – Junio; Gretz

IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MOD FEATURE – Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee; Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; James Iverson, Luxemburg; Jeff DuBois, Luxemburg; Martin Kelsey, Sturgeon Bay

Heat 1 – Bernie Reinhardt, Sturgeon Bay; Jeff Lautenbach, Sturgeon Bay

Heat 2 – Brad Lautenbach; Gregorich

IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE – Luke Lemmens, Kewaunee; Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; Frank Paul, Luxemburg; James Bosman, Sturgeon Bay; Jarred VanLaanen, Green Bay

Heat 1 – Lemmens; VanLaanen

Heat 2 – Peterson; CJ Weckler, Sturgeon Bay

NEW SUPER STOCK FEATURE – John Sternard, Green Bay; Jeremy Wiitala, Green Bay; Tim Jandrin, Kewaunee; James Anderson, Forestville; Gene Sternard, Luxemburg

Heat 1 – John Sternard; Chad Vetting, Manitowoc

Heat 2 – Todd Everard, Green Bay; Jandrin

4 CYLINDER FEATURE – Kipp Burlo, Sturgeon Bay; Tony Everard, Green Bay; Mike Sargent, Sturgeon Bay; Kasey Gross, Gleason; Kent Cookle, Sturgeon Bay

Heat 1 – Sargent; Jeremy DuBois, Sturgeon Bay

Heat 2 – Burlo; Everard