Wedelstadt, Snellenberger Win Opener at Thunderhill
By Edward J. Anschutz Jr.
May 9, 2009; Sturgeon Bay, WI – Fremont’s Mike Wedelstadt took the lead away from Green Bay’s Art Siefert and never looked back cruising to the IMCA modified victory. In the IMCA stock cars, Pulaski’s Rod Snellenberger was able to fend of a late race charge from John Heinz and win from the pole at Thunderhill.
In the IMCA modifieds, Denmark’s Tim Czarneski set the pace for the first 6 laps of the feature, until Art Seifert would use the top side to track down Czarneski. The two car battle quickly became a three car battle when Mike Wedelstadt would join in the fight for the lead. The trio went 3-wide up front with Siefert making the pass and getting the lead on lap 7. Wedelstadt would clear Czarneski and a lap later and reel in Siefert, then making the pass down low for the lead. Once out front Wedelstadt would pull away and collect the checkers. Jay Matthias would make a late surge to take second, Siefert third, Kyle Kudick fourth and Julie Wedelstadt would round out the top five.
Rod Snellenberger, former track champion in the stock cars at Thunderhill would draw the pole for the WDOR Feature. When the green flew, Snellenberger would pull away early, but a caution would wipe the lead away. On the restart, Von Eytcheson would pull to the back bumper of Snellenberger, but just couldn’t get enough traction to make the pass. A series of cautions would again stack the field. Once Snellenberger would take off on the restarts, it looked to be clear sailing as a fierce battle ensued behind the leader. Eytcheson, Charlie Kroll, Troy Muench, Larry Karcz, Mike Pierrard and John Heinz waged battle for the second position. Heinz would muscle his way past competitors into the second spot and then he set his sights on Snellenberger. With only 2 laps remaining Heinz would catch the leader, charging for the white flag, the two would make heavy contact, sending Snellenberger into a tractor tire out of turn four. Snellenberger’s car would going flying through the air with the front tires off the ground, but somehow he was able to maintain the lead and would go on to take checkers, handing him his 3rd IMCA point feature win of the season. Heinz would settle for second, Muench third, Pierrard fourth and Dave Bouche fifth.
Aaron Holiday would set the pace early in the IMCA northern sport mod Feature, leading until lap four, that’s when Johnny Whitmann would make the pass and take lead. Whitmann would survive a late race caution and hold off the current state point leader Tim Jorgenson. Whittmann would pick up the win, his first ever at Thunderhill. Jorgenson would place second, third for Holiday, Eric Arneson fourth and defending champion Jeff Vlies would place fifth
The IMCA hobby stocks would live up to the nickname as the “wild things” for their feature event. Aaron Zellner would set the pace, but would quickly be challenged by Jarred VanLaanen and Robert Waechter Jr. The trio would be 3-wide as they entered the front stretch, catching the lap car of Shawn LeMieux on lap 8. Contact was made causing LeMieux to get sideways and up on two wheels. VanLaanen would end up getting tagged and sliding through the infield hitting a tractor tire, sending his car through air and at the same time Waechter, who had taken the lead on that lap, went spinning through the infield. The caution would fly for debris on the track. VanLaanen would take his machine pit side for repairs and would finish near the tail of the field. When the raced resumed, Waechter looked to be well on his way to his first career feature win in the hobbys. That’s when Frank Paul began to reel in the leader as the white flag flew. Waechter had a car length lead but coming out of turn two, but he would get caught behind a slower car, and Paul would sneak by on the low groove making a last lap pass for the win. Waechter would take a close second followed by Tom Brumlic third, Brandon Peterson fourth and Chad Kaminski rounded out the top five.
Todd Everard would take the lead from the pole and never look back, winning the street stock feature. Jeremy Wiitala would place second, defending Champion John Sternard third, Ryan Mueller fourth and Jimmy Anderson fifth.
Multi time and defending track Champion in the Feisty 4’s Tony Everard would take the lead away from Jeremy DuBois on lap 3. With two laps remaining, Jason Cornelius would make contact with a barrier tire out of turn four causing car to flip and barrel roll several times, the car would to a rest on its side. Cornelius would emerge unscathed, and stood up proudly upon his car with his arms raised in the air to the crowd’s delight. The race would be called due to curfew, handing the win to Tony Everard, second to DuBois, Kasey Gross third, Nick Everard fourth and Kipp Burlo placing fifth.
Next week’s races are sponsored by Carlsville Engineering. 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.
IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE – Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont; Jay Matthias, Green Bay; Art Siefert, Green Bay; Kyle Kudick, Mishicot; Julie Wedelstadt, Oconto Falls
Last Chance – Chris Derenne, Luxemburg; Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 1 – M. Wedelstadt, J. Wedelstadt
Heat 2 – Siefert; Evan Madden, Algoma
Heat 3 – Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg; Jared Siefert, Green Bay
IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE – Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski; John Heinz, Green Bay; Troy Muench, Brussels; Mike Pierrard, Green Bay; David Bouche, Algoma
Last Chance- Bret Koehler, Two Rivers; Jamie Suchocki, Forestville
Heat 1 – Bouche, Greg Gutt, Clintonville
Heat 2 – Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg; Muench
Heat 3 – Larry Karcz, Pulaski; Snellenberger
IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE – Frank Paul, Kewaunee; Robert Waechter, Ellisville; Tom Brumlic, Denmark; Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; Chad Kaminski, Luxemburg
Heat 1 – Paul; Brumlic
Heat 2 – Aaron Zellner, Luxemburg; Peterson
IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MOD FEATURE – Johnny Whitmann, De Pere; Tim Jorgenson, De Pere; Aaron Holiday, Green Bay; Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls; Jeff Vlies, Kewaunee
Heat 1 – Vlies; Troy Jerovetz, Little Suamico
Heat 2 – Arneson; Jorgenson
Heat 3 – Bernie Reinhardt, Sturgeon Bay; Whitmann
STREET STOCK FEATURE – Todd Everard, Green Bay; Jeremy Wiitala, Seymour; John Sternard, Green Bay; Ryan Mueller, Manitowoc; Jimmy Anderson, Forestville
Heat 1 -Mueller; Logan Rhode, Manitowoc
4 CYLINDER FEATURE – Tony Everard, Green Bay; Jeremy DuBois, Algoma; Kasey Gross, Gleason; Nick Everard, Green Bay; Kipp Burlo, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 1 – T. Everard; Jason Cornelius, Oneida
Heat 2 – Ralph Legeois, Oconto; DuBois