By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) September 5 – Jared Siefert picked up he second feature in a row capturing the 20 lap IMCA Modified main at Prestige Yacht Coatings ThunderHill Raceway. Other feature winners were Charlie Kroll (stockcar), Brad Lautenbach (sport mod), Brandon Peterson (hobby Stock), Jimmy Anderson (street stock) and Jeremy DuBois (four-cylinder).
Dan Ratajzcak would lead the opening circuits before Billy LeMieux worked the outside groove. As Ratajzcak and LeMieux battle for the lead this allowed last weeks feature winner Jared Siefert to make it a 3 car battle. LeMieux would take over the top spot and lead till lap 8, that’s when Siefert would make his move down low passing LeMieux and take over the top spot. With Siefert in command all eyes fell to Jay Matthias and Todd Dart battle for the title.
Matthias would hold an 12 points lead over Dart as the pair traded position on the track several times. When the checkers flew it was Siefert scoring his second win in a row and his 13th Modified win at ThunderHill. Second to a hard charging James Tebon, third Billy LeMieux, fourth Mike Wedelstadt and Kyle Lentz rounded out the top five.
Jay Matthias would capture his first ever career title winning the IMCA Modified Crown. Sometimes in racing they say you need a little luck, as Matthias pulled out of his pit stall for champions photos a rear suspension piece broke and the car was unable to move.
Tim Czarneski would capture the IMCA Modified State Title.
Charlie Kroll would capture the 20 lap IMCA Stock Car Feature.
The stage was set for the IMCA Stock Car title. In what would be a race for the ages, Greg Gretz came in holding a mere 1 point edge over Charlie Kroll. When the green flew it was John Anschutz jumping out to the top spot. Jamie Suchocki would battle from his 6th place starting spot to work by Anschutz on lap 5. Meanwhile, Gretz jumped quickly from his 12th place starting spot and worked his way to the top 4. Kroll was stuck deep in traffic and it appeared he wasn’t going to be able to make any headway through the pack.
A caution on lap 7 would bunch the field. Suchocki still in command as the race restarted, Gretz would now work to third. That’s when Kroll would making a daring 4 wide pass in turn 3, sparks would fly and Kroll would now find himself working into the 2nd position. Another caution would fly midway through the contest. Suchocki would be the leader, Kroll second, Gretz third and Dave Bouche fourth. As the race restarted, Kroll would work under Suchocki and take the lead only to have it wiped away to another caution.
The green would fly again, Kroll would dive low on Suchocki and Gretz would make it three wide in the high groove. Kroll and Suchocki would make contact sending Gretz sliding high and slipping back to the fourth spot. Again the caution would fly, and due to the time limit if their was another caution the race would be ended. Again the green flew and Kroll would take off with Bouche locked to his back bumper. Gretz would begin his march back to the front, as he would be right on the bumper of Bouche.
With the laps winding down it appeared as if Kroll would win the title as Gretz was not able to pass Bouche. With 2 laps remaining Gretz in a last ditch effort pulled the high side and ran door to door with Bouche. If Gretz couldn’t pass Bouche he would lose the title, if he made the pass the would tie Kroll. The white flag flew Kroll had the lead in hand, Bouche and Gretz still side by side. With checkers waving in the air Kroll would pick up his second win of the season, Greg Gretz would pass Bouche by mere inches at the line for second, Dave Bouche Third, Rookie of the Year Jeremy Wiitala fourth and Shawn Havel fifth.
With Greg Gretz making the pass at the checkers he and Charlie Kroll would tie for the IMCA Stock Car Title. Kroll stated if he won the title he would retire, but with him and Gretz being Co-Champions he said he will return next season.
Brad Lautenbach picked up his 7th feature win of the season in the IMCA Sport Mods.
It was Rookie Chris Benes leading early in the Sport Mod feature. But a series of cautions at the midway point would wipe away Benes lead. On lap 11 Brad Lautenbach, the divisions all time win leader would go storming by and cruise to the checkers winning the 20 lap feature. Tom Stark would place a solid second for the second straight week, Randy LeMieux Jr. in his best finish of the year third, former champion Jeff Vlies fourth and Chris Benes fifth.
Sport Mod Rookie of the Year Honors would go to Kelsy Hayes.
All points leader Eric “Chummy” Arneson needed to do was qualify through the heat race to win the track title in the IMCA Sport Mods and that’s exactly what he did. This is Arneson his first title at ThunderHill.
Brandon Peterson would make it a thrilling finish passing Joe Hegnet on the last corner of the last lap to win the 15 lap IMCA Hobby Stock feature.
Coning into the night Luke Lemmens would lead Brandon Peterson by 7 points for Hobby Stock Title. When the green flew it was the former 2003 hobby stock champion Joe Hegnet taking the lead from his front row starting spot, that’s before CJ Weckler would work by Hegnet and lead till lap 6. That’s when Hegnet would regain the lead. Rookie of the Year Travis Hackett would reel in Hegnet and the pair would make contact sending Hegnet spinning on lap 8 and the caution would fly.
Hegnet would be given the lead back, and when the green flew he looked to be on his way to his first win of the season. Lemmens quickly worked into the top 4 knowing he had to stay within a few cars of Peterson who had now worked himself into the second spot. Peterson began reeling in Hegnet and as the white flag flew, Peterson would look to the inside down the backstretch, Hegnet would shut the door and they raced into to turn 3 nose to tail. Peterson would be right on Hegnet’s rear bumper, Hegnet’s car would push high coming for the checkers, Peterson would dive low taking the win by inches. Joe Hegnet second, Luke Lemmens third, Marcus Moede fourth and CJ Weckler rounded out the top 5.
By virtue of his third place finish second generation driver Luke Lemmens would capture his first ever track title and would also take home the IMCA Hobby Stock State Crown.
Jimmy “Windows” Anderson picked up his second win in a row capturing the 15 lap Street Stock Feature.
Coming into the night Geno Sternard would hold a 7 point edge of Rookie Tony Everard. Marvin Denny would take the top spot for the first 6 laps of the Street Stock main event. Nick Grovogel would throw his hat in the ring and muscle his way to the lead on lap 7. But his reign up top wouldn’t last long as Jimmy Anderson made the pass for the lead the next lap. Sternard would be stuck deep in the field as Everard charged quickly to second. With 2 laps to go Sternard would tangle with James Bosman, sending the point leader in a spin.
The race would stay green, Everard would make a last ditch attempt to take the lead from Anderson coming for the checkers but would come up a fender short of the win. Anderson would pick up his second career feature win, second to Rookie of the Year Tony Everard, third was Nick Grovogel, fourth Les Sternard and fifth to Marvin Denny.
Geno Sternard would capture the Street Stock title by a mere 2 points over Everard. This is Sternard’s first career track title.
Jeremy Dubious picked up his 7th feature win of the season and was crowned Champion in the Four-Cylinders. This is Dubious first career title.
Joey Scoon would take home the Rookie of the Year honors.
Next week, September 10 &11 will kick off the 2-day fall classic, featuring Fastrak Late Models, Modifieds, Stock Cars, Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks and Four-Cylinders will be racing for extra cash. Saturday nights events will be followed by a Trailer Race of Destruction.
Thunderhill is located at the John Miles Fair Park on Sturgeon Bay’s east side. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.racethunderhill.com You can also follow ThunderHill Raceway on Facebook and Twitter.
20 IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Jared Siefert, Luxemburg; 2. James Tebon, Algoma; 3. Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont; 5. Kyle Lentz, Green Bay
HEAT 1: Lentz; Siefert
HEAT 2: Dan Ratajzcak, Frog Station; Kevin Sternard, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 3: LeMieux; Kyle Kudick, Two Rivers
20 LAP IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1. Charlie Kroll, Forestville; 2. Greg Gretz, Kewaunee; 3. David Bouche, Algoma; 4. Jeremy Wiitala, Green Bay; 5. Shawn Havel, Algoma
B-MAIN 1: Casey Groessl, Algoma; Dan Sell, Suring
HEAT 1: Jamie Suchocki, Forestville; Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg
HEAT 2: Jeremy Anschutz, Brussels; John Anschutz, Brussels
HEAT 3: Troy Muench, Brussels; Scott Reinhardt, Baileys Harbor
20 LAP IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1. Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; 2. Tom Stark, Egg Harbor; 3. Randy LeMieux Jr., Sturgeon Bay; 4. Jeff Vlies, Kewaunee; 5. Chris Benes, Algoma
B-MAIN 1: Jesse Kroll, Algoma; 2. Jason Cornelius, Oneida
HEAT 1: Todd Wiese, Algoma; Benes
HEAT 2: Lautenbach; J.J. Anderson, Pulaski
HEAT 3: Stark; LeMieux Jr.
15 LAP IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1. Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; 2. Joe Hegnet, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Luke Lemmens, Kewaunee; 4. Marcus Moede, Algoma
HEAT 1: Adam Pallex, Algoma; Moede
HEAT 2: Tom Brumlic, Denmark; Dave Schmidt, Algoma
15 LAP STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1. Jimmy Anderson, Forestville; 2. Tony Everard, Green Bay; 3. Nick Grovogel, Forestville; 4. Les Sternard, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Marvin Denny, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Everard; Grovogel
HEAT 2: James Bosman, Sturgeon Bay; Brian Weslow, Green Bay
12 LAP FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE: 1. Jeremy DuBois, Sturgeon Bay; 2. Matt Sargent, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Mike Sargent, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Mark Mincheski, Denmark; 5. Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Mincheski; DuBois