Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) July 23 – “Felix” Todd Dart took the lead from Cory Cochart midway through the IMCA Modified feature and cruised to his third win of the season at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway. Other feature winners were Greg Gretz (stock car), Eric Arneson (sport mod), Eugene Gregorich Jr. (hobby stock), Dennis Weidner (street stock) and Charlie Gross (four-cylinders)
Rick Johnson and rookie Cory Cochart would battle for the lead in the early goings with Cochart taking the lead on lap 4. Cochart would come under heavy pressure from last weeks winner Eugene Gregorich. This would allow Todd Dart and point leader Jay Matthias to close in. Gregorich would look several times under Cochart but just didn’t have enough to make the pass. A caution with 11 laps remaining would bunch the field. On the restart Dart would use the middle groove to pull along side Cochart and take the lead. Dart would slowly pull away and pick up the win, his 44th at Thunderhill. Matthias would place a strong second, Gregorich was third, Tebon would sneak by for fourth with Cochart placing fifth in only his second night in the car.
Greg Gretz would charge from row four taking the lead on lap 7 and picking up his second straight feature of the season in the IMCA Stock Cars.
Veteran racer Tony Bouche would lead the field early in the contest as defending champion Greg Gretz methodically worked his way through traffic. Gretz would pull to the outside of Bouche and the pair of Ford powered cars would race door to door. With Gretz taking the lead on lap 7. Shawn Havel would follow Gretz through the field and move into the runner up position and began to slowly try to reel in Gretz. John Anschutz and Luke Lemmens would tangle in turn 3 and the caution would fly with just 4 laps remaining. This would put Havel and point leader Troy Muench who started outside row seven right behind Gretz on the restart. As the green flew Gretz would pull away leaving the battle for second. Gretz would take home the win, his third of the season followed by Havel, Dave Bouche would sneak by Muench at the line for third and Tony Bouche would come home fifth.
Eric “Chummy” Arneson would find redemption taking home his fourth feature win of the season in the IMCA Sport Mods.
Last weeks feature winner Tom Stark would take the lead away from Jeff Lautenbach early in the contest. Current State point leader Eric Arneson would quickly work his way to second and begin to cut into Starks lead. At the midway point Arneson would work past Stark and take the lead. Tyler Hackett would break into the clear and begin to chase down Arneson, but it wouldn’t be enough as the race would go green to checker with the defending champion taking home the clean sweep. Arneson would find redemption after contact with a lap car last week cost him a chance at victory. Hackett would place a strong second, Stark third, point leader Brad Lautenbach fourth and Randy LeMieux Jr. would place fifth.
Asphalt hot shoe Eugene Gregorich Jr. made his first appearance of the year a successful one, starting last and winning the IMCA Hobby Stock main event.
The Hobby Stocks saw 6 different leaders in the first 13 laps of the feature. Point leader Brandon Peterson would battle lap after lap with Travis Hackett. The duo would trade the lead several times before Eugene Gregorich Jr. would pass Peterson with 2 laps remaining winning his first every IMCA Hobby Stock feature. Gregorich Jr. who had trouble in the heat race started last in the feature. Peterson would pad his point lead taking second, C.J. Weckler, State point leader Tom Brumlic and Rick Lumaye rounded out the top five.
Dennis Weidner would take the lead with 5 to go and win his first feature of the season in the Street Stocks.
Kipp Burlo would lead early jumping from his front row starting spot. Dennis Weidner who also started on the front row would be locked in a battle with James Anderson and Aaron Thornton for second. Weidner was the only car working the outside groove. For several laps Weidner would catch Burlo only to slide high with Anderson and Thornton looking under him. This allowed Burlo to hold the low line and stay in command of the race, a caution on lap 9 would set up a 6 lap dash. On the restart Weidner would find the bite he was looking for and would take the lead away from Burlo. Weidner would go on to pick up his first feature win of the season. Burlo would place second, Anderson, Thornton and point leader Geno Sternard would round out the top five.
In the Feisty Fours, Charlie Gross would out duel his son Kasey and point leader Calvin Stueck to pick up his first ever feature win. Stueck who suffered damage in his heat race would start last in a borrowed car to come home second, Kasey Gross would challenge for the lead but a shredded right front tire would relegate him to a third place late in the event. TJ Everard would place fourth with Joey Scoon fifth.
Next Saturday July 30 will feature the “King of The Hill” Modified tournament. A change to the tournament this year will allow every Modified to enter the event with a cash prize of $500. The race will take place at intermission with 2 cars on the track for a 2 lap race with winner moving on. The night will be brought to you by Quietwoods RV & Campgrounds and Packerland Whey.
Thunderhill is located at the John Miles Fair Park on Sturgeon Bay’s east side with racing in the six divisions beginning every Saturday night through the summer at 6:00 PM. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.racethunderhill.com You can also follow Thunderhill Raceway on Facebook and Twitter.
KELSEY RACING IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Todd Dart, Algoma; 2. Jay Matthias, De Pere; 3. Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee; 4. James Tebon , Algoma; 5. Cory Cochart, Kewaunee
HEAT 1: Chris Derenne, Luxemburg
HEAT 2: Dart
ALGOMA MOTORS IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1. Greg Gretz, Kewaunee; 2. Shawn Havel, Algoma; 3. Dave Bouche, Algoma; 4. Troy Muench, Union; 5. Tony Bouche, Algoma
HEAT 1: Charlie Kroll, Forestville
HEAT 2: Tony Bouche
BUTCHS AUTO IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1. Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls; 2. Tyler Hackett, Algoma; 3. Tom Stark, Egg Harbor; 4. Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; 5. Randy LeMieux Jr., Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: LeMieux Jr.
HEAT 2: Arneson
COORS LIGHT IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1. Eugene Gregorich Jr., Plover; 2. Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; 3. C.J. Weckler, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Tom Brumlic, Denmark; 5. Rick Lumaye, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Weckler
HEAT 2: David Schmidt, Algoma
LACKIE RENTALS STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1. Dennis Weidner, Maplewood; 2. Kipp Burlo, Sturgeon Bay; 3. James Anderson, Forestville; 4. Aaron Thornton, Maplewood; 5. Geno Sternard, Luxemburg
HEAT 1: Thornton
HEAT 2: Burlo
DENIL AUTO 4 CYLINDER FEATURE: 1. Charlie Gross, Gleason; 2. Calvin Stueck, Clintonville; 3. Kasey Gross, Gleason; 4. TJ Everard, Green Bay; 5. Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Kasey Gross