Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
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By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) July 16 – Four-time IMCA Modified champion Eugene Gregorich would fight off a late race charge from Jay Matthias to take home his first win of the season at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway. Other feature winners were Greg Gretz (stock car), Tom Stark (sport mod), Travis Hackett (hobby stock), Geno Sternard (street stock) and TJ Everard (four-cylinders).
Eugene Gregorich would jump from his front row starting spot in the Modified feature and pull out to a half a track lead by the midway point. The battle for second would be a three car contest with Chris Derenne, Dan Ratajczak and defending champion Jay Matthias. Matthias would battle to second at the halfway point. Gregorich would begin to encounter lap traffic slowing his progress and allowing Matthias to close in.
With 5 laps remaining in the contest Matthias would get to Gregorich’s back bumper. Over the next few laps Gregorich would continue to work through lap traffic on the last lap Matthias would work to the inside of the leader. With the checkers waving Gregorich would find a little more bite out of turn 4 and take home the win, making it a clean sweep in the caution free event. Matthias would pad his points lead placing second followed by Derenne, Ratajczak and Mike Wedelstadt.
Defending IMCA Stock Car champion Greg Gretz would take the lead on lap 6 and never look back winning his second feature of the season.
Tony Bouche and Todd Polster would battle early in the contest with Polster taking the lead away from Bouche. A series of cautions early would keep the field tight. Gretz would use this to his advantage working his way to second by lap 5. On the restart Gretz would use a cross over move and slide up in front of Polster taking the lead on lap 6. Gretz would get bottled up in lap traffic midway through the feature allowing Jeremy Wiitala to close in on Gretz, but with a clear track Gretz would slowly pull away taking home the win. Wiitala would place second, followed by Polster, points leader Troy Muench who battle from row 5 to take fourth and Don Aregoni would have another good showing placing fifth.
Tom Stark would inherit the lead with 5 laps remaining and take home the win in the IMCA Sport Mods.
Jeff Lautenbach would lead the first 7 circuits before defending track champion Eric Arneson would make the pass, taking over the lead. Arneson would begin to check out on the field. With five laps remaining Arneson appeared to be on his way to another feature win, but contact from a lap car would send his machine spinning to a stop off turn 3. This handed the lead over to Tom Stark. Stark would go uncontested picking up his first feature win of the season. Tyler Hackett would place second, point leader Brad Lautenbach would place third with Jeff Lautenbach placing a season best fourth and Randy LeMieux Jr. fifth.
Travis Hackett would make it two feature wins a row in the IMCA Hobby Stocks.
State points leader Tom Brumlic and Hackett would battle door to door all 15 laps, each lap the duo would trade the lead. With 3 laps remaining Hackett would capture the lead for good and take home his second feature win of the season. Brumlic would settle for second, CJ Weckler third, point leader Brandon Peterson would make a late charge to fourth with Rick Lumaye fifth.
Defending Street Stock champion Geno Sternard would make a last lap last corner pass to collect his fourth feature win of the season.
Aaron Thornton would jump to an early lead from his front row starting spot. Kipp Burlo would work to the back bumper of Thornton and begin to challenge for the lead. Just as Burlo was about to take the lead his racer would suffer a mechanical failure and end his night. This would allow Geno Sternard to take the second spot right behind Thornton. With one lap remaining Sternard pull to the high side and pull even with Thornton. Sternard would find a little bit more traction out of turn four and pass Thornton for the win. With the win Sternard is the new points leader. Thornton settled for second, followed by Nick Everard, Dennis Weidner and Tony Everard.
TJ Everard would lead every lap in route to his second feature win in a row in the Feisty Fours.
Point leader Kasey Gross would encounter trouble midway through the event handing the points lead to Calvin Stueck who would place second. Third for Matt Borths, fourth for Michael Verheyden and fifth to Brittany King.
Next Saturday, July 23 will be brought to you by Miller Lite and the Street Stocks will feature driver introductions as well as the annual Christmas in July theme. Drivers are encouraged to decorate their trailers with the Christmas theme. Prizes for the best decorated trailer will be given out.
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. Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee; 2. Jay Matthias, De Pere; 3. Chris Derenne, Luxemburg; 4. Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station; 5. Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont
HEAT 2:Tony Wedelstadt, Fremont
ALGOMA MOTORS IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1. Greg Gretz, Kewaunee; 2. Jeremy Wiitala, Green Bay; 3. Todd Polster, Jacksonport; 4. Troy Muench, Union; 5. Don Aregoni, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Polster
HEAT 2: Tony Bouche, Algoma
BUTCHS AUTO IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1 Tom Stark, Egg Harbor.; 2. Tyler Hackett, Algoma; 3. Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; 4. Jeff Lautenbach, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Randy LeMieux Jr., Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Martin Kelsey
HEAT 2: Brad Lautenbach
COORS LIGHT IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1. Travis Hackett, Algoma; 2. Tom Brumlic, Denmark; 3.CJ Weckler, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Rick Lumaye, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Peterson
HEAT 2: Marcus Moede, Algoma
LACKIE RENTALS STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1. Geno Sternard, Luxemburg; 2. Aaron Thornton, Maplewood; 3. Nick Everard, Green Bay; 4. Dennis Weidner, Maplewood; 5. Tony Everard, Green Bay
HEAT 1: Thornton
HEAT 2: Kipp Burlo, Sturgeon Bay
DENIL AUTO 4 CYLINDER FEATURE: 1. TJ Everard, Green Bay; 2. Calvin Stueck, Clintonville; 3. Matt Borths, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Michael Verheyden, Appleton; 5. Brittany King, Appleton
HEAT 1: Stueck