Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
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By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) August 13 – Green Bay’s Benji LaCrosse led every lap enroot to victory and was crowned “2011 King of The Hill” at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway. The win netted LaCrosse $1500 for his efforts, courtesy of Packerland Whey, Paul J. Georgia and Joe Hernandez. With LaCrosse winning Thursday night at Hancock County Speedway in Britt, Iowa he took home a total of $8000 in just 2 nights of racing. Feature winners were Jay Matthias (modified), Troy Muench (stock car), Tyler Hackett (sport mod), Rick Lumaye (hobby stock), Geno Sternard (street stock) and Calvin Stueck (four-cylinders).
Defending IMCA Modified Champion Jay Matthias picked up his first feature win of the season.
Eugene Gregorich would wrestle the lead away from Tony Wedelstadt in the early goings. Gregorich pulled out to a sizeable lead leaving the battle for second. Point leader Jay Matthias would slice his way through the field and climb to the second spot. Once in the clear Matthias would begin to reel in Gregorich. A caution for Rick Johnson as his machine would make heavy contact with the front stretch wall. Johnson’s racer would suffer heavy damage and he was done for the night.
This would put Matthias and Todd Dart right on the leaders bumper and set up a 6 lap dash to the checker. When the green flew Dart and Matthias would swarm Gregorich with Matthias taking the lead. Brian Mullen and Benji LaCrosse would move past Dart and Gregorich but were never able to challenge the defending Champion who would pick up his first checker of the year followed by Mullen, LaCrosse, Gregorich and Dart. Matthias now holds a 10 point lead over Dart with 3 point nights remaining.
Troy Muench would methodically work his way through the field and pick up his fifth feature of the season in the IMCA Stock Cars.
Bret Koehler would jump from the pole leading the first 6 circuits before Shawn Havel would take over the top spot. Point leader Troy Muench quickly worked into the top four and battled door handle to door handle with defending Champion Greg Gretz for second. Muench would take over the runner up spot midway through the contest and set his sights on Havel.
With 5 laps remaining Muench would work down low passing Havel for the lead. Havel would fight back retaking the lead 2 laps later. The duo would race side by side with the white flag waving Muench would find a little more bite and move passed Havel for good and take home the victory. Havel would place a season best second, defending Champion Greg Gretz would place a solid third, followed by Jeremy Wiitala and Kyle Fredrick who started 11th.
Tyler Hackett picked up his second feature win of the season in the IMCA Sport Mods.
Keith Peterson and Jeff Lautenbach would battle for the lead early, this would allow Jarred VanLaanen to close in and take the lead on lap 5, a lap later the caution would fly. As the race resumed Tyler Hackett would make his presence felt working to high side of VanLaanen. Midway through the contest Hackett would take over the lead and begin to pull away only to have the caution flag fly.
This would set up a 5 lap dash to the checkers, on the restart defending Champion Eric Arneson would do battle for second with VanLaanen. This would allow Hackett to pull away and pick up the win. VanLaanen would brush off Arneson and take a career best second followed by Arneson, Kelsy Hayes and Steve Georgenson would started outside row 7. With the victory Hackett climbs to second in the standings just 4 points behind Brad Lautenbach with Arneson 5 back in 3rd.
Rick Lumaye would take the lead on lap 2 and never look back picking up his first career IMCA Hobby Stock Feature win.
Point leader Brandon Peterson would make a late race charge to place second, Travis Lumaye would place a season best third, fourth for IMCA State point leader Tom Brumlic and Dave Schmidt would round the top 5.
Defending Street Stock Champion, Geno Sternard would make a last lap pass winning his 5th feature of the season.
Andy Paluch and Dennis Weidner would battle for the lead early with Weidner getting the best of that battle and opening up a large lead. Point leader Geno Sternard steadily worked through traffic pulling even with Weidner with only a handful of laps remaining. The duo raced side by side all the way to the checkers where Sternard would find just enough to slide by Weidner and make yet another last lap pass for the win. Connor Iverson would place a career best third follow by Tony Everard and Paluch.
Point leader Calvin Stueck would survive a wild Feisty Four-Cylinder feature and pick his fifth win of the season adding to his point lead.
Next Saturday night will be brought to you by Peil Construction and Custom Seal Coating. The night will feature kids big wheel races and powder puff action.
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.
PACKERLAND WHEY KING OF THE HILL: 1.Benji LaCrosse, Green Bay; 2. Todd Dart, Algoma; 3. James Lee Tebon, Algoma; 4.Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee; 5. Mike Wedelstadt, Fremont
KELSEY RACING IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Jay Matthias, De Pere; 2. Brian Mullen, Seymour; 3. Benji LaCrosse, Green Bay; 4. Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee; 5. Todd Dart, Algoma
HEAT 1: James Lee Tebon, Algoma
HEAT 2: Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station
ALGOMA MOTORS IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1. Troy Muench, Union; 2. Shawn Havel, Algoma; 3. Greg Gretz, Kewaunee; 4. Jeremy Wiitala, Green Bay; 5. Kyle Fredrick, Gillett
HEAT 1: Casey Groessl, Algoma
HEAT 2: Havel
BUTCHS AUTO IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1. Tyler Hackett, Algoma; 2. Jarred VanLaanen, Green Bay; 3. Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls; 4. Kelsy Hayes. Sturgeon Bay; 5. Steve Georgenson, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: VanLaanen
HEAT 2: Brad Lautenbach, New Franken
COORS LIGHT IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1. Rick Lumaye, Sturgeon Bay; 2. Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Travis Lumaye, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Tom Brumlic, Denmark; 5. Dave Schmidt, Algoma
HEAT 1: Marcus Moede, Algoma
HEAT 2: Schmidt
LACKIE RENTALS STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1. Geno Sternard, Luxemburg; 2. Dennis Weidner, Maplewood; 3. Connor Iverson, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Tony Everard, Green Bay; 5. Andy Paluch, Pulaski
HEAT 1: Paluch
HEAT 2: Jeremy DuBois, Algoma
DENIL AUTO 4 CYLINDER FEATURE: 1. Calvin Stueck, Clintonville; 2. Charlie Gross, Gleason; 3. Michael Verheyden, Appleton ; 4. Matt Sargent, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1: Scoon