Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
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By Edward Anschutz
(Sturgeon Bay, WI) June 18 – Dan Ratajczak of Frog Station captured the first ever Topless IMCA Modified feature passing James Tebon on lap three and going on to win his second main of the season at Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway. Other feature winners were Troy Muench (IMCA Stock Cars), Tyler Hackett (IMCA Sport Mod), Brandon Peterson (IMCA Hobby Stock), Geno Sternard (Street Stock) and Calvin Stueck (Four-Cylinders).
Fans were treated the first ever Topless night in the Kelsey Racing IMCA Modified A-main where drivers removed the roofs and sail panels. Giving fans a birds eye view of the drivers in the cockpit.
Tony Wedelstadt and James Tebon battled early for the top spot. Tebon would take the lead but was quickly hounded by Dan Ratajczak. Ratajczak would work past Tebon on lap four and never look back picking up his second feature win of the season, he also made it a clean sweep winning his heat race. Jay Matthias would sneak by Tebon for the runner up spot, with the second place finish Matthias takes over the points lead. Tebon would place third with Jeremy Jacobs fourth. With Ratajczak running with the roof off his Modified, he pocketed an extra $200 for the victory.
Troy Muench would out duel Shawn Havel with two laps remaining to pick up the win in the Algoma Motors IMCA Stock Cars.
Bret Koehler let the opening circuits before he was chased down by the machine of Shawn Havel on lap three. Havel quickly began to drive away from the pack. 10th place starter Troy Muench broke free from the pack and began to chase down Havel. By lap twelve Havel and Muench were locked in a battle for the lead. Muench working down low and Havel up high door to door lap after lap. With two laps remaining Muench would slip by Havel and go on to pick up his second feature of the season also scoring a clean sweep. With the win Muench moved into the points lead. Havel would settle for second place pay, defending champion Greg Gretz third and Koehler holding on for fourth.
Tyler Hackett took home his first feature win of the season in the Butch’s Auto IMCA Sport Mods.
Like the Modifieds the Sport Mods were also given the chance to run Topless. Martin Kelsey would lead early from his front row starting spot. Steve Georgenson would make his presence felt and would work past Kelsey on lap three. Georgenson’s reign up front wouldn’t last long as second year driver Tyler Hackett would make the pass on lap seven and go on to win the feature. Kelsy Hayes and Eric Arneson would wage a spirited battle for the runner up spot, Hayes would come home second with her best run of the season. Arneson would close up the points race finishing third, as leader Brad Lautenbach would pit late in the feature for a broken shock. Randy LeMieux Jr. would come home fourth after starting twelfth. Hackett would take a home an extra $100 for winning the feature with his roof removed.
Brandon Peterson would survive a late race charge by Travis Hackett and pick up the win in the Coors Light IMCA Hobby Stocks.
Brandon Peterson would take the lead away from Marcus Moede early in the feature. Peterson was challenged late by Travis Hackett but Peterson was up for the challenge and would keep Hackett at bay to go on and score a clean sweep in the division, winning the heat and feature. With the win Peterson would take over the points lead, Hackett would place second, Moede third and Wisconsin IMCA Hobby State points leader Tom Brumlic fourth.
Defending champion Geno Sternard would win a thriller in the Lackie Rentals Street Stocks feature.
Last weeks feature winner David Baenen would power by Jimmy Windows for the lead early in the contest. With a series of cautions midway through the event it would keep Geno Sternard and Nick Everard tightly on the back bumper of Baenen. Baenen would shake off Everard with Sternard moving to the second spot. Baenen looked well on his way to another feature win with checker flags waving in the air Baenen lost the handle on his machine in turn four and went sliding into the infield grass. Sternard would sneak by and take the win, his second of the season. Everard would place a strong second, Brian Weslow third and Les Sternard fourth.
Calvin Stueck would capture his fourth feature win of the season in the Denil Auto and Trucking Feisty Fours. Points leader Casey Gross would encounter problems and the points lead would go to Stueck.
Action was halted during Feisty Four feature as Nick LeMieux would hit the turn four wall and barrel roll on the front stretch with his car coming to a stop on the passengers side. LeMieux was helped out of the car and taken to a near by hospital for further observation.
The win in the Woody’s Signs Spectator Eliminator went to Craig Wilson. The legendary “Land Shark” made its debut for the Spectator Eliminator. But the ride didn’t last long, when coming for the checkers driver Jeff Schroeder lost control of his 1969 Chevy Impala and went head on the front stretch wall destroying the car. Schroeder would escape unharmed.
Next week will be the 3rd Annual Nathan Bouche Memorial on Saturday June 25 at Thunderhill Raceway. The night will be brought to you by Wicked Witch Racing and will be Driver Autograph Night.
Drivers will get in the pits “FREE”. All IMCA division winners will be racing for extra pay. The IMCA Modified will pay $750 to win and has also been designated as a qualifier for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars race for $500 to win and a guaranteed spot in qualifying for the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions, during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Cenex. Karl Chevrolet Northern Sport Mods race for $300 to win and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks for $250.
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.
20 LAP IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: 1.Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station ; 2.Jay Matthias, De Pere ; 3.James Tebon, Algoma ; 4.Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg ; 5.Todd Dart, Algoma
HEAT 1: Matthias; Tebon
HEAT 2: Ratajczak; Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay
20 LAP IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1.Troy Muench, Union ; 2.Shawn Havel, Algoma ; 3.Greg Gretz, Kewaunee ; 4.Bret Koehler, Two Rivers ; 5.Luke Lemmens, Kewaunee
HEAT 1:Gretz; Havel
HEAT 2:Lemmens; Jeremy Wiitala, Green Bay
HEAT 3:Muench; Charlie Kroll, Forestville
20 LAP IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1.Tyler Hackett, Algoma ; 2.Kelsy Hayes, Sturgeon Bay ; 3.Eric Arneson, Oconto Falls ; 4.Randy LeMieux Jr., Sturgeon Bay ; 5.Steve Georgenson, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1:Hayes; Brad Lautenbach, New Franken
HEAT 2:Arneson; Georgenson
15 LAP IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1.Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay ; 2.Travis Hackett, Algoma ; 3.Marcus Moede, Algoma ; 4.Tom Brumlic, Denmark ; 5.Rick Lumaye, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1:Hackett; Moede
HEAT 2:Peterson; Amber Weidner, West Maplewood
15 Lap STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1.Geno Sternard, Luxemburg ; 2.Nick Everard, Green Bay ; 3.Brian Weslow, Green Bay ; 4.Les Sternard, Sturgeon Bay ; 5.Tony Everard, Green Bay
HEAT 1:David Baenen, New Franken; Les Sternard
HEAT 2:Tony Everard; Kipp Burlo
15 Lap 4 CYLINDER FEATURE: 1.Calvin Stueck, Clintonville ; 2Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay. ; 3.Matt Borths, Green Bay ; 4.Charlie Gross, Gleason ; 5.Steve Skippon, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 1:Scoon; Stueck