Photos by Dan Lewis Photography (www.danlewisphoto.net)
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By Eric Mueller
June 9th – (Sturgeon Bay, WI) A hot humid afternoon welcomed 5 divisions to the Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway. The humid temperatures made for a tacky surface as the feature events started under sunny skies.
James Anderson and Todd Polster started on the front row for the Lackie Rentals and Remodeling Street Stocks as they rolled out first on the evening. Polster got the early holeshot into turn one and battled Marcus Moede for the first 8 circuits of the race. As Anderson faded, Gene Sternard made a move to the top 3 and let Polster pull away during a heated battle with Moede. But just past halfway Sternard pushed Moede just hard enough that as Polster caught lap traffic the top 3 were nose to tail, with a handful of laps left Moede pulled alongside Polster and grabbed the lead for good. Polster held on for second with sternward in tow, third. Dennis Weidner and Marvin Denny rounded out the top 5.
Next out of the chute was the Butch’s Auto IMCA Sport Mods. James Iverson and Stephani DeJardin led the field to green. The race went yellow immediately as Kelsy Hayes turned around on the first circuit, after a top of the order restart the field went back underway and Hayes jumped on the throttle again this time getting a great jump on the restart as the field went 4 wide and Hayes, from back in the field, brought Bernie Reinhardt and Jared VanLaanen along for a spirited 3-way battle for the top spot. Hayes pulled several car lengths out ahead of the field but brought out her second yellow of the evening with a spin in turn 4, collecting Josh Massart. A restart and a field reset for Vanlannen and Reinhardt, they pulled out to a lead again but Martin Kelsey and Randy Lemieux raced into the mix. A yellow for Iverson put the top five back together for the race to the finish, a torrid 5 way battle for the lead, with Vanlannen victorius over Lemuiex, Reinhardt, John Soukup and Kelsey.
The Algoma Motors IMCA Stock Cars raced onto the track with Brett Koehler and Charlie Kroll on the front row, Koehler jumped to the outside on the start and caused Kroll to Check up into turn one, again jumbling the field in a 4 wide frenzy for the back stretch real estate. Troy Muench and David Bouche started in the third row but quickly worked their way into second and third respectfully behind Koehler, nose to tail the three drivers mirrored each other and pulled ahead of the field, but as the yellow came out for Scott Reinhardt spin in turn 2, it reset the field and Koehler began to lose the handle on the car and Muench capitalized jumping to the outside and Bouche followed. Jeremy Wiitala and Shawn Havel raced side by side for fourth with Kroll racing his way back towards the front. No matter how many times Bouche knocked on the door, Muench would not relent. Muench took the checkered flag, followed by, Bouche, Kroll, Wiitla and defending champ Greg Gretz rounding out the top 5.
The Kelsey Racing IMCA Modifieds were led to green By Dan Ratacjzak and Eric Arneson with a two lap side by side duel Arneson went wide and got held up in the marbles, allowing Ratacjzak to pull ahead. James Lee Tebon, fresh off of the opening night feature win was in third chasing down Arneson and then setting sights on the leader. Ratacjzak held the point past halfway and slowly Tebon worked to the inside closer each lap until 8 to go when he dove into turn one and took the lead. Arneson gathered the handle on his modified and got around Ratacjzak pulling Cory Cochart into the top three where they finished. Ratacjzak held onto fourth and Todd Dart finished fifth.
The Lavine’s Ice Hobby stocks concluded the racing program with Brittany King starting on the pole and jumping out to the early lead for the first few circuits until her car started overheating under the first yellow of the main event for Naomi Weidner. King went to the pits for repairs and rejoined the field at the tail end on the restart. Phil Faustini Inherited the lead during the pitstop sequence, and led the field to green again with Scott Boulanger and Tom Brumlic chasing the leader. Brumlic went by to take the lead the hard way, passing on the cushion in turn 4 after 3 laps of side by side dueling for the top spot. Boulanger chased after Brumlic in the middle portion of the main event getting to lapped traffic with 10 to go, Boulanger pinned the leader in lapped traffic and set his sights on his first career victory, exclaiming in the BullPen Victory Lane “It’s about time we got one, I knew I didn’t want to finish second here again.” Boulanger was followed to the stripe by Brumlic, Travis Hacket, Sawyer Haese and Faustini.
Prestige Yacht Coatings Thunderhill Raceway resumes racing again next Saturday night June 16th with the Jim Olson Motors/Bob Brown Memorial. Gates open at 4:30pm, racing follows at 6:00pm. For full race finishes, point standings and more information visit www.racethunderhill.com.
IMCA STOCK CARS
1, Muench. 2, D. Bouche, 3, Kroll. 4, Wiitala. 5, Gretz. 6, Havel. 7, Moede. 8, A. Bouche. 9, Don Aregoni. 10, Chris Konitzer
Heat winners Kroll, Koehler
IMCA SPORT MODS
1, VanLaanen. 2, Lemieux, Jr. 3, Reinhardt. 4, Soukup. 5, Kelsey. 6, Iverson. 7, Hayes. 8, DeJardin. 9, Massart.
Heat Winners VanLaanen, Lemieux, Jr.
1, M. Moede. 2, Polster. 3, Sternard. 4, Weidner. 5, Denny. 6, John Williams. 7, Jason Barfell. 8, Anderson. 9, Ed Franklin
Heat Winner Polster
1, Tebon. 2, Arenson. 3, Cochart. 4, Ratajczak. 5, Dart. 6, Derenne. 7, Billy Lemieux.
Heat Winner Ratajczak
IMCA HOBBY STOCKS
1, Boulanger. 2, Brumlic. 3, Hackett. 4, Haese. 5, Faustini. 6, Ryan Rohr. 7, Chris Weckler. 8, A Weidner. 9, Brittany King. 10, Eric Micolichek.
Heat Winners: D Moede, Hackett