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SCOTT RATAJCZAK & GREG GRETZ GET FIRST OPEN WHEEL FEATURE WINS @ T-HILL

Photos by Dan Lewis Photography – www.danlewisphoto.net

By Edward Anschutz

(Sturgeon Bay, WI) July 13, 2013 Results- Scott Ratajczak survived a wild final lap to win his first ever feature win the IMCA Sport Mods at Thunderhill Raceway. Other feature winners were Greg Gretz (IMCA Modified), Troy Muench (IMCA Stock Car), Sawyer Haese (IMCA Hobby Stock) and Keith Kickbusch (Street Stock).

Thunderhill is back in action on Thursday July 18 for the Badger Stock Car Tour with Sport Mods and Street Stocks. Our regular five classes will be back racing for points on Saturday July 20.

Scott Ratajczak in only his second night in the IMCA Sport Mods raced to the lead from his front row starting spot. Ryan LeMieux steadily worked through the field for row 4 and at the midway point was in the runner up position as he began to chop away at Ratajczaks half a lap lead. As the laps wore on the handling began to deteriorate on Ratajczaks racer and he fell into the clutches of Ryan LeMieux and the race to the checker was on. The duo checked out from the rest of the field as they settled the race for the win like a couple of heavy weight boxers. As the white flag flew the pair made heavy contact as they nearly came to a stop out of turn 2. With such a large gap back to third place both drivers were able to gather it back up and raced door to door out of turn 4. With the checkers waving Ratajczak beat LeMieux back to the finish line by a bumper for his first career feature win. LeMieux wasn’t happy with the way he was raced on the final lap and let the flagman know about it in front of a very animated crowd. Despite his displeasure it was a strong second place for LeMieux, Randy LeMieux Jr. made a late race charge to third, Rick LeMieux was fourth and Rookie leader Cody Rass was fifth. The contest was caution free.

Troy Muench put his John Soukup tribute car in victory lane leading every lap of the IMCA Stock Car feature.

Muench a former champion who is used to starting deep the field, took advantage of his front row starting spot pulling away from the field at the drop of the green. A couple of early race cautions helped keep the field close to the leader. Scott Reinhardt and John Anschutz gave chase but as the laps clicked away Muench again pulled away working the low groove. Again the caution flew setting up a 7 lap dash to the checker, that’s what point leader Dave Bouche needed as he sliced from fifth to second on the restart. With 5 laps remaining Bouche caught Muench and began to apply heavy pressure to the leaders back bumper. Bouche was warned for rough driving allowing Muench a little more breathing room to which he used to take home his first feature win of the season. Bouche padded his point lead with second, Anschutz brought home third, Larry Karcz scored another top four and Tony Bouche completed the top five.

Greg Gretz scored an upset in the IMCA Modifieds as the Rookie lead every lap en route to victory.

Although on paper it shows Gretz as a Rookie, in only a handful of nights he has 3 heat race wins which is best in the division. With Gretz out front a caution on lap 2 brought the field to a halt as Eric Arneson and Dan Ratajczak tangled. Gretz built a big lead early but James Tebon began to close in on the leader late in the contest but it was all No. 24 up front with Gretz scoring a convincing clean sweep. Second for Tebon who sits alone as point leader with a 1 point edge over Dan Ratajczak who was third, Cory Cochart won a race long battle for fourth over Felix Dart who was fifth.

Sawyer Haese was victories in his visit to Thunderhill scoring the win in the IMCA Hobby Stocks.

Eric Micolichek paced the field from the front row with Joe Hegnet giving chase. Hegnet then muscled his way to the inside and took the lead but a caution negated the pass. As the race restarted Micolichek had suspension problems after battling with Hegnet ending his night in the pits. Sawyer Haese made quick work of the field racing to the lead on lap 7. Haese never looked back scoring his first career Thunderhill feature win. Hegnet was second, point leader Derek Moede rallied late for third, Ryan Rohr had strong fourth and Scott Boulanger rounded out the top five.
Keith Kickbusch clobbered the competition with his 2nd feature win of the season in the Street Stocks.

Rookie John Denil Jr. paced the field before he spun on lap 2 ending his hopes for a win. Brandon Peterson inherited the lead and looked to have the car to beat running down low until point leader Keith Kickbusch broke free of the field and moved to the high side challenging for the lead. The pair swapped the lead lap after lap. With 5 laps remaining Kickbusch took hold of the lead for good and never let go cruising to the win. Peterson placed second, Kevin Luedtke was third, Todd Wagner fourth and Rookie Joey Scoon was fifth.

FEATURE, HEAT & LCQ RESULTS

18 LAP KELSEY RACING IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Greg Gretz, Kewaunee; 2. James Lee Tebon, Algoma; 3.Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station; 4. Cory Cochart, Casco; 5. Felix Dart, Algoma

HEAT 1: Gretz; Tebon

20 LAP BULL PEN BAR & GRILL IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: 1. Troy Muench, Brussels; 2. Dave Bouche, Algoma; 3. John Anschutz, Brussels; 4. Larry Karcz Jr., Pulaski; 5. Tony Bouche, Algoma

HEAT 1:T. Bouche; Devin Snellenberger, Pulaski
HEAT 2: Muench; Dan Sell, Suring
HEAT 3: John Anschutz; Jeremy Anschutz, Brussels

18 LAP LAVINE’S ICE IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: 1. Scott Ratajczak, Frog Station; 2. Ryan LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Randy LeMieux Jr., Sturgeon Bay; 4. Rick LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay; 5. Cody Rass, Sturgeon Bay

HEAT 1: Josh Massart, Forestville; Ryan LeMieux
HEAT 2: LeMieux Jr.; Rick LeMieux

15 LAP LACKIE RENTALS IMCA HOBBY STOCK FEATURE: 1. Sawyer Haese, New Franken; 2. Joe Hegnet, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Derek Moede, Casco; 4. Ryan Rohr, Casco; 5. Scott Boulanger, Duvall

HEAT 1: CJ Weckler, Sturgeon Bay; Hegnet
HEAT 2: Travis Hackett, Algoma; Eric Micolichek, Luxemburg

15 LAP SHOWCASE KITCHENS STREET STOCK FEATURE: 1. Keith Kickbusch, Kewaunee; 2. Brandon Peterson, Sturgeon Bay; 3. Kevin Luedtke, Sturgeon Bay; 4. Todd Wagner, Brussels; 5. Joey Scoon, Sturgeon Bay

HEAT 1: Kickbusch; Jeremy DuBois, Sturgeon Bay
HEAT 2: Peterson; Luedtke

Thunderhill Raceway