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By Dan Bailey
FOUNTAIN CITY, WI (August 04, 2012) – Excitement, drama, uncertainty, and patriotism; the 2012 Mid Summer Shoot Out at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY provided race fans with just about every possible emotion as racers hit the high-speed 1/3-mile dark clay oval for the two-day special event to start off the month of August. By the time the final checkered flag had waived Saturday evening, just about every scenario possible had played itself out for the weekend; an exciting battle to the finish line by Kelly Anderson and Tommy Richards which was decided by mere inches, Greg Wohletz and Bob Cisewski grabbing the very first feature wins of their racing career, point leader Erik Kanz experiencing victory and mechanical failure with his USRA B-Mod, and heavy rains Saturday morning providing fans and racers alike with a reminder that Mother Nature cares little about dirt track racing. But overshadowing all of this was dominance by Lucas Schott and Doug Wojcik who gathered feature wins on both nights in the USRA Modified and WISSOTA Street Stock divisions.
SCHOTT CONTINUES HIS WINNING WAYS
Chatfield, MN's Lucas Schott proved his dominance once again and showed how he'd built up a nearly 100 point advantage over the competition in the Rivercity Manufacturing USRA Modified Division. Coming into the two-day Mid Summer Shoot Out at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY, Schott enjoyed a 96 point cushion over over Hank Rollinger, Jr. who himself is enjoying a strong 2012. But while Rollinger, Jr. has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence in 2012 with strong top-5 finishes, Schott had four feature wins entering the weekend - by the end of Saturday, the number of visits to the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY Victory Lane by the youngster and his Schott's Hardwoood Floors #69 had increased by two.
On Friday night, after winning the first USRA Modified heat race of the program, Schott jumped from his pole position starting spot to lead every trip across the finish line of the 25-lap feature. Second heat-race winner, and defending 2011 Track Champion, Bob Timm provided the best challenge for Schott as he followed the youngster from his inside second row starting position at the drop of the green flag and dogged him for the lead for the first 20 laps. While Timm was definitely a threat, Schott did not give up the lead even once, on the way to picking up his fifth feature win of 2012 at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY.
After running a hard second for the first 20 laps, Timm was relieved of the position by 2010 Track Champion Josh Angst who finished second. Bob Timm ended up holding off a challenge by his son Jake Timm who'd battled from his starting spot on the inside of the sixth row - the father-son duo finished third and fourth, respectively, just ahead of third heat race winner Adam Hensel.
On Saturday night, Schott did it again; despite being beaten to the checkered flag by Bob Timm in the third heat race, Schott turned a pole position starting spot in the evening's 25-lap feature into his 6th feature win. Saturday night's feature win came down to working past back-markers at the tail end of the lead lap and keeping a cushion between his #69 and the #33 of Adam Hensel. Hensel had worked toward the front of the field from his starting position on the outside of the fourth row, finally moving into second after #24 of Brad Waits dropped out of the main event on lap 13.
Despite Hensel's near flawless run, he was unable to catch the young superstar and was forced to settle for second as the checkered flag waived. Veteran racer Doug Hillson enjoyed a strong Saturday evening; after dropping as low as sixth in the running order, he enjoyed a satisfying third place finish with his #72.
"This year has been pretty great," commented Schott after the feature win Saturday night, "The car has been strong every night, the racing out front has been hard but clean, and I'm just happy every night that I can race for a win."
When asked about the points advantage he holds over the competition, Schott replied that he can't let it change the way his races through the closing weeks of the 2012 season, "It's nice having a points lead like that, but we'll bring the car back every weekend and still race like we always do, for feature wins."
An impressive side story from Saturday night's feature was the run through the field by Nate Wasmund. After being turned around in turn two on lap three and cutting down right side tire, Wasmund headed to the pits for attention by his pit crew. Able to make it back onto the track before going a lap down, Wasmund's #52W started dead last in the field; but then commenced to put on a show of strength racing through the field to an impressive fourth place finish behind Hillson.
WOJCIK CELEBRATES 21st BIRTHDAY WITH TWO NIGHTS OF FEATURE WINS
For Doug Wojcik, it couldn't have been a much more perfect weekend. Friday was spent not only preparing for the first of two nights strapped into his #3D WISSOTA Street Stock, it was also spent enjoying company of family and friends as he celebrated his 21st birthday; and to make it a near perfect weekend, the enjoyment of family, cake and fun in the pits was added to greatly by two nights of success on the track.
Starting deep in the field Friday night, Wojcik used smooth car control and multiple grooves to work to the front of the field during Friday night's feature. After starting from the inside of the fifth row, Wojcik displayed patience in working towards the front finally sneaking out front to lead lap 13 in a great battle with #3R of Danny Richards. Richards reclaimed the lead for laps 14 and 15 before Wojcik took control for the final few circuits and head on for his fifth feature win of the season. "Danny's always strong," commented smiling Wojcik in Victory Lane after the win, "it was a fun battle for the lead and to take the win is a perfect way to celebrate my birthday!"
A wild finish played itself out over the final lap as Sam Fankhauser, Richards and Cory Hanson all battled just behind Wojcik. When the dust had settled the official results showed Ryan Henderson finishing second, followed by Shaun Mann in third, Fred Prudoehl fourth and Jesse Lutz completing the top 5.
Saturday's feature again had Wojcik working through the field after starting fifth, Wojcik methodically worked the field finally taking control at the front of the pack on lap twelve and leading the remainder of the feature to collect his sixth feature win of the 2012 season.
Shaun Mann and Mike Conrad completed the top three with Fankhauser and heat race winner Mike Blowers rounding out the top 5.
BLEESS AND KANZ SHARE USRA B-MOD FEATURE WINS
With the announcement earlier in the week of the $10,000-to-win Baehman Law B-Mod Nationals scheduled for September at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY, a great group of USRA B-Mods took advantage of the two-night Mid Summer Shoot Out to prepare for the big-money special. But despite the appearance of some new cars and competitors, it was two proven front-runners claiming the feature wins both evenings.
Erik Kanz, current point leader in the TheEngineStore.com USRA B-Mod division at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY, showed Friday why he's out front in those point standings with a convincing feature win Friday night. Kanz battled former feature winner Alex Williamson in a multi-lap side by side battle for the win over almost the entirety of the 18-lap feature. Kanz was able to hold on for the win as Williamson spent the final couple circuits duking it out with young Brady Keefe who put in his best performance of the year and just barely beat Williamson to the waiving checkered flag.
Kanz was excited with the win and positive in its meanings for the upcoming special, "A win like this sure makes me positive when I think about the $10,000 to win special in September," said Kanz in Victory Lane, before focusing in on the event he'd just won, "Alex is a great driver, he's really strong and very fast, that was a fun battle with him."
Saturday night wasn't as positive for Kanz as he didn't even make it to the half-way point of the feature before mechanical failure sidelined him for the evening. This opened the door for a new feature win on the second night of the Mid Summer Shoot Out, and Chatfield, MNs Jacob Bleess was more than happy to accept the offering.
Like Wojcik and Schott, Bleess worked his way into Victory Lane picking up his sixth feature win of the year with his #21 EZ Fabricating USRA B-Mod. "The car was strong and it was a fun feature," said the soft spoken Bleess who's made a name for himself picking up high-dollar B-Mod feature wins at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY this year, "Nobody knows yet who's gonna win that $10,000 in September, but I think this sixth feature win puts us in the group to watch."
Iowa's Brian Mahlstedt Owatanna, MN's Kylie Kath finished second and third Saturday night, just ahead of another great performance by Keefe, who finished fourth ahead of first time visitor Kyle Anderson.
ANDERSON AND RICHARDS SHARE SUPER STOCK WINS
"I don't know how he does it. He is so strong down on the bottom and fast out of the turns." That was all Kelly Anderson could say about Tommy Richards' and his feature winning #7R WISSOTA Super Stock. Richards showed once again Friday night that if you let him run the bottom, he'll not only be up front, but more than likely racing for the win.
"When I saw them grading the track from the top down to the bottom," explained Richards, after collecting another Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stock feature win Friday night, "I knew that I'd be strong down on the bottom." And strong he was, once again. Richards held off challenges from Cochrane's Brian Fetting Friday night to win the Super Stock feature on the opening night of the Mid Summer Shoot Out. Fetting crossed the line ahead of Anderson and Jay Oricchio in third and fourth with two-time and defending Track Champion Jeff Bruaer finishing fifth.
During Saturday night's feature, Anderson was able to gather in a little redemption, beating Richards to the waiving checkered flag by literally inches as the two crossed the finish line side by side after swapping the lead several times in the closing laps.
Anderson celebrated the win and Richards realized that he'd missed out on back to back feature wins by the slimmest of possible margins. But the feature win Friday was a huge boost for Richards in his quest for a Track Championship, entering the program Friday night, Richards was tied with Shane Kisling at the top of the track point standings. Both won their heat races, but Richards' feature win Friday coupled with a sixth place finish by Kisling gives Richards the advantage moving into and through the final months of the 2012 season!
WOHLETZ AND CISEWSKI GRAB CAREER FIRST 600 MOD FEATURE WINS
Greg Wohletz has been a competitor in the Redbox+ 600 Mod division since its inception at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY, this past Friday his quest for a feature win was finally realized as he held off challenges from current point leader Joe Provinzino and rising star Bob Cisewski to claim that very first feature win. "The 600 Mods are such a great division," beamed a celebratory Wohletz from Victory Lane, "Fun to race and VERY competitive fields. This means a lot to finally get this first feature win."
Following Wohletz in the scoring of the top five was Cisewski, John Griffin, Bill Bauers, and first heat-race winner Brent Gora.
Similar to Wohletz, Bob Cisewski used a near dominating run Saturday night to gather in his very first feature win, "I have a long list of thank yous to go through," smiled Cisewski after winning Saturday night's feature, "First to my wife and family - for putting up with my long nights in the garage working on the car. Thank you to the great sponsors who joined me for this season . . . and thank you again to my wife!"
Cisewski kept Bill Bauers' #56 behind him for the win, with second heat-race winner Wohletz, Bruce Schmitt and first heat-race winner Curt Luhmann completing the top five.
GARDNER, SWEAZEY, SORENSEN, STEVENS, & WASMUND ALSO WINNERS
In other action through the two-night special, Cody Gardner picked up the win in the very first WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature run at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY in the 2012 season, "That was the plan," explained Gardner in victory lane, "to come down here and learn as much as we can before the big $10,000 special in September."
Paul Sweazey won the Elmer's Auto Salvage MTS Pure Stock feature Friday night. Jett Sorensen won Saturday night's Sunshine Sanitation A-Division Midwest Mini Mod feature on the "Lightning Speedway" after Mike Stevens won Friday's feature. In the B-Division, JT Wasmund won both Friday and Saturday's features!
MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY's 2012 season continues Friday night August 10th with another night of regular-season action on the fast 1/3 mile speedway with on-track action for all regular weekly divisions; the Sunshine Sanitation A and B Mini Mods on the "Lightning Speedway", supporting competition on the fast 1/3-mile comprised of complete programs for the River City Manufacturing USRA Modifieds, Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stocks, TheEngineStore.com USRA B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks, REDBOX+ 600 Mods, & Elmer's Auto Salvage MTS Pure Stocks.
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MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY is presenting its 4th season of top-notch dirt track action in Fountain City, WI. The high-banked 1/3 mile dark-clay oval is quickly becoming known as one of the best speedways in the upper Midwest presenting dirt track racing in a fan and family friendly atmosphere every Friday night throughout the racing season.
For all details, keep visiting the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY web site: www.MississippiThunder.com
AUGUST 3rd & 4th - RESULTS
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