FOUNTAIN CITY (May 25) - This Memorial Day was a bit different for Mississippi Thunder Speedway. Over the holiday weekend, the speedway lost a member of its own family when Jordan Murphy was killed in an automobile accident. Murphy’s friends and speedway personnel honored him with a lap of silence prior to the National Anthem.
When the silence was replaced with revving engines, the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS), along with the support classes of WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and WISSOTA Street Stocks, were ready to tackle the new configuration at Fountain City. The grandstands boasted a full host of fans ready to see what speeds could be attained with the “big boys” in house.
At the drop of the green flag, the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature saw Shaun Walski jump to the front as Dalton Yohnk slipped into second. Brandon Davis maneuvered his ride up to third within three laps. Ryan Olson dove low on Davis for a shot at third place, took the spot, but Davis charged back to reclaim third. Walski slid a bit high in turn two which allowed Olson the opportunity to steal second place after getting ahead of Davis. Kyle Jumbeck moved into the top four as Walski slipped to fifth place. Yohnk tried to get a comfortable distance ahead of the pack, but lap traffic snarled his effort. Jumbeck was able to zip by Olson and Davis when a caution flew for Chris Gilbertson’s spin. The spin collected Dan Wheeler as well, and Gilbertson and Wheeler’s nights were done. That set the field back up with Yohnk in the lead and Jumbeck choosing the low line. Jumbeck sniffed out the lead several times before finally taking the lead. A caution was charged to Walski !
then as he and Erik Kanz got together in turns one and two. And as it sometimes goes, cautions breed cautions; two in a row after that set up the final roll call for the finish. Jumbeck moved out front but Yohnk and Davis kept a close watch in second place. Olson slipped to fourth but kept a good distance ahead of Bob Bunne who had made his way through the field to the top five. Davis gave it his all and took over second from Yohnk to stir up a fantastic battle with Jumbeck for the lead. Olson and Yohnk also duked it out for third place as the white flag flew. Davis’ hard charging at the end took him to victory lane in his first outing at the track in 2009. Jumbeck grabbed runner-up honors in a superb finish. Olson clipped Yohnk at the end for third, and Bunne finished fifth in his first show at the track this season.
Kevin Hager and Donny Ganz were in the front row for the start of the WISSOTA Street Stock main event, but at the wave of the green flag, Hager fell way back and eventually succumbed to heating issues after being caught up in a heat race collision. Ganz then led over Danny Richards and Dan Bork, but Richards powered his way ahead and Bork followed up to second place. Jim Randall stayed ahead of the side by side fight for fifth between Jimmy Patzner and Danny Hanson. Richards and Bork put some distance on Hanson, Ganz, and Randall as the latter three flew three wide in turn two. Hanson was able to shoot under Ganz for third place and made a move for Bork’s second place spot as Randall patiently waited in fourth place. By this time, Richards had abandoned the pack. With only a couple laps left, a caution for a spun car set up a green-white-checkered finish. Richards had just kissed his lead good bye, and that caution could only have put a smile on Hanson’s face. Richar! ds once again took the point, but Hanson was only feet away as the white flag flew. Richards was able to hang on for the win with Hanson on his bumper for second. Bork, Randall, and Ganz notched spots three through five.
The final feature of the night was the big show of USMTS Modifieds. Al Hejna and Ryan Gustin drew the top spots ahead of Mike Sorensen, Zack VanderBeek, Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, and Dereck Ramirez of Woodward, Oklahoma. Before the first lap was complete though, a pile up in turn four set up a complete restart. Gustin assumed the lead over Hejna. Sorensen raced in third as Josh Angst assumed fourth place. VanderBeek and Ramirez ran side by side for fifth place. Gustin was on a mission and by lap eight was already looking at the back of the pack. As Gustin began to weave through lap traffic, Hejna cruised around the berm while Sorensen kept ahead of Angst. Ramirez and Angst then began to dart back and forth for fourth place as the cars blew the dust off the track. Gustin continued to run near the wall and was able to stretch his lead over Hejna. Jon Tesch and Kelly Shryock made moves to break the top five but had to hang out just outside the top spots. Gustin! put a wallop on the field for his first win at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in very convincing fashion. Ramirez roared into a second place finish followed by Sorensen. VanderBeek notched fourth place and Hejna kept a lock on fifth.
B Mini Mod feature racing had Mathew Schliesman take a big lead early over Dylan Buckland and Rachel LaDuke. Alex Stevens had his work cut out for himself when he got squirrely and lost ground on the lead cars after starting fourth. LaDuke gained some ground on Buckland as they got into lap traffic. Schliesman maintained his lead over Buckland as the two worked their way around the mini oval. Stevens was on the move but got into the front left of Matt Steven’s car as they moved through turn four. They tangled but kept going, but it possibly made for an interesting ride home in the family truck. Schliesman kept his lead and took the win over Buckland and LaDuke. Alex and Matt Stevens finished fourth and fifth.
Jake Timm shot to the lead in the A Mini Mod feature. Alex Williamson scooted around the corner as Jace Bunne tried to work second place away from Williamson. A caution set the field back up for a restart but Timm was able to move away in the lead again. As the cars spread out, Timm never looked back and took the win over Williamson and Bunne.
Friday, May 29th will be another night of regular racing at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.
WISSOTA Midwest Modified Feature –
Brandon Davis, Kyle Jumbeck, Ryan Olson, Dalton Yohnk, Bob Bunne, Chris Creeley, Jared Happel, Erik Kanz, Leigh Volkman, Beau Lammer, Carter Brandt, Jayme Hiller, Shaun Walski, Barry Johnson, Dan Wheeler, Chris Gilbertson, Josh Appel, Justin Sass Heat 1 – Olson, Yohnk, Gilbertson, Bunne, Hiller, Appel Heat 2 – Jumbeck, Davis, Brandt, Kanz, Lammer, Happel Heat 3 – Wheeler, Walski, Volkman, Creeley, Johnson, Sass
WISSOTA Street Stock Feature –
Danny Richards, Danny Hanson, Dan Bork, Jim Randall, Donny Ganz, Jimmy Patzner, Rick Lisowski, Toby Jahnke, Andy Hoch, Scott Olson, Kyle King, Lee Hager, Lee Jonsgaard, Kevin Hager Heat 1 – Bork, Hanson, Richards, Randall, Hoch, Jahnke, King Heat 2 – Olson, K. Hager, Patzner, Ganz, Lisowski, L. Hager, Jonsgaard
USMTS Modifieds Feature –
Ryan Gustin, Dereck Ramirez, Mike Sorensen, Zack VanderBeek, Al Hejna, Kelly Shryock, Josh Angst, Jon Tesch, Grant Junghans, Steve Wetzstein, Mike Hansen, Dean Mahlstedt, Bob Timm, Adam Stockhausen, Dan Bohr, Doug Hillson, Layne Meyer, Jeff Rollinger, Dano Ostrander, Mark Noble, Andy Bohnstengel, Alan Mondus, Corey Dripps, Rodney Sanders B-Main – Wetzstein, Junghans, Noble, Mahlstedt, Hillson, Dripps, Bohnstengel, Meyer, Foss, Poindinger, Rollinger, Ostrander, Albrecht Heat 1 – Angst, Sorensen, Stockhausen, Timm, Bohr, Hillson, Rollinger, Ostrander, Foss Heat 2 – Hejna, VanderBeek, Hansen, Shryock, Junghans, Wetzstein, Noble, Meyer, Poidinger Heat 3 – Ramirez, Sanders, Gustin, Mondus, Tesch, Dripps, Bohnstengel, Mahlstedt, Albrecht
A Mini Mods Feature –
Jake Timm, Alex Williamson, Gary Kellner, Jace Bunne, Gary Kellner, Mike Stevens, Gary Kellner, Brady Keefe B Mini Mods Feature – Mathew Schliesman, Dylan Buckland, Rachel LaDuke, Alex Stevens, Matt Stevens, Matthew LaDuke, Anna Schliesman