By Tracy Hager FOUNTAIN CITY (August 21) – Racing after days of constant rain when all other tracks in the area canceled? That is exactly what happened at Mississippi Thunder Speedway on Friday, August 21st to the tune of 136 cars and stuffed grandstands. The USMTS Modifieds were back in town on their quest to crown a champion. Forty-eight drivers from across the country and as far away as Texas converged on Mississippi Thunder to beat down the path to the coveted crown. Rochester’s Tim Donlinger capped the strong field of visitors and locals in the 25-lap, $3000-to-win feature.
WISSOTA Midwest Modified drive Kyle Jumbeck proved he earned the title of Driver of the Week when he cashed in on the big paycheck in the Baehman Law Midwest Modified Challenge. Danny Hanson set himself a nice cushion as he crusades toward back-to-back track championships with a clean sweep in the WISSOTA Street Stocks. Gary Wiersgalla bolted to the win in the caution-infested WISSOTA Super Stock feature as he works on back-to-back championships as well.
It was $1million to win for the WISSOTA Street Stocks at Mississippi Thunder, or so it seemed with all of the beating, banging, and bumping down the front stretch as the race went green. Cory Hanson jumped to the lead ahead of Tyler Sass and Dan Bork. Cory Crapser made it three wide with Tommy Richards running his brother Danny’s car and Darryl Foegen for fourth place as Bork was able to come out on top into second place ahead of Sass; Sass then regained the spot. Crapser then made the pass on Richards and Foegen into fourth. Danny Hanson quietly slipped under Foegen and Richards for fifth place when Crapser again jumped in three-wide with Bork and Cory Hanson for the lead. Crapser assumed the point ahead of Bork and Cory Hanson, but Danny Hanson shot to the outside of Cory Hanson into third place. Richards then barreled into fifth place as Crapser moved into lap traffic. Bork, Danny Hanson, and then Richards raced close for third place behind Sass and Crapser. A cau! tion for spun cars in turn two began the melee to the finish. With eight laps to go, Crapser led the pack followed by Danny Hanson, Bork, Richards, Cory Hanson, and Sass. Crapser then fell off the pace which allowed Danny Hanson the shot at the lead. As Crapser regained some speed and tried to handle his car with a broken front left suspension situation, he maintained second place behind Danny Hanson. Richards then caught up with Crapser in turn four, and Richards drove into Crapser’s front left wheel which resulted in a caution. The situation called for Richards to head to the back and ultimately ended his pursuit of a win as he headed pitside to fix a flat tire. The restart set up a green-white-checkered finish with Danny Hanson, Crapser, Bork, Sass, and Cory Hanson up front. As the cars went into turn four and took the green flag, Crapser was spun setting off another green-white-checkered finish; Bork was tagged with the caution which ended his chase for the win. ! Next it was Crapser with a self-spin in turn four as he battled his l imping machine to head into the next G-W-C finish. It took four green-white-checkered restarts for Danny Hanson to finally claim the win. Cory Hanson capped his best finish in a very solid second place run. Donny Ganz, Kevin Hager, and Fred Prudoehl all capitalized from the final cautions and laps to enter the top five.
Kevin Hager and Steve Speltz belted out a great battle as the WISSOTA Super Stocks headed to their main event. Speltz worked the high side to move around Hager, but Hager maintained a strong run in the lead. Michael Hofer, Gary Wiersgalla, and Bob Fort flew three wide as they fought for third place. Hager slide up a bit high out of turn one which allowed Speltz briefly into the lead. A caution for spun cars in turn four set up a complete restart and allowed Hager the “lucky dog” to regain the lead spot. Hager again took the point with Speltz on the outside, but Wiersgalla was very strong as he dove low in turn two into second place, bobbled, and dipped back to third behind Hager and Speltz. Fort picked up steam as he dove under Wiersgalla for third when a caution flew as Hofer crawled to a stop in turn four. After Hofer was taken off the track on the hook, Hager assumed the lead followed by Speltz, Wiersgalla, Fort, and Troy Langowski. Fort, Speltz, and Wiersgalla to! re three-wide for second behind Hager, but Wiersgalla was able to squirt between the two to emerge in second place and then quickly into lead. Hager then scrambled to hold onto second as he was surrounded by the 97’s of Speltz and Fort. A debris caution realigned the group with 16 laps to go. Wiersgalla, Speltz, Hager, Fort, and Langowski took off on the green as they all crowded to the low groove. Shawn Huse and Tim Williamson raced close behind as they ran side by side for sixth place. Wiersgalla began to distance himself from the field as Fort worked on Hager for second when caution four slowed the pack when Bruce Lutz lost a wheel in turn four. With 12 to go, Wiersgalla led Fort, Hager, Langowski, and Speltz when Speltz’ machine rolled to a stop pulling caution number 5. Five laps were then dropped to reveal seven laps to go and a single-file restart. Wiersgalla, Hager, and Fort tore around the track when Langowski dove under Fort for third; Fort immediately too! k the spot back as another caution waved. Wiersgalla, Hager, Fort, La ngowski, and Tim Williamson sat in the top five on the restart. Fort climbed around Hager into second, and then Langowski tried to grab third from Hager, but Hager rallied to hang on. Fort tried hard to enter Wiersgalla’s property, but Wiersgalla was able to shoot to the win. Fort followed in second, and Shawn Huse made a big surge into third over Hager and Langowski. Even though the top five are pretty much locked into the points’ finale as we head into the final night of track points, whom that champion will be is still up in the air as a mere 13 points separates Wiersgalla, Langowski, and Fort; a little déjà vu of 2008 as the championship went right down to the last night as well. So if this piques your interest, you might want to be around for this show.
The EngineStore.com WISSOTA Midwest Modified’s $1000-to-win feature started as the cars went four wide through turn two in the first lap. Dustin Scott moved out in first followed by Dan Wheeler, Travis Krause, and Jesse Glenz. Kyle Jumbeck, Curt Myers, and Brandon Davis fell into battle for fifth place when Wheeler slowly crept up on Krause. Scott laid some ground between himself and Krause and soon found lap traffic. Krause used the lap traffic to his advantage as he gained some ground on Scott. Wheeler and Jumbeck then darted to each side of a lapped car, but a caution waved when Jumbeck was charged with the spin of Chris Creeley. Scott once again extended his lead over Krause, Davis, and Wheeler. Krause, Davis, and Wheeler shot three-wide through turn two for second place when Davis spun; insert caution two here. Davis was charged with the spin and chose to end his night then. Scott set the pace on the restart, but Krause got under him in turn two. Three-wide ac! tion between Genz, Wheeler, and Jumbeck for third dressed up the lap, and it was Jumbeck to take the spot followed by Glenz and Wheeler. Dalton Yohnk then zipped by Wheeler, and Jumbeck took over second from Krause; briefly as Krause fought back. As they tore down the back stretch, Jumbeck went into a 360° spin but did not miss a beat as he threw the car back into racing, but a caution was thrown and Krause was charged with the spin. The final five laps were strung together and on the white flag lap, Scott swept too wide in turn two which allowed Jumbeck just what he wanted to take the lead and the big check. Glenz and Wheeler were also able to capitalize on Scott’s misstep and take second and third ahead of Scott and Yohnk.
With a lot of cars and lots of races, at just after midnight, the USMTS Modifieds hit the track for their 25-lap $3000-to-win Hunt for the Championship feature. Tim Donlinger and Dan Bohr manned the front line with Kelly Shryock and Dean Mahlstedt in the second row. Jon Tesch quickly moved into contention from his eighth place starting spot into a three-way bid for fifth with Ron Ver Beek and Grant Junghans. Donlinger continued to hold Shryock back in second when Tesch flew around Bohr into fourth behind Mahlstedt. Ver Beek and Zack VanderBeek tried to zip into fifth place, but Bohr held his ground. Tesch was on a mission as he flew into third place over Mahlstedt. With Donlinger alone out front, Tesch had to deal with Shryock and Mike Steensma who had covered considerable ground from his 13th place starting spot. A caution at lap 11 allowed Shryock to touch on Donlinger’s lead as Steensma and Tesch duked it out for third place. Ver Beek was passed up by Steensma for! fourth behind Tesch. Ver Beek then nipped fourth place when Tesch dropped back. Ryan Gustin was on the move as he made it four wide down the back stretch with Ver Beek, VanderBeek, and Tesch for fourth place. Donlinger continued his stronghold on the lead followed by Shryock, Steensma, Ver Beek, and Gustin. A spin on the front stretch pulled the final caution and set up the last seven laps. Donlinger then had Steensma to contend with for the lead as Steensma and Gustin zipped by Shryock into second and third places. Shryock and VanderBeek beat it out for fourth place as the final laps closed in. Donlinger powered on with the advances of Gustin right behind him. Shryock picked up again and moved back into third, but Steensma nearly stole the spot back. Donlinger worked hard for the win through the cautions and turmoil to take home the big win and big pay. Gustin hard charged his way from 18th to second followed by Shryock, Steensma, and VanderBeek. The Hunt conti! nues as the USMTS moves on to the Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah, Iowa on Saturday, August 22nd. Hank Rollinger and John Doelle were awarded track provisional starts in the USMTS A-Main, and Doelle was awarded the QuickTime Performance Parts contingency award.
Jeff Matejka continued his streak with a feature win in the 600 Mini Mods. Dylan Buckland cashed in on Rachel LaDuke’s misfortune to take another win in the B Midwest Mini Mods, and Parker Hale visited victory lane again in the A Midwest Mini Mods.
And so it approaches; the final night of track points for the inaugural year at Mississippi Thunder Speedway. Although some point races appear to be wrapped up, nothing is impossible come the last night of track points. Fill your Friday with action-packed racing and see the first champions crowned at MTS.
WISSOTA Street Stock Feature –
Danny Hanson, Cory Hanson, Donny Ganz, Kevin Hager, Fred Prudoehl, Quinn Arnoldy, Lee Hager, Tyler Peterson, Dave Smith, Bill Engler, Lonnie Klonecki, Tommy Richards, Tyler Sass, Shaun Mann, Toby Jahnke, Cory Crapser, Dan Bork, Darryl Foegen, Jane Keating Heat 1 – D. Hanson, C. Hanson, Foegen, Prudoehl, K. Hager, Engler, Peterson, Klonecki, Jahnke, Arnoldy Heat 2 – Crapser, Richards, Bork, Sass, Ganz, Mann, L. Hager, Smith, Keating
WISSOTA Midwest Modified Feature –
Kyle Jumbeck, Jesse Glenz, Dan Wheeler, Dustin Scott, Dalton Yohnk, Mark Gerth, Jared Happel, Chris Creeley, Chris Gilbertson, Travis Krause, Erik Kanz, Paul Neisius, Ben Anderson, Mike Kyllonen, Mike Knudtson, Pete Bushman, Joe Horgdal, Tyler Creeley, Leigh Volkman, Jake Smith, Brandon Davis, Mike Paulson, Curt Myers, Shaun Walski B-Main – Anderson, Bushman, Volkman, Joe Horgdal, Josh Crary, Cody Gardner, Dustin Sletten, Don Schaefer, Josh Appel, Barry Johnson, Jake Frion Heat 1 – Davis, Wheeler, Smith, Kanz, T. Creeley, Crary, Johnson, Frion Heat 2 – Scott, Gerth, Walski, Knudtson, Neisius, Schafer, Gardner, Appel Heat 3 – Myers, Glenz, Yohnk, Happel, Gilbertson, Sletten, Bushman, Anderson Heat 4 – Krause, Jumbeck, Kyllonen, C. Creeley, Paulson, Volkman, Horgdal
WISSOTA Super Stock Feature –
Gary Wiersgalla, Bob Fort, Shawn Huse, Kevin Hager, Troy Langowski, Tim Williamson, Darrel Hazelton, Lanny Haukom, Jay Oricchio, Adam Kerley, Steve Speltz, Bruce Lutz, Michael Hofer, Jon Duffy Heat 1 – Fort, Langowski, Duffy, Speltz, Williamson, Haukom, Lutz Heat 2 – Huse, Wiersgalla, Hager, Hofer, Hazelton, Oricchio, Kerley
USMTS Modifieds Feature –
Tim Donlinger, Ryan Gustin, Kelly Shryock, Mike Steensma, Zack VanderBeek, Jon Tesch, John Doelle, Dereck Ramirez, Bob Timm, Bryan Rowland, Jason Krohn, Scott Green, Rodney Sanders, Dean Mahlstedt, Tommy Myer, Colt Mather, Ron Ver Beek, Al Hejna, Hank Rollinger Jr., Josh Angst, Shawn Peterson, Jason Hughes, Dan Bohr, Morgan Bagley, Dustin Boney, Grant Junghans B-Main 1 – Steensma, Hejna, Boney, Green, Rowland, Layne Meyer, Jeff Schluetter, H. Rollinger, Craig Scott, Chad Wheeler, Adam Stockhausen, Jeff Rollinger, Doelle, Andy Bohnstengel, Paul Hamernik, Mike Hansen, Brian Albrecht, Alan Sharpensteen B-Main 2 – Hughes, Angst, Gustin, Krohn, Peterson, Les Duellman, Joel Alberts, Lance Hofer, Myer, Roger Niederkorn, Sanders, Corey Dripps, Jay Poidinger, Tom Paulson, Robby Bunkelman, Kent Baxter, Darrell Nelson, Eddie Martin Heat 1 – Shryock, Timm, Nelson, Sanders, Hejna, Alberts, J. Rollinger, Bunkelman, Hamernik, Gustin Heat 2 – Junghans, Bohr, Angst, Hughes, Sch! luetter,Duellman, Poidinger, Myer, Baxter, Sharpensteen Heat 3 – Bagley, Mather, Ramirez, Green, Boney, Rowland, Stockhausen, Scott, Albrecht, Martin Heat 4 – VanderBeek, Tesch, Ver Beek, Dripps, Krohn, Meyer, Peterson, Bohnstengel, Hofer Heat 5 – Mahlstedt, Donlinger, Hansen, Steensma, H. Rollinger, Paulson, Doelle, Niederkorn, Wheeler
A Mini Mods Feature – Parker Hale, Brandon Reutzel, Nia Gardner, Jake Timm, Jerome Kellner, Mac Alberts, Mike Stevens, Mike Stevens, Sydney Alberts, Robert Dryhal, Alex Williamson Heat 1 – Hale, M. Alberts, Reutzel, S. Alberts, Stevens Heat 2 – Kellner, Williamson, Timm, Dyrdal, Gardner
B Mini Mods Feature – Dylan Buckland, Mathew Schliesman, Alex Stevens, Nicholas Wagner, Jackson Hale, Matt Stevens, Matthew LaDuke, Rachel LaDuke Heat – Buckland, R. LaDuke, Wagner, Schliesman, A. Stevens, Hale, M. LaDuke, M. Stevens
600 Mini Mods Feature – Jeff Matejka, Charlie McNally, Dave Fruechte, Joe Provenzino, Brett LaDuke, Joe Jasnoch, Don Werner Heat – Matejka, McNally, Werner, LaDuke, Fruechte, Provenzino, Jasnoch