53rd Annual Season Opener May 2nd- Cabin Fever 60
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Wisconsin Dells, WI (May 1st, 2015)- The Dells Raceway Park, 53rd Annual Season opener was an exciting evening of racing! Including, a broken track record or two!
Usually Super Late Model Dash races are more of a "Parade of Cars" than a peddle to the metal all out competition, not tonight! If you weren't at Dells Raceway Park on May 2nd, you missed out! The first few laps of the SLM dash started out as the perfect show of cars, but that didn't last! Only 4 laps after the green flag was thrown, the action erupted! By the 6th lap the 22 machine of Landry Potter started to get a little squirrely, Potter was able to re gain just enough control of his race car to save it from kissing the wall going into turn 3 and was able to pull off the track to safety! Going into the 7th lap Brian Johnson, Jr. #17 out of Machesney Park, IL. sure began to give the 17 car of Greg Pawelski a run for his money! After a lap of door to door action Pawelski was able to beat Johnson out of turn four to take the checkered. Some may look at a simple dash race as a not so rewarding victory, but for Greg Pawelski its a huge triumph since this was his first ever race behind the wheel of a Super Late Model race car!
What an exciting show those Outlaw Bandits provided! Only 3 laps into the Outlaw Bandit feature, the top four drivers where able to pull away from the field. Five laps after the green flag, a tough fight was going on for 2nd place. Dennis Delaney is able to hold on to the top spot for a short 8 laps before Ron Coppernoll made a pass and took the first position. John Handeland sure held his own against Coppernoll. Handland's car looked to handle well as he was able to get a better entrance into turn one and a great run coming out of turn 2 allowing him to take the first place as Coppernoll fought to keep his number 72 car off the back stretch wall. Mark English looked to have mechanical issues and fell off the pace with only three to go. Luckily, he was able to pull his race car safely into the pits. Round of applause to James Junget and Dennis Delaney for putting on a great show while battling for the 3rd place finish. Handland took the checkered with a straightaway between his back bumper and the nose of the number 72 car of Coppernoll in 2nd position.
While the Dells Raceway Park Sportsman took the green flag, Jeff Nehrkorn's car looked strong as he took the lead on lap 2 over the 18 of Thomas Farra. Mitch Lydon made a quick move 4 laps in to make the pass on Scott Luck for fourth place. Nehrkorn and Farra fell off as Chris Weber and Rick Copperoll made their way to the top two spots. Weber in the 97 car dove down low to the inside of Coppernoll for a side by side battle, Weber took the lead with 19 to go. Scott Luck sure did a great job of utilizing the outside groove to gain positions throughout the field. Dave Trute quickly gained speed as he made his way through the field. Trute was the man to watch while he made his way from 11th to 3rd place in only quick 15 laps. The number 2 of Trute quickly closed in on the leader, Chris Weber! With 6 laps to go, Weber lost his battle but he defiantly didn't give it up easy. Ultimately, the "Team Dean's" driver Dave Trute, was able to make his move coming out of turn two to claim his Win and park his Dean's Satellite sponsored Machine in the Weaver Auto Parts Victory Lane.
The Super Late Model race quickly turned to chaos as they came out of corner number two on the second lap. The front row of Ken Reiser and the number 44 of Mike Lichtfeld got together, causing Lichtfeld to spin directly in front of the field. The 25 of Jeff Storm, 87 car driven by Collin Reftner and the number 11 Bobby Kendall where all victems of the wreckage. Storm and Kendall where able to drive their cars into the pits. Unfortunately, the 87 car diven by Reftner had to be pulled off the track with a wrecker, ending his night early. Neither Reiser nor Lichtfeld honored the Gentleman's Agreement by claiming fault of the wreck, resulting in both drivers losing their positions on the front row and they where both sent to the back of the pack. Before our Flag man Arne Thompson was able to bring the field back to green flag racing, Ken Reiser pulled into the pits for an unknown reason and Kendall was able to make it back onto the track to take the restart. As the cone was put out on the back stretch, Frank Nitzke and Tim Schendel chose the outside groove behind the leader of Alex Prunty. As the green flag was dropped, an immediate combat broke out between Schendel and Ben Pettis for the third position. For a short while, Pettis was able to hold off Schendel but not for long! It only took 6 laps of green flag racing for Tim Schendel to work around Pettis and slide past Nitzke into second place. After being sent to the back on the first lap, the 44 machine of Lichtfeld was able to gain 7 positions in only 10 short laps! Schendel was able to obtain the lead from Prunty, but Prunty was holding on strong to the back bumper of Schendel. Pettis and Nitzke fought a long hard war against each other for the fourth position, Brian Johnson, Jr. took the opportunity to follow Pettis past Nitzke. With thirty laps to go, Greg Pawelski was still holding onto a strong 5th place position. As Prunty gave it his all on the outside lane to hold off Pettis, he just couldn't hold on long enough. With Pettis in second and 24 laps to go, Cory Jankowski spins on his own while exiting turn 4. After a short caution, Schendel immediately pulled away from the field, Pettis took second and Johnson fell into third. Just before 10 laps to go, Lichtfield passed the 17 of Johnson. During the last ten laps, a lot of space accumulated between the top three drivers. As they approached the 5 laps to go mark, Storm was able to close in on Prunty, which detonated an exciting side by side battle for 5th place. Ultimately Storm came up short, finishing in 6th place. "We all need a little luck now and then." Tim Schendel said gratefully referring to his victory, especially after a difficult off-season. Second place driver, Mike Lichtfeld was a class act and presented the crowd with a great interview and even apologizing for accidentally getting into fellow driver (Johnson) during the race. I believe I speak for all spectators who where in attendance as I issue a huge thank you to all of our Super Late Model drivers for always providing a compelling display of power, sportsmanship and simply good, enjoyable racing!
The Bandits sure do put meaning to the saying "Rubbing is Racing"! Not even a quarter of the way through the twenty lap feature, the entire field was side by side and The number 77 of Dan Rozek became antsy while sitting on the second row inside. Rozek ended up pushing into the number 13 of Josh Bisbee while driving down the back stretch causing Bisbee to spin in the middle of the turn 3 and 4 corner. As the cone was put out to pick a racing line, only John Preston and James Junget choose the the outside groove. Colton Morgan quickly made his appearance known as he worked his way to the front of the pack. With less than 10 to go, he stole the second position and made his way around Portzen for the lead in just 3 short laps. The 24 of Tackes and the 8 of Delaney spun in turn two, causing the field to take the green as a single file restart. After starting the race in almost the last position, Colton Morgan was able to secure his win with a straightaway lead over the rest of the field.
53rd ANNUAL SEASON OPENER - FEATURE RESULTS:
Super Late Models
4. Johnson, Jr.