posted September 11, 2000 01:39 PM
Lindgren Lands in Mod-Four Winners Circle, Jensen Also a Winner in Supers at Grove Creek
by Greg Johnson
GROVE CITY, MN -- The regular season came to a close last Saturday night at Grove Creek Raceway with many cars and lots of action. The night was sponsored by Revy's of Atwater. With an extremely strong wind throughout the day, the track would go dry slick and challenge some of the participant's driving style. The Northern Vintage Cars were part of the show and the track officials got a chance to race it out for bragging rights.
John Lindgren of Willmar had a big night as he won a WISSOTA Mod-Four heat race and picked up a win in the feature. Greg Bent of Litchfield took the early lead in the main event with Lindgren quickly on his tail. Lindgren snatched the lead on the second lap and would take it the rest of the way despite several cautions. Troy Kraemer of Cold Spring shot into the second position on the fourth lap with Bent in third. On lap five, Bent had an axle break on the fifth lap, bringing out the yellow and sending him to the pits. Ryan Canon of St. Michael now moved in to pressure Kraemer as the three paced the field. Lindgren held on for the win with Kraemer crossing the line second and Canon third.
Twenty-Three cars took the green flag in the WISSOTA Street Stock feature, only 12 would finish. Everyone seemed to be driving extra hard and with a dry track, it was a bad combination. Dan Gullickson of Forest Lake grabbed the lead from his outside front row spot with Brandon Larson of Grove City in second. The yellow flag flew on lap four when Jerry Hanson of New London had his car go up in flames. Hanson's motor let go and caused an oil fire. Hanson drove around a lap and stopped on the front stretch and officials chased him around the track. With the fire out and all OK, the race resumed with Don Barber and Scott Paulson in second and third. With cars dropping out on just about every lap, the field thinned out. Gullickson shot off the track in turn one while Barber had mechanical trouble on lap eight allowing Paulson to move to the front and that's where he would stay to record another win. Gullickson came back to finish second with John Yilek of Sauk Rapids third.
It took three tries to get the WISSOTA Super Stock feature started, but once it got going, Joey Jensen of Maplewood stayed out front in his 21jr car and nailed down the win. Jon Stepan of Brandon gave close chase but Jensen was strong and held position. Scott Thompson of Willmar moved up to third and challenged Stepan several times for second but would finish in the third spot. Tim Baxter of Oak Grove came in fourth.
The WISSOTA Modified feature ran green, white, checkered with a good battle for the lead. Last week's winner, Jason Vejtruba of Lake Lillian, shot to the top spot from his outside front row starting spot with track champion, Craig Christiansen of New London literally on his bumper. Vejtruba held the lead for the first half of the race, that's when Christy nosed under him coming out of turn four and out-dragged him to the first turn. Vejtruba stayed on Craig's bumper but Christy held on for the win with Jason second and Curly Williams of Sauk Rapids in third.
It was a wacky caution filled race for the Creek Stocks. Mike Christensen of Hutchinson led most of the way. Mike had to contend with Kevin Randt of Litchfield and Jim Merkins of Hutchinson. Randt took the lead on lap six only to have Christensen take it back the next lap. Randt got a little loose in the 1-2 turn and slipped back to seventh, allowing Merkins to move up as well as Justin Hedtke and Rusty Winkler. Christen took the win, followed by Merkins, Winkler and Randt.
The Officials race was a squirrelly affair as the racetrack was very slick and most of the drivers hadn't been in a racecar for sometime. Jeff "The Flash" Erickson took the lead with Ken "Madman" Morton in second. Leland "Happy Feet" Fischer dropped out with a flat tire as Norm "Big Daddy" Krouth took over the lead on lap three. Greg "The Bossman" Johnson moved into second and challenged for the lead until he got a little squirrelly and allowed Dan "Scooter" Edwards to get by. Krouth was the winner with Erickson second, followed by Edwards, Johnson and Morton. Somewhere in the back, Jeff "Bigfoot" Bruhn was having trouble handling his car and would finish a disappointing ninth. Thanks to all the drivers who allowed the track officials to race their cars.
The next event at the Creek will be "Wild Wings 200" Sept 23rd & 24th, with the Winged Sprints, Super Stocks, Mod-Fours and Outlaw Creeks.