posted June 04, 2001 11:51 AM
Vejtruba, Thompson & Zieske Visit Grove Creek Victory Lane
by Greg Johnson
GROVE CITY, MN – Saturday Night at Grove Creek Raceway, Roger's Grove City Liquor sponsored "Tropical Night". There were many fun activities, including "Surfer Bill" who made it all the way down the front stretch on his surfboard. 99 drivers checked into the backgate and the track was well prepared to make for a great night of racing.
The WISSOTA Modifieds put on a good show in their feature. Greg Schultz of Hector, who was involved in a heat race accident, started on the pole with heat race winner Jason Vejtruba of Lake Lillian to his outside. As Stan Ross waved the green flag, Schultz had the early advantage but Vejtruba shot by going down the back straight. Schultz stayed within a car length but Shawn Nolan of Annandale had his #79 slicing through traffic and was on Schultz's tail within a lap along with Paul Hipsag of Elk River and Jamie Lemke of Hutchinson. The five cars circled the heavy track at high speed, all racing for position. Roger Canon of Willmar joined the chase and it was anyone's race to win. Nolan moved into the runner-up spot on lap seven and began to pressure Vejtruba with the rest of the pack a whisker away. Nolan would move inside of Vejtruba several times and get side-by-side with the leader but Vejtruba stayed strong and held off the veteran driver. When the double checkers flew, Jason had his first win of the year with Nolan settling for second. Schultz had a strong third followed by Hipsag and Lemke.
The WISSOTA Mod-Fours had a bit of yellow flag fever, as everyone seemed to want the win very badly. Maybe it was the fact that there was a tropical trophy girl this night?! Ryan Gilbertson of Ada got out front early with Ryan Fuchs of Willmar right behind him with Jim Nystrom of Litchfield and Ryan Canon of St. Michael battling for third. Lap four saw several yellows that put some of the top cars in the back of the field. Ryan Canon worked his way into second with Dustin Zieske of Renville mow in third. With one lap to go, Canon and Gilbertson got together, Zieske shot by and took the win with Jason Vejtruba, running Derek Zieske's car, moving all the way up to finish second. Canon survived for third with Mark Peterson of Atwater fourth. Gilbertson ended up with an 11th place finish.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks also put on a good show. Cary Schultz of Grove City started on the front row and powered to an immediate lead with Ryan Brummond of Litchfield in second and Tom Benesch of Atwater third. Right behind them, the battle raged as Steve Beach of Long Prairie, Chris Groth of Plymouth and Willmar's Scott Thompson were going toe-to-toe. Thompson made a move and blasted into the lead on lap five with Groth following into second. The pack raced hard lap-after-lap with Beach moving into third on the eigth go 'round. The race went green, white checkered with Thompson recording his first win, Groth second, Beach third and Ryan Schugel fourth.
Another race that went yellow less, was the WISSOTA Street Stock feature. Tim Juven of Delano snatched the lead for the first half of the race. Juven was being followed closely by the 303 car of Chip Ennenga of Anoka. When the cross flags flew, Dan Gullikson of Forest Lake and Scott Paulson of Kimball were all over Juven. Gullikson made his move on the next lap, as did Paulson. Paulson tried several times to get by the leader, but the visiting Gullikson wouldn't relinquish the lead and took the checkers just ahead of the "Maine Prairie Missile". Mike Loomis of Forest Lake worked his way through the pack to finish third followed by Ennenga.
Justin Hedtke of Atwater took the lead in the Creek Stock feature with Ryan Buer of Atwater right behind. Hedtke led the first 2/3 of the race until Kevin Randt of Litchfield got by. Hedtke dropped out with mechanical problems and Jim Martinson of Cokato moved into second. Randt had built a strong lead until he encountered lapped traffic. Martinson closed in on the leader with only a couple laps to go and put the pressure on Randt. Coming out of turn four for the checkers, Martinson took a stab at the leader, but Randt held on for the win with Martinson a close second and Greg Forcier of Buffalo Lake finishing a solid third.