posted July 02, 2001 12:02 PM
Zieske Zooms to Mod-Four win, While Lemke, Paulson, Groth, Caho and Forcier all Capture Grove Creek Checkers
GROVE CITY, MN – The second night of early start racing proved to be better than the first as the track stayed very racy and the weather cooperated. The Grove Creek track crew did an excellent job of getting some moisture to stay in the track before and during the action. Drivers and fans were treated to good racing sponsored by the Roadside Family Inn of Litchfield.
The WISSOTA Mod-Four feature saw Leonard Jergenson of Willmar take the lead from the front row. Steve Johnson of Alexandria quickly moved into second on lap two and closed in on Jergenson with Jeff Bleess of Willmar running third. The three ran together until up front until about the halfway point when they were joined by Dustin Zieske of Renville and Ryan Canon of St. Michael. Zieske, who started in the 11th position, sliced his way into second on lap eleven and pressuring Jergenson. A lap and a half later, Zieske made the winning move as he shot by Jergenson and took the lead and the win. Johnson was able to make a last lap pass of Jergenson to finish in the second spot with Leonard third and Derek Zieske of Renville fourth.
The WISSOTA Modified race was exciting. Curly Williams of Sauk Rapids grabbed the initial lead and held onto it for a couple laps. That's when Jamie Lemke of Hutchinson shot by for the top spot. Lemke was working the high side as he kept the 17L out front and flying. Williams was close behind and had to contend with a pack of hungry racers including Jason Vejtruba, Robert Fenske and terry Hanson. Hanson made a good move on lap ten to get into third and after a yellow flag bunched up the field on the next lap, he raced into second. With the laps clicking down, Hanson started to put the heat on Lemke. Terry put his right front tire under Lemke's left rear tire several times but couldn't quite get it done as Lemke scored his second win of the season. Hanson settled for second with Williams a solid third.
Chris Groth of Plymouth was a repeat winner in the WISSOTA Super Stocks. Groth started 10th on the field by the end of the second lap had moved into the lead. Scott Schmit of Princeton moved into second and wrestled with Ryan Schugel of Clear Lake. Groth checked out on the field as Schmit, Schugel and Scott Thompson of Willmar went at it for third. In the end, it was Groth with the win followed by Schmit and Schugel. Groth commented after the race, "There's nothing wrong with this track, it's fast and smooth, what more can you ask for?!"
Another repeat winner on the evening was the "Maine Prairie Missile" as Scott Paulson of Kimball not only won his heat but also took another feature win. Tim Juven of Delano took the lead at the wave of Stan Ross's green and was followed by Jay Hedtke of Grove City. Paulson quickly moved into second with his sights on Juven's bumper. On lap seven, the missile rocketed by for the top spot and Juven was left to contend with last week's feature winner, Jon Yilek of Sauk rapids. Yilek moved into second on lap eleven and started to close on the leader. Time ran out as Paulson had built a comfortable lead and would take the checkered flags first. Yilek was second and Juven third. Myron Tschakert of Kent came in fourth.
"Rocket" Rob Caho scored another win in the Heartland Sprint cars. Caho had a very strong challenge by Tim Sernett of Burnsville. Sernett was driving for Rex Erickson of Hutchinson who fielded a new car. Caho took the lead in the main with Sernett in second. On lap four, Sernett moved onto the back bumper of Caho and the two went at it for the remainder of the race. Caho was working the high groove and Sernett would move underneath in the corners. On the last lap, Sernett made a low move into three and the two raced out of four for the checkers, Caho had the momentum and beat Sernett to the flags by less than a car length. Brandon Geldner of Mankato finished third.
The Creek Stock feature was a two-parter as they were the first and last feature of the night. They started out as the first event with Justin Hedtke of Atwater in the lead and heat race winner, Brandon Schultz of Grove City second. On lap five, Gary "the gasman" Husmann slapped the wall in turn four, breaking an axle and bringing out the yellow flag. On the restart, there was a hard crash in turn three as Andy Merkins of Hutchinson and Mike Christensen also of Hutchinson hooked bumpers going into the turn. This caused both cars to crash into the tires and barriers. Christensen's car nosed straight up in the air and rolled over as it landed. The car landed on it's wheels when it came to a stop. Merkins car came to an immediate stop as he knocked over one of the heavy barriers. When officials arrived on the scene, Christensen was getting out of the car and shaking off the cobwebs while Merkins was in his car holding his ribs and complaining of neck pain. The race was red flagged while Merkins was extracted from his car and sent to the hospital for examination. He was treated and released. After the long delay, it was decided that the Creek Stocks would finish their race at the end of the show. When the race was restarted, Brandon Schultz was the leader but Travis Forcier of Silver Lake and Greg Forcier of Buffalo Lake got by and battled for the lead. Greg Forcier had a tire go down and Dave Henderson of Monticello quietly moved into second. With Zack and Brandon Schultz of Grove City duking it out for third. In the end, it was Forcier with his first win of the year followed by Henderson and Zack Schultz.