posted August 20, 2001 12:06 PM
Walz Wins Midwest Mod Debut at Grove Creek
by Greg Johnson
GROVE CITY, MN -- Driver appreciation night was the theme of the night last Saturday at Grove Creek Raceway. A good grandstand of fans and 115 drivers in the pits made for a full night of action and fun. Drivers took part in a frisbee toss in the grandstand and an autograph session on the front stretch. The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds were part of the program for the first time on a regular Saturday night also.
Considering that many of the drivers were new in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, the feature went of very well. There were a couple yellows of the first lap, but once everyone got straightened out, it was a good race. David Kahl of Hector took the early lead from his pole position start. That lasted until lap three when Lonnie Walz of Hector shot by for the top spot. Heat race winner, George Sniezek of St. Joe, was hunting Walz. Sniezek closed in on Walz and pressured him but Walz remained smooth and was able to take the first win in the new division. Sniezek crossed the stripe second with Dan Murray of Princeton coming in third and Gene Witte of Hector fourth.
Scott Schmit of Princeton shot to the front of the WISSOTA Super Stock feature. Schmit looked strong as he worked the top side of the raceway. Right on his tail were Steve Beach, Chris Groth and Don Eischens. Eischens moved into second at the midpoint of the race and was working on the inside of Schmit with Chris Groth all over Eischens. A lap 13 yellow closed up the field. Lap 14 saw Eischens do his patented slide job on Schmit coming out of turn two and take over the lead. Groth followed as did Ryan Schugel of Clear Lake. Groth couldn't mount a serious challenge with only a lap to go and had to settle for second as Eischens scored another win. Schugel was third with Schmit fourth.
Craig Christiansen of New London had a good night as he brought out the broom for a clean sweep in the WISSOTA Modifieds. Christiansen led all laps for his first Grove creek feature win of the year. Terry Hanson of Elk River chased Christy for most of the race and Jamie Lemke of Hutchinson sliced his way through the pack to close in on the leaders also. With only a couple laps to go, Lemke got by Hanson with his eyes fixed on the 4C car of Christiansen, but Cristy was fast and smooth and took the win. Lemke landed in second with Hanson third.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks put on a good show as Mark Voigt of St. Cloud went right to the front of the pack with Don Barber of New London close behind. Barber took the lead away on lap four but three laps later he lost the handle coming out of turn four and spun to the infield. He kept going but Scott Paulson of Kimball took advantage of the snafu and grabbed the lead. Jon Yilek of Sauk Rapids moved into second but he didn't have what it would take to diffuse the "Missile" and Paulson racked up another win with Yilek second and Roger Christiansen of New London rolled in third. Tim Juven of Delano finished sixth after he barrel-rolled his car in the heat race. Juven went over several times off of turns one and two but was uninjured and was able to put the car together for main.
Leonard Jergenson of Willmar started on the pole and drove his #72 into the lead of the WISSOTA Mod-Four feature. A lap four caution closed up the field and Ryan Canon of St. Michael, who had already worked his way into second, got by Jergenson on the restart. Bryce Bjerke of Argusville ND followed Canon as they circled the high banks of the Creek. Canon kept it to the floor as he marched on to the win. Bjerke came across second with Jergenson third.
Tony Herker of Dassel wasted no time in getting to the front of the pack as he led all laps for the win in the Creek Stock feature. The race clicked off with only one yellow flag in the event. Herker was being chased by Dustin Johanneck of Watkins and a few car lengths behind them, it was a pack of hungry drivers heading for a barbeque! Justin Hedtke, Brandon Schultz, Jim Schugel, Dave Henderson and Jesse Trebil were all running fender to fender. Coming out of turn four for the checkers, there was some contact but rookie driver, Brandon Schultz of Grove City did a great job to save his car and was able cross the line in third. Another rookie, Jesse Trebil of Atwater made a nice move for fourth and Justin Hedtke of Atwater brought home the "Gasman's" #55 car in fifth.