posted May 21, 2002 12:18 PM
Grove Creek Opens With Great Racing
by Greg Johnson
GROVE CITY, MN – The 2002 racing season at Grove Creek Raceway kicked off Saturday night on a cool but pleasant evening. Excellent competition in each feature gave the fans a good show as many enjoyed some of the new aluminum seats. Fans also had the opportunity to qualify for the Viva Las Vegas Getaway, which will be given away on the last night of racing. Each week the feature winners will draw a lucky name out of a box and the name drawn will be in the running for a trip for two to Las Vegas. The promotion is sponsored in part by World Travel of Hutchinson and includes airfare, a three-night stay at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, A Richard Petty Ride-along experience with merchandise and more.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds raced hard and gave the fans some thrills. Heat race winner Dustin Johanneck of Watkins took the initial lead from his pole position with everyone scrambling for position behind him. Gene Witte of Hector moved into the second position on lap eight and started working on the rookie for the lead. Two laps later, Witte passed Johanneck on the backstretch and led the rest of the way for the win. Chuck Chesler of St. Francis followed Witte to the stripe with Jim Merkins of Hutchinson a close third and Johanneck ended up fourth
Dustin Zieske of Danube took the WISSOTA Mod-Four main. Zieske scored a clean sweep on the night. Patrick Schneider of Bemidji ran in the second spot for eight laps, that’s when Steve Johnson of Alexandria moved into the position. Johnson was trying to track down the speedy Zieske, but couldn’t quite close the gap. Zieske nails the win with Johnson second and Schneider third. Fourth went to Brandon Willard of Cold Spring.
There was some very good racing in the WISSOTA Street Stock feature. Doug Frederick of Big Lake led the entire race for the win but Charlie Novak of Ham Lake gave close chase. Heat race number two winner, Tim Juven of Delano was in the mix also as the streeters circled the banks of the Creek. Frederick held off the challenges and took home the opening night trophy with Novak second and Juven third.
Chris Groth of Plymouth showed why he was the Grove Creek Super Stock champion for 2001 as he blasted off to lead the entire race and notch a clean sweep for the night. Groth had the #11 hooked up and flying as others battled for position behind him. Chuck Thieschafer of Long Prairie was the closest competitor at about one or two car lengths behind Groth. A few positions back, a good race was going on between Pete Loftis of Pillager, Greg Bent of Litchfield and Steve Beach of Long Prairie. In the end, it was Groth followed by Thieschafer, Bent, Beach and Loftis.
The Creek Stocks put on a very entertaining show also as they raced side-by-side for their feature. Cary Schultz of Grove City was the winner but had a bumper full of Atwater’s Joe Hoekstra at the finish line. Hoekstra started on the pole and shot to the lead with Schultz starting in the eight spot. Hoekstra led the first ten laps as Schultz worked his way through the pack and closed in on the leader. On lap eleven, Schultz made his move and squeaked by Hoekstra for the top spot. The two ran bumper-to-bumper to the finish. Third place went to Dave Henderson of Monticello and Tony Herker of Kingston was fourth