posted August 12, 2002 06:10 PM
WILLIS WINS STREETS, NELSON NIPS SUPERS, SCHULTZ, JORDAN AND JOHNSON ALSO TAKE GROVE CREEK CHECKERS.
BY JEFF BRUHN
GROVE CITY, MN – After Mother Nature forced cancellations of the past 2 weeks of racing with midday and evening showers, Grove Creek Raceway was blessed with a beautiful night, a good crowd and a healthy field of cars as the total hit 93 in the pits.
The race night was complete with the return of Karl Erickson to the track. Karl is the track worker who was injured earlier this season. Erickson thanked the crowd, drivers and staff of the tracks in the midwest for all of their financial and spiritual support. Karl continues to recover at home, but hopes to be on hand to watch a few races yet this year.
The Creek stocks were first to the track with Brandon Schultz of Grove City, Tony Herker of Kingston, and Monticello’s Dave Henderson picking up heat race wins. In the feature, current point leader and recent 40th birthday boy, Cary Schultz took off from the inside pole to lead from flag to flag and pick up the win. Dave Henderson, the Rapid Performance ‘Driver of the Week’, went around Jeremy Chastek on the 3rd lap to finish 2nd. Herker finished 3rd with Greg Forcier of Buffalo Lake, having a great run to finish 4th. Jim Schugel of New Ulm, rounded out the top 5.
In the WISSOTA Mod 4 feature, 14 cars took to the starting grid with Mark Thompson of Willmar and Mark Peterson of Atwater on the front row. Thompson who has been running hard of late, led the first five laps with Peterson right behind and Steve Johnson on his tail as they raced multiple grooves to get the advantage. Johnson was in the right position as Thompson slipped high in turn one. Johnson dove to the inside to take the lead and the win as the race went caution free. Peterson went by Thompson a couple of laps later only to have Thompson return the favor. Ken Hron worked his way through the pack to finish 3rd with Matt Halls on New London 4th and Cold Spring native Brandon Willard 5th.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks have been a very competitive and entertaining class this year at the CREEK and Saturday was no exception. Robby Willis of Willmar, and current point leader Shane Smetana, sat on row one. Willis jumped to the lead with Smetana, Tim Juven and Chad Walz all in hot pursuit. The yellow came out on lap 7 with a spin by Jay Hedtke of Atwater. With the field once again on the back bumper of Willis, Smetana looked to the inside of Willis to make the pass and try to bring home the hardware in front of visiting out-of-state family. But Willis proved too strong as the two of them raced clean side-by-side, lap after lap. Steve Polich was picking off cars left and right in his D1RT car. Polich started 12th and had caught Smetana. Polich and Smetana made contact several times down the backstretch. The two wrestled for position before Polich made his way to the 2nd spot. Smetana didn’t give up the fight however as he regained the spot on the next lap as Polich got loose coming out of turn 4. Willis picked up the win with Frank Zeuli of Hutchinson finishing an impressive 2nd, Jim Martinson from Cokato was 3rd. Jay Hedtke came from the 16th spot to finish 4th, with Smetana 5th.
In the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Chuck Chesler led the entire consi to move to the A-Main. In the main, Trent Jordan of Brainerd, came in and made himself at home as he handled the stout field with no problem. Jordan had some pressure from Tom Chrest of Ramsey, Chrest however couldn’t make a move on the leader and finished in the runner-up spot. Corey Koenig was coming hard but had to settle for the third spot. Current WISSOTA national point leader George Sniezek came from the 9th spot to finish 4th and Barrett Anders of Litchfield, had a nice run for a top 5 finish.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks had their share of problems getting the race started, as all of the drivers were anxious to put the power to the track. The third time was the charm as the supers completed the lap in fine fashion, at times three and four wide with continuous door-to-door racing. The 28 of Steve Beach continued his misfortune when his Eagle Motorsports machine had mechanical failure in the middle of the field causing everyone to take evasive action. Many of the drivers checked up at the same time and received some damage in the process. Dustin Nelson led from start to finish to pick up the win. Chris Groth in car #11 finished 2nd after an entertaining tussle with Greg Bent. Bent’s car was hooked up on the topside with plenty of power as Groth worked the inside. Bent finished 3rd with Greg Boje 4th and Tom Chrest 5th.
The WISSOTA August Heat Sprint Series is at the Creek on Tuesday August 13, 2002. Look for all of the results and more, on the website at www.grovecreek.com