Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A-Train Derails Competition In Cresco

The United States Modified Touring Series made it's second stop of the season at the Cresco Speedway on Tuesday, August 4. Last night would also see the weekly classes of competition on hand as well as NASCAR personalities Kenny Wallace and Michael Waltrip. Wallace would race throughout the night while Waltrip got behind the wheel of Layne Meyer's car for a special dash race with Wallace and USMTS regular Kelly Shryock before the show started. Of course time was also taken for fans to get autographs from the two.

The first feature to take to the track after track prep would be the USRA hobby stocks. Seventeen cars were set to race fifteen laps in which Chris Hovden bolted out to the lead from the pole. Two early yellows kept the field close, but things got spread out after that as every car was running the preferred low groove. The track appeared to be a little slimy yet at that point, but Chris Hovden held Brandon Hare behind him throughout the race to take home the win. Brandon Hare finished a close second, Dan Hovden third, Mitch Hovden fourth (driving Steve Holthaus' car), and Dan Sacquitne rounded out the top five. The track announcer stated that Holthaus is recovering from a shoulder injury. Hopefully that's nothing too serious and he'll return to the track in the near future.

1. 70 Chris Hovden
2. 56H Brandon Hare
3. 16 Dan Hovden
4. 70H Mitch Hovden
5. 18 Scott Spilde
6. 18 Scott Spilde
7. 98 Kyle Anderson
8. 9 Mark Lewis
9. 71 Adam Cline
10. 5K Keith Schwartzhoff
11. 01 Kory Adams
12. 24 Randy Banks
13. 7K Andy Stinson
14. 62 Sergey Zhiganov
15. 101 Bernie Adams
16. 88 Robert Anderson
17. 17x Bruce Gerlemen
18. 34 Chris Dahl

In a rare change of events, the USMTS modified feature would be run next. Al Hejna and Kelly Shryock were the lucky recipients of the redraw as they paced the field to Michael Waltrip's green flag. Hejna would get the early advantage using the low groove. Zach VanderBeek started seventh on the grid, but worked under Ryan Gustin to make his way to the fourth spot. The field spread out and primarily used the bottom side of the speedway. Some of the cars at the back began to use the top side as Hejna closed in on their rear bumpers.

Hejna was able to use both lanes of racing to maneuver his way through the slower cars to maintain his six car-length advantage. Ryan Gustin used the lapped traffic to sneak under both Zach VanderBeek and Jason Krohn to slide into the third spot. Gustin, Monday night's winner in Fort Dodge, had too much ground to make up by that time. Shryock appeared to close the gap a little late in the race, but Al Hejna would take home the caution-free win. Kelly Shryock was second, Ryan Gustin third, Jason Krohn fourth, and Zach VanderBeek completed the top five. As mentioned, the race was run without a caution for 40 laps! The PA system went out at the start of the race as they were playing "God Bless the USA", a tradition at USMTS races. Officials got it fixed during the bmod feature.

1. 7 Al Hejna
2. 3 Kelly Shryock
3. 19R Ryan Gustin
4. 7K Jason Krohn
5. 33z Zach VanderBeek
6. 3D Tim Donlinger
7. 4R Dereck Ramirez
8. 90 Steve Wetstein
9. 65 Tommy Myer
10. 14 Jon Tesch
11. 18 Michael Long
12. 49 Bob Timm
13. 5w Darrin Walch
14. 29D Brad Diercks
15. 36 Kenny Wallace
16. 66 Dan Bohr
17. 27M Mark Schulte
18. 35 Jeff Schluetter
19. 2 Grant Junghans
20. 18 Chase Junghans
21. 55 Brian Shaw
22. 27s Jason Schlangen
23. 72 Doug Hillson
24. 12H Mike Hansen - DNS

The USRA bmods hit the track next for their feature. Seventeen cars took the green flag that saw Eric Verthein race to the lead again from the pole. Thus far all pole sitters were victorious in their respective races, so Verthein was hoping the trend would continue.

A caution came out on lap five when Brian Lund's machine spun to a stop. By that time Ben Moudry had raced his way from eleventh to the top five. Up front Jimmy Broszeit was applying pressure to Verthein, but the caution would again wave as Lund and Justin Lewis got tangled up on the inside of turn two. After another caution, 13-year old driver Tyler Droste used the outside line to make the pass to climb into the top five. Droste would advance one more spot before the checkers waved as he passed Matt Jones on the outside. Eric Verthein would hold on to take the win followed by Jimmy Broszeit, Shane Panos, Tyler Droste, and Matt Jones.

1. 16 Eric Verthein
2. 88x Jimmy Broszeit
3. 58 Shane Panos
4. 92 Tyler Drose
5. 23 Matt Jones
6. 7 Brian Freilinger
7. 14 Brian Schrage
8. 14M Brain Mahlstadt
9. 18J Mike Jaeger
10. 32 Dan Felthus
11. 19 Brandon Hare
12. 12B Paul Brandenburg
13. 44 Justin Lewis
14. 95 Josh Gesell
15. 82 Chris Fretheim
16. 85 Ben Moudry
17. 44L Brian Lund

The final event of the night would be the USRA stock cars. Kurt Krauskopf jumped out front early on from outside the front row, but the pace slowed early as Shawn Peter drove in a little too hard and made contact with Kyle Falck. A couple other cars got collected as well, but most of them were able to continue. Tom Schmitt drove his car to the outside and was passing for the fourth spot before the yellow waved again.

Schmitt would work the inside on the restart and make his way to third while Kyle Falck was making up ground from the tail on the top side as he made his way back into the top ten. Shortly thereafter, Schmitt would coast to a stop on the exit of turn four to end his night. Tory Reicks made the pass on Krauskopf on the restart, but all eyes were focused on Brian Gjere as he set sail on the cushion. Gjere drove from fifth to second in a matter of two laps and quickly closed in on Reicks until the red flag came out when Kevin Bidne's car got sideways, caught a rut, and over he went. Bidne would be okay, and that would set up a three-lap sprint to the checkers. A rare single file restart was used, but Gjere was unable to get his momentum back as Tory Reicks took home the win. Brian Gjere was second, Kevin Donlan third, Shawn Peter fourth, and Jake Ludeking rounded out the top five. Ironically Reicks, Gjere, and Donlan finished that way in the first stock car heat race.

1. 27T Tory Reicks
2. 23 Brian Gjere
3. 33 Kevin Donlan
4. 27 Shawn Peter
5. 69 Jake Ludeking
6. 20E Emery Fretheim
7. 67 Kyle Falck
8. 42 Dan Christopher
9. 37 Loren Kuennen
10. 121G Arlen Hoy
11. 97 Lynn Panos
12. 11 Jake Lampert
13. 60 Kurt Krauskopf
14. 48 Casey Sebastian
15. 62 Kevin Bidne
16. 18 Tom Schmitt
17. 83 Rod Rema
18. 40 Austin Curtin
19. 5 Mike Bergan
20. 11x Shay Curtin

Races were completed at 11:10pm, a little lengthy for a Tuesday night. Perhaps that's why the USMTS was run earlier in the program. The grandstand was jam-packed with fans as they came out to not only see the races, but Wallace and Waltrip. It was announced that the only other race to be held at Cresco would be the IMCA Deery Brothers late model race on Tuesday, August 25th.

The USMTS warriors travel south tonight to the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. Jason Hughes picked up the win earlier in the season while local favorite Brad Pinkerton won both races last year. After Osky, the USMTS will travel across the border to Knoxville, Illinois for that annual event. They have a day off Friday before venturing to Moberly, Missouri Saturday.

- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!!

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