By: Dave Panske
(Seymour – May 25) – With the weather perfect for the big Memorial Day weekend, the Seymour Speedway promised a big program for the first leg of the 2014 Summer Holiday Classic Series sponsored by Victory Sign.
A strong field of 144 cars, including 29 Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, 26 Coors Light IMCA Stock Cars, 15 Turbo Blue Street Stocks, 30 IMCA Sport Mods, 21 4 Cylinders and 23 traveled in with the WDLMA Late Models. A great crowd enjoyed the nights 3 and 4 wide action on the smooth fast 1/3 mile clay oval.
The Budweiser IMCA Modifieds took the track first with an opening lap caution, but then clicked off 20 straight feature laps. Tyler Wilson claimed the lead first followed by Matt Drawenek, John Berna, Brad Lautenbach and Chad Bartel. Bartel hooked up and moved to the front behind Wilson on lap 4 and after a couple side by side laps, took the inside slot to the lead on lap 8. Once in the lead, Bartel started to pull away from the rest of the field. Wilson was left to defend the runner up spot as Lautenbach, Mike Mullen, Eric Mahlik and Marcus Yarie moved behind. The top 3 strung out a bit leaving the real battle for 4th place.
Bartel cruised to his first feature win of the season with Lautenbach and Mullen making the top 3. Yarie won the battle for 4th holding off Mahlik and Brian Mullen.
The Coors Light IMCA Stock Cars were up next with Travis Springstroh leading the opening lap. Making a quick move to the outside, three and four wide on the opening lap, Brandon Czarapata moved from the 12th starting spot into the lead on lap 2 before the lone caution of the race appeared.
Czarapata quickly took control after the restart and left little doubt who the winner would be, extending a lead to the finish.
There was plenty of action for second as Kyle Frederick, John Heinz, Jeremy Wiitala, Springstroh and Rod Snellenberger double and tripled up behind. After starting 16th, Barry Van Straten was in perfect rhythm and worked his way into the fray by lap 10. Over the final half of the race, Van Straten was able to battle through the front runners to third on lap 13, and set out to catch Frederick for second.
Czarapata ran off to collect not only his third straight feature win this season, but, his 100th career IMCA Stock Car feature win. It was also number 34 on the all time Seymour win list, having earned 1/3 of his career total at the Seymour Speedway.
Van Straten was able to catch Frederick over the final couple laps, but settled for the third place finish. Heinz, Snellenberger and Justin Jacobsen made the top six.
The WDLMA Late Models were up next with 20 cars on the grid. Nick Anvelink drew the 2nd starting spot and powered into the lead, quickly sprinting ahead of the field. Mitch McGrath hooked up in second, but saw Anvelink slowly pull ahead until running into lapped traffic on lap 6. Anvelink had to pick his way through which allowed McGrath to charge forward and start to quickly close the gap.
A caution on lap 12 bunched the field, but with the lapped cars holding their running order, Anvelink was able to open the lead again before McGrath got clear and set out again to catch the leader. A second and final caution a couple laps later gave McGrath an open shot but Anvelink again pulled away and claimed the victory with McGrath in second. The race for third was tight throughout the contest with Jim Schmidt, Bret Swedberg, Tim Buhler and Ron Berna mixing it up. Schmidt held off a hard charging Swedberg over the final laps to get the third place finish. Buhler took 5th ahead of Berna.
Aaron Muhle jumped from the pole into the lead of the IMCA Sport Mod main with Jordan Tuyls, Bruce Belland, Jessi Ness, Zach McKinnon and Kevin Bethke behind. The front runners stayed bunched over the first few laps with the rest of the pack separating a bit behind. Tracy Wassenberg found the outside to his liking and enter the top five on lap 6, moved into third on lap 8 and set out after Belland. It took to lap 11 to wrestle the runner up spot away and move up behind Muhle for the lead. Wassenberg swept into the top spot on lap 14 and started to open a lead on the field. A lone caution appeared on lap 18 setting up a 2 lap dash. Wassenberg was in control but had Muhle, Belland, Tuyls, Steve Schneider and Robby Theil behind.
Wassenberg was able to run off the last 2 laps to collect his first feature win here this season. Muhle took the second spot over Tuyls. But, in post race inspection, Tuyls was DQ’d, moving Schneider up a spot to third putting Belland in fourth place. Jeremy Cota came from deep in the field to take fifth with Forstner also coming through the consy to round out the top six.
Justin Lindner took charge of the Turbo Blue Street Stock main event with Alan Schlueter, Jeff Jungwirth, Lexi Ashcraft and Ryan Blank taking up behind. Schlueter hooked up on the outside and moved into the lead on lap 5, just before a lone caution for debris.
A spirited battle for the lead developed after the restart. Schlueter again took the high line with Jungwirth making a charge inside. After a couple laps, Schluetert took the inside line and force Junwirth outside. On lap 12, Jungwirth was able to move into the lead, but could not shake Schlueter as they drove away from the pack. Jungwith was able to hold off Schlueter for his first ever Seymour feature victory. A tight battle over the final ½ of the race for third was decided with Jon Ashcraft charging on the outside to take the third place finish. Jerry Winkler faded back over the final coule laps to place fourth. Jeff Vandenbereg and Lindner rounded out the top six.
The 4 Cylinder feature was an anybodys race from the start with a pack of 6 cars running for the lead throughout the contest. Trevor Spaulding and Taylor Becher swapped the lead back and forth between slipping back to 3rd or 4th at times. Brain Johnson, Brandon Kaye, Cody Hungerford, Harley Diedrick and Brad Wedde also swapped spots.
By lap 10, Wedde had worked his way into the runner up spot and one lap later took the lead from Becher. A lone caution on lap 12 set up a 3 lap dash with the entire pack behind the leader.
Wedde was able to hold everyone a bay to collect his second feature win of the season. Johnson was able to take the second place finish. Ralph Liegeois, Jr took third with Cody Hungerford in fourth. Kaye, Becher rounded out the top six.
The second leg of the Summer Holiday Classic Series will be held on Sunday June 29 at the Seymour Speedway.
BUDWEISER IMCA MODIFIEDS
20 Lap Feature l. Chad Bartel 2., Brad Lautenbach 3. Mike Mullen 4. Marcus Yarie 5. Eric Mahlik 6. Brian Mullen
12 Lap Consy l. Josh Long 2. Jamie Schmidt 3. Eric Arneson 4. Jerry Wilinski
8 Lap Heats First l. Travis Spaulding 2. Matt Drawenek
Second l. Lautenbach 2. Tyler Wilson
Third l. John Berna 2. Bartel
COORS LIGHT IMCA STOCK CARS
20 Lap Feature l. Brandon Czarapata 2. Kyle Frederick 3. Barry Van Straten 4. John Heinz Rod Snellenberger 6, Justin Jacobsen
12 Lap Consy 1. Barry Van Straten 2. Mike Coel 3, Harley Simon 4. Kevin Hebbe
8 Lap Heats First l. Heinz 2. Jake Lunderby
Second l. Frederick 2. Jacobsen
Third l. Czarapata 2. Josh Mroczkowski
WDLMA LATE MODELS
30 Lap Feature 1. Nick Anvelnik 2. Mitch McGrath 3. Jim Schmidt 4. Bret Swedberg 5. Tim Buhler 6. Ron Berna
12 Lap Consy l. Joe Reuter 2. Tim Rothe 3. Derek Janke 4. Jim Jueneau
10 Lap Heats First l. Swedberg 2. Schmidt
Second l. Anvelink 2., Berna
Third l. McGrath 2. Buhler
TURBO BLUE STREET STOCKS
20 Lap Feature l. Jeff Jungwirth 2. Alan Schleuter 3. Jonny Ashcraft 4. Jerry Winkler 5. Jeff Vandenberg 6. Justin Lindner
8 Lap Heats First l. Jungwirth 2. Lexi Ashcraft
Second l. Lindner 2. Winkler
IMCA SPORT MODS
20 Lap feature l. Tracy Wassenberg 2. Aaron Muhle 3. Steve Schneider 4. Bruce Belland 5. Jeremy Cota 6. Clint Forstner
8 Lap Consy First l. Scott Besaw 2. Forstner 3. Logan Fleischman
Second l. Colten Van Hierden 2. Cody Schroeder 3. Beau Handschke
8 Lap Heats First l. Schneider 2. Joey Taycher
Second l. Tuyls 2. Belland
Third l. Robby Theil 2. Zach McKinnon
15 Lap Feature l. Brad Wedde 2. Brian Johnson 3. Ralph Liegeois, Jr 4. Cody Hungerford 5. Brandon Kaye 6. Taylor Becher
8 Lap Heats First l. Tyler Hungerford 2. Johnson
Second l. Liegeois 2. Wedde