SEYMOUR, APRIL 4 – The 2015 racing season is officially underway.
A busy holiday weekend, the Badgers playing in the Final Four and a blustery wind did not deter a hearty group of racing starved fans and a field of 88 cars from opening the 2015 racing season in Northeastern Wisconsin Saturday afternoon at the Seymour Speedway.
N.E.W. DIRT kicked off its 32nd season at the 1/3 mile banked clay oval with a strong field of cars in six divisions. A smooth, fast track that ran 135 feature laps with only three cautions during the afternoon.
The IMCA SportMods opened the feature portion of the day with defending champion, Jeremy Cota drawing the pole and grabbing the lead at the start. A pair of cautions, 2 of the 3 for the day, bunched the field on laps 6 and 7. Cota again took control with rookie Tom Schneider, Mike Dauphinais, Doug Maurer, Jordan Bartz and Cody Schroeder behind.
Cota remained at the front for the rest of the race and collected his first feature win of the season, with Schneider having a great division debut taking the runner-up spot. Maurer was able to wrestle third from Dauphinais with Bill Edler and Bartz rounding out the top six.
Josh McDonald led the opening lap of the Street Stock main before Jordan Kurtti moved from sixth into the top spot on lap 2. Kurtti opened a lead on the field with the battle behind. Scott Boulanger worked his way into the runner-up spot on lap 7 with Logan Schmeck and defending track champion Ryan Blank moving up on lap 8. After the mid-point of the race, Kurtti was still in front while the race for second developed into quite a battle. Boulanger was hounded by Schmeck, with Blank, Ryan Glembin and McDonakd behind.
Schmeck finally moved into second with five laps left with Blank and Glembin also getting by Boulanger. The lone caution of the race, and final one for the day, slowed the pace with 2 laps remaining. Kurtti was still the leader, but a flat tire forced Schmeck to pit lane moving Blank to second. Glembin, McDonald and Jeff Jungwirth were now lined up for the 2 lap dash.
Kurtti was able to hold off all challengers to collect his first win at Seymour Speedway, in his first time at the track. Blank took second with Jungwirth in third. Jason Jensen, Glembin and McDonald rounded out the top six.
The Budweiser IMCA Modifieds took the track next with Eric Scribner shooting from the outside pole and set the car on cruise. Konner Wilinski, Beatle Bailey, T.J. Smith and Chad Bartel bunched in a race-long battle for second. By halfway, Scribner was a ½-lap ahead on the second place race with Bailey, Wilinski, Smith and Bartel still running for second and joined by Jamie Schmidt.
Scribner continued to run alone working lapped traffic and collected his first Seymour feature win since May 6, 2007. The battle for second raged with Schmidt able to overtake Bailey on the final lap to take the runner-up spot. Bailey ran to his best finish ever at Seymour in third. Wilinski won the battle with Smith to take fourth and Jerry Wilinski posted the sixth place finish.
The WDLMA Late Models took to the track for a 35 lap headliner with Nick Anvelink taking the green from the pole and took off from the field. Bret Swedberg took second with Mitch McGrath, David Fieber and Joel Bennett behind.
McGrath moved up to Swedberg after several laps and started working on the position. Bennett was moving up on the pair and wrestled his way into third and closed the gap on Swedberg. Over the final 10 laps the battle was for 2nd to 5th. Fieber moved by McGrath for 4th, and closed in on Bennett and Swedberg. Fieber moved into third with 5 laps left and was able to take over the runner-up spot with a couple laps left. Anvelink was enjoying a huge lead and the race ended before Fieber could think about mounting a challenge. Anvelink took his first feature win of the season with Fieber taking the runner-up spot. Swedberg held on to take third with Bennett right behind in fourth. McGrath took fifth with Rob Krull rounding out the top six.
The Coors Light IMCA Stock Cars never disappoint at Seymour and opened the season with a dandy non-stop feature. John Heinz drew the pole and took the lead at the start with Travis Van Straten, Billy LeMieux, Rick Lemmens and Mike Schmidt behind. Heinz opened a lead over the early laps, but by the mid-point, the field had closed in with Schmidt now in second, followed by Van Straten, LeMieux, Kyle Frederick and Lemmens. The top six ran under a blanket at the front with Heinz maintaining the lead.
Positions changed between the next five on every lap with Frederick finally getting the car to work low and was challenging for the lead. Over the final 5 laps, Frederick continued to hound the leader, trying to get alongside, but Heinz was able to hold off all charges and picked up his first feature win of the season and his first at Seymour since Aug. 19, 2013.
Frederick took the runner-up spot with Schmidt in third. Rod Snellenberger came from the rear of the field to place 4th over Van Straten with Lemmens rounding out the top six.
Christopher Maas set the pace for the first 2 laps of the 4 Cylinder finale einz opened a lead over the early laps but by mid race, the field was closing in with Schmidt taking over the runner up spot with Evan Beattie, Shaun Bangart, Kasey Gross, and Tyler Wendt behind. Gross hooked up on the outside and moved into the lead on lap 3 with Bangart following into second.
Bangart hounded the leader for the next 8 laps, finally getting by on the inside to take the lead on lap 12. Gross switched to the inside lap for the final 3 laps but Bangert held on to win his first ever Seymour Speedway feature. Gross took the runner up spot with Beattie running a solid race to finish third. Jason Fairbank made a run over the final 5 laps to take fifth and Tyler Hungerford worked through traffic to round out the top six.
Racing returns Saturday, April 11 for another afternoon program featuring the Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Coors Light IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Sport Mods, Street Stocks and 4 Cylinders. This will be a regular racing program with racing at 1 PM. The IMCA divisions will again run for state and national points.
The first regular season point race will take place when racing returns to the regular Sunday night slot on April 19 with racing at 5:30 PM.
BUDWEISER IMCA MODIFIEDS
20 Lap Feature: 1. Eric Scribner, Keil 2. Jamie Schmidt, Seymour 3. Beatle Bailey, Argonne 4. Konner Wilinski, Seymour 5. T.J. Smith, Menasha 6. Jerry Wilinski, Seymour.
8 Lap Heats: First 1. Jerry Wilinski 2, Scribner
Second 1. Chad Bartel, Shiocton 2, Bailey
COORS LIGHT IMCA STOCK CARS
20 Lap Feature: 1. John Heinz, Green Bay 2. Kyle Frederick, Gillett 3. Mike Schmidt, Shawano 4. Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski 5, Travis Van Straten, Hortonville 6. Luke Lemmens, Milwaukee
8 Lap Heats: First 1. Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay Schmidt
Second 1. Van Straten 2. Heinz
IMCA SPORT MOD
20 Lap Feature: 1. Jeremy Cota, Oconto 2. Tom Schneider, Chilton 3. Doug Maurer, DePere 4. Mike Dauphinais, Green Bay 5. Bill Edler, Sheboygan 6. Jordan Bartz, Shawano
8 Lap Heats: First 1. Cody Schroeder, Green Bay 2. Jared Van Laanen, Green Bay
Second 1. Cota 2, Edler
20 Lap Feature: 1. Jordan Kurtti, Bruce Crossing 2. Ryan Blank, Greenville 3. Jeff Jungwirth, Oshkosh 4. Jason Jensen, Eagle River 5. Ryan Glembin, Eagle River 6. Josh McDonald, Hilbert
8 Lap Heats: First 1. Logan Schmeck, Greenville 2, Patrick Rossmann, Wadsworth, Il
Second 1. Scott Boulanger, Luxemburg 2. Jungwirth
15 Lap Feature: 1. Shaun Bangart, Chilton 2. Kasey Gross, Gleason 3. Chris Maas, Oakfield 4. Evan Beattie, Little Chute 5. Jason Fairbank, Van Dyne 6. Tyler Hungerford, Freedom
8 Lap Heats: First 1. Tyler Wendt, Shawano 2. Ben Meyerhofer, Kaukauna
Second 1. Bangart 2, Gross
WDLMA LATE MODELS
35 Lap Feature: 1. Nick Anvelink, Navarino 2. Dave Fieber, Oshkosh 3. Bret Swedberg, Shawano 4. Joel Bennett, Hortonville 5, Mitch McGrath, Waukesha 6. Rob Krull, Shawano
10 Lap Heats: First 1. Swedberg 2. T.J. Dolhun, Milwaukee
Second 1. Fieber 2. McGrath