BY MICHAEL H. BABICZ & JORDAN MORRIS
WILMOT, Wis. – June 15, 2014 – Rick Eckert didn’t wait long after securing his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory on two nights earlier on Friday at Cedar Lake Speedway in Somerset as the York, Pa. driver followed it up leading flag-to-flag in the 40-lap United Midwest Promoters (UMP) late model feature on Sunday, June 15 in a special Father’s Day evening event at Wilmot(Wis.) Raceway.
A pair of local drivers with Antioch, Ill. connections picked up support class feature wins. Scott Kuxhouse of Antioch led wire to wire in the 20-lap modified main to make his first appearance in victory lane since 2012.
Rob Maule of Hebron, driving for Antioch’s Tom Homan Family Racing, overcame numerous cautions to win the 20-lap street stock feature.
Eckert, started from the pole position with Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, IL on his outside. The 2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion racing the defending series champion’s Rocket Chassis car, Eckert held off Unzicker on the initial start and after two early cautions.
After a third and final caution, Eckert was able to take advantage when a hard-charging Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, IL, coming from his ninth-place starting position, challenged Unzicker for second. Babb cleared Unzicker, but Eckert was already out to a sizeable lead. Eckert took the checkered over Babb by more than one second, capturing his second checkered flag in as many events.
“Anytime I get to race is fun, and I love racing tracks that I’ve never been to,” said an excited Eckert in victory lane. “We were only going to hit a handful [of events] but now every day I get in the truck, I go wherever they set the GPS to, and they’ve been setting it for the next track. So we will probably see us at the next one.”
Unzicker, Brian Shirley of Chatham, IL and Mike Spatola of Manhattan, IL rounded out the top five.
“This is a great way to enjoy Father’s Day,” said Kuxhouse, who received a congratulatory wave from his son, 19-year-old Cameron, also of Antioch, who finished eighth in the modified feature won by his father. “It’s been a long time and to have Cameron on the track with me, it’s really special.”
Mike Learman Jr. of Woodstock, Illinois edged out reigning champion Chris Carlson of Union Grove for third. Carlson had battled Kuxhouse several laps during the middle of the race, drawing even on a number of occasions but never able to clear him.
Nick Simons of Genoa City was fourth, Eagle’s Steve Mueller fifth, Greenfield’s Taylor Scheffler sixth, Waukesha’s Phil Rehberg seventh, Cameron Kuxhouse eighth, Mike Simons of Genoa City ninth and Bristol’s John Dost tenth.
“This was fun but they’re not getting any easier,” said Maule following his fourth feature win of the season and third in a row in the street stocks. “Tom(Homan) and the team give me a great car that is really fun to drive.”
Maule was the fourth different leader in the earlier going of the feature as the front pack hotly contested for the top spot, several times getting three and even four wide. Maule held off a hard charging Chuck Pinkalla of Racine for the win.
Bristol’s Dustin Richards was third, Cod Erickson of Algonquin, Illinois fourth, Trent Andersen of Antioch fifth, D.J. Hacker of Winthrop Harbor, Illinois sixth, Dustin Kroening of Wonder Lake, Illinois seventh, Trevor’s John Carella eighth, Silver Lake’s Gerry Stollenwerk ninth and Erin Pusateri tenth.
Wilmot Raceway hosts its 1st Annual Interstate Racing Association(IRA) Founders Night on Saturday, June 21 featuring the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series. Joining the traveling sprint car warriors as they return to their original home track and the birthplace of sprint car racing in Wisconsin are the modifieds, Wisconsin-Illinois Mini-Sprints plus the street stocks. Grandstands open at 5 p.m. with racing scheduled for 7 p.m. Special pre-event festivities recognizing the three founders of the IRA, Ray Toft of Trevor, formerly Mayor of Antioch, Illinois; Whitey Harris of St. Germaine, formerly of Lake Villa, Illinois, and the late Junior Dodd of Beach Park.
Wilmot Raceway is a one-third mile clay oval located on the Kenosha County Fairgrounds in Wilmot, Wis. For updated information check the trackside web site www.wilmotraceway.com.
SUMMARY – WILMOT RACEWAY, WILMOT, WIS. – SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014
DIRTcar SUMMER NATIONALS LATE MODELS:
40-LAP FEATURE: 1-Rick Eckert, York, Pa.; ($5,000), 2. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, IL; 3. Ryan Unzicker, El Paso, IL; 4. Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL; 5. Mike Spatola, Manhattan, IL; 6. Gregg Satterllee, Indiana, PA; 7. Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL; 8. Tanner English, Benton, KY; 9. Scott Schmitt, Tonica, IL; 10. Mitch McGrath, Waukesha, WI; 11. Billy Moyer Jr, Batesville, Arkansas; 12. Jason Riggs, Harrisburg, IL; 13. Gary Christian, Broken Bow, OK; 14. Jim Moon, New Florence, MO; 15. Jim Letizia, Milwaukee, WI; 16. Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL; 17. Bill Rezutek, Big Bend, WI; 18. Mike Fryer, Freeport, IL; 19. Rich Bell, Sheffield, IL.
10-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Eckert, Unzicker, Brandon Sheppard.
MODIFIEDS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Scott Kuxhouse, Antioch, IL; 2. Mike Learman Jr., Woodstock, IL; 3. Chris Carlson, Union Grove; 4. Nick Simons, Genoa City; 5. Steve Mueller, Eagle; 6. Taylor Scheffler, Greenfield; 7. Phil Rehberg, Waukesha; 8. Cameron Kuxhouse, Antioch; 9. Mike Simons, Genoa City; 10. John Dost, Bristol; 11. Joel Crowbridge, Burlington; 12. Scott Barnharst, Franklin; 13. David Wirth, Milwaukee; 14. Scott Crowbridge, Burlington; 15. Jimmy Morrison, Antioch; 16. Mike Sullivan, Burlington; 17. Marc Caswell, West Allis; 18. Dave Jaeger, Richfield; 19. Mike Conn, Big Bend; 20. Jeff Bodendorfer, Waterford; 21. Bart Sievert, West Allis.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: S. Kuxhouse; Rehberg; J. Crowbridge.
STREET STOCKS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Rob Maule, Hebron, IL; 2. Chuck Pinkalla, Racine; 3. Dustin Richards, Bristol; 4. Cody Erickson, Algonquin, IL; 5. Trent Andersen, Antioch; 6. D.J. Hacker, Winthrop Harbor, IL; 7. Dustin Kroening, Wonder Lake, IL; 8. John Canella, Trevor; 9. Gerry Stollenwerk, Silver Lake; 10. Erin Pusateri, Johnsburg, IL; 11. Cody Potter, Genoa City; 12. Scott Eggebrecht, Crystal Lake, IL; 13. Carl Sturt, Wadsworth, IL; 14. Brandon Mertes, Antioch; 15. Jason Condrad, Burlington; 16. John Janssen, Genoa City; 17. David Jones, North Chicago, IL
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Condrad; Maule.