Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Illinois captured the 50-lap Wisconsin Corn Dirt Kings/American Ethanol Series Late Model Tour highlighting Friday, August 17 Kenosha County Fair action at Wilmot Raceway.
Erb Jr. inherited the lead from Brian Shirley with 20 laps to go in the 50-lap Dairyland Duel at Wilmot Raceway, co-sanctioned by the DiscountShopTowels.com Dirt Kings Late Model Tour and the American Ethanol Late Model Tour.
Shirley started the race in third as Ron Berna and Travis Stemler led the field to the green flag. Stemler led the first couple laps, until Shirley made a move to the outside coming out of turn two. Shirley pulled away from the rest of the field and started to catch the tail end of the 24-car pack. Just past the halfway point, Shirley spun with a lapped car coming out of turn two bringing out the first caution of the race.
Erb inherited the lead as Shirley was sent to the rear. Erb paced the field to the green flag with 20 laps remaining. Jared Siefert, Ron Berna, Brandon Thirlby and Spencer Diercks rounded out the top five for the restart.
Caution would slow the field one lap later for another incident on the backstretch. With 19 laps remaining, Erb continued to lead and went on to the inaugural fair win.
Siefert and Berna battled for second place but neither of them were able to mount a challenge to Erb. Siefert took second, with Berna third, followed by Nick Anvelink fourth and Diercks fifth.
Brandon Mertes of Antioch, Illinois won his second 25-lap Tommy Homan Street Stock Special in sponsored by Choppers Bar & Grill of Antioch in as many years. “I have to admit I talked with Tom Homan (Tommy’s father) and told him I was going to win,” Mertes said after belting out a victory lane yelp. “I did it. Two years in a row now. This is special.”
The race is named in memory of Tommy Homan, past Wilmot street stock champion, who passed away from cancer.
Mertes win did not come easy. Cody Potter of Genoa City took the early point from Bristol’s Dustin Richards eight laps into the main. Two laps later following a caution, Potter had power pick up issues coming out of turn two on the restart with Richards retaking the point. Potter and Richards continued battling while Mertes methodically worked his way into contention from his original ninth starting position.
Kenosha’s Craig Kreuser overtook the point with nine laps to go, appearing to be headed toward the win when he spun in front of the field coming out of turn four six laps from the finish. Richards engine blew just after taking the lead, with Potter re-inheriting the top spot keeping it for the next three circuits. Mertes charged into the front three laps from the finish going on to his first main win of the season. Potter held on for second. Pleasant Prairie’s Josh Gehrig third. Nate Coon of Hebron, Illinois fourth. Muskego’s Courtney Atkinson bounced back from an early race caution causing spin to finish fifth.
Jeff Larson of Freeport, Illinois scored his second 20-lap main win at Wilmot this season capping off a sweep of the fair night modified action having posted fast time and winning the third heat race.
Five caution periods for various incidents kept slowing Larson’s progress and erasing his large advantage. In the end Larson made the trip to the Kenosha Fairgrounds worthwhile taking the victory. Fort Atkinson’s Zeke Bischofberger worked his way from 15th starting spot to end up second. Joe Huenfeld of Cedarville, Illinois improved seven positions from tenth to third. Mukwonago’s Mike Knurr was fourth. Milwaukee’s Don Scheffler moved up eight spots from 13th to fifth.
South Milwaukee’s Jay Orr prevented a Land of Lincoln feature winning sweep by scoring the win in the 15-lap Bandit 4-Cylinder Stock Car feature. Orr did sweep the Bandit portion of the fair events by posting a heat win and following up on his last Wilmot feature victory which came tow years ago on the 2016 Fair Night.
“The track was really in great shape and allowed me to run a lot of different grooves,” said Orr, thanking his family for all of their support in helping him earn the victory in a rare Wilmot appearance. “I will see everyone back on fair night 2019!”
Milwaukee’s Tony Barron, Bandit point leader going into the week with three scheduled nights remaining in the season, took the early lead. Burlington’s Brad Becker shot in front on a restart following a lap 12 caution. Three circuits later Orr, who started 12th in the 18-car field, overtook the point using the high side around the one-third mile clay oval. A final yellow three laps from the finish closed the field, but Orr was up to the challenge for the win. Waterford’s Kyle Sudduth had a career night going from second to last at the start to finish second. Williams Bay’s Rob Wachsmuth was third. Barron recovered from a mid-race tangle to finish fourth. Scott Quarnstrom of Lake Villa, Illinois was fifth.
Fair racing continues Saturday, August 18 with the Roger Iles Tribute sponsored by Carriage Auto Body of Waukegan, Illinois for the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association (IRA) Winged Sprint Car Series in their final appearance of 2018 at their original home track.
The AutoMeter WingLess sprints and the Wisconsin-Illinois Mini-Sprints complete the all sprint car program.
Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m. with on track activity slated for 5:45 and racing to follow. Grandstand admission is $7.00 for ages 12 and over, with ages 7 and under admitted free; along with regular fair admission. Wilmot Raceway is located on the Kenosha County Fairgrounds in Wilmot, Wisconsin. For updates check wilmotraceway.com or kenoshacofair.com, or Facebook pages for either one.
SUMMARY – WILMOT RACEWAY, WILMOT, WISCONSIN – KENOSHA COUNTY FAIR CHAMPIONSHIPS NIGHT ONE – FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018
Dairyland Duel Dirt King/American Ethanol Series Late Model Tour 50-LAP A-Main: 1 – Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, IL; 2 – Jared Siefert; 3 – Ron Berna; 4 – Nick Anvelink; 5 – Spencer Diercks; 6 – Brandon Thirlby; 7 – Brian Shirley; 8 – Taylor Scheffler, Greenfield; 9 – Travis Stemler; 10 – Paul Parker, Kaukauna; 11 – Brad Mueller, Random Lake; 12 – David Mielke; 13 – Eric Spangler; 14 – Jim Schmidt; 15 – Kevin Reeve; 16 – Joe Bongiorno; 17 – Mark Rose; 18 – Tim Buhler; 19 – Turk Letizia, Milwaukee; 20 – Jim Letizia, Milwaukee; 21 – Chris Engels; 22 – Rich Bell; 23 – Logan Arntz; 24 – Nick Kurtz.
15-LAP B-Main 1: 1 – Logan Arntz; 2 – Reeve; 3 – Jason Plater Jr.; 4 – Rick Scheffler, Greenfield; 5 – Scott Fisk; 6 – Bill Rezutek; 7 – Gregg Haskell; 8 – Brad Mann; 9 – Kurtz; 10 – Ron Stroika, Milwaukee; 11 – Justin Schmidt.
B-Main 2: 1 – Rose; 2 – Spangler; 3 – Dan Schlieper, Greenfield; 4 – Mitch McGrath, Milwaukee; 5 – T. Letizia; 6 – David Mielke; 7 – Justin Reed; 8 – Phil Ausra; 9 – Zack Kessler; 10 – J. Letizia; 11 – Victor Benedetto, Greenfield; 12 – Brett Swedberg.
10-LAP HEAT WINNERS; Thirlby; Diercks; Shirley; Erb.
TOMMY HOMAN STREET STOCK SPECIAL PRESENTED BY CHOPPER’S BAR & GRILL OF ANTIOCH, IL: 25-LAP FEATURE: 1. Brandon Mertes, Antioch, IL; 2. Cody Potter, Genoa City; 3. Josh Gehrig, Pleasant Prairie; 4. Nate Coon, Hebron, IL; 5. Courtney Atkinson, Muskego; 6. Craig Kreuser, Kenosha; 7. James Jaime, Bristol; 8. Cody Erickson, Algonquin, IL; 9. Trent Andersen, Trevor; 10. Jesse Knutson, Greenfield; 11. Mark Baker, Big Bend; 12. Carl Sturt, Wadsworth, IL; 13. Chad Hagler, McHenry, IL; 14. Joey Marcomb, Antioch, IL; 15. Dustin Richards, Bristol; 16. Bo Ahern, Waukegan, IL; 17. Brianna Olsen, Burlington (Did Not Start).
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Erickson; Mertes.
FAST QUALIFIER: C. Atkinson(:18.267 seconds).
MODIFIEDS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Jeff Larson, Freeport, IL; 2. Zeke Bischofberger, Fort Atkinson; 3. Joe Huenfeld, Cedarville, IL; 4. Mike Knurr, Mukwonago; 5. Don Scheffler, Greenfield; 6. Nick Simons, Genoa City; 7. Cameron Kuxhouse, Antioch, IL; 8. Joel Crowbridge, Burlington; 9. Steve Wirtz, Milwaukee; 10. Scott Barnharst, Franklin; 11. Al Atkinson, Muskego; 12. Mike Simons II, Genoa City; 13. Morgan Sheppard, Genoa City; 14. Brad McGuire, New Berlin; 15. Lee Tibbitts, Hebron, IL; 16. David Wirth, Milwaukee; 17. Terry Hilgendorf, McHenry; 18. Steve Mueller, Eagle; 19. Jeff Steenbergen, Milwaukee; 20. Tony Izzo, Capron, IL.
10-LAP “B” MAIN: 1. Bischofberger; 2. Kuxhouse; 3. Crowbridge; 4. Barnharst; 5. Izzo; 6. Tibbitts; 7. John Dost, Bristol; 8. Mike Conn, Big Bend; 9. Jack Williams, Rockford, IL; 10. Jason Schilling, Milwaukee; 11. Jason Wirth, Elkhorn; 12. Rob Maule, Hebron(DNS).
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Larson; A. Atkinson; Huenfeld.
FAST QUALIFIER: Larson(:16.853 seconds).
BANDIT 4-CYLINDER STOCK CARS: 15-LAP FEATURE: 1. Jay Orr, South Milwaukee; 2. Kyle Sudduth, Waterford; 3. Rob Wachsmuth, Williams Bay; 4. Tony Barron, Milwaukee; 5. Scott Quarnstrom, Lake Villa, IL; 6. David McKellips, Mt. Pleasant; 7. John Cole, Lake Villa; 8. Brad Becker, Burlington; 9. Bob Anderson, Antioch, IL; 10. Sam Van Patten, Antioch; 11. Cody Molitor, Trevor; 12. Steve Ellis, Pleasant Prairie; 13. Jake Balk, South Milwaukee; 14. Scott Ellis, Lake Villa; 15. Jonathan Smith, Bristol; 16. John Tuttle, Chicago, IL; 17. Louie Toutant, Genoa City; 18. Brandon Feit, Union Grove.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Balk; Orr.
Submitted by Michael H. Babicz and Jason Shulz.