Mitch McGrath of Waukesha went wire to wire to win the inaugural Dirt Kings Late Model Jim “Wildman” Watson Classic presented by Allied Resource Recovery to bring down the curtain on the 2018 Wilmot Raceway season Saturday, September 15.
Mitch McGrath of Waukesha returned to the Gary’s Old Fashioned Mix Victory Lane at Wilmot Raceway Saturday, September 15 for the Inaugural Jim “Wildman” Watson Classic, presented by Allied Resource Recovery. McGrath made it back-to-back victories bringing down the curtain on the 2018 Wilmot season in the DiscountShopTowels.com Dirt Kings Late Model Tour, after winning at Plymouth Dirt Track Racing one week ago.
McGrath had the most passing points in the heat races, sponsored by The Brent Family, and the re-draw put him on the pole for the A-Main. Ron Berna led the first lap, advancing from fourth starting position, but McGrath took the lead back on lap two. Caution slowed the field on lap four, for a spin in turn three. On the restart, McGrath led Berna, Mark Rose, Rick Scheffler and Jim Schmidt back to the green flag. Berna looked to the inside of McGrath but McGrath was able to hold on.
McGrath continued to lead the way and by the halfway point, he and Berna had pulled away from Rose and Brett Swedberg who had advanced to fourth. Caution slowed the field one final time with twelve laps to go. On the restart, McGrath led the field followed by Berna, Swedberg, Taylor Scheffler, Jared Siefert and Justin Schmidt. McGrath held on to win the race, his third DiscountShopTowels.com Dirt Kings Late Model Tour victory.
McGrath took home the Jim “Wildman” Watson Classic custom trophy designed and built by John Burnside. McGrath was joined in the Gary’s Old Fashioned Mix Victory Lane by Brittany Watson, Jim’s daughter.
Many of the Wildman’s family and friends were in attendance at the Inaugural Jim “Wildman” Watson Classic. One lucky fan even won a 1/24 scale die cast of Jimmy’s car. In addition to family and friends supporting the event, Allied Resource Recovery served as the presenting sponsor, John Burnside built the trophy, and The Brent Family, Redline Web Design, QuarterMaster, and Five Star Fabricating all contributed additional awards for the inaugural race.
Taylor Scheffler was presented with the “Wildman” Hard Charger Award presented by Redline Web Design. Scheffler advanced thirteen positions, after starting seventeenth and finishing fourth.
QuarterMaster sponsored a Bell Housing Kit worth $1694.33 that was presented to Mark Rose, the sixth place finisher after the race. Rose was awarded the bell housing kit after a random draw of the top ten finishers.
Five Star Race Car Bodies presented three contingency certificates to the Wildman Classic. Joe Bongiorno, Troy Springborn, and Ron Stroika were awarded the certificates based on random draw after the race.
The Stockbridge Engineering Touring Kings all advanced to the A-Main, with Ron Berna finishing second, Brett Swedberg finished third, Jared Siefert was fifth, Jim Schmidt was seventh, Justin Schmidt finished eighth, Chris Engels finished ninth, Diamond Jim Letizia was eleventh, Tim Buhler finished thirteenth, and Troy Springborn finished twentieth.
Dennis Spitz of Lewisburg, KY scored his first ever 20-lap AutoMeter Wisconsin WingLess Sprints feature presented by MLS Automotive. Tim Cox of Park City, Illinois, despite not winning a feature the entire season at Wilmot, won the season track championship.
“It’s been a long time,” said Spitz, receiving assistance from his wife, Tina, and crew as he gingerly climbed from his car due to a sore back. “I didn’t know if I could get Chris (Dodd) or not. He was awfully strong. I knew if I was going to go for it I had to do it then and it worked.”
Dodd took the initial lead weathering a series of four cautions which kept erasing his advantage. The final, with three laps to go, set up Spitz to try and outside run on the high line as Dodd stuck with his consistent low groove run. It worked for Spitz, a veteran of 46 years of racing including two old-style Modified Racing Association (MRA) titles at Wilmot who is technically a rookie in the WingLess sprint cars. Ryan Zielski of Oconomowoc had a career best second catching Dodd on the final circuit. Jimmy Kouba of Byron, Minnesota was fourth. Fifth place finish by 2018 Wilmot Champion Tim Cox of Park City, Illinois closed out a title run without a feature win.
“This shows consistency which is helped by having a great crew, sponsors and family behind me allows a championship without a feature win,” said Cox, who said he never finished out of the top six at Wilmot. “It’s been a hard year because my dad (Roger Cox, past flagman at Wilmot and Waukegan), has been suffering from alzheimers. That makes this a little bitter sweet. ”
“It is kind of amazing that when I won my first championship at Wilmot in 1989 in the MRA style modifieds, a lot of the guys and gals I am racing against this season weren’t even born,” Cox noted. “I’m not quite ready to hang it up yet. It’s still fun so we’ll be back next spring.”
Mike Simons II of Genoa City followed up his back to back championships by winning his fourth 20-lap Modified Feature presented by Uneeda Iron & Sandblasting.
“It’s great to be able to run hard and clean against one of your team cars,” said Mike Simons II, referring to a side by side battle with Tony Izzo of Capron, Illinois who had lead until two laps were left following a restart with four laps to go. “Tony did a great job. This is a great way to close out the championship season.”
Izzo came across second by less than a car length. Sheboygan’s Joel Seegert was third. Portage’s Todd Kleuver fourth. Bristol’s John Dost fifth as the top five were separated by less than half a straightaway.
Pell Lake’s Cody Potter took top honors in the 20-lap Street Stock feature presented by JR’s Wrecker Services.
“It was a great race, a lot of fun,” said Potter, a second generation driver. “The car was set up perfectly. The track was super fast. It’s a team effort headed by my dad (Landry).”
Big Bend’s Mark Baker, 2018 Wilmot Street Stock Champion, held the point for the first half of the main. Just after the first caution, Potter worked into the top spot using the inside groove out of turn four. A red flag flew with six laps left as Jess Knutson was uninjured after getting upside down coming out of turn four.
A final yellow set up a green-white-checkered finish. Potter held serve holding off Baker for the win. Beaver Dam’s Jesse Krahn made is first ever Wilmot start memorable with a top three finish. Brookfield’s Alex Crapser was fourth. Cody Erickson of Algonquin, Illinois fifth.
Asphalt Contractors headed up a huge list of contributors who donated 68 bikes which were given away to youngsters in attendance.
Mindy Cooling State Farm Insurance, Roy’s Auto Service of Antioch, Kratz Plumbing of Antioch, Five Star Race Car Bodies and Menard’s of Franklin helped sponsor the program.
Wilmot Raceway, 1/3 mile clay oval located on the Kenosha County Fairgrounds in Wilmot, Wisconsin, concluded its 2018 season. Check wilmotraceway.com or the track’s Facebook page for information on plans for the 2019 season.
SUMMARY – WILMOT RACEWAY, WILMOT, WISCONSIN – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2018 – SEASON FINALE
DIRT KING LATE MODELS presented by ALLIED RESOURCE RECOVERY: The Inaugural Jim “W1ldman” Watson Classic – 30 laps: P1: 74m – Mitch McGrath (Waukesha, WI); P2: 66 – Ron Berna (Abrams, WI); P3: 3 – Brett Swedberg (Shawano, WI); P4: 15s – Taylor Scheffler (Waukesha, WI); P5: 25 – Jared Siefert (Luxemburg, WI); P6: 0r – Mark Rose (Dorchester, WI); P7: 70 – Jim Schmidt (Cleveland, WI); P8: 97 – Justin Schmidt (Cleveland, WI); P9: 33e – Chris Engels (Green Bay, WI); P10: 55 – Joe Bongiorno (Milwaukee, WI); P11: d7 – Jim Letizia (Milwaukee, WI); P12: 8r – Bill Rezutek (Big Bend, WI); P13: 7b – Tim Buhler (Glenbeulah, WI); P14: 10s – Rick Scheffler (Waukesha, WI); P15: 33s – Ron Stroika (Milwaukee, WI); P16: 12 – Dan Pataska (Green Island, IA); P17: d1 – Turk Letizia (Milwaukee, WI); P18: 01 – Greg Cantrell Jr. (DeKalb, IL); P19: r1 – Randy Manos (Rockford, IL); P20: 81 – Troy Springborn (Shawano, WI)
B-Main 12 Laps: P1: 15s – Taylor Scheffler (Waukesha, WI); P2: 81 – Troy Springborn (Shawano, WI); P3: 55 – Joe Bongiorno (Milwaukee, WI); P4: 19 – Kelly Pestka (DeWitt, IA); P5: 97 – Justin Schmidt (Cleveland, WI); P6: 03 – Dan White (Geneva, IL); DID NOT START: 98 – Tom Naeyaert (Shawano, WI)
10-lap Heat Race #1 sponsored by Pro Power Racing: P1: d1 – Turk Letizia; P2: 10s – Rick Scheffler; P3: 0r – Mark Rose; P4: d7 – Jim Letizia; P5: 01 – Greg Cantrell Jr.; P6: 12 – Dan Pataska; P7: 03 – Dan White; P8: 98 – Tom Naeyaert
Heat Race #2 sponsored by Oak Ridge Foam & Coating Systems: P1: 66 – Ron Berna; P2: 70 – Jim Schmidt; P3: 33s – Ron Stroika; P4: 3 – Brett Swedberg; P5: 8r – Bill Rezutek; P6: 81 – Troy Springborn; P7: 15s – Taylor Scheffler; P8: 19 – Kelly Pestka
Heat Race #3 sponsored by Londerville Steel: P1: 74m – Mitch McGrath; P2: 7b – Tim Buhler; P3: 25 – Jared Siefert; P4: 33e – Chris Engels; P5: r1 – Randy Manos; P6: 97 – Justin Schmidt; P7: 55 – Joe Bongiorno
Allstar Performance Hard Charger Award: Taylor Scheffler
Amsoil/ Freedom Synthetics: Jim Schmidt
Behling Racing Products Certificate: Brett Swedberg
Wehrs Machine Certificate: Mark Rose
Autometer Certificate:Mitch McGrath
Wilwood Lucky 13: Tim Buhler
Real Racing Wheels Hard Luck Award: Tim Buhler
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Certificate: Ron Stroika
Station 2 Cash: Tom Naeyaert
#dirtkings #dirtkingstour #MitchisKing #round13 #kingsofclaytour #rollwiththekings #winningisoldfashioned #septembertoremember #WildmanClassic
AUTOMETER WISCONSIN WINGLESS SPRINTS SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY MLS AUTO, PADDOCK LAKE: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Dennis Spitz, Lewisburg, KY; 2. Ryan Zielski, Oconomwoc; 3. Chris Dodd, Trevor; 4. Jimmy Kouba, Byron, MN; 5. Tim Cox, Park City, IL(2018 CHAMPION); 6. Chris Klemko, Bristol; 7. Jimmy Sivia, Winthrop Harbor, IL; 8. Matt Vandervere, Zion, IL; 9. Nick Petska, Spring Grove, IL; 10. Doug Schenck, Cottage Grove; 11. Craig Campton, Madison; 12. Nathan Crane, Waukegan, IL; 13. Kevin Hinich, Kenosha; 14. Craig Lager, Union Grove; 15. George Gaertner Jr., Salem; 16. Scott Grissom, Winthrop Harbor; 17. Garrett Deieso, Wadsworth, IL; 18. Greg Olsen, Round Lake Heights, IL; 19. James Walldan, Kenosha; 20. Allen Hafford, Beach Park, IL; 21. Jordan Mattson, Milwaukee; 22. Zach Raidart, Antioch, IL.
1st 12-LAP “B” MAIN: 1. Campton; 2. J. Walldan; 3. Grissom; 4. Johnny Fahl, Brown Deer; 5. Derek Crane, Waukegan; 6. Randy Stanford, Kenosha; 7. Shawn Swim, Winthrop Harbor; 8. Tom Eller, Zion; 9. Rod Colburn, Muskego; 10. Tyler Tischendorf, Waupaca; 11. William Huck, Mukwonago; 12. James Wehrman, Kenosha.
2nd 12-LAP “B” MAIN: 1. N. Crane; 2. C. Klemko; 3. G. Gaertner Jr.; 4. Vince Bartolotta, Muskego; 5. Jordan Paulsen, Trevor; 6. Steve Clott, Bradley; 7. Patrick Haynes, Manteno, IL; 8. Natalie Klemko, Grayslake, IL; 9. George Gartner III, Salem; 10. Paul Shaeffer, Milwaukee; 11. Lance Walldan, Winthrop Harbor; 12. Travis Mahoney, Olgesby, IL.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Lager; Raidart; Sivia; Petska.
FAST QUALIFIER: Campton(:15.099 seconds).
MODIFIEDS: 20-LAP FEATURE PRESENTED BY UNEEDA IRON & SANDBLASTING: 1. Mike Simons II, Genoa City; 2. Tony Izzo, Capron, IL; Joel Seegert, Sheboygan; 4. Todd Kluever, Portage; 5. John Dost, Bristol; 6. Scott Barnharst, Franklin; 7. Jason Wirth, Elkhorn; 8. Brad McGuire, New Berlin; 9. Danny Walter, Burlington; 10. Jeff Bodendorfer, Waterford; 11. Andy Gross, Hartford; 12. Joel Crowbridge, Union Grove; 13. Mike Wittenburg, Waterford; 14. Will Sorce, Franskville; 15. Brian Crapser, Brookfield; 16. Mike Conn, Big Bend; 17. Morgan Sheppard, Genoa City; 18. Lee Tibbitts, Hebron, IL; 19. Steve Mueller, Eagle; 20. Bart Sievert, North Prairie.
12-LAP “B” MAIN: 1. B. Crapser; 2. Tibbitts; 3. McGuire; 4. J. Wirth; 5. Sheppard; 6. Jack Williams, Rockford, IL; 7. Mike Watson, New Berlin; 8. Terry Kiedrowski, Union Grove; 9. Scott Crowbridge, Burlington; 10. Jeremy Johnson, East Troy; 11. Jason Schilling Jr. East Troy; 12. Scott Shultis, Waukegan, IL(DNS).
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Seegert; Conn; Bodendorfer.
FAST QUALIFIER: J. Crowbridge(:16.738 seconds).
STREET STOCKS: 20-LAP FEATURE PRESENTED BY JR’S WRECKER SERVICES, WAUKEGAN: 1. Cody Potter, Pell Lake; 2. Mark Baker, Big Bend; 3. Jesse Krahn, Beaver Dam; 4. Alex Crapser, Brookfield; 5. Cody Erickson, Algonquin, IL; 6. Chuck Shaer, Ingleside, IL; 7. Pat Rossmann, Wadsworth, IL; 8. Brandon Mertes, Antioch, IL; 9. Adam Crapser, Brookfield; 10. Josh Gehrig, Pleasant Prairie; 11. Nate Coon, Hebron, IL; 12. Courtney Atkinson, Muskego; 13. Carl Sturt, Wadsworth; 14. Ian Malinoski, Franklin; 15. Dan Huber, Bristol; 16. Jess Knutson, Greenfield; 17. Kevin Domrose, Big Bend; 18. John Maki, Antioch; 19. Tony Kautz, Richmond, IL.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Gehrig; A. Crapser.
FAST QUALIFIER: Rossmann(:18.179 seconds).
SUBMITTED BY MICHAEL H. BABICZ