Independence Week Spectacular Round II was most memorable to Nathan Crane of Waukegan, Illinois on Saturday, July 7.
Leading every lap of the AutoMeter Wisconsin WingLess Sprint 20-lap feature, Crane ended a 16-year drought of all types of racing by winning his first ever non-wing sprint car main event ever at Wilmot Raceway.
“This is unbelieveable,” said Crane, joined in victory lane by his brother, Derek, who ironically was the first alternate into the feature out of the record setting 37-car field and had to watch from the pits. “I knew Matt(Vandervere) was coming on at the end, and Tim (Cox) was right there for a while, along with Natalie (Klemko) who started along side me in the front row. I have to thank my family, sponsors, the fans, everyone associated with Wilmot Raceway. This is awesome.”
A series of late race cautions kept erasing Crane’s early lead, but each time the former go-kart and speed skater racer was up to the challenge. Matt Vanderver of Zion, Illinois charged from 13th starting spot to finish runner-up. Trevor’s Chris Dodd was third. Tim Cox of Park City, Illinois took fourth. Jake Kouba of Minneapolis, Minnesota completed the top five.
“This car has been set up perfectly,” said Ion Stear of Harvard, Illinois following his fourth 20-lap Wisconsin-Illinois Mini-Sprint(WIMS) feature win of the season at Wilmot leading every lap, and fifth overall in the WIMS series. “We kind of lucked out with a zero pill draw to start on the pole, but we’ll take it. I have to thank my family, especially my wife, for all of her support.”
Waukesha’s Mark Heinert finished second; C.J. Malueg of Johnsburg, Illinois third; Adam Schroeder of Zion fourth; Kenosha’s Mike Neau fifth.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in victory lane here at Wilmot,” said Muskego’s Al Atkinson following a flag to flag win in the 20-lap modified feature.
“It’s been a lot of fun racing with this division,” added Atkinson, who has won Wilmot championships in other classes, along with titles at Hales Corners Speedway, Manitowoc Fairgrounds Speedway and Crown Point, Indiana, but never in the open-wheel modifieds. “I have to thank Mike Knurr, my teammate, family, sponsors, the fans, everybody.”
Genoa City’s Mike Simons II came from 10th starting spot to finish second. Mukwonago’s Mike Knurr was third. Genoa City’s Nick Simons improved from seventh to fourth. Tony Izzo of Capron, Illinois came up from 14th to round out the top five.
“I guess I owe Pat (Rossmann) a little for some repairs,” said Rob Maule of Hebron, Illinois after scoring the 20-lap street stock feature win in a borrowed car. “Pat and his family are camping up north, and he called and told me the car was in the garage if I wanted to get it. I have to thank my wife, Brooke, my daughters, if they are still awake in the stands. Special thanks to Pat and his family for letting me do this.”
Maule, who started originally 10th, was the fourth different leader in the hotly contested feature. Cody Erickson of Algonquin came from ninth to second. Bristol’s Dustin Richards, who lead for a while prior to Maule working into the point during the closing laps, came from eighth to third. Kenosha’s Craig Kreuser wheeled an ill-handling machine following an early race incident to come from seventh to fourth. Carl Sturt of Wadsworth, Illinois started last methodically working his way into a fifth place.
“I don’t know if the first one (feature win) does feel better than the second,” said Milwaukee’s Tony Barron, who took his first ever 15-lap Bandit 4-cylinder main victory June 23. “This still feels pretty good.”
Barron was followed at the finish by Steve Doherty of Sugar Grove, Illinois in his first start of the season. Early race leader Scott Ellis of Lake Villa, Illinois ended up third. Burlington’s Brad Becker took fourth. Scott Quarnstrom of Lake Villa was fifth.
Wilmot Raceway’s one-third mile clay oval on the Kenosha County Fairgrounds hosts AutoMeter Wisconsin WingLess Sprints, Wisconsin-Illinois Mini-Sprints, Modifieds and street stocks Saturday, July 14. Wisconsin WingLess Sprints have been added to Saturday, July 21 along with Tommy Homan Family Night Street Stock Special, mini-sprints and Bandit 4-cylinders.
Grandstand admission July 14 is $15.00 for everyone ages 12 and over, $5.00 ages 7-11, with ages 6 & under admitted free.
For updates phone the trackside race line 262-862-2090, check the Raceway web site wilmotraceway.com or the official Wilmot Raceway Facebook page.
SUMMARY – SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2018 – WILMOT RACEWAY, WILMOT, WIS.
– INDEPENDENCE WEEK SPECTACULAR ROUND II
AUTTOMETER WISCONSIN WINGLESS SPRINTS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Nathan Crane, Waukegan, IL; 2. Matt Vandervere, Zion, IL; 3. Chris Dodd, Trevor; 4. Tim Cox, Park City, IL; 5. Jake Kouba, Minneapolis, MN; 6. Jimmy Kouba, Byron, MN; 7. Natalie Klemko, Grayslake, IL; 8. Jimmy Sivia, Winthrop Harbor, IL; 9. Doug Schenck, Cottage Grove; 10. Jordan Mattson, Milwaukee; 11. Chris Klemko, Bristol; 12. Nick Petska, Spring Grove, IL; 13. Greg Olsen, Round Lake Beach, IL; 14. Rusty Egan, Round Lake Beach, IL; 15. Allen Hafford, Beach Park, IL; 16. Garrett Deieso, Wadsworth, IL; 17. Ryan Zielski, Oconomowoc; 18. Travis Mahoney, Olgelsby, IL; 19. Shawn Swim, Winthrop Harbor; 20. James Walldan, Winthrop Harbor; 21. Mitchell Davis, Auburn, IL; 22. Rod Colburn, New Berlin.
1st 12-LAP “B” MAIN: 1. Deieso; 2. Swim; 3. Petska; 4. Steve Clott, Madison; 5. Craig Lager, Union Grove; 6. Zach Raidart, Antioch, IL; 7. Vince Bartolotta, Muskego; 8. Paul Shaffer, Milwaukee; 9. Jordan Paulsen, Trevor; 10. William Huck, Mukwonago; 11. Scott Grissom, Winthrop Harbor.
2nd 12-LAP “B” MAIN: 1. Hafford; 2. Egan; 3. Mahoney; 4. Derek Crane, Waukegan; 5. Randy Stanford, Kenosha; 6. Johnny Fahl, Brown Deer; 7. Dennis Spitz, Lewisburg, KY; 8. Tim Eller, Zion; 9. James Wehrman, Kenosha; 10. Steve Clott, Madison.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Jake Kouba; Schenck; N. Klemko; N. Crane.
FAST QUALIFIER: Davis(:15.073 seconds).
WISCONSIN-ILLINOIS MINI-SPRINTS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Ion Stear, Harvard, IL; 2. Mark Heinert, Waukesha; 3. C.J. Malueg, Johnsburg, IL; 4. Adam Schroeder, Zion; 5. Mike Neau, Kenosha; 6. Ron Brannam, Barrington, IL; 7. Jeff Schmidt, Slinger; 8. Michael Ungar, Madison; 9. Tim Brannam, Holiday Hills, IL; 10. Morgan Sheppard, Genoa City; 11. Kevin Frederiksen, Hales Corners; 12. Nick Petska, Spring Grove; 13. John Kirk, Johnsburg; 14. Josh Rehberg, Kenosha; 15. Tim Christenson, Winthrop Harbor.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Kirk; Stear.
FAST QUALIFIER: Sheppard(:15.169 seconds).
MODIFIEDS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Al Atkinson, Muskego; 2. Mike Simons II, Genoa City; 3. Mike Knurr, Mukwonago; 4. Nick Simons, Genoa City; 5. Tony Izzo, Capron, IL; 6. Scott Barnharst, Franklin; 7. John Dost, Bristol; 8. Jared Spalding, Woodstock, IL; 9. Jack Williams, Rockford, IL; 10. Lee Tibbitts, Hebron, IL; 11. David Wirth, Milwaukee; 12. Andrew Kiedrowski, Waupaca; 13. Brad McGuire, New Berlin; 14. Terry Hilgendorf, McHenry, IL; 15. Steve Mueller, Eagle; 16. Jason Wirth, Elkhorn; 17. Mike Conn, Big Bend.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Mueller; Knurr.
FAST QUALIFIER: M. Simons(:16.834 seconds).
STREET STOCKS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Rob Maule, Hebron, IL; 2. Cody Erickson, Algonquin, IL; 3. Dustin Richards, Bristol; 4. Craig Kreuser, Kenosha; 5. Carl Sturt, Wadsworth; 6. Nate Coon, Hebron; 7. Kevin Domrose, Big Bend; 8. Jeremy Olson, Lake Villa, IL; 9. Mark Baker, Big Bend; 10. Joe Marcomb, Antioch; 11. Brandon Mertes, Antioch; 12. Courtney Atkinson, Muksego.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Mertes; Baker.
FAST QUALIFIER: Maule(:18.515 seconds).
BANDIT 4-CYLINDER STOCK CARS: 15-LAP FEATURE: 1. Tony Barron, Milwaukee; 2. Steve Doherty, Sugar Grove, IL; 3. Scott Ellis, Lake Villa; 4. Brad Becker, Burlington; 5. Scott Quarnstrom, Lake Villa; 6. Steve Ellis, Pleasant Prairie; 7. Brandon Feit, Union Grove; 8. Rob Wachsmuth, Williams Bay; 9. Cody Molitor, Lake Villa; 10. Ryan Braun, Brookfield; 11. John Cole, McHenry; 12. John Tuttle, Chicago, IL; 13. Jonathon Smith, Bristol; 14. Kyle Sudduth, Waterford.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Steve Ellis; Cole.