MAY 23, 2015 – BY MICHAEL H. BABICZ – Jim Scanlon of Zion, Illinois made his first time behind the wheel of a non-winged sprint car most memorable as he took top honors in the 20-lap feature for the new class highlighting the Memorial Day Spectacular on Saturday, May 23 at Wilmot(Wis.) Raceway.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here,” said Scanlon in victory lane. “This car is a lot different to drive. I have to thank my crew and everyone who helped to get the car ready in the last 24 hours. I still can’t believe it.”
Jim Lukey, who was out for the first time as well, took the initial feature lead until Doug Schenck took over the point following an early race caution. A final yellow with four laps remaining saw Schenck’s car lose power coming for the green with Scanlon powering past. Scanlon went on to the victory followed by Lukey of Harvard, Illinois, Chuck Shaer of Lake Villa, Illinois, James Waldan of Winthrop Harbor, Illinois and Dan Wade of Pleasant Prairie.
Todd Lehr, who had won the previous three features in the new division this year, was sidelined with a broken suspension on the opening lap of the feature.
Nick Petska of Spring Grove, Illinois brought a car with an ailing engine home to his first 20-lap Wisconsin-Illinois Mini-Sprint feature win of the season. Petska, despite smoke coming from the powerplant, overtook Nick Daywalt of Hubertus following a restart with three laps to go. At the finish it was Petska, N. Daywalt, Kyle Daywalt of Hubertus, Adam Schroeder of Zion, Illinois and Mark Heinert of Oak Creek in the top five.
“I guess if it’s going to blow I might as well do it pushing it to the limit,” said Petska, admitting he could tell the engine was failing the closing laps especially coming for the restart. “I’ll take the win though. It’s really special because my grandmother is here, too.”
The 410 winged sprint car 25-lap feature had the closest finish of the night with Pleasant Prairie’s Phillip Mock catching Trevor’s Raymond Hensley at the drop of the white flag for the final lap as the pair sliced through lapped traffic. Hensley, who had led the previous 24 circuits, came across runner-up. Salem’s Kris Spitz finished third holding off Beaver Dam’s Jeremy Schultz who finished fourth. Pleasant Prairie’s Todd Daun was fifth.
“This was a lot harder of a win then the first one,” said a jubilant Mock, referring to his opening night feature win three weeks earlier. “Raymond (Hensley) did a great job. I knew I had to push myself so I was able to use the traffic when we came up on it. This win is fantastic.”
Rob Maule of Hebron, Illinois gave his 2-year-old daughter Gwen a happy birthday present with a flag to flag win in the 20-lap street stock feature, the first for the defending division champion this season. Maule was hounded by Pat Rossman of Wadsworth, Illinois throughout the main and especially over the final three laps of a green-white-checkered finish after a caution with two laps left. Rossman finished second by less than a car length with Bristol’s Ronnie Mink third, Scott Eggebrecht of Crystal Lake, Illinois fourth and Silver Lake’s Gerry Stollenwerk fifth.
“I wanted to do this for her, even though she’s already asleep in the stands,” Maule said. “I want to thank all of those veterans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can come out here and have fun racing.”
Scott Kuxhouse of Antioch, Illinois made it three 20-lap modified feature wins in a row, but this one was admittedly the most difficult. “The track was tricky and the competition was really strong,” said Kuxhouse. “I still have to thank my son, Cameron, who keeps giving me his set up secrets but he’s going to be out here racing again soon and then I don’t know if he’ll keep telling me.”
Kuxhouse took the lead for the first time with five laps remaining on a restart, powering past Eagle’s Steve Mueller on the inside who had led much of the early going. At the finish it was Kuxhouse, Mueller, Jimmy Morrison of Antioch, Mike Learman Jr. of Woodstock and Franklin’s Scott Barnharst in the top five.
Erich Grosch of Arlington Heights, Illinois made it a three-peat in the Bandit 4-cylinder stock cars 12-lap feature. Carl Benn of Menomonee Falls finished second, Kenosha’s Blake Kreuser third, Jason Jones of North Chicago, Illinois fourth and James Creekmore of Zion, Illinois fifth.
In the winged sprints, Carmen Manzardo fo McHenry, Illinois came out of retirement driving the car owned by Nick Alden of Beach Park, Illinois. For Manzardo, it was his first time behind the wheel of a race car at Wilmot since 1993.
“I got a good start, but had my hands full with Carl (Benn),” said Grosch. “The car ran strong. This is a great start to the season.”
In the Bandit heat race, Trent Anderson of Antioch flipped in turn four, uninjured but was out of action for the remainder of the night.
Wilmot Raceway, a one-third mile clay oval located on the Kenosha County Fairgrounds, will host five divisions of racing on Saturday, May 30 featuring the non-winged sprint cars, Wisconsin-Illinois Mini-Sprint Association (WIMSA) mini-sprints, modifieds, street stocks and Bandit 4-cylinder stock cars. Grandstands open at 5 p.m. with racing at 6:45. Adult grandstand admission is $12.00 with youth ages 7-11 $5.00 and ages 6 and under admitted free. For the latest information phone the trackside raceline 262-862-2090 or the track web site www.wilmotraceway.com.
SUMMARY – WILMOT RACEWAY, SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2015 – MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND SPECTACULAR
NON-WINGED SPRINTS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Jim Scanlon, Zion, IL; 2. Jim Lunkey, Harvard, IL; 3. Chuck Shaer, Lake Villa, IL; 4. James Walldan, Winthrop Harbor, IL; 5. Dan Wade, Pleasant Prairie; 6. Doug Schenck, Cottage Grove; 7. Chris Klemko, Bristol; 8. Todd Lehr, Genoa City.
8-LAP HEAT WINNER: Lehr.
410-WINGED SPRINTS: 25-LAP FEATURE: 1. Phillip Mock, Pleasant Prairie; 2. Raymond Hensley, Trevor; 3. Kris Spitz, Salem; 4. Jeremy Schulz, Beaver Dam; 5. Todd Daun, Pleasant Prairie; 6. Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN; 7. Matt Vandervere, Beach Park, IL; 8. Ryan Irwin, Genoa City; 9. Dave Uttech, Kenosha; 10. Dennis Spitz, Lewisbiurg, KY; 11. Allen Hafford, Beach Park; 12. Jereme Schroeder, Lake Villa; 13. Patrick Haynes, Bradley, IL; 14. Jimmy Sivia, Waukegan, IL; 15. Carmen Manzardo, McHenry, IL; 16. Brian Kristan, Zion; 17. Scotty Nietzel, Beaver Dam.
10-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Nietzel; Mock.
WISCONSIN-ILLINOIS(WIMSA) MINI-SPRINTS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Nick Petska, Spring Grove, IL; 2. Nick Daywalt, Hubertus; 3. Kyle Daywalt, Hubertus; 4. Adam Schroeder, Zion; 5. Mark Heinert, Oak Creek; 6. Tim Brannam, Holiday Hills, IL; 7. Kyle Koch, McFarland; 8. Ron Brannam, Barrington, IL; 9. John Kirk, Johnsburg, IL; 10. Jeff Schmidt, Slinger; 11. Kevin Fredrickson, Milwaukee; 12. John Smith, St. Charles, IL; 13. Zack Emmons, Franklin; 14. Kurt Brown, Brookfield; 15. Will Lynn, Kenosha; 16. Ion Stear, Harvard, IL; 17. Randy Stafford, Kenosha.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Koch; Heinrich.
FAST QUALIFIER: Stear(:15.576 seconds).
MODIFIEDS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Scott Kuxhouse, Antioch, IL; 2. Steve Mueller, Eagle; 3. Jimmy Morrison, Antioch; 4. Mike Learman Jr., Woodstock, IL; 5. Scott Barnharst, Franklin; 6. Jeff Bodendorfer Jr., Waterford; 7. Lee Tibbitts, Hebron, IL; 8. Mike Sullivan, Burlington; 9. Tony Izzo, Capron, IL; 10. Terry Hilgendorf, McHenry, IL; 11. Ryan Marshall, Burlington; 12. Zach Heiselmann, Bristol; 13. Nick Simons, Genoa City; 14. Mike Wittenburg, Waterford; 15. Josh Heinz, Tichigan; 16. Mike Simons II, Genoa City; 17. John Dost, Bristol.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: M. Simons; N. Simons; Kuxhouse.
STREET STOCKS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Rob Maule, Hebron; 2. Pat Rossman, Wadsworth, IL; 3. Ronnie Mink, Bristol; 4. Scott Eggebrecht, Crystal Lake, IL; 5. Gerry Stollenwerk, Silver Lake; 6. Michael Olsen, Burlington; 7. Bob Andersen, Antioch; 8. David Jones, North Chicago, IL; 9. John Canella, Antioch; 10. Cody Potter, Pell Lake; 11. Brandon Mertes, Antioch; 12. Dustin Kroening, Hebron; 13. JoJo Marcomb, Antioch; 14. D.J. Hacker, Winthrop Harbor.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Maule; Rossman.
BANDIT 4-CYLINDER STOCK CARS: 15-LAP FEATURE: 1. Erich Grosch, Arlington Heights, IL; 2. Carl Benn, Menomonee Falls; 3. Blake Kreuser, Kenosha; 4. Jason Jones, North Chicago; 5. James Creekmore, Zion.
8-LAP HEAT WINNER: Grosch.