Following a successful opening night the previous week for the school bus races, Cedar Lake Speedway was finally able to get the season underway for their first full five division weekly racing program. The NASCAR Midwest Mods and Hornets were running for the second time this season, but the NASCAR Late Models, Modifieds and Pro Stocks were making their season debut at the popular western Wisconsin 3/8 mile dirt oval. The day was not without its weather issues, as over an inch of rain fell at the speedway during the morning hours on Saturday May 18. The sun came out in the afternoon, and it was time to go racing!
Brent Larson, Darrell Nelson and Mike Loomis picked up feature wins for the 55th season opener in the NASCAR Late Model, Modified and Pro Stock divisions while Jason Vandekamp and Brent Voeltz topped the second night of the season in the NASCAR Midwest Mods and Hornets respectively. Each of the feature winners took home a very nice looking trophy from the Kim Parsons Memorial Trophy Tour, presented by her father Steve Parsons, in order to help promote the awareness of organ and tissue donations.
As usual, the first feature event to come trackside for the evening was the NASCAR Hornets. Brent Voeltz grabbed the early lead from his pole starting spot and never looked back, as he led all 12 laps to record his first win of the young season. Barret Hammond finished second ahead of Buddy Hanestad, Jess Seim and Jerry Hanson in the nonstop main event. In fact, the hornets ran both of their heats, won by Hanson and Hammond, and their feature caution-free.
In what turned out to be a caution-plagued feature race, Jason Vandekamp took the lead on lap 3 of the NASCAR Midwest Modified feature and held off Jason Schill over the next 17 laps to pick up the victory. Schill, who was the apparent winner on opening night but had his win taken away during an altercation in the tech area, turned in a strong run from his sixth starting spot. Last week's official winner, Vince Corbin, advanced five spots to ride home in third. The biggest gainer though in the top five was 14th starter Ryan Olson. Flyin' Ryan passed ten cars to finish fourth. Pole sitter and early leader Brandon Hines completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten finishers were Dan Wheeler, Jordan Hessler from 16th, Mike Spraguer, Mitch Weiss from 22nd, and Canadian visitor Don Craig from 23rd. Attrition was high, as only 13 of the original 24 starters finished. Jason Haugerud, Schill and Wheeler topped the heats while Jacob Toepper won the B Main. A total of 29 NASCAR Midwest Mods were on hand.
Another eventful feature saw the NASCAR Pro Stocks slowed five times under caution. Mike Loomis got the job done from his 8th starting spot, as he charged past seven cars in the opening laps to take over the top spot from Ben Hanke on lap 5 following a restart. Loomis held off multi-time track champion Cory Davis for his fifth career CLS win in the division over the course of the final 11 lap green to checkers dash. Cody Campeau, Mike Hesselink and Hanke completed the top five. Loomis and Campeau claimed heat race wins. Three cars were eliminated in a crash during the second heat and were not able to start the feature.
Although the car count was not large, the NASCAR Modified division had an extremely talent-laden field of cars on hand. Darrell Nelson dominated the 20 lap feature, leading the entire distance from his outside front row starting spot. After a caution on the opening lap for Jason Gross, the race ran the full distance nonstop. Nelson won by a wide margin over the Jensen brothers, Joey and Brandon. Brandon had gotten around his brother for second early in the race, but Joey was able to regain second with two laps to go. Clayton Wagamon got around Andy Jones with one lap to go to finish fourth. Jones rode home in fifth, as 2013 marks his return to full-time modified racing.
The final rumble and roar for the evening came from the powerful NASCAR Late Models. Tim Isenberg and Rick Hanestad brought the 14 car starting field to the green with Isenberg bolting into the lead. Fourth starter Brent Larson, driving his dad's D1 car, made a banzai charge on the low side in turn 1 on the second lap and exited turn 2 with the lead, a lead he would not relinquish for the remainder of the 25 lap feature. One lone caution slowed the pace with four laps in, but Larson took control after that and was never seriously challenged for the top spot to record his 23rd career CLS late model feature victory. Isenberg rode home a comfortable second. A good three car race over the final 15-20 laps saw Chad Mahder edge past Darrell Nelson by a matter of inches for third place at the finish line. John Kaanta completed the top five. Nelson and Kaanta won the heats.
Racing action continues at the Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday night with the fan-friendly Pack The Track Night which includes free grandstand admission for all race fans. The NASCAR Modifieds, Pro Stock, Midwest Mods and Hornets are on the program May 25. The following Saturday night on June 1 is the big Triple Crown, featuring IRA 410 Outlaw Sprints, NASCAR Late Models and NASCAR Modifieds. The sprints and late models will be racing for $3,000 to win their feature races. With sponsorship from Como Oil and Propane, the NASCAR Modifieds will race for a whopping $5,000 to win their feature! Thanks to Como Joe for this great contribution to the purse, a very stout field of modifieds are expected to be on hand gunning for a tremendous first place payout for a one night show. Race fans will certainly want to be at CLS on June 1. For details on all of our upcoming racing events, please visit our website at www.cedarlakespeedway.com or follow us on Facebook.
RACE SUMMARY May 18, 2013:
NASCAR Late Model Feature (25 laps): Brent Larson, Tim Isenberg, Chad Mahder, Darrell Nelson, John Kaanta, Rick Hanestad, Steve Laursen, Chris Olson, Mike Nutzmann, Jim Carlson, Jeff Keeney, Randy Gullixson, Ben Hanke, Adam Hensel.
NASCAR Modified Feature (20 laps): Darrell Nelson, Joey Jensen, Brandon Jensen, Clayton Wagamon, Andy Jones, Zack Drews, Adam Ayotte, Jake Miller, Bryan Hessler, Andy Simonson, Jason Gross, DNS: Robbie Franklin.
NASCAR Pro Stock Feature (20 laps): Mike Loomis, Cory Davis, Cody Campeau, Mike Hesselink, Ben Hanke, Denny Schouveller, Bruce Schouveller, Brian Lick, Mike Weber, Donnie Loftdahl, Adam Ayotte, John Olson, Lucas Plank, DNS: Jeff Heintz, Jake Hiatt, Lyle Archambeau, Mike Raboin.
NASCAR Midwest Modified Feature (20 laps): Jason Vandekamp, Jason Schill, Vince Corbin, Ryan Olson, Brandon Hines, Dan Wheeler, Jordan Hessler, Mike Spraguer, Mitch Weiss, Don Craig, David Swearingen, Dean Grube, Jacob Toepper, Josh Bazey, Dagan Heim, Douglas Toepper, Ryan Hensel, Jason Haugerud, Miranda Carlson, Shawn Carlson, A J Roschen, Mark Froehlich, Eric Gadach, Don Swearingen.
NASCAR Hornet Feature (12 laps): Brent Voeltz, Barret Hammond, Buddy Hanestad, Jess Seim, Jerry Hanson, William Voeltz, Darrell Wold Sr, Chris Dyke, Brandon Opsahl, Jared Zimpel, Joseph Kurschner, Cole Neisus, Gina Anderson, DNS: Samantha Yarusso.