New Richmond, WI (9-13-12)
By: Greg Parent
The opening night of the 2012 edition of the Legendary 100 got off to an exciting start when the final qualifying feature of the evening saw a photo finish for the win. The closing laps of the Midwest Modified feature on Thursday September 13 at the Cedar Lake Speedway will be talked about for some time to come, as Jeremy Houle came from the 22nd position after a lap one caution to narrowly defeat 21st starter Jason Vandekamp by a matter of mere inches at the finish line with race-long leader and 2012 track champion Ryan Olson a very close third. Making a return appearance to the Legendary 100 for the first time since 2009, the Street Stocks also had a close race for the lead and ultimate victory in their qualifying feature. Ron Hanestad took the lead with less than two laps remaining and held off Cory Hanson and Jay Kesan for the win. The Hornets also were on the program with 2012 track champion Eric Schultz defeating Brent Voeltz by about a car length for the victory.
A strong field of 61 Midwest Modifieds signed into the pits on a cool, clear evening for the opening night of the Legendary 100. Following six heats and three B Mains, the 24 car starting grid was set for their 20 lap qualifying feature race. The top twelve finishers would find themselves locked into the first six rows for the championship feature on Saturday night. Heat races were won by Jeremy Kerzman, Jeremy Houle, Luke Shackleton, Allen Gessel Jr, A. J. Roschen and David Swearingen while Ryan Bowers, Terry Hanson and Jason Vandekamp topped the B Mains. This set the stage for what would turn out to be an incredible feature finish in their main event.
Eric Herbison and Ryan Olson brought the field to the green with Olson blasting into the early lead. The race was plagued with four yellow flags in the first two laps, but then things settled down and got very interesting. With Olson continuing to lead, many fans were focused on a couple of drivers charging up through the field. Jason Vandekamp was on the move from his 21st starting spot and Jeremy Houle, who was charged with the first caution, went to the work area, and returned to tag the tail of the field on the first restart, was flying forward from 22nd. The lone remaining caution with 12 laps in the books set the stage for an outstanding final run to the checkers.
On lap 13, Vandekamp took second from Herbison while Houle got by Michael Truscott for fourth. Two laps later Houle was up to third, as both drivers closed in on race leader Ryan Olson. Coming down to take the white flag, Vandekamp had managed to just edge past Olson for the top spot with Houle a very close third. The lead trio continued to thrill the crowd on the final lap, as Olson drifted a bit high in turns 3 and 4 while Houle was digging hard to get underneath Vandekamp. The result was an exciting photo finish at the line with Houle defeating Vandekamp by a few inches and Olson close behind the lead duo in third. Truscott regained the fourth spot from Herbison with a couple of laps to go. Rounding out the top twelve finishers and earning positions in the championship feature on Saturday night were Jeremy Kerzman, Terry Hanson, Allen Gessel Jr, Tim Siercks, Rob Weber, David Swearingen and Mitch Weiss.
The Street Stocks had 26 cars on hand with Brad Schmidt, Cory Hanson and Rodney Debernardeaux picking up heat race wins. With two cars unable to compete following the heats, the 20 lap qualifying feature saw the 24 car field paced by front row starters Cory Hanson and Brad Schmidt. Schmidt grabbed the lead over Hanson, but a caution slowed the pace after just one lap. Another caution flag flew quickly on the restart for a crash on the backstretch, and suddenly the leader was being pushed pitside. Hanson took over the lead and was able to hold it over the next 17 laps until the third and final caution flew, setting up a two lap dash to the finish. For most of the race, Ron Hanestad, Jay Kesan and Jim Gullikson ran in positions 2-4 while Chris Peterson cracked the top five on lap 12. On the restart with two to go, Hanestad was able to slip past Hanson for the lead and the eventual victory, as Hanson and Kesan finished close behind the winner. Gullikson and Peterson completed the top five. Rounding out the top twelve finishers and earning positions in the championship feature on Saturday night were Ryan Kostreba, Eric Olson, Rod Debernardeaux, Marcus Simonson, Kurt Becken, Kyle Howland and Mark Blood. For Hanestad, it was his 10th career CLS street stock feature win.
With all 17 Hornets on hand able to race in their 12 lap feature event, it was inaugural 2012 track champion Eric Schultz and runner-up Brent Voeltz occupying the front row after each driver won their heat races. Schultz went on to lead all twelve laps, but Voeltz stayed close the entire distance and was able to close to within a car length at the finish. Jeremy Johnson, William Voeltz and Barret Hammond completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten finishers were Chris Dyke, Buddy Hanestad, Darrell Wold, Bob Carver Jr, and Damon Stusek.
The second night of the Legendary 100 continues on Friday September 14 with the Late Models, Modifieds and Pro Stocks on the program for their qualifying races. The top twelve finishers in each of their qualifying feature races will earn starting spots for the Saturday night championship main events.
Jeremy Houle 54, Jason Vandekamp 16, Ryan Olson 21, Michael Truscott 22x, Eric Herbison 53, Jeremy Kerzman 14x, Terry Hanson 22T, Allen Gessel Jr 32x, Tim Siercks 71S, Rob Weber 05R, David Swearingen 5, Mitch Weiss 23, Mack Estey 37, Bill Stettner 7S, Don Swearingen 110, Jon Frolik 37F, Josh Smith 21J, Jason Schill 11x, Ryan Bowers 199, A J Roschen 7, Luke Shackleton 74, Mark Froehlich 44FX, Jeremy Nelson 06, Scott Splittstoesser 29.
Ron Hanestad 71H, Cory Hanson 79, Jay Kesan 12K, Jim Gullikson 12, Chris Peterson 21x, Ryan Kostreba 17, Eric Olson 1E, Rod Debernardeaux X3, Marcus Simonson 01S, Kurt Becken 70x, Kyle Howland 05, Mark Blood 77J, Carolyn Nosser 29N, Ron VanDusen 4, David Mastell 26M, Jimmy Diamond 43, Michael Conrad M76, Jordan Kurtti 26, Chanda Fjorden-Nord 5, Russell Peterson 44P, Josh Amans 00, Chad Meyer 7W, Brad Schmidt 20B, Dale Spychalla 1.
Eric Schultz 7S, Brent Voeltz 37, Jeremy Johnson 917, William Voeltz 41V, Barret Hammond 19, Chris Dyke 38, Buddy Hanestad 71, Darrell Wold 11, Bob Carver Jr 3, Damon Stusek 3XL, Dan Rick 63, Tim Thoennes 8, Oliver Swanson 10A, Robert Ellsworth 52x, Tracy Peterson 39, Dewey Sunderman 18H, Jess Seim 007.