New Richmond, WI (7-28-12)
By: Greg Parent
With the Summer Sprint Special making its annual appearance at the Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday July 28, the NASCAR Late Models, Modifieds and Midwest Modifieds were also on the program along with the UMSS winged sprints and TSCS non-winged sprints. The pro stocks and hornets had the night off.
It was a night of firsts for three drivers, as Brandon Jensen drove to his first modified feature win at the track while former super stock racer turned sprint car driver, Jeff Pellersels, picked up his first-ever CLS feature victory in the TSCS non-winged sprints. Brent Larson held off Chad Mahder for his first NASCAR Late Model win of the season. Jeremy Houle was able to race to his second consecutive win in the NASCAR Midwest Modified main event with a flat left front tire for about half of the feature. Brooke Tatnell dominated the UMSS 360 winged sprint car feature after the front row cars crashed on the initial start of the race. A recap of the sprint car action is contained in a separate race report.
On what turned out to be a very pleasant summer evening for racing, the five division program would see the NASCAR Midwest Modifieds up first for their 20 lap feature event. Scott Splittstoesser and Jeremy Houle brought the field to the green with Houle immediately blasting into the lead on the cushion. The race went 13 laps before the lone caution blinked on for debris in turn one. It was then that most fans and track officials noticed that Houle's car had a flat left front tire. Under CLS rules a car is allowed to continue with a flat tire on the left front only, so Houle had to readjust his line a bit during the final seven lap dash to checkers. Track point leader Ryan Olson had worked his way to second by this time, but he was unable to mount a serious challenge for the lead in the final laps. Houle harnessed his 10th career CLS feature victory ahead of Olson, Jason Haugerud, Justin Schill and Andy Jones. Jones was driving Mike Kyllonen's Midwest Mod. Rounding out the top ten finishers were A. J. Roschen, Splittstoesser, Zach Stewart, Douglas Toepper and Mike Spraguer.
The NASCAR Modified feature followed the TSCS and UMSS sprint car main events, as Scott Splittstoesser and Brandon Jensen drew front row starting spots for their 20 lap race. Jensen wasted no time in jumping up top on the cushion and set sail out front. A couple of quick cautions for spins with two and four laps completed would be the only two times the pace was slowed. A 16 lap nonstop run to the checkers would see Jensen, the 2004 super stock track champion, earn his first career modified feature win at CLS by defeating the likes of seven time champion Craig Thatcher, current point leader Brent Larson, Rick Kobs and Splittstoesser. Scott Duvall, Shaun Kelley, Jason Gross, Zack Drews and Bryan Hessler completed the top ten finishers.
The final feature of the night would see a bit slimmer field than usual of NASCAR Late Models race for 20 laps. Jim Carlson and Brent Larson brought the field to the green. Carlson spun sideways in turn two on the opening lap and collected Chad Mahder, Mike Nutzmann and Dennis Larson in the process. Only Mahder was able to continue. With the front row realigned due to the crash, Larson and Mahder would end up battling for the top spot throughout the remainder of the 20 lap nonstop race. Larson led the entire distance with Mahder a close second. A very good race for third would see defending track champion Rick Hanestad finally get by Greg Nippoldt with two laps to go to claim the position. Randy Gullixson completed the top five. Mike Bear, Mike Raboin and Brent Mueller were the only other cars to finish the race ahead of the three cars that were eliminated in the opening lap crash. Jeff Sayler was unable to start the feature after a grinding crash into the front stretch wall during his heat race caused heavy damage to his car. Bryan Wennen also failed to start due to mechanical issues.
Up next is the much-anticipated 25th Anniversary USA Nationals on August 2-4 at the Cedar Lake Speedway. The Corn Belt Clash series late models will run a full race program on Thursday night August 2 paying $5,000-to-win, as several touring cars are expected to be on hand as a tune-up prior their big show on Friday and Saturday. The NASCAR Midwest Modiifeds will be the support division on Thursday. On Friday August 3, the World of Outlaws Late Models will take to the track for time trials and qualifying races to help set the stage for the 100 lap feature on Saturday night. Saturday will see the C Main and B Main for the WoO late models with the 25th Annual USA Nationals culminating with the 100 lap $50,000-to-win feature race! The NASCAR Late Models will run complete shows on both Friday and Saturday nights as the support class for $2,500-to-win each night. Race fans will want to be on hand at the Cedar Lake Speedway next Thursday through Saturday to watch many of the nation's top dirt late model drivers compete. More information is available on the CLS website at www.cedarlakepseedway.com or by calling 1-866-4-CLS-FUN (866-425-7386).
Jeremy Houle 54, Ryan Olson 21, Jason Haugerud 22, Justin Schill 11, Andy Jones 77K, A J Roschen 7, Scott Splittstoesser 29, Zach Stewart 48s, Douglas Toepper 91, Mike Spraguer 36, David Swearingen 5, Tony Schill 8s, Patrick Kelly 63, Miranda Carlson 97, Chris Anderson 18, Josh Bazey 55, Eric Herbison 53, DNS: Mark Thomas 25T.
Brandon Jensen 21B, Craig Thatcher 91, Brent Larson IOU1, Rick Kobs 63, Scott Splittstoesser 2, Scott Duvall 92, Shaun Kelley 1K, Jason Gross 12, Zack Drews 0, Bryan Hessler 3, Jake Miller 65, Chet Atkinson 3C, Robbie Franklin 1R, Don Swearingen 110, Dagan Heim 86.
Brent Larson B1, Chad Mahder 55c, Rick Hanestad 71, Greg Nippoldt 55N, Randy Gullixson 51B, Mike Bear 24, Mike Raboin 10, Brent Mueller 54, Mike Nutzmann 2, Dennis Larson D1, Jim Carlson 33, DNS: Bryan Wennen 40, Jeff Sayler 5.