Wagamon Waits Until Final Lap To Win NASCAR Modified Feature At CLS
New Richmond, WI (4-14-12)
By: Greg Parent
As the skies turned overcast following what had been a beautiful spring day and with rain in the forecast for the evening, the Cedar Lake Speedway was able to stay perfect in the month of April for their third night of the 2012 racing season on Saturday April 14. Track officials moved the five division, fifteen event program along in quick fashion on a very well-prepared racing surface.
In what turned out to be the most exciting feature race of the evening, Clayton Wagamon made a thrilling last lap pass of seven-time Cedar Lake Speedway track champion Craig Thatcher to capture the NASCAR Modified main event. Ryan Olson extended his 2012 CLS winning streak to three with another NASCAR Midwest Modified victory. After suffering disappointment one week ago, Jeff Heintz raced to his first NASCAR Pro Stock feature win at the track. Driving the very familiar Mars Racing #28 car to a convincing win in the NASCAR Late Model main event was former eastern Wisconsin racer A. J. Diemel. Brent Voeltz made it two straight in the hornet division.
As is usually the case, the NASCAR Midwest Modifieds were up first for their 20 lap feature race. With a fortunate redraw following his heat race win, Ryan Olson found himself sitting outside front row next to Jordan Hessler. Olson was gunning for this third win of the season, but it was Hessler with a strong start to grab the lead on the opening lap. The lone caution of the race blinked on after one lap was completed, as Jacob Toepper stopped with a flat tire after contact with another car. When the green replaced the yellow, Hessler was able to hold off Olson for the first seven laps before the Strum, WI driver made the winning pass on lap eight. Nineteen nonstop laps to the checkers saw Olson keep his record perfect with his third CLS victory of the young season. Hessler drove a strong race to finish second ahead of Josh Bazey, Jason Schill and Tony Schill. Completing the top ten were Mitch Weiss, Scott Splittstoesser, Douglas Toepper, Mike Spraguer and Dean Grube.
Following a very disappointing turn of events the previous Saturday night, Turtle Lake's Jeff Heintz was in search of his first NASCAR Pro Stock victory at Cedar Lake. Heintz raced in a close pack of cars behind early leader Ryan Wiome. On lap three, Heintz moved around Wiome for the lead. A lead he would not relinquish for the remaining 17 laps, but a lead he would have to protect from former track champions Cory Davis and Mike Weber. With the first 18 laps running green, the only caution of the race set up a two lap dash to the checkers. Defending track champion Davis, who started fifth and had worked his way to second by lap five, stayed close behind until a hole in his radiator forced him to drop out of the race under the caution. Heintz was able to keep two-time track champion Mike Weber behind him during the two lap run to the checkers and record his first career NASCAR Pro Stock feature victory at the track. Completing the top five were Cody Campeau, Lyle Archambeau and Ben Hainke. Hainke however did not report to post-race tech, so he was disqualified. This moved young Lance Schilling up to the fifth spot. Rounding out the top ten were Jake Hiatt, Larry Fitzsimmons, John Olson, Chad Dawson and Davis.
In what turned out to be an incredible 20 lap feature race with a thrilling finish, the NASCAR Modifieds entertained the crowd with some great racing up near the front of the pack. With seven-time and defending track champion Craig Thatcher on the pole, many fans were wondering who would finish second. As it turned out, it would be Thatcher. With outside front row starter Clayton Wagamon dropping back to as far as fifth place in the early laps, the young Blaine, MN driver steadily worked his way back towards the front by passing strong contenders such as Jason Gross, Darrell Nelson and Cory Williams. On lap 12, Wagamon was back in second and began closing in on Thatcher. Thatcher thwarted a bid for the lead on lap 18, but Wagamon regrouped and was able to make an exciting last lap pass coming off the high side of turn two and down the back straight-away on the final lap. Although Thatcher led about 19 1/2 laps, it was Wagamon bringing the crowd to their feet on the final circuit for his first NASCAR Modified main event win at CLS. Finishing behind the lead duo was Jason Gross, Brent Larson and Darrell Nelson. Completing the top ten were Cory Williams, Scott Splittstoesser, Jake Miller, Shaun Kelley and Shawn Phillips. Only one caution slowed the pace.
In their third appearance on the weekly race program at CLS, the hornet division saw Glenwood City racer Brent Voeltz grab his second victory of the season. Joel Kruse led the first three laps before Voeltz took over the lead. Kruse stayed close for a few more laps until Barret Hammond raced to second. Hammond and Kruse had a good battle for the runner-up spot, but Voeltz was too strong up front. Hammond held on for second with Kruse third ahead of Rick Beer and Chris Dyke. Dyke returned from a rollover one week ago with a solid run. Rounding out the top ten were Jerry Hanson, Steve Lundborg, Nick Axelsen, Mark Beer, and Darrell Wold. The race was slowed twice under caution.
A very talented field of NASCAR Late Models rounded out the quick-paced racing program with 30 laps of thunder around the 3/8 mile high-banked dirt oval. Chad Mahder was looking for his second win of the season and he redrew a good starting spot, outside front row. Mahder led the first four laps before A. J. Diemel, driving the familiar #28 Mars Racing late model powered by. Diemel was not seriously challenged the rest of the way even though he had to survive three restarts due to spins. The winner from the previous Saturday night, Jimmy Mars, was driving the Gilberts #21 car. Mars, who started seventh, finally reached the second position at the halfway mark one lap after the first caution. Even with two more yellows on laps 20 and 27, Mars would have to watch his own car with Diemel behind the wheel race to the win. Chad Mahder, defending track champion Rick Hanestad and Darrell Nelson completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten finishers in the nineteen car field were Brent Larson, Steve Laursen, 13-time track champion Rick Egersdorf, Scott Duvall and Cory Mahder. Only one car dropped out of the race.
Racing action continues next Saturday night April 21 at the Cedar Lake Speedway with a full program of NASCAR Late Models, Modifieds, Pro Stocks, and Midwest Modifieds plus the new Hornet division. Race results, points, ticket information, the 2012 schedule and much more can be found on the Cedar Lake Speedway website at www.cedarlakespeedway.com or call 1-866-CLS-4FUN. CLS will try and make it four for four in the month of April. Come on out and enjoy a fast-paced, action-packed evening of stock car racing at the popular western Wisconsin dirt oval.
Heat 1- Chad Mahder, Chris Olson, Mike Bear, Cory Mahder, Rick Egersdorf, Gregg Hill, Scott Duvall, Don Shaw, Mike Raboin, Ryan Johnson
Heat 2- Rick Hanestad, Kerry Hanson, Jimmy Mars, Brent Larson, AJ Diemel, Steve Laursen, Darrell Nelson, Jim Carlson, Bryan Wennen
Feature- Diemel, Mars, Chad Mahder, Hanestad, Nelson, Larson, Laursen, Egersdorf, Duvall, Mahder, Hanson, Shaw, Bear, Carlson, Hill, Olson, Wennen, Johnson, Raboin
Heat 1- Darrell Nelson, Cory Williams, Clayton Wagamon, Shaun Kelley, Shawn Phillips, Jake Miller
Heat 2- Jason Gross, Brent Larson, Craig Thatcher, Scott Splittstoesser, Don Brightbill
Feature- Wagamon, Thatcher, Gross, Larson, Nelson, Williams, Splittstoesser, Miller, Kelley, Phillips, Brightbill
Heat 1- Cody Campeau, Ben Hainke, Adam Ayotte, Mike Weber, Jake Hiatt, John Olson, Chad Dawson, Bruce Schouveller
Heat 2- Ryan Wiome, Jeff Heintz, Cory Davis, Lyle Archambeau, Lance Shilling, Marcus Simonson, Larry Fitzsimmons
Feature- Heintz, Weber, Campeau, Archambeau, Schilling, Hiatt, Fitzsimmons, Olson, Dawson, Davis, Schouveller, Wiome, Simonson, Ayotte
Heat 1- Jason Schill, Scott Splittstoesser, Tony Schill, Jason Haugerud, Dean Grube, Ron Jablonske, Ed Puariea, Jacob Toepper
Heat 2- Ryan Olson, Josh Bazey, Jordan Hessler, Mitch Weiss, Douglas Toepper, Bonnie Jablonske, Eric Gadach, Mike Spraguer
Feature- Olson, Hessler, Bazey, J. Schill, T. Schill, Weiss, Splittstoesser, D Toepper, Spraguer, Grube, Puariea, Gadach, B Jablonske, Haugerud, R Jablonske, J Toepper
Heat 1- Brent Voeltz, Joel Kruse, Barret Hammond, Chris Rick, Darrell Wold, Derek Reding, Matt Curren, Jeremy Johnson
Heat 2- Jerry Hanson, Chris Dyke, Rick Beer, Kris Kaphing, Mark Beer, Nick Axelson, Steve Lundborg
Feature- Voeltz, Hammond, Kruse, Beer, Dyke, Hanson, Lundborg, Axelsen, M Beer, Wold, Reding, Curren, Rick