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CLS Opener-A Look Back in Time!

A Look Back at Past Cedar Lake Speedway Openers (1980-2011) by GRP

After five rain outs last year, it looks like the 2012 season opener at the Cedar Lake Speedway will take place on the first try this year. Once again we'll take our annual look back at some past CLS openers. I have late model winners listed from 1980-2011. Winners in all of the other classes are listed from 1991-2011 along with car counts. Some winners in the other classes prior to 1991 are also listed. If anybody can help fill in some of the gaps back in the 1980s, it would be most appreciated. Back then I usually just kept track of the late models and sprints.

In reviewing some of the interesting stats generated by the above info, one can see that Tom Nesbitt and Rick Egersdorf have enjoyed success on several occasions over the years in the late model class at CLS openers. It was reported that Terry Lanphear's win in 1983 was the first race run at CLS using the new WISSOTA/NDRA late model rules at the time. In 1987, CLS went to an outlaw or open comp type of rule for the late models for three years. In 1990, the WISSOTA sanctioning for the late models was adopted. The late model class was WISSOTA sanctioned on the weekly race program from 1990 through 2004. The 2005 opening weekend ran under WISSOTA late model rules (no points, not sanctioned), but the remainder of the season the Super Late Models ran on Goodyear tires and were of course not sanctioned. In 2006 and 2007, all classes were sanctioned under DTRA. For the 2008-2010 seasons, the sanctioning of the weekly show changed to NASCAR. Overall, the late models have generally averaged close to 30 cars on opening nights/weekends, although in recent years that number has been mid to upper 20s.

In the other classes, it's not hard to see that Ron Schreiner has enjoyed abundant success in CLS openers in the modifieds. Ron has scored 8 wins over the past 20 years in modified action on opening night/weekend. 1991 was the last year for the popular Winged Outlaw Modifieds on the weekly program at CLS. The winged mods raced at CLS from 1986-1991. The 1991 opening night program (which ended up being a two day affair termed the WISSOTA 50 after the first attempt at opening the season was rained out) featured WISSOTA-type modifieds however. In 1992, the WISSOTA sanction in the mods became the norm for weekly action and remained that way through 2005. In 2006 and 2007, the mods were sanctioned by DTRA. NASCAR sanctioning began in 2008. It should be noted that the mod class was dropped from the weekly card during the 1994 and 1995 seasons and then returned in 1996 as a weekly class.

Unlike the mods, the super stock division has only seen six repeat winner at the openers, those being Don Drew, Darin Meierotto, Mike Weber Larry Boumeester, Dan Gullikson and Tim Borgeson during the past 20 years with Tim Borgeson leading the way with four wins at the openers. The WISSOTA super stocks became a weekly attraction at CLS in 1991, replacing the CLS late model class. They remained WISSOTA sanctioned through 2005 and became DTRA sanctioned in 2006 and 2007, then turning to NASCAR sanctioning in 2008 with a name change to Pro Stocks for 2009.

The street stocks have not been part of the opener since 2008. In a fifteen year period dating back from 2008-1993, there were no repeat winners! The streeters first season under WISSOTA rules was 1995. They were dropped from the weekly race card from 1996-1998 and reappeared in 1999 when the sprints were no longer part of the weekly program at CLS. In 2006 and 2007, the street stocks were DTRA sanctioned. In 2008, they were NASCAR sanctioned. For 2009, the street stock division was dropped from the weekly race program.

The WISSOTA 360 sprints saw five different opening night winners from 1994-1998 when they raced weekly at CLS. Tony Norem became the first repeat winner when the 360 sprint cars returned to the opening night card in 2002 for their only appearance of the season. This was the 1st Annual Billy Anderson Memorial. In 2003, Bill Boles picked up an opening weekend win in the 2nd Annual Billy Anderson Memorial. In 2004, the 3rd Annual Billy Anderson Memorial was held on the second weekend of the season with Jerry Richert, Jr. notching the win. The 4th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial was held in 2005 on what ended up being the second week of racing following a rain out. Loren Langerud topped a field of 33 sprints in the final year of WISSOTA sanctioning for the class. The 2006 version ended up being held on opening weekend again when the original opener was pushed back one week due to inclement weather. ASCS rules were used in 2006 for the 5th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial. Jake Peters went on to post the win on a very rough track. The 2007 version of the Billy Anderson Memorial was held in mid July while the 2008 version was cancelled twice by weather. In 2009, on the second Saturday night show of the season, the 8th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial returned to its typical late April slot on the schedule. Under UMSS sanctioning, Lou Kennedy Jr. was victorious. In 2010, the UMSS sanctioned Billy Anderson Memorial was rained out on April 24 and not rescheduled. The Billy Anderson Memorial moved to the Princeton Speedway in 2011 under UMSS sanctioning.

For the first time ever, the WISSOTA Midwest Modifeds were part of the opening weekend in 2005. Shane Sabraski swept the opening weekend action. Shane would later become the 2005 National Champion in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified division. In 2006, the Midwest Mods were DTRA sanctioned as Lonny Loeschke and Greg Chesley took inaugural feature wins. DTRA returned as the sanction again in 2007, and Greg Chesley returned to sweep both nights. In 2008, a very late start to the season saw a mid May opener on School Bus Night with the Midwest Mods not scheduled to race that evening. The double-header opener in 2009 saw Jason Vandekamp and Jeff Marshall earn top honors at CLS. Last year, a pair of veteran racers, Jeff Marshall and Dan Wheeler, took opening weekend wins.

During the 1980s, some of the scheduled opening nights were rained out while others were traditionally set for late April or early May. In 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, and 2002 the opening night programs were rained out (or froze out) and pushed back one week. In 1999, the first night of a scheduled two night opener fell victim to the weather while in 2000 and 2004 the second night of the two night planned opening weekend was nixed by Mother Nature. In 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 the opener was planned for early April but was postponed one week. The aforementioned 2008 late opener on May 17 was the latest opener since 1980. Weather has always played a menacing role in early season racing action.

Looking at car counts since the track went to WISSOTA sanctioning, the largest opening night car count honor goes to the super stock class. A total of 70 supers signed in on April 18, 1998. The largest modified turnout was in 2002 when 62 mods showed up. In the late model division, an opening night record was set on April 11, 2003 with 51 cars on hand. The street stocks top opening night turnout came on April 14, 2000 when 45 streeters passed through the back gate. On the eight occasions that the 360 sprinters have been involved in a CLS opener, their best car count was in 1995 with 36 winged warriors on hand. Under DTRA in 2006, although on opening weekend cars in all classes except the late model division were allowed to run Hoosier tires, the Goodyear shod late models produced the top car count each night on opening weekend. The Midwest Mods have three times produced 31 cars for their openers in recent years. Cars counts have dropped in recent years under NASCAR sanctioning and a less than stellar economy.

The year of the whopper car count at the opener (1995) saw 61 super stocks, 53 modifieds, 36 sprints, 32 late models, and 41 street stocks overflow the pits when CLS decided to race five classes on opening night! There were 23 heat races alone that night to go along with two C Mains, five B Mains and five A Mains. It was a marathon evening that lasted way past midnight. That was like having two nights for the price of one. On April 12, 2003 however, we did have a huge turnout of 193 cars in just 4 classes. On that night, there were 60 modifieds, 57 supers, 47 late models, and 29 360 sprints. There were 20 heat races, 7 B Mains and 4 A Mains for a total of 31 races. The 2002 opener was one of the coldest openers I can ever recall. Also of interest, 2005 was the earliest opening date in the history of the Cedar Lake Speedway while 2008 would likely be one of the latest not counting the very early years.


May 7, 2011 (77 cars):

Late Models - Jimmy Mars #28, 22 LMs
Modifieds - Jason Gross #12, 16 mods
Pro Stocks - Cory Davis #20, 8 pros
Midwest Modifieds - Bob Smith #10, 31 MWMs

April 10, 2010 (97 cars):

Late Models - John Kaanta #85, 29 LMs
Modifieds - Joey Jensen #V2, 27 mods
Pro Stocks - Dan Gullikson #1, 17 pros
Midwest Modifieds - Dan Wheeler #RED1, 24 MWMs

April 9, 2010 (97 cars):

Late Models - Lance Matthees #90, 26 LMs
Modifieds - Jason Gross #12, 24 mods
Pro Stocks - Dan Gullikson #1, 18 pros
Midwest Modifieds - Jeff Marshall #112, 29 MWMs


April 18, 2009 (103 cars):

Late Models - John Kaanta #85, 26 LMs
Modifieds - Darrell Nelson #44, 28 mods
Pro Stocks - Tim Borgeson #B37, 21 pros
Midwest Modifieds - Jason Vandekamp #16, 28 MWMs

April 17, 2009 (91 cars):

Late Models - Rick Hanestad #71, 22 LMs
Modifieds - Darrell Nelson #44, 20 mods
Pro Stocks - Tim Borgeson #B37, 19 pros
Midwest Modifieds - Jeff Marshall #112, 30 MWMs

May 17, 2008 (64 cars) School Bus Night, only 3 classes on program:

Late Models - Brent Larson #B1, 29 LMs
Modifieds - Joey Jensen #V2, 23 mods
Street Stocks - Keith Tourville #111, 14 streets
*Latest Opener due to weather cancellations since 1980.


April 21, 2007 (116 cars):

Late Models - Joel Cryderman #51, 23 LMs
Modifieds - Dave Cain #2c, 24 mods
Super Stocks - Larry Boumeester #4, 24 supers
Street Stocks - Keith Tourville #111, 14 streets
Midwest Modifieds - Greg Chesley #97, 31 MWMs

April 20, 2007 (65 cars):

Late Models - Eric Breeschoten #66, 17 LMs
Modifieds - Joey Jensen #V2, 13 mods
Super Stocks - Tim Borgeson #B37, 15 supers
Street Stocks - Shane Kisling #6, 8 streets
Midwest Modifieds - Greg Chesley #97, 12 MWMs

April 15, 2006 (142 cars):

Late Models - Ron Schreiner #97, 31 LMs
Modifieds - Joey Jensen #V2, 29 mods
Super Stocks - Scott Lawrence #77, 28 supers
360 Sprints - Jake Peters #57x, 28 sprints (5th Annual Billy Anderson Memorial)
Midwest Modifieds - Greg Chesley #97, 26 MWMs


April 14, 2006 (133 cars):

Late Models - Joel Cryderman #51, 31 LMs
Modifieds - Darrell Nelson #44, 25 mods
Super Stocks - Larry Boumeester #4, 29 supers
Street Stocks - Mike Kalkbrenner #29, 19 streets
Midwest Modifieds - Lonny Loeschke #66, 29 MWMs

April 9, 2005 (165 cars):

Late Models - Rick Hanestad #71, 30 LMs
Modifieds - Craig Christiansen #4, 35 mods
Super Stocks - Darin Meierotto #36, 43 supers
Street Stocks - Scott Paulson #33, 26 streets
Midwest Modifieds - Shane Sabraski #7A, 31 MWMs

April 8, 2005 (162 cars):

Late Models - Pat Doar #11, 27 LMs
Modifieds - Craig Christiansen #4, 40 mods
Super Stocks - Mike Weber #26, 35 supers
Street Stocks - Chris Peterson #21x, 29 streets
Midwest Modifieds - Shane Sabraski #7A, 31 MWMs


April 9, 2004 (120 cars):

Late Models - Eric Breeschoten #66, 27 LMs
Modifieds - Dave Cain #2c, 30 mods
Super Stocks - Mike Anderson #QPx, 39 supers
Street Stocks - Dan Gullikson #00x, 24 streets

April 12, 2003 (193 cars):

Late Models - Rick Egersdorf #17, 47 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 60 mods
Super Stocks - Darin Meierotto #41, 57 supers
360 Sprints - Bill Boles #05, 29 sprints (2nd Annual Billy Anderson Memorial)

April 11, 2003 (189 cars):

Late Models - Keith Foss #95, 51 LMs
Modifieds - Dave Cain #2c, 53 mods
Super Stocks - Mike Weber #26, 57 supers
Street Stocks - Dan Gullikson #00x, 28 streets


April 20, 2002 (192 cars):

Late Models - Ashley Anderson #81, 42 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 62 mods
Super Stocks - Tim Borgeson #B37, 57 supers
360 Sprints - Tony Norem #B1st, 31 sprints (1st Annual Billy Anderson Memorial)

April 14, 2001 (114 cars):

Late Models - Tom Nesbitt #1, 31 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 32 mods
Super Stocks - Joey Jensen #21, 30 supers
Street Stocks - Dave Mass #12, 21 streets

April 13, 2001 (108 cars):

Late Models - Jimmy Mars #28, 30 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 26 mods
Super Stocks - Eric Pember #72, 28 supers
Street Stocks - Chad Finckbone #40, 24 streets
Note: Rain forced the 4-13 LM feature to be run on 4-14.


April 14, 2000 (173 cars):

Late Models - Rick Egersdorf #17, 36 LMs,
Modifieds - Scott Kobs #5D, 41 mods
Super Stocks - Don Eischens #9E, 51 supers
Street Stocks - Cory Davis #20, 45 streets

April 17, 1999 (180 cars):

Late Models - Jeff Wildung #50, 41 LMs
Modifieds - Craig Thatcher #91, 53 mods
Super Stocks - Brady Smith #2, 56 supers
Street Stocks - Scott Lawrence #77, 30 streets

April 18, 1998 (183 cars):

Late Models - Jim Bruggeman #54, 38 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 55 mods
Super Stocks - Don Drew #21, 70 supers
360 Sprints - Wade Nygaard #9, 20 sprints


April 17, 1998 (188 cars):

Late Models - Joel Cryderman #51, 35 LMs
Modifieds - Tim Jackson #8, 48 mods
Super Stocks - Ron Mahder #1k, 65 supers
Street Stocks - Scott Thompson #21, 40 streets

April 19, 1997 (146 cars):

Late Models - Darrell Nelson #44, 31 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 47 mods
Super Stocks - Dale Gangl #34, 57 supers
360 Sprints - Tony Norem #45, 11 sprints

April 27, 1996 (168 cars):

Late Models - Jimmy Mars #28, 34 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97, 45 mods
Super Stocks - Steve Roseen #1R, 64 supers
360 Sprints - Lou Kennedy Jr. #21k, 25 sprints


April 22, 1995 (223 cars):

Late Models - Jerry Legatt #71, 32 LMs
Modifieds - Mike Kelley Jr. #01, 53 mods
Super Stocks - John Henkemeyer #1A, 61 supers
Street Stocks - Kurt Reimer #13, 41 streets
360 Sprints - Randy Nygaard #1, 36 sprints

April 16, 1994 (138 cars):

Late Models - Rick Egersdorf #17, 32 LMs
Super Stocks - Don Drew #21, 54 supers
Street Stocks - Russ Peterson #3, 23 streets
360 Sprints - Dean Brown #91, 29 sprints

April 17, 1993 (147 cars):

Late Models - Rick Egersdorf #17, 24 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Jones #7, 58 mods
Super Stocks - Rich Bishop #10, 50 supers
Street Stocks - Matt Durbin #M1, 15 streets


April 25, 1992 (149 cars):

Late Models - Jerry Legatt #71, 38 LMs
Modifieds - Dann Olson #14, 61 mods
Super Stocks - Gordy Brunette #91, 50 supers

April 20, 1991 (124 cars) WISSOTA 50:

Late Models - Rick Egersdorf #17, 42 LMs
Modifieds - Ron Jones #31, 52 mods
Modifieds - Ron Schreiner #97 (two mod features)
Super Stocks - A. J. Foat #A1, 30 supers
Note: Heats were run on Friday April 19.

April 21, 1990 (127 cars):

Late Models - Steve Laursen #46, 35 LMs
Winged Outlaw Modifieds - ?
CLS Late Models - ?
Street Stocks - ?


April 15, 1989:

Late Models - Rick Aukland #12
Winged Outlaw Modifieds - ?
CLS Late Models - ?
Street Stocks - ?

April 16, 1988 (90 cars):

Late Models - Willy Kraft #83, 23 LMs
Winged Outlaw Modifieds - Dave Siercks #71B, 29 WOM
CLS Late Models - Leroy Nelson #53, 15 CLS
Bombers - Dan Lee #05, 23 Bombers

April 18, 1987 (105 cars):

Late Models - Steve Laursen #9, 24 LMs
Winged Outlaw Modifieds - Rick Egersdorf #21, 30 WOM
Street Stocks - Rick Kobs #87, 24 streets
Bombers - ? 27 bombers (Curfew canceled, made up 4-24)


April 26, 1986:

Late Models - Leon Plank #71 (Rained Out, made up 5-3-86)
Winged Outlaw Modifieds - Ron Jones #RED7
Street Stocks - Jeff Hoogland #53
Bombers - ?

April 20, 1985:

Late Models - Willy Kraft #83
Winged Modifieds - ?
Street Stocks - ?
Bombers - ?

May 5, 1984:

Late Models - Leon Plank #71
Modifieds - ?
Sportsman - Jack Harder #
Street Stocks - ?


April 30, 1983:

Late Models - Terry Lanphear #4 (1st WISSOTA race at CLS)
Modifieds - ?
Sportsman - ?
Street Stocks - ?

May 8, 1982:

Late Models - Tom Nesbitt #1, 26 LMs
Hobby Stocks - Dave Snow #4
Street Stocks - Bob Walters #37

Note: I believe CLS was able to open on 5-1-82, but I could not find any results whatsoever.

May 2, 1981:

Late Models - Tom Nesbitt #1
Sportsman - Bob Houston #69
Hobby Stocks - Rick Egersdorf #21


April 26, 1980:

Late Models - Tom Nesbitt #1, 36 LMs
MSA Sprints - John Stevenson #31, 14 sprints
Hobby Stocks - Kevin Viebrock #50, 28 cars
Street Stock - Lee Englund #76, 25 cars

Note: 6 Midget cars were also on hand. Jerry Mans won their race.