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Schott, Redetzke & Balog Bag Huge Triple Crown Wins at CLS!

By Greg Parent, 06/02/13, 8:30AM CDT


Despite cold, windy weather with rain showers scattered throughout the area, the 2nd Annual Triple Crown event was held at the Cedar Lake Speedway on June 1.  The weather felt more like April 1, but a solid field of cars was on hand in each division.  In only his second appearance at CLS, young 16 year old Lucas Schott from Chatfield, Minnesota drove to an impressive victory in the $5,000 to win NASCAR Modified 40 lap feature.  Schott had to hold off Rodney Sanders from Happy, Texas on the final lap to win by less than a car length at the checkers.  Jake Redetzke led the first 16 laps in the NASCAR Late Model main event, lost the lead to John Kaanta in lapped traffic, then regained the top spot on lap 22 and went on to take his third career CLS victory in the 40 lap nonstop $3,000 to win feature race.  The final event of the evening saw five- time IRA sprint car champion Billy Balog lap up through the sixth place finisher in their 30 lap $3,000 to win feature which was only slowed once under caution.


Amazingly almost no rain fell at the track all day long, but the sunny skies from the morning turned grey and overcast during the afternoon hours.  Rain fell in many places around the track, but CLS stayed dry for the most part and they hung in there to present what turned out to be a very good night of racing.  Coming off an extremely rough track the week before, the CLS track crew worked hard all week long to firm up the new clay despite less than desirable weather.  It paid off, as there were only a total of four cautions combined amongst all three divisions in 110 feature race laps.


The 27 car NASCAR Modified field was filled with talent.  Cory Mahder, Lucas Schott and Jeremy Houle top the heats while Ross Prochnow won the B Main.  Schott and Joey Jensen brought the 24 car starting field to Jeff Stacken's green flag, and it was Schott grabbing the lead from the get-go.  The race was slowed three times under caution in the first 19 laps, but Schott was able to race to the lead on each restart.  During the final 21 lap green flag run to the checkers, 13th starter Rodney Sanders continued his march towards the front.  Sanders got by Jensen on lap 26 to run third behind Thatcher.  It took Sanders until lap 37 before he got by Craig Thatcher for second.  Sanders closed in on Schott, and the race for the lead got real interesting on the final lap in lapped traffic.  Sanders came up a little short at the checkers and had to settle for second.  Thatcher, Jensen and Cory Mahder completed the top five.  Rounding out the top ten were Brandon Jensen, 14th starter Ashley Anderson, 20th starter Darrell Nelson, 24th starter Scott Splittstoesser, and Brent Larson.  Nineteen of the 24 starters were still running at the finish with 15 cars on the lead lap.


A strong 26 car NASCAR Late Model gathering saw John Kaanta, Jake Redetzke and Eric Pember take heat race wins with Chris Olson taking the B Main.  Kaanta and Redetzke lined up on the front row of the 40 lap feature.  Redetzke roared ahead to the early lead with Kaanta, Pember and Darrell Nelson close behind.  While working lapped traffic, Kaanta was able to move past Redetzke and into the lead on lap 17.  Still in traffic, Redetzke got back by Kaanta on lap 22 and led the remainder of the distance.  Nelson passed Kaanta for second one lap later.  Finishing behind Redetzke in the nonstop feature race was Nelson, Kaanta, Chad Mahder, and Eric Pember in the top five.  In sixth through tenth was Tim Isenberg from 12th, Pat Doar, Brent Larson, Steve Laursen, and A. J. Diemel driving a team car for Chris Olson.  Just like the mods, nineteen of the 24 starters finished the late model main event.  Thirteen cars finished on the lead lap.


Concluding the Triple Crown features was the IRA 410 Outlaw Sprint Car 30 lap finale.  Heat race wins for the 25 cars on hand went to Scotty Neitzel, Travis Whitney and Billy Balog.  "Wild" Bill Wirth topped the B Main.  The IRA sprints did not run time trials, electing instead to use passing and finishing points in the heats similar to the modifieds and late models.  High point driver Balog redrew the #3 pill, putting Whitney and Neitzel on the front row.  Neitzel nabbed the early lead over Balog, as Whitney spun his tires a bit on the start and slipped back to third.  On lap 3, Balog blasted by Neitzel for the lead exiting turn two and would go on to dominate the remaining 27 laps.  The lone caution blinked on with five laps scored, and the race then ran clean and green to the checkers after that.  Balog lapped up through the sixth place finisher, as he could put his potent #17B anywhere he wanted to on the track.  Jim Moughan Jr. eventually got by Whitney for second past the halfway mark and held the spot to the finish.  Whitney rode home in third ahead of Neitzel and current IRA point leader Jeremy Schultz.  Russell Borland, Nick Alden, Ryan Wilson, Lance Fassbender and Kris Spitz completed the top ten finishers.  Only one car dropped out of the feature, as 21 cars were still running at the end.  Twelve cars were one lap down while four cars were two laps down to the leader in the fast-paced feature race.


A special thanks to Joe Stariha at Como Oil and Propane for adding $2,000 to the top spot in the NASCAR Modified feature and for paying the temporary NASCAR license fee for those drivers in the modified and late model divisions who were not NASCAR licensed drivers.  A special $150 IRA Tow Award was presented to IRA sprint car driver Dave Uttech from GRP Motorsports.


Racing action continues next Saturday night June 8 at the Cedar Lake Speedway with a full program of NASCAR Late Models, Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Midwest Modifieds and Hornets.  In just two weeks, the 15th Annual Masters takes place with a regular program on Thursday night June 13 for all weekly divisions except the late models followed by full shows for the USMTS modifieds and UMP Summernationals late models on Friday and Saturday June 14-15.  Race results, points, ticket information, the 2013 schedule and much more can be found on the Cedar Lake Speedway website at or by calling 1-866-CLS-4FUN.  Cedar Lake Speedway is also on Facebook.


Triple Crown Feature Race Summary - June 1, 2013:


NASCAR Modifieds (40 laps): Lucas Schott, Rodney Sanders, Craig Thatcher, Joey Jensen, Cory Mahder, Brandon Jensen, Ashley Anderson, Darrell Nelson, Scott Splittstoesser, Brent Larson, Dale Mathison, Jeremy Houle, Al Uotinen, Shaun Kelley, Eric Pember, Doug Gustafson, Chris Oertel, Bob Gierke, Matt Leer, Jesse Glenz, Ron Jones, Ross Prochnow, Jason Krohn.
Nonqualifiers: Ronnie Rihn, Adam Ayotte, Cody Erickson.


NASCAR Late Models (40 laps): Jake Redetzke, Darrell Nelson, John Kaanta, Chad Mahder, Eric Pember, Tim Isenberg, Pat Doar, Brent Larson, Steve Laursen, A. J. Diemel, Mike Nutzmann, Steve Isenberg, Rick Hanestad, Todd Frank, Greg Nippoldt, Jeff Keeney, Riley Matthews, Jim Carlson, Trevor Wilson, Don Shaw, Marshall Fegers, Chris Olson, Aaron Lillo, Ben Hanke.
Non qualifiers: Justin Ochsner, Bryan Wennen.


IRA Outlaw Sprint Cars (30 laps): Billy Balog, Jim Moughan Jr, Travis Whitney, Scotty Neitzel, Jeremy Schultz, Russell Borland, Nick Alden, Ryan Wilson, Lance Fassbender, Kris Spitz, Tommy Sexton Jr, Todd King, Scott Uttech, Alan Gilbertson, Wayne Modjeski, Bill Wirth, Phillip Mock, Darrell Dodd, Michael Decker, Dave Uttech, Bryon Walters, Joe Symoens.
Nonqualifiers: Tony Kaus, Dennis Spitz, Chad Tessman.