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10th Annual School Bus Night Packs Them in at Cedar Lake Speedway

By Jamie Nutzmann, 05/11/14, 9:15AM CDT


10th Annual School Bus Night Packs Them in at Cedar Lake Speedway
(Tony Schill and Buddy Hanestad Win Features)
New Richmond, WI
By: Greg Parent (5-10-14)

The 10th Annual School Bus Race Night once again saw a large crowd gather during this yearly tradition in the month of May at the Cedar Lake Speedway.  The annual event is very popular with the local area high school students, as teachers, bus drivers and sometimes even principals from area schools participate in a series of bus races during the evening.  School pride is evident, as students from the seven schools involved cheer on their school bus.  The NASCAR Midwest Modifieds and Hornets were also part of the event in addition to the NVRS vintage cars.  Tony Schill drove to his first-ever CLS victory in the NASCAR Midwest Modified feature while Buddy Hanestad kept his record perfect in 2014 with his third NASCAR Hornet feature victory.

As young fans poured in to watch the popular School Bus Race Night, a total of nine buses were ready to do battle in a series of three events.  The local area schools paint and prepare their buses ahead of time in pursuit of a championship title.  The Baldwin-Woodville bus driven by Kyle Miller recorded a clean sweep for the night in what turned out to be a very entertaining 20 lap grand finale for the buses.  For Baldwin-Woodville, it was their second title in the 10 year history of this event.  In the main event, three buses rolled over.  With just three laps in the books, one of the CLS buses driven by Clay "The Wildman" Gallagher crashed hard and rolled over on the back stretch sustaining very heavy damage.  With a very light rain starting to fall, the CLS track crew pushed the disabled bus down to the bottom lane and the race resumed with an obstacle on the back stretch.  Eight laps later, the Unity bus rolled in turn three.  Again the bus was pushed down and somewhat out of the way.  The final bus to roll over was the Amery bus, as the other CLS bus driven by track co-owner "Bad Brad" Bothe provided an "assist" in helping turn the bus sideways and eventually on its side.  In all three rollovers, the drivers were okay.  Meanwhile, the battle for the top spot was a good one between Baldwin-Woodville, Somerset and New Richmond.  Earlier in the race, five time champion Osecola was in the heat of the battle as well, but a flat tire hampered Brian Meyer in his bid for a sixth title.  Somerset fell out of the race late with mechanical problems.  The final finishing order ended up as follows: Baldwin-Woodville, New Richmond, Hudson, Osceola, Somerset, Amery, Unity, CLS Wildman, and the  "Bad Brad" CLS bus which ended up being DQed for cheating and rough driving (no surprise).

In the regular race program, the NASCAR Midwest Modified division raced for a $500 top prize in their 15 lap feature event thanks to some sponsorship help from Bernick's Pepsi and GRP Motorsports.  No where in the entire upper Midwest area on this particular race night could a person have found a higher paying Midwest Mod (B Mod) main event.  Tony Schill picked a good night to record his first career CLS feature win, as the young Oakdale, MN driver led all the way to earn the first place money.  Jason Schill stayed close throughout the nonstop feature, but he could not mount a real serious challenge on the other Schill for the lead.  Kyle Matuska, Mike Raboin, and Douglas Toepper rounded out the top five finishers.  Raboin and Tony Schill won the heats.

The 12 lap NASCAR Hornet feature saw William Voeltz lead the opening lap before Brandon Opsahl cruised to the front.  Sixth starter Buddy Hanestad gradually worked his way forward, and on lap seven the young son of late model racer Rick Hanestad took command of the top spot.  Hanestad led the remaining laps for his third straight victory in the Hornet division.  The Hornet feature also ran nonstop for the third time this season.  Opsahl kept things interesting in recording his best CLS finish in second.  Darrell Johnson, Voeltz and Don Martens completed the top five.  Hanestad and Opsahl won the heats.

In Northern Vintage Racing Series action, Mike Papenfuss won the heat and Greg Sheffer posted the feature race win in  the NVRS full body division.  Ken Sabby topped the heat with Mark Peine racing to the feature win in NVRS super modified action.  Sabby crashed into the back stretch wall in the feature and rode the hook to the pits with heavy front end damage on his sharp-looking winged super.  A total of 21 NVRS vintage cars were on hand.

On next Saturday night May 17 at the Cedar Lake Speedway, all five regular divisions will be on the program plus the UMSS Traditional (non-winged) sprint cars will make their lone appearance of the season.  CLS reminds racers and fans that the purse structure has returned to the 2013 payout in all weekly diviisons.  For more information, please visit our website at or call 1-866-4CLS-FUN.  You can also follow Cedar Lake Speedway on Facebook.


NASCAR Midwest Modified Feature (15 laps): Tony Schill, Jason Schill, Kyle Matuska, Mike Raboin, Douglas Toepper, Shane Berndt, Adam Martinson, Dagan Heim, Chase Friendt, Cory Bruggeman, Shawn Carlson.

Hornet Feature (12 laps): Buddy Hanestad, Brandon Opsahl, Darrell Johnson, William Voeltz, Don Martens, Matt Busson, Charles Eckl, Tyler Heckel, Kayla Lallier, Darren Gamache, Natalie Rogers, Tim Thoennes, Derrick Johnson.

NVRS Full Body Feature (10 laps): Greg Sheffer, Rick Heber, Joe Thompson, Mike Kelly, Tom Godfrey, Mike Pappenfus, Mac Dolphy, Paul Dolphy, Tom Getchell, Lee Lovegren.

NVRS Super Modified Feature (10 laps): Mark Peine, Dennis Olson, Butch Bethke, Joe Lallier, Mike Bjorklund, Will Matsch, Wally Stoltzman, George Shields, Kevin Lipsky, Darrell Reineke, Ken Sabby.