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The Sheriff John Kaanta Tops Stellar Field at Cedar Lake!

By Jamie Nutzmann, 05/17/14, 10:45PM CDT


"The Sheriff" John Kaanta Tops Stellar Field At Cedar Lake
(Nelson, Loomis, Caho, Weiss & Hanestad Are Also Victorious)
New Richmond, WI (5-17-14)
By: Greg Parent

With a strong field of cars on hand and beautiful spring weather, the drivers and the Cedar Lake Speedway put on a tremendous show for the fans on Saturday night May 17.  On one of the best prepared tracks seen at the legendary western Wisconsin 3/8 mile high-banked dirt oval in quite some time, the racing action reigned supreme.  The UMSS Traditional sprints were making their annual appearance along with all five weekly NASCAR divisions.  The NASCAR Late Models produced one of the strongest fields for a weekly race seen at CLS in many years.  And in one of the strangest happenings in the history of the track, a tow truck ended up rolling over.  Just about every kind of racing vehicle to ever turn laps at CLS, including the popular school buses, has ended upside down at some point throughout the 56 year history of the track.  Although the wreckers are certainly not a racing division, you can now add tow trucks to that list.

When the final checkers waved, it was "The Sheriff" John Kaanta from Elk Mound sitting in Victory Lane after A. J. Diemel's bid for the lead came up short at the checkers in the late model feature.  Defending track champion Darrell Nelson from Hermantown, MN was making his season debut in the NASCAR Modifieds, and Darrell picked up where he left off with another victory.  Another 2013 track champion Mike Loomis of Columbus, MN in the NASCAR Pro Stocks raced to his first CLS win of the season as well.  In the UMSS Traditional sprint car feature, two-time series champion Rob Caho, Jr. from Wyoming, MN held off Cam Schafer for his first-ever win at CLS.  Yet another first-time winner at the track saw Mitch Weiss of Scandia, MN defeat defending champion Jason Vandekamp in the NASCAR Midwest Modified main event.  The only repeat winner on this competitive night at CLS was Buddy Hanestad in the NASCAR Hornets.  Hanestad raced to his fourth consecutive win this season.

As the program moved through the heat races it quickly became evident that the track was in outstanding condition, setting the stage for some great racing in the feature events.  The NASCAR Midwest Mods were up first for their 20 lap main event.  A crash on the opening lap on the back stretch brought out the yellow, but it turned into a red flag when one of the tow trucks ended up rolling over.  The damaged car required two wreckers to get it off the track, and the back tow truck actually ended up pulling the tow truck hooked to the front of the car over, completely upside down in a strange turn of events.  When the race went green, it was young David Simpson from Thunder Bay leading the opening lap before Mitch Weiss moved to the point.  Soon Jason Vandekamp was up to second and applying the pressure on Weiss for the lead.  A couple of cautions with eight laps in slowed the pace and allowed Vandy the opportunity on both restarts.  Weiss was as cool as ice and held him off.  The final caution waved with 13 laps in and set the stage for a furious seven lap dash to the checkers.  In the end, Mitch Weiss recorded his very first CLS feature victory in what turned out to be an entertaining feature race with a couple of first time occurrences.  Vandekamp, Kyle Matuska, Shawn Phillips and Douglas Toepper completed the top five.  Vandekamp and Jason Schill won the heat races for the 20 cars on hand.

The NASCAR Pro Stocks were up next for their 20 lap main event.  With Mike Loomis on the outside of the front row, it was going to be tough for anybody to challenge the defending track champion for the win.  A close call late in the race for Loomis while lapping Dustin Sanders was about as close as anybody would come to beating him, but Loomis was able to make it by relatively unscathed.  After 20 laps of nonstop racing for the 15 car field, Loomis drove away for his 12th career CLS victory in the division and first of the season.  Cody Campeau turned in a solid effort to finish second ahead of Ben Hanke, Adam Ayotte and Ryan Wiome.  Hanke and Loomis won the heats.

The UMSS Traditional Sprints saw two cars unable to start their feature race, so 12 sprints lined up for 20 laps.  Just like the Pro Stocks, the non-winged sprint car feature would go caution-free to the finish.  Unlike the previous feature, this one would see current point leader Cam Schafer stay close to two-time series champion Robby Caho.  Although Caho led all 20 laps, Schafer got close a couple of times late in the race.  For Caho, it was his first-ever win at CLS.  Schafer was a close second followed by former super stock racer Jeff "Racedoc" Pellersels, Joseph Kouba and the young rookie sensation known as "The New Richmond Nightmare" Chase Viebrock.  The Viebrock family name has a long and storied racing history at CLS.  And speaking of history, Pellersels was a 2012 winner in the sprints and Joseph Kouba was a 2011 winner at the track driving Pellersels' car.  On this night, only one car would fail to finish as Johnny Parsons III, who also has two TSCS wins at CLS, had a fuel pump fail early in the race while running second.  Brian VanMeveren and Caho topped the heats.

For the fourth consecutive week, the NASCAR Hornet feature would run nonstop to the checkers.  For the fourth time this season and fifth over all in his career at CLS, young Buddy Hanestad of Boyceville drove to victory.  Hanestad was never seriously challenged once he got the top spot.  Darrell Johnson topped Derrick Johnson for second while Brandon Dyke finished ahead of Chris Dyke for fourth in the 12 lap race.  Hanestad and Chris Dyke won the heats.  Hanestad has yet to lose a race at CLS in 2014, winning four heats and four features in four nights of racing at the track.

The 20 lap NASCAR Modified feature would see pole sitter Joey Jensen jump out to the early lead.  Fourth starter and two-time track champion Darrell Nelson was on the move forward though.  Nelson moved past Jensen on lap six for the lead, and in another feature that went without a caution, Darrell drove to his 17th career CLS modified feature victory.  Fifth starter and 2012 track champion Brent Larson was a rocket in the main event but had to settle for second ahead of Jensen.  2010 track champion Jason Miller finished fourth.  Scott Duvall retook fifth from 2011 and seven time track champion Craig Thatcher late in the race.  Jason Gross and Nelson topped the 16 car field in the heats.

With Greg Nippoldt unable to start the NASCAR Late Model feature, the rumble of 21 late models resonated through the evening air.  At the drop of the green, the field thundered into turn one.  Outside front row John Kaanta narrowly led pole sitter Darrell Nelson to the line on lap one.  Laps quickly clicked off under green with "The Sheriff" showing the way up front.  The lone caution blinked on at the midway mark of the 30 lap main event when Steve Laursen and Jim Carlson made contact.  Carlson's car required a tow to the pits.  Kaanta resumed command up front on the restart over Nelson, but A. J. Diemel in a second Jimmy Mars car was fast on the bottom and worked his way past Nelson for second.  Diemel slowly began to reel in Kaanta.  Late in the race, Diemel was close and ducked under Kaanta enterting turn one.  Kaanta withstood the challenge.  On the final lap, Diemel had his move calculated for what might have been a winning pass.  However, the lapped car of Lucas Peterson occupied the bottom lane and Diemel's bid came up a bit short at the checkers.  Kaanta basically worked the cushion all race long up top for his 16th career late model victory at CLS.  Diemel, Nelson, Mars and Brent Larson completed the top five.  Rounding out the top ten was Ricky Weiss, Chad Mahder, Rick Hanestad, Jake Redetzke and Lance Matthees.  Nelson, Kaanta and Mars won the heats.

Next week is "Pack The Track Night" at the Cedar Lake Speedway with absolutely FREE ADMISSION for all fans in the stands.  The NASCAR Late Models have the night off, but the remaining four weekly divisions will be in action.  The late model return to action on May 31 for the 3rd Annual Triple Crown special event.  The NASCAR late models and modifieds will race for $3,000 to win that night while the IRA Outlaw Sprints will be on hand for $3,000 to win as well.  Check out the CLS website at to get information on upcoming races, results, photos, news and much more.  You can call us toll free at 1-866-4-CLS-FUN or make sure to become a friend of CLS on our Facebook page, as track announcer Chris Stepan usually posts live race results each night on Facebook.

RACE SUMMARY for May 17, 2014 (UMSS Traditional Sprint Special)

UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Feature (20 laps): Rob Caho Jr, Cam Schafer, Jeff Pellersels, Joseph Kouba, Chase Viebrock, Brian VanMeveren, Mike Mueller, Jake Kouba, Brad Nelson, John Lewerer, Mike Walters, Johnny Parsons III, Tom Kamrath, Kevin Bradwell.

NASCAR Late Model Feature (30 laps): John Kaanta, A. J. Diemel, Darrell Nelson, Jimmy Mars, Brent Larson, Ricky Weiss, Chad Mahder, Rick Hanestad, Jake Redetzke, Lance Matthees, Pat Doar, Mike Bear, Jeff Keeney, Joel Collins, Ben Hanke, Lucas Peterson, Bryan Wennen, Jeff Sayler, Steve Laursen, Jim Carlson, Jim Raboin, Greg Nippoldt.

NASCAR Modified Feature (20 laps): Darrell Nelson, Brent Larson, Joey Jensen, Jason Miller, Scott Duvall, Craig Thatcher, Scott Splittstoesser, Jason Gross, Adam Ayotte, Ted Marrs, Adam Hensel, Jason Haugerud, E. J. Heitala, Chet Atkinson, Jim Weeks, Paul Niznik.

NASCAR Midwest Modified Feature (20 laps): Mitch Weiss, Jason Vandekamp, Kyle Matsuka, Shawn Phillips, Douglas Toepper, Shawn Carlson, Leon Schmidt, Cody Borgeson, Adam Martinson, Jacob Toepper, Cory Burggeman, Shane Berndt, Mitch Anderson, Jason Schill, Chase Friendt, David Simpson, Miranda Carlson, Elizabeth Toepper, Joe Lallier, Kyle Hallin.

NASCAR Pro Stock Feature (20 laps): Mike Loomis, Cody Campeau, Ben Hanke, Adam Ayotte, Ryan Wiome, Mike Hesselink, Larry Fitzsimmons, Dale Gangl, Jeff Heintz, Denny Schouveller, Mike Raboin, Ryan Gangl, Dustin Sanders, Bruce Schouveller, Brian Weber.

NASCAR Hornet Feature (12 laps): Buddy Hanestad, Darrell Johnson, Derrick Johnson, Brandon Dyke, Chris Dyke, Charles Eckl, Eric Anderson, Darren Gamache, Greg Gamache, Natalie Rogers.