Beaver Dam Raceway Report: May 31, 2014
By NICHOLAS DETTMANN
BEAVER DAM, Wis. - A scary crash toward the end of the 2012 season ended what might have been a track championship in the legends division at Beaver Dam Raceway for Ethan Ross.
After missing most of the 2013 season, still recovering from the injury, Ross is proving he's returning to form and should be considered in the championship race.
Ross won the 20-lap "A" main legends feature Saturday night.
Ross took the lead from Kim Clover on lap nine and led the rest of the way.
Also picking up feature victories on a warm Saturday evening was Joe McGrath (modified), Kenny Richards (grand national), Scott Riedner (street stock) and Travis Kleindl (sport modified).
Ross won for the second time this season, both in the last three weeks. He also has two additional fourth-place finishes. His only hiccup was an 18th-place showing May 24.
In 2012, Ross won six "A" main features, including one in each the first three weeks of that season. He had nine top-five finishes in 14 starts, including six straight before a horrific crash at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie. Ross suffered two spinal fractures in his upper back in the crash and missed the rest of the season. He was fifth in the points at the time of his crash.
In 2013, he made three "A" main starts and finished in the top 10 in each, and won a heat race.
With 96 cars parked in the pit area, the legends began the evening with three heat races.
Brian Peterson, Francesca Hoch and Chris Flick took the checkered flag in their respective eight-lap heat races.
Hoch won her first career race at Beaver Dam in thrilling fashion, edging fellow woman driver Marlena Boyd by 0.003 seconds.
Aaron Streblow and Richards won the grand national heat races. Brandon Riedner, Scott Riedner and Mark Baker won the street stock heats. Jeff Schmuhl, Adam Peschek and Kleindl won the sport modified heats. Dave Schoenberger, McGrath and Taylor Scheffler won the modified heats.
It was Peschek's first career victory on dirt for the asphalt late model driver at Slinger Superspeedway, and it was Scheffler's first career checkered flag.
The first division to hit track side for its "A" main was grand national.
Will Schumacher and Dustin Weiss led the 13-car field to the green flag for 20 laps.
Schumacher had a hold of the top spot for the first two laps. Then Aaron Streblow took over the point until there was two laps to go.
Traffic became a factor late in the going, which chased Streblow up the hill going through turns 1 and 2, which allowed Richards to duck underneath and win the race going into Turn 3 and held on for the victory.
Streblow went on to finish second, followed by Nick Schumacher, Tommy Moore, last week's feature winner, and Kodiak Wirtz.
Street stocks were next on the track, with David Kinjerski and Stuart White leading the way to start the feature.
Kinjerski appeared he was on his way to win his first career feature, but he slowed coming off Turn 2 with nine laps to go and peeled into the pits, relinquishing the lead to Scott Riedner.
Riedner, the defending track champion, led the final nine laps for the victory, his third in four weeks.
Doug Engleking was second, followed by Chad Hummelmeier, Roger Frank and Brandon Riedner.
The legends were next for its "A" main, with Boyd and Cody Apfelbeck leading the 25-car field to the green.
Apfelbeck led the first four laps before Clover took over the point.
Ross made a pass on Clover on lap seven, but a caution nullified the position change. Two laps later, Ross got back around Clover and made it stick. Soon after, Clover spun out, taking out a handful of cars.
Clover, who finished third in the points last season, is out to a slow start. She has three finishes of 10th or worse in five starts to begin the 2014 season.
Mike Mueller was second, followed by Joe Bongiorno, Johnny Kringas and Jim Bucher. It was Bucher's second-straight top-five finish. He had three all of last season.
Sport mods were next, with Peschek and Kleindl starting up front.
Kleindl, who was one of a handful of drivers celebrating a birthday at the track, won the time-shortened feature. It was his first feature victory since Aug. 18, 2012.
Jeff Schmuhl, last week's feature winner, was second to give him three-straight top-two finishes. Tim Sheppard was third, James Berkevich Jr. was fourth and Dustin Smits was fifth.
To cap the evening, Nick Firari and Scheffler led the modified field to the line.
On the first lap, one car got loose coming off Turn 2, which started a chain-reaction crash, ultimately collecting nine cars and blocking the back straightaway.
Once organized, the race got back under way.
Firari led the first eight laps before McGrath took over the point and went on to the victory, with a hard-charging Jeremy Christians following close.
Firari was third. Brian Crapser, another driver celebrating a birthday at the track, was fourth, and Scheffler was fifth.
Next week, the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series makes its third of five trips to the clay. In addition, the sport modifieds, street stocks and legends will be action. In the IRA Series' two previous visits this season, Phil Mock has come away with the checkered flag - his first two career victories with the series.
Racing starts at 6:30 p.m.