Beaver Dam Raceway Report: June 14, 2014
By NICHOLAS DETTMANN
BEAVER DAM, Wis. - Welcome to victory lane Chris Flick.
Flick got around Ethan Ross with three laps to go and held on for the victory Saturday night at Beaver Dam Raceway. It was the Beaver Dam native's first career "A" main feature victory.
Also picking up "A" main victories on a cool, but pleasant evening at the dirt track were Roger Lee (grand national), Dave Schoenberger (modified), Nick Schultz (sport modified) and Roger Frank (street stock).
Ninety-five cars parked in the pit area for the evening's action after last week's festivities were wiped out because of weather.
The legends were the first division to hit the track for its eight-lap heat races.
Ethan Ross, Vince Bartolotta and Mike Mueller emerged with the victory in their respective heat races.
The street stocks were next, with Scott Riedner, Mark Baker and Brandon Riedner picked up the heat-race victories.
In the sport modified division, Dustin Smits and Schultz won their respective heat races. Dustin Weiss and Aaron Stolp were victorious in the grand national heat races. And finally, Schoenberger, Craig Priewe and David Jaeger won the modified heat races.
The first division to roll out for its "A" main was the legends.
Leading the 22-car field to the first "A" main green flag of the evening was Cody Apfelbeck and Anthony Jagoditsch.
It was an exciting race as no driver ever seemed to have a firm grasp of the event. There were six lead changes among five drivers.
Apfelbeck led the opening four laps of the 20-lap "A" main. Kim Clover led the next lap before Flick took a hold of the lead for the next five laps.
At the halfway point, Bartolotta had taken over the lead and led the way for Flick, Ross, Warren Ropp and Austin Wiese.
Ross, a two-time "A" main winner this season, took over the lead with five laps to go. At the time, Flick was running fourth.
Then with three laps to go and after Flick knifed his way through the field, Flick got a run off Turn 2 and beat Ross to Turn 3. He held on from there for the victory.
Ross finished second, followed by Bartolotta, Mueller and Joe Bongiorno.
After six weeks, Bongiorno, last season's Rookie of the Year with the legends, leads Ross by seven points. Mueller, last season's runner-up in the championship, is 12 points back.
The street stocks were up next, with Karly Stadler and rookie Brad Birzer leading the 19-car field to the green flag for 20 laps.
Shortly after the green flag dropped, Birzer lost the handle of his No. 52 car and spun in front of almost the entire field. All but Baker was able to escape what could've been a multi-car pileup. Baker was unable to continue.
Starting from the top, Stadler and Aaron Falbe led the field in another attempt the get the feature underway. Falbe quickly surged ahead of Stadler and took over the top spot.
It was another exciting feature as there were five lead changes among three drivers.
Falbe led the first five circuits before Chad Hummelmeier took over for the next eight. Hummelmeier led Frank, Brandon Riedner, Scott Riedner and Falbe at the halfway point.
Frank took over the lead on lap 13, only to lose it on the next lap to Hummelmeier.
Frank took over the top spot for good with the help of lapped traffic with just two laps to go. Using a slower car as a pick, Frank got around Hummelmeier to take the lead and go onto the feature victory, his first of the season and first since July 21, 2012 - a span of 29 "A" main starts.
Hummelmeier came away with a second-place showing. Brandon Riedner was third, Scott Riedner was fourth and Stadler came home fifth, her first top-five finish of the season and first since Aug. 31.
Scott Riedner opened up his points lead a couple points from two to eight over Doug Engleking. Brandon Riedner sits third, nine points back.
Sport mods were next with Jim Berkevich Jr. and Keith Schmitt leading the 17 cars to the green.
Berkevich led the first three laps, and then Smits took the lead for two laps before being black-flagged for over-aggressive driving.
Berkevich resumed the lead and led for the next five laps until the halfway point. At that point, Jeff Schmuhl was out front, followed by Berkevich, Schultz, Marcus Cox and Tim Sheppard.
One lap later, Schmuhl spun in Turn 4 and pulled off the track, unable to continue.
Berkevich was out front in the closing laps until Schultz got around the Watertown native and led the final four laps for the "A" main triumph, his first of the season and just his second top-five finish in five starts.
Berkevich came home second, followed by Travis Kleindl, Sheppard and Cox. Cox got a top-five finish after spinning on the third lap and had to go to the back of the field. The same went for Kleindl.
Schmuhl maintained his point lead, but take a bit of a hit, losing eight points of his lead. He leads Berkevich by two points. Schultz is 19 points out of the lead in third.
The grand national division was next to hit track side and it was Dan Schumacher and Stolp lead the 16-car field for the "A" main.
Schumacher got out front to lead the opening lap. After a caution involving Stolp and Todd Ascherien, Lee took over the top spot after the restart and led the remaining 19 laps in nearly convincing fashion.
It is Lee's fifth "A" main feature victory in his last 12 starts.
Tommy Moore was second, followed by Aaron Streblow, Kenny Richards and Nick Schumacher.
Lee cut off three points of Moore's lead and trails Moore by six points. Streblow is third, 12 points back.
For the main event of the evening, Craig Priewe and Andrew Araco led a field of 21 cars to the green flag for the modified "A" main.
Araco got a terrific start and appeared he was going to run away with it. In three laps, he built a straightaway lead on the field.
A caution came out with nine laps to go to bunch up the field. That's what Schoenberger needed and he took advantage of it.
Restarting in third, Schoenberger bolted from third to first in one lap to take over the lead with eight laps to go and was in cruise control all the way to the checkered flag.
It was his first "A" main of the season. He won only one "A" main last season as well (Aug. 17).
Araco was second, followed by Jeremy Christians, Jaeger and Mike Sandholm. Matt Rechek, who trailed Christians by four points going into the evening, lost significant ground in the points battle, dropping from four back to 21.
Next Saturday night is Fan Appreciation Night. Cars will be displayed on the top of the hill for a fan one-on-one opportunity with his or her favorite driver(s). That starts at 4:30 p.m. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m.