BEAVER DAM RACEWAY REPORT: Aug. 9, 2014
By NICHOLAS DETTMANN
BEAVER DAM, Wis. - Some championship battles opened up Saturday night at Beaver Dam Raceway.
Tommy Moore (grand national) and Joe Bongiorno (legends) were two of the championship leaders to create some separation from the field.
Moore and Bongiorno each swept the evening, picking up a heat victory and an "A" main victory, to add to their leads in the points standings with only five weekends of racing left on the schedule.
Also picking up "A" main victories were Chad Hummelmeier (street stock), Dave Schoenberger (modified) and Jon Schultz (sport modified).
Moore went into the night with a 13-point lead over Aaron Streblow, Bongiorno held a 28-point margin over Mike Mueller. When they left the track, Moore upped his lead to 33 points as Streblow struggled throughout the night, which included a disqualification after his heat race, and Bongiorno now holds a 38-point edge over Mueller.
It was Bongiorno's second victory in three races. He took second last week, losing the race on a last-corner pass by Ethan Ross, while Mueller finished 18th last week.
The legends were first to hit the track in the evening with three heat races. They were won by Kim Clover, Bongiorno and Ross.
Street stocks and modifieds were the next two divisions to go trackside, and both needed "B" mains.
Street stocks were first with Hummelmeier, Karly Stadler and Doug Engleking winning their respective heat races. Engleking prevailed in a tight race that saw that top-four finishes separated by six-tenths of a second. Stadler's victory was a popular one as she fought off a charge by Mark Baker through Turns 3 and 4 for her second heat victory of the season.
In the modified heat races, Will Sorce, Andrew Araco and Schoenberger were the victors.
Sport modifieds were next with three heat races. Jeremy Schwoch, Travis Kleindl and Schultz won their heat races. Kleindl won his race by half-a-car length over James Berkevich Jr.
Grand nationals ran two heat races to finish off that portion of the evening. Moore and Don Schumacher won those races. In the second heat race, won by Schumacher, Streblow spun by himself and by rule had to go off the track.
The street stock "B" main was next, with Kyle Neuman and Josh Jahns on the front row, and the top five advancing to the "A" main. Jason White won the race, followed by Jahns, Aaron Falbe, Keith Olejnik and Chris Prust to round out the top five and set the field for the "A" main.
The modified "B" main was next, with Raymond Keyser and Kelly Brown starting on the front row. The top five advanced. Brown led all 15 laps en route to the victory. Ben Godlewski was second, followed by Brandon Schmitt, Nick Firari and Don Scheffler to complete the top five and the rest of the "A" main lineup.
After a brief intermission, the legends "A" main was up first.
Cody Apfelbeck and Ryan Mech were the front-row starters for the 20-lap main event.
Apfelbeck led the first five laps before Bongiorno, who started 10th, made his way to the front. At the halfway mark, it was Bongiorno, Ross, Johnny Kringas, Apfelbeck and Clover.
The race's fourth caution came out with eight laps to go, which put the event up against the 20-minute time limit. At that point, it was Bongiorno, Ross, Kringas, Apfelbeck and Mueller in the top five. Four laps later, there was a new leader: Mike Kudlicki.
Making his 2014 debut, Kudlicki, a former Lake Geneva Raceway driver and the crew chief for Kringas, led lap 16. On lap 18, he got loose off Turn 2 and spun, relinquishing the lead to Bongiorno.
After losing the race on the last turn the week before, Bongiorno hung tough and held off Ross for his second feature victory of the season.
Ross finished second, followed by Kringas, Mueller and Clover. For Kringas, it was his fourth-straight top-six finish.
After the 38-point separation between Bongiorno and Mueller for the top of the points standings, Chris Flick is third, 72 points back, and Ross is fourth, 84 points back, all still within reach of the championship.
The 20-lap sport modified was next, with Aaron Muhle and Schwoch getting the start on the front row. Schwoch led the first six laps of the event. On lap 6, Nick Schultz, who went into the night 10 points behind Jeff Schmuhl for the championship lead, spun in Turn 2. During the caution, Berkevich went off the track to repair some cosmetic damage. He made it back onto the track just before the restart. Three more cautions helped get Berkevich back into contention. However, one of those cautions was once again caused by a spin by Schultz and had to go off per track rules. He finished 14th.
Jon Schultz took over the lead from Schwoch on lap 7 and led the remaining 13 laps for the victory, his second of the season in only third start. Schmuhl finished second, followed by Berkevich, Muhle and Keith Schmitt.
Schmuhl only added a point to his lead, 10 over Berkevich. However, Nick Schultz lost some ground, dropping from 10 points back to 23.
Grand nationals' 20-lap "A" main was next, with Matt Bedker and Don Schumacher were the front-row starters. Schumacher held the lead for the first two laps. On lap 3, a four-car crash took place, one of which was Streblow. He was unable to continue and was scored with a 16th-place finish, his worst finish of the season and it couldn't have come at a worse time.
Moore took over the lead shortly after the restart and dominated en route to his fifth feature victory of the season, fourth in five races.
Nick Schumacher was second, followed by Scott Hermersmann, Don Schumacher and Steven Wirtz to round out the top five.
Tim Draheim and Alex Crapser were on the front row for the next event of the evening, the 20-lap street stock "A" main. This one had six lead changes, four in the last six laps and three in the last four.
Crapser had the upper hand for the first eight laps before a caution. On the restart, Hummelmeier made his move to the front and got around Crapser to take the lead. At the halfway point, it was Hummelmeier, Brandon Riedner, Crapser, Draheim and David Kinjerski.
Riedner took over the lead with six laps to go. Hummelmeier retook the lead with four to go. Riedner was the first to see the white flag. Riedner and Hummelmeier were side-by-side going down the back straight on the final lap. Hummelmeier made it stick and beat Riedner to the line by 0.135 seconds for the thrilling checkered flag.
Crapser finished a season-best third, with Jason White and Scott Riedner rounding out the top five.
The street stock points battle remained tight at the top, with Scott Riedner leading Brandon Riedner by just eight points. Derek Childs, who spent part of his evening on top of one of the tractor tires on the track's infield, is 49 points back in third place.
The modified "A" main was the last event of the night. Brad McGuire and Schoenberger started the 20-lap event up front. Going into the feature, Matt Rechek held a seven-point lead over Noah Schepp in one of the closer battles at the track. The top six were separated by just 16 points when the night began.
On the first lap and in the first turn, six cars were involved in a crash that also collected championship contenders Jeremy Christians and Schepp. Also involved was Brandon Schmitt, Kelly Brown and Matt Klenz, and they weren't able to continue, while Christians and Schepp were. But Schepp wasn't able to rebound and finished 16th. Christians managed a ninth-place finish.
This one was all Schoenberger, however, leading all 20 laps for his third feature victory of the season.
Zeke Bishofberger, making just his third modified feature start of the season, was second, followed by Jeff Steenbergen, Rechek and Taylor Scheffler.
Rechek added four points to his lead, giving an 11-point cushion over Schoenberger. Christians is third, 14 points back. The top six in the division are separated by 26 points, still within reach of the championship.
Next week is another five-division night at the track. But it's also Scout Night at The Races. All uniformed scouts and scout leaders receive free admission. $20 per car load, with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.