BEAVER DAM REPORT: April 18, 2015
By NICHOLAS DETTMANN
BEAVER DAM, Wis. - In 15 "A" main starts in the street stock division a season ago, Brandon Riedner couldn't find victory lane.
In the first "A" main street stock feature of 2015 on a crisp Saturday night, Riedner found victory lane, holding off Mark Baker.
Also picking up "A" main victories to start the season were Kenny Richards (grand national), Chris Flick (legend), Andrew Araco (modified) and Adam Peschek (sport modified).
For Peschek, who races asphalt late models, it was his first career sport modified feature victory of the season.
To start the season, 102 cars were registered in the paddock, including 29 street stocks, which meant a "B". There were only two "B" mains all season in 2014.
For the prerace ceremonies, a moment of silence was held for five people - 4-year-old fan Landen Meifert, DuWayne Schelter, former pace truck driver and legend racer at Beaver Dam, Elvin Smits, longtime race fan and Dustin Smits' grandfather, Bob Firari, longtime race fan, and Scott Semmelmann, who died in a practice crash Sept. 20 at Beaver Dam Raceway.
The street stocks had the first green-flag events of the evening, with four "B" mains. The top-four from each heat race advanced to the "A" main. The heat race winners were Derek Childs, Riedner, Baker and Charles Hummelmeier.
Two grand national heat races were won by Aaron Streblow and Richards. Jeff Schmuhl and Brandon Berth won the sport modified features. Frankie Hoch, Mike Mueller and Tim Vargo won the legends heat races. Dustin Smits, Don Scheffler and Ben Godlewski won the modified heat races.
The modified heat races were slowed because of two cars which flipped over. The first was Kelly Brown, who flipped onto his roof after trying to slow down because a waved-off start. In the second heat race, David Jaeger flipped over after the checkered flag. Both drivers were able to climb out of their cars.
In the street stock "B" main, Logan Schmeck took first, followed by Pat Rossman, Kyle Riedner and Craig Lepple.
The grand national division was first on the track for the "A" main portion of the evening and it was almost a no contest.
Don Schmacher and Richards started on the first row and it took a matter of seconds for Richards to get the edge and pull into the lead once the field was on the backstraight. From there it was all Richards as the 2011 and 2013 track champion led all 20 laps en route to the feature victory.
Last season, Richards won three features.
Justin Brown finished second, followed by Tommy Moore, the defending track champion, Schumacher and Jeff Tondryk.
Sport mods were next, with Peschek and Robert Mann starting on the front row.
Peschek led the opening lap before Jeff Steenbergen took the lead on lap 2. On lap 3, Peschek resumed the top spot on the board.
On lap 4, Gary Bauer flipped over in a crash in Turn 4, causing a lengthy delay. Bauer was able to get out of his car and went into the ambulance. When the green flag came out, Peschek stayed out front until another caution came out on lap 8. That ended the race as it came after the 20-minute time limit, and it gave Peschek the victory.
Schmuhl, the defending track champion, took second, followed by Brandon Riedner, Berth and Mann.
Mueller and Kim Clover were on the front row for the legends "A" main. Mueller, driving a backup car, led the opening four laps. Flick took the lead on lap 5 after a slipup by Mueller on a restart. Flick led the remaining 16 laps. Flick won back-to-back races last season, including the World of Outlaws night June 28.
The street stock "A" main was next and starting on the front row was Brandon Riedner and Alex Crapser.
Crapser got the early edge, leading the first two laps of the race. Riedner took the lead on lap 3. Then there were four cautions between laps 7 and 13. Still, Riedner held off his challengers.
On lap 15, the caution flag flew when Hummelmeir and Kyle Riedner got together in Turn 2, battling for a top-five spot. Riedner started the race in 19th. Brandon Riedner timed the restart perfectly and got enough distance on Baker to go onto the victory.
In victory lane, Riedner pounded on the roof, letting out the frustration from a 15-race winless streak as won the 2013 finale.
Baker went on to take second, followed by Crapser, Childs and Ryan Blank.
To finish the evening, the modifieds pulled out of the chute for the final "A" main. Araco and Jeremy Christians, who's trying to win his fourth track championship in five years, were on the front row.
The modified feature had the most lead changes out of the five "A" mains (four). It also had four cautions, which helped keep the field close.
Araco held the lead for the first three laps before Zeke Bishofberger led for one lap. Araco led the next two laps. Then, Matt Rechek led the next five. Rechek looked eager to win a race, something he didn't do last year in an "A" main and hadn't done in 23 starts going into the program.
Araco took the lead for good on lap 12, shortly after a restart from a two-car incident on lap 11 in Turn 1.
Rechek went on to take second, which he did three times last year. Dave Schoenberger was third, followed by Kevin Tillema, in his modified debut, and Steve Mueller.
The next event is Saturday with the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series taking over the track for the Jim Wipperfurth Memorial. The street stocks and legends will also be in attendance. Tickets are $20 per person, $10 for students age 6-11 and kids 5 and younger are free. Qualifying begins at 6 p.m., racing at 6:30 p.m.