Beaver Dam Raceway
Champions Crowned at Beaver Dam Raceway
Beaver Dam, WI (9/19/2023) - 5 champions were crowned as the final, final night of points went on after a rainout the week before. Larry Richards, Austin Winkel, Elijah Koenig, Kenny Richards, and Brandon Schmitt all picked up championships in their respective classes.
A solid 103 cars lined the pits for the final points night as 20 EK Machines Unified Street Stocks, 22 Legends.Direct Legends, 24 Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMods, 15 N&S Towing IMCA Stock Cars, and 22 Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modifieds headlined the night.
The thirteen heat races were won by Jon Schultz and James Fletcher in the EK Machines Unified Street Stocks. Legends.Direct Legend heats went to Adam Zellmer, Hayden Schmuhl, and Eric Blumer. Colton Van Hierden, Ryan Kuehn, and Vince Jung won the Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMods’ heat races. N&S Towing IMCA Stock Car heats were won by Aaron Stolp and Eric Arneson. The final three heats were for the Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modifieds and went to Ben Godlewski, Geoff Jeche, and Brandon Schmitt.
Russ Davison and Dustin Ward tagged the front row of the EK Machines Unified Street Stock feature event. Going into the race, Larry Richards was the points leader, but was unable to race due to his health, which opened the door for second placed Jesse Krahn to take over the points but in a good show of sportsmanship, Krahn jumped into Larry’s #11R in order to earn points for Richards. The green flag flew and Ward jumped to the early lead, with fourth starting Phillip Wuesthoff moving into second. Wuesthoff began to track down the leader as Krahn moved into third. The battle for the lead came to a head on lap seven, when Wuesthoff made his move on Ward and picked up the lead. Almost at the same time, Kranh and Jon Schultz made contact in turn two, causing them both to fall down the order. James Fletcher raced his way up to second on lap eleven, and was taking a look for the race lead before the yellow came out on lap twelve. Green came back out and the battle for the lead would continue until Ward started to slow down the front straight. Green flew again but it wasn’t long until the red flag came out for Ryan Sullivan, who went head on into the pit-in tires. Sullivan was okay and his night in the street stock would be over. Wuesthoff led the field back green as Fletcher and Schultz pressured him for the lead. Wuesthoff held strong and was able to capture his second feature win of the season while Fletcher and Schultz rounded out the top three. With Krahn scoring a sixth place finish for the #11R team, Larry Richards was confirmed as the 2023 EK Machines Unified Street Stock Champion.
The Legends.Direct Legends pulled onto the track with Hayden Schmuhl and Tim Franz on the front row. Green flew on the feature and Schmuhl led the field while Brady Ascherien moved into second. Ascherien fell back and was quickly swept up by Michael Weber and Ryan Sullivan. Weber caught the back of Schmuhl and made the move for the lead on lap ten. Schmuhl started to fall back and into the hands of Griffin McGrath. Adam Zellmer moved into fourth from his seventh starting spot. Zellmer raced past McGrath before the yellow flew for an incident. Another yellow flew right away on the restart as Hunter Cardinal’s engine decided to not finish the night. Weber led the field back to green in a green-white-checkered finish. Zellmer found something special in turns three and four and worked past Weber into the lead. Zellmer picked up his fourth feature win with Weber and McGrath second and third. Austin Winkel wrapped up the championship with a fourth place finish to become the 2023 Legends.Direct Legend Champion.
It was time for the Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMods feature, where Coy Vlies and Vince Jung lined up side-by-side on the front row. Vlies fired off well and led the field at the end of the first lap. Yellow flew on lap three for a spun car, bunching the field back up. Green flew again as the #6 of Jim Zdroik and #7S of Nick Schultz made quick work of Jung on the restart. Yellow came again as two more cars found themselves spun in turn two. Vles led the field back to green and broke away from the rest of the field. Quickly turn four became a parking lot as seven cars got tangled and brought out the yellow flag again. With green back in the air, Vlies fired off well again as Schultz and Zdroik went to battle, with Zdroik coming out on top for the moment. A multi car battle for the fourth place spot transpired as the field fanned out all over the track. The car moving through the pack was the #32X of Skyler Woods, who moved into fourth on lap nine. Woods began to close on the top three with lap traffic coming thick and heavy. Ryan Kuehn followed Woods through the field in fifth as the laps counted down. Championship leader Elijah Koenig was up to sixth from his twelfth starting spot by lap fifteen and was chasing down Kuehn for fifth with three laps to go. Zdroik fell back to fourth with only two laps remaining, but all attention turned to Coy Vlies, who picked up his first feature win of the season in his first A-Main of the season after the previous two he was scheduled to run got canceled. Schultz and Woods rounded out the top three. With a sixth place finish, Elijah Koenig was crowned the 2023 Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMod Champion.
The N&S Towing IMCA Stock Car feature pulled onto the track, where Brian Gerber and Karly Stadler started on the front row. Green flew and Stadler jumped to the early race lead, but was quickly tracked down by Alex Crapser, who worked past her on lap three. Cole Czarneski chased down Stader and passed her for second on lap ten. The three championship contenders, Kenny Richards, Aaron Stolp, and Jeremy Christians all found themselves three wide with each other for a period of the race. Stolp got the best of the battle moving into fourth before the yellow flew for a spun car in turn four. Richards was the best car on the restart, passing Stolp for third and keeping his championship hopes alive. The race for the lead heated up as Crapser and Czarneski swapped the top spot back and forth for a handful of laps. The three championship contenders all went to war with themselves, fighting for what was the championship. Meanwhile up front, Crapser was able to capture the win that had eluded him this season, with Czarneski and Richards second and third. With a third place finish in hand, Kenny Richards took the top spot in the championship and picked up the 2023 N&S Towing IMCA Stock Car Championship.
The final points race of the night, the Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modified feature was up, with Jeff Schepp and Ben Godlewski first and second. Racing would be halted fast as coming through turn four on the first lap, a big pileup brought out the red flag, claiming five cars early, including Don Scheffler, who rolled over on his roof, Scheffler would be okay. The other big story was championship contender Dan Roedl getting caught up in the melee and having to go to the work area. The field refired with seventeen cars left of the twenty two that started, and Godlewski led early before the caution came out. Green came back out and attention focused on championship leader Brandon Schmitt, who headlined a four car battle for the race lead. Derek Thompson, Godlewski, Mike and Jeff Schmuhl, Jed Freiburger, and Schmitt all battled for the lead at some point but yellow flew before any real moves could occur. Green came back out and Jeff Schmuhl rocketed to the race lead as Godlewski and Schmitt fought for second. Roedl was on a mission, up to fifth after his lap one ordeal when yellow came out on lap ten. Schmuhl led the field back to green but was no match for Schmitt, who drove by him on the restart for the lead. Freiburger raced past Godlewski for third as Roedl did the same for fourth. Roedl’s charge was not enough as Schmitt drove off into the night to pick up his seventh win of the season, with Schmuhl and Freiburger on the podium. Picking up the win was the best bet for Schmitt, as he also picked up the 2023 Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modified Championship.
Beaver Dam Raceway will be in action one last time this season, with a two night event, the first annual Pink Hat Fall Classic taking place October 6th and 7th. The 6th will be an open practice and parking day, with racing on the 7th.
All information on the final event can be found on wismotorsports.net and the Beaver Dam Raceway Facebook page.
Article Credit: Zack Krueger
Submitted By: Zack Krueger