Beaver Dam Raceway
First Annual Pink Hat Classic an Instant Classic
Beaver Dam, WI (10/7/2023) - The first annual Pink Hat Classic went off with a bang as over $10,000 dollars was given away to different winners by the end of the night. Cold temperatures couldn’t keep the red hot racing away.
A record 210 cars filled the pits for the final time in 2023 as 32 EK Machines Unified Street Stocks, 22 Legends.Direct Legends, 25 Grand Nationals in their only appearance in 2023, 47 Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMods, 39 N&S Towing IMCA Stock Cars, and 45 Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modifieds headlined the night.
The night started with a presentation of sportsmanship and honor. Announcers Ray Underwood and Zack Krueger were in victory lane with drivers Larry Richards and Jesse Krahn, members of the Richards family, track president Carolyn Mueller, members of the Beaver Dam Safety Team, representatives from Galloping Ghosts Motorsports and Transport, and Beaver Dam Firefighter and EMT Logan Thomas as recognition for everyone's actions during and after Larry’s medical emergency.
Twenty-four heat races started off the night with Brian Besaw, Kenny Richards, Rob Maule, and Kyle Caswell winning the EK Machines Street Stock heats. Eric Blumer, Adam Zellmer, and Dallas Ross picked up the Legends.Direct heat races. Grand National heat races saw Derek Schrauth, Nicholas Goeman, and Will Sorce win. Andy Klosterman, Ryan Kuehn, Colton See, Coy Vlies, and Jaeden Voigt won the Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMod heat races. N&S Towing IMCA Stock Car heats were won by Nick Frederick, Brandon Schmitt, Austin Jansen, and Mike Mullen. The final heats of the night went to Spencer Diercks, Scotte Lemke, Cody Apfelbeck, Jeff Schmuhl, and Derek Janke in the Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modifieds.
7 B-Mains awaited the drivers next, with James Fletcher, Dustin Schwandt, Ford Malvitz, and Jerry Winkler transferring in the Street Stocks. The SportMod B-Mains saw Timothy Warner, Jeff Steenbergen, Cole Stichter, and Tim Sheppard transfer to the A-Main. Alex Crapser and Clint Forstner won their B-Mains as Josh Mroczkowski and Eric Mahlik transferred with them in the Stock Cars. It was Marcus Yarie and Steve Mueller who won the Modified B-Main with Geoff Jeche and Tanner Janke making it into the A-Main as well.
Kenny Richards and Stuart White led the field to green as the first A-Main of the night went green with the EK Machines Street Stocks. A quick yellow would fly as Krahn got turned around in turn one off of the race start. Green came back out and Richards jumped to the lead as Jon Schultz moved into second. Battles all over the racing surface began and shaped up as Schultz began to chase down Richards. Paul Diefenthaler put on a show up top trying to break into the top three. Drama would draw the yellow as the race leader Richards slowed down the front straightaway, ending his night. Ryan Sullivan came to a halt at pit in right before the green flag, delaying the restart and ending his race with a mechanical fault. Schultz led the field back to green as Diefenthaler challenged him for the lead a lap later. A driver on the move was B-Main winner Fletcher, who put himself all the way on the highside and worked his way all the way up to second before the yellow came out once again. Schultz brought the field back to green for the final time as Diefenthaler and Fletcher both challenged for the race lead with Diefenthaler even taking the lead for a few laps before Schultz drove right by him and into victory lane, as Diefenthaler and Fletcher rounded out the podium.
The Legends.Direct Legends were up next with Mike Mueller and Ryan Sullivan starting on the front row. Sullivan had the lead at the end of lap one with Adam Zellmer right behind him. Yellow flew early in the race and on the restart, six cars would tangle, bringing out the red flag. Green came back out and Sullivan once again led the pack as Zellmer had to deal with Parker Jones. Jones, the 2022 Legends Champion and 2023 Badger Midget Rookie of the Year, surged into second and began to chase down the leader Sullivan. Zellmer fell back to fourth behind Dallas Ross as the front two broke away. Jones broke into the lead on lap eleven and Zellmer worked past Ross and began to chase the top two back down. The top three went at it for the final laps before calamity struck on the white flag as Jones and Sullivan made contact down the back straightaway, causing Jones to slide into the infield and Sullivan to slow down which allowed Zellmer to slip through and pick up the win, with Sullivan and Ross second and third.
The next A-Main was the Grand Nationals with Todd Ascherien and Derek Schrauth first and second. Green flew on the field and it was Ascherien who kept the lead as Schrauth began to fall backward. Lots of two and three wide racing took place as Ascherien broke away from the pack. All around the field positions were swapped and changed. Seventh starting Will Sorce began to chase down the race leader before a yellow flew on lap fifteen. A five lap shootout ensued and it was Sorce who came out on top, working past Ascherien on lap eighteen and into the lead. He wouldn’t look back as he picked up the win with Ascherien and Dustin Weiss on the podium.
The Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMods pulled onto the track with Andy Klosterman on the pole and Ryan Kuehn alongside. Klosterman led the field to green while Kuehn and third starting Skylar Woods swapped spots off the start. The first battle on track was for fourth as Geoff Zdroik, Colton See, Coy Vlies, and Jason Zdroik all went at it for the spot, with Vlies eventually coming out on top as the field continued to race. Yellow flew dramatically on lap eighteen for a loose tire on the track, which led to a green-white-checkered finish. Klosterman led the field back to green but quickly fell to the pressure of Coy Vlies who made a last lap pass for the lead in turn four to win by just 0.092 seconds. Klosterman would come home second with Woods finishing third.
Aaron Stolp and Jeremy Christians led the N&S Towing IMCA Stock Car feature to green. Christians got the jump before the yellow flew completely restarting the race. Christians once again got the jump but was quickly reeled in by Stolp, who battled the “Horicon Hurricane” for the lead until another yellow flew. Due to a technical fault, Stolp was forced to pull off the track and call it a night. Christians led the field back to green as attention turned to Brandon Schmitt, 2023 Shepy’s AutoBody IMCA Modified Champion, and Mike Mullen, who both began to work through the field from their deep starting spots. Mullen broke through into second, battling past Kyle Frederick and Brett Wenzel. Schmitt would be under attack from many of the best IMCA Stock Car drivers in the country but was able to stay strong. Christians came under pressure from Mullen on lap nine, with Mullen making the move on lap ten. Schmitt worked past Wenzel on lap fifteen for the second position. Christians would try to chase down Mullen but wouldn’t have enough for the driver out of Seymour, and Mullen would pick up the win with Christians coming home second and Schmitt third.
(Not Pictured: Mike Mullen, pulled in right away to get into his Modified)
The final A-Main of the night and season saw the Shepy’s AutoBody IMCA Modifieds come onto the raceway with Derek Janke and Brian Mullen starting on the front row as the field went green. Brian Mullen started well and took the lead early as fifth starting Benji LaCrosse started to work around cars and into a podium position. LaCrosse moved into second on lap five and began to chase down the leader. Brian Mullen defended from LaCrosse and would be saved by a yellow halfway through the feature. Green flew once again and LaCrosse went back to work, passing Brian Mullen for the lead on lap eleven. Cole Czarneski found himself third having to defend from Mike Mullen, but quickly learned that when Mike Mullen wants a spot, he gets it, and surged to the last step of the podium. Meanwhile, LaCrosse ran away with the lead, picking up the win with Brian Mullen second and Mike Mullen.
As the season comes to an end, Beaver Dam Raceway wants to thank all of the fans who came out to support the racing every week. Without the fans who packed the stands, none of this would’ve happened, so from everyone at Beaver Dam Raceway, thank you, and we will see you next season!!
Writer’s Note: Hello all who read this far, I am Zack Krueger, the person who wrote this article and who you heard in victory lane all year. I just want to say thank you for reading all the articles this season. From barely knowing where to start when it came to writing an article to having over 30,000 views on my articles for BDR. I want to thank everyone at Beaver Dam Raceway who put up with me this season and who taught me so much. Have a fantastic off season and we will see you in the future, DTZ.
Article Credit: Zack Krueger
Submitted By: Zack Krueger