KAUKAUNA, Wis. (July 28, 2022) – With Bobby Kendall and Jeff VanOudenhoven slowly closing the gap in the Super Late Model point standings over the last few weeks, Dalton Zehr knew it was time to have a banner week. He delivered on Thursday night with his third win of the season at Wisconsin International Raceway.
Zehr sliced his way through the field by the halfway point then methodically chased down the top three, eventually taking the lead from Lowell Bennett on lap 23 of the Werner Electric 35-lap feature.
With a shower looming in the area, the field quickly assembled and took the green flag behind Randy Schuler and Michael Anthony. Anthony secured the lead before the only caution of the race fell on lap three. Schuler took advantage on the restart and secured the top spot.
Behind Schuler, Bennett and Grant Griesbach moved into the Top Three. On lap eight Griesbach made his move to the outside of Bennett for Second. He then slipped past Shuler on the following lap.
As the laps clicked off Griesbach and Bennett escaped the field. Eventually Shuler fell into the clutches of Andy Monday, who grabbed Third. On lap 14 there was a mad scramble from Fourth on back as Shuler bobbled exiting turn four. That allowed Zehr to take Fifth and set his sights on the rest of the Top Five.
Bennett found some jump after the midway point of the race, stepping up to challenge Griesbach. On lap 20 he took the lead, just as Zehr slipped past Monday for Third. Bennett then began to stretch out his advantage and Griesbach was soon left to deal with Zehr. Meanwhile Bobby Kendall and Jeff VanOudenhoven were moving through the field and toward the Top Five.
Zehr wasted little time after catching Bennett and secured the lead with 12 laps to go. Behind him, fellow title contenders continued to work. Unfortunately for Kendall, smoke began to roll out of the back of his machine. He was black flagged due to reports of oil, spoiling his chance at a Top Five. VanOudenhoven, however, carried on. He caught Griesbach but was unable to challenge.
With two laps to go it appeared Bennett was losing power, allowing Griesbach and VanOudenhoven to slip past late. They went on to finish Second and Third, Bennett held on for Fourth, and Monday rounded out the Top Five.
RODEWALD HANGS ON FOR LATE MODEL WIN
Travis Rodewald was looking for redemption and another Late Model win. He found it Thursday night but had to hold off a furious charge from Nate Van Wychen in the process.
Rodewald led all 20 laps of the main event and appeared to have full control until the gap closed on him quickly. Rodewald outdueled both Matt Wittman and Brady Baldry early, then began to build up his advantage. As his lead grew, some of the quicker qualifiers were making their way through the field.
Van Wychen, who set fast time during qualifying, made his way into the Top Five early and slipped past point leader Bryan Monday on lap four. He then chased down Baldry on lap 11. At that point the gap was nearly a full straightaway to Rodewald.
Slowly but surely, the gap began to close between the leaders. Van Wychen eventually reached Rodewald’s bumper with two laps to go and started looking for ways into the top spot. Although he got two good looks to the inside, Rodewald was able to defend. He kept Van Wychen behind and was able to hold a car-length advantage to the checkered flag. Baldry held on for Third, Monday was Fourth, and Chase Randerson rounded out the Top Five.
NEERDAELS AND MCVEY ADD ¼-MILE LATE MODEL WINS
Henry Neerdaels and Pete McVey split the 15-lap WIR ¼-Mile Late Model feature wins. Neerdaels picked up the lead early in the first feature then ran away from the pack. McVey inherited the lead after the leaders tangled in the second feature, then held off some furious charges by Wayne Posselt.
Heather Wolfgram led early in the opening feature for the ¼-Mile late Models. Eventually Neerdaels was able to slip into Second then shot around the outside of Wolfgram for the lead on lap six. Behind Neerdaels, Dan Van Daalwyk battled for the Second spot with Wolfgram. He eventually took the position, but Neerdaels had checked out.
Behind Neerdaels and Van Daalwyk, Kevin Hebbe finished Third, Rick Spoo was Fourth, and Brandon Reichenberger was Fifth.
Roger Braun led the early portion of the second feature. Unfortunately the bid for the sweep for Neerdaels was ended early when he spun on lap three. It appeared either a tire went down or something broke on his machine. On the following restart Tim Bauman stepped in to challenge Braun.
Bauman, who set fast time earlier in the night, looked for lanes to the inside. At the halfway point he found an opening, but came together with Braun. Both were charged with the caution and sent to the tail. The incident handed the lead to McVey.
Over the second half of the race McVey held strong on the inside line. He felt the heat from Posselt, who was waiting patiently for an opening. That opening did not come and Posselt would have to settle for Second behind McVey. Hebbe and Spoo finished Third and Fourth again. Bob Duchow was Fifth.
ED HOWARD STRIKES IN SUPER STOCKS
Ed Howard appears to be hitting his stride just in time to make some noise in the Super Stocks. He picked up his first 20-lap feature win of the season Thursday, holding off multiple-time feature winners Andy Casavant and Cody Vanderloop.
Howard grabbed the lead by rocketing around the outside of Chris Busse on lap two. The first caution of the race fell shortly after for a spin by Cole Bigelow. Howard was able to get away from Clint Evans on the restart and pad his lead.
Just past halfway Vanderloop started to gain some ground on the leaders. He took Second from Evans with 12 laps remaining, just before an incident involving Mitch Meyerhofer and Jeff Treml brought out the yellow.
Howard was able to outgun Vanderloop on the restart. Behind them Casavant slid to Third and started to challenge Vanderloop. Although Vanderloop had space on the outside, he was unable to get any further than to the door of Howard. He also had to fend off Casavant.
As the field battled behind, Howard cruised to the win. Casavant secured Second late in the race, Trevor Howard slipped past Vanderloop to take Third, and Clint Evans rounded out the Top Five.
VANDERLOOP BESTS WAUTIER IN SPORT TRUCK SHOWDOWN
In the Sport Trucks it came down to the last two division Champions, who just happen to be the top two point-getters this season, as well. This time Cody Vanderloop was able to win faceoff against Bobby Wautier.
Jason VanHandel secured an early lead over Dom Sokolik. Fast qualifier Kasey Vanderloop, Landon Braatz, Cody Vanderloop, and Wautier then went on the attack. On lap 11 Cody Vanderloop and Wautier started to emerge as contenders, moving to Second and Third. Just then Sokolik and Kasey Vanderloop got together brining out another yellow.
On the restart Cody Vanderloop was able to wrestle the lead away from VanHandel. Wautier waited patiently for his change to grab Second, and did so with five laps left in the 20-lap main. Another caution stacked the field for a final time and a single file restart.
Wautier was able to take the lead, only for a moment, from Cody Vanderloop. Vanderloop muscled his way back to the lead on the following lap with only two circuits remaining. Wautier attempted a final-lap pass, but did not complete it. VanHandel finished Third behind the lead duo, Kylee Vandermoss was Fourth, and Kasey Vanderloop recovered from the earlier incident to finish Fifth.
FICKEL MAKES STATEMENT WITH SIZZLIN 4 WIN
Justin Fickel is looking to pull away late in the season title battle. He came one stop closer with a win in the 20-lap Sizzlin’ 4 feature on Thursday night.
Fickel outdueled Issac Therrien and powered away from Gavin Klein to score the win.
Jordan Fickel led early with Jeremy Czarapata and Therrien closing in. Therrien made his move to the outside to grab the lead on lap eight. Eli Schommer and Justin Fickel followed quickly. Fickel proved to be hooked up on the outside and he took the lead from Therrien on lap 17. One lap later Klein followed into Second, but could not close the gap on Fickel.
Therrien held on for Third, Kurt Schweitzer was Fourth and Ricky Kaufert was Fifth.
ANTHONY POWERS TO FIGURE 8 WIN
Josh Anthony led the entirety of the 13-lap Figure 8 feature. The main event saw some movement late from Matt Bauer and Russ Lorbiecki.
With Anthony well in control, Bauer and Lorbiecki made some late passes to threaten the Top Five. Bauer would find his way onto the podium with a Third Place finish behind Anthony and Chuck Gilbertson Jr. Lorbieki settled for Fourth in front of Ethan Beattie.
The Fox River Racing Club enters its final month of action with a full card – including the Stan “the Man” Gracyalny Memorial for the Super Stocks. The Super Late Models, Late Models, WIR ¼-Mile Late Models, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Sizzlin’ 4s, and Figure 8s will also be on the card. Racing begins at 6:30.