KAUKAUNA, Wis. (August 25, 2022) – Although it couldn’t be certain, it just felt like a night where Grant Griesbach was going to break through. In a seesaw battle that saw no clear favorite, Griesbach was able to secure the lead after the final restart in the 35-lap Super Late Model Rich Somers Memorial and score his first win of the season on Viking Electric Night.
“Tonight, it came down to some luck,” Griesbach said of his first Fox River Racing Club win in 2022. “It’s been one of those years where we were waiting for things to turn around and it happened tonight.”
In a caution-filled event Griesbach posed several challenges to early-race-leader Sawyer Effertz, and Championship contender Jeff Van Oudenhoven. Despite losing the lead to VanOudenhoven after a restart with 13 laps in, Griesbach got another opportunity and capitalized on the restart with 23 laps gone.
The feature itself saw plenty of twists and turns for both the win and the underlying Super Late Model point battle. Effertz took the lead from the start as Lowell Bennett, Nick Van, point leader Dalton Zehr and Griesbach. A crucial moment came on lap five when Zehr spun off turn four on lap five. Officials deemed Andy Monday also involved and both went to the tail. Zehr went in for an adjustment that negated Monday’s attempt to tap out with the gentleman’s agreement.
On the restart Effertz charged to the lead with Griesbach in tow. Behind them Van and Bennett scrapped for Third, making contact and allowing Alex Prunty and VanOudenhoven to slip past. The caution fell again on lap 8 when Prunty slid through the grass in turn two.
The next green-flag run was short-lived after a chain reaction sent Chad Butz hard into the outside wall in turn three. Although the car was heavily damaged, he was ok. The following restart was single file, and found Effertz in front of Griesbach, VanOudenhoven, and Van.
This run would go a bit longer, and it was VanOudenhoven on the attack. He slipped past Griesbach on lap 11, then took the lead on lap 13. However, he and Effertz stayed close, and made some contact out of turn two. The field bunched up and another chain reaction saw Nick Van and Braison Bennett get together to cause a caution.
Griesbach looked as though he were shot out of a canon on the lap 13 restart when he surged past Effertz and put the challenge to VanOudenhoven. Although he made a daring pass, the move to the lead was washed out for another caution. The following restart saw VanOudenhoven with the upper hand as he got away from Griesbach and built a substantial lead.
As the laps clicked off, it seemed as though VanOudenhoven might be in the clear. Griesbach was left to deal with Effertz and Zehr, who had recovered from the earlier spin. The race turned again, however, when a final caution fell on with 12 laps remaining.
Griesbach held close to VanOudenhoven at the restart and put several challenges on him. As the leaders entered three and four, Griesbach opened the door and charged past VanOudenhoven into the lead, bringing Zehr to Second. Although Zehr closed in on several occasions, he could not make a move. Griesbach marched to victory while Zehr was able to maintain his point lead with a Second Place finish. VanOudenhoven was Third, Effertz Fourth, and Lowell Bennett rounded out the Top Five.
WOLLER HAS BANNER DAY IN LATE MODELS
Justin Woller was all about checking off boxes on Thursday night in the Late Model division. He and his team were hoping for fast times and feature wins to round out the season. They got both.
Woller took the lead after a back-and-forth battle with Nate Van Wychen at the midway point of the race, and survived a wild affair to grab his first win of the season.
The race was halted by a caution on lap one when Jason Vandenberg and Brian Henry came together on the backstretch. On the restart Brady Baldry seized the lead from Matt Wittman as Van Wychen and Woller settled in behind them. They soon captured Second and Third.
Van Wychen caught and challenged Baldry on lap seven, just as Baldry’s engine expired. After the clean up, Van Wychen would have to deal with Woller to his outside at the drop of the green.
The duo exchanged the lead as Woller worked the high line and Van Wychen stayed on the bottom groove. Coming back to lap 9, Woller secured the lead for good. He held the advantage until another caution came that very lap.
On the restart Woller was able to escape, and left Van Wychen in Second while point leaders Brian Monday and JJ Vanderloop battled for Third. On lap 13 Monday spun exiting turn four, with officials deeming contact from Vanderloop. Both were sent to the tail.
Woller again escaped on the restart and the field settled back in. Wittman took Third from Scott Wolf on lap 14 as Monday and Vanderloop tried to work through the field. A final caution would bring and end to the race when Wolf and Evan Beattie got together, sending Beattie spinning down the front stretch.
As the checkered fell Woller was well clear of the field, Van Wychen was Second, Wittman Third, Monday got back to Fourth, and Vanderloop was Fifth.
POSSELT AND NEERDAELS WIN QUARTER-MILE LATE MODEL FEATURES, SPOO IS CHAMPION
Wayne Posselt and Henry Neerdaels split the 15-lap WIR Quarter-Mile Late Model features while Rick Spoo ran consistently to grab the division Championship.
In the first feature Posselt took an early lead from the front row. As he started to break away from the pack, Kevin Hebbe was looking for ways around Roger Braun to take Second. The race was paused when Neerdaels was spun by Spoo at the halfway point. Spoo invoked the gentleman’s agreement, claiming responsibility for the incident.
Posselt was able to hold off Hebbe on the restart. Although Hebbe tried the outside, he tucked back in behind Posselt in Second. Meanwhile Brandon Reichenberger and Dylan Wenzel were on the move on the outside line, finding their way into the Top Five.
A final caution came out with two laps remaining when Bob Duchow, Dan Van Daalwyk and Tim Bauman were sent spinning and scrambling. On the single-file restart, Posselt escaped to claim the win. Hebbe was Second, Wenzel slipped past Reichenberger for Third, and Braun was Fifth.
Heather Wolfgram paced the early laps of the second feature for the division. By lap four, Neerdaels was ready to step in and challenge on the outside. Using the high line, Neerdaels captured the top spot until the caution fell on lap five.
The front row for the restart saw Duchow join Neerdaels, but Neerdaels quickly escaped and built a strong advantage. Duchow was left to battle Wolfgram for Second until a spin on lap nine.
On this restart Neerdaels was joined by Spoo. Once again proving his strength, Neerdaels secured the top spot. Sensing the Championship was at hand, Spoo tucked in and rode in Second. Behind them, Wenzel made some late moves on the outside. He made the move past Spoo for Second with three to go, then set his sights on Neerdaels. On the final lap Wenzel got his opportunity on the outside, but could not find the grip to make his final run.
Neerdaels hung on for the win over Wenzel, Spoo claimed the Championship with a Third Place finish, Posselt charged from the back to finish Fourth, and Duchow rounded out the Top Five.
SHANE KRUEGER SUPER IN THE STOCKS
Shane Krueger grabbed his first win of 2022 by holding off Josh Mueller in the late stages of the 20-lap Super Stock feature.
Adam Peterman paced the early portions of the race from his front-row starting spot. As he built an advantage, Krueger went to work on Clint Evans for Second. By lap eight Krueger secured the spot, bringing Trevor Pankratz, Mueller, and Trevor Howard along.
As the laps clicked off Krueger started to run down Peterman. He made his move to the lead on lap eight, again bringing the same trio along. Pankratz then had to try to fend off Mueller as Krueger’s lead grew. Mueller eventually got by with three to go and started to chop away at the lead.
Mueller caught Krueger right at the end of the race and posed a challenge on the final lap. He first looked low exiting two, but the door was shut. He then swung high in three and four, but could not make the run. Krueger held on for the win over Mueller, Howard stole Third late, Pankratz spun across the line to finish Fourth, and Andy Casavant rounded out the Top Five.
WAUTIER COLLECTS EIGHTH WIN
It’s not to say that Bobby Wautier hasn’t had to work for his previous Wisconsin Sport Truck feature wins this season, but number eight was well-earned on Thursday night. Wautier had to hold off fellow Championship contender Cody Vanderloop to take the win at the checkered flag.
After the mad scramble at the start, Wautier found himself in Second on lap one and in the lead on lap two. By lap five Wautier was building his lead over Kyle Wittman with Kasey Vanderloop and Cody Vanderloop moving through the Top Five. Cody found his way to Second by the halfway point, but was a full straightaway behind Wautier.
A caution on lap 12 brough Cody Vanderloop right to the doorstep. Wautier was able to secure the lead off the restart, but Vanderloop was ready to pose several challenges. Despite a couple of solid attempts, Cody Vanderloop remained in Second until another spin happened with four to go.
Wautier paced the field back to green, feeling plenty of heat from Vanderloop. As the laps clicked off Vanderloop continued to hunt for ways past Wautier. Behind them, Jason Plutz had moved to Third. He would not have enough time to challenge the leaders.
On the final lap, Wautier turned away the final advance by Vanderloop, who swung to the outside and got even. Wautier used the preferred inside groove to drive to the win exiting turn four in front of Vanderloop and Plutz. Kyle Quella was Fourth and Landon Braatz was Fifth.
SCHWEITZER STRIKES AGAIN IN SIZZLIN’ 4S
Kurt Schweitzer made the Sizzlin’ 4 point battle much more interesting heading into next week’s finale by picking up a third win of the season for the car team driven by himself and his brother Tom. H
Schweitzer used the outside line after a lap-seven restart to take the lead from Shane Schwaller. Gavin Klein followed into Second and kept pace for the remainder of the race with Schweitzer. Behind them Jeremy Czarapata and Mitch Opsahl engaged in a battle for Third.
Over the final laps Klein caught Schweitzer and posed a challenge. That was until something seemingly went amiss on Klein’s machine and he faded over the final two laps. He and Schweitzer were far enough ahead to remain in their spots.
Schweitzer closed the gap on point leader Justin Fickel to a single point with the win, Klein held Second, Opsahl was Third, Czarapata Fourth, and Schwaller held on for Fifth.
JOSH ANTHONY BACK TO FIGURE 8 VICTORY LANE
Josh Anthony found his way back to Victory Lane in the 13-lap Figure 8 feature. Anthony picked his way through the field, taking Second with six to go before tracking down the leader Mitch Opsahl.
Charging through the ‘X’, Anthony secured the lead with four laps remaining. He then held off Craig Krueger and Mike Meyerhofer for the win. Matt Bauer was Fourth and Opsahl finished Fifth.
It’s Fan Appreciation and Championship night for the Fox River Racing Club. Point battles will be settled in the Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Sizzlin’ 4s, and Figure 8s. The Rockin’ Rovals will also be on hand. Racing begins at 6:30.