BUCHANAN (Wis.) May 25, 2023 – Sawyer Effertz has been a man on a mission early in 2023. On Thursday night he took advantage of a late restart to surge past Braison Bennett and secure a win in the 35-lap Schmitty’s Tickets Super Late Model win at Wisconsin International Raceway.
The win backed up his Second Place finish in last week’s Fox River Racing Club and win in the dash earlier in the evening. After a nine-year drought, it was Effertz second trip to Victory Lane in a 12-day stretch, having scored the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series win at WIR on May 13.
Off to a similar start to week one, Nick Van grabbed the lead at the drop of the green and distanced himself from the field. Braison Bennett quickly shot past Taylor Vandermoss to secure Second. By lap three Effertz was in Third with Grant Griesbach in Fourth.
As the race approached halfway, Bennett and Effertz began to close the gap on Van. On lap 23 Bennett was on the bumper of Van with Effertz right behind. Both worked past him on lap 25. Effertz then began to look for ways into the lead. He got to the inside on lap 29, but Bennett was able to dash away on the outside and hold the top spot.
A pair of yellows fell on lap 31, first for a solo spin, then for a bottleneck on the restart which sent Grant Griesbach spinning out of his Top Five spot. Bennett and Effertz stepped away on the restart and left Van to try to fend off fast qualifier Lowell Bennett.
Once again Effertz gained the inside line with two to go. By the time the field came back to the white flag, Effertz had secured the lead. He cruised to the win with Braison Bennett in Second, Van finishing Third, Lowell Bennett in Fourth, and Maxwell Schultz rounding out the Top Five.
VERHAGEN DOMINATES THE LATES
Todd Verhagen took advantage of some pre-race luck and soared to a convincing Fox Cities Towing Late Model win. He led all 20 laps after Matt Wittman dropped from the pole to the tail of the field just prior to green.
Assuming the point position, Verhagen wasted no time securing the lead and building on it. Meanwhile, Brian Henry and Nate Van Wychen were battling with TJ Spierowski and Justin Woller for spots in the Top Five. Eventually Henry and Van Wychen were able to secure Second and Third by lap nine.
By this point, however, Verhagen had built a massive gap. Although Henry and Van Wychen closed slightly, they would not have enough time to challenge Verhagen. Behind them Bryan Monday and JJ Vanderloop were making late charges toward the Top Five.
Verhagen took the checkered flag followed by Henry, Van Wychen, Monday, and Vanderloop.
TREML HOLDS ON FOR SUPER STOCK W
Veteran Novus Auto Glass Super Stock racer Jeff Treml was able to hang on for a win in the 20-lap main. He grabbed the lead just before the midway point and fended off a late challenge from Dylan Wenzel.
Adam Peterman took an early lead from the front-row of the feature and was soon left to deal with Treml. As Wenzel was working the outside line deep in the field, Treml must have sensed last week’s feature winner on the way. He jumped to the outside and secure the lead just as Wenzel was closing in on the lead duo.
Treml then held in the inside line, giving Wenzel room to test the top. However, Treml proved to be too strong and turned Wenzel away each time from lap 13 to the checkered flag.
Behind them George Schwalbach was able to stand his ground to finish Third. Josh Mueller sipped past Cody Vanderloop at the checkered to take Fourth.
A HOT START FOR QUELLA
After a couple years of bad luck, Kyle Quella looks to be back in good fortune. Quella scored a win in the 20-lap Wisconsin Sport Truck win. He also took the victory during the Saturday, May 13 event.
Mayhem began at the drop of the green and claimed two top contenders in Cody and Kasey Vanderloop. Landon Braatz took an early lead, but was hounded by Quella right away. On lap five Quella seized his opportunity and took the top spot.
By halfway Quella had built a strong advantage, but Braatz was left to deal with Kylie Vandermoss and Jason Vanhandel. On lap 14 Vandermoss grabbed Second with Vanhandel right behind. Two laps later Vanhandel – who had to repair his truck after a collision in the heat – took Second.
Quella weaved through lapped traffic to the win, Vanhandel was Second, Vandermoss Third, Braatz Fourth, and Tanner Fickel rounded out the Top Five.
OPSAHL LIGHTS UP THE SIZZLIN’ 4S
It was a banner night for Mitch Opsahl in the Roundabout Bar & Grill Sizzlin’ 4s. After setting fast time Opsahl made a daring move to put himself in contention for the win.
As Shane Schaller led, Opsahl sliced his way through the field. On lap eight he made a daring moved to split two cars three wide and take Third. One lap later, using the open outside line, Opsahl stole the lead.
A caution fell on lap 15 when Rylin Volousek had mechanical issues on lap 15. Opshal was able to handle the restart with ease, leaving Schwaller to battle for Second. As Opsahl cruised to the win, Schwaller held on to Second. Gavin Klein made a frantic late charge to grab Third, Jordan Fickel was Fourth, and Eli Schommer was Fifth.
ROCKSTAR RUSS PARKS THE BUS IN FIGURE 8S
A wild ending to the Mary Nussbaum Racing Figure 8s saw Russ Lorbiecki steal the lead on the 13th and final lap, taking the win.
It seemed Ethan Beattie was on his way to the win until Josh Anthony and Jeff Danley made contact in the X on the final lap. Beattie suffered a flat right rear which allowed Lorbiecki to grab the inside line and make a pass for the win. Mike Meyerhofer also made a pass and finished Second ahead of Beattie. Matt Bauer was Fourth, and Riley Krueger finished Fifth.
McKEEVER CONTINUES ROMPING IN ROVALS
Despite a change in track layout, Austin McKeever continued to flex his muscle in the Two Buck Bar Rockin’ Rovals.
Through the new “Pacman Track” layout, McKeever took the lead at halfway of the Roval feature and took the win.
Week three of the Fox River Racing Club’s Thursday Night Thunder Program begins the month of June. The Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Sizzlin’ 4s, ¼-Mile Late Models, and Figure 8s will be in action. Racing begins at 6:30pm.