BUCHANAN, Wis. (June 8, 2023) – A new format for the L&S Electric Red Race as part of the 52nd Red, White & Blue State Championship Series presented by Ken’s Sports and Lamers Motor Racing brought suspense all the way through the final checkered flag on Thursday night at Wisconsin International Raceway.
The Schmitty’s Tickets Super Late Model event was split into two 33-lap features – the first won by Lowell Bennett, the second by Sawyer Effertz. An overall winner was then determined by points accumulated through the two features and qualifying. By virtue of his win, Fifth Place finish in the first race and Second Place effort in qualifying, Effertz edged Max Schultz for the overall title on the day.
Lowell Bennett seized the lead at the drop of the green in the first 33-lap feature, running away from fellow front-row starter Jordan Thiel. Behind them Brent Strelka and Gabe Sommers moved past Jeff VanOudenhoven to grab Third and Fourth by lap eight. Effertz soon followed.
The battle went on inside the Top Five between Strelka, Sommers, and Effertz from the halfway point on. Despite spirited challenges, no one was able to make a decisive move.
What seemed to be a walk in the park for Bennett slowly started to look less set in stone. Thiel tracked him down and made massive gains when Bennet got caught behind two lapped cars late in the race. Thiel was able to get to the inside of Bennett coming to the white flag and it looked as though there would be a sprint to the finish. However, a spin from Issac Therrien brought out the caution just before the leaders entered turn three. The yellow fell – and because the white was displayed – the race was over with the lineup reverting back to the last completed lap.
Bennett secured the win, Thiel was Second. Strelka Third, Sommers Fourth, and Effertz Fifth.
The second 33 lapper turned into a showdown between Effertz and Schultz. Initially, Schultz took the lead at the drop of the green. Effertz settled into Second in front of Sommers and the top three started to get away from the pack. The race paused when RJ Braun spun on lap 10.
On the restart Schultz and Effertz got locked into a furious side-by-side battle. Sommers was right behind, looking for a way through. Effertz edged ahead on the outside when a yellow fell on lap 12 for an incident involving Strelka and VanOudenhoven.
Effertz left no doubt on the restart, escaping Schultz and leaving him to deal with Sommers. Although Sommers had the outside and pulled even, Schultz was able to retain Second. The field clicked off laps until lap 26 when Tim Springstroh experienced issues and slowed in turns three and four.
Coming back to green, the field had an accordion effect on the backstretch that claimed several cars in the middle of the field including Taylor Vandermoss, Jesse Oudenhoven, Braison Bennett, Corey Manders, and Lou Goss.
After a clean up of the racing surface, Effertz was able to escape on the restart once again. He clicked off the final laps unchallenged. Schultz did the same to hold on for Second, Sommers was Third, Andy Monday charged to Fourth and Lowell Bennett was Fifth.
The overall “final score” of the Top Five in Red Race standings were: Effertz (79 points), Schultz (75 points), Sommers (74 points), Bennett (73 points), and Monday (69 points)
STRELKA STUNS LATE MODELS
Coming off a win in the Super Late Models last week, Brent Strelka nearly completed a sweep in the Fox City’s Towing Late Model division by capturing the 20-lap feature, fast time, and narrowly missing out on a win in the dash.
Perhaps the most nerve-wracking moment of the night for Strelka was the beginning of the main. A chain reaction slowed cars in the middle of the field, sending Nathan Brantmeier into the inside retaining wall and Strelka spinning to avoid. Brantmeier was unable to continue, but Strelka was undamaged.
On the second attempt Mike King grabbed the lead but remained challenged by TJ Spierowski, who would assume the lead on lap two. Bryan Monday followed into Second and immediately challenged for the top spot.
Eventually Monday was able to capture the lead and was followed by JJ Vanderloop and Strelka. On lap seven, Strelka surged past Vanderloop, then snuck to the inside of Monday. He grabbed the lead on lap eight.
Behind Strelka, Brandon Reichenberger was moving through the field capturing Third at halfway, then securing Second on lap 15. However, Strelka had built a large lead and cruised to the win.
Reichenberger was Second, Vanderloop moved back into Third past Monday, and Brian Henry rounded out the Top Five.
VISITING MITCHELL SEALS FIRST SUPER STOCK WIN
Several dirt travelers joined the field for the Novus Auto Glass Super Stock 20-lap feature. It didn’t take Tim Mitchell too long to figure out how to get it done on the pavement as he led from the drop of the green to secure the win.
Mitchell, who normally races as a dirt grand national, grabbed the lead at the green and set a nice, consistent pace. As he did, all attention turned to the battle from Second on back which included Tommy Moore, Mitch Meyerhofer, Dylan Wenzel and Cody Vanderloop.
Meyerhofer made contact with George Schwalbach while racing for Second on lap eight, bringing out the caution. On the restart Mitchell was joined by Moore on the front row with Vanderloop and Wenzel in the second row.
Vanderloop peeked to the inside of Mitchell after securing Second, but spun, and another yellow fell. After the next restart, Moore suffered the same fate in a battle for Second.
Eventually the field came back to green with Mitchell, Clint Evans, Wenzel, and Trevor Howard as the top four in single file. Wenzel attempted to make ground on the outside but ended up locked into a hearty battle with Howard for Third.
Mitchell took the win over Evans, Wenzel did edge Howard for Third, and Shane Krueger rounded out the Top Five.
SIBLING RIVALRY GOES SIDEWAYS, VANHANDEL GRABS SPORT TRUCK WIN
It’s no secret that brothers Cody and Kasey Vanderloop have fast trucks, and are two potential Champions of the Sport Truck division in 2023. With two fast, evenly matched trucks, they were bound to clash for wins – and it just so happened Thursday’s 20-lap main saw the two battling for the trophy.
Unfortunately, a bump and run gone wrong washed both out on the final lap and left the victory for Jason Vanhandel.
Despite a shaky start for the field, the Sport Trucks settled in with Cody Vanderloop taking the lead on lap six. Early-race leader Kyle Quella looked to be in good position again, but was forced to retire with issues two laps prior.
A final restart on lap 14 saw the Vanderloops in First and Second with Vanhandel in Third. Cody held the pace as Kasey looked to find the inside and the outside. Kasey slipped slightly with three laps to go, but closed the gap again on Cody.
With a huge head of steam down the backstretch, Kasey got to the tailgate of Cody and looked to open space to make the pass. The contact sent Cody spinning. Because the white was displayed the race was ruled complete with both trucks being dropped to the tail. By virtue of being in Third on the last completed lap, Vanhandel was awarded the win – adding to his fast time earlier in the evening.
Young rookies Kaden Kostichka and Mason Calmes were Second and Third, Kylie Vandermoss was Fourth, and Masyn Liedke was Fifth.
ALL SCHULTE IN THE SIZZLIN’ 4S
Ben Schulte made the most of his visit to the Roundabout Bar & Grill Sizzlin’ 4s feature by leading all 20 laps on the way to the win.
Schulte secured the lead at the drop of the green and built a strong advantage in the caution-free race. The drivers on the move behind him were Gavin Klein, fast qualifier Justin Fickel, and Mitch Opsahl.
The battle was intense for Second among the trio of Klein, Fickel, and Opsahl. Klein held court despite the challenges on the outside from Fickel. Opsahl also closed in, but was unable to make a move. They went on to finish that way behind Schulte. Larry Ginter was Fifth.
ANTHONY SEALS FIGURE 8 VICTORY
Josh Anthony paid his first 2023 visit to Victory Lane in the 13-lap Marty Nussbaum Racing Figure 8 feature.
Jordan Gracyalny held an early lead, but it was Anthony who was on the move. He forced his way past Craig Krueger for Second at about the midway point of the race, then swiped the lead coming to the white flag. Anthony held off one final attempt from Nick Ostberg to seal the deal. Mike Meyerhofer was Third, Matt Bauer Fourth, and Ethan Beattie Fifth.
NEERDAELS TAKES ROVAL WIN
Henry Neerdaels took an early lead in the 10-lap 2 Buck Bar Rockin’ Roval feature and jumped away from the pack to secure his first win in the division this season.
Next Thursday July 15 the Fox River Racing Club pays tribute with Veteran’s Night presented by Al Huss Automotive & Valley Gasket. Veterans will receive free admission with their military I.D. The Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks, WIR ¼-Mile Late Models, Sizzlin’ 4s, and Figure 8s will be in action. Racing begins at 6:30.