BUCHANAN, Wis. (August 24, 2023) – Andy Monday outlasted a late charge from Sawyer Effertz to win the Fox River Racing Club Schmitty’s Tickets Super Late Model 35-lap Rich Somers Memorial Thursday night at Wisconsin International Raceway.
The win ripped the monkey off Monday’s back as it was his first trip to Victory Lane since 2019.
The main event, presented by Pierce Manufacturing, saw Kyle Calmes take an early lead and build up his advantage. As that took place, Nick Van was challenged by Monday and Maxwell Schultz and Jesse Oudenhoven began what became a long battle for Fourth.
On lap seven Monday made his move to the inside to grab Second from Van. The top two broke away and Van remained unchallenged with the battle between Schultz and Oudenhoven continuing.
Schultz finally secured Fourth on lap 16, which opened the door for some drivers to make their moves. However, the race for the lead stole the show at halfway as Monday had caught Calmes. Monday made his move on lap 20, secured the top spot and started to build his advantage.
At the same time, Schultz and Effertz were able to move past Van into Third and Fourth. Just one lap later Effertz swiftly moved around Schultz into Third. He then began the task of chewing up a full straightaway of distance to the leaders.
Lap after lap, Monday ran consistently out front as Effertz started to close the gap on Calmes. He got to Calmes and stole Second on lap 19, but still had plenty of distance to erase between himself and Monday.
The battle for the final spots in the Top Five also heated up with Jordan Thiel, Lowell Bennett and Grant Griesbach challenging Van. A mad scramble had Thiel get on the binders to avoid contact with Van. It allowed Bennett to swing around the outside and make his way to Fifth.
With the laps dwindling, Effertz closed the gap on Monday and found himself within striking distance with two laps remaining. Effertz looked for lines, but Monday held his ground. A final drag race to the stripe resulted in Monday holding on by less than a car length over Effertz. Calmes held Third, Schultz Fourth, and Lowell Bennett was Fifth.
VAN WYCHEN SCORES WIN IN RETURN TO LATE MODELS
Nate Van Wychen had been sidelined for nearly three months after a scary incident during qualifying in June. He made sure his return was triumphant by capturing the 20-lap Fox City’s Towing Late Model feature.
Van Wychen avoided an early melee, then slipped into the lead on lap 15 before cruising to his second win of the season.
Brandon Reichenberger took an early lead from fellow front-row starter TJ Spierowski. Justin Woller stepped in to challenge for Second, but was turned away. Coming out of turn four on lap two, Woller clipped the soft wall and attempted to save his machine, but ultimately spun. The incident collected Zach Prunty and both drivers’ nights came to an end.
The restart was short lived as an incident between Reichenberger and Todd Verhagen saw Reichenberger spin in turn two in front of the field. Several drivers were collected with Scott Wolf and Tarra Springstroh getting the worst of the melee. Verhagen invoked the gentleman’s agreement, giving Reichenberger the lead back.
On the restart Spierowski took the lead from Reichenberger on the outside. It appeared Reichenberger may have felt some of the effects of the spin as Van Wychen slipped past soon after, as well as JJ Vanderloop.
On lap eight Van Wychen closed in and challenged Spierowski for the first of many times. He continued to hound the rookie driver, who held on like a seasoned veteran. However, a slip by Spierowski on lap 15 opened the door for Van Wychen. He capitalized and took the lead for good.
Vanderloop snuck past Spierowski one lap later and finished Second, Brian Henry was Fourth, and Reichenberger held on for Fifth.
BENNETT SECURES ¼-MILE LATE MODEL TITLE, THOMSON AND FIETZER GET WINS
Dan Thomson and Ty Fietzer took the 15-lap Pete’s Auto WIR ¼-Mile Late Model Feature wins as Braison Bennett secured the season title with Third and Fourth Place finishes.
In the first feature Thomson took an early lead as Wayne Posselt and Henry Neerdaels battled for Second. As Thomson held court out front, Bennett started to make his moves past Neerdaels and to the bumper of Posselt by halfway.
Posselt held off Bennett and continued to keep pace with Thomson, hoping to find a way into the lead. The two made contact on lap 11. Posselt tapped out via the gentleman’s agreement and Thomson went back to the lead.
On the restart Bennett and Rick Spoo kept close and looked to challenge Thomson for the win. However, neither driver could break free and Thomson went on to the win. Spoo was Second by a narrow margin over Bennett, Tim Bauman was Fourth and Mike Reichenberger Fifth.
The second feature got off to a frantic start with Neerdaels and Posselt crossing each other over several times in the first set of turns. Unfortunately, the result was both drivers spinning. That incident handed the front row to Fietzer and Bob Duchow.
Fietzer jumped away at the drop of the green and brought Bauman and Reichenberger into the Top Three. Baumann kept close tabs on the leader and started to test the outside line to go to the lead. The gamble did not pay off, however, as Bauman fell back on the outside line and surrendered Second to Reichenberger with two laps remaining.
For the third time this season and second week in a row, Fietzer captured the win. Reichenberger was Second over Bauman, Bennett was Fourth, and Spoo rounded out the Top Five.
KING REIGNS IN SUPER STOCKS
Mike King may have won his heat race by a slim margin, but he later flexed his muscle with a dominating win in the 20-lap Novus Auto Glass Super Stock feature. King took the lead on lap four and did not look back.
Adam Peterman took an early lead in the race and paced the first three laps. The race was halted when Rachel Evans and Trevor Howard got together, with Howard tapping to call on the gentleman’s agreement.
On the restart King took the outside line to battle Peterman. After a lap of side-by-side racing, King launched into the lead and began to build a healthy advantage. Peterman continued to cruise in Second.
As the race went along, the point leaders started to make their moves. Just past halfway George Schwalbach and Tony Wilz moved into the Top Five. Cody Vanderloop was not far behind. At lap 15 the trio moved past Emery Beattie to complete the Top Five. By that point, however, the margins up front were too large to overcome.
King won by a comfortable margin over Peterman, who also had plenty of elbow room in Second. Schwalbach, Wilz, and Vanderloop rounded out the Top Five.
CODY VANDERLOOP TAKES FIFTH TRUCK WIN OF ‘23
It was a wild scramble amongst team trucks up front, but in the end Cody Vanderloop was able to survive for his fifth win of the season.
Vanderloop outlasted his teammate Jason Vanhandel and his brothers Brady and Kasey to hold on for the win.
Kyle Quella took an early lead with Cody Vanderloop following into Second. Landon Braatz soon moved to Third with Kasey Vanderloop in close quarters. The race was paused for a spin on lap four, setting up a restart with Quella and Cody Vanderloop on the front row.
At the drop of the green Cody and Kasey Vanderloop battled past Quella into the Top Two spots. Kasey challenged to the outside but spun coming out of turn two on lap six. Braatz made contact but was able to continue. Kasey Vanderloop sustained too much damage to restart.
On the following restart Cody Vanderloop and Vanhandel got away from the pack. As the laps clicked away Brady Vanderloop closed in on the battle for the lead between Cody and Vanhandel. As Vanhandel went to the outside of Cody, Brady went to the inside. With all trucks going for the top spot, Brady and Vanhandel came together, sending Vanhandel spinning on lap 16. Brady Vanderloop tapped out, handing the lead back to Cody and Vanhandel.
Cody Vanderloop was able to build an advantage on the restart with Vanhandel keeping close. However, Vanhandel was unable to mount a challenge and settled into Second for the remainder of the race. Grant Gilbert enjoyed his strongest run of the season finishing Third, Kylee Vandermoss was Fourth, and Logan Mahoney charged from the tail of the field to finish Fifth.
OPSAHL TAKES SIXTH WIN IN SIZZLIN’ 4S
Mitch Opsahl set sail to his sixth win of the season in the Roundabout Bar and Grill Sizzlin’ 4 20-lap feature. Opsahl took the lead early and survived a late restart to take the win.
Rylin Volovsek paced the field early from the front row. Leon Frahm and Opsahl moved into the Top Three behind him quickly. Opsahl then darted to the outside of Frahm on lap four to take Second. One lap later he made the same move to take the lead from Volovsek.
As the laps clicked off Opsahl built a lead, but did not break away from the field. On lap eight Frahm took Second from Volovsek and looked to keep pace with Opsahl. The field settled out until a yellow with two laps remaining for a spin in turn three.
The restart was single file with Opsahl ahead of Frahm, Jordan Fickel and Eli Schommer. Although Frahm was able to keep close, Opsahl held strong for the win. Behind them Fickel and Schommer battled for Third. Fickel was able to hold off Schommer for Third, and Volovsek rounded out the Top Five.
JORDAN GRACYALNY GRABS FIRST FIGURE 8 WIN
The pink 99 with a Gracyalny behind the wheel may have seen many of Figure 8 wins prior to the night, but this time it was Jordan Gracyalny finding Victory Lane.
Gracyalny took an early lead and held off Craig Krueger for his first Marty Nussbaum Racing Figure 8 13-lap feature win. The race was paused for a moment when Josh Anthony’s machine erupted into flames. Thankfully he was able to get out and the fire was extinguished quickly.
Behind Gracyalny and Krueger, Matt Bauer finished Third, Tyler Vanderbloemen was Fourth and Mike Meyerhofer was Fifth.
Thursday, August 31 is the final event of the 2023 Fox River Racing Club Season presented by Valley Liquor and Busch Lite. The Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Sizzlin’ 4s and Figure 8s will crown Champions in each division. Racing begins at 6:30pm.