Slide jobs And Crossovers Thrill At Beaver Dam Raceway
Matt Vaade Beaver Dam WI
It was Coca Cola night at the races, and the bold refreshing flavor had nothing on the sizzling hot action taking place on the high banks. Last time out we were treated to three photo finishes, this week we watched arguably the best race of the season.
Taking center stage first was the Legends presented by Choice Insurance. Many drivers have won this season but few have been able to capture more than one. Even fewer have the winning percentage that “Highside” DJ Ross has this season. Justin Pearson set the pace in the early going, while a heavy battle took place for the 2nd spot. Ross managed to work his way free of traffic and set his sights on the 80 machine of Pearson. Working in unfamiliar territory, Ross worked the bottom to get around Pearson on lap 7, bringing Cody Apfelbeck, Kim Clover and Chris Hoedel through. Working behind this pack was “The Duel Threat” Johnny Kringas, who quickly sliced through them and began pressuring Ross for the lead. Kringas stalked Ross during the closing laps, but was unable to mount a challenge, settling for 2nd behind Ross, who scored his 3rd win and clean sweep of the season. Clover, Apfelbeck, and Mike Mueller rounded out the top 5. Ross, Kringas, and Mueller scored heat wins earlier in the night.
The Napa Auto Parts Street Stocks roared to life with John Janssen jumping to the early lead. Melee ensued only a handful of laps in when Jason White and Chad Hummelmeier tried splitting the pack off of turn two, stacking up several cars and forcing repairs to many cars. One of them was Scott “Chico” Riedner, who came into the night just 10 points back in his bid to win 3 straight titles. When racing resumed Janssen again tried to step away from the field, but Brandon Riedner and Mark Baker had other plans. Riedner pushed past Janssen bringing Baker with him on the cushion setting the stage for another classic Baker vs. SRR showdown. In the closing laps Baker tried everything he could to get to and around Riedner but at the line he just couldn’t get there. Riedner scored his second win of the season extending his points lead to 18. Baker finished 2nd, followed by Janssen, Pat Kinjerski, and Scott Riedner rallied to finish 5th. Kinjerski, Hummelmeier, and White took home heat wins.
The path to victory in Taco Bell Grand Nationals action goes through one man this season, “The Outlaw” Kenny Richards, and he hasn’t given up any of them easily. His competitors know if you’re going to win, you have to run a perfect race. That’s exactly what happened. “Kid Dynamite” Dustin Weiss and “The Kid’ Elijah Koenig led the field to the green flag, with Weiss taking the lead off of turn two and quickly jumping upstairs on the cushion. “Silky Smooth” Aaron Streblow worked underneath Koenig to take the 2nd spot and would be the first to challenge Weiss. A string of cautions plagued the middle portions of the event, shuffling the running order and bringing “Topside” Tommy Moore and Richards into the battle. Moore cleared Streblow and went to work on Weiss using a barrage of moves coming off the top rope. Moore was able to pull alongside Weiss several times but “Kid Dynamite” maintained composure and held the lead firmly every time. Richards managed to take advantage of the battle slipping past Moore to battle with Weiss. Richards drove straight to the bottom and had a nose on Weiss as they entered the back stretch for the final time. As he had done to Moore in the earlier laps, Weiss climbed the top rope, grabbing the lead back from Richards off of four to score his first career feature victory in front of a roaring crowd. Richards finished 2nd, with Moore, Streblow, and Jeff Tondryk rounding out the top 5. Koening and Weiss picked up heat wins, making it a clean sweep for Weiss.
The place was rocking after the Grand National feature and The Ultimate Racecars.com Sport Mods danced to the music, cranking it up another notch. Tim Sheppard took the early lead and set sail, building over a straightaway advantage before the caution flew, allowing Brandon Riedner and Brandon Schmitt to close the gap. On the restart, Riedner stalked Sheppard for the top spot before the right rear spring came shooting out of Sheppard’s 29 machine, forcing him to exit for repairs. At this stage Riedner appeared to be in his own zip code. After a brief battle with Nick Schultz, Brandon Schmitt ran down Riedner with 6 to go and the two waged war like no other, bringing the crowd to their feet. Riedner was protecting the top side and Schmitt threw a nasty slider on him in turn one prompting a cross over on the other end. This time it was Riedner’s turn to throw the slide job, and just as Riedner had done to him, Schmitt crossed him over and returned the favor on the other end. The two exchanged slide jobs and crossovers for the final 4 laps, swapping the lead 10 different times before Schmitt sealed the deal with the final slide job in 3 and 4, edging Riedner to the line by .017, the closest finish of the season. Sheppard and Riedner scored heat wins, extending Riedner’s point lead.
The final event of the evening brought the Weld Specialty Supply Modifieds to the track. Since winning the season opener in April, Andrew “The Rocket” Araco has struggled, to say the least. He was leading the A main and broke a rear end, totally destroyed a car during a heat race while leading the points, and even locked his gear in his truck at the track. With the help of some amazing friends and a dedicated crew, Araco admits he’s still having fun. They say persistence pays off, and last night it did for Araco. Starting alongside Zeke Bishofberger, Araco jumped to the early lead and never let go. Bishofberger was the only car that could stay close to Araco until a late caution flew bringing “The Madman” Matt Rechek and “The Dragon Slayer” Dustin Smits to the fight. Rechek worked around Bishofberger to secure the 2nd spot but had nothing for Araco who cruised to his 2nd win of the season. Rechek followed in 2nd, with Bishofberger, Smits and Don Scheffler rounding out the top 5. Bishofberger and Araco netted themselves heat wins earlier in the night. With only 6 points races left on the schedule, keep a close eye on this Modified championship. Rechek holds a slim 2 point edge over Scheffler, and don’t count out Smits who continues to close the gap.
Next week is Budweiser Night at the races, action gets underway at 6:30pm As always carload pricing is just $20