The Memorial Day weekend got off to a fast start with hot racing action this past Friday night at Wagner Speedway, sponsored by Juffer, Inc Insurrance, Juffer Real Estate and Wagner Building and Supply. The WISSOTA Super Stocks made their debut, along with Late Models, B-Mods, Hobby Stocks and B-Buzzer front wheel drives and it didn't take very long to get the action started once the green flag flew.
Heat races were survival of the fittest on Friday, as the Hobby Stocks, B-Buzzers and Super Stocks saw plenty of misfortune early.
In heat one of the Hobby division, Dennis Powers (Wagner, SD), Kipp DeGroot (Platte, SD) and Jeremy Senglemann (Dallas, SD) all got tangled up in a first lap incident that would retire all three from the race. Heat two would see more of the same bad luck, as Jordan Vosicka (Gregory, SD), Justin Schenkel (Tyndall, SD) and Kevin Manthey (Bonesteel, SD) would get together on lap one and take out all three.
The B-Buzzer heat saw two cars that would not make one lap because of mechanical issues. Tom Koster (Mitchell, SD) and Erik Kurth (Mitchell, SD) would not be able to continue and both drivers had their night come to an end almost immediately.
The WISSOTA Super Stock heat race saw a scary and spectacular crash on the back straightaway. As Corey Elward (Mitchell, SD) and Cody Martin (Mitchell, SD) were racing side by side out of number two corner, Elward ran out of real estate, slid off the track and made hard contact with the implement tires. After rolling over and landing upside down, the Beck's Hybrids safety team responded quickly and made sure Elward got out of the car safely. Although Elward was okay, the car was not and their night ended there.
When it came feature time for all 5 classes, there was no shortage of drama and great racing. The Hobby Stocks were on deck first and Kevin Vasek (Lake Andes, SD) held off challenges from Joey Jaton (Wagner, SD), Justin Schenkel, Kipp DeGroot and Dennis Powers to pick up his first win of the season and 4th of his career. In the Subway Winner's Circle, an excited Vasek knew he was in a battle with good young drivers. "Us old grandpas can still get er' done! The track was great, I was waiting for a bump after the caution but it didn't happen and I just ran hammer down the whole way" The heats were won by Jaton and Vasek.
In the B-Buzzer, there was little doubt on who the class of the class was as Matthew Andersh (Wagner, SD) used his pole position start and cruised to his first victory of the season and his third of his career. "It was fun and fast and that's what I like," said Andersh. "It's fun racing against my Dad (Kevin Andersh, Wagner, SD) and having competition with him. Were out there to have fun and race and that's what we're doin'" It was a clean sweep for the younger Andresh as he won the heat race as well.
The season premiere of the WISSOTA Super Stocks did not disappoint, as Kip Myers (Ethan, SD) showed the way around in leading all 15 laps to seal the deal. The first real challenge came on lap 5 from his oldest son Tyler Myers (Ethan, SD). As Tyler was close to pulling along side his father, the car got loose and he dropped a position to newcomer Blake Whitlock (Watertown, SD). After a caution flag with 4 laps to go, Kip would have to hold off another challenge, this time from Cody Martin (Mitchell, SD). Martin raced him hard, but Kip would not be denied and went on to his first win of the season and his 16th of his career. In the Subway Winner's Circle, Myers knew he was lucky the race wasn't longer. "The car was flooding itself into the corners because of fuel problems and after the checkered flag flew, my brakes went clear to the floor going into one." Kip is also excited about this class and the future it holds. "We have the potential for a really good car count and if we can get some of those guys that race in Miller on Saturday nights to come down here on Fridays, we'll put on a good show for the fans." Myers won the heat race as well.
The opening lap of the B-Mod feature brought the fans to their feet as pole position starter Wade Wright (Armour, SD) turned completely sideways in turns one and two in front of the entire field and miraculously, everyone got through the melee unscathed. That would give to restart lead to Dudley Schroeder, Junior (Armour, SD), followed by Josh Pfeifer (Spencer, NE) and Lyndon Johnson (Montrose, SD). Schroeder would take off from there and put distance between himself and Johnson. On lap 12, lapped traffic began to become a factor, but Schroeder knew what to do and went on to victory. As steam poured out of his power plant, Schroeder knew he had been in a race. "She's hot. Nothing like going out in style, huh? My crew and I busted our butts at intermission to get this thing going. We changed gears, changed shocks, changed tires, changed timing, everything. I guess it did the trick, I gotta thank my pit crew for that." For their efforts, Schroeder picks up their 16th feature win of his career. Heat races were won by Pfeifer and Johnson.
Finally, the Late Model feature would roll out and the final race of the night would see a familiar face taking the checkers. Seth Fischer (Wagner, SD) would start on the pole and jump out to the lead over his teammate Justin Havranek (Wagner, SD). As those 2 were showing the way, Quentin Myers (Pukwana, SD) was on the march. Myers started 6th in this one and has worked his way up to 2nd by lap 6. During the next circuit, Havranek would spin to a stop in turn 4, setting up a very interesting final 8 laps. With the field bunched up behind him, Fischer set out to finish the task at hand and was able to hold off a hard charging Myers to pick up his first win of the season. The win was also his 27th of his career, putting him all alone on top of the all time wins list, passing David Kranig. In the Subway Winner's Circle interview, Fischer gave praise to his team for putting him there. "First off, I'd like to say thanks to everybody, my Pop and Justin and all the guys that help out. We changed a couple bars around at intermission and I was kind of regretting it before we went out but it looks like it was the right move. I guess it worked out." Heats were won by Jesse Kroger (Canton, SD) and Myers.
This Friday, Wagner Speedway will present the first "Horsepower for Hunger" Food Drives at the track, sponsored by Wagner Super Foods. For each non-perishable food item donated, fans will receive a numbered ticket. Bring one item, get one ticket. Bring 100 items, get 100 tickets. At intermission, we will draw from those numbered tickets to give away cash, South Dakota Lottery tickets and other prizes. Donations will be accepted at the sign in gate into the pits and at the entrance to the main grandstand and all the food collected will benefit the Wagner Food Pantry. If your race team or business would like to donate a prize as part of the "Horsepower for Hunger" night, contact Promoter Rod Pattison at 605-360-8208 or just bring it to the track Friday night.
This Friday will also mark the first of three visits by the Tri-State Late Model Series, presented by the South Dakota Lottery. The winner of each of the three events during the season will also receive $100 in scratch off Lottery tickets. After the third and final appearance on September 8th, the driver that has accumulated the most points over those three shows will receive an extra $200 in lottery tickets and the driver who finishes second in the points for those three shows will receive $100 in lottery tickets.
"Horsepower for Hunger" night and the Tri-State Late Models, along with WISSOTA Super Stocks, B-Mods, Hobby Stocks and B-Buzzers, presented by Wagner Super Foods and the South Dakota Lottery, this Friday night. Gates open at 5pm, hot laps at 7pm with racing to follow. For more information, news, updated points, schedules and more, check out the all new www.wagnerspeedway.com or Wagner Speedway Fan Page on Facebook.
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