Celebration of Human Spirit Highlights Action Friday at Wagner Speedway
Friday night was a night filled with action on the track and emotions in the grandstands at Wagner Speedway. The Horsepower for Hunger food drive night was sponsored by Fort Randall Casino and Hotel, Valley Pump of Wagner, Myers Sanitation and Powers Port-A-Pot Services and Rentals, with a special celebration from the Wagner Pink Ladies and Jen and Cody Martin of Martin Construction. The racing family did not disappoint.
A large amount of non-perishable food items were collected at the grandstand entrance for the Rural Office of Community Service (ROCS), who is taking over the Wagner Food Pantry when they move into their new offices in Wagner in mid-August. At intermission, Promoter and Announcer Rod Pattison made a special presentation on behalf of long time friend Becky Weier of Sioux Falls. Becky sets aside money each month to give to worthy projects and the Horsepower for Hunger food drive is something that hit home for her. "As a child my parents were separated a lot," said Weier in a post on her Facebook page. "My mom received no support to raise my brother and I. I know first hand what it’s like to watch your parent go without eating so her kids can and not to eat, period!" Becky and her family made a cash donation of $1000 to the Horsepower for Hunger food drive, which was given to Rebecca Brown from ROCS at intermission.
Martin Construction and it's owners Cody and Jen Martin were also pleased to join the Wagner Pink Ladies and give 20 Razor Scooters away to kids 11 years of age or younger. Following the drawings for the Scooters, Pattison made a presentation to the Pink Ladies, on behalf of the Martin family, for $2,500. It's something Jen Martin was proud to do. "The Wagner Pink Ladies do amazing work for people fighting breast cancer." Martin added, "Cody and I are both from the Wagner area and we wanted to give back to them for the work they do. Since this is our home track, we wanted to be part of this celebration." Needless to say, between both presentations at intermission, emotions were definitely on display. To watch the video of these presentations, go to Wagner Speedway Photos by Casta Myers. Then, it was time for feature racing.
The Hobby Stock main event would be up first and a first time winner at the speedway would dominate. Derrick Scott (Geddes, SD) would start on the pole position and never look back and never be challenged to pick up his first ever feature win at Wagner Speedway. Joey Jaton (Wagner, SD) would finish a strong second with Clifford Houser (Kimball, SD), Matt Goth (Madison, SD) and Kevin Vasek (Lake Andes, SD) rounding out the top five. With the Scott victory, he becomes the seventh different driver to win a Hobby Stock feature in 8 events in 2018 with only Jeremy Senglemann (Dallas, SD) picking up two wins so far this season. Heat races were won by Derrick Scott and James Hoing (Kimball, SD).
The WISSOTA Super Stock feature event showed that good things happen to good people. Starting from his second row starting position, the aforementioned Cody Martin (Mitchell, SD) would take a race car that he said in the Subway Winner's Circle was "a handful that didn't handle very good", to his first ever checkered flag at Wagner. Following Martin across the finish line were Tyler Myers (Ethan, SD), Tanner James (Mt. Vernon, SD), Daniel Tingle (Mt. Vernon, SD) and Brandon Tingle (Mitchell, SD). Martin becomes the fifth different feature winner in the Super Stock class in 6 races with Kip Myers (Ethan, SD) picking up two thus far. The heat race was won by Tyler Myers.
The B-Modified "A" saw some late race drama as Dudley Schroeder, Jr (Armour, SD) lead from the outset, but was challenged for the last 3 laps by Camden Myers (Ethan, SD). Myers, who started seventh on the grid, pulled up along side Schroeder twice in the final three laps, but Schroeder would not be denied on this night. The win by Schroeder would be his third of the season and the 18th of his career at Wagner, which ties him with Danny Fischer and Jeff Brunssen for eighth on the all time wins list at the speedway. The B-Mod division has been owned by Schroeder and Myers with seven of the eight starts won by these two young guns. Myers has four to his credit and Schroeder has three with David Carlson (Huron, SD) securing the other. Following Schroeder and Myers were Kyle Pecena (O'Neill, NE), James Reiner (Wessington Springs, SD) and Wade Wright (Armour, SD) would round out the top five. Heats were won by Wade Wright and Kyle Pecena.
Late Model action would follow and an early race mishap would shape the outcome of this one. Pole sitter Jared Hoerle (Chambers, NE) and fellow front row starter Justin Havaranek (Wagner, SD) would make contact on the exit of turn two, causing Havaranek to spin to a stop. The caution flag would wave, sending Hoerle to the rear of the field on the restart. While that was happening, Quentin Myers (Pukwana, SD) would develop mechanical issues and he would have to retire from the event. On the restart, Havaranek would have to keep the hammer down because Gale Vogt (Yankton, SD) who started sixth and Mike Babcock (Creighton, NE) who started fifth would be in hot pursuit. With five laps remaining, Chris DeBoer (Mt. Vernon, SD) spun in turn two, collecting Hoerle and retiring him for the night. The final five circuits would see Havaranek fend off the challenges of Vogt and Babcock to pick up his second win of the season and his 14th of his career. Following Havaranek, Vogt and Babcock would be Jared Jelsma (Springfield, SD) and Terry McCarthy (Springview, NE) rounding out the top five. Heats were won by Quentin Myers and Mike Babcock.
The B-Buzzer front wheel drive class had all the makings of a historical finish, as Cassy Cooper (Mitchell, SD), looked to become the first female driver in Wagner Speedway history to win a feature. She led the first five laps until Matthew Andersh (Wagner, SD) made contact with her car in the front straight away and passed Cooper on the final lap to win his third feature of the season. Cooper would settle for second with Shawn McKnelly (Hartford, SD), John Koster (Mitchell, SD) and Kevin Andersh (Wagner, SD) rounding out the top five. Kevin Andersh won the heat.
The final race of the night featured the IMCA Race Saver 305 sprint car class and the only red flag of the night waved on lap three, when Tony Drueke (Naper, NE) got sideways in turn four and went on a series of flips and rolls and landed to a stop on the entrance of the front straight. Drueke was able to get out of the car under his own power, but there was too much damage to the car and Drueke was done for the night. Following the restart, it was a dominating performance from the driver they call "The Doc". Daniel Nekolite (O'Neill, NE) made the house call to Wagner Speedway and took good care of the competition in winning his first event at the track this season and his third event of his career. Following Nekolite to the checkers included John Otte (Ravinia, SD) and Dalton Domagala (Luverne, MN). Nekolite also won the heat race.
More action is in store for race teams and fans this Friday night, as Namminga Hay Grinding, Bures and Associates, PC and Beck's Hybrids present the AFCO Race of Champions qualifier for WISSOTA Super Stocks, with the winner qualifying for the AFCO Race of Champions at the WISSOTA 100 at I-94 Raceway in Fergus Falls, MN in September. This will be the last qualifier of the year for Super Stocks so the car count should be excellent. Joining the Super Stocks on the schedule will be Late Models, B-Mods, Hobby Stocks and B-Buzzers.
Be sure to get to the track early and enjoy a delicious pre-race dinner from Mom and Missy's Place under the main grandstand, featuring freshly grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs, along with polled pork sandwiches, chislic and more. Plus, come and enjoy some ice cold Coca-Cola products and ice cold Budweiser products. Gates open at 5pm with hot laps at 7pm and racing to follow approximately 8pm. Be sure to stay informed of full results, updated point standings, upcoming race schedules and more by checking out WagnerSpeedway.com or "Like" or follow our Facebook page at Wagner Speedway Fan Page.
We'll see you this Friday night at Wagner Speedway.
Fast, Family FUN