By Jordan Kuehne
LOVES PARK, Ill. (Saturday, June 11th, 2011) – Ryan Carlson probably couldn’t have dreamt a much better ending to his birthday than winding up in victory lane for a second consecutive weekend. There’s no need for ‘RC’ to dream however as the points leader set fast time, grabbed the early lead in the Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models 30-lap main event, and held off a surging Tim Sargent late en route to a birthday celebration in the Rockford Speedway winner’s circle tonight.
On top of a second straight win, Carlson extended his points lead to a comfortable 36 markers as Sargent’s bid for extra cash fell short. Coincidentally, Carlson wasn’t even the only birthday boy to find victory lane on the evening as young 13-year-old Jacob Van Wazer pieced together a spirited late race rally to grab the lead from veteran Erik Gehrke on the way to the checkers. Matt Lundberg snagged a hard-earned second Bargain Hunter Sportsman victory of the season in his ‘Family Truckster’ while Dana Czach zipped to a Mtn Dew RoadRunner win over friend Alex Papini.
Rookie Mitch Garfield grabbed the top spot when the 30-lap Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models feature got underway. The racing was short-lived as a caution halted the proceedings with 27 laps to go as Jon Reynolds Jr’s machine stopped in the exit of turn two with rear end issues.
When the green flag waved, Garfield remained out front as points leader Ryan Carlson worked his way around Wayne Freimund into second while eyeing the top spot. The birthday boy grabbed the top spot via the bottom groove with five laps in the books as Tim Sargent surged to fourth. Sargent took the Gerber Collision & Glass Challenge during the pre-race ceremonies and started in the back of the feature field; if the 2010 champ managed to win the race, he’d gain an extra $700 for his efforts.
A second yellow fell with 22 circuits remaining after Kyle Shear went around in turn four. Shear received his third place spot back because his spin was deemed to have been due to oil on the racing surface.
Carlson cruised to a solid edge on the restart as Sargent pushed past a loose Shear for third. Sargent surrendered his spot to Freimund dropping to fourth as Shear did a 360 in turn two to bring out a third caution with 13 laps to go.
Shear kept on rolling and remained on the lead lap as Freimund exited the track after fluid began leaking from underneath his machine. Carlson pushed to a comfortable edge on the restart as Shear suddenly re-entered the picture and staged a brief battle with Garfield for second.
Shear’s surge ended when he slipped back to fourth behind Sargent. As Carlson comfortably retained a five car-length advantage, Sargent worked over 17-year-old Mitch Garfield for second with a squeeze move in turn two and suddenly the race was on.
With two laps to go, Sargent had sliced the deficit to two car lengths and by the time the white flag waved, it was down to just a few yards. Driving his car as deep as possible into turn three, Sargent managed to close up to Carlson’s back bumper but simply ran out of time as the birthday boy got to celebrate in victory lane, extending his points lead in the process.
“It was kind of a birthday gift,” Carlson quipped in the winner’s circle. “I think we pushed the tires a week too far but it all worked out in the end. Definitely a weird night out there though and a bit bizarre at times but we’ll take it. Luck was on our side tonight and it wasn’t a gimme, and some of them are just a little bit harder than others at times.”
Mitch Garfield garnered the best finish of his rookie season with a strong top three effort while Kyle Shear and Jon Reynolds Jr. both managed to score top fives in fourth and fifth respectively despite rough evenings for each driver.
Fresh off a heat-race victory, Shannon Stoltz shuttled to the top spot in the 25-lap Bargain Hunter Sportsman feature. Justin Sellers shuffled through the field into second before challenging for the top spot with three laps in the books.
As fast qualifier Matt Berger and points leader Austin Nason made contact in the back of the pack, Sellers maneuvered into the lead and quickly broke away to a comfortable five car-length cushion.
The caution flew for an assisted Berger spin in turn three with 15 laps remaining and the defending champion was sent to the back along with the young Nason, who played a part in the incident.
When racing resumed, Sellers came under fire from Doug Bennett’s colorful hot rod as Matt Lundberg closed up and made it a three-car fray out front. Sellers continued to lead as Lundberg made it a side-by-side battle for the bridesmaid’s position.
Another caution came with nine laps to go as Berger went around in turn three courtesy of his rival, Nason, relegating them both to the back. Bennett dropped to the rear of the field but stayed on the lead lap after pulling into the infield shortly before the caution occurred.
On the restart, Sellers slid out to a slim lead over Lundberg as Brad Gerke and Robert Roush battled for third. Lundberg took advantage of a Sellers slip up in turn one to grab the lead with four laps to go as Gerke negotiated his way into second.
As Sellers dropped back to sixth, Matt Berger worked his way up to third with two laps to go and Nason followed his trail around Roush at the checkers for fourth.
Lundberg landed in victory lane for the second time this season behind a taxing hard fought effort. With the win, Lundberg and his ‘Family Truckster’ cut the deficit in the standings to just one point behind Nason as the season careens toward the halfway point.
“That was a hard fought race,” he acknowledged afterwards. “That was the hardest I’ve had to race all year I think. We handled pretty good on the bottom there and I definitely earned this one tonight.”
Brad Gerke put together a strong finish with his second place run while Berger got a much needed top three in third. Nason beat out Roush to the line by a couple of feet to come home fourth.
The Mtn Dew RoadRunners 20-lap feature got off to a quick start as Adam Cartwright jumped to a slim lead. Battling for the lead, ‘Mean’ Gene Marocco, Dan Carlson, and Cartwright went three-wide for two laps before the caution flew with seven laps completed.
Marocco made contact with Cartwright on the frontstretch and consequently blew a tire in turn one, spinning in front of the field. In a testament to the collective driving ability of the field, everyone managed to avoid Marocco’s machine as Cartwright once again inherited the lead. Marocco and Carlson both exited to the pits for repairs from the incident.
On the restart, Cartwright careened to the lead as Alex Papini and Dana Czach managed to close quickly and make it a three-wide tussle for the top spot. Czach zipped to the lead right before a debris caution fell with 11 circuits to go.
Papini pushed past Cartwright into the second position and immediately set his sights on close friend Dana Czach and the top spot. The ‘Cardiac Kid’ slashed ‘Zippity’ Czach’s advantage to a mere two car lengths before Papini was held up by the lapped car of Kenneth Brazee, costing him valuable time he couldn’t make up.
Czach held on for the feature win, his first of the year, as Papini fell a little bit short in his quest for a third victory of the season. A gracious loser, Papini congratulated his buddy in the winner’s circle as Czach raced out of his hot rod to celebrate the win.
“We’ve really struggled this year and it’s been rough,” Czach offered afterwards. “It feels good to get out of here with a win tonight.”
Papini regained the points lead with his runner-up effort while Brian Mayer registered his best result of the season in third. Anthony Lloyd and Terry Ciano Jr. both put together stellar runs finishing in fourth and fifth respectively.
Marocco dropped to second in the points trailing Papini by four markers but did manage to rally from his blown tire to notch a seventh place finish.
Jacob Van Wazer waltzed to the early lead in the return of the American Super Cups. Fast qualifier Erle Hoth smoothly navigated up to second by the third lap of the 25-lap headliner as the top two drivers slipped away from the field.
While the frontrunners eased out to a solid cushion over the rest of the field, David Cerer, Ken Jones, Erik Gehrke, and Andrew Forster went bumper-to-bumper for third through sixth as the halfway point flew by.
Gehrke made his move with 12 laps to go, jumping to the bottom of the high banks and navigating his way up to fourth. He didn’t hold that spot for long as Forster managed to overtake him and regain fourth.
The field was bunched back up when a debris caution put a hold on the proceedings with seven laps to go.
On the restart, Gehrke sprinted to the lead via the Delaware double-file restart before Van Wazer closed back up on the inside. Both youngster and grizzled vet went door-to-door for the feature win as the laps quickly clicked by.
The 13-year-old rode around on the bottom and nosed ahead at the white flag before squeezing Gehrke up the track on the high side in turn two and holding on at the line to celebrate his 13th birthday with the best gift a racer can find: a feature trophy.
“Yeah, I thought they were gonna get me there,” the newly minted teenager smiled in victory lane. “I gotta thank my dad for putting me in this spot and helping me race out here.”
Gehrke edged out Hoth by just a few centimeters for the runner-up spot.
Brad Jones jumped out front when the Sam’s Drive-In RoadRunner Challenge Hare ‘N Hound Race got underway before leading the field through the infield on lap two of the six lap event.
With the premise of the race centered around the idea of the ‘hounds’ trailing the ‘hare’ around his desired path on the speedway, Jones made sure to take advantage of his edge out front at every chance, shaking Brett McCoy and Raymond Hardesty in the course of the exhilarating event with sharp veers into the infield.
At one point, McCoy and Jones almost met head-on in the center of turn one but a late move to the inside spared the drivers and their machines. In the end, the early lead and the chance to lead the field around proved too much to overcome as Jones emerged victorious.
Wild Wednesday makes its 2011 debut this upcoming Wednesday night, June 15th, as the Mtn Dew RoadRunner Summer Series kicks off its mad dash through the eight-week summer season. Increased purses greet the drivers of the Bandits, INEX Legends, Bandoleros, and Misfits while the Winged Women on Wheels, Figure 8, and Law Office of Kim MacCloskey Spectacular Drags make their season debuts as well.
Adult admission is just $8 while teenagers ages 12-17 get in for $6 and kids ages 6-11 get in for only $4. Children ages 5 and under are FREE with gates opening at 5:30pm and the green flag waving on all the exciting racing action at 7:07pm sharp!
The return of the World Famous Original Trailer Race of Destruction awaits racing fans next Saturday night at the Rockford Speedway! A full slate of racing action is also on tap with the Stanley Steemer NASCAR Late Models, Bargain Hunter Sportsman, Budweiser American Short Trackers, and Mtn Dew RoadRunners on the track plus the Sam’s Drive-In RoadRunner Challenge featuring the Escape from I-90 Race. The always exciting Trailer Race closes out the night in style.
Adult admission is just $15 for a full night of memorable action while Kids ages 11 and under get in for only $5! Gates open at 5pm with qualifying scheduled to get underway at 6pm and the green flag waving at 7:07pm sharp.
For more information, including a full 2011 schedule, visit the track website at www.rockfordspeedway.com or contact the Speedway Box Office at (815)633-1500.
Rockford Speedway Results
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Week 6
NASCAR All American Sportsmen
A-Main 01 -- 1. Matt Lundberg, Rockford; 2. Brad Gerke (r), Loves Park; 3. Matt Berger, Loves Park; 4. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 5. Robert Roush (r), Marengo; 6. Justin Sellers, Carol Stream; 7. Doug Bennett, Brodhead, Wis; 8. Shannon Stoltz (r), Machesney Park; 9. Tim Jendrycki (r), Round Lake; 10. Brandon Swinbank (r), Rockford; 11. Joshua Lundy (r), Loves Park.
Heat 01 -- 1. Shannon Stoltz (r), Machesney Park; 2. Justin Sellers, Carol Stream; 3. Brad Gerke (r), Loves Park; 4. Tim Jendrycki (r), Round Lake; 5. Brandon Swinbank (r), Rockford; 6. Joshua Lundy (r), Loves Park.
Heat 02 -- 1. Matt Lundberg, Rockford; 2. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 3. Matt Berger, Loves Park; 4. Doug Bennett,
Brodhead, Wis; 5. Robert Roush (r), Marengo.
Time Trial -- 1. Matt Berger, Loves Park; 2. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 3. Doug Bennett, Brodhead, Wis; 4. Matt Lundberg, Rockford; 5. Robert Roush (r), Marengo; 6. Brad Gerke (r), Loves Park; 7. Justin Sellers, Carol Stream; 8. Tim Jendrycki (r), Round Lake; 9. Shannon Stoltz (r), Machesney Park; 10. Brandon Swinbank (r), Rockford; 11. Joshua Lundy (r), Loves Park.
Trophy Dash 01 -- 1. Matt Berger, Loves Park; 2. Austin Nason, Roscoe; 3. Matt Lundberg, Rockford; 4. Doug Bennett, Brodhead, Wis; 5. Brad Gerke (r), Loves Park; 6. Robert Roush (r), Marengo.
NASCAR Late Models
A-Main 01 -- 1. Ryan Carlson, Loves Park; 2. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 3. Mitchell Garfield (r), Gilberts; 4. Kyle Shear, Roscoe; 5. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 6. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 7. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 8. Mark Hartline, Gilberts; 9. Jerry Gille, Roscoe.
Heat 01 -- 1. Mark Hartline, Gilberts; 2. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 3. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 4. Mitchell Garfield (r), Gilberts; 5. Brandon Eash, Machesney Park.
Heat 02 -- 1. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 2. Ryan Carlson, Loves Park; 3. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 4. Kyle Shear, Roscoe; 5. Jerry Gille, Roscoe.
Time Trial -- 1. Ryan Carlson, Loves Park; 2. Tim Sargent, South Beloit; 3. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford; 4. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 5. Kyle Shear, Roscoe; 6. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 7. John Beinlich, Prairie View; 8. Mitchell Garfield (r), Gilberts; 9. Mark Hartline, Gilberts; 10. Brandon Eash, Machesney Park.
Trophy Dash 01 -- 1. Wayne Freimund, Elkhorn, Wis; 2. Ryan Carlson, Loves Park; 3. Kyle Shear, Roscoe; 4. Tim
Sargent, South Beloit; 5. Jerry Gille, Roscoe; 6. Jon Reynolds, Jr., Rockford.
NASCAR Road Runners
A-Main 01 -- 1. Dana Czach, Wauconda; 2. Alex Papini, Machesney Park; 3. Brian Mayer, Machesney Park; 4. Anthony Lloyd, Loves Park; 5. Terry Ciano, Jr., Janesville, Wis; 6. Jeff Allendorf, Belvidere; 7. Gene Marocco, Machesney Park; 8. Howie Ware, South Beloit; 9. Arlyn Roush, Woodstock; 10. Shawn Rickelman, Rockton; 11. James Gregory, Winnebago; 12. Steve Gregory, Machesney Park; 13. Patrick Featherstone II, Byron; 14. Brad Jones, Rockton; 15. Dennis Smith, Jr, South Beloit; 16. Steven Dover, Machesney Park; 17. Dan Carlson, Rockford; 18. Adam Cartwright, Marengo; 19. Brett McCoy, Belvidere; 20. Raymond Hardesty, McHenry; 21. Kenneth Brazee III, Rockford.
Heat 01 -- 1. Jason Van Hise, Loves Park; 2. Adam Cartwright, Marengo; 3. Raymond Hardesty, McHenry; 4. Kenneth Brazee III, Rockford; 5. James Gregory, Winnebago; 6. Steven Dover, Machesney Park; 7. Jonathon Dean, Machesney Park; 8. Shawn Rickelman, Rockton.
Heat 02 -- 1. Patrick Featherstone II, Byron; 2. Brian Mayer, Machesney Park; 3. Jeff Allendorf, Belvidere; 4. Brad Jones, Rockton; 5. Dan Carlson, Rockford; 6. Dennis Smith, Jr, South Beloit; 7. Terry Ciano, Jr., Janesville, Wis; 8. Steve Gregory, Machesney Park.
Heat 03 -- 1. Dana Czach, Wauconda; 2. Gene Marocco, Machesney Park; 3. Brett McCoy, Belvidere; 4. Howie Ware,
South Beloit; 5. Alex Papini, Machesney Park; 6. Arlyn Roush, Woodstock; 7. Anthony Lloyd, Loves Park.
Challenge 01 -- 1. Brad Jones, Rockton; 2. Adam Cartwright, Marengo; 3. Arlyn Roush, Woodstock; 4. Terry Ciano, Jr., Janesville, Wis; 5. Steven Dover, Machesney Park; 6. Raymond Hardesty, McHenry; 7. Kenneth Brazee III, Rockford; 8. Brett McCoy, Belvidere; 9. Jason Van Hise, Loves Park.
Trophy Dash 01 -- 1. Gene Marocco, Machesney Park; 2. Anthony Lloyd, Loves Park; 3. Alex Papini, Machesney Park; 4. Brett McCoy, Belvidere; 5. Jeff Allendorf, Belvidere; 6. Howie Ware, South Beloit.
This article was posted to the website on June 12th, 2011
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