Menomonie WI, Sept. 21 – Scott Gilberts inherited the race lead with only four laps to go when Jimmy Mars broke and then held off late challenges by both Nick Anvelink and Chad Mahder to win the thirty fourth annual Punky Manor Challenge of Champions Late Model event Saturday night at the Red Cedar Speedway. Other winners on a busy Saturday of all day racing at the track necessitated after Friday night’s preliminaries were postponed by poor track conditions included Mars in the Modifieds, Kevin Eder in the Super Stocks, Shane Halopka in the Midwest Mods, Doug Wojcik in the Street Stocks, George Richards in the Pure Stocks and Buddy Hanestad in the Hornets.
Twenty four Late Models took starter Rick Cook’s green flag to start the Late Model forty lap main event with Mars, who started on the pole, getting the early jump on outside pole sitter A.J. Diemel. However, Diemel quickly moved in to challenge Mars for the lead and they raced hard for the top spot in the early going. It was only five laps into the race when Diemel slapped the front stretch wall while racing for the lead. He rolled to a halt and was done for the night as the yellow flag flew.
Mars then moved away from the pack as John Kaanta took over the second spot. Mars continued to pull away from the field as Anvelink, who started sixth, moved in to challenge Kaanta for second with Gilberts also rolling forward from his fourth row starting spot. Mars continued to pull away from the field and worked his way through heavy traffic as Anvelink passed Kaanta for second with Gilberts soon dropping Kaanta another position.
Mars had the better part of a straightaway lead over Anvelink as the race moved into its later stages. In fact, thirty one laps of nonstop action were completed before Mars, only four laps away from victory and alone up front, suddenly slowed and then stalled on the back chute, ending his attempt to garner his sixth Late Model “Punky” and seventh overall. Mars’ problem was later diagnosed as a bad ignition switch.
Anvelink inherited the lead but on the double file restart Gilberts powered to the outside on the green and swept past Anvelink into the lead while Mahder, who started twenty first, suddenly became a challenger as he blew past Kaanta into third and threatened to challenge the top two.
Three yellow flags in the last four laps added to the drama, the last of which saw Mark Rose climb the front stretch fence and ride out a frightening flip just as the leaders came out of the last corner of the race running for the win. Rose was unhurt but the wild flip set up a two lap sprint to the checkered.
Gilberts jumped into the lead but Anvelink drove hard to the low side in turn three and pulled beside the leader. Gilberts got up on the wheel and fought off the challenge as Mahder nearly slipped by both of the other contenders on the high side. On the last lap Gilberts fought off Anvelink and then slid up the track in the final corner with Mahder pulling to his rear bumper but Gilberts hung on to win by a car length over Mahder with Anvelink falling to third. Darrell Nelson and Rick Hanestad completed the top five as Gilberts took the $5,000 top prize.
Mars was able to complete the deal in the Modified feature as he overcame a strong performance by Mike Anderson to take the open wheel race. Mars had the pole for the Modified feature also, but Anderson used the outside to run op the cushion and drive past Mars to take the lead. After a four car collision slowed the action early, the first nineteen laps went nonstop with Anderson continuing to hold the lead and Mars challenging on the low side on every corner. Cory Mahder moved into third ahead of Mark Gerth and the top four continued to run in that order as Anderson had to deal with some heavy lapped traffic. Several times Mars closed in as the leader fought through the traffic, but each time Anderson was able to clear himself just before Mars made a move past him.
Near the halfway point of the thirty five lapper, Mars began to methodically close the gap, working the low side of the track and edging up on the leader. With a strong drive into the turn, Mars was able to edge ahead of Anderson to take over the lead, just as the yellow was triggered by a slowing car.
On the green, Anderson took a shot at Mars but Jimmy was able to power away as Anderson slid up the track but remained second with Mahder continuing to run third. Dave Cain was on the move after starting sixteenth and he cracked the top five and continued to charge. Up front, Mars continued to build on his lead and eventually stretched it to nearly a straightaway.
With open track Mars never hit lapped traffic to slow his charge and he drove home for his second straight “Punky” Modified win and the $2,000 top price. Anderson finished a strong second with Mahder and Cain trailing while Darrell Nelson completed his second top five finish of the night.
Eder led all the way to win the Super Stock feature although he was challenged early by Ken Truscott and later by Aaron Wilson. Eder was closely pursued in the early going by Truscott before Wilson dove past on the low side to take second. He began to close on the leader and it looked like a battle was on but as the race continued, Eder was able to stabilize his lead and maintain the distance he held on the field.
Later in the race Randy Spacek made some strong moves to crack the top five and then challenge even further. However, up front Eder was in control and drove on for the win over Wilson. Spacek’s late charge saw him move up to third and shuffle Truscott back a position with Luke Plank completing the top five.
Halopka has been strong at Red Cedar all year and he put on another dominating performance Saturday as he led from start to finish in the Midwest Modified main event and was never really challenging after the first few laps. Grant Southworth put some pressure on Halopka in the early going but Shane gradually pulled away as Southworth faded later in the race with some suspension issues. Josh Smith moved into the second spot as he battled with Travis Anderson for position but both were well behind the leader and not in position to challenge him.
With only two yellow flags in the main, Halopka was able to motor on without interruption and no one was able to challenge him as he drove on to the win. Smith held on for second over Anderson while Mike Truscott made a big charge from thirteenth to fourth with Ryan Viltz chasing him.
The Street Stock feature saw numerous yellow flags and one of the late yellows bit race long leader Sam Fankhauser with Wojcik able to drive past him for the lead and eventually the win. Fankhauser had led from the onset of the event with Adam Soltis challenging in the early going along with Mike Knudtson. Wojcik started seventh but quickly moved into position to challenge by riding the high side of the track. Wojcik took third when Soltis was forced into the wall and on the green closed in to challenge Fankhauser for the lead. They were battling hard with Sam holding off the challenge as Wojcik looked to his inside on every corner. After trying several times, Wojcik moved to the high side himself and was able to power past the leader to take over the top spot.
A late race yellow for debris bunched the field and on the green, Knudtson surprised everyone by powered past Wojcik to take over the lead. It looked like Knudtson might pull off the stunning upset but Wojcik got back in rhythm, powered to the inside of Knudtson and retook the lead with only a couple of laps left. Knudtson tried to fight back but had to settle for second as Wojcik took the win. Fankhauser ended up third with Ron Hanestad and Danny Richards completing the top five.
The Pure Stock feature saw Krysta Swearingen and Jason Havel battling for the lead in the early going. Their fight for the lead got physical as they swapped paint first on the front chute and then again in turn one. The end result was tough for both of them as Havel ended up planted into the turn two wall while Swearingen had an even more unpleasant result as she climbed the turn two wall and barrel rolled twice down the back chute before coming to rest. Both drivers were unhurt physically but ready to carry on the discussion until separated by track officials.
Dustin Doughty inherited the lead and led briefly but he couldn’t hold back the charge of George Richards who powered past him to take over the top spot and then pull away from the field. He built his lead to nearly a straightaway as he drove home to an early win, his third straight in the Pure Stocks at the “Punky.” Mike Knopps made a late charge as he roared up to the second spot after starting ninth with Hunter VanGilder hanging on for third. Behind him, Doughty and Jimmy Holden finished off the top five.
Another dominating win was hung on the field by Buddy Hanestad as the Hornets were a part of the “Punky”. Hanestad quickly got to the front and once in the lead, drove away from the field for an easy win. Mark McQuisten moved up to take the second spot ahead of Dan Prissel, Dustin Shackleton and Justin Lamm.
One hundred and eighty one cars completed in the “Punky”, including thirty two Late Models in what was the final event of the 2013 racing season at the Red Cedar Speedway.
Red Cedar Speedway
Sept. 21, 2013
WISSOTA Late Models
40 lap Feature – Scott Gilberts(Menomonie), Chad Mahder(Eau Claire), Nick Anvelink(Bonduel), Darrell Nelson(Hermantown MN), Rick Hanestad(Boyceville), John Kaanta(Elk Mound), Mike Prochnow(Menomonie), Brent Larson(Lake Elmo MN), Steve Isenberg(Mosinee), Harry Hanson(Eveleth MN), Brett Swedberg, Mike Keller, Justin Ochsner, Mark Rose, Nate Beyenhof, Jimmy Mars, Terry Lillo, Jake Redetzke, Lance Matthees, Jerry Bloom, Robby Bunkelman, A.J. Diemel, Steve Laursen, Adam Hensel
12 lap B Feature – Mahder, Bloom(Rochester MN), Swedberg(Shawano), Beyenhof(Rock Rapids IA), Lance Hofer(Cochrane), Jeff Massingill, Mike Bear, Trevor Wilson, Lucas Peterson, Jordan Yaggy, Todd Green, Doug Blashe
10 lap Heat 1 – Mars(Menomonie), Prochnow, Redetzke(Eau Claire), Matthees(Winona MN), Laursen(Cumberland), Mahder, Yaggy, Green
Heat 2 – Diemel(Elk Mound), Anvelink, Hanestad, Ochsner(Marshfield), Lillo(Duluth MN), Bloom, Massingill, Peterson
Heat 3 – Nelson, Hensel(Baldwin), Isenberg, Hanson, Larson, Hofer, Beyenhof, Bear
Heat 4 – Kaanta, Gilberts, Bunkelman(Abbotsford), Keller(Menomonie), Rose(Elcho), Swedberg, Blashe, Wilson
35 lap Feature – Jimmy Mars(Menomonie), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Dave Cain(Corcoran MN), Darrell Nelson(Hermantown MN), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Jay Richardson(Spring Valley), Al Uotinen(Superior), Cory Williams(Spring Valley), Jared Loos, Neil Balduc, Mark Hanson, Bryan Nayes, Brian Mikkonen, Ronnie Rihn, Steve Lavasseur, Kevin Eder, Ross Prochnow, Mark Hessler, Kent Baxter, Ashley Anderson, Robbie Johnson, Kevin Adams, Steve Hallquist, Jesse Glenz, Scott Miller
10 lap Heat 1 – Mars, Mahder, Miller(Rice Lake), Nelson, Adams(Cameron), Cain, Rihn, Nayes, Johnson, Loos
Heat 2 – M. Anderson, Hallquist(Eau Claire), A. Anderson(Elk Mound), Richardson, Eder(Ashland), Williams, Hessler, Mikkonen, Brent Prochnow
Heat 3 – Gerth, Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Glenz(Cadott), D. Baxter, R. Prochnow(Boyceville), Lavasseur, Uotinen, K. Baxter, Balduc
WISSOTA Super Stocks
30 lap Feature – Kevin Eder(Ashland), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Randy Spacek(Phillips), Ken Truscott(Greenland MI), Luke Plank(Eau Claire), Scott Lawrence(Superior), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Shawn McFadden(Ashland), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Andy Grymala(Superior), Eric Olson, Tommy Richards, Jason Forehand, Brad Johnson, Wayne Stricker, Wayne Dean, Ben Hanke, Tony Falkner, Mark Stender, Jim Harris, Trevor Arens, Rick Hallquist, Nick Oreskovich, Tom Karis
12 lap B Feature 1 – Johnson(Wilson), Olson(Ladysmith), Richards(Mondovi), Falkner(Menomonie), Kevin Salin(Iron MN), Wayne Harris Jr, Bart Steffen, Mike Hince, Steve Thomas
B Feature 2 – Forehand(Eau Claire), Karis(Menomonie), Stender(Holcombe), J. Harris(Menomonie), Eric Schultz(Downing), Terry Kroening, Wayne Bignell, Curt Hazelton, Mark Polen, Mike Keller
10 lap Heat 1 – Truscott, Grymala, Stricker(Highbridge), Dean(Fall Creek), Salin, Falkner, Olson, Kenny Davis, Harris Jr
Heat 2 – Eder, Plank, Hallquist(Eau Claire), Hanke(Hudson), Bignell(Menomonie), Polen, Karis, J. Harris, Keller, Hazelton
Heat 3 – Wilson, Spacek, Hillman, Lawrence, Johnson, Richards, Steffen, Hince, Gunnar Watkins
Heat 4 – Oreskovich(Mason), McFadden, Kisling, Arens(Hibbing MN), Stender, Schultz, Forehand, Jesse Redetzke, Kroening
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
25 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Josh Smith(Eau Claire), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Mike Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Ryan Hensel(Forest), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Jeff Klopstein Jr.(Tomahawk), Ben Schultz, Terry Sirek, Justin Supri, Dylan Goettl, Luke Shackleton, Mike Schnider, Jason Richardson, Paul Erikson, Cole Spacek, David Swearingen, Dean Pronschinke, Tito Viltz, Tyler Luger, Jake Smith
12 lap B Feature 1 – Erikson(Abbotsford), Klopstein Jr, Spacek(Phillips), Sirek(Rice Lake), Ross Fuhrman, Paul Suzik, Bill Stettner, Reid Teigs, Chris Huther, Brent Voeltz, Jimmy Patzner, Kyle Johnson
B Feature 2 – Hensel, Goettl(Chippewa Falls), Schnider(Rice Lake), Swearingen(Little Canada MN), Kenny Rogers(Unity), Jake Smeltzer, Chris Bretting, Collin Hazelton, Greg Arnt, James Green
10 lap Heat 1 – Southworth, T. Viltz(Rice Lake), K. Halopka, Truscott, Erikson, Spacek, Sirek, Suzik, Stettner, Patzner
Heat 2 – S. Halopka, Schultz(Menomonie), Luger(Iron River), Pronschinske(Strum), Swearingen, Rogers, Arnt, Smeltzer, Hazelton, Robbie Johnson
Heat 3 – Jo. Smith, Supri(Eau Claire), Koehler, Shackleton(Menomonie),Klopstein Jr, Fuhrman, K. Johnson, Voeltz, Huther
Heat 4 – Anderson, R. Viltz, Richardson(Spring Valley), Ja. Smith(Eau Claire), Goettl, Hensel, Rick Przybylski, Bretting, Green, Schnider
WISSOTA Street Stocks
20 lap Feature – Doug Wojcik(Ladysmith), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Danny Richards(Mondovi), Troy Fransway(Elk Mound), Ashley Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Carolyn Nosser(Sheldon), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Bill Skoug, Adam Soltis, Andrea Keeney, Nate Hauge, Jared Lindner, Cody Kummer, Darryll Foegen
8 lap Heat 1 – Fankhauser, Fransway, Hanestad, Wojcik, Richards, Lindner, S. Wahlstrom, Hauge
Heat 2 – Soltis(Ladysmith), Skoug(Osseo), Kummer(Medford), A. Wahlstrom, Knudtson, Foegen, Berlin, Nosser, Keeney
20 lap Feature – George Richards(Mondovi), Mike Knopps(Chippewa Falls), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Jimmy Holden(Rice Lake), Terran Spacek(Phillips), John Erickson(Rice Lake), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Mike Grover(Chetek), Kent Harmon(Downsville), Krysta Swearingen, Jason Havel, Trenten Holub, Andrew Conklin
6 lap Heat 1 – Spacek, Havel(Rice Lake), VanGilder, Erickson, Knopps, Harmon, Holub, Brett Myers
Heat 2 – Holden, Swearingen(Little Canada MN), Doughty, Thompson, Richards, Grover, Conklin
12 lap Feature – Buddy Hanestad(Boyceville), Mark McQuisten(Elk Mound), Dan Prissel(Mondovi), Dustin Shackleton(Menomonie), Justin Lamm(Boyceville), Scoop Hanson(Downing), Dean Butler(Wheeler), Bob Leland(Eau Claire), Chad Waldera(Eau Claire), Rick Hoffman Jr(Wheeler), Randy Goss