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>>> Red Cedar Speedway - September 24, 2016 Results <<<

The Red Cedar Speedway held the 37th Annual Punky Manor Challenge of Champions in Menomonie, Wisconsin on September 22, 23, and 24, 2016. Heavy rains leading up to the event had many wondering if it would be possible for the track crew to get things ready for racing action. They were able to get the track race ready for Thursday and improved on it’s condition throughout the weekend. A complete show was run for the Hornets, Pure Stocks, and the WISSOTA Poly Dome Dirt Track Series sanctioned Street Stocks on Thursday night. Racing resumed for the heats for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Modifieds, and Late Models on Friday and concluded with their B-Features and A-Features on Saturday night.

The feature fields were set up by qualifying heats which were lined up by luck of the draw. A passing points system was used, in which each finishing position is allotted a specified amount of points. The points increase for each position from last to first. Drivers further earn points for each position they gain in the race. The combination of the finishing position points added to the points accumulated for gaining positions determined each driver’s score. The features were then aligned with the highest scores starting first and so forth on back through the field.

Winners includes Jimmy Mars in both the Late Model and Modified divisions as Curt Myers and Michael Truscott won the Super Stock and Midwest Modified events, respectively. Thursday night, Michael Knudtson won the Street Stocks as Kent Harmon topped the Pure Stocks and Jason Holte won his first ever feature in the Hornets.

The Late Model feature was set after Travis Budisalvich won the B-Feature as Mark Hessler, Harry Hanson, and Brett Swedberg finished in the top four to qualify for the main event. It was the top two qualifiers of Scott Gilberts and Lance Matthees who lead the 24 car field to green. Matthees immediately used the top line to take the lead as Darrell Nelson followed him through from the outside of row two. A spinning Mike Keller was the only slowdown in the 40 lap affair as the group was reset early. Matthees drove back out into the lead as Nelson trailed behind. However, Nelson suffered a breakdown and was able to clear the raceway with the entire
field getting past without incident.

It was Jimmy Mars who inherited second position as he was already on the move from his fifth starting spot. Shortly thereafter, Mars used the highside to power to the lead and it was quickly realized the winner wouldn’t be in question as he asserted his dominance over the field. John Kaanta moved to third but Scott Gilberts was able to race himself back into contention for the runner up spot as he first overtook Kaanta and late in the event snuck underneath Matthees for second. The track began to rubber up relatively early as the cars moved to the bottom and the running order remained essentially unchanged the remainder of the event.

It was Mars who was able to pass lapped cars and put distance between himself and the remainder of the field. By race end, he had over a half a lap advantage at the checkered flag. Gilberts, Matthees, Kaanta, and Jake Redetzke rounded out the star studded field.

The Modified feature was set after Cory Bruggeman won the B-Feature as Jay Richardson, William Byholm, and Brent Prochnow finished in the top four to qualify for the main event. It was the top two qualifiers of Jody Bellefeuille and David Baxter who lead the 24 car field to green. It was in the first set of corners fourth starting Jake Hartung lost power causing his car to spin near the wall. He was moved the the back for the restart, losing 20 positions in the process. As a point of interest, he drove all the way back to battle for sixth place when mechanical issues ended his night. It was Bellefeuille who grabbed the lead as sixth starting Cory Mahder reeled him in and patiently passed to the point using the low line.

A second and final caution flew for Steve Hallquist when he pulled off but was not able to get far enough clear of the track. Immediately, Mahder resumed the lead but Bellefeuille was not finished as he motored to the upper groove to pull even. Mahder was able to weather the storm and retook control. Behind him Jimmy Mars has charged to second followed by Ashley Anderson in third. Mars hounded the leader, caught him with three laps remaining, and drove beneath him for the lead with two laps to go. Mars wouldn’t be caught for his first feature win of the night. Mahder backed up his big win the week prior with a second place finish. Ashley Anderson and Bellefeuille rounded out the top five.

The Super Stock feature was set after Lucas Plank won the B-Feature as Brian Mikkonen, Scott Lawrence, and Eric Olson finished in the top four to qualify for the main event. It was the top two qualifiers of Curt Myers and Jesse Redetzke who lead the 24 car field to green. Redetzke used the top line to appear as if he was going to earn the point, but Myers used a bold first lap move to power into first. The first of three cautions slowed the action as James Harris and Tony Falkner spun with Falkner being called for the foul. The field retook the green but a Steve Thomas spin slowed the pace.

Myers motored out to a comfortable lead as Jeff Brauer ran in second and Tommy Richards moved to third. Richards began to battle for the second position and although he briefly secured the same, Brauer regained it shortly thereafter. The final caution flew for a car which broke down and
was unable to clear the track. Under green, Myers continued to lead as Ben Hillman overtook third. It was Myers all the way to the checkered flag as Hillman put a stamp on his father’s induction into the track’s Hall of Fame earlier in the evening when he used a las lap run to overtake Brauer for second. Tommy Richards and Nick Oreskavich claimed the fourth and fifth position.

The Midwest Modified feature was set after Justin Claussen won the B-Feature as Clark Swartz, Denny Cutsforth, and Matt Klukas finished in the top four to qualify for the main event. It was the top two qualifiers of Jake Smith and Travis Anderson who lead the 24 car field to green. Smith took the initial lead and stayed out front for three laps with Michael Truscott taking second and Anderson in tow in third. The first yellow of a caution strewn race flew Justin Claussen. On the restart, Smith led for a lap but Truscott was too quick as he moved to the point a lap later. The second caution was thrown for a spinning Shane Halopka. It was Truscott again as Anderson was able to take the second position. The top two stretched away from the remaining field as both were well in control of their positions.

The caution was shown for a Clausen and Reid Tiegs spins which was called on Tiegs as Clausen left the track. Under green, once again the top two moved out to comfortable leads as David Swearingen, Grant Southworth, and Nick Koehler battled hard for third. A debris caution slowed the pace again and they restarted only to be slowed by Marcus Dunbar and Derek Haas spinning with Haas being relegated to the rear. On the restart, Truscott and Anderson moved back to the highside as Swearingen and Southworth fought side by side for third. A caution for debris reset the field again.

On the restart, is was Swearingen getting past Anderson for the second position but a spinning Haas drew the last yellow of the event. Truscott continued to lead and Anderson regained second. It was Truscott cruising to his first ever Punky Manor feature win as Anderson motored home as a strong runner up. Southworth was able to get the best of Swearingen and Clark Swartz drove to fifth at the line after coming through the B-Feature.

Thursday night’s portion was highlighted by Mike Knudtson’s blast from the eighth starting position to the win to continue his 2016 dominance of the Red Cedar Speedway. Sam Fankhauser lead early from the pole until a caution for debris sent Warren Hanson to the back. It was still Fankhauser under green but Knudtson had already carved his way to second. Another caution flag flew for the stalled Jacob Hessler. On the restart, Knudtson took advantage and motored to a lead he would not give up. Fankhauser bobbled and Danny Richards overtook second.

Another caution on Warren Hanson ended his night when he drew the yellow trying to free his car which was caught in the heavy clay on the highside of the track. The restart saw Knudtson very strong as Richards and Fankhauser got hooked up. It was Richards recovering for third as Fankhauser dropped back to sixth. Eric Olson capitalized and moved into second. A final yellow flag was thrown for debris but it did not thwart Knudtson’s run. Upon getting back up to speed, he drove away from the pack for the win. Richards ran in second and was able to put distance on third finishing Olson who in turn had a comfortable lead over Fankhauser and fifth finishing Danny Hanson.

The Pure Stocks saw pole sitter Dustin Doughty blast to the advantage on the start of the feature however a three car caution slowed the pace and Dean Pronschinske was relegated to the rear. Doughty continued to lead on the restart as George Richards moved to second. The caution flew again with a Jay Barnier breakdown. On the restart, the yellow was flown for debris on the track. Unfortunately, it was the exhaust of the leader and he was sent from the point to the pits.Tenth starting Kent Harman raced side by side for the lead as the race resumed. Harmon was scored the leader but Richards passed him just as Tucker Quinn crashed hard drawing the red flag. Quinn was out and Harmon was restored the lead for the restart. At the green, it was Harmon as Pronschinske had raced from last to fifth. The race continued to the checkered flag with Harmon scoring the big win ahead of Richards. Cody Tisdale lead fourth place Pronschinske as Krista Doughty rounded out the top five.

The Hornets were led to green by Jason Holte and Sean Svee with the yellow flag flying early for the pole sitter losing his bumper cover on the first lap. A complete restart saw Holte drive to the point and continue to hold the position for the entirety of the event. It was Holte’s first ever feature win and he did it in convincing fashion. Although he did not run away from the pack, he was in control the entire distance. There was a caution at the halfway point to pack the group together and give all the chasers a shot at the leader. He survived the restart and once again, another caution, the third and final slow down of the race. It was Holte leading cover to cover as William Voeltz finished runner up. Armond Love, Sean Svee, and Bradley York rounded out the top five.

56 cars took the green on Thursday and 134 cars were in attendance for the main portion of the program. In total, 190 cars competed on the weekend.