By Brandon Aschenbrenner
Special to the City Times
Gregorich Fends Off Zehr; Knoblock and Polansky Grab First Wins
It was Blu Play Cafe Night at Golden Sands Speedway and all normal divisions were in action. It was also Kid’s Stock Car Ride night with a candy/money drop as well. The Paul Gross Jeweler’s Powder Puff racers were in action too and it would be Dawn Koch, Mary Oleson and Donna Rae Polansky, who won on a last lap pass, picking up the wins. The champion will be decided in two weeks at the next event. The Cruisers joined us as well with Ciesielski and Hill (73) picking up the win over Kuhn and Mancil (126). Their championship will be decided at the Eve of Devastation on Saturday, August 27th.
Leading off the night was the Super Stock class. Greg Back (6) took fast time once again as he has dominated in qualifying all season. In the feature, Rick Beyer (18) and Matt Komatz (33) lead the field to green. Komatz was able to lead the first lap, but John Zuch (8) took over the top spot on lap 2. Brian Weinfurter (24) spent the race running down Zuch and was able to catch him and pass him with just 5 laps to go. Greg Back made his way through the field like he has all year, but ended up only making it to second as he ran out of laps. Brian Weinfurter picked up the feature win, Back would come home in 2nd place, John Zuch 3rd, Greg Matthews (8) 4th and Brad Scholze (87) 5th. In the points, Weinfurter has a 10 point lead over Back and it will all come down to the final race night to decide the champion.
The Late Models saw Steve Litchfield (32) take fast time honors for his first time on the season. After three heat races, Mike Olson (64), Jordan Thiel (2) and Eugene Gregorich Jr (14) all made their way to victory lane. The B-Feature would have two drivers making the A Main. Chad Devine (54) and Jake Capek (81) made contact and caused a caution on the front stretch while they were fighting for the transfer spot. That allowed MG Gajewski (22) and Mike Olson to go on to the A Feature by placing 1st and 2nd. In the A-main, Monte Gress (80) and Colin Reffner (87) lead the field to the green flag. Reffner took the early edge, until caution flew on lap 8 when MG Gajewski spun out of turn 2. After the restart, we would get 8 more laps completed until a second caution flew for the 32 car of Litchfield who spun in turn 4. Eugene Gregorich Jr took the lead position with 29 laps to go and tried to pull away from the field. Natalie Decker (04) was on his tail, but so was Dalton Zehr (7-11), who has been very hard to beat this season. Zehr got to 2nd past Decker with 17 laps remaining. Gregorich caught lap traffic with 5 laps left and that allowed Zehr to close up to the bumper of Gregorich on the last lap of the race, but it would be Gregorich fending off Zehr for the feature win. Natalie Decker held on for 3rd, Reagan May (33) took 4th and Colin Reffner salvaged a top 5 finish. Zehr holds a point lead of 62 now over Eugene Gregorich and Reagan May, last year’s champ, is 65 points out of first. Zehr can lock up the championship by taking the green flag in the A-main on championship night.
In the Pure Stocks, Brock Heinrich (52) took fast time as he has a few times already this season. Two heats would see Hunter Cramer (66) and Chad Weis (0) with victories. In the feature, after completing the first lap, Dave Lashua (01) and Hunter Cramer (66) made contact sending the 66 car spinning and brining out a yellow. They would restart in the back and we would try to start the race again. This time, we got 1 more lap in before Louie Merriam (17) had a tire go down on his car and pushed Carter Kauth (97) into the front stretch barrels, but they were both able to continue. After all of that chaos, Kurtis Wosick (61) found himself out front, but only for 2 laps as Brandon Knoblock (16X), driving Kyle Genett’s 16 car, took the lead. With 14 laps remaining, Weis and Kauth made contact in turn 2 and that would collect Heinrich as well. On the restart, Knoblock held off the field and made his way to victory lane for the first time on the season. Karl Genett (16K), Travis Volm (76), Dillon Mackesy (93) and Brian “Butchie” Schramm, his first trip to the track in over 10 years, would all take top 5s. Volm has a 29 point lead over Mackesy with Merriam in 3rd, only 5 points behind Mackesy. Volm needs to have a decent night to add another track championship to his resume.
The 4-Cylinder open class fast timer was Ian Arneson, with a blistering speed. Three heats would show Brandon Polansky (287), Tim Finstad (33), in his first night on his new car and Scott Ciesielski (21) to winner’s circle. In the lower bracket feature, after completing one lap, Brandon Polansky was working his way through the field and contact would occur with the 14 car of Eric Breitenfeldt and Karley Kemnetz (18) spinning the 18 towards the infield. Brett Breitenfeldt (7) had no place to go and hit the 18 car, but it shot Brett into the air, which actually caused little damage and he would be able to continue. Kemnetz would not be as luck and her night ended early. After the restart, Brandon Polansky continued his tear through the field and he would go on to pick up the feature win. Brett Breitenfeldt was closing near the end, but ran out of laps as he wound up 2nd. Matt Van Pietersom “Milky Way” (17) took 3rd, Eric Breitenfeldt 4th and Randy Polansky (7) 5th. In the upper bracket feature, Tim Finstad led the first 5 laps until George Seliger (06) took over and pulled away from the field cruising to an easy feature win. Finstad would hold on to 2nd place with Phil Malouf (32), Tim Hintz (1) and Ian Arneson finishing out the top 5. In the points, Arneson holds a slim 8 point lead over Ciesielski. This means it could be only 2 spots that Ciesielski needs to take the championship on the final night. Randy Polansky is in the running as well as he is 23 points out of the lead.
The next event at Golden Sands Speedway is Friday, August 5th. It’s our Season Championship Night! Also, it is Pot of Gold Night. All of our divisions will be back in action including Late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and 4-Cylinders. Gates open at 4:30, Qualifying at6:30 and Racing at 7:45.