Friday Night Thunder Presented by Gnome Games had thrills, spills, and Pikachu! The world’s most famous Pokemon was on hand to see plenty of exciting racing at the clay by the bay and he did not leave disappointed!
The Street Stocks came out from the pits to be the first class to kick the tires and light the fires. Pat Day and Matt Kaye led the field to the green flag but it didn’t take long for Marcus Moede, Dave DeGrave, and Kaye to go three wide for the lead. Moede escaped on the low side with the lead while DeGrave moved to the outside and slipped to the number one spot on the next lap. DeGrave worked the middle line on the track while Marcus worked the low line trying to find a way around the 40D machine. The leaders had a pucker up moment when Becca Thiry spun in front of them. All three cars would continue with Moede now closed right up on the bumper of the Hammer. At the checkers DeGrave would hold on for the win, Moede second, Kaye third, and Day would finish fourth.
The IMCA Northern Sport Mods rolled out next and with extra cash on the line for this division from Gnome Games things were sure to be interesting. Troy “Snoot” DeGrave led the opening lap from his outside front row starting spot but faced immediate pressure from the 6E machine of Vince Engebregtsen. Engebregtsen wasted no time in moving past DeGrave and set sail away from the pack. Yesterday’s fair night winner at the Hill Raceway, Chris Budzban, moved into third while Ryan Plog settled into fourth. By the halfway mark Engebregtsen opened up a commanding lead while Budzo ran down DeGrave to apply pressure to the second place car. The 6E saw his lead disappear in the blink of an eye when the Virlee Gunworks caution lights turned on when the Professor, Eugene Gregorich, tangled with the lap car of Kevin Nuthals while working a pass on the outside of Plog for fourth. The restart would see Engebregtsen open a lead with Budzo moving to second and the Professor sliding to fourth. Budzo set to work trying to reel in the 6E machine but it was not to be as Engebregtsen would take home a solid win, Budzo settled for second, DeGrave third, and Gregorich fourth.
The IMCA Stock Cars, dubbed the class too tough to tame, were next to take to the legendary ? mile. Rod Dart, Hot Rod Snellenberger, and the Demon, Dave Budzban, made the first lap interesting as they came to the stripe to complete the opening lap side by side by side. Hot Rod emerged from that battle with the lead. Just past the halfway mark the caution flew for debris in turn 2. The debris ended up being the driveshaft from the 99KK machine of Derek Moede who ended his night on the hook of the Window Licker Towing and Recovery van. The restart saw Hot Rod lead Mike Carter, Shawn Havel, Tom Brumlic, and Mike Coel to the green. Havel moved to the inside of Carter to take command of second place and applied immediate pressure of Snellenberger. The two battled side by side until Hot Rod found the grip up top to regain sole possession of first place. Coel managed to get past Havel to claim second and set his sights on taking one more spot. Hot Rod and Coel would battle the closing laps until contact between the two sent Snellenberger sideways coming out of four on the last lap. The contact set up a drag race to the finish that Hot Rod won. Coel took second followed by Havel and Carter held on to come home fourth.
The Sport Compacts were anxious to provide their unique sound of thunder as they roared out of the lineup chute. Dallas Topel jumped out front at the drop of the green while the field went four wide behind him for second. Calvin Stueck emerged from the skirmish to take control of second. Topel would lead the opening lap but Stueck would wrestle the lead away on the second circuit. There would be no looking back for Stueck as he would not face any pressure the rest of the race on his way to his third consecutive feature win. Kasey Gross finished second, Scott Schlafke third, and Neil Watcka fourth.
The Village Kitchen IMCA Modifieds closed out the night’s events with style. Hunter Parsons would lead the opening lap but Russ Reinwald powered past Parsons on the low side to lead lap two. Reinwald opened up a lead while Josh Lambert, Parsons, Josh Long, Brad Theys, Shawn Kilgore, and Jay Matthais put on a side by side, nose to tail battle for second through seventh! By the time that battle settled down Reinwald had checked out to a half lap lead that would end up being insurmountable in a race that ran green to checkers with no cautions. Parsons would hang on for second, Lambert third, and Shawn Kilgore brought his 90K machine home fourth.
Thank you to all the fans, drivers, and crew members that came out to the speedway tonight. A very special thanks to Gnome Games for sponsoring this week’s races! We will be back in action on August 9th for more Friday Night Thunder!
STREET STOCK 20 LAP FEATURE: Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg, WI.; Marcus Moede, Algoma, WI.; Matt Kaye, Green Bay, WI.; Pat Day, Little Suamico, WI.
HEAT 1) DeGrave; Kaye; Moede
IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MOD 20 LAP FEATURE: Vince Engebregtsen, Algoma, WI.; Chris Budzban, Luxemburg, WI.; Troy DeGrave, Unknown, WI.; Eugene Gregorich, Kewaunee, WI.
HEAT 1) Budzban; Lonnie Dalgord, Escanaba, MI.; Dylan Lasee, Green Bay, WI.
HEAT 2) DeGrave; Engebregtsen; Ryan Plog, Green Bay, WI.
IMCA STOCK CAR 20 LAP FEATURE: Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski, WI.; Mike Coel, Pulaski, WI.; Shawn Havel, Algoma, WI.; Mike Carter, Greenleaf, WI.
HEAT 1) Snellenberger; Tom Brumlic, Denmark, WI.; Dave Budzban, Luxemburg, WI.
HEAT 2) Coel; Eric Malfroid, Luxemburg, WI.; Derek Moede, New Franken, WI.
SPORT COMPACT 15 LAP FEATURE: Calvin Stueck, Clintonville, WI.; Kasey Gross, Gleason, WI.; Scott Schlafke, Cleveland, WI.; Neil Watchka, Luxemburg, WI.
HEAT 1) Stueck; Branden Goesser, Chilton, WI.; Missy Clark, Luxemburg, WI.
HEAT 2) Gross; Schlafke; Brian Watchka, Unknown, WI.
VILLAGE KITCHEN IMCA MODIFIED 20 LAP FEATURE: Russ Reinwald, Beaver Dam, WI.; Hunter Parsons, Green Bay, WI.; Josh Lambert, Casco, WI.; Shawn Kilgore, New Franken, WI.
HEAT 1) Parsons; Jeff Bodendorfer, Waterford, WI.; Josh Long, Little Suamico, WI.
HEAT 2) Reinwald; Kelsey Hayes, Hobart, WI.; Kilgore