By Chad Welch
Earlier this month The Hill opened its season with one of its best nights ever with over 540 people in the stands and a record 79 cars. Such popularity may be attributed to owner Martin Kelsey's goals for The Hill. Kelsey's goal is simply to have a fun track to race at and bring drivers back year after year. A variety of promotions also keep fans coming back. Kelsey says a recent partnership created a fan favorite.
Each race Kelsey says the PKS3 race group is excited to add a new wrinkle to racing in Door County.
Results from 5/25 via The Hill Raceway Facebook.
LAST LAP HEROICS LIFT LEMIEUX
(Sturgeon Bay, WI – 5/25/2018)
A last corner, last lap pass, propelled Billy LeMieux to his first Stock Car feature win of the season Friday night at The Hill Raceway in Sturgeon Bay.
Joining LeMieux in victory lane on the night were Jeff Vlies in the Sport Mods, Ford Malvitz in the Street Stocks, TJ Everard in the Bombers and Dan Lambert in the visiting Vintage Modified class.
After missing the feature on opening night, LeMieux found himself with a prime front row starting spot for Friday's main event. He quickly parlayed that into a comfortable advantage as several veteran racers tried to sort out the second spot behind him.
Former champions Dave Bouche, Rod Snellenberger and Larry Karcz, Jr were in the mix, along with Jeremy Anschutz, Brett Wenzel and Luke Lemmens. A caution with six laps to go changed the complexion of the race, erasing LeMieux's advantage.
Lemmens and Bouche comprised the second row as racing resumed. Lemmens, back in a Stock Car after several seasons racing Modifieds, took control of the spot and moved in on LeMieux.
Lemmens closed on the outside, and over the course of the final laps began to edge slightly ahead of LeMieux at the scoring line.
But LeMieux held firm on the bottom line, and when Lemmens slipped a bit on the last turn, he powered by to take the checkered by less than a car length.
The victory was his 8th in the Stock Car class and 37th in total at the Sturgeon Bay track, tying him with Benji LaCrosse for 5th on the all-time win list.
Following Lemmens to the line were Bouche, Snellenberger, Wenzel and Anschutz in close order.
Vlies' Sport Mod feature win followed a different script as the returning veteran proved to be unstoppable on the night.
He used an inside move on Mike Plate on the third lap to take control, and despite one restart, was never seriously challenged.
Former champ Chris Budzban secured second with three laps to go and gave chase, but it was too little too late.
Tom Stark and Ryan LeMieux placed third and fourth respectively, giving each their second straight top four finish on the year. Jarred VanLaanen recorded a season best fifth.
Vlies, a returning veteran, had registered wins in the past in the Street Stocks, Stock Cars and Sport Mods prior to stepping away from active racing. Friday night was his first in the Sport Mod class since July 17th, 2010.
Like LeMieux would do later in the night, Malvitz fought back after losing the lead to Dave DeGrave to notch his first feature win of the season, and first in the Street Stock class.
He took the lead from Nikki Carter on a restart on lap four. A good match developed up front as Kevin Luedtke moved in to challenge, eventually joined by DeGrave.
Luedtke kept the pressure on from the low line until he looped from contention with four laps to go bringing out a caution.
DeGrave took up the chase on the restart, but found himself battling for position on the track with Ed Anschutz who was fighting to get a lap back after an early pit lane session under green cost him three laps.
A second restart with two go reset the order, with Anschutz clearing the lead duo to regain a lap. Behind him, DeGrave and Malvitz raced side by side, with DeGrave seeming to take control.
But a last corner surge by Malvitz allowed him to squeeze by at the stripe. DeGrave settled for second, retaining the division point lead in the process.
Luedtke quickly fought back through the field to finish third, followed by John Hill and Nathan Delsart in the top five.
No doubts in the Bomber class as TJ Everard led every lap in route to his first win of the season. Kyle Jorgenson raced to second followed by opening night winner DJ Jorgenson, Brian Johnson and Kameron Jorgenson.
The next race on The Hill Raceway's schedule is Sunday, June 10th, with the Raceway's four divisions back in action.
The race is the first leg in a dual-event day that will culminated with an evening show at the Outagamie Speedway in Seymour; racing in Sturgeon Bay in the afternoon and Seymour at night.
The first green flag will fly at The Hill at 12:00 Noon.
The Hill Raceway is located at the John Miles Fair Park on Sturgeon Bay's east side. Follow the track on Facebook for news and updates.
The Hill Raceway results 5/25/2018
Stock Car Feature: Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay – Luke Lemmens, Kewaunee – Dave Bouche, Algoma – Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski – Brett Wenzel, Manitowoc – Jeremy Anschutz, Brussels
LCQ: Derek Moede, Casco – Charlie Kroll, Forestville – Dan Sell, Jr, Suring – Karly Stadler, Oshkosh
Heat 1: Tony Bouche, Algoma – Lemmens
Heat 2: Larry Karcz, Jr, Pulaski – Dave Bouche
Heat 3: Anschutz - Wenzel
Sport Mod Feature: Jeff Vlies, Brussels – Chris Budzban, Luxemburg – Tom Stark, Egg Harbor – Ryan LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay – Jarred VanLaanen, Luxemburg – Mike Plate, Valders
LCQ 1: Craig Dorner, Brussels – Bernie Reinhardt, Sturgeon Bay – George Henkel, Sturgeon Bay – Connor Iverson, Manitowoc
LCQ 2: Aaron Butterbrodt, Hubertus – Russ Franks, Oconto – Chris Pepin, Escanaba, MI – Scott Iverson, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 1: Kyle Domalick, DePere – Matt Valiquette, Menominee, MI
Heat 2: Plate – Stark
Heat 3: VanLaanen – Budzban
Heat 4: Anschutz- Dennis Miesler, Luxemburg
Street Stock Feature: Ford Malvitz, Sturgeon Bay - Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg – Kevin Luedtke, Sturgeon Bay – John Hill, Sturgeon Bay – Nathan Delsart, Sturgeon Bay – Chad Naze, Green Bay
Heat 1: Luedtke – Nikki Carter, Greenleaf
Heat 2: DeGrave – Ed Anschutz, Two Rivers
Baby Bomber Feature: TJ Everard, Green Bay – Kyle Jorgenson, Oneida - D.J. Jorgenson, Oneida – Brian Johnson, Oconto Falls – Kameron Jorgenson, Oneida – Tony Everard, Green Bay
Heat 1: Johnson – Kyle Jorgenson
Heat 2: TJ Everard – Tony Everard
Vintage Modified Feature: Dan Lambert, Gladstone, MI – Tyler Nelson, Barron – Derek LeBresh, Rapid River, MI- Jake Valiquette, Escanaba, MI- Jeremy Allard, Ringle – Darrin Allard, St. Francis
Heat: Lambert - Nelson