A large and vocal crowd was treated to great side by side racing in all divisions and when the final checkered flag flew, the 2012 Season Champions were crowned at Elko Speedway with Donny Reuvers earning his 9th NASCAR Super Late Model title while Jake Ryan earned the Big 8 honors, with Steve Anderson topping the Thunder Cars and John Lebens the Power Stock titleist. In addition, Adam Royle captured the Minnesota State NASCAR Championship, the 3rd such title of his career.
The nightly festivities included carnival rides on the concourse with the Ferris Wheel and Spider entertaining kids of all ages before the NASCAR Whelen All American Series action took “center stage”! In the NASCAR Super Late Models, Matt Goede and Royle were Reuvers closest pursuers going into the Championship 40 lap headliner and when the green flew, Steve Anderson and Mike Hanson charged away from Derek Lemke, Darrin Giles and Chad Walen to stage a side by side battle through the opening eight laps, with Anderson taking the point on lap nine as Walen edged around Giles and Lemke to join the top three, with Royle, Dan Fredrickson, Reuvers and Matt Goede closing on the lead pack.
With Anderson continuing to lead the caution free action, Royle made a big charge around a slowing Giles and then outpaced Lemke into turn three, to move to fourth where he would battle with Walen until lap 18 before joining the top three. As Anderson continued to keep a two car length lead over the hard charging Hanson, Royle continued his march in persistent fashion finally working by Hanson and then Anderson to take the lead on 31 enroute to his third consecutive win and seventh of the season with Jacob Goede showing off his talents with a late race charge to second, with Anderson, Hanson and Reuvers earning top fives. For Reuvers, the top five cemented his 8th consecutive and 9th overall Elko Speedway Championship, with Matt Goede second and Royle third in the points race.
The Big 8’s had one of the closest battles of all heading into the 25 lap season finale as Jake Ryan held a slim 11 point advantage over Chris Marek, but young hotshoe Michael Beamish rolled to the early lead, with Ryan, Joe Neisius and Marek rolling by Mike Pederson for second through fourth before the first caution flew on lap five when Jon Lemke got into Lawrence Berthiaume in turn two. On the restart, Ryan got a run on the outside of Beamish and pair pressured each other until the second caution flew on lap nine for debris. The second restart saw Ryan assume the lead, but Beamish continued a strong run on his inside, with Marek joining the leaders as he closed to Beamish’s bumper before a third caution would fly when Beamish and Ryan came together exiting turn four to send the pair to the trunk and put Marek in the lead, scrambling the point battle. On the final restart, Marek charged to the lead over Neisius, with Fast Qualifier Travis Stanley, Ryan Kamish and a regrouped Berthiaume in the top five. Over the final 10 laps, Marek continued to press the issue and rolled the impressive win with the top five unchanged and Ryan closing quickly to finish sixth to earn his first title by a mere six markers.
The Thunder Cars had also faced drama over the final month as point leader Steve Anderson made a late season “ride swap” and entered the final feature leading Conrad Jorgenson and Dustin Mann by a “less than comfortable margin”! When the green flew, Scott King shot out to the lead with Ted Reuvers quickly moving by Greg Borchardt for second before looking for the lead on Kings outside, only to get held back. As King faced Reuvers pressure, Anderson and Jorgenson worked past Borchardt for third and fourth, with Mann also sliding by to join the top five by lap eight. The battle for the lead continued to entertain as Reuvers again moved to King’s outside on lap 11 only to be rebuffed in the attempt and then adding “insult to injury”, Anderson rolled by for second on lap 15 and Jorgenson followed suit on lap 21. Over the final four markers, King closed the deal earning his fourth feature win of the season with Jorgenson slipping around Anderson for second on the final lap with Reuvers and Mann rounding out the top five. Anderson’s third place run enabled him to earn his first Thunder Car title after winning the championship in the Sportsman division on four occasions.
The final title at stake was in the Power Stocks and John Lebens held a small six point advantage over Tom Doten but it was Paul Hamilton and Josiah King battling for the lead with Dave Goldman, Taylor Goldman, Bryan Wrolstad and Todd Tacheny in the lead pack. Through the first five of 20 laps, King put consistent pressure on Hamilton but couldn’t wrestle the lead away until a “hell bent for leather” charge gave him the lead on lap eight. Once in the lead, King showed impressive power in holding Hamilton at bay to earn the win, with Taylor Goldman third, Wrolstad fourth and Lebens a steady fifth. The top five, coupled with struggles by Doten earned Lebens the Championship in his first full season in the division.
Joining the championship action were both the Legends and the Mini Stocks whose title battles will be determined as part of the September 29, 2012 EVE of DESTR”UCTION RAW. In Legends action, rookie contenders James Wenzel and Teddy Hough battled for early control with Wenzel rolling by on lap two for the lead with Derek Lemke continuing Hough’s slide on lap three before closing on Wenzel, taking the lead in impressive fashion on lap six. As the field reached the midpoint of the caution free 20 lapper, it was Lemke, Wenzel, Michael Ostdiek, Hough and Kyle Hansen in the top five. Over the final 10 laps, Lemke ran untouched to the checkers with Ostdiek edging Wenzel with Hansen fourth and Benny VanCleve closing quickly in fifth. In the Championship battle, Hansen will enter the final night with a slim seven point lead over Lemke.
Topping off the racing action, the Mini Stocks and Justin Schelitzche made quick work of Matt Busson taking the lead as the pair exited turn two, with Blake Dorweiler third before he reeled in Busson for second on lap two. Busson’s slide continued on lap three as Aaron Hopkins rolled by with Jack Purcell following suit on lap four, before Purcell continued his momentum passing Hopkins at the mid point of the 15 lapper. Over the final eight laps, Doreweiler pulled even with Schelitzche on lap nine and the pair raced side by side for most of the final six laps before Dorweiler took the lead for good as the white flag flew to earn the hard fought win over Schelitzche, with Purcell, Hopkins and John Van Den Heuvel earning top fives. Purcell will go for his second consecutive divisional title with a 15 point advantage over Hopkins entering the divisions final action.
Elko Speedway now prepares for the 4th Annual THUNDERSTRUCK 93 Weekend September 21st & 22nd with GREAT RACING ACTION, LIVE MUSIC and FREE CARNIVAL RIDES benefitting ALS Patient Care and Research. On track action will feature the ASA Midwest Tour, BIG 8 All Stars, SCAG Super Trucks, Mid Am Stock Cars and Thunder Cars/Hobby Stocks. For event times, ticket information, directions or general questions contact the Racing Office at (952) 461-7223