By Jim Burns
Elko, MN May 19, 2012—Elko Speedway hosted a busy schedule on Saturday May 19, 2012 as series sponsor Whelen Engineering presented the Hall of Fame night activities. Following prerace Rides in Race Cars for the kids and highly entertaining heat racing, all eyes moved to the track for intermission when the Super America Knights Racing Team of Johnny Boegeman, Dick Trickle and Tom Reffner were inducted into Elko’s Hall of Fame. Following the induction and an autograph session, the fans settled back in for the nights feature races and they didn’t disappoint!
In the NASCAR Super Late Models, Nick “the kid” Barstad roared by polesitter Rick Burns to take the early lead, with Reuvers, Adam Royle and Matt Goede also charging as the outside line was quick early on. By lap four Reuvers was on the back bumper of the leader as the caution flew for a spinning Joel Theisen. On the ensuing restart, Tony Holm and Mike Hansen locked horns coming to the green to force a second restart and Reuvers didn’t waste the opportunity as he darted under Barstad for the lead, with Royle, Goede and a fast closing Billy Mohn in the top five, with Fast Qualifier (13.719 seconds) Jason Schneider and Chad Walen battling. The action remained “clean and green” for the final 36 markers and Reuvers kept a steady line to earn the win, with Barstad fighting off Royle and then Goede to earn his best career finish in second earning the MONSTER Performance of the Week, with Royle and Schneider charging to top fives.
In the Big 8’s, Steve Schultz and Lawrence Berthiaume provided a thrilling battle as the tandem raced each other clean, but hard for the lead and despite two early cautions for solo spins by Darren Wolke and Doug Brown, the action remained intense. As the action reached lap 17 of 25, Jake Ryan came to life and tracked down Nick Beaver to take third, before catching and bypassing Berthiaume with his sights set on Schultz, but time ran out on Ryan and Schultz used some veteran savvy to hold on for the checkers, with Ryan, Beaver, Berthiaume and Chris Marek in the top five.
The Thunder Cars again provided superb action as Eric Campbell and Dustin Mann battled for the early lead with Mann taking the point on lap three, with Brent Kane and Adam Wiebusch continuing Campbell’s slide before a brief shower stalled the field. After the track was deemed “race ready” the action returned to the green with Kane diving under Mann to take the lead with Wiebusch edging away from Campbell for third. Despite a 15th lap lap caution for a first turn melee, the action was fast and furious with Kane earning the checkers with Wiebusch second and a patient late race charge by Steve Anderson earning third.
The Legends again featured the nights largest starting field of 20 and Pat Zandstra and Derek Lemke put on the early show before a fifth lap caution for a spinning Teddy Hough slowed the field. On the restart, Zandstra powered to the lead and stayed there until the caution flew a second time for a Ryan Wolke spin. On the second restart, Tyler Sjoman charged to the outside of Zandstra for the lead, with Kyle Hansen following suit two laps later and with the action remaining green, Sjoman raced to his second consecutive win, with Hansen second, Zandstra third and steady runs by Shon Jacobsen and Todd Tracy earning top fives.
In the Power Stocks, Tom Doten played a game of “hide and seek” as he charged to the lead on the opening drop of the green and never looked back in leading all 20 laps to earn the dominant victory, with Taylor Goldman, John Lebens, Darren Waltermann and Josiah King racing to hard earned top fives.
Topping off the action were the Mini Stocks and John VanDenHeuvel took the point early on with Aaron Hopkins and Zach Schelhaas on the move to second and third, while Bryan Adams and Justin Schelietzke moved into the top five. The action remained fast and furious until the lap 10 mark when Matt Busson spun to slow the action. On the restart, Hopkins held the lead but Jack Purcell was making a BOLD statement charging from sixth to second, but as the checkers flew it was Hopkins holding on by inches for the win over Purcell with Schelitzke, Schelhaas and Adams rounding out the top five.