By Jim Burns
Elko, MN June 9, 2012—Joel Theisen made the most of a 37th lap opening when leader Mike Hanson went high in turn one to block Paul Paine, ducking under the tandem and then powering away from Adam Royle to earn the NASCAR Super Late Model Feature win Saturday June 2, 2012 at Elko Speedway.
Hanson had powered to the lead over Paine at the drop of the green, with the duo battling side by side for the better part of 25 laps before Hanson settled in at the point to lead the 22 starters around the 3/8ths mile speedplant. Hanson pulled away to a full straightaway lead over Paine, Nick Barstad and Theisen before it was chopped away when the first of two cautions flew on lap 32 as Fast Qualifier Nick Murgic (13.935 seconds) appeared to get pinched entering turn three, losing the handle on his mount. On the restart, Hanson and Paine resumed their battle before a solo spin by a lapped competitor gathered the field for a second restart with seven laps to go. On the final green, Hanson and Paine roared into turn one and Hansen drifted up trying to slow Paine, which left the bottom lane open for Theisen who charged to the lead with Adam Royle slipping by Barstad who was also slowed by the Hanson-Paine duel. Over the final seven laps, Theisen had the horsepower to keep Royle at bay in earning the victory, with Hanson recovering for a hard fought third place run with Barstad fourth and “Racin Jason” Schneider charging home with a top five.
In the Big 8’s, Lawrence Berthiaum and Nick Beaver spent the opening pair of laps testing each others metal, before Beaver roared to the high side to take the point on lap 3 of 25 with Darren Wolke, Doug Brown and Chris Marek on the charge joining the top five by lap seven. Marek continued his run, marching by Brown and Wolke before ducking under Berthiaume for second on lap 11. While the position battles were taking place, Beaver who one week earlier earned his High School diploma showed his education on the race track was also peaking as he drove a smooth steady line enroute to the win, with Marek second, Brown third and Jake Ryan and Jon Lemke charging home in the top five.
The Thunder Cars again provided some of the nights best action as Dustin Mann roared by pole sitter Eric Campbell for the early lead, with Dillon Sellner, Conrad Jorgenson and Kyle Kirberger charging by Campbell into the top four by lap five. As Mann continued to set the pace, Sellner pulled to the leaders outside on lap 10 as Brent Kane and Steve Anderson continued Campbells slide on lap 11 moving to fifth and sixth. Sellners pursuit of Mann would culminate on lap 16 as he took the lead and never relinquished it picking up the checkers, with Jorgenson and Anderson bypassing Mann on the final two laps for second and third with Kirberger rounding out the top five.
The Legends saw Michael Ostdiek charge to the point of the 19 car starting grid, with Pat Zandstra, Trevor Bradley and James Wenzel in tow. Ostdiek’s advantage was taken away quickly as Zandstra zoomed by on lap four to take the lead, with Kyle Hansen and Tyler Sjoman moving to second and third on lap seven and Shon Jacobsen also on the move to fifth on lap 9. As Zandstra set a very quick pace, Sjoman moved under Hansen for second on lap 10 and began his pursuit of the leader before a spinning Mike Grostyan brought out the caution on lap 18. On the restart, Sjoman was able to time the drop of the green perfectly as he raced by Zandstra and went on to score his third straight feature win, with Hansen, Jacobsen, Todd Tracey and Dylan Warner in the top five as Zandstra was disqualified for illegal fuel.
The Power Stocks saw Bryan Wrolstad and Paul Hamilton battle for the early lead, with Taylor Goldman and Tom Doten in their own duel for third and fourth. As Hamilton took the lead on lap three, Goldman and Doten worked by Wrolstad for second and third as Dave Goldman joined the top five. The action remained hard fought as Doten began to close on Hamilton and Dave Goldman caught and passed his daughter in their own “Family Feud”! The action remained caution free until lap 15 when Darren Waltermann and John Lebens traded position and then paint, with Lebens spinning to force a restart. On the drop of the green, Doten charged to the lead before Josiah King spun in turn four on lap 16 to force a second restart. Once again, Doten got the jump and powered to the win with Taylor Goldman earning “bragging rights” as she edged her father Dave for second, with Hamilton fourth and Shawn Evans earning his first career top five.
Topping off the NASCAR Whelen All American Series action were the Mini Stocks and once again Jack Purcell was the class of the field as he powered by John VanDen Heuvel for the lead on lap two and drove off to the dominant win, with VanDen Heuvel holding off Aaron Hopkins in a good battle for second and third.
In preliminary action, Prior Lake’s Grant “the Real Deal” Brown earned a hard fought victory in the Bandelero Feature!
The NASCAR Whelen All American Series action continues at Elko Speedway on Saturday June 16, 2012 with an EXOTIC ANIMAL PETTING ZOO for the kids and FREE CAMEL RIDES for all interested!