By Jim Burns
Elko, MNMay 12, 2012—Elko Speedway kicked off their 47th season on Saturday May 5, 2012 and if the opening nights action was any indication, fans will be in for some exciting weekly battles at the “MidwestCenter for Speed”!
In the NASCAR Super Late Models, Jon Lemke paced the 21 car starting grid to the opening green with Joel Theisen, Nick Barstad, Chad Walen, Billy Mohn and Adam Royle in pursuit. With Lemke controlling the early action, Walen and Royle begin to move as the tandem bypassed Barstad in successive fashion for third and fourth, before Walen reeled in Theisen on lap five to move to second. As Walen looked to close on the leader, Barstad’s struggles continued as Jason Schneider joined the top five on lap six, before Royle moved around Theisen for third on lap seven.
Walen’s pursuit of Lemke would continue until lap 10 when he powered to the outside of the leader exiting turn two to take the point, with Schneider moving around Theisen to fourth on lap 15. As the action remained under the green, Royle bypassed Lemke for second on lap 17 and quickly closed on the leader before back to back cautions for spins by Molly Rhodes and Barstad on laps 23 and 26 slowed the action. On the second restart, Royle got a good jump on the leader and looked to have the preferred line entering turn three, but Walen powered to the inside to reclaim the lead as Matt Goede came storming through the field to slide under Schneider to third on lap 29, but over the final 11 markers it was a matter of Walen trying to keep Royle at bay and to the delight of the fans the tandem screamed off turn four on the 40th and final lap with Walen hangin on for the hard fought win.
In the Big 8’s, Darren Wolke powered his Dodge to the early lead before Chris Marek charged to his outside on lap five to take the lead, with Nick Beaver following suit on lap six moving to second. With Marek now controlling the action, Beaver closed to his rear bumper before a caution on lap 13 slowed the action as Travis Stanley and Lawrence Berthiaume locked horns on the back straight. As the action went back green, Marek had a “near miss” as Mike Pederson lost the handle on his mount in turn one, with the leader taking evasive action to avoid before debris brought out a second caution on lap 17. Over the final eight markers, Marek was able to fend off Beaver to earn the checkers, with the second year pilot earning his career best finish in second, while Doug Brown, Jon Lemke and Jake Ryan rounded out the top five.
The Genz-Ryan Thunder Cars saw 19 anxious drivers take the green in their 25 lap main with Scott King taking advantage of his pole position grabbing the early lead over Ted Reuvers who was busy with a fast closing Conrad Jorgenson, while Brent Kane and Kyle Kirberger rounded out the top five. As King continued to pace the action, Jorgenson worked by Reuvers and quickly reeled in the leader, pulling even on lap 13 as Kane headed down pit road with a cut tire. King would prove resilient as he returned the favor to Jorgenson, retaking the lead on lap 14 before the caution flew on lap 19 as contact between Adam Wiebusch and Devin Schmidt sent Schmidt spinning into the turn one wall. After the cleanup, the field returned to the green with King taking control enroute to the popular win, with Jorgenson holding off Dillon Sellner to garner runnerup honors, with Steve Anderson slipping by Reuvers for fourth.
The Great North Legends in similar fashion to the Thunder Cars also saw 19 drivers take the green with Davis Silver and Brandon Elmer fencing for the early lead, before Tyler Sjoman and Shon Jacobsen came calling, moving to the top two positions on lap five and once at the front raced each other hard, yet clean as Sjoman led the final 15 laps to pick up the win over Jacobsen, with Kyle Hansen closing quickly to take third.
Topping off the action were the Dicks Sanitation Power Stocks and Josiah King looked like a years layoff wouldn’t hinder him as he chased down Dave “the legend” Goldman on lap four to take control of the 20 lapper. Once in the lead, King kept a smooth, steady line to keep the lead, but it was John Lebens who was quietly working his way forward from his eighth starting position who caught King on the final lap and powered off turn four to take the lead and the emotional win, earning the MONSTER PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK.
Prior to the racing action, fans were treated to an on track autograph session with thedriverspresented by SHOWCAR SUPPLY of Bloomington who awarded “best appearing car and crew” awards to Molly Rhodes (SLM), Darren Wolke(Big 8), Steve Anderson (T/C), Adam Fuchs (Leg.) and Taylor Goldman (P/S).
Elko Speedway now prepares for the May 19, 2012 NASCAR Whelen All American Series program that will feature FREE Rides in race cars for kids 12 and under, along with bike giveaways and the induction of the 2012 Elko Speedway Hall of Fame. This years honorees include the members of the Super America Knights Racing Team including Johnny Boegeman, Tom Reffner and Dick Trickle who will all be in attendance and will be available for autographs following their induction. For tickets or directions, contact the Racing Office at (952) 461-7223.
Results from the NASCAR Whelen All American Series at Elko Speedway Saturday May 12, 2012
NASCAR Super Late Models
Fast Qualifier Donny Reuvers Dundas 13.675 seconds (98.720 mph)
Semi Feature #1 10 laps 1. Adam Royle Lonsdale 2. Matt Goede NewGermany3. Billy Mohn Lakeville
Semi Feature #2 10 laps 1. Jason Schneider New Market 2.ChadWalenPriorLake3.NickBarstadPriorLake
Feature 40 laps 1. Walen 2. Royle 3. Goede 4. Schneider 5. Paul Paine Mound
Fast Qualifier Chris Marek 14.763 seconds
Heat 1 8 laps 1. Jake Ryan Lakeville 2. Steve Schultz Webster 3. Nick Beaver Rosemount
Heat 2 8 laps 1. Jon Lemke Shakopee 2.DougBrownPriorLake3. Darren Wolke Belle Plaine
Feature 25 laps 1. Marek 2. Beaver 3. Brown 4. Lemke 5. Ryan
Heat 1 8 laps 1. Steve Anderson Lonsdale 2. Kyle Sellner Lakeville 3. Brent Kane Lonsdale
Heat 2 8 laps 1. Dick Partington Farmington 2. Dillon Sellner Farmington 3. Devin Schmidt Belle Plaine
Feature 25 laps 1. Scott King Lakeville 2. Conrad Jorgenson Lakeville 3. D. Sellner 4.Anderson5. Ted Reuvers Dundas
Heat 1 8 laps 1. Tyler Sjoman Alexandria 2. Pat Zandstra Buffalo 3. Derek Lemke Shakopee
Heat 2 8 laps 1. Shon JacobsenEast Bethel2. Kyle Hansen Le Seuer 3. Todd Tracy Belle Plaine
Feature 20 laps 1. Sjoman 2. Jacobsen 3. Hansen 4. Lemke 5.DavisSilverMendotaHeights
Heat 1 8 laps 1. John Lebens Shakopee 2. Tom Doten St. Paul 3. Josiah King Lakeville
Heat 2 8 laps 1. Darren Walterman Webster 2. Taylor GoldmanMinnetonka3. Shawn EvansNorthfield
Feature 20 laps 1. Lebens 2. King 3. Paul HamiltonHastings4. Walterman 5. Doten