by Steve Zwemke
HARTFORD, S.D. — Saturday night’s win by John Lambertz and second by Dusty Ballenger in the Hard Core Speed Shop 360 Sprint Car division paired with a 12th place finish by Ryan Bickett means only five points separate the three drivers heading into next week’s season finale. Lambertz led all but the first lap of Saturday’s feature which saw the bottom ring work in has favor. Ballenger closed in on Lambertz a couple of times especially during some exciting circuits in lapped traffic. Joe Riedel came from the sixth row to finish third. Riedel tried the high side on a late-race restart but couldn’t get enough traction to overtake Ballenger and Lambertz.
Bickett came into the night with a 36-point lead atop the division. He now leads Lambertz by a single point while Ballenger trails by only five points. Ballenger is the three-time defending track champion.
Cory Yeigh had a perfect night using a borrowed engine from Craig Hanisch. Yeigh won his heat and then led all 15 laps of the Express Copy and Printing Late Model Street Stock A-Main. Dale Furby provided Yeigh’s closest competition in the feature as he easily took second.
Gary Brown Jr., of Brandon, has already secured the Late Model Street Stock track championship for 2012. Brown leads Furby by 177-points heading into the final week. Brown has nabbed six feature wins in his return to full-time racing at I-90 Speedway after a couple of successful seasons in a Wissota Super Stock.
When Tracy Johnson passed Craig Hanisch on the eighth lap of the USRA B-Modified main event it looked as if he was well on his way to another win. Tyler Johnson ended those thoughts on the 11th lap when he motored past his brother and led the final five laps for his fifth feature win and first since July 14. After the race, Johnson explained how his left rear shock fell off with seven laps to go, forcing him to the bottom of the race track. It was likely a factor when he made contact with Tracy Johnson as the two raced side-by-side for the lead late in the race – a minor incident for which Tyler apologized in victory lane.
Zach Olivier won a nightmarish, caution-filled Hobby Stock feature which got sliced in half by the time limit. Olivier was able to grab the lead away from Dusty Van Der Brink during one of the green flag laps before the race was green/white/checkered. For Olivier, the win comes on the heels of his impressive Hobby Stock Nationals win and, more importantly, puts him within 50-points of Travis Schreurs as the two will battle for the track championship next Saturday. The win was Olivier’s fourth.
The Fast Auto Wash Super Chargers division is also filled with drama heading into championship night. Laura Ebbesen regained the points lead from Joe Blake thanks to her wire-to-wire victory. Blake was running third on the final lap when he had to dodge a slower car. It forced him off the track at the top of turn three. Blake came back down onto the race surface and was struck by another car in turn four. A dazed Blake managed to cross the finish line fifth and then came to a rest just past the flagstand. He was removed through the roof of his car and transported for precautionary measures. Blake was released from the hospital later Saturday night after suffering strained neck muscles and several bumps and bruises.
Ebbesen holds a six point lead over Blake after Saturday’s action.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012
360 SPRINT CARS
A Feature: 1. John Lambertz, 2. Dusty Ballenger, 3. Joe Riedel, 4. Gary Reber, 5. Troy Schreurs, 6. Zeb Larsen, 7. Terry Chester, 8. Jerimiah Jordahl, 9. Ryan Jones, 10. Mike Young, 11. Scott Van Maanen, 12. Ryan Bickett, 13. Randy Droescher, 14. Jordan Opdahl, 15. Ben Wexdahl, 16. Dave Ekern, 17. Tommy Barber, 18. Brock Bump, 19. Jordan Martens (DNS)
Heat Winners: Brock Dump, Mike Young, John Lambertz
LATE MODEL STREET STOCKS
A Feature: 1. Cory Yeigh, 2. Dale Furby, 3. Kipp De Groot, 4. Gary Brown Jr., 5. Brylee Gough, 6. Don Bickett, 7. Zach Van Voorst, 8. Dan Jensen, 9. Billy Prouty, 10. Scott Borkowski, 11. Jim Hoing, 12. John Hoing, 13. Fred Konechne, 14. Brett Larsen, 15. Terry Prouty
Heat Winners: Jim Hoing, Cory Yeigh
A Feature: 1. Tyler Johnson, 2. Tracy Johnson, 3. Dan Wheeler, 4. Tim Dann, 5. Brock Hess, 6. Cody Ahrendt, 7. Marty Myers, 8. Dave Kennedy, 9. Zac Pruner, 10. Cory Gronewold, 11. Nick Barger, 12. Chris Goetz, 13. David Nicholson, 14. Carl Johnson, 15. Craig Hanisch, 16. Dave Mulder, 17. Darin Noyes, 18. Randy Jamison (DNS)
Heat Winners: Tracy Johnson, Marty Myers, Tyler Johnson
A Feature: 1. Zach Olivier, 2. Dusty Van Der Brink, 3. Travis Schreurs, 4. Chad Lonneman, 5. Dustin Gulbrandson, 6. Brad Hallem, 7. Derek Baartman, 8. Paul Hartley, 9. Aaron Van Voorst, 10. Derrick Scott, 11. Logan Fitzpatrick, 12. Steve Henle, 13. Don Brady Jr., 14. Tim Waltner, 15. Justin Smith, 16. Tony Morehead, 17. Jordan Kott, 18. Brian Hoing, 19. Mike Kiggins (DNS)
Heat Winners: Travid Schreurs, Dustin Gulbrandson, Derrick Scott
A Feature: 1. Laura Ebbesen, 2. Mark Bauman, 3. Kermit Rose, 4. Jessica Brandt, 5. Joe Blake, 6. Court Ecklund, 7. Justin Voeitz, 8. Pam Rose, 9. Nathan Visker, 10. Donna Bumann, 11. Josh Lien, 12. Charlie Koepp
Heat Winners: Joe Blake, Laura Ebbesen
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