by Steve Zwemke
HARTFORD, S.D. — It took three-time I-90 Speedway track champion Dusty Ballenger until the final night of the 2012 season to earn his first win last year. He won’t have that problem this year. Ballenger led all 20 laps of Saturday’s season opening Hard Core Speed Shop 360 Sprint Car main event after starting in the second position. He clearly had the best car early and also while dealing with slower traffic later in the race. Pole-sitter John Lambertz settled for a second place finish. Troy Schreurs missed out on a Top 5 finish when he crossed the scales too light.
A number of Ballenger’s sponsors pooled $500 in bonus money together which he gladly pocketed at the end of the night.
Five-time Hobby Stock title holder Travis Schreurs made the decision over the winter to sell his Hobby Stock and move up to the Express Copy & Printing Late Model Street Stock division. It’s a move that paid early dividends as Schreurs swept opening night. Schreurs led the first six laps before giving way to last year’s champion, Gary Brown, Jr. Two laps later, as Craig Hanisch was engaging Brown in battle for the lead, Schreurs bulleted past both drivers by using the high line through turn four. Schreurs then drove away from the two veterans for a convincing win in his first night in the car. It was Schruers 33rd career victory at I-90 Speedway.
The USRA B-Modified feature was highlighted by three lead changes. Craig Hanisch led the first lap but quickly gave the lead to Marty Myers on the second lap. Myers held the lead until Greg Eden slid underneath his car on the seventh lap. The #12 of Brock Hess got stronger as the race went on and he muscled past Eden on lap 11. Hess went untouched over the final five laps for the win – his first at I-90 Speedway since August, 2010. Hanisch battled back to finish second. Dudley Schroeder, Jr., patiently worked his way from 10th to third.
The evening’s Hobby Stock feature had a lengthy and ugly start before entertaining fans with the closest finish of the night. The opening lap saw Logan Fitzpatrick’s car become glued to Brian Campbell’s. After they were detached, another incident saw Jason Bradley become entangled Jessica Brandt. Brandt was shaken up and received attention from Rural Metro Ambulance officials. Tim Waltner waited out the delays and ended up leading the first 11 laps. However, Zach Olivier slowly reeled him in from his third row starting position and caught Waltner on the final lap. The white flag lap resembled a Kyle Busch win from early this season as Olivier squeezed Waltner against the wall on the frontstretch to beat him by just a half car length. Don Brady, Jr., had his car working well all night. He came from ninth to finish third. He also won his heat.
Justin Peterson opened the night by winning his first career I-90 Speedway feature. Peterson also won his heat and earned the pole position. He led all 10 laps of the Fast Auto Wash Super Chargers A-Main. Chad Carpenter caught up with Peterson after starting in the third row. However, Carpenter lost his momentum after he made contact with the leader with four laps remaining.
SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2013
360 SPRINT CARS
A Feature: 1. Dusty Ballenger, 2. John Lambertz, 3. Ryan Bickett, 4. Derrick Lusk, 5. Mike Young, 6. Trisha Underberg, 7. Jared Jansen, 8. Casey Abbas, 9. Isaac Schreurs, 10. Jordan Opdahl, 11. Dale Furby, 12. Matt Ziebarth, 13. Micah Schliemann, 14. Kevin Flowers, 15. Keith Lambertz, 16. Chris Graf (DNS), 17. Troy Schreurs (DQ)
Heat Winners: Derrick Lusk, Dusty Ballenger, Chris Graf
LATE MODEL STREET STOCKS
A Feature: 1. Travis Schreurs, 2. Cory Yeigh, 3. Gary Brown Jr., 4. Craig Hanisch, 5. Kipp DeGroot, 6. Jim Hoing, 7. Dan Jensen, 8. Billy Prouty, 9. John Hoing (DNS)
Heat Winner: Travis Schreurs
A Feature: 1. Brock Hess, 2. Craig Hanisch, 3. Dudley Schroeder Jr., 4. Dennis Martin, 5. Dave Kennedy, 6. Aaron Wiersma, 7. Tim Dann, 8. Jared Nytroe, 9. Marty Myers, 10. Greg Eden, 11. Mike Powell, 12. Nick Barger, 13. Tyler Tesch, 14. Chris Goetz (DNS), 15. Anthony Van Everdingen (DNS), 16. Brad Haas (DNS)
Heat Winners: Craig Hanisch, Greg Eden
A Feature: 1. Zach Olivier, 2. Tim Waltner, 3. Don Brady Jr., 4. Chad Lonneman, 5. Brian Hoing, 6. Mike Chaney, 7. Paul Hartley, 8. Dustin Gulbrandson, 9. Derrick Scott, 10. Logan Fitzpatrick, 11. Michael Pechous, 12. Jordan Kott, 13. Brian Campbell, 14. Jessica Brandt, 15. Brad Scholl (DNS), 16. Rick Korthals (DQ), 17. Jason Bradley (DQ)
Heat Winners: Tim Waltner, Don Brady Jr., Chad Lonneman
A Feature: 1. Justin Peterson, 2. Chad Carpenter, 3. Justin Voeltz, 4. Donna Bumann, 5. Nathan Visker, 6. Josh Lien (DNS), 7. Joe Blake (DNS)
Heat Winner: Justin Peterson
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