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A “Topless” Celebration of Life and AMSOIL Qualifier at Electric City Speedway

06 August 2011 | Featured News | |    

By Vikki Higginbotham

Each year Electric City Speedway hosts a Celebration of Life night.  This night is a way to remember those loved ones who we have lost; racers or race fans alike.  With six classes in attendance this year’s celebration hosted great racing and a different view of the drivers for the fans.  Going “topless” is where drivers remove the roofs of their cars.  This gives fans a chance to see the driver’s movements that aren’t normally seen during the race night.  Drivers were given the option to go “topless” with a bonus added to any driver who did and won the feature.  All feature winners were took advantage of the bonus as every car in victory lane was without a roof.

Added to the event was the AMSOIL Race of Champions Qualifiers.  Drivers winning in WISSOTA classes would earn a spot in the Race of Champions, a part of the WISSOTA 100’s events in Huron, SD September 13-17 2011.  After a few in memory parade laps racing was set to begin.

Up first were the Not So Pure Stocks in their single heat race.  Carl Sangrey’s spin in turn two brought out the only caution.  Cody Ryan led JJ Johnson and Kory Wermling to the checkers.  At the start of the feature Ryan makes contact with Patrick Harvie causing a spin in the middle of turns 1 and 2.  With five laps to go, Sangrey spins in turn three bringing out a caution.  Kory Wermling, who had worked his way to battle for the lead, noticed strange sounds coming from his car.  He pulled up to an official during this caution and was unable to finish the event.  Cody Ryan had worked his way through the field to challenge Tim Doyle for the lead when Patrick Harvie lost control in turn two.  With just a few laps to go Ryan found himself in the second position.  In the final two laps Ryan inched ahead of Doyle.  As they rounded turns one and two Ryan had a clear lead and claimed another victory this season.

A caution for debris in the first WISSOTA Midwest Modified heat closed the field back up.  Joey Ray lost control in turn one and caused Joey Price to spin out in two.  As drivers were attempting to clear Price, Jake Tacke ran out of room and damaged the right rear of the car.  Vernon Hill captured the checkers in heat one.  Heat two was all Aaron Liscum.  Starting from the pole position, Liscum lead the entire caution free race.  Paul Leach finished closely behind him.  After a large scramble in the pits throughout intermission that included major rear end work and some welding, Jake Tacke was able to join the feature event.  However, Jake was the first to bring out a caution with a spin in turn four.  A stack-up in turn two had Jeramy Myers, Michael Shure, and Tim McCune headed to the pits.  Myers was able to rejoin the field.  On the restart Vernon Hill spun in two and the field piled up.  After repairs in the pits, Hill, Paul Leach, and Jonathan Scarber were able to continue.  The final caution came when Chris Hill spun Sean McBee.  Paul Leach and Vernon Hill worked their way through the field from the back of the pack and finished third and fourth respectively.  Marty Harvie maneuvered his way from a seventh place starting position to claim his first victory in a Midwest Modified.

With only eight WISSOTA Late Models on hand all drivers were “topless” and in a single heat.  The words of the day for the late models were “Caution Free” as both the heat and feature went incident free.  Jimmy Zaremski had to pull off early in the heat race but was able to compete in the feature.  Kelly Hample dominated the night and claimed a clean sweep.  Rock Degele and Chris Dunn had strong showings as well finishing second and third in both races. 

The WISSOTA Super Stocks had a great evening as the only caution in the heat races had Brian Bernotas, in his first time at the speedway, sliding up into Bob Feist and finishing in a spin.  Feist continued on but had to pull off the track early due to damage in the rear end.  Dolan Sevalstad also had right rear problems ending his night.  Working diligently through intermission, Feist was able to reweld a trailing arm mount and replace a damaged u-joint and join the feature.  Though Justin Rieker and Sharid Lee had to pull into the pits early Pacer Popham led the field of super stocks in a green to checkered race.

The WISSOTA Modifieds held the most action of the evening.  Jake Donnelly had to pull off in heat one and take his turn with the welder in order to run the feature.  In heat two as the field had taken the white flag, Dana Lerum spun in turn one and Chad Johnson had to spin to avoid him.  Pat Wallace was unable to slow up and caused some major damage to Johnson’s car.  The finish was reverted to the previous lap giving Johnson a second place finish.  Johnson, Wallace and Lerum were unable to start the feature.  With the feature underway, Joey Price spins in turn three collecting Vernon Hill and Paul Leach.  The race was red-flagged as track officials assisted Hill out of his car.  Hill had suffered a hit to the left knee by a door bar.  He walked off the track on his own volition.  Maurice Myre was the first driver to fall subject to the cause two cautions and you are done rule.  Joey Price was the other when on the final caution he spun in turn 3.  Just before the halfway point Paul Leach took the lead and held off driver Gary Hill for many laps.  However, as they were coming to the white flag, Hill worked his way under Leach.  Gary Hill claimed his third victory of the season as Leach was unable to get back around him.

Lastly, the WISSOTA Street Stocks took to the track.  Beau Brown won the first heat in a caution free race.  The start of the second heat did not work for the flagman and drivers were brought under caution to line up and try again.  In the feature ten drivers battled for the top spot in a, final of three, caution free feature event.  Beau Brown and Paul Lease competed for the victory throughout the event swapping the lead a couple of times.  Lease was victorious over Brown as he managed to get the final lead as closing laps wound down.  Marvin Gonzales and Warren Samoy had some rough racing on the final lap that resulted in Gonzales losing two finishing positions for rough driving.  Samoy received a disqualification for his actions after the checkered flag flew.

Next race is the Prelude to the Downpour on Thursday, August 11, 2011.  Event is set so fans can enjoy the Downpour Festival at Centene Stadium August 12-14.


Not So Pure Stock

Heat – Cody Ryan, JJ Johnson, Kory Wermling, Patrick Harvie, Tim Doyle, Bill Handel, Casey Durand, Carl Sangrey, Matt Mann (DNS)

Feature – Ryan, Doyle, Harvie, Mann, Handel, Durand, Sangrey (DNF), Wermling (DNF), Johnson (DNF)

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Heat #1 – Vernon Hill, Sean McBee, Tim McCune, Jeramy Myers, Joey Ray, Jonathan Scarber, Joey Price (DNF), Michael Shure (DNF), Jake Tacke (DNF)

Heat #2 – Aaron Liscum, Paul Leach, Marty Harvie, Ron Sasek, Chris Hill, Jerry Sangrey Jr., Joey Tinker

Feature – Harvie, Liscum, Leach, V. Hill, Sasek, Myers, C. Hill, Ray, Sangrey Jr., Tacke, Scarber, McBee (DNF), Tinker (DNF), McCune (DNF), Shure (DNF), Price (DNS)

WISSOTA Late Models

Heat – Kelly Hample, Rock Degele, Chris Dunn, Dave Freeman, Steve Fowler, Jody Kropp, John Lighthizer, Jimmy Zaremski (DNF)

Feature – Hample, Degele, Dunn, Lighthizer, Zaremski, Fowler, Kropp, Freeman

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Heat #1 – Justin Rieker, Sharid Lee, Chuck Fleming, Clay Irwin, Jake Tucker, Mike Pistelak.

Heat #2 – Pacer Popham, Brian Bernotas, Pat LaMere, Dolan Sevalstad (DNF), Bob Feist (DNF)

Feature – Popham, LaMere, Fleming, Pistelak, Bernotas, Irwin, Tucker, Feist, Lee (DNF), Rieker (DNF), Sevalstad (DNS)

WISSOTA Modifieds

Heat #1 – Vernon Hill, Joey Price, Maurice Myre, Paul Leach, Dave Azure, Jake Donnelly

Heat #2 – Gary Hill, Chad Johnson, Tony Steward, Paul Donnelly, Pat Wallace, Tommy Bush, Dana Lerum

Feature – G. Hill, Leach, Steward, P. Donnelly, Bush, Azure (DNF), Price (DNF), Myre (DNF), J. Donnelly (DNF), V. Hill (DNF), Johnson (DNS), Wallace (DNS), Lerum (DNS),

WISSOTA Street Stocks

Heat #1 – Beau Brown, Michael Price, Vance Lorenz, Troy Weninger, Jim Davis Jr.

Heat #2 – Paul Lease, Warren Samoy, Nick Hunter, Ron Mattern, Marvin Gonzales

Feature – Lease, Brown, Lorenz, Mattern, Hunter, Davis Jr., Weninger, Gonzales, Price (DNF), Samoy (DQ)