Finally! Electric City Speedway Hosts Its Season Opener and Racing Begins in Montana
After a two week delay, Mother Nature cooperates in Montana and Electric City Speedway holds its long awaited, season opening, double header. With five classes on the card for both nights, fans were greeted with some racing excitement and all around great racing. Though Victory Lane held some familiar faces, this weekend was a weekend of firsts for a few drivers.
The running order for Friday allowed fans to watch Kory Wermling’s, the 2010 Rookie of the Year in the Not So Pure Stock class, dominate from a pole starting position to claim his first win. With ten cars making an appearance the heat races went very smoothly. David Flansburg was the only driver with complications shaking off the cobwebs of the 7 ½ month off season.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks took to the track and with only a first lap jumble on the front stretch in heat one drivers made it through their heats with ease. The feature, on the other hand, had Brian Barnhart spinning a few times to avoid other drivers that had spun in front of him. Battling on Barnhart managed to finish in fifth.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modified class entered its Sophomore season at the speedway. Many familiar faces joined the class along with some new drivers as this class is growing in interest among the local drivers. Heat one held a few that had never even been in a race car until the speedway’s first practice that was held on April 27, 2011. A caution for debris on lap 2 flew in the second heat as Vernon Hill and Jeramy Myers tangled coming out of turn 4. A warning was issued to Hill. During the feature 2 cautions within the first 3 laps were attributed to Aaron Liscum and his night was done. Going into turn 3 on the second restart, Hill and Myers were again the excitement resulting in a huge wreck in the middle of the corner bringing out the red flag. Hill’s car took major damage and he was unable to continue the event. Myers pit for a left rear flat and rejoined the field. Beau Brown pulling a double duty this season in both the WISSOTA Street Stock and WISSOTA Midwest Modified claimed his first victory in his new class.
With plenty of time to reflect over the previous season the WISSOTA Super Stocks were extremely mild compared to past seasons. After leading a few laps early in the first heat, Bob Feist pulled into the pits on the final lap with rearend issues. Alex Wermling spun in turn 2 during the second heat. Feist unable to fix his mechanical issues at the track pulled in on lap 2 of the feature ending his night a little early. Josh Aho brought out the first of three cautions. With only 5 laps remaining the third caution flew for Wermling’s second of the event. Close battling between Pacer Popham and Casey Steffenson gave fans what is hopefully to be a preview of their continuing close but competitive clean racing as these drivers have had some memorable races in the past.
The WISSOTA Modified wrapped up the evening. Heat one had Dave “Cherokee” Azure 81 and Tony Steward tangling bringing out its only caution. Joey Price blew a motor in the second heat making it off track without incident. During the feature Pat Wallace 16 struck the outside wall in turn 4 ripping off his right side body and the first caution. Sean Higginbotham lost his motor a few laps later. Azure and Steward in separate incidents had the yellow flying. Paul Donnelly lost a drive line ending his night with the last caution. Vernon Hill developed mechanical issues but was able to pull his car off without incident.
With sunnier skies on Saturday racing resumed at the speedway. Another first time winner appeared in the Not So Pure Stock class. The first heat went smoothly yet once again. Jeremy Ivy smacked the back stretch wall in heat two and was the only caution in the heats. On the first lap of the feature David Flansburg spins and with nowhere to go JJ Johnson collides with Flansburg. Joshnson was done for the night. Matt O’Connell is called for jumping the start and put back 2 positions. Flansburg returns to the track but pulled in shortly after restart unable to continue. After taking advice of a veteran racer O’Connell reworks his way to the front and dominates the event. Cody Ryan 8ONE8 was catching him but fell a few laps short of a pass for the victory. This was O’Connell’s first victory and emotions were running high as he crossed the scales.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks had an eventful heat one as Justin Damm and Jordan Tocci alternated the four cautions resulting in both being sent to the pits for causing 2 restarts. Heat two was incident free. The feature was caution filled and shortened to a green/white/checkered finish due to time limits. Ron Mattern brought out the first caution as Damm pulled in for a flat. Kyle Jarvey and Bryant Kruckenberg tangle in turn two for the second caution. Slow to start Mattern was rear-ended by Kruckenberg causing debris to fly all over turn 4 and a caution came out for the clean-up. In a close battle going into turn 3 Paul Lease gets Brian Barnhart loose causing him to spin in the middle of three and four and drivers including Lease had to get on the brakes to avoid a collision. Ron Mattern pulls off the track. With the final caution Lease finds himself stuck up on the tires in turn 2. Being the second caution called on Lease he is done for the night. Nick Hunter battled most of the race up front and in final laps pulled off his weekend sweep in the class.
With only 9 cars appearing in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds they ran one heat. Jake Tacke brings out the first caution and does not finish the heat. Sean McBee and Jeramy Myers both spin in separate incidents making only three cautions in the heats. Myers luck didn’t change in the feature as he seemed to get stuck behind Joey Ray when he spins for the first time in turn two. Meyers had to pull off the track for repairs and was able to get onto the track from the turn 2 upper pit entrance as the class was taking the green in turn 4. A little overdriving and Myers spins trying to catch up. Alan Adams was leading and a flat tire on a caution sent him to the pits. The race resumed before he could get back on track. Ray spins a second time and doesn’t finish the event. McBee, though a seasoned winner in the Not So Pure Stock class, claims his first victory in a new class.
Still trying to get a handle of his car Alex Wermling spins in turn two on lap one of the first WISSOTA Super Stock heat. Wermling again has problems bringing out a second caution. As drivers are slowing down, Pacer Popham and Josh Aho tangle on the front stretch. The second heat went much smoother for the Supers. The feature had drivers trying to find a different line due to the bottom of three and four started losing its stability and becoming rough. Mike Pistelak gets sideways going into the turn but manages to straighten out. Checking up Chuck Fleming spins. Pistelak credited with the caution. Fleming caused the second caution with a spin in turn 2. Aho spins in two for the third caution. Pat LaMere and Dolan Sevalstad wreck on the front stretch. Frequently swapping the lead, Sharid Lee and Casey Steffenson battle continuously throughout the race. Lee survives the battle on the final lap for the victory.
Closing out the night the WISSOTA Modifieds had Maurice Myre breaking a tie rod in the first heat and Dave Azure spinning. Pat Wallace brought out the only caution of heat 2. Paul Donnelly pulls off during the feature and Wallace brings out the caution. Battling up front Jody Kropp and Chad Johnson make it an event as both drivers do exceptionally well on a dry slick track. Kropp claimed the victory.
During the drivers meeting both nights officials made the following announcement:
Speedway Pit Gates and Procedures: Over the past couple of years the speedway has been developing an upper pit on the west side of the track. This is for all enclosed trailers as the infield pit area is dedicated to open trailers. The east side pit gate is open for the infield pitters until 6:00PM. Anyone arriving late must use west entrance. However, if using an open trailer drivers must still pit in the infield. Those drivers violating the open trailer in infield / enclosed trailer in upper pit rule are subject to a track parking fee. This rule is for safety purposes and makes it easier for officials to see what is going on around the entire track.
FRIDAY’S RESULTS: (May 6, 2011)
Not So Pure Stock
Heat 1: Cody Ryan, Stephan Foley, Brian Chaon, Jeremy Ivy, Shannon Cote, Edward Freeman (DNS)
Heat 2: Patrick Harvie, Kory Wermling, Matt O’Connell, John (JJ) Johnson, David Flansburg
Feature: Wermling, Harvie, Ryan, O’Connell, Flansburg, Johnson, Ivy, Foley, Freeman, Chaon, Cote
WISSOTA Street Stock
Heat 1: Nick Hunter, Michael Price, Beau Brown, Kyle Jarvey, Ron Harvie, Bryant Kruckenberg
Heat 2: Warren Samoy, Ron Mattern, Marvin Gonzales, Paul Lease, Troy Weninger, Brian Barnhart, Kenneth Hunter.
Feature: N. Hunter, Samoy, Brown, Lease, Barnhart, Jarvey, Harvie, K. Hunter, Kruckenberg, Mattern, Price, Gonzales , Weninger
WISSOTA Midwest Modified
Heat 1: Aaron Liscum, Ron Sasek, Joey Ray, Travis Cushman, Jake Tacke
Heat 2: Vernon Hill, Sean McBee, Jeramy Myers, Beau Brown
Feature: Brown, McBee, Sasek, Cushman, Myers, Tacke, Ray, Hill, Liscum
WISSOTA Super Stock
Heat 1: Pacer Popham, Mike Pistelak, Dolan Sevalstad, Jake Tucker, Bob Feist
Heat 2: Casey Steffenson, Josh Aho, Pat LaMere, Sharid Lee, Alex Wermling
Feature: Popham, Steffenson, LaMere, Tucker, Aho, Sevalstad, Lee, Pistelak, Wermling, Feist
Heat 1: Gary Hill, Paul Donnelly, Vernon Hill, Dave “Cherokee” Azure, Pat Wallace, Tony Steward, Maurice Myre
Heat 2: Emory Wells, Chad Johnson, Jody Kropp, Paul Leach, Sean Higginbotham, Joey Price
Feature: Wells, Johnson, G. Hill, Myre, Kropp, Leach, Steward, Azure, V. Hill, Donnelly, Higginbotham, Wallace
SATURDAY’S RESULTS: (May 7, 2011)
Not So Pure Stock
Heat 1: Matt O’Connell, David Flansburg, Stephan Foley, Cody Ryan, Edward Freeman, Carl Sangrey
Heat 2: Kory Wermling, Patrick Harvie, John (JJ) Johnson, Jeremy Ivy, Cody Kuglin
Feature: O’Connell, Ryan, Foley, Harvie, Wermling, Sangrey, Kuglin, Ivy, Freeman, Johnson, Flansburg
WISSOTA Street Stock
Heat 1: Beau Brown, Marvin Gonzales, Kenneth Hunter, Doug Martin, Ron Harvie, Troy Weninger, Jordan Tocci, Justin Damm
Heat 2: Paul Lease, Warren Samoy, Nick Hunter, Brian Barnhart, Ron Mattern, Michael Price, Bryant Kruckenberg, Kyle Jarvey
Feature: N. Hunter, K. Hunter, Barnhart, Gonzales, Samoy, Brown, Martin, Weninger, Tocci, Jarvey, Kruckenberg, Lease, Mattern, Harvie, Price, Damm
WISSOTA Midwest Modified
Heat 1: Beau Brown, Alan Adams, Ron Sasek, Joey Ray, Jeramy Myers, Travis Cushman, Zack Olson, Sean McBee, Jake Tacke
Feature: McBee, Olson, Cushman, Sasek, Tacke, Myers, Brown, Ray, Adams
WISSOTA Super Stock
Heat 1: Pacer Popham, Mike Pistelak, Josh Aho, Dolan Sevalstad, Bob Feist, Alex Wermling
Heat 2: Casey Steffenson, Pat LaMere, Chuck Flemming, Sharid Lee, Jake Tucker
Feature: Lee, Steffenson, Tucker, Popham, Flemming, Aho, Pistelak, Feist, LaMere, Wermling, Sevalstad
Heat 1: Emory Wells, Gary Hill, Tony Steward, Dave Azure, Maurice Myre
Heat 2: Chad Johnson, Paul Donnelly, Paul Leach, Jody Kropp, Pat Wallace
Feature: Kropp, Johnson, Leach, Steward, Hill, Wells, Myre, Wallace, Azure, Donnelly