In True Championship Form, They Dug In……
By Vikki Higginbotham
Friday, August 31, 2012 was the beginning to the end of the 2012 racing season at Electric City Speedway. The 19th Annual Montana Round Up was set to begin with the WISSOTA Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Late Models and Big Sky Sprints. Drivers and fans from all over the northwest and Canada were anxious for the weekend of action packed racing to begin.
With track championships scheduled for Saturday evening the points race in the WISSOTA Street Stocks as Marvin Gonzales was sitting only eleven points ahead of Troy Weninger. Being in separate heats Gonzales and Weninger took the opportunity to try to spread out the deficit. However, both drivers took the top spot and neither was able to gain ground. While running in a pack Gonzales attempted to give Ron Mattern a push down the backstretch. Be it chance or a fluke Mattern spun in front of the field and Gonzales was sent to the back of the pack for the restart. With this new development in the chase for points Weninger capitalized with a feature win. Gonzales wound up finishing eleventh. What did this do to the points going into the final night? Fans would be treated with an epic battle between Gonzales and Weninger the following day as the eleven point feature difference tied the drivers up at the end of the evening.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds were set to run with Doug LaPierre having a comfortable lead over his fellow competitors. Having to make a start in order to secure the championship, LaPierre captured the second heat victory. Patrick and Marty Harvie claimed the other two heats. Missing from the lineup was second place driver Zach Olson. LaPierre wasn’t going to leave anything to chance though. In the feature, LaPierre captured his final victory of 2012.
Back for a second week the WISSOTA Late Models ran third in the cycle of events. Rory Minster and Mark Fowler II grasped the heats. With a few additional drivers making the drive down from our neighbors to the north the feature held thirteen drivers racing for the right to claim the victor. An incident that had Chris Dunn into the outside wall of turn four was the only caution of the feature. Rock Degele added another feature to his list of victories.
Finally the Big Sky Sprints were able to take their turn on the track. Twenty-two drivers arrived at the track to see who would be the top dog of this Labor Day Weekend. Brock Lemley, driving once again for Peterson Racing, took the first heat. Joe Ramaker claimed the second heat with Trever Kirkland coming out on top of the third. Through multiple cautions Lemley gained the lead and ticked off the laps. In front of the ever growing crowd of fans, Lemley earned his fifth of seven possible victories this season.
A full to overflowing event was scheduled for Saturday, September 01, 2012 as the WISSOTA Super Stocks and Modifieds joined the previous night’s classes for the final night of 2012 racing at the speedway. With championships to be decided 94 drivers packed both the infield and outer pit areas. Having all six available classes on the card the fans flooded into the grandstands to see who would claim bragging rights in the off season.
Starting the evening off the WISSOTA Street Stocks had championship contenders starting in separate heats. Marvin Gonzales set the bar for Troy Weninger with the victory in the first heat. With nothing to gain and a few points to lose Weninger met the challenge with a victory of his own in heat two keeping the points race at a tied battle going into the feature. The luck of the draw had Gonzales starting in the third position and Weninger in sixth. In true champion form both drivers dug in and battled lap after lap for position. Side by side throughout most of the event, they kept fans in a guessing game each time they crossed the start/finish line. Brad Norris and Warren Samoy were also running in the front of the field throughout the event. Norris crossed the checkered flag ahead of Samoy for the victory and Gonzales squeezed in a third place finish just ahead of Weninger. As Norris went to take the trophy for the win Gonzales was finally able to relax and celebrate his 1 point Championship victory over Weninger. Ron Mattern squeezed Rookie Cody Ryan out of third by two points.
Though not as close as the Street Stock points battle the WISSOTA Super Stocks had Curt Popham needing to start the heats in order to claim his 2012 track championship. Rock Degele claimed the first heat in which Popham finished fourth. Second place points contender Pat LaMere gained a little ground on the 40 point deficit he had to Popham with a heat two victory. Rock Degele proved strong in his Super Stock as he claimed the feature victory. Curt Popham procured his right to claim 2012 Track Champion with a 35 point lead over LaMere. Jake Tucker settled for third in the season overall three points behind LaMere.
With the arrival of two additional drivers the WISSOTA Late Models were third to run for a second night in a row. Kelly Hample and Rock Degele took the heat wins. In a single caution feature event Hample was back in victory lane after engine trouble took him out of the previous week’s event and kept him from making Friday’s race.
Up next were the Big Sky Sprints. Though a few cars fell out after Friday’s event twenty cars were on hand for the final 2012 Sprint event at the track. Kelly Miller, Kyle Bates and Brock Lemley were victorious in the heats. With another weekend sweep Lemley found himself in victory lane in front of not only the wonderful fans but family that made the trip from Demming, Washington.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds followed the Sprints for the evening. Tim McCune, Marty Harvie and Jerry Sangrey Jr. were the heat winners. With the stroke of midnight minutes away 19 of 21 drivers took the green flag for the feature. Marty Harvie made his way from third to first in no time and claimed the victory. Doug LaPierre became the 2012 Track Champion. Chris Hill and Ron Sasek took second and third respectively. With Zach Olson’s absence this past weekend he slipped from second in points to fifth as Jake Tacke secured fourth.
The final class to run was the WISSOTA Modifieds. Chad Johnson and Paul Leach were the heat victors. After over 7 hours of racing track conditions were optimal for Leach. Starting on the pole he shot out at the start and there was no looking back. Jerry Baertsch said after the event that once Leach got around him, putting him a lap down, he expected the rest of the field right away, but it had taken a little time for them to get to him. On the final lap Joey Price had made progress and was right behind Leach when the final flag flew on the 2012 season. Gary Hill finished the feature in fifth place, but claimed the Track Championship for the season with an 85 point lead over Maurice Myre. John Price closed out his season with a third place points finish.
See everyone next season!
Friday, August 31, 2012
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Heat #1 – Marvin Gonzales, Warren Samoy, Frank Pearson, Michael Price, Brian Chaon, Casey Durand, Bill Handel, Del Voss
Heat #2 – Troy Weninger, Brad Norris, Kory Wermling, Ron Mattern, Jeff Sekuterski, Kyle Jarvey, Cody Ryan
Feature – Weninger, Samoy, Norris, Mattern, Sekuterski, Wermling, Jarvey, Durand, Handel, Pearson, Gonzales, Voss, Chaon, Price Ryan
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Heat #1 – Patrick Harvie, Tim McCune, Chris Hill, JJ Johnson, Jake Tacke, Jeremy Olds, Tommy Eubank
Heat #2 – Doug LaPierre, Jake Tucker, Jeramy Myers, Ron Sasek, Joe Zahara, Michael Shure, Joey Price
Heat #3 – Marty Harvie, Jerry Sangrey Jr., Joey Tinker, Ronnie Harvie, Mike Pistelak, Jim Myre, Alan Riley
Feature – LaPierre, M. Harvie, McCune, Pistelak, P. Harvie, Tucker, Myre, Sasek, Hill, Riley, Tacke, Olds, Shure, Tinker, Price, Johnson, Myers, Sangrey Jr., Zahara, R. Harvie, Eubank
WISSOTA Late Models
Heat #1 – Rory Minster, David Smith, Chris Dunn, Jody Kropp, Stewart Hayward, Chad Johnson, Bradley Kerrison
Heat #2 – Mark Fowler II, Dave Freeman, Rock Degele, Pacer Popham, Curtis Fortowsky, JD Olsen
Feature – Degele, Freeman, Hayward, Kropp, Fowler II, Popham, Smith, Minster, Johnson, Dunn, Kerrison, Olsen, Fortowsky
Big Sky Sprints
Heat #1 – Brock Lemley, Phil Dietz, Colton Akerstrom, Dennis MacEachern, Chris Roberts, Drew MacDonnell
Heat #2 – Joe Ramaker, Sean MacDonnell, Vernon Hill, David Hoiness, Jeremy McCune, Casey Adams, Chip Roe, Joe Perry Racing
Heat #3 – Trever Kirkland, Calvin Fitch, Josh Ostermiller, Jerry Brown Jr., Damon McCune, Kelly Miller, Shane Ainscough, Mark Sweet
Feature – Lemley, Dietz, Ramaker, Kirkland, MacEachern, Ostermiller, Akerstrom, Adams, Miller, Hoiness, D. MacDonnell, Roe, Hill, Ainscough, Fitch, D. McCune, Perry Racing, Roberts, Brown Jr., S. MacDonnell, J. McCune, Sweet
Saturday, September 01, 2012
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Heat #1 – Marvin Gonzales, Warren Samoy, Brad Norris, Ron Mattern, Kory Wermling, Michael Price, Brian Chaon
Heat #2 – Troy Weninger, Ron Imberi, Kyle Jarvey, Bill Handel, Mark Mann, Cliff Nelson, Casey Durand, Jeff Sekuterski
Feature – Norris, Samoy, Gonzales, Weninger, Sekuterski, Wermling, Handel, Jarvey, Imberi, Mann, Durand, Mattern, Chaon, Nelson, Price
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Heat #1 – Tim McCune, Paul Leach, Ronnie Harvie, Joey Price, Jim Myre, Michael Shure, Chris Hill
Heat #2 – Marty Harvie, Joey Tinker, Ron Sasek, Patrick Harvie, Alan Riley, JJ Johnson, Jeremy Olds
Heat #3 – Jerry Sangrey Jr., Doug LaPierre, Joe Zahara, Jeramy Myers, Mike Pistelak, Jake Tacke, Carl Sangrey
Feature – M. Harvie, Price, Leach, Myers, Sangrey Jr., P. Harvie, R. Harvie, Sasek, Hill, McCune, Tinker, Johnson, Shure, Pistelak, Tacke, Sangrey, Riley, Myre, LaPierre, Zahara, Olds
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Heat #1 – Rock Degele, Mike Pistelak, Clay Irwin, Curt Popham, Shaun Crouch, Rowdy Gillen
Heat #2 – Pat LaMere, Jake Tucker, Casey Steffenson, Chuck Fleming, Rich Wermling, Pacer Popham
Feature – Degele, Tucker, Fleming, LaMere, Steffenson, C. Popham, Pistelak, Irwin, Gillen, Crouch, Wermling, Popham
Heat #1 – Chad Johnson, Sean McBee, Gary Hill, Joey Price, Jody Kropp, Jerry Baertsch
Heat #2 – Paul Leach, Rock Degele, Mark Wermling, John Price, Patrick Wallace
Feature – Leach, Joey Price, Kropp, Johnson, Hill, John Price, McBee, Degele, Wermling, Baertsch, Wallace
WISSOTA Late Models
Heat #1 – Kelly Hample, David Smith, Chris Dunn, Pacer Popham, Dave Freeman, JD Olsen, Paul Lewis, Curtis Fortowsky
Heat #2 – Rock Degele, Jody Kropp, Chad Johnson, Bradley Kerrison, Steve Fowler, Stewart Hayward, Rory Minster
Feature – Hample, Johnson, Degele, Popham, Dunn, Minster, Freeman, Fortowsky, Smith, Hayward, Fowler, Kerrison, Olsen, Lewis, Kropp
Big Sky Sprints
Heat #1 – Kelly Miller, Trever Kirkland, Vernon Hill, Colton Akerstrom, Shane Ainscough, Damon McCune
Heat #2 – Kyle Bates, Josh Ostermiller, Joe Ramaker, Casey Adams, Phil Dietz, Dennis MacEachern, Paxton Lambrecht
Heat #3 – Brock Lemley, Jeremy McCune, Calvin Fitch, David Hoiness, Jerry Brown Jr., Joe Perry Racing, Mark Sweet
Feature – Lemley, Miller, MacEachern, Lambrecht, Akerstrom, Brown Jr., Dietz, Adams, Hoiness, Ostermiller, Fitch, D. McCune, Bates, Ainscough, Perry Racing, J. McCune, Hill, Sweet, Ramaker, Kirkland
FINAL 2012 Top 3 (points)
WISSOTA Street Stocks – Marvin Gonzales (933), Troy Weninger (932), Ron Mattern (808)
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds – Doug LaPierre (887), Chris Hill (781), Ron Sasek (736)
WISSOTA Super Stocks – Curt Popham (750), Pat LaMere (715), Jake Tucker (712)
WISSOTA Modifieds – Gary Hill (667), Maurice Myre (582), John Price (557)