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Track Champions Were Decided Over Labor Day Weekend at Electric City Speedway

02 September 2011 | Featured News | |    

By Vikki Higginbotham

Electric City Speedway was a very busy place over Labor Day Weekend as the CAN/AM Sprint Challenge was on hand along with Track Championship races and WISSOTA Late Models.  After being rescheduled from a rain out earlier in the season Sprints from Washington, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Canada arrived for their event.  On Friday night the WISSOTA Late Models, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and Not So Pure Stocks joined the card for some ground pounding racing excitement.

With only 8 points separating leader Cody Ryan and second place Kory Wermling at the start of the evening track position was ever so crucial for the heat.  An ever so wet track had a play in the heat race as Ryan’s car collected enough of the track’s mud that he had a difficult time seeing in front of him.  Wermling worked his way through the field and gained 3 points knocking down the deficit to only 5 points. 

The feature event would determine the track champion.  With nine cars in attendance Wermling would have his work cut out for him.  Starting fifth, Wermling had worked his way to the lead within two laps.  JJ Johnson lost his front bumper bringing out the first caution.  A flat on Wermling’s car had the caution flying.  After a quick stop to the pits, Wermling had to start at the back on the field.  Cody Ryan was in the lead for the restart.  Working his way back from ninth place Wermling was able to gain six positions for a third place finish.  Cody Ryan fought of Bill Handel at the finish for a close victory.  When the dust settled Ryan was again 8 points ahead of Wermling for the 2011 Not So Pure Stock Track Championship.  During the trophy presentation, Ryan was doused by his crew with water in celebration.

Still battling the wet track conditions, the WISSOTA Late Models take to the track.  Jim Zaremski started the event in the sixth of seven positions.  Working his way through traffic Zaremski cleared the checkers in front of the field.  Rock Degele failed to start the second heat.  With Degele out of the line-up, Brian Saipe moved into the fourth starting position.  Chris Dunn had the back row to himself at the start.  Within four laps Dunn was in the lead.  Steve Fowler and David Smith were unable to catch Dunn by the end of the event.  Though finishing in the third position, David Smith was disqualified in the heat for failure to drive over the scales. 

Dave Freeman claimed the early lead in the feature.  However, Jim Zaremski was hot on his wheels and the two had gained a good lead on the remainder of the field.  Freeman slowed up on the back stretch and Zaremski took advantage to get by him.  Working through lapped traffic he was able to gain some distance on Freeman.  A caution flew late in the race that allowed Jody Kropp to get past Freeman on the restart.  A second caution for debris was called bunching the field up once again.  On the restart, Rock Degele stacked up the field on the back stretch bringing out caution number three.  Brian Saipe ended up with his front end into the infield tires during this event.  Though Kropp gave it his best shot, Zaremski was unstoppable and captured the victory.

Jumping the start in the first heat, the field was quickly brought to caution for a restart.  Kelly Miller grabbed the early lead with Phil Dietz in second.  After the laps wound down Jerry Brey had worked past traffic to finish third behind Miller and Dietz.  Jeremy McCune took his pole starting position and turned it into a victory in the second heat followed by Casey Adams and David Hoiness.  Joe Perry launched himself out in front of the field in the third heat.  Brock Lemly and Jesse Dakus had to settle for second and third as Perry was unstoppable.

The first attempt at a feature start had the field stacking up coming to the start.  It appeared pole-sitter Kelly Miller lost control on the start moving up the track into Phil Dietz.  The chaos that ensued had multiple drivers flipping and wrecking into each other.  After red flag conditions and clearing the damaged cars from the track, it was decided to run the Midwest Modified feature before attempting to run the feature.  This would give those cars that had minor damage time to make repairs and join the event. 

In the first heat, Ron Sasek and Chris Hill had to work their way past Joey Ray.  Sasek gained an early advantage as Hill had a little difficulty getting by Ray.  Jim Myre worked his way to third.  Paul Leach put some distance on the field for the second heat followed by Joey Tinker and Jeramy Myers.  Sean McBee worked his way to the lead after a few laps and Tim and David McCune battled it out for second and third.  On the second attempt at starting a feature, Casey Adams got loose in turn two and slowed up.  Brock Lemly, David Hoiness and Jeremy McCune were caught up in a tangle with Adams on the back stretch.  Hoiness and Adams were done for the night.  After getting a tire replaced, Brock Lemly had to start at the back of the field.  A caution for Chris Roberts’ spin in turn one had fans entertained as Lemly’s suspension was broken.  Under the slower conditions he was bouncing around like a pogo stick.  The damage was evaluated and Lemly was able to continue.  Canadian Colton Akerstrom claimed the victory.  Lemly had worked his way back into a fifth place finishing position.

Joey Tinker led the field of cars to the start of the feature event, but on the first lap a slow car on the backstretch had them lining up for a full restart.  Chris Hill and Ron Sasek were in another battle for the lead.  Sasek gained the lead and opened up a lead on the field.  Tommy Eubank brought out the second caution with a spin in turn two.  Sasek and Hill again battled for the lead.  Jake Tacke slowed to a stop on the front stretch.  The caution flew once again.  Chris Hill turned Tim McCune into the tires in turn three just after the restart.  On the restart, Hill then turned Jonathan Scarber in turn one.  Kelly Blixt and Michael Shure were caught up in the action.  This resulted in Hill being disqualified for rough driving.  In the lead after the restart, Tim McCune had Sasek, Sean McBee and Marty Harvie close behind.  Harvie worked his way around McCune and Paul Leach arrived in the front pack.  The red flag flew when Tommy Eubank caught fire.  Jonathan Scarber lost an engine just before Eubank caught fire.  Tim McCune lost a left rear tire ending his night.  Marty Harvie claimed another victory this season.  Rookie Sean McBee became the 2011 WISSOTA Midwest Modified Track Champion. 


Not So Pure Stock

Heat – Kory Wermling, Patrick Harvie, Jeremy Ivie, Cody Ryan, JJ Johnson, Bill Handel, Stephan Foley, Cody Kuglin, Shannon Cote

Feature – Ryan, Handel, Wermling, Harvie, Ivie, Foley, Johnson, Kuglin, Cote

WISSOTA Midwest Modified

Heat #1 – Ron Sasek, Chris Hill, Jim Myre, Jake Tacke, Joey Ray, Jonathan Scarber

Heat #2 – Paul Leach, Joey Tinker, Jeramy Myers, Marty Harvie, Kelly Blixt, Tommy Eubank

Heat #3 – Sean McBee, Tim McCune, David McCune, Michael Shure, Mike Pistelak, Jerry Sangrey Jr. (DNF)

Feature – Harvie, Leach, McBee, Myers, Ray, Tinker, Shure, D. McCune (DNF), T. McCune (DNF), Sasek (DNF), Scarber (DNF), Eubank (DNF), Tacke (DNF), Blixt (DNF), Pistelak (DNF), Sangrey Jr. (DNF), Myre (DNF), Hill (DQ)

WISSOTA Late Models

Heat #1 – Jim Zaremski, Jody Kropp, Dave Freeman, Kelly Hample, Rich Herman, John Lighthizer, Bradley Kerrison

Heat #2 – Chris Dunn, Steve Fowler, David Vennard, Brian Saipe, Rock Degele (DNS), David Smith (DQ)

Feature – Zaremski, Kropp, Freeman, Hample, Dunn, Lighthizer, Vennard, Smith, Degele, Herman, Fowler, Kerrison, Saipe (DNF)


Heat #1 – Kelly Miller, Phil Dietz, Jerry Brey, Jerry Brown Jr., Mark Sweet, Shane Ainscough, Chris Roberts

Heat #2 – Jeremy McCune, Casey Adams, David Hoiness, David Miller, Danielle Huson, Loren Rogers

Heat #3 – Joe Perry, Brock Lemly, Jesse Dakus, Colton Akerstrom, Josh Ostermiller, Trever Kirkland (DNF), Damon McCune (DNS)

Feature – Akerstrom, Kirkland, D. Miller, Huson, Lemly, K. Miller, J. McCune, Ostermiller, Ainscough, D. McCune, Rogers, Roberts, Sweet, Adams (DNF), Hoiness (DNF), Dietz (DNF), Dakus (DNF), Perry (DNF), Brey (DNF), Brown Jr. (DNF)


After some major frame and body repairs many of the Sprints caught up in the previous night’s feature start were able to return for a second night of racing at the speedway.  Saturday also hosted the WISSOTA Street Stocks, WISSOTA Super Stocks, WISSOTA Modifieds and WISSOTA Late Models.  All for classes had championships to be determined.  Close battles in Modifieds and Street Stocks were going to be a sight to see.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks were the first to take to the track with their heat.  Casey Steffenson took the early lead.  John Lighthizer finished second with Pat LaMere close behind.  The feature had Casey Steffenson working past four cars into second.  John Lighthizer took the opportunity at the start to get out front.  A spin by Dolan Sevalstad in turn two brought out the first caution.  On the restart Pacer Popham joined the front battle.  Steffenson worked his way around Lighthizer in turn four and after a brush with the front stretch wall Lighthizer wound up spinning in turn four. Since Lighthizer was able to keep the car going no caution was called.  The battle for the lead was all Steffenson and Popham as seen most of the 2011 season.  Known for their photo finishes, the final track points race at the speedway was another one as a bobble on Steffenson’s part coming out of four for the victory allowed Popham to get right along the outside of him.  By just inches Steffenson claimed victory.  Pacer Popham, who had a secure points lead going into the feature, became the 2011 WISSOTA Super Stock Track Champion.

The WISSOTA Street Stock points battle was an interesting one throughout the season and the members of the “Deer Lodge Street Gang” dominated throughout the season.  After claiming the track championship for Gallatin Speedway the previous night Beau Brown was sitting in the lead for Electric City Speedway.  He was followed closely by last year’s track champion Paul Lease.  With only six cars showing for Saturday’s events, Lease needed a miracle to surpass Brown for this year’s title.  Kyle Jarvey came out to race, but rear end issues had his night ended before the racing even started.  Paul Lease led Brown to the checkered flag in the heat race.  Michael Price finished the heat in fifth but lost his transmission all over the front stretch at the end of the race.  This left four cars battling for the win in the feature.  A back to back championship for Lease was no longer an option.  Lease, however, was in great spirits and claimed another victory in the feature.  Beau Brown became the 2011 WISSOTA Street Stock Track Champion.  Brown swept the championships for the WISSOTA Street Stocks in Montana claiming the State and Regional championships as well.

Though a few drivers didn’t return for a second night others arrived to fill the void as the Sprints took to the track in three heats.   After some time spent with the welder Saturday morning, Phil Dietz took the first heat just in front of David Hoiness.  Josh Otermiller and Trever Kirkland battled early in the heat second heat.  Ostermiller won the battle and claimed the win.  The final heat had Casey Adams failing to start.  Brock Lemly was just behind Adams when the green flag flew and had nowhere to go when Adams didn’t get up to speed.  Lemly made contact with Adam’s left rear tire.  Adams had to go to the pits for repairs and was unable to meet the two minute repair rule and get back onto the track.  Lemly finished the heat ahead of the rest with David Miller in second. 

The feature started smoothly for the Sprints as Brock Lemly used his pole sitting position to take the lead.  Getting a little loose coming out of four Colton Akerstrom came down onto Joe Perry.  Perry’s car had suffered too much damage over the weekend and he had to watch the final laps from the pits.  As Lemly started working his way through traffic a red flag flew when Paxton Lambrecht flipped in turn four.   The next caution flew when Akerstrom slowed to a stop on the front stretch.  Lemly again put distance between himself and second place.  Mark Sweet brought out a caution stopping in turn four.  Phil Dietz and Trever Kirkland battled for second briefly as Dietz used the restart to get under and around Kirkland.  It was all Lemly all the way as he claimed the third victory this season for Peterson Racing.

Rock Degele had a new look in the WISSOTA Modifieds.  Sporting the flat black body with duct tape numbers, Degele dominated the first heat.  Maurice Myre finished in second.  Myre was in a close battle for the championship with Gary Hill and had to wait for Hill’s heat to finish before knowing if his second place finish had gained any ground on the 12 point deficit.  Dave Azure spun in turn two bringing out the caution with two laps complete.  Gary Hill used the restart to jump out in front of Paul Leach and Paul Donnelly.  Gaining ground Hill won the heat and added another point to his points lead. 

 A four wide start to the Modifieds had Dana Lerum going around on the back stretch.  Pat Wallace was credited with the caution.  On the restart Lerum slid up into Joey Price in turn two setting the field up for its second full restart.  Paul Leach gained the lead after the restart.  Another caution flew for Paul Donnelly as he slowed to a stop in turn four.  Again the field gathered up and Leach had Rock Degele and Maurice Myre on his back bumper.  Giving up the bottom line, Leach briefly lost the lead to Degele.  However, Pat Wallace spun in turn two and the field was reset to the previous lap giving Leach his lead back.  Hugging the bottom line as much as possible, Leach held Degele’s attempts off.  After finishing second a few times this season, Paul Leach captured his first victory in the class for the season.  Gary Hill captured the 2011 WISSOTA Modified Track Championship with his fourth place finish.  Myre was only able to gain a point back in the race leaving a 12 point difference between first and second.

The WISSOTA Late Models rounded out the night.  The first heat held Dave Freeman, Chris Dunn, and Jim Zaremski battling for the top spot.  Freeman held off the others as a battle for second allowed him to gain some space between Dunn and Zaremski.  Kelly Hample rocketed to the lead in the second heat.  David Vennard and Rock Degele had to battle for second.  Vennard spun in turn four allowing Degele to start second.  Though restarting in the back Vennard was able to bring home a fourth place heat finish.

The final feature of the evening came with the Late Models.  Jody Kropp took the lead during lap one and never looked back.  The battle for second had Kelly Hample and Rock Degele battling to get around David Vennard for multiple laps.  Kropp gained a major lead.  Hample used the outside to get around Vennard and Degele used the infield tires.  With a lead the distance of one of the straight stretches, Kropp began working through lapped traffic.  This allowed Hample and Degele to close the gap, but there weren’t enough laps for them to catch Kropp.  With just a few Late Model events at the track this season most of the battle was between Kelly Hample and Rock Degele for the championship.  After this past weekend’s events, Degele finished the points in the fourth position.  29 points separated first through fifth and Jim Zaremski managed to finish second to Hample.  The 2011 WISSOTA Late Model Track Champion is Kelly Hample.

With Gallatin Speedway hosting the 2011 Gibson Guitars Super Nationals this weekend in Belgrade most of the local drivers will be in attendance there so Electric City Speedway will take this weekend off.  The following week is the WISSOTA 100 in Huron, SD and is the big racing event for the WISSOTA/AMSOIL Sanctioned raced.  A Race of Champions will also be held during the event.  The next and final race of the 2011 racing season for Electric City Speedway will be Friday, September 23, 2011 and Saturday, September 24, 2001.  The Montana Round-Up is the final dirt track race in Montana.


WISSOTA Street Stocks

Heat – Paul Lease, Beau Brown, Jim Davis Jr., Ron Mattern, Michael Price, Kyle Jarvey (DNF)

Feature – Lease, Brown, Mattern, Davis Jr., Price (DNS), Jarvey (DNS)

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Heat – Casey Steffenson, John Lighthizer, Pat LaMere, Dolan Sevalstad, Pacer Popham, Chuck Fleming, Jake Tucker, Josh Aho, Mike Pistelak

Feature – Steffenson, Popham, Fleming, LaMere, Aho, Pistelak, Sevalstad, Lighthizer, Tucker (DNF)

WISSOTA Modified

Heat #1 – Rock Degele, Maurice Myre, Joey Price, Dana Lerum, Tommy Bush (DNF)

Heat #2 – Gary Hill, Paul Leach, Paul Donnelly, Pat Wallace, David Azure (DNF)

Feature – Leach, Degele, Myre, Hill, Azure, Lerum, Wallace (DNF), Donnelly (DNF), Price (DNF), Bush (DNS)

WISSOTA Late Model

Heat #1 – Dave Freeman, Chris Dunn, Jim Zaremski, Jody Kropp, David Smith, Rich Herman

Heat #2 – Kelly Hample, Rock Degele, John Lighthizer, David Vennard, Steve Fowler, Bradley Kerrison

Feature – Kropp, Hample, Degele, Smith, Zaremski, Vennard, Dunn, Herman, Fowler, Kerrison, Lighthizer (DNF), Freeman (DNS)


Heat #1 – Phil Dietz, David Hoiness, Paxton Lambrecht, Joe Perry, Kelly Miller, Eric Fisher, Jesse Dakus

Heat #2 – Josh Ostermiller, Trever Kirkland, Jeremy McCune, Colton Akerstrom, Jerry Brown Jr., Mark Sweet

Heat #3 – Brock Lemly, David Miller, Chip Roe, Shane Ainscough, Damon McCune, Casey Adams (DNF)

Feature – Lemly, Dietz, Kirkland, Fisher, Hoiness, Ostermiller, K. Miller, Dakus, D. Miller, Brown Jr., Adams, Akerstrom, Roe, Ainscough, D. McCune, J. McCune (DNF), Sweet (DNF), Lambrecht (DNF), Perry (DNF)


Not So Pure Stock

  1. Cody Ryan 876 2. Kory Wermling 868 (-8) 3. Patrick Harvie 859 (-17) 4. JJ Johnson 782 (-94) 5. Matt O’Connell 628 (-248)

WISSOTA Street Stocks

1. Beau Brown 840 2. Paul Lease 831 (-9) 3. Nick Hunter 757 (-83) 4. Marvin Gonzales 753 (-87) 5. Ron Mattern 712 (-128)

WISSOTA Midwest Modified

1. Sean McBee – 805 2. Ron Sasek – 759 (-46) 3. Jacob Tacke – 651 (-154) 4. Joey Ray – 649 (-156) 5. Jeramy Myers – 558 (-247)

WISSOTA Super Stocks

1. Pacer Popham – 617 2. Pat LaMere – 585 (-32) 3. Mike Pistelak – 557 (-60) 4. Jake Tucker – 540 (-77) 5. Dolan Sevalstad – 456 (-161)

 WISSOTA Modified

1. Gary Hill – 586 2. Maurice Myre – 574 (-12) 3. Paul Donnelly – 550 (-36) 4. Paul Leach – 541 (-45) 5. David Azure – 525 (-61)

WISSOTA Late Model

1. Kelly Hample – 269 2. Jim Zaremski – 249 (-20) 3. Chris Dunn – 246 (23) 4. Rock Degele 243 (-26) 5. Jody Kropp – 240 (-29)

09-02-2011 & 09-03-2011