The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Store Cup made the AMSOIL Speedway its first stop on a four-race upper Midwest swing bringing 35 United States Modified Touring Series Modifieds to the lightning fast AMSOIL Speedway Wednesday night.
All of the top 10 in “The Hunt” points were on hand as well as a few more. They were joined by a strong contingent of local and area drivers, who served notice that they were not going to be pushovers for the travelers as 17-year-old Landon Atkinson, Rick Rivord and Kelly Estey won heat races the other heat went to point leader Rodney Sanders.
The 35-lap feature started with Johnny Scott leading from the pole followed by Jason Miller, Atkinson, Sanders and Rivord, who raced side-by-side for fourth. With three laps complete John Allen got turned on the back stretch and barrel rolled the No. 98 several times ending up on his roof at the third turn entrance bringing out the red flag. Allen was okay but his night was done. Scott continued to lead at the restart with Miller in his tracks.
Sanders bolted into the third spot ahead of Atkinson and Rivord while Zack VanderBeek ran sixth. Kelly Estey was on the prowl and raced into fifth then grabbed fourth. Up front the battle for the lead became a contest between Scott, Sanders and Miller as they pulled away from Estey in fourth. At this point the track showed multiple grooves and Sanders moved high against the wall and sailed off the fourth turn past Miller and Scott into the lead.
The caution flag flew for debris on the back stretch with 14 laps complete. At the green Sanders kept the point over Scott but Estey moved to third with Miller fourth and VanderBeek fifth. Sanders was in control at this point with a severalcar length lead as he began to lap cars. Almost unnoticed Jody Bellefeuille began to make his move into the top five as the laps wore away.
Sanders took the win worth $3,000 over Johnny Scott, VanderBeek, Bellefeuille and Estey in the top five.
In WISSOTA action two dozen Midwest Modifieds contested three heat races to qualify for their 20-lap main event. Those winners were Cody Carlson, Cory Crapser and Jesse Ogston.
Crapser and Carlson drew the front row and it was Crapser who grabbed the lead at the outset. Skeeter Estey, Carlson, Michael Truscott and Shane Sabraski ran in the top five but with only one lap in, a car spun in turn one bringing out the first of four caution periods.
The second caution flag followed close on the heels of the first after a tangle between Andrew Inman and David Simpson in the first turn.
Crapser held the lead at the green with Estey, Carlson, Sabraski and Deven VanHouse in the top five. One lap later the caution flag flew again when Chris Bretting got turned around in turn two. Crapser still led at this point and the race continued under green with Skeeter Estey second, Sabraaski third, Truascott fourth and VanHouse fifth. Mack Estey was on the move and shuffled Carlson back to seventh.
The fourth caution killed Crapser’s lead with three laps remaining. Crapser was able to hold on to the point at the green, but Estey was right there looking for an opening. On the final lap Estey made a bold move and stole the win off turn four. Crapser, Sabraski, Truscott and Mack Estey finished in the top five.
The final feature was 20 laps of “Pure Adrenaline” for the pure stocks. A number of caution flags as well as another red flag for Mike Lambert’s crash in turn one kept the competition close.
The final caution flag came with three laps remaining and resulted in a wild scramble for the win as they came out of the fourth turn four abreast and raced for the finish line. Austin Blom crossed the line first by a slim margin over Mike Blevins, Glenn Dammer, point leader Lucas Carlson, who led a good portion of the race, and Shaina Rapp, who had started 11th.
It was Blom’s first feature win in some time as he had just returned to the racing wars after a several year layoff.
Wednesday, Aug. 13
USMTS Hunt For The Cup (35 cars)
Feature (35 laps): Rodney Sanders Happy, Tex.; Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, NM; Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth; Kelly Estey, Kelly Lake; Jason Miller, Osceola; Jeremy Houle; Joey Jensen; Rick Rivord, Superior, Derek Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.; Brent Larson, Lake Elmo; Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Landon Adkinson, Little Falls, Minn.; Al Uotinen, Superior; Clayton Wagemon; Jake Gallardo, Las Cruses; Lance Town, Louisburg, Mo.; Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel, Iowa; Bobby, Gierke; Nikki Wrazidlo, Duluth.
DNF: Scot Heikkinen, Eveleth; Jeffery Lien Jr., Stacey, Minn.; Stormy Scott, Las Cruses; John Allen, Chanute, Kansas.
Heat 1: Adtkinson; Ramirez; Houle; Shyrock; Heikkinen; Jeff Lien; Town. DNF: Hilsabeck; Spacek.
Heat 2: Rivord; J. Scott; Uotinen; S. Scott; Allen; Jason Gross; Ted Marrs. DNS: Joe Duvall Chelsea, OK.
Heat 3: Sanders; VanderBeek; Lien Jr; Gierke: DNF: Chris Ortel Marshfield; Trevor Hunt Kearney, Neb.; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown.
Heat 4: Estey; Miller; Bellefeuille; Wrazidlo; Jensen; Wagemon; Bryan Hessler; Craig Thatcher.
Midwest Modified (24 cars)
Feature (20 laps): Skeeter Estey, Kelly lake; Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls; Shane Sabraski, Rice, Minn.; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Mack Estey, Kelly Lake; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay; Jesse Ogston, Duluth; Cody Carlson, Superior; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Lance Solem, Duluth; Mark Kangas, Eveleth; Dale Soumala, Hermantown; Brady Caul, Fort Francis, Ont.; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, Ont.; Cory Bruggeman, Stillwater, Minn.; Adam Shinn, Duluth.
DNF: Norm Anderson, Duluth; Andrew Inman, Hermantown; Jason Goldfine, Superior; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Don Craig, Thunder Bay; Josh Hessler, Wheeler. DNS: Justin Madsen, Foxboro.
Heat 1: Carlson; Sabraski; Truscott; Kangas; Soumala; Goldfine; Craig; Bruggeman.
Heat 2: Crapser; S. Estey; VanHouse; M. Estey; Caul; Hessler; Anderson; Inman.
Heat 3: Ogston; Kingsley; Solem; Bretting. DNF: Spacek; Simpson; Madsen; Shinn.
Pure Stock (20 cars)
Feature (20 laps): Austin Blom, Saginaw; Mike Blevins, Hibbing; Glenn Dammer, Hermantown; Lucas Carlson, Cloquet; Shaina Rapp, Saginaw; Steve Udeen, Superior; Chad Nikstad, Superior; Devin Reynolds, Cloquet; Jeff Christman, South Range; Matt Cunha, Hibbing; Zene Anderson, Superior. DNF: Matt Hammitt, Cloquet; Annika Hammitt, Cloquet; Tim Carlson, Superior; Jon Hammitt, Cloquet; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Mike Lambert, Superior; Mike Sirois, Hermantown; Matt Madsen, Superior. DNS: Jason Simonson, Superior.
Heat 1: L. Carlson; Blevins; Blom; A. Hammitt; J. Hammitt; Lambert; T. Carlson.
Heat 2: Dammer; Cunha; Nikstad; Rapp; Udeen; Reynolds. DNS: Simonson.
Heat 3: Sirois; M. Hammitt; Christman; Anderson. DNF: Savoy; Madsen.