The fifth time turned out to be the charm for St. Croix Valley Raceway. After wet and cold weather postponed the racing season opener for over a month, action finally commenced at SCVR with the running of the second annual Davey Tabor Memorial. Scotty Thiel nabbed top honors in the tribute race, with Damon Roberts, Jason Havel, Ty Sampeir, Justin Oestreich and Katrina Sautbine also garnering wins.
Picking up where he left off in 2012, Jason Havel made quick work of the Pure Stock field. After being charged with an opening lap caution, Havel needed only three laps to catch and pass early leader Tony DuBois for the lead. Once in front, Havel cruised to the opening night win in front of DuBois, Jake Silbernagel, Krysta Swearingen and Jon Wigchers. And just like last year, Havel shunned Victory Lane to celebrate the win with his fans in the stands.
Continuing with the 2012 theme, last year’s Future Four opening night winner repeated the feat on Friday night. Damon Roberts used his front row starting spot to grab the early lead in the four cylinder feature. It was no cake walk, however, as Roberts felt constant pressure from the #63 of Dan Rick. Rick managed to sneak by Robert for a lap at the race’s midpoint, but Roberts charged right back on the next circuit. At the final checkers it was Roberts with the win, Rick in second – despite intermittent puffs of smoke from his car – followed by Dan Strobach, Nicki Dubois and Dylan Roberts.
Ty Sampeir ruled the roost for the UMSS Micro sprint main event. Sampeir started on the pole and stretched his lead on each of the feature’s twelve laps, eventually finishing a half lap in front of Collin Olson, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth and Doug Kensy.
An extremely strong field of 27 Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) winged sprints wereon hand as Scotty Thiel of Sheboygan, Wisconsin battled race leader Jason Tostenson for a good share of the 20 lap Davey Tabor Memorial feature race. It wasn't until lap 18 that Thiel was able to make the winning pass in turn one to take home top honors at the 2nd annual event. The win paid Thiel $1,034, as many of the top ten finishing positions pay ended with the number "34" in honor and memory of the Tabor Motorsports entry. The Tabor family along with GRP Motorsports added extra money to the purse making the total feature race payout $6,634. It was Thiel's fifth career UMSS feature win.
Heat race winners included 2009 UMSS Champion Leigh Thomas, Thiel, and Tony Norem. Jennifer Eriksen was taken to the hospital for observation following a hard crash into the turn one large tractor tires protecting the beginning of the concrete wall at the opening to the pit exit. Challenge Race wins went to brothers-in-law Jerry Richert Jr. and Brooke Tatnell.
Following the two rounds of qualifiers, Tatnell was the high point driver. Tatnell drew the number six pill, inverting the first three rows. This put Rick Kobs, in just his second season behind the wheel of a sprint car, and Jason Tostenson on the front row. A few moments after the parade laps had been completed; Kobs' car suddenly came to a halt on the back stretch and was pushed into the infield with possible ignition issues. Chris Graf moved up to the pole position, putting a couple of Glencoe, Minnesota drivers up front. Tostenson grabbed a slim advantage over Graf to lead the opening lap. Tatnell's night was done early, as the Nelson Motorsports entry slowed entering turn three and coasted off the track with just one lap completed. The field was slowed under caution.
On the restart, Tostenson maintained his lead over Graf. Thiel moved from third to second on lap 3. One lap later, Lee Grosz stalled in turn 4 after what appeared to be contact with Thiel in turn 2. Grosz was pushed to the infield and done for the night. Again Tostenson was able to maintain a slim lead when the race went green, as Thiel looked for a way to get past. The third caution waved with eight laps in when Davey Heskin spun in turn 4. Thiel tried on a couple of occasions to duck underneath Tostenson in turns 1-2 during the next several laps, but Tostenson held off each attempt. The final yellow blinked on with 16 laps scored when 2010 UMSS Champion Cody Hahn spun in turn 4. This set the stage for a four lap dash to the checkers.
Tostenson was under serious pressure from Thiel on the restart, and two laps later he succumbed to that pressure when Thiel dove low in turn one and Tostenson bobbled just slightly up top, allowing Thiel to slide up in front of him by a few car lengths. Thiel went on to record the victory, his second win at St. Croix Valley Raceway, having won at the 1/4 mile bullring last August. Tostenson, who was looking for his first-ever UMSS win, had to settle for second ahead of Graf, Kurt Davis from 10th, and Tony Norem from 12th. Rounding out the top ten finishers were 2011 & 2012 UMSS Champion Jerry Richert Jr., Cam Schafer, Neil Matuska racing for the first time with the UMSS, Jared Goerges, and Davey Heskin. Sixteen of the twenty starters were still racing at the conclusion of the event with all cars on the lead lap.
The penultimate race of the night saw Tony Schill shoot from the front row to lead the first eighteen laps of the WISSOTA Midwest Modified A-main. Schill fended off challenges from pole starter Mitch Weiss, Ryan Olson, and for most of the race, Justin Oestreich. But with less than three laps remaining, a slight hiccup from Schill gave enough room for Oestreich to blast by and grab the point. Oestreich remained out front the last two laps, leaving Schill to fend off challenges from Olson, Ryan Bowers and Josh Bazey, who comprised the top five finishers.
With the hour getting late, the skies finally delivered on their threat of rain as a light sprinkle began to fall at the start of the UMSS Traditional Sprint feature race. Katrina Sautbine led from the pole for laps one through three before yielding to Denny Stordahl. Stordahl held the point for three laps before Sautbine reclaimed the lead on lap seven. Behind the leaders, reigning series champion Rob Caho was searching for a line to the front along with inaugural champion Kevin Bradwell and Brad Nelson. A late caution reset the field with Sautbine leading Caho, Bradwell, Stordahl and Nelson. Upon the restart, Bradwell’s #95 mount climbed Caho’s rear tire, launching “The Rocketman” into a frightening series of cartwheel flips in front of the grandstand. While the car was heavily damaged, Bradwell emerged from his overturned car seemingly unhurt. With rain continuing to fall, officials declared the race complete after twelve laps resulting in Sautbine’s first career feature win in a sprint car.
Sprints are back at the quarter-mile bullring this Friday, May 31, in the form of the IRA outlaw 410 sprint series. The IRA made their first ever appearance at The Valley in 2012 and promptly established a new track speed record. This year’srace is part of a three-race western Wisconsin swing for the series, and car counts are expected to be especially strong for this event. WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds will have the week off, and the IRA Sprints will be joined by SCVR regular classes: Future Fours, Pure Stocks and UMSS Traditional and Micro sprints. More information can be found on the track’s website, www.SCVRaceway.com .
Pure Stock Feature- Jason Havel, Tony DuBois, Jake Silbernagel, Krysta Swearingen, Jon Wigchers, Trevor Reding, Ben Kaphing
Future Four Feature- Damon Roberts, Dan Rick, Dan Strobach, Nicki DuBois, Dylan Roberts, Alex Hallin, Derek Reding, Brock Anderson, Kyle Dahlhiemer
UMSS Micro Sprint Feature- Ty Sampeir, Collin Olson, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth, Doug Kensy, Tim Christianson
WISSOTA Midwest Modified Feature- Justin Oestreich, Tony Schill, Ryan Olson, Ryan Bowers, Josh Bazey, Jason Haugerud, Vince Corbin, Bryce Johnson, Mitch Weiss, Craig Elliot, Doug Toepper, Keith Paulsrud, David Mastell, Shawn Carlson, Jason Bonngard, Kevin Marlett, Miranda Carlson, Kyle Hallin, Jesse Krause
UMSS Traditional Sprint Feature- Katrina Sautbine, Rob Caho Jr., Denny Stordahl, Lucas Milz, Cam Shafer, Ryan Olson, Johnny Parsons, Brad Nelson, Kevin Bradwell, Brian VanMeveren, Mike Mueller, Tom Porter
UMSS Winged Sprints Second Annual Davey Tabor Memorial:
Alpha Apparel & Promotions Ultimate Sprint Race #1 (8 laps): 29 Leigh Thomas, 14 Brooke Tatnell, 34 Rick Kobs, 6k Kurt Davis, 37 Sye Anderson, 77 Brandon Allen, 33 Scott Broty, 10 Kevin Nickel, 7 Dave Becker DNS.
Meeks Video Ultimate Sprint Race #2 (9 laps): 64 Scotty Thiel, 4J Lee Grosz, 36 Jason Tostenson, 9 Jared Goerges, 55 Joseph Kouba, 5 Anna Kouba, 91 Davey Heskin DNF, 34TW Gunner Cummings DNF, 10X Jennifer Eriksen DNF.
Driverwebsites.com Ultimate Sprint Race #3 (9 laps): B1ST Tony Norem, 5 Cam Schafer, 23 Cody Hahn, 20G Chris Graf, 63 Jerry Richert Jr., 48 Neil Matuska, 20 Jordan Wilmes, 31 James Broty, 91A Reed Allex.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #1 (12 laps): Richert, Grosz, Anderson, Hahn, Kobs, Heskin, Becker, Wilmes, Norem, Goerges, Thomas, A Kouba, Allex, Eriksen DNS.
Mastell Brothers Trailer Service Challenge Race #2 (12 laps): Tatnell, Graf, Thiel, Tostenson, Matuska, Davis, Schafer, J Broty, Cummings, Nickel, J Kouba, Allen DNF, S Broty DNF.
GRP Motorsports Davey Tabor Memorial A Main (20 laps): Thiel, Tostenson, Graf, Davis, Norem, Richert, Schafer, Matuska, Goerges, Heskin, Thomas, J Broty, Anderson, Hahn, Nickel, Cummings, Wilmes DNF, Grosz DNF, Tatnell DNF, Kobs DNF.
Lap Leaders: Tostenson 1-17, Thiel 18-20.