Saturday saw the scheduled weekend of racing begin as TORC set-up camp for two days of PRO and Sportsman Short-Course off-road racing. The weather gave the Northwoods of Wisconsin perfect conditions for racer and spectator alike. The race program is quite large so racing begins by 10am and typically ends around 6pm.
The first race of the day was the combined Classix and Stock Truck race. Perennial champion Dale Chestnut rebounded from an early retirement on Friday to take the convincing win in Round 3. Second place was long tine competitor Galen Gee as Dillon Mischler rebounded from a slow start to finish third.
The Stock Truck group saw Diesel Shanak take a hard roll coming out of Turn One, but somehow got back going without losing a lap. Early on it looked like Dylan Sharkey would take the win but dropping a cylinder and later a flat tire put the hard charger well back in the running order. As Sharkey slowed Lon Jaskie picked up the pace and came home with the win meanwhile Shanak recovered nicely to take the runner-up spot.
Twenty-five Light Buggy racers lined up two rows deep for the land rush star. Once again it was Greg Stingle leading Derek Tilkens as the field headed for Turn 2, or more commonly known as “The Barn Turn.” Then Tilkens never made it to the next corner as his buggy lost fire. This moved up his teammate Matt Mullin into second as Todd Lemke was just behind in third. The top three stayed the same all the way to the finish.
Ten Super Trucks took the green flag as Mark Peterson grabbed the early lead. A quick mistake put Peterson back in the order as yesterday’s winner Jerry Edgerton assumed the lead. Now Eric Ruppel moved up to second with Tim Nelson third. As the race progressed Nelson moved around Ruppel and began to close in on Edgerton. The checkered flag came out before Nelson could make a serious challenge as Edgerton took his second win in a row. Just behind in second and third were Nelson and Ruppel.
Limited 4 saw another great performance by Dan Baudoux. The Northern Michigan driver grabbed the lead right from the start, as the rest of the field couldn’t mount a challenge. Second place saw another great battle between Jerry Conrad and Milan Mazenec. Ultimately Conrad finished second and Mazenec third.
Formula 4×4 race saw Dave Miah lead from start to finish as Ryan Rebman was a close second.
The1600 Buggy group was next and it was another Steinhardt and Fraley battle. Once again Steinhardt prevailed, but Fraley finished right on his rear bumper. Third place saw a fantastic run by Dave Luger as he continues to he impress the competition.
The eighteen Super Stock Truck competitors took to the track and probably put on the best show of the Sportsman program. Early on Matt Siorek took the early lead, but a late first lap issue moved the Indiana racer back in the pack. Then the race was all about Mitch Dorr and Danny Beauchamp. Yesterday’s winner led the entire race, as Dorr just couldn’t get around the leader. The final three laps saw Beauchamp’s truck dispersing smoke all the way to the finish, but Upper Peninsula prevailed to take the win. Another solid run by Nick Byng completed the podium celebration.
Eleven Kids Karts raced on a specially design track for a ten lap feature race. The land rush start put Owen Van Epren in the lead closely followed by Carter Vanden Heuvel. About three laps in, Vanden Heuvel made the pass for the lead, but Van Epren made another pass a few laps later to retake the top spot. At the finish it was Owen Van Epren first, Carter Vanden Heuvel second, and a very close third was Braden Beauchamp.
The final Sportsman race of the day saw Friday’s winner Rodney Van Ephren lead all twelve laps on the Crandon “Short Track”. Second place was Scott Schwalbe followed by a great race by veteran Herman Barnum.
The first Pro race of the day saw an epic battle between Luke Johnson and Travis Dinsmore. The opening lap had Dinsmore grab the lead with Johnson in hot pursuit. After the mandatory caution Johnson got a great jump and took the top sport from Dinsmore. On the final Dinsmore and Johnson made contact heading over the Walker Evans Racing Jump, fortunately their momentum kept the to trucks heading in the right direction. At the finish it was Luke Johnson with the win, Dinsmore taking the runner-up spot as Doug Mittag came back from a tire change during the mandatory yellow to finish in third.
The PRO-2 race saw hometown driver Keegan Kincaid take the early lead. On lap two Doug Mittag made a clean pass to take the lead. Then a miscue by Mittag put Kincaid in the lead with CJ Greaves second and Mittag racing with his hood blocking his vision in third. During the Mandatory caution Mittag stopped in the Hot Pits to remove the hood. The restart saw only four laps until the finish with Mittag at the tail end of the pack. The battle between Kincaid and Greaves continued all the way to the finish, but the two positions never changed. At the checkered flag, Kincaid took the win with Greaves taking second and after another late charge, Mittag completed the podium.
The final race of the day saw a fierce father and son PRO-4 confrontation. At the drop of the green flag Johnny Greaves took the lead followed by CJ Greaves and Scott Douglas. The top three racers put a little distance on the rest of the field before as well as after the mandatory yellow. The final lap and half saw a seesaw back and forth battle between the Greaves family. In the end Johnny kept his son at bay to take the win as Scott Douglas finished behind the duo in third place.
Let’s hope the ideal weather continues as Sunday’s program includes the usual full day of traditional short course racing as well as the final race of the weekend, the heavy metal, all out sprint race known as the Forest County Potawatomi Chairman’s Cup.
Words by Mike Ruesche