Rain holds off long enough for Superior Speedway to open 2009 seasonHaze was in the air and rain threatened, but the weather held off long enough for the Superior Speedway to get in its first race night of 2009 Wednesday.
By: For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
Haze was in the air and rain threatened, but the weather held off long enough for the Superior Speedway to get in its first race night of 2009 Wednesday.
A total of 79 cars in five classes showed up to test the new clay on the track. In the offseason, more than 500 loads of new clay was added to the race surface.
Jake Redetzke of Eau Claire put on a show for the fans in the late model race, winning the first feature of the season at the speedway. The race was cut from 16 to 22 laps due to the wet conditions on the track.
Redetzke started on the outside of row one alongside Tim McMann, who gave Redetzke his only challenge before blowing a lower radiator hose. Brent Larson of Lake Elmo finished second, holding off Adam Hensel and Darrell Nelson in the rain-shortened race. Nelson extended his top 10 finishes to the last five appearances in Superior, and Don Copp extended his consecutive laps to 275, dating back to May 23, 2008.
In the heat races, Nelson started on the outside of the first row, jumped out to the lead on the back stretch of the first lap and never looked back. He was followed by Steve Laursen from Cumberland and Redetzke. In second heat race, Pat Doar from New Richmond drew the pole and took advantage cruising to the win. Doar was followed by Hensel and Rick Hanestad from Boyceville.
The modified feature race belonged to last year’s Como Oil and Propane Modified Series champion, Al Uotinen from Superior. Jason Miller finished a close second, followed by Scott Hudack and Darrell Nelson. Uotinen extended his top 10 streak to seven at the Superior Speedway, and Nelson extended his streak of top five finishes to eight. Nelson also extended his consecutive lap streak to 363, and Uotinen went to 238 laps.
In the first heat race, Kelly Estey from Kelly Lake started on the outside of the first row and jumped out to the lead with Uotinen getting by Estey coming out of turn four with two laps remaining to win. Miller finished third behind Estey. In heat number two Ryan Aho from Chisholm who started on the front row jumped out to the lead, but halfway through Scott Hudack from Ashland overtook Aho and held on for the win. Aho was second followed by Nelson.
The super stock feature race was the highlight of the night, with Scott Lawrence getting around last year’s track champion, Joe Oliver, late in the race and holding him off for the win. Mike Bellefeuille, Keith Kern and Dave Flynn all made runs at Lawrence and Oliver for the lead. Four cautions in the race kept the leaders near the main pack.
For Lawrence, he has finished in the top 10 in the last nine races at the speedway, and Oliver has finished in the top 10 in the last 13 races. Oliver extended his consecutive lap streak to 227 and Lawrence to 156.
In the first super stocks heat race of the night, Flynn started on the pole and stayed there the whole race, being challenged on a number of occasions by Kern. Bellefeuille was close behind, coming in third. The second heat was similar to the feature, with Lawrence winning but challenged by Oliver. Jim Campbell of Two Harbors finished third.
Jeremy Houle from Forest Lake earned a sweep, winning his heat and the feature race. Houle started on the inside of the second row and had the lead by the backstretch on the first lap in the 16-lap race. Taylor Leuthner battled from the fifth row and made a couple of runs at Houle, but to no avail. Randy Silverness Jr., who finished third, extended his consecutive top 10 finishes to the last 10 races and extended his consecutive laps to 157, dating back to May 23, 2008.
In the first heat race in the Midwest modifieds, Scott Herrick from Proctor started on the pole. He took the lead on the first lap and never looked back as he cruised to his first heat win of the season at the Superior Speedway. Adam Archer came from the back row to take second, and Brad Anderson finished third.
In the second heat, it was Taylor Leuthner from Foxboro who came from the last starting position and by the end of the first lap he had passed the field, jumped into the lead and held on for the win. Randy Silverness Jr. finished second, followed by E. J. Hietala.
In the third heat Jeremy Houle started on the pole and had a six-car lead by the backstretch. He went on to win in his second ever appearance at the Superior Speedway. Dan Russell of Foxboro finished second, and Skeeter Estey finished third with only three cars running for the checkered flag.
The pure stocks had Pat Van Ert picking up where he left off last year as he won the opening night feature. Van Ert, last year’s point champion, started on the front row and encountered lap traffic when he made it through almost half of the field.
There was a good battle for the next positions with Richard Dzelak finishing second and Dan Larsen edging out Tasha Rapp for third. Van Ert extended his consecutive top 10 finishes to 12 and his consecutive laps to 152. Dzelak extended his top 10 finish streak to four, Larsen extended his streak to five and Austin Blom extended his streak to six, finishing fifth in the feature.
In the first heat race, Van Ert came from the second row to win, followed by Jim Cooper from Superior and Paul Gucinski from Britt. In the second heat, Tasha Rapp was one lap away from winning her first heat race but was passed by Dzelak to finish second. Ashley Smith from South Range finished third.
In heat three, Jeff Christman was the winner, followed by Blom and Steve Christman.
The Superior Speedway is off this Friday but will resume its regular Friday night racing May 29 when the IRA Sprints are in town. Midwest modifieds and super stocks will also be racing that night.