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Punky Wraps up 2010 Season
BPS File by Chris Burback
BPS File by Chris Burback
September 28th 2010 - Diemel Repeats as Punky Manor Challenge of Champions Winner

By Ed Reichert, Menomonie WI, September 25 –

A.J. Diemel repeated his 2009 victory as he became a back to back winner in the Late Model portion of the 2010 Punky Manor Challenge of Champions presented by Bill’s Distributing and Tim’s Automotive Machine which wrapped up Saturday night at the Red Cedar Speedway. Diemel came from the sixth starting spot to win the Late Model forty lapper that was slowed only once by the yellow flag. Other Punky champions crowned Saturday included Kevin Adams in the Modifieds, Rick Kobs in the Super Stocks and Mark Gerth in the Midwest Modifieds.

Twenty five Late Models took Rick Cook’s green flag to start the forty lapper, with outside front row starter Justin Fegers moving into the early lead with Jake Redetzke closely pursuing. Only two laps were completed before Nick Anvelink turned around in turn two and before everyone could stop, father Terry Anvelink was deposited on Nick’s hood by another car. Both cars were able to restart the race however.

Fegers continued to lead with Redetzke putting heavy pressure on him as Brent Larson and Chad Mahder closely followed with Diemel on the move early along with Jimmy Mars, who started ninth on the grid.

Redetzke continued to challenge Fegers until he was able to get underneath Justin off turn two and powered into the lead down the back chute. Diemel was continuing to move up along with Mars. Redetzke continued to show the way, with Diemel taking second from Fegers and Mars in a hard, side by side battle with Mahder for fourth.

Things started to really get wild when Redetzke caught the tail of the field at just about the time the track started to take rubber which narrowed up the racing groove. Redetzke worked and worked, but he was stuck behind the "tail enders" and couldn’t get past them. This allowed the rest of the lead pack to catch him and suddenly the top six runners ran nose to tail. Finally Redetzke tried to jump to the second lane and get by the slower cars but he was unable to pull off the maneuver and he found himself stuck in the second lane with Diemel to his inside and Fegers and Mars side by side behind him.

When traffic suddenly broke, it was Diemel who gained the opportunity and he shot by on the low side to take over the lead while the next three cars were still stuck behind the slower cars. As Diemel extended his lead, Mars decided to go for broke and went to the high side, hoping to pin the rest of the leaders behind traffic. It almost worked but Mars couldn’t find the necessary traction higher on the track and he lost a couple of positions. Undaunted, he continued to go for broke but he continued to drop back until he finally fell back in line.

Diemel had opened up a nice lead by this point, and when Redetzke was finally able to clear traffic, he made up a large portion of the advantage, but it was too little, too late as Diemel drove home for the win, worth $4,000. Behind Redetzke, Fegers , Mahder and John Kaanta completed the top five with Mars settling for seventh.

Mars was also a key player in the Modified feature. Making a rare Modified start in a new BMS chassis from his shop, Jimmy started on the outside of the front row and jumped into the early lead over Joey Jensen. Adams, following up on his hot streak that saw him dominate the WISSOTA 100 at Huron last week, quickly moved past Jensen into second and began to pressure Mars for the lead. Meanwhile, a great battle also took place behind them as Craig Thatcher, Dave Cain and Mike Anderson all jockeyed for position.

Adams was getting a good run off turn two, and he made several experimental attempts to get past Mars down the back chute. Finally, Kevin was able to pull even with Mars, edge past him through turn four, and complete the pass down the front chute. Once in front, Adams opened up several car lengths on the field until the yellow flew with thirteen laps complete for a collision in turn two. The field then got stuck as two successive attempts to restart the race triggered yellows. Finally the race stayed green, with Thatcher driving to the inside of Mars and taking over the second spot. Adams, however, remained comfortably in front as Craig was unable to cut into his lead. Cain started to pick up the pace as he got by Jensen and then also worked past Mars as the laps ran down.

Adams continued to be comfortably in front and he flawlessly worked through traffic in the late stages of the race to maintain his lead and drive home for the win, his sixth at Red Cedar this season and twenty first on area ovals. Thatcher held off a late charge by Cain to hold on to second with Mars and Anderson completing the top five.

Kobs led all the way to win the Super Stock main event as he jumped into the lead from the outside pole and rode the cushion for twenty five laps for the win. Early on, Kobs was challenged by Ben Hillman and Paul Erikson but eventually his biggest challenger was Steve Thomas. Thomas also got up on the cushion and was able to drive into the second spot and then put plenty of pressure on Kobs. Five yellow flags over the course of the event kept the field bunched but on each green Kobs would continue to maintain his lead with Thomas looking for one mistake so he could make his move. Jason Forehand was one of the few able to make the low side work, and he advanced from tenth to fourth and nearly edged into the top three at one point.

The last seventeen laps ran nonstop with Kobs continuing to work the cushion and Thomas riding his rear bumper. However, the veteran Kobs refused to wilt, and he drove home for his first win of the year here driving the Super Stock. Thomas finished a close second with Hillman, Forehand and Erikson behind him.

The same scenario played out in the Midwest Modifieds with Mark Gerth jumping into the lead from the outside pole and leading all twenty laps to win that main event. Cory Crapser tried to stay with him for awhile but it was eventually Shane Halopka who moved into the runner up slot. Halopka tried to work the lower portion of the track, and while he was able to hold off the competition, he was no match for Gerth on this night and Gerth motored on with his Mars look alike car. Grant Southworth looked strong as he moved into the third spot but another Bloomer resident, Clark Swartz, was able to get past him in the late going. Gerth drove on to his seventh win of the year here including the track title that he earned last month. Halopka maintained second and the Bloomer battle saw Swartz hold of Southworth and another Bloomer resident, Rich Lofthus.

The Punky Manor Challenge of Champions concluded the 2010 racing season at the Red Cedar Speedway. Racing is expected to resume again in April 2011. Check the speedway website at over the winter for information on the 2011 racing season.

SUMMARY; Red Cedar Speedway, Menomonie WI
September 25, 2010

Thirty first annual Punky Manor Challenge of Champions

WISSOTA Late Models

40 lap Feature – A.J. Diemel, Bonduel; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire; Justin Fegers, Minnetonka MN; Chad Mahder, Eau Claire; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Marshall Fegers, Mound MN; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Brent Larson, Lake Elmo MN; Ron Berna, Green Bay; Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Scott Gilberts, Menomonie; Kerry Hanson, Baldwin; Mike Prochnow, Menomonie; Greg Nippoldt, Roberts; Justin Ritchie, New London; Troy Springborn, Shawano; Todd Frank, Seymour; Rick Egersdorf, Mendota Heights MN; Chris Oertel, Marshfield; Kelly Anderson, Hager City; Jake Hartung, Elmwood; Nick Anvelink, Bonduel; M.J. McBride, Shawano; Rick Hanestad, Boyceville; Terry Anvelink, Navarino.

WISSOTA Modifieds

30 lap Feature – Kevin Adams, Cameron; Craig Thatcher, Knapp; Dave Cain, Corcoran MN; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Mike Anderson, Colfax; Joey Jensen, Forest Lake MN; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Mark Hanson, Chippewa Falls; Dave Baxter, Eau Claire; Ross Prochnow, Boyceville; Cory Williams, Spring Valley; Paul Knauf, Marshfield; Mark Hessler, Menomonie; Steve Wik, Downsville; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake; Mike Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Kent Baxter, Elk Mound; Brian Crapser, Brookfield; Rich Lofthus, Bloomer; Brent Larson, Lake Elmo MN; Dean Yrjanainen, Lake Nebagamon; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Brent Prochnow, Colfax

10 lap B Feature – Crapser; Byholm; Jason Swan; Don Brightbill; Mark Baxter; Kevin Rogers; Bryan Nayes

B Feature 2 – Hessler; Williams; Eric Pember; Paul Niznik; Brandon Kallenbach; Robbie Johnson

WISSOTA Super Stocks

25 lap Feature – Rick Kobs, Deer Park; Steve Thomas, Menomonie; Ben Hillman, Menomonie; Jason Forehand, Eau Claire; Paul Erikson, Abbotsford; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Michael Hofer, Cochrane; Rod Dregney, Mondovi; Kelly Anderson, Hager City; Charley Obermueller, Menomonie; Shawn Huse, Bloomer; Brad Johnson, Wilson; Jesse Redetzke, Altoona; Andy Grymala, Superior; Darrel Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Rich Bishop, New Richmond; Jay Quilling, Menomonie; Chad Johnson, Colfax; Bernie Christianson, Menomonie; Wayne Dean, Fall Creek; Tom Karis, Menomonie; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Terry Kroening, Colby

10 lap B Feature – Karis; Huse; Brian Mikkonen; Mike Keller; Rick Hallquist; Jim Harris; Lance Leu; Tony Devine; Luke Plank

B Feature 2 – Hazelton; Bishop; Ken Truscott; Tommy Richards; Tim Shackleton; Karl Dicks; Dave Flynn; Bart Steffen

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Mark Gerth, Menomonie; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Clark Swartz, Bloomer; Grant Southworth, Bloomer; Rich Lofthus, Bloomer; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Mark Thomas, Menomonie; Bob Wood, Cadott; Jake Smith, Eau Claire; Josh Smith, Chippewa Falls; Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls; Nick Koehler, Bloomer; Justin Supri, Eau Claire; Kevin Smeltzer, Menomonie; Nathan Thums, Wausau; Gary Sorenson, Eau Claire; Cory Jackson, Chippewa Falls; Jesse Aho, Twin Lakes MI; Paul Niznik, Medford; Randy Smeltzer, Colfax; Brad Hudson, Chippewa Falls; Jordan Hessler, Elk Mound; Kyle Steffen, Cottege Grove MN; Jon Boy Brown, Winston-Salem NC

10 lap B Feature – Supri; R. Smeltzer; Hessler; Niznik; Nick Frion; Chad Kallenbach; Chris Bretting; Dave Teatz; Eric Klafka; Will Fisher; Jake Stai
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