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Red Cedar Results from August 14th
Chris Burback file photo of Craig Thatcher
Chris Burback file photo of Craig Thatcher
August 24th 2009 - EDITOR'S NOTE: I was on vacation with the family in Branson, MO...but I am back! - BRONCO

Thatcher, Gerth Red Cedar Speedway Champions
By Ed Reichert

Menomonie WI, August 14 � It was season championship time already at the Red Cedar Speedway with the first two titlists crowned Friday night. Winning season championships were Craig Thatcher in the Modifieds and Mark Gerth in the Midwest Modifieds. The last point program was run for the other three classes with feature winners in those divisions being Ashley Anderson, Mike Keller and Jordan Johnson.

Thatcher has had another successful season in the Modifieds, winning yet another point title at Red Cedar. But the one thing he hadn�t done yet this year at the Menomonie oval was to win a feature race. He took care of that item tonight in a wire to wire win as he earned the Red Cedar Speedway season championship cup. He started on the pole and opened up a small margin over Brent Prochnow before the lone yellow flag flew with three laps scored for a spin in turn four.

Back on the green, Thatcher quickly opened up some distance on the field as the major battle raged for second between Prochnow and Mike Anderson. While they slugged it out, there was another stiff battle for position featuring Ron Schreiner, Jay Richardson, Scott Duval and Mark Hessler. Eventually Anderson would claim the second spot and try and track down Thatcher for the lead.

However, Thatcher was in the groove on this night and he was able to maintain a comfortable lead as the all time great racked up another accomplishment in his bulging dossier. Anderson finished a solid second over Brent Prochnow while the hard charger of the event was Ross Prochnow. Making a rare appearance, he blazed all the way up from ninth to finish a strong fouth ahead of Hessler. Thatcher was the ninth different winner in the division here this year.

Gerth continued his story book year at Red Cedar as he added the season championship to the point title and also took his sixth feature win of the year here. He started on the pole and had to hold off both Shane Halopka and Mark Thomas through a caution filled event that was eventually cut to twelve laps to keep the competitors from running out of fuel, it seemed.

Gerth jumped into the lead right at the green with Halopka closely behind and Thomas also pursuing. Spins on the second and third lap and a bigger pileup that involved seven cars kept the pace slow and the yellow flag laps high. Gerth continued to lead after racing resumed with Thomas going to the high side to challenge and then pass Halopka for second. Gerth continued to maintain a small but steady margin through several more yellow flag periods while Halopka took advantage of one of the restarts to reclaim second from Thomas.

The last three laps ran nonstop and Gerth continued to hold off Halopka by about four car lengths as he drove home for the win with Thomas still trailing Halopka. Rookie Clark Swartz made a strong advance to finish fourth with Jim Bourn completing the top five.

The point title that was still very close entering the final set of feature events was in the Super Stocks, and going into the feature race, Shawn Huse and Mike Keller were tied for the point lead with the title to go to the driver that could do the best in the main event. Keller made sure there was no question about who would be on top when he drove to his fifth feature win of the year here in the division and guaranteed he would hold the honors.

The nonstop main event saw Mark Stender get the jump into the early lead but Bernie Christianson was flying on the top side and he swept past Stender to take the top spot. Keller started in the third row and quickly moved into third with Huse was mired back in the fourth row and was having trouble clearing traffic.

Keller continued his advance as he passed Stender and then moved up beside Christianson. However , Bernie proved to be a tough pass tonight as twice Keller seemed to have the edge on the low side, only to see Christianson use the cushion to fight back into the lead. They raced side by side for several laps, with Christianson impressing with his fearless drive up against the wall. That ended on the front chute however, as the leaders got together with Christianson being crowded into the wall and having to lift off the accelerator. This gave Keller the needed momentum and he was then able to gradually move away from the pack. Steve Thomas, in a new ride tonight, made a late charge and was able to ease under Christianson for second at the finish. Jason Forehand made a solid charge, finishing fourth after starting tenth with Huse having to settle for fifth at the finish.

Anderson guaranteed the point title in the Late Models with his fourth Red Cedar win of the year. He earned the victory as he stormed up from the fourth row and used a great restart to take the win. Jesse Redetzke took the early lead and he built up nearly a straightaway lead over the pack as he was running with great rhythm. Duane Mahder had moved into second spot but he wasn�t able to close in on Jesse. Soon, however, Jake Redetzke came knocking on Mahder�s door and they battled for the second spot as Anderson patiently worked his way into fourth.

The complexion of the event changed however, when the lone yellow flew after Chris Oertel lost a wheel with the axle still in it,

On the green, Jesse continued to hold the lead but when Mahder and Jake both went up the track, Ashley made a great move to the low side and suddenly found himself in the second spot. He pulled up beside Jesse for the lead, and did indeed edge into the spot but Jesse fought back at the stripe. The next lap, however, Anderson made the move stick and he took over the lead, a position he was to secure and never be challenged for again.

Behind him, it was a family affair for positions, as Jake was able to take the second position from his half brother near the end and Chad Mahder made a late rush from deep in the pack to take fourth from his father Duane.

Johnson stepped into one of the Richards Racing Team cars tonight and won his first Pure Stock feature of the season. Nick Field had started on the pole and led the entire distance but Johnson gradually reeled him in and on the final lap dove to his low side and came home with his first win. Despite finishing second, Field guaranteed the point title in the Pure Stocks and will start on the pole for heat one next Friday night. Nate Spence completed a solid run in third with Chris Wert and Luke Plank next in line.

Next Friday night the Season Championships will be contested for the Late Models, Super Stocks and Pure Stocks while the Midwest Mods and Mods will run a regular show as all five divisions will be in action. Keyes Chevytown will be the presenting sponsor next Friday. Race time is 7 p.m.


Red Cedar Speedway

Menomonie WI

August 14, 2009

WISSOTA Late Models

20 lap Feature � Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire; Jesse Redetzke, Altoona; Chad Mahder, Eau Claire; Duane Mahder, Eau Claire; Mike Prochnow, Menomonie; Cory Mahder, Elk Mound; Jake Hartung, Elmwood; Scott Gilberts, Menomonie; Randy Gullixson, Baldwin; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Chuckie DeSmith, Glenwood City; Dennis Larson, Lake Elmo MN; Chris Oertel, Marshfield; Mike Goodremote, Sand Creek.

8 lap Heat 1 � J. Redetzke; Je. Redetzke; Prochnow; C. Mahder; DeSmith; Ch. Mahder; Gilberts; Kaanta.

Heat 2 � Anderson; D. Mahder; Oertel; Gullixson; Hartung; Goodremote; Larson.

WISSOTA Modifieds

15 lap Feature � Craig Thatcher, Knapp; Mike Anderson, Colfax; Brent Prochnow, Colfax; Ross Prochnow, Boyceville; Mark Hessler, Menomonie; Jay Richardson, Spring Valley; Scott Duval, Bloomer; Ron Schreiner, Hudson; Larry Prochnow, Menomonie; Cory Williams, Spring Valley; Mark Hanson, Chippewa Falls; Bryan Hessler, Chetek; Don Brightbill, Hudson; Bryan Nayes, Chippewa Falls; Steve Hallquist, Eau Claire.

8 lap Heat 1 � Thatcher; Anderson; Richardson; Hanson; R. Prochnow; Williams; Hallquist; B. Hessler.

Heat 2 � B. Prochnow; Nayes; Schreiner; Duval; M. Hessler; L. Prochnow; Brightbill.

8 lap Non Winners � Richardson; Nayes; Williams; Hallquist.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

15 lap Feature � Mike Keller, Menomonie; Steve Thomas, Menomonie; Bernie Christianson, Menomonie; Jason Forehand, Eau Claire; Shawn Huse, Bloomer; Joe Rhead, Menomonie; Mark Stender, Holcombe; Tom Karis, Menomonie; Paul Erikson, Abbotsford; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Ben Hillman, Menomonie; Charley Obermueller, Menomonie; Aaron Wilson, Menomonie; Brad Johnson, Wilson; Rick Hallquist, Eau Claire; Darrel Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Dan Preston, Baldwin.

8 lap Heat 1 � Keller; Christianson; Hallquist; Kisling; Erikson; Johnson; Karis.

Heat 2 � Thomas; Huse; Rhead; Stender; Forehand; Hazelton; Obermueller; Preston; Hillman.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

12 lap Feature � Mark Gerth, Menomonie; Shane Halopka, Eau Claire; Mark Thomas, Menomonie; Clark Swartz, Bloomer; Jim Bourn, Menomonie; Randy Smeltzer, Colfax; Jake Smith, Eau Claire; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Kevin Smeltzer, Menomonie; Mike Knudtson, Osseo; Tony Schill, Oakdale MN; Bob Wood, Chippewa Falls; Jason Swan, Chippewa Falls; Shawn Wehren, Oakdale MN; Wayne Bignell, Menomonie; Travis Hallquist, Eau Claire; Robbie Johnson, Wilson; Justin Supri, Eau Claire; Cooper Dohms, Menomonie.

8 lap Heat 1 � Gerth; Bourn; R. Smeltzer; Swartz; K. Smeltzer; Anderson; Knudtson; Schill; Hallquist; Swan.

Heat 2 � Halopka; Thomas; Supri; Smith; Johnson; Wood; Dohms; Wehren; Bignell.

10 lap Non Winners � Swan; Anderson; Smith; Johnson; R. Smeltzer; K. Smeltzer; Bignell.

Pure Stocks

10 lap Feature � Jordan Johnson, Augusta; Nick Field, Knapp; Nate Spence, Spring Valley; Chris Wert, Roberts; Luke Plank, Eau Claire; Tony Falkner, Menomonie; Kory Hathaway, Elmwood; Ron Hoffman, Ridgeland; Jason Williams, Baldwin; Rick Weir, Mondovi; Willy Hughes, Arkansas.

6 lap Heat 1 � Johnson; Field; Spence; Hoffman; Hathaway; Weir.

Heat 2 � Ashley Husby; Hughes; Plank ;Falkner; Wert; Williams
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