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Chris Burback Photo 2009
Chris Burback Photo 2009
June 30th 2009 - Mars Edges Redetzke in Red Cedar
"Firecracker 40"

By Ed Reichert
Menomonie WI, July 3 � Jimmy Mars took the lead just before the halfway point and then held off a late charge by Jake Redetzke to win the first annual �Firecracker 40� Friday night at the Red Cedar Speedway. In other feature race action, Paul Erikson, Mark Thomas and Nick Field were also division winners in the holiday program.

The first annual WISSOTA sanctioned event drew two dozen Late Models and after the draw/redraw was completed , it was Mike Prochnow and Mars that shared the front row for the fourty lap finale. The race got off to a slow start as two early yellow flags slowed the action. First, Bob Slater hammered the third turn wall on the first lap and then a three car spin in turn four again slowed the action.

The third attempt worked as Prochnow jumped into the early lead and put a few car lengths on Mars with Pat Doar slipping into third. Mars was not able to cut into Prochnow�s early lead as Mike was setting a torrid pace. In fact, Doar was also able to drop under Mars and take over the second spot. Cousins Chad and Cory Mahder were both on the move also as they worked into the top five.

Doar continued his strong run as he raced past Prochnow to take over the lead. Mars also began to pick up the pace and he got beside Prochnow in a race for the runner up slot. They ran side by side for several laps before Jimmy would prevail. Doar had a ten car length lead at this juncture but Mars then set about methodically cutting into Pat�s lead. Near the halfway point, Mars caught Doar just as the two leaders came up on three backmarkers. As both drivers probed for an opening, Jimmy found the break he needed on the low side and he drove past both Doar and the three lapped cars in one big move.

Once in front, Mars had to continue to work the traffic while farther back, Jake Redetzke was on the move after starting ninth on the grid. He slid into third ahead of Prochnow and began to edge closer to the leaders.

Lap twenty five found near disaster for Mars and Jon Henkemeyer made contact with Mars as Jimmy was lapping him. Henkemeyer slid to a halt in turn three and Mars suffered a hard hit to the left side of his car with some bent sheet metal.

Mars again pulled away on the green but Redetzke was the driver to watch at this point. He got past Doar for second but found himself a half a straightaway behind Mars. Chad Mahder raced into third as Prochnow started to fade back in the field.

Redetzke began to perceptibly cut into Mars� lead as Jimmy was suffering from a badly worn left rear tire as sheet metal from his earlier tangle was rubbing on the tire and Mars was forced to baby the car in the turns which resulted in him pushing up the track. Redetzke was on the charge and he continued to close at a dramatic rate on Mars. When the white flag waved, Redetzke was only a car length behind and as Mars again pushed up the track in turn four, Redetzke dove to the low side and they raced to the finish. Mars was able to fight off Redetzke as Jimmy held on to win by half a car length. Chad Mahder�s strong third place run was negated when he came up light at the scale, giving Doar the third spot with Cory Mahder and Ashley Anderson completing the top five.

Erikson earned his first ever feature win at Red Cedar when he won a tough battle in the Super Stock main event. Rick Hallquist had a strong early run as he and Tom Karis and Jason Forehand battled in the early going, several times going three wide around the track. Meanwhile, Erikson, Shawn Huse and Darrel Hazelton all worked their way into contention as a pack of about eight cars battled for the lead. It looked like Forehand was going to take over the top spot when suddenly Erikson found an opening low on the track and he powered into the lead coming off turn two.

Once in front, Erikson really stepped away from the field as he built up a ten car length lead while the battle continued behind him. At the line, Forehand completed a strong run for second as he held off the rim riding Huse. Karis and Joe Rhead also has solid efforts to complete the top five.

Thomas scored a thrilling come from behind win in the Midwest Modified main event. This race was slowed by several early yellow flags but when things finally settled down, it was Kyle Johnson and Jesse Glenz battling for the lead as Jim Bourn, Shane Halopka and Thomas worked their way to the front. Halopka was most successful at getting through the traffic and he became the primary challenger to the leaders. However, he got together with Johnson and Bourn as they battled , triggering another yellow flag. Bourn was sent to the back for the restart and back under green, Halopka moved past Johnson to take over the lead. Meanwhile, Thomas continued to advance and he brought Mark Gerth along with him.

A spin by Gary Sorenson slowed the field once again and on the green, Thomas made a bold move on the high side which surprised Halopka and Mark was able to move into the lead. This triggered a race long battle as Thomas continued to ride the cushion with Halopka looking under him on each corner. Lap after lap, Shane would dive to the low side but Mark continued to beat him off the corners and hold on to the lead. Shane took one last shot on the final lap, but Thomas was smooth as he drove on for his second win of the year here. Gerth settled for a strong third with Johnson having a great run for fourth ahead of Justin Supri.

George Richards crossed the line first in the Pure Stock feature but that didn�t necessarily mean he really was the winner. After Willy Hughes and Nick Field battled in the early going, Field was able to take over the lead. However, Richards , who started eighth on the grid and actually slid back farther than that before he picked up the pace, was able to drive past Field for the lead.

As they battled behind him, George appeared to have driven home for his third win of the year. However, Richards was docked two spots for jumping the original start, and since Pure Stock rules dictate that penalties can only be enforced at the pay window and not during yellow flag periods, Richards was set back to third on the official finish. Field was awarded the win, his fifth of the year here with Chris Wert being scored second. Tony Falkner and Luke Plank completed the top five.

Regular five class racing resumes next Friday night at 7 p.m. as the Modifieds return to the program. It will be Sailers Meat Market night at the track and the special event will be a Media race with many local personalities from radio and TV on hand to compete.

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