Baldry Earns Bragging Rights at Marshfield Opener
The weather for the WIFC and Cancer Research season opener couldn’t have been better as the fans piled in to see the first races of the season.
Mark Eswein beat out 29 other Super Late Models for fast time. Shawn Stelzer broke the track record he set last year for the Super Stock division and was one race win short of a clean sweep. Johnny Bell with a clean sweep in the 4-Cylinder division and Josh Bell with quick time in the Cruiser division.
John Frazier took the lead of the Super Late Model semi-feature and never looked back. DuWayne Vetrone held the second spot, then Kevin Baldry, and last Eugene Gregorich held on for the finish. Both Frazier and Gregorich advanced to the feature event.
Just after the Super Late Model semi-feature, “Hot Rod” Rodney Feltz set up his stunt. The master of disaster set up a ramp, five cars door to door and a motorhome. Then with the same car he jumped over the pond and crushed a travel trailer with last year at the Eve of Destruction he readied for his next thrill. He made one lap around the track, drove onto the ramp, flew over the cars and through the motorhome landing on his roof. Rodney will be back to do more crazy stunts on May 18 and other dates throughout the season.
Sixteen cars took the green for the Super Late Model feature, four cars short, Judd Brandl, Paul Menard, Jim Sauter Jr., and Gary Back, were unable to run the feature event due to damaged machines from the heat races. Pete Kempf led the first two laps, Jay VanDerGeest the next one. Terry Baldry grabbed the lead on lap four. Behind him were VanDerGeest, Mark Eswein, M.G. Gajewski and Scott Broughton. The top five held their positions as Jeff Weinfurter worked his way through the field and was in sixth when the caution flew for rain.
Several laps were made and then the race resumed. When they chose their lanes to restart, no one took the outside until Weinfurter and he moved up three positions into third. Lap 14, Weinfurter was in second and ready to challenge Baldry for the lead. Weinfurter was unsuccessful in taking the lead from Baldry who took home the win and the $1,000 that went with it. Weinfurter finished second, Eswein third, VanDerGeest fourth and Rory Melbinger fifth.
In the CWSSA Super Stock feature, Matt Raykowski set the pace for the first four laps. Chad Scholl running second, Randy Emmerich third, Marv Flick fourth and Don Tieman Jr. fifth. Lap three Flick was up to second, fast timer Shawn Stelzer was in third already from his twelfth place start. Scholl was fourth and Tim Hintz fifth.
Stelzer proceeded to second and took the lead on lap five. Raykowski fell to second as Hintz and Merle Weinfurter worked their way to the top. By lap nine, lapped traffic came into play, but Stelzer stayed strong in the lead. Hintz second, Weinfurter, Raykowski and Simonis. Raykowski and Weinfurter battled for the third spot, but a spin on lap ten brought out the yellow.
When the choosing lanes, Raykowski stayed to the inside and Weinfurter went to the outside moving ahead of him. Stelzer led, Hintz second, Weinfurter, Simonis and Cale Laessig. Weinfurter and Hintz battled back and forth until the finish over second spot. In the end it was Stelzer with the win, Hintz, Weinfurter, Simonis, and Laessig.
Steve Hauser, Jason Feucht, Mike Merriam, Keith Wirtz and Kevin Teske were the top five on lap one of the 4-Cylinder feature. Ronnie Duncan moved into the fifth spot on lap two. Merriam passed Feucht and Hauser for the lead on lap three and Johnny Bell took fifth from Duncan. Bell passed Wirtz, Feucht and Hauser for second on lap four. Lap five, Bell took the lead, Merriam held onto second, Wirtz third, Feucht fourth and Hauser fifth.
Duncan reclaimed the fifth spot from Hauser on lap seven. Doug Adams quickly took fifth from Duncan only two laps later. On the last lap, Wirtz and Feucht both got by Merriam for second and third. Bell won, Wirtz, Feucht, Merriam, Doug Adams finishing out the top five.
The Cruiser feature was stopped due to rain after five laps were completed. The feature will be run Saturday April 20th along with another full program for the Cruisers that night. Starting positions for the make-up feature will be as they were running on lap five, Brendan Klueckman, Wayne Meyer, Greg Firkus, Josh Elmhorst, Darrell Paschel, Josh Bell, Travis Zvolena, Dewey Meyer, Nick Klimpke, Brent Bluzinski, Matt Nelles, Scott Havlicek.
Next Saturday’s events are sponsored by Weber Farms, Nasonville Dairy and WCCN “The Rock” 107.5FM. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m., qualifying at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30. Divisions racing are CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST & Coca-Cola CWSSA Super Stocks, Legends, Cruisers and Forward/Backward Racing. No Sunday raindate.