BERNHAGEN IS THE STAR OF THE RETURN OF THE LATE MODELS TO TOMAH

By:  Paul Reichert
June 3, 2022

As we approach the summer season and get deeper into it, the racing action starts to heat up as well as Tomah-Sparta Speedway.   We have not seen Late Models in action at ‘Daytomah’ in five years, but one of the top divisions at tracks across the Midwest made their triumphant return to a very challenging track.  The inaugural running of the Late Model Triple Crown Series took place as these high powered race machines put on an amazing show for a new generation of race fans.  Two-time Dells track champion Jesse Bernhagen proved why he is one of the top Late Model competitors as he got the better of some of the best Late Model racers to claim the victory.

Madison area racer Brady Liddle shot by Andy Buhrow to take the lead at the start of the 30 lap Late Model Triple Crown feature.  Mahlon Borntrager was challenging for Liddle for the lead on lap five but may have raced a little too hard going for the top spot.  Borntrager made contact with Liddle, spun him out in turn three and also spun out himself.  Thayrin Rezin was very lucky to squeeze in between both of them and continue on.  Borntrager tapped the roof of his car and admitted fault for the incident.  That would put Liddle back in the lead on restart.  Liddle would have a ton of pressure coming from Jesse Bernhagen once the race resumed.  Bernhagen moved to the outside lane to power his way around Liddle to take command of the race on lap eight.  Borntrager and Rezin were on the comeback trail as they bounced Liddle out of the top three just past the halfway mark.  Bernhagen had his hands full with the train of Borntrager, Rezin and Liddle looking for a way around him over the final 11 laps.  Bernhagen was able to keep his competition in the rear view as he captured his checkered flag at Tomah since winning a CWRA feature back in 2018.

In the Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stock feature, it would be rookie contender Grant Witcraft taking the early lead from Landon Lockington.  Mike Krueger, Jr. was the first contender on the move through the field as he powered past Shelby Lockington for second on lap two.  Krueger, Jr. would catch up to and drive by Witcraft to assume command of the race on lap four.  A lap later Andy Moore would follow suit and wrestle second away from Witcraft.  Moore tried to find a way around Krueger, Jr. to become the king of the mountain but could not get close enough for that opportunity.  Late in the race Charles Vian, Jr. caught up to Moore to challenge him for the runner-up spot.  Vian, Jr. made contact with Moore on the final lap but Moore held onto the spot as he turned into a drift racer in turns three and four.  Krueger, Jr. kept his focus on the lead and wound up in TACU Credit Union Victory Lane.

Tristan Drazkowski went from third to take the lead at the start of the Command Post Saloon Hornet feature.  Matthew Heim tried to challenge Drazkowski for the lead but was not able to keep up with the Winona, MN racer.  Bryan Wallace got around Heim for second on lap five but even he was not able to match the pace being set by Drazkowski.  Jamie Pearson cracked the top three on lap nine as he drove around Heim.  The lapped car of Travis Atkinson spun out in turn one and sat sideways on the track to bring out a late race caution period.  The first four cars choose the inside lane on the double up and that would be a golden gift for Shawn McCarthy.  McCarthy was the first car to go to the outside lane for the restart and wasted little time to dispose of Drazkowski for the race lead.  The drivers behind McCarthy followed him but had no time to challenge the 2020 track champion as McCarthy scored his first victory of the year.

The High School Racing Association made their 2022 debut at Tomah with Charlie Thompson taking the lead at the start of the feature.  The yellow flag flew on lap five when Dawsynn Frye and Ryatt Dobbratz made contact in turn four and spun out.  Mitchell Berg lined up alongside Thompson for the restart as the Tomah champion and regional champion shot past Thompson to move into the top spot.  Berg began to slowly open up a lead on the field, but Frye was on the rebound as his was making his way through traffic.  Frye would move to the high side on lap 11 and get around Thompson to claim the runner-up spot.  Frye did everything he could to catch Berg for the lead and the win down the stretch.  Berg’s lead was too much for Frye to overcome as Berg got to the ring the Victory Bell at the end of the race.

Carina Hellickson and Shelly White battled door handle to door handle for two-thirds of the Soccer Moms feature.  Hellickson got a run in turn two with three laps to go to power away from White and capture her fifth consecutive checkered flag.

Action continues next Friday, June 10 with the old school big block modifieds from the Vintage Modified Stock Car Club of Milwaukee traveling from the shores of Lake Michigan to near the shores of the mighty Mississippi River.  These race cars were prominent in the 1960’s on the dirt tracks in southern Wisconsin.  The modern day Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Hornets, Six Shooters and the Tag Team Chaos Race will be a part of the show as well, plus the kids will get to ride in an actual race car after qualifying takes place.  Gates open at 5, qualifying starts at 6:15 and the furious green flag racing action takes off at 7:30.  

Call the track office at 608-461-1920, visit our web site at tomahspartaspeedway.com or check out the track’s Facebook page for more information about Tomah-Sparta Speedway and the 2022 schedule of events.

RESULTS
Late Model Triple Crown Series Round 1
Feature (30 laps):  1. Jesse Bernhagen, 2. Mahlon Borntrager, 3. Thayrin Rezin, 4. Brady Liddle, 5. Andy Buhrow, 6. Ken Donais
Heat #1 (10 laps):  1. Mahlon Borntrager, 2. Jesse Bernhagen, 3. Thayrin Rezin, 4. Andy Burhow, 5. Brady Liddle, 6. Ken Donais
Qualifying:  1. Jesse Bernhagen 15.649, 2. Thayin Rezin 15.674, 3. Mahlon Borntrager 15.678, 4. Brady Liddle 16.174, 5. Andy Burhow 16.487, 6. Ken Donais 16.838

Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stocks
Feature (15 laps):  1. Mike Krueger, Jr., 2. Andy Moore, 3. Shelby Lockington, 4. Grant Witcraft, 5. Landon Lockington, 6. John Grosskopf, 7. Charles Vian, Jr. (DQ)
Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Andy Moore, 2. Mike Krueger, Jr., 3. John Grosskopf, 3. Charles Vian, Jr., 5. Grant Witcraft, 6. Landon Lockington, 7. Shelby Lockington
Qualifying:  1. Andy Moore 17.594, 2. Mike Krueger, Jr. 17.729, 3. Charles Vian, Jr. 17.961, 4. Shelby Lockington 19.039, 5. John Grosskopf 19.239, 6. Landon Lockington 16.367, 7. Grant Witcraft 19.379

Command Post Saloon Hornets
Feature (15 laps):  1. Shawn McCarthy, 2. Mason Morphey, 3. Bryan Wallace, 4. Tristan Drazkowski, 5. Jamie Pearson, 6. Lester Stanfield, 7. Sammy Linnehan, 8. Paul Finch, 9. Matthew Heim, 10. Rob Stanfield, 11. Tristan Finnegan, 12. Josh Schaller, 13. Andrew Lamb, 14. Travis Atkinson, 15. Shawn Breese, 16. Matt Drazkowski, 17. Doyle Cavender, 18. Tyler Sauter (DQ)
Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Rob Stanfield, 2. Travis Atkinson, 3. Matthew Heim, 4. Tristan Drazkowski, 5. Andrew Lamb, 6. Matt Drazkowski, 7. Tristan Finnegan, 8. Doyle Cavender, 9. Shawn Breese
Heat #2 (8 laps):  1. Bryan Wallace, 2. Shawn McCarthy, 3. Lester Stanfield, 4. Sammy Linnehan, 5. Mason Morphey, 6. Josh Schaller, 7. Tyler Sauter, 8. Paul Finch, 9. Jamie Pearson
Qualifying:  1. Mason Morphey 18.454, 2. Paul Finch 16.580, 3. Lester Stanfield 18.635, 4. Josh Schaller 18.760, 5. Tyler Sauter 18.762, 6. Jamie Pearson 18.846, 7. Shawn McCarthy 18.848, 8. Sammy Linnehan 18.983, 9. Bryan Wallace 19.054, 10. Tristan Drazkowski 19.314, 11. 11. Matthew Heim 19.367, 12. Travis Atkinson 19.592, 13. Tirstan Finnegan 19.720, 14. Rob Stanfield 19.837, 15. Andrew Lamb 20.369, 16. Matt Drazkowski 20.763, 17. Shawn Breese 21.258, 18. Doyle Cavender 23.721 

High School Racing Association
Feature (15 laps):  1. Mitchell Berg, 2. Dawsynn Frye, 3. Charlie Thompson, 4. Braydon Lockington, 5. Trenton Frye, 6. Ashton Kinsey, 7. Curtis Hellickson, 8. Seth Gnewikow, 9. Trinity Aasen, 10. Kennedy Krueger, 11. Logan Backus, 12. Ryatt Dobbratz, 13. McKenna Rudolph
Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Charlie Thompson, 2. McKenna Rudolph, 3. Kennedy Krueger, 4. Ryatt Dobbratz, 5. Logan Backus, 6. Trinity Aasen
Heat #2 (8 laps):  1. Curtis Hellickson, 2. Mitchell Berg, 3. Dawsynn Frye, 4. Braydon Lockington, 5. Trenton Frye, 6. Ashton Kinsey 
Qualifying:  1. Dawsynn Frye 19.616, 2. Ashton Kinsey 19.629, 3. Mitchell Berg 20.057, 4. Braydon Lockington 20.187, 5. Curtis Hellickson 20.278, 6. Trenton Frye 20.663, 7. McKenna Rudolph 21.081, 8. Kennedy Krueger 21.226, 9. Charlie Thompson 21.372, 10. Ryatt Dobbratz 21.437, 11. Trinity Aasen 22.043, 12. Logan Backus 23.931

Soccer Moms
Feature (10 laps):  1. Carina Hellickson, 2. Shelly White