By: Paul Reichert July 17, 2020
It was a warm summer night at Tomah-Sparta Speedway, but that did not stop another fantastic crowd from turning out to witness more thrilling and exciting racing action. Another traveling series paid ‘Daytomah’ a visit as the Midwest Dash Series opened their 2020 season with the Greg Oliver Classic. Defending his home turf, Steven Rozek held off the best drivers in the Midwest Dash Series to score a huge home track win.
Heat winner Justin Pearson took the lead early in the going in the Midwest Dash Series feature. Pearson tried to open up his lead, but Steven Rozek and Patrick Thicke moved into second and third and started to close in on the leader. Rozek drove around Pearson on the outside take over the top spot on lap six. A lap later Thicke also used the outside lane to wrestle second away from Pearson. Rozek and Thicke would get into a side-by-side battle for several laps. Thicke would nose ahead of Rozek for the lead on lap ten, but Rozek would charge back into the lead a lap later. Rozek ended the duel with Thicke as he charged ahead of him just past halfway. Over the next several laps other drivers would join in the fray. Pete Doxey, Mark Dewey and Josh Rusch joined in and gave Rozek even more pressure to hold onto the lead. Rozek stuck to the inside lane and was working his tail off to fend off all the challengers behind him. Late in the going, Dewey motored his way past Thicke to take over second. With all the battling going on behind him, that allowed Rozek to open up his lead a little bit and drive away with the victory.
In the Coors Light Sportsmen feature, Troy Dobbratz took the lead right from the start. Dobbratz was doing all that he could to hold off both Mike Krueger, Jr. and Bill Schott. The yellow flag flew on lap five when Dobbratz and Schott tangled in turn one. Krueger, Jr. assumed the race lead off the restart. Krueger, Jr. would have his mirrors full of the blue 21 of Schott by lap seven. Schott would move to the outside of Krueger, Jr. to settle into the lead on lap ten. Schott slowly started to pull away from Krueger, Jr. over the final five laps and captured the checkered flag first.
Alex Rud started on the pole for the Hobby Stock feature and showed the way early on. Jason Bolster looked for an opening to get around Rud, but could not make the move to take over the lead. Matt Frye dove under Bolster on lap nine to take over the runner-up spot. Frye applied a lot of pressure on Rud for several laps. On lap 14, Frye got into Rud and spun him out. Frye stopped at the flag stand and tapped on his roof. Rud was given the lead back as a result, but he would have to contend with Bolster again on the restart. Rud held onto the inside line again to keep Bolster at bay and score his first ever feature win at ‘Daytomah’.
The Hornet feature saw ‘Big Jim’ Hendricks take the lead at the start. Point leader Shawn McCarthy tried to go three wide down the back straight on lap two, but there was not a big enough opening to do that. McCarthy and Bryan Wallace both tagged the outside wall and McCarthy ended up on the hood of Wallace’s car. Hendricks was working hard to hold on the lead with a large pack bearing down on him. The likes of Sammy Linnehan, Amelia Marshall, Scott Mahlum and Taylor Dawson were battling with each other while looking for an opportunity to get around Hendricks. Linnehan got under Hendricks down the back straight to take the race lead with four laps to go. Dawson was working the outside groove well as he got up to second with three laps to go. Dawson powered around Linnehan in turns three and four coming to the white flag to take the win and ring the Victory Bell in TACU Credit Union Victory Lane.
Tim Murphy, Sr. led the opening laps of the TACU Credit Union Six Shooter feature. Opening night feature winner Steve Mueller drove around Murphy, Sr. to move into the top spot on lap three. Dustin McCracken followed Mueller into second, then leapt past Mueller to become the new leader on lap four. While McCracken was pulling out to a big lead, the dynamic duo of Dan Frye and Matt Moore were calmly making their way through the field. Frye and Moore moved into second and third just past halfway, and set their sights on McCracken. By lap 11, the teammates caught McCracken. Try as they might, they could not find an opportunity to get around the leader. While Moore made a move on the outside to get around Frye for second on the final lap, McCracken held on to the top spot at the finish line to take the win.
Action continues next Friday, July 24 as the High School Racing Association returns to run their second ever race at Tomah-Sparta Speedway. They will join the Modifieds, Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, Hornets and Six Shooters. Gates open at 5:00, qualifying begins at 6:15 and racing action revs up at 7:30. For more information about the Tomah-Sparta Speedway or the 2020 schedule of events, please call the office at 608-461-1920 or visit our web site at tomahspartaspeedway.com.
Midwest Dash Series
Feature: 1. Steven Rozek, 2. Mark Dewey, 3. Patrick Thicke, 4. Pete Doxey, 5. Josh Rusch, 6. Justin Pearson, 7. Ashley Bell, 8. Shawn Grabinger, 9. Lyle Phillips
Heat #1: 1. Pearson, 2. Dewey, 3. Bell, 4. Grabinger
Heat #2: 1. Thicke, 2. Rusch, 3. Doxey, 4. S. Rozek, 5. Phillips
Qualifying: 1. Thicke, 2. Doxey, 3. S. Rozek, 4. Rusch, 5. Phillips, 6. Dewey, 7. Pearson, 8. Grabinger, 9. Bell
Coors Light Sportsmen
Feature: 1. Bill Schott, 2. Mike Krueger, Jr., 3. Troy Dobbratz Heat #1: 1. Dobbratz, 2. Krueger, Jr., 3. B. Schott Qualifying: 1. B. Schott, 2. Krueger, Jr., 3. Dobbratz
Feature: 1. Alex Rud, 2. Jason Bolster, 3. Nick Oxborough, 4. Joe Prusak, 5. Darin Patnode Heat #1: 1. Tom Quade, 2. Aaron Hendricks, 3. Patnode
Heat #2: 1. Prusak, 2. Matt Frye, 3. Oxborough
Qualifying: 1. Oxborough, 2. Patnode, 3. Frye
Feature: 1. Taylor Dawson, 2. Sammy Linnehan, 3. Amelia Marshall, 4. Scott Mahlum, 5. Chandler Turner
Heat #1: 1. Taylor McMullen, 2. James Hendricks, 3. Ryan Premo
Heat #2: 1. Marshall, 2. Paul Finch, 3. Turner
Heat #3: 1. Mahlum, 2. Dawson, 3. Shawn McCarthy
Qualifying: 1. McCarthy, 2. Turner, 3. Dawson
TACU Credit Union Six Shooters
Feature: 1. Dustin McCracken, 2. Matt Moore, 3. Dan Frye, 4. Tristan Drazkowski, 5. Ronnie Osborne Heat #1: 1. Traton Winecke, 2. Al Bartels, 3. Joshua Zacharias
Heat #2: 1. Sean Worman, 2. M. Moore, 3. T. Drazkowski
Heat #3: 1. Frye, 2. Stephen Hillary, 3. McCracken
Qualifying: 1. T. Drazkowski, 2. Hillary, 3. M. Moore