By: Paul Reichert
July 5, 2019
Another warm summer night welcomed race fans back to Tomah-Sparta Speedway for another action packed night of racing, along with the $5 admission. It was ‘old school’ night also as the Upper Midwest Vintage Racing Series made their annual appearance, and their feature event took us back in time to the early years of ‘Daytomah’.
Tom Haffer’s 1973 Chevelle surged to the lead at the start of the Upper Midwest Vintage Racing Series feature. A lap later, Burton Brown’s 1967 Chevelle charged into the top spot. On the move to the front were the Cottones, Greg in his 1968 Chevelle and Ralph in his 1970 Nova. Greg took over second after he and Haffer made contact in turn two. Yellow flew on lap eight for a spin by Dale Herring and his 1985 Camaro. Greg Cottone was in hot pursuit of Brown on the restart, making a few attempts to drive around Brown on the outside. Brown would hold onto the top spot. Ralph Cottone drove by Haffer for third on lap 12. Yellow flew again with two laps to go for a spin by the 1969 Torino of Paul Dolphy. On the restart, Greg Cottone ran wide in turns one and two due to brake issues. That allowed both Ralph Cottone and Haffer to move up to second and third. Brown would not be challenged over the two lap shootout to score the victory.
Lonnie Wood, Sr. lead the first two laps of the Sportsmen feature. Mahlon Borntrager made contact with Troy Dobbratz trying to get to the front on lap two. Borntrager carried his own nearly sheered off rear bumper and Dobbratz’s front nose the rest of the race. Borntrager grabbed the lead on lap three, and the bumpers were not slowing him down. Jake Schiller and David Borntrager got up to second and third by lap six. David Borntrager tried several times to get around Schiller, but Schiller held the perferred inside line and would maintain the runner-up spot. Mahlon Borntrager would drive away from the field and score his first win of the year.
In the Hobby Stock feature, Alex Rud would lead the first two circuits. Reigning Hobby Stock champion Jeffrey Lafave, Jr. made his first appearance of 2019 and took over the race lead on lap three. On lap four, current point leader Andy Moore would charge by Lafave, Jr. on the outside and assume command of the race. Raymond Hardy caught the lead pair of drivers, but was unable to complete several attempts to get around Lafave. Moore once again was no match for the field as he scored yet another clean sweep and his sixth feature win.
James Rittenhouse took the lead at the start of the Hornet feature. Rittenhouse tried to pull away from the field, but yellow flew on lap five for a spin by last week’s feature winner Jazelynn Myer. Making his way to the front was Mark Luethe, also making his first visit to Tomah-Sparta this year. Luethe would get around Rittenhouse at the halfway point of the feature. Luethe would keep a fair advantage over Rittenhouse the rest of the way to capture the checkered flag first.
A little checking up caused a stack up of the field at the start of the TACU Six Shooters feature, but somehow everybody was able to continue. Tory Lockington was the leader of the pack for the first two laps before season long point leader Tristan Drazkowski motored by Lockington for the lead on lap three. While the heavy hitters was still trying to make their way through traffic, Clayton Haessig got around Lockington for second on lap seven. Haessig would close up on Drazkowski over the next few laps, and would drive by Draz Jr. for the lead on lap 11. About that time, Dan Frye would finally made it up to third. Frye would not catch up to the lead duo over the final five laps as Haessig would score his first ever feature win at Tomah-Sparta.
Defending Mini Stock champ Patrick Thicke took the lead at the start of Mini Stock feature. Pursing Thicke for much of the race was Tim Finstad. Finstad would be within two car lengths of Thicke for several laps. Late in the going, it seemed like Thicke ‘turned on the jets’ to slowly pull away fron Finstad and wind up in TACU Victory Lane.
Action continues next Friday, July 12 with the Modifieds, Sportsmen, Hornets, Six Shooters and Mini Stocks. The Wisconsin Fastrac Legends and Wisconsin Mighty Bandos Traveling Series will made their first appearance of the season as well. Gates open at 4:00, qualifying starts at 6:15 and racing begins at 7:30.
For more information about Tomah-Sparta Speedway or the 2019 schedule of events, please call the office at 608-461-1920 or visit tomahspartaspeedway.com.
Upper Midwest Vintage Racing Series
Feature: 1. Burton Brown; 2. Ralph Cottone, 3. Tom Haffer, 4. Greg Cottone, 5. Justin Jessop, 6. Brian Lee; 7. Adam Burrows, 8. Todd Korish; 9. Chris Poff, 10. Pat Echlin, 11. Paul Dolphy, 12. Dale Herring, 13. Terry Firkus
Heat 1: 1. Brown, 2. R. Cottone, 3. Burrows, 4. Haffer, 5. Dolphy, 6. Poff
Heat 2: 1. Jessop, 2. G. Cottone, 3. Echlin, 4. Firkus, 5. Lee, 6. Korish, 7. Herring
Feature: 1. Mahlon Borntrager, 2. Jake Schiller, 3. David Borntrager, 4. Mark Challet, 5. Lonnie Wood, Sr.
Heat: 1. Schiller, 2. D. Borntrager, 3. M. Borntrager
Qualifying: 1. D. Brontrager, 2. M. Borntrager, 3. Schiller
Feature: 1. Andy Moore, 2. Jeffrey Lafave, Jr., 3. Raymond Hardy, 4. Alex Rud, 5. Brandon Gallagher
Heat: 1. A. Moore, 2. Lafave, Jr., 3. Hardy
Qualifying: 1. A. Moore, 2. Hardy, 3., Lafave, Jr.
Feature: 1. Mark Luethe, 2. James Rittenhouse, 3. Ben Thurk, 4. Alec DeVito, 5. Jazelynn Myer
Heat 1: 1. Jordan Finch, 2. DeVtio, 3. Ronnie Foster
Heat 2: 1. Myer, 2., Luethe, 3. Rittenhouse
Qualifying: 1. Luethe, 2. Myer, 3. Thurk
TACU Six Shooters
Feature: 1. Clayton Haessig, 2. Tristan Drazkowski, 3. Dan Frye, 4. Al Bartels, 5. Tim Murphy
Heat 1: 1. Drazkowski, 2. Cameron Riggs, 3. Alex Liebsch
Heat 2: 1. Matt Moore, 2. Frye, 3. Jestin Delap, Sr.
Qualifying: 1. Frye, 2. Haessig, 3. M. Moore
Feature: 1. Patrick Thicke, 2. Tim Finstad, 3. Hunter Miller, 4. Paul Finch
Heat: 1. Finstad, 2. Thicke, 3. P. Finch
Qualifying: 1. Thicke, 2. Finstad, 3. Miller