AUSTIN EDITION Chateau fans turn out for Guttormson Memorial
LANSING -- Sunshine, mixed in with clouds and occasional light rain, had everybody guessing if the "8th Annual Mike Guttormson Memorial" would be run as scheduled at Chateau Raceway on Friday night.
Despite the questionable weather, the track was ready as fans and drivers filed in for the annual tribute to the former track champion, who died eight years ago from a heart attack shortly after winning what would be the final feature race of his career.
Guttormson, who also had a WISSOTA 100 Modified Feature win to his credit, raced from 1972 until his untimely death in 1997, rarely missing a night at the track he called, "Heaven." He is still listed third on the list of all-time feature wins at Chateau with 43.
Only Mark Wytaske with 47 and Kevin Stoa with 46 are shown ahead of him. That list is constantly being updated as work continues on a book for the track's 50-Year Anniversary which will list results and champions from the past. Guttormson is credited with three championships: 1976 Hobby Stock, 1987 IMCA Modified and 1991 WISSOTA Modified.
Todd Scharkey is one driver who has yet to win a track championship but is fast approaching that elite group with 40-plus feature wins. Last week, Scharkey scored his fourth feature win of the season to move him into a tie for sixth on that feature win list with his dad LeRoy. This week Todd surpassed his father with yet another feature win.
It was Scharkey's fifth "Guttormson Memorial" feature win and he claimed the $1,000 prize for the main event. Scharkey scored a sweep for the third week in a row as he also rode to victory in his heat race.
The Street Stock feature could very well have been the best race of the season for all classes. Two and even three-wide racing among the top five drivers kept the crowd on the edge of their seats for a caution-free main event. Jamie Johnson eventually took the win over Bobby Kilby. The two started together in row three and ran pretty much side-by-side the entire 15 laps.
The Midwest Modifieds also rolled off a caution-free race with Bryan Hernandez taking home the top prize for the second week in a row and the third time this season. Matt Larson held the early lead coming off the pole, but Hernandez, who started in row two, quickly reeled him in going to the front on lap four.
In the Classic Dwarf class, first time visitor Dave Marso of South Dakota became just the third different driver to take a feature win in the class. Marso jumped from row two to the front on the drop of the green and held off Drew Jech for the win. The Pure Stocks had their problems in the feature with enough cautions that the laps were cut.
Feature -- 1. Dave Stevens-Albert Lea, 2. Tom Kaiser-Waseca, 3. Greg Mattick-Austin, 4. Phillip Felt-Austin, 5. Jeremy Smalley-Austin, 6. Brandon Klemmensen-Owatonna, 7. Ryan Peterson-Austin, 8. Craig Hansen-Ellendale, 9. Rodd Wehr-Austin, 10. Ross Spitzer-Dodge Center. Heat 1 -- 1. Felt, 2. Mattick, 3. Chad Schutrop-New Richland. Heat 2 -- 1. Hansen, 2. Stevens, 3. Spitzer.
Feature -- 1. Dave Marso-Sioux Falls SD, 2. Drew Jech-Austin, 3. Tate Bestor-Harmony, 4. Jeff Jech-Austin, 5. Rick Utley-Byron, 6. Mike Gaines-Glenville, 7. Jeremy Wangen-Hayward, 8. Kevin Bigalk-Austin, 9. Jeremy Anderson-Faribault, 10. Joel Kath-Meriden. Heat 1 -- 1. Utley, 2. Gaines, 3. Corey Whalen-Harmony. Heat 2 -- 1. D.Jech, 2. J.Jech, 3. Bigalk.
Feature -- 1. Bryan Hernandez-Blooming Prairie, 2. Jason Cummins-New Richland, 3. Jerry Young-Blooming Prairie, 4. Matt Larson-Owatonna, 5. Greg Pfeifer Jr-Austin, 6. Jason Born-Medford, 7. Eric Condit-Austin, 8. Tyler Clark-Rochester, 9. Johnny Magnum-Woodbury, 10. John Schwering-Dodge Center. Consy -- 1. Greg Kral-Glenville, 2. Kenny Wytaske-Lansing, 3. Ben Rippentrop-Hayfield, 4. Troy Dahle-Morristown, 5. Chad Patterson-Richfield. Heat 1 -- 1. Condit, 2. Hernandez, 3. Magnum. Heat 2 -- 1. Clark, 2. Cummins, 3. Larry Nelson-Freeborn. Heat 3 -- 1. Ryan Weber-Ellendale, 2. Larson, 3. Born. Heat 4 -- 1. Schwering, 2. Young, 3. Pfeifer Jr.
Feature -- 1. Jamie Johnson-Austin, 2. Bobby Kilby-Austin, 3. Jason Augustin-Hollandale, 4. Tom McEldowney-Rochester, 5. Mitch Thompson-New Richland, 6. Steve Eischens-Taopi, 7. Scott Olson-Rochester, 8. Jeff Nelson-Owatonna, 9. Luke Stevens-Albert Lea, 10. Matt Eustice-Hartland. Heat 1 -- 1. Thompson, 2. Eischens, 3. Nelson. Heat 2 -- 1. Johnson, 2. Eustice, 3. Olson.
Feature -- 1. Todd Scharkey-Kasson, 2. Neil Eckhart-Rochester, 3. Brian Shaw-Brownsdale, 4. Bobby Sorensen-Rochester, 5. Matt Stark-Austin, 6. Doug Hillson-Blooming Prairie, 7. Mike Isder-Rochester, 8. Ronnie Ross-Brownsdale, 9. Darwyn Karau-Kasson, 10. Mike Mehling-Grand Meadow. Heat 1 -- 1. Scharkey, 2. Eckhart, 3. Albert Wytaske-Lansing. Heat 2 -- 1. Stark, 2. David Schuster-Waterville, 3. Hillson.