AUSTIN EDITION Class point champions are crowned
Dahle finally wins Miners outdoor Open Modified championship
LANSING -- With the final three shows of the season at Chateau Raceway featuring special programs, Friday night was the last time for track points to be earned, and champions were crowned in all five classes.
There wasn't much anticipation as the championship in one of the classes was already wrapped up, and in three of the other four, it came down to the current points leaders just having to take the green flag in their features to assure them of a title.
The only class that there was a question in was the Miners Outdoor Open Modified Class where Jacob Dahle came into the night with a seven-point lead on Doug Hillson. Over the last six weeks, three of the drivers who were pacing the class missed shows which took them out of the running. This allowed Dahle and Hillson to move to the top of the list heading to the deciding night of action.
In the Classic Dwarf Class, Rick Utley had the best weekly average for the season, but he missed the second night of the season and that was the difference between being the track champion and finishing third.
Starting the parade of features was the Pure Stock main event. Craig Hansen took the track knowing he already had the championship in hand as he entered the night with an insurmountable 90-point lead. Hansen didn't let that stop him from taking his 10th feature win of the season.
The second feature to roll off was the Classic Dwarf where Tate Bestor needed just to take to the track to wrap up his first championship at Chateau. He was in the lineup to take the title and fortunately for him that's all he needed.
Just two laps into the race, Bestor developed mechanical problems and went to the pits finishing 12th in the 13-car event. Up front it was Curt Luhman who saved his best for last as he went from the third row to first on the opening lap and scored his first feature win of the season.
Next up were the Power 96 WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds with Kenny Wytaske in the position of needing just to come out to claim his third track championship. Wytaske was the champion in 1999 and 2000 when the track ran the WISSOTA Mod Four Class.
There was some question as to whether Wytaske would be there for the feature as he dropped out of his heat with smoke coming out from under the car. However, as the feature field rolled out he was there and Wytaske assured himself of another championship.
WISSOTA street stock driver Scott Olson needed to just make his appearance in the feature lineup to take his first track title. Olson lead the class much of the season and assured himself of the championship when he came out for the main event.
What the race lacked in numbers, with just eight cars at the starting line, it made up for in excitement. The field was never more than half a straight-away from each other, and the top five were constantly side-by-side. Mark Zvorak took advantage of a late caution and on the restart, jumped from fifth to second in one lap. He soon took over the lead and went on to win the feature.
That left just one more race to go, the Miners Outdoor Open Modified Feature, the only class with any kind of question as to who would be the track champion. The top two were separated by just eight points after the heat races with Dahle trying to hold off Hillson.
The caution-filled feature took its toll on Hillson as he stumbled in turn four bringing out a caution on lap 11 that left him in-and-out of the pits the rest of the night. This took Hillson taking out of contention and gave the title Dahle.
Next Friday starts the countdown of the final three shows of the season at Chateau Raceway with a Season Championship recognition night. The features will all be lined up on points with the five championships all starting on the pole.
Feature -- 1. Craig Hansen-Ellendale, 2. Brandon Skalicky-Claremont, 3. Ross Spitzer-Dodge Center, 4. Jesse Stahl-Austin, 5. Sue Stark-Austin, 6. Wayne Bellrichard-Albert Lea, 7. Daniel Klingfus-Rose Creek, 8. John Thissen-Sargeant, 9. Sammie Fromm-Owatonna. Heat -- 1. Stahl, Hansen, Bellrichard.
Feature -- 1. Curt Luhman-Rushford, 2. Rick Utley-Byron, 3. Corey Whalen-Harmony, 4. Kevin Bigalk-Austin, 5. Gavin Wangen-Harmony, 6. Drew Jech-Austin, 7. Dave Anderson-Lyle, 8. Jeremy Anderson-Faribault, 9. Ton Gandy-Faribault, 10. Bob Michaelis-Albert Lea. Heat 1 -- 1. Utley, 2. Whalen, 3. Tate Bestor-Harmony. Heat 2 -- 1. Luhman, 2. Wangen, 3. J.Anderson.
Feature -- 1. Jeff Brauer-Rochester, 2. Troy Dahle-Morristown, 3. Matt Larson-Owatonna, 4. Greg Erickson-Chatfield, 5. Dustin Steinbrink-Austin, 6. Troy Barth-Austin, 7. Tyron Friese-Zumbrota, 8. Jerry Young-Blooming Prairie, 9. Jeremy Misgen-Ellendale, 10. Kenny Wytaske-Lansing. Heat 1 -- 1. Larson, 2. Steinbrink, 3. Brauer. Heat 2 -- 1. Young, 2. Barth, 3. Chris Adams-Stacyville, IA.
Feature -- 1. Mark Zvorak-Blooming Prairie, 2. Tony Shaner-Owatonna, 3. Scott Olson-Rochester, 4. Dave Stevens-Albert Lea, 5. Jeff Nelson-Owatonna, 6. Matt Eustice-Hartland, 7. Dan Holland-Brownsdale, 8. Mitch Thompson-New Richland. Heat -- 1. Shaner, 2. Stevens, 3. Zvorak.
Feature -- 1. Jason Friesen-Sutton, Neb., 2. Mark Noble-Blooming Prairie, 3. Jacob Dahle-Morristown, 4. Tyler Clark-Rochester, 5. Larry Nelson-Hartland, 6. Doug Hillson-Blooming Prairie, 7. Greg Jensen-Albert Lea, 8. Alan Mondus-Lakeville, 9. Wally Bustad-Austin, 10. Steve Wetzstein-West Concord. Heat 1 -- 1. Darwyn Karau-Kasson, 2. Jensen, 3. Ben Rippentrop-Hayfield. Heat 2 -- 1. Friesen, 2. Dahle, 3. Josh Mattick-Lyle. Heat 3 -- 1. Noble, 2. Nelson, 3. Hillson.