Pember shuts the door on Doar, wins $3,250
By Jason Feldman
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
SPRING VALLEY — Eric Pember is tough to track down when he starts on the pole.
Pat Doar nearly did it Saturday at Deer Creek Speedway, which didn’t come as a big surprise to Pember. Doar did sneak up on Pember, however, from a part of the track that Pember thought was clear.
"I saw Pat moving up on the scoreboard throughout the race," Pember said. "He usually likes to run up top, so I was surprised to see him racing hard on the bottom. I saw him get inside me on the last re-start so I knew I had to change my line."
The last re-start Pember mentioned came with eight laps to go in the 40-lap Wissota DART Late Model Challenge Series A Main. And Pember’s quick decision to change his line – blocking Doar from getting a good run out of the corners on the low side of the speedway – likely preserved his victory and the $3,250 winner’s check.
Pember started on the pole and burst out to a big lead on a quick track. He led by a full-straightaway less than 10 laps into the race, which saw the caution flag come out just three times. Doar cut Pember’s lead in half with about 10 laps to go, then gave him a battle over the final eight laps after the last caution flag of the night flew.
Doar was reeling in Pember so quickly that it was suggested the final yellow flag might have hurt Doar’s chances.
"I don’t know about that," he said. "I was getting pretty tired. I needed a minute to catch my breath."
The breather helped, as Doar and Pember raced side-by-side for three laps coming out of the caution. Doar eventually moved to the high side behind Pember, but ran out of time and space to attempt a pass.
"The car was tighter than it has been, but it came in really well at the end," Doar said. "It was a fun track – really fast for awhile, then it slowed down late in the race."
Lance Matthees of Winona was the top finisher among Deer Creek regulars, placing sixth.
- It has been a tough stretch over the past month or so for AJ Wiste of Adams. His tough luck continued on Sunday at Dodge County Speedway when he broke a transmission again in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds feature race.
However, Wiste was all smiles Saturday at Deer Creek, as he started fourth, took the lead five laps into the feature, then beat Bryan Hernandez to the checkers.
"Bryan was fast tonight. He’s been on a rail," Wiste said. "After the past two weeks, with breaking down, this is everything."
- Nate Wasmund put on the best show of the night in the USRA Modifieds feature. The Rochester driver bolted from ninth place into the top five in just two laps.
He passed Row 1 starter Jeff Schluetter with 10 laps to go, then opened up a half-straightaway lead as he cruised to his first-ever win at Deer Creek.
"It’s about time," he said. "We’ve been working hard. We’ve been close. It finally came together tonight."
- Cory Crapser of Eau Claire, Wis., won another Wissota Streets Stocks feature. It’s his fifth victory of the season at Deer Creek and 22nd of the year overall.
Crapser said he doesn’t think he’ll race enough to match or exceed his 45 feature wins of 2007, when he won the Wissota national championship.
- Cole Queensland of Grand Meadow had an impressive run in the Wissota Super Stocks feature. He started in 10th position in the 11-car race, but was into the top five after one lap. He passed Josh Anderson of New Brighton with eight laps to go, then pulled away for the win.
- Parker Hale (Adult Division), Jace Bunne (Juniors) and Jackson Hale (Pee-Wees) won Slingshot features.