Bartz claims $1,000 after winning IMCA Modified

Frank, VanStraten, Sobiesczyk, Stueck also win
Joe Orsini
Special to NEW Media

Jordan Bartz, Todd Frank, Travis VanStraten, Tyler Sobiesczyk and Calvin Stueck earned feature wins on June 24 at Shawano Speedway.

The Late Models feature had, arguably, the hottest move of the night. Pole sitter Derek Janke led the opening lap but crossed the stripe almost even with fellow front row mate Joe Reuter. It didn’t look like either of those drivers was prepared for Frank to shoot between them into the lead coming out of turn two on the second lap.

A quick restart with three laps in had Frank lead Reuter, Janke and Andy Karl back to racing speeds. Karl took advantage of the restart to jump to third before his machine broke coming out of turn four before completing a lap.

Todd Frank still led at the halfway mark and proceeded to open up a straightaway advantage that would not be challenged over the remainder of the event. Reuter came home second, Tim Rothe third, Gunner Frank fourth and Janke fifth.

The IMCA Modifieds rolled out to do battle for a $1,000 top prize that would require a cool head in a hot helmet to claim.

Bartz utilized the momentum on the high side to grab the opening lap lead from her outside front row starting spot. With Bartz leading, Lucas Lamberies put on a show, moving from eighth to fourth by lap three and then to third by lap four.

Caution seven laps in slowed the pace and saw Bartz lead Marcus Yarie, Lamberies, Konnor Wilinski and Brekken Kleinschmidt back to green. As Yarie and Lamberies fell into a battle for second, Bartz looked to put some distance on the pair as they raced side by side. That breathing room was short-lived as Lamberies cleared Yarie on lap eight and put immediate pressure on Bartz.

Bartz did not wilt under fire and held on for the win. Lamberies crossed the line second, but failure to report for tech inspection resulted in a disqualification from the race. Yarie would officially be scored in second, Wilinski third, Mike Schmidt fourth and Jason Czarapata fifth.

The IMCA Stock Car division might boast the nickname “the class too tough to tame,” but VanStraten might prove to be the exception to that rule.

Jordan Barkholtz shot from the outside of the second row to lead the opening lap, but all eyes were on VanStraten as the veteran racer used the opening laps to move from 10th to third before caution flew with two laps complete.

The early restart had Barkholtz lead Mitch Stankowski, VanStraten, Shawn Wagner and Dan Michonski back to green. VanStraten utilized the restart to wrestle second away from Stankowski by lap five.

VanStraten worked past the leader, while Dylan Stedjee raced his way into third and Kyle Frederick ran the bottom line up to fourth.

A series of cautions kept the field close to VanStraten, with Stedjee and Frederick trading the second spot back and forth on dueling restarts. The final restart with five laps to go had Stedjee snatch away the second spot for good and put pressure on the outside of VanStraten, but laps ran out before Stedjee could mount a late charge.

VanStraten tamed the division for the fourth time in five weeks while Stedjee settled for second, Frederick third, Barkholtz fourth and Michonski fifth.

Sobiesczyk came into the night having won three in a row, a pedigree like that earns a driver the “hot shoe” moniker. The IMCA Northern Sport Mod A-main started with Sobiesczyk chasing four in a row, but the early excitement showed Forrest Kernen jump from the third row to lead the opening lap.

Behind Kernen, Travis Rhoades and pole sitter Steve Kloesterman fell into a door-to-door brawl for second. The towel was thrown in on that fight when caution flew with five laps completed. The scoring tower showed Kernen in the lead, followed closely by Rhoades, Kloesterman, Andy Klosterman and Max Oreskovich.

The ensuing restart saw trouble for Oreskovich as he pulled off on lap eight. Kernen, Andy Kloesterman and Sobiesczyk fell into a three-way battle for the top spot.

On lap 11, Sobiesczyk locked up second and by lap 15 he found fresh air at the front of the field. Sobiesczyk cruised to his fourth consecutive win, while Kernen was second, Andy Kloesterman third, Rhoades fourth and Logan Fleischman fifth.

Tanner Westphal started the Mighty 4 feature event looking to join VanStraten and Sobiesczyk with a fourth win early in the season.

Pole sitter Calvin Stueck looked up to the task of breaking that streak as he grabbed the lead on the opening lap with Westphal quickly moving to second. Meanwhile the show behind the leaders was heating up as Nathan Lisowe charged through the field into fourth by lap four after starting 12th on the grid.

While Lisowe ran through the field, Westphal closed on Calvin Stueck but was unable to make a pass as Stueck hung on for the win. Westphal was second, Jason Stueck third, Lisowe fourth and Dalton Nelson fifth.