By: Paul Reichert
January 1, 2023
While winter gave us in western Wisconsin a storm that meant business right before the Christmas holiday, lots of cold and snowstorms will be bearing down on us in the coming weeks. The 2023 racing season is still four months away, but the Impact Survival Series brought their early gift of racing back to Tomah- Sparta Speedway. The third ‘Daytomah’ running of the Chill Chaser Enduro brought out another hearty bunch of drivers and fans despite a heat wave with temperatures pushing 40. Adam Moore and Kyle Stark dominated much of the race until Moore pushed things a little too far with 30 laps to go. Despite struggling with his race car in the late going, Stark was able to hold off both Adam Hayden and Scott Blanke on the final lap to capture the big payday and his first Chill Chaser Enduro victory.
A very competitive field of 63 drivers took the green flag on what would be a very interesting 200 lap journey in the Chill Chaser Enduro. Right from the start there would be a lot of close calls and heart stopping moments on and off the track. On the very first lap Shawn Morris took a bit of an off-track excursion in turns one and two through the snow. The cars of Willie Watts and Brandon Schirpke stalled on the back straight to bring out the first red flag on lap eight. Red quickly returned on lap ten for Tommie Tesch’s stalled car on the front straight. Griffin Guetschow spun in turn one on lap 17 in heavy traffic and collected four other drivers. Luckily everyone was able to continue on their merry way. Dave Beyer spun into the snowbank off of turn two on lap 27, then took a snowy excursion through the infield. He rejoined the race after plowing through a big pile of snow to the left of TACU Victory Lane. Veteran dirt racer Dustin Wudstruck’s car caught on fire to bring out another red flag on lap 35. Lap 37 saw Tomah regular Davey Pennel go on a wild and scary ride. Pennel had no brakes and could not slow down entering turn one. Pennel became Joey Chitwood as he ran over the snowbank and went on a wild flip. Thankfully Pennel got out of his destroyed race car without a scratch. At the same time two-time and defending ISS champion Justin Schelitzche did not get his title defense off to a great start. Schelitzche tangled with another car and ended up teetering on the front straight snowball. Beyer’s struggles continued as he lost a rear wheel on lap 48. The wheel was hit by another car and landed in the trees near the scoreboard outside of turn two to cause another red flag. Matt Moore tried to go four wide down the front straight on lap 58, but ran into the stalled car of James Junget. Moore tried to get his car to the pits but it stalled at the pit entrance to cause the red to fly once again. Adam Moore was on Kyle Stark’s heels when that red flag flew, but on the restart Moore charged his way past Stark to take over the lead. That moment began a long back and forth fight over the top spot between these two racers that lasted over 100 laps.
Josh Finn lost control of his race car and dove head on into the turn four snowbank on lap 94 to cause another red flag. While the field was getting strung out more as we lost racers, the action was still very close. The engine in Scott Gardner’s race car gave up the ghost in turn four on lap 133, but he was able to get back to the pits. Two-time Tomah Sportsmen champ Dan Frye got stuck in the back straight snowbank to bring out another red flag on lap 135. After we entered the last 50 laps of the race, things got heated between Adam Moore and Kyle Stark as they touched in turn two on lap 159. A lap later Stark made contact with the lapped car of Rob Thomson as Stark tried to power by him. As he tried to open some distance on Stark, Moore tried to squeeze in between lapped cars with 30 laps remaining to make a daring three wide pass. That move would cost Moore the lead and five laps as he suffered a flat right front tire. Stark would settle into the top spot, but things would not be all rosy for the top four cylinder race in Wisconsin. Stark began to struggle with the performance of his race car, and that would allow both Adam Hayden and Scott Blanke to slowly close up the gap on the leader. The hood on Rachel Czerapata’s car flew up with eight laps to go, but she was able to get to the pits and put the hood back in place to finish the race. Hayden and Blanke were still in a very hard fought battle over the runner-up spot, and with five laps left both drivers had Stark in their sights as the battle got a lot more intense with the win at stake. The trio were running right together when the white flag was displayed. Blanke tried to dive very low on Hayden, but the two of them made contact in turn four. Stark quickly got away from them to score a big $3,150 payday and win the Chill Chaser Enduro. Stark redeemed himself for letting the win in the Chill Chaser Enduro two years ago slip out of his grasp on the final lap. Hayden pulled ahead of Blanke to hold onto second place.
After taking a short break, the drivers of the Impact Survival Series will be looking for the next pot of gold at the next stop on their racing rainbow. That next pot of gold can be found at the Lucky Leprechaun 300 Enduro at Golden Sands Speedway near Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, March 18. The full 2023 schedule was announced prior to the Chill Chaser, and you can find it on the iraceiss.com website. You can also find the rules for building your ISS race car, as well as the registration form to compete in future enduros. Call the series office at 920-755-2582 for more information, or like the ISS Facebook page for the latest news and the live streamed lineup draws for each enduro.
Tomah-Sparta Speedway announced their 2023 season schedule recently, which will kick into high gear on Friday, May 5. Modifieds, Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, Hornets and Street Stocks will be racing weekly throughout the season. Hobbyfest IV, the 9th Annual Tim Myer Memorial, the 2nd Annual Late Model Triple Crown and the 2nd running of the Big 8 Firecracker 58 are among the highlights of the season to come. Call the track office at 608-461-1920, visit tomahspartaspeedway.com for the full schedule and the division rules, or like the track’s Facebook page for the latest news and information on the 2023 racing season.
Impact Survival Series Chill Chaser Enduro (200 Laps): 1. Kyle Stark 200, 2. Adam Hayden 200, 3. Scott Blanke 200, 4. Mike Krueger 198, 5. Craig Krueser 198, 6. Adam Moore 196, 7. Lee Beyer 196, 8. Terry Biddick 196, 9. Karter Stark 195, 10. Elliott Reid 195, 11. Jerry Bowen 194, 12. Thomas Schulte 192, 13. Jeremy Czerapata 190, 14. Autumn Gill 190, 15. Tanner Chadderdon 189, 16. Jesse Fischer 186, 17. Eric Johnson 186, 18. Todd Tachney 185, 19. Sean Eurick 183, 20. Scott Riedner 181, 21. Zach Liebsch 179, 22. Isaac Bray 170, 23. Brendan Zaker 167, 24. Jordan Fickel 160, 25. Rob Thomsen 160, 26. Caden Pankow 169, 27. Rachel Czerapata 145, 28. Justin Fickel 142, 29. Frank Calabrase 130, 30. Josh Klopotek 121, 31. Dan Frye 120, 32. Scott Gardner 118, 33. Jason White 117, 34. Jeff Von Ruden 96, 35. Clint Hagstrom 91, 36. Josh Finn 90, 37. Blake Von Ruden 85, 38. Joseph Grams 81, 39. Austin Pingel 79, 40. Phil Brown 71, 41. Jeff Chadwick 71, 42. Shawn Morris 68, 43. Joe Kain 59, 44. Matt Moore 58, 45. Dave Beyer 54, 46. Luke Geisler 53, 47. Michael Bauer 42, 48. Jason Berke 41, 49. Davey Pennel 35, 50. Justin Schelitzche 35, 51. Jason Stark 35, 52. Jason Wanta 35, 53. James Junget 33, 54. Dustin Wudstruck 31, 55. Jessaaron Bauer 28. 56. Griffin Guetschow 27, 57. Troy Tuma 15, 58. Bobby Frisch 7, 59. Willie Watts 6, 60. Tommie Tesch 6, 61. Branden Schripke 45, 62. Matt Selle 0, 63. Scott Barless -2