By: Paul Reichert
May 26, 2023
On this Memorial Day weekend we salute our fallen veterans, the veterans of wars past and the current military personnel serving here and abroad. We also salute a veteran of racing for many years. Our very own Greg Oliver, the track promoter here at Tomah-Sparta Speedway. The Midwest Dash Series knows about the influence that Oliver has had for the seven years he was in charge of the series. Even though they are under new ownership, Oliver’s legacy is not forgotten when they visit annually for the running of the Godfather 30. Tim Anderson got the better of defending series champion Phil Malouf late in the running to claim his first series win of the year.
Before we could even get the Godfather 30 for the Midwest Dash Series started, we lost a number of lights on the front straight due to a blown fuse. Once we got the lights powered back up, the field took the green flag on their main event as Pete Doxey powered by Anna Price to take the early race lead. Marek Pankow and Tim Anderson tangled in turn three on lap six to bring out the yellow. The restart would give Phil Malouf the opening he needed to charge by Doxey for the number one position. Anderson recovered from going to the back and was running second at the mid-race point, but caught a huge break a few laps later. Price blew her engine on lap 18 and dropped fluid in turn one. She had a brief fire under the car, but it quickly was extinguished and Price was doing just fine. Anderson lined up alongside of the defending champion on the restart. They battled side-by-side for a few laps before Anderson surged ahead of Malouf and into the top spot with nine laps remaining. Anderson began to slowly edge away from the ‘king of the four-cylinders’ down the stretch to score a huge victory.
The Zoellick Home Repair and Log Staining Sportsmen feature had a stout field of competitors take the green flag as Terrence Robinson got around Troy Dobbratz for the race lead. Yellow flew on lap three when Daniel Frye and Dobbratz made contact coming out of turn two. The restart gave Andrew Borntrager the chance to challenge Robinson for the top spot. They ran neck-and-neck for several laps with Borntrager nosing ahead at the end of laps five through nine. With five laps left, Borntrager ran a little bit wide in turns one and two to put Robinson back in total command of the race. Now the other 15 car of Minnesota’s Michael Giloman was pressing Borntrager hard for the runner-up position. The opportunity for either 15 car to challenge Robinson for the win never happened as the Rockford veteran captured the division’s first feature checkered flag of the year.
The field may have been a bit smaller than usual for the Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stock feature, but there was still some great racing action. Seth Gnewikow powered by Landon Lockington to show the way at the start. Shelby Lockington needed just three laps to charge by her cousin to settle into second place. Lockington began to slowly reel in Gnewikow until she was right there on his tail at the halfway point of the race. While Lockington looked for a way around the Hobby Stock rookie, Gnewikow continued to maintain his line on the inside groove making Lockington way a little longer for that chance to pounce. Gnewikow has been on the fast track at ‘Daytomah’ going from the HSRA two years ago, to the Six Shooters last year and now in the Hobby Stocks. The hard work finally paid off as Gnewikow scored his first ever feature win at Tomah, and got to proudly ring the Victory Bell. That was just the start of the night of firsts for the Hobby Stocks as the heat race went to Gnewikow for his first ever race win, and Shelby set fast time for the first time in her career.
The Command Post Saloon Hornet feature had a slow start when Jim Hendricks, Sr. spun out in turn four on the first lap. On the complete restart newcomer Doyle Cavender charged into the top spot. Veteran Hornet competitor Dakota Clauson powered around Cavender for the race lead on lap three. Another veteran of the four-cylinder wars began to make his presence felt as Adam Hayden got around Cavender for second place on lap three. Hayden used the outside lane to catch and pass Clauson and take charge of the race on lap five. While Hayden was pulling away from the field, Clauson had his hands full with an angry swarm behind him that included Samantha Linnehan, Jamie Pearson and fast qualifier Paul Finch. Clauson fought all of them off valiantly to keep a tight hold on second, but Hayden was back in his hometown of Sparta with the checkered flag and the victory.
Zachary Morgan wasted little time in making quick work of Jon Beenken for the lead at the start of the TACU Credit Union 6 Shooter feature. Andrew Moore was making quicker work of the field as he disposed of several cars before catching and charging by Morgan for the lead position on lap two. Another driver that was making his way through traffic even quicker was Dustin McCracken. After starting shotgun on the field, McCracken shot past Morgan for second on lap three. McCracken needed only two laps more to drive around Moore to settle into his favorite spot, the lead. Not far behind McCracken was Mike Gratz. Last year’s “Captain Chaos” got around Moore to take over second, and began to close up the gap on McCracken. As they say, catching a driver is one thing, but passing a driver is another. Gratz tried with all of his determination to get by McCracken, but the Elroy native scored the feature win for the second straight week.
Action continues next Friday, June 2 as the high powered Late Models return for the first round of the 2nd Annual Late Model Triple Crown Series. The Hobby Stocks and Hornets will be a part of the show along with the first appearance this year of the High School Racing Association. We also celebrate Stacy Oliver’s birthday with giveaways throughout the night. Gates open at 5:00, qualifying fires up at 6:00 and the high octane racing roars to life at 7:30.
Call the track office at 608-461-1920, visit our web site at tomahspartaspeeway.com or check out the track’s Facebook page for more information about Tomah-Sparta Speedway and the 2023 schedule of events.
Midwest Dash Series
Godfather 30 (30 laps): 1. Tim Anderson, 2. Phil Malouf, 3. Dan Braun, 4. Marek Pankow, 5. Pete Doxey, 6. Anna Price, 7. Mark Dewey, 8. Caden Pankow
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Marek Pankow, 2. Pete Doxey, 3. Caden Pankow, 4. Anna Price, 5. Noah Pankow
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Tim Anderson, 2. Phil Malouf, 3. Dan Braun, 4. Mark Dewey
Qualifying: 1. Phil Malouf 17.467, 2. Dan Braun 17.549, 3. Tim Anderson 17.614, 4. Mark Dewey 17.742, 5. Marek Pankow 18.062, 6. Pete Doxey 18.242, 7. Anna Price 18.429, 8. Noah Pankow 18.572
Zoellick Home Repair and Log Staining Sportsmen
Feature (15 laps): 1. Terrence Robinson, 2. Andrew Borntrager, 3. Michael Giloman, 4. Mark Challet, 5. Scott Mahlum, 6. Troy Dobbratz, 7. Ken Donais, 8. Jason Backus, 9. Daniel Frye
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Troy Dobbratz, 2. Daniel Frye, 3. Scott Mahlum, 4. Ken Donais, 5. Alex Rud
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Terrence Robinson, 2. Andrew Borntrager, 3. Mark Challet, 4. Michael Giloman, 5. Jason Backus
Qualifying: 1. Jason Backus 16.354, 2. Michael Giloman 16.454, 3. Mark Challet 16.485, 4. Andrew Borntrager 16.573, 5. Terrence Robinson 16.706, 6. Daniel Frye 17.079, 7. Ken Donais 17.111, 8. Troy Dobbratz 17.291, 9. Scott Mahlum 17.620, 10. Alex Rud 17.683
Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stocks
Feature (15 laps): 1. Seth Gnewikow, 2. Shelby Lockington, 3. Landon Lockington, 4. Taylor McMullen
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Seth Gnewikow, 2. Shelby Lockington, 3. Landon Lockington, 4. Taylor McMullen
Qualifying: 1.Shelby Lockington 18.524, 2. Seth Gnewikow 18.561, 3. Taylor McMullen 19.384, 4. Landon Lockington 20.963
Command Post Saloon Hornets
Feature (15 laps): 1. Adam Hayden, 2. Dakota Clauson, 3. Samantha Linnehan, 4. Jamie Pearson, 5. Paul Finch, 6. Tristan Drazkowski, 7. Jordan Finch, 8. Shawn Breese, 9. Josh Schwartz, 10. Chris Kunk, 11. Doyle Cavender, 12. Jim Hendricks, Sr., 13. Tristan Finnegan
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. JIm Hendricks, Sr., 2. Shawn Breese, 3. Tristan Finnegan, 4. Jordan Finch, 5. Josh Schwartz, 6. Doyle Cavender, 7. Travis Atkinson
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Adam Hayden, 2. Tristan Drazkowski, 3. Jamie Pearson, 4. Samantha Linnehan, 5. Paul Finch, 6. Chris Kunk
Qualifying: 1. Paul Finch 18.428, 2. Samantha Linnehan 18.796, 3. Jamie Pearson 18.821, 4. Adam Hayden 18.823, 5. Tristan Drazkowski 18.858, 6. Chris Kunk 19.214, 7. Dakota Clauson 19.474, 8. Jordan Finch 19.590, 9. Tristan Finnegan 19.684, 10. Shawn Breese 19.864, 11. Jim Hendricks, Sr. 20.253, 12. Josh Schwartz 20.422, 13. Doyle Cavender 47.400, 14. Shawn McCarthy NO TIME
TACU Credit Union Six Shooters
Feature (15 laps): 1. Dustin McCracken, 2. Mike Gratz, 3. Andrew Moore, 4. Randy Komais, 5. Trenton Frye, 6. Greg Brown, 7. John Beenken, 8. Zachary Morgan, 9. Austyn Blank
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Zachary Morgan, 2. John Beenken, 3. Trenton Frye, 4. Randy Komais, 5. Austyn Blank
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Mike Gratz, 2. Dustin McCracken, 3. Andrew Moore, 4. Greg Brown
Qualifying: 1. Dustin McCracken 18.754 2. Mike Gratz 18.881, 3. Greg Brown 19.614, 4. Andrew Moore 19.700, 5. Austyn Blank 20.210, 6. Trenton Frye 20.280, 7. Randy Komais, 20.328, 8. John Beenken 20.451, 9. Zachary Morgan 20.755