By: Paul Reichert May 29, 2020
With the coronavirus situation bringing our daily lives to a near standstill for the past two months, we have been waiting to enjoy our favorite forms of entertainment. Now that Wisconsin’s Safer-at-Home order has been lifted, we can slowly get back on the road to some sort of normal daily life. Racetracks are finally getting their seasons started, including Tomah-Sparta Speedway. One of the biggest crowds ever in Tomah-Sparta history came out in force to support their local short track and help get the 2020 racing season underway. There would be several new faces in action including drivers from other tracks yet to open, and a few of those new faces ended up in the TACU Credit Union Victory Lane.
Derrin Salo started on the pole in the Twisted Tea Modified feature and led the way early on. Rick DeVito and Nick Quinnell battled hard for second place, but they would soon be joined by defending track champion Brad ‘Wild Man’ Wildes. Coming from the back of the pack, Wildes drove by Quinnell for third on lap four and then disposed of DeVito for second on lap five. It only took Wildes two laps to whittle away at Salo’s advantage and put the heat on the 6 car for the lead. On lap eight, Wildes would work his way underneath Salo coming out of turn two and power by him for the lead down the back straight. As Wildes began to slowly open up his lead on the field, Quinnell started to challenge Salo for second. Quinnell would power around Salo on the outside for second place on lap 12. Wildes checked out on the field and drove away with the victory.
The Coors Light Sportsmen ran their feature with the Modifieds, and it was a battle of the rookie versus the veteran. Bill Schott, moving up from the Hobby Stocks for 2020, would have to contend with veteran racer Jason Backus for all 15 laps. Backus tried several times to look for an opening under Schott, but the door was shut by Schott each time. Backus even tried to get by Schott on the outside groove, but Backus could not complete the pass every time. Schott held on to capture his first Sportsmen win ever.
Elko Power Stocks regular Julie Jorgenson showed the way in the first six laps of the Hobby Stock feature. Raymond Hardy worked his way from the back of the pack to power around Jorgenson to become the new leader on lap seven. On the next lap, reigning track champion Andy Moore followed Hardy’s tire tracks and got a run under the 81 to take over the top spot. With three laps to go, the leaders encountered the slow car of rookie competitor Austin Stark. Hardy went low and Moore went high. Hardy would come out of it with the lead. That action also allowed Jorgenson and fellow Elko racer Nick Oxborough to catch the leaders. Moore got a run on Hardy down the back straight on the final lap and powered out of turn four with the lead and the win.