By: Paul Reichert
January 1, 2021
Winter has finally arrived in western Wisconsin with a few days old fresh blanket of snow and chilly temperatures. We all managed to survive 2020 after our normal daily lives got thrown into chaos, and now we get to hit reset and start fresh as we welcome 2021. Tomah-Sparta Speedway got an early start on the 2021 racing season with what could be a new tradition. The Impact Survival Series raced for the first time in western Wisconsin as they brought their annual opening event of the season, the Chill Chaser Enduro, to our neck of the woods. There was action right from the drop of the green flag, including an unexpected ending to the race. Leader Kyle Stark ran wide in turn two on the final lap of the race, and that allowed Todd Tacheny to surge past Stark to capture the win and pocket a cool $5,000 for his efforts.
The excitement started as the green flag waved with drivers sliding and tippy toeing their way through turns one and two. On lap six Trevor Cronick and Jordan Howell got tangled up on front straight. Fortunately, they were able to continue on. Tommy Plach and Justin Schelitzche also got entwined with each other on lap 12, but both managed to motor away. Luke Geisler had issues with his car on lap 18, and Davey Pennel tried to avoid him but got into the snow on the back straight. Pennel would eventually get out of the snow after a few laps of going back and forth. Shawn Morris, Zachary Furbur and Josh Klopotek brought out the red flag on lap 24 when they all got crossed up on the back straight. Flat tires were a common problem during the race with the occasional lost wheel. The later happened to Henry Neerdaels in turn two on lap 41 to bring out another red flag. ‘Daytomah 200’ enduro winner Troy Tuma got turned in turn four on lap 50 and caused a major pileup. Miraculously all the drivers were able to drive away, including Tuma. While running second on lap 60, Kyle Stark suffered a flat tire. After pitting, Stark returned to the race two laps down in 22nd place. Tomah Hobby Stock champ Alex Rud got turned in turn four on lap 62. He was unable to start his car and it lead to another red flag. Chris Boykins bounced off the back straight wall on lap 85, but thanks to the snow along the wall was able to drive on. Dave Beyer took the lead on lap 57, but then encounter an issue with his car on lap 99. The leader as the crossed flags were displayed was two-time Tomah Six Shooter champ Dan Frye.
With his years of racing experience at Tomah, Frye opened up his advantage on the field as the laps clicked off. Mike Heidmann ran wide in turn two on lap 111 and hit the outside wall hard to cause another red flag. With no snow in the turns on the track, conditions were getting icy and slick. On lap 116, Nathan Harland spun out from those slick conditions as others were making evasive moves to avoid him. T.J. Pearson got turned on lap 122 and drove sideways into turn one. Todd Tacheny, Harry Myer and Jay Orr piled into Pearson, causing another red flag. The radiator on Josh Gernentz’s car said ‘good night’ on lap 142, bringing his race to an end and causing yet another red flag. Race fans hoped for a little warmer weather for the race, but Adam Hayden really turned the heat up with 44 laps to go as his car caught fire in turn one Racing was immediately stopped as Hayden was pulled out of his car without any injury. Both the Tomah and ISS safety teams were quickly able to put out the fire. The slick conditions in turn two bit leader Dave Beyer with 30 laps to go as Kyle Stark took over the top spot. Veteran racer Lyle Phillips ran wide in turn two with 25 laps to go and bounced off the wall. Luckily, Phillips was able to race on. Remember when Kyle Riedner took out the Victory Bell during the Hornet feature in the Hobby Fest show back in late August? It almost happened again. With five laps to go, Bob Voigt lost it down the front straight and took out a few of the billboards to the right of the Victory Bell.. Those slick conditions in turn two would have a hand in the finish of the Chill Chaser. After taking the white flag, Stark tried to get on the power in turn two only to hit the slick racing surface and run wide. Tacheny stuck to the inside groove and powered his way past Stark to steal away with the victory and the $5,000 first prize. Davey Pennel took third after his snowy situation earlier in the race. Beyer bounced back from his late race slip to finish fourth, while Frye claimed fifth place on his home turf.
Impact Survival Series founder and president Matt Rowe wants to thank the drivers for putting on another exciting enduro, and the staff of Tomah-Sparta Speedway for their hard work to make the Chill Chaser Enduro a huge success in its first running on asphalt since 2009. The next enduro event for the Impact Survival Series will be the Leprechaun 300 on Saturday, March 21 at Golden Sands Speedway near Wisconsin Rapids. Check out their web site at iraceiss.com or like their Facebook page. Greg Oliver would also like to thank the fans for braving the chilly weather and coming out to witness what could be a new tradition at Tomah-Sparta Speedway. Stay tuned to Tomah-Sparta’s Facebook page and tomahspartaspeedway.com for details on the rest of the 2021 racing season.
Impact Survival Series Chill Chaser Enduro (200 laps)
1. Todd Tacheny 200; 2. Kyle Stark 200, 3. Davey Pennel 200, 4. Dave Beyer 200, 5. Dan Frye 199, 6. Ridge Oien 198, 7. Rick Zifko 197, 8. George Seliger 197, 9. Scott Ostricki 197, 10. Craig Kreuser 197, 11. Lee Beyer 197, 12. Frank Calabrase 197, 13. Elliott Reid 197, 14. James Bell 196, 15. Trevor Howard 196, 16. Jay Orr 195, 17. Justin Schelitzche 194, 18. Carson Sillars 194, 19. Ken Hapy 193, 20, Chris Ricker 193, 21. Dustin Wudstruck 193, 22. Denny Crass 193, 23. Thomas Schultz 192, 24. Brandon DeLacy 192, 25. Aaron Bilek 192, 26. Brandon Ricker 192, 27. Bill Morrison 191, 28. MIke Heidmann 191, 29. Sam Hansen 190, 30. Jim Pfeifer 189, 31. Kyle Melton 189, 32. Steve Putman 187, 33. Josh Klopotek 187, 34. Zachary Furbur 185, 35. Denis Hoppe 182, 36. Shawn Morris 182, 37. Jordan Howell 180, 38. Lyle Phillips 179, 39. Justin Fickel 177, 40. Mat Crass 174, 41. Brian Hansen 173, 42. Nick Steffen 172, 43. Dean Pennel 172, 44. Dale Brandt 171, 45. Logan Hapy 170, 46. Austin Powers 170, 47. Bob Voigt 168, 48. John Drier 159, 49. Reggie Bilek 158, 50. Adam Hayden 153, 51. Chris Babino 148, 52. Matt Boerschinger 132, 53. Josh Gernentz 128, 54. Brayden Norton 125, 55. Brian Adams 122, 56. Nick Newton 121, 57. T.J. Pearson 119, 58. Harry Myer 118, 59. Nathan Harland 102, 50. Brandon ‘Bud’ Riedner 99, 61. Kurt Schweitzer 96, 62. Dallas Topel 95, 63. Dean DeKeyser 94, 64. Derrick Hoppe 91, 65. Troy Tuma 84, 66. Tommy Plach 84, 67. Alex Walkush 83, 68. Chris Boykins 82, 69. Brody Rivest 79, 70. Luke Geisler 78, 71. Brian Gottschalk 68, 72. Tyler Sauter 58, 73. Garrett Harris 57, 74. Mike Weiss 49, 75. Jake Balk 48, 76. Alex Rud 45, 77. Victor Van 43, 78. Trever Cronick 41, 79. Traton Winecke 38, 80. MIke Chadderdon 36, 81. Tim Steinhoff 36, 82. Henry Neerdaels 36, 83. Heff Danley 33, 84. Ed Howard 25, 85. Autumn Gill 15, 86. Brandon Kaye 11