by Kari Shear-Carlson
The weather was great and the racing was even better at Dells Raceway Park for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment and Lester Buildings Dells Raceway Park 100.
Dan Fredrickson made it two in a row in the series with his first ever win at the track. It wasn’t exactly a clean and easy win for the i-gogs Sunglasses Touring Star. “My car’s kind of beat up. I must have hit the back stretch wall about six times,” said the victor.
DOC 360 Touring Star, Jason Weinkauf and Spiked Island Touring Star, James Swan led the field to the green for the 100-lap countdown. Weinkauf secured the lead as Swan slid back a few spots on the outside. Travis Sauter, who was a favorite heading into the race, was quickly on the move behind Weinkauf and now second place, DOC 360 Touring Star, Chris Wimmer. Last year’s champion, i-gogs Touring Star, Jonathan Eilen was running in fourth as the top four pulled away from the rest of the field.
Wimmer looked to the inside of Weinkauf and secured the lead with Sauter, Eilen and Fredrickson following suit. Eilen didn’t waste anytime trying to make a run on Sauter but he couldn’t seal the deal.
As the top four started to encounter lapped traffic the opportunities to make a move were limited. Wimmer, Sauter, Eilen and Fredrickson would get a nose under one or the other, get door to door, but just as a pass was about to be made, a lapped car would cause them to slam the door.
Sauter was trying high and he was trying low but Chris Wimmer was protecting his line and Sauter just couldn’t get the job done. His chances at making a pass were becoming more and more imperative as Fredrickson was right there.
Sauter finally got to the inside of Wimmer and was charging to the lead when the caution flag flew. This set the field up for a double-file restart. Wimmer chose the inside with Sauter to the outside. Fredrickson lined up behind Wimmer with Eilen outside of him.
Wimmer led the way once again and once again the caution flag flew. It was a complete restart so the top four had a chance to do it all over again.
As the green flag dropped Wimmer and Sauter touched a little bit but Wimmer hung on to the lead once again. Fredrickson dove under Sauter but Sauter charged back to the outside of Wimmer. Sauter finally made it stick and took the lead on lap 49.
Now the battle was for second between Wimmer and Fredrickson. After another couple cautions the line-up remained the same until Eilen pulled into the pits while running third.
Fast qualifier and DOC 360 Touring Star, Nathan Haseleu who started in 11th had now made his way up to the fifth spot and was proving to be a contender along with Jason Weinkauf. Sauter had extended his lead by about 10 car lengths ahead of Wimmer followed by Fredrickson.
Another caution gave Wimmer and Fredrickson another chance at Sauter but he immediately extended his lead on the backstretch.
While all the action was taking place up front the battle to crack into the top ten was fierce. Spiked Island Touring Star Chris Weinkauf, Ross Kenseth, Vita Ice Touring Star Skylar Holzhausen, and Dennis Prunty were battling hard to take the 10th position.
Sauter continued to dominate until lap 76 when the unexpected happened. Sauter was off the pace handing the lead over to Chris Wimmer with only 24 laps to go. Just as Sauter was pulling off the track another caution flew.
This allowed Fredrickson the opportunity to start on the outside of Wimmer. Nathan Haseleu, Vita Ice Touring Star Jeremy Miller, and Jason Weinkauf now made up the top five.
After two false starts and two warnings, Wimmer and Fredrickson finally got the start they were looking for. Wimmer was able to clear Fredrickson as Haseleu moved into second. But it wasn’t long before Fredrickson came right back and took the second spot once again.
With ten laps to go, Fredrickson kicked in the afterburners and Wimmer had a mirror full. “He (Fredrickson) came out of nowhere. I really thought I had it until then,” said Wimmer.
The two were door to door swapping the lead by a nose. Fredrickson finally got the position with 7 laps to go. He was able to get a comfortable enough lead to coast to the finish.
Although he loved racing hard with Wimmer, Fredrickson wished Sauter wouldn’t have had problems. “It would’ve been really fun racing against him because he was so good. It’s too bad he had problems.”
Nathan Haseleu, Jeremy Miller and Ross Kenseth rounded out the top five.
The next event for the ARCA Midwest Tour is Saturday, June 29th at Marshfield Motor Speedway.
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on toarcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Einhaus at email@example.com.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.