Erickson Crowned State Champ
By Andrew Schaller
JEFFERSON, WI (Saturday, September 17, 2011) Fort Atkinson’s Jason Erickson capped off a season in which he captured the Jefferson Speedway Late Model title for the fourth time by also laying claim to the 2011 Wisconsin State Championship. Erickson took over the lead at the midway point of the 100 lap main event and drove off to collect the hardware that accompanies the title of State Champion.
By virtue of winning their semi final races, Kyle Jarlsberg and John Ovadal Jr led the field of 25 stellar pilots to the drop of the green flag. After battling side by side on the opening circuit, Jarlsberg grabbed sole possession of the top spot on lap two. Erickson charged under Ovadal a lap later, entering into a fight for the second spot. Erickson took control of second on lap five as the leaders lined up single file. The leaders began to maneuver heavy lapped traffic just before the first of four cautions slowed the field on lap 43. After another quick caution a lap later, Erickson made his move. Erickson began to peek to the low side of Jarlsberg looking for an opening. On lap 48, the duo made slight contact entering turn one which allowed Erickson to draw even with Jarlsberg down the backstretch. Erickson motored into the lead on lap 49 just before caution number three appeared. Once racing resumed, Erickson moved out to a comfortable lead with Jarlsberg holding steady in second. With twenty laps remaining, Jarlsberg spun hard into the turn three wall, coating the track with fluid and forcing the final caution of the event. Erickson restarted as the leader, this time with Ovadal running in second and Zack Riddle in third. As racing got back underway, Riddle slipped past Ovadal and set his sights on Erickson at the point. But Erickson flexed his muscle over the final circuits as he cruised to the checkers to pick up the win. Riddle finished in second with Tim Sargent, Casey Johnson and Doug Hahn rounding out the top five.
Jay Kalbus of Watertown also managed to add to his impressive 2011 resume. One week after claiming the Sportsman track title, Kalbus picked up the win in the 50 lap feature event to be named State Champion as well. Matt Berger and Austin Nason paced the field to green with Berger taking control on lap one. Doug Bennett slipped by Nason for second as Berger began to open up a big lead. Tory Bagley spun to the infield to bring out the only caution of the event on lap nine. Once racing resumed, the top five lined up nose to tail while Kalbus made his way to the front. Kalbus joined the party amongst the top five on lap 27 when he claimed fifth. Two laps later, Kalbus was fourth and challenge Bob Hansberry for the third spot. Kalbus claimed third on lap 32 as the top three began to break away slightly from the pack. On lap 37, Kalbus dove under Bennett and quickly stole second. Kalbus set his sights on Berger, who had led since the opening lap. Kalbus caught the leader and began to look to the low side on lap 41. Kalbus drew even with Berger with eight laps to go, clearing for the top spot one lap later and driving away to get the victory. Berger settled for second after leading most of the event with Bennett, Stephen Scheel and Hansberry completing the top five.
Bo Bennish inherited the top spot and ran away to win the 40 lap International State Championship feature. Travis Schneeberg took the early lead on from pole with James Bell dropping into second. Schneeberg encountered mechanical difficulties on lap two, forcing him to pull off the racing surface and handing the lead to Bell. Ken Au moved up to the second spot on lap five with Bennish in tow for third. Bennish didn’t waste any time as he immediately began to apply pressure on Au for the second spot with Bell racing right in front of the duo. On lap nine, Au rode his momentum past Bennish and alongside Bell at the front. Bennish made it a three wide fight for the lead a lap later. Bennish and Bell emerged side by side as Kyle Stark found his way to the third spot on lap 11. Bennish grabbed the lead a lap later with Stark in tow for second. Stark quickly dove under the new leader, stealing the top spot for himself on lap 15. The top two began to pull away from the field as Stark looked to have the race won. But on lap 28, Stark blew a right side tire, bringing out the caution and handing the lead back over to Bennish. As the green waved once again, Bennish returned to the large advantage on his way to claiming the win. Rounding out the top five were Mark English, Bell, Gary Stark and Phil Malouf.
Waterloo’s Steven Sauer picked up the win in the 40 lap Hobby Stock feature after a great battle with 2011 track champion Jim Tate Jr. Ben Monday led lap one with Tate already creeping up to his inside. Tate stole the point a lap later as he began to pull away. Caution erased Tate’s big lead on lap 10 with Sean Watters lining up behind him in second for the restart. Sauer found himself in third after another caution on lap 14 with Tate still showing the way. As racing resumed, Sauer motored past Watters for second and set his sights on Tate out front. Sauer pulled up behind Tate on lap 18 and began searching for a way around the leader. Sauer eventually chose the outside line to try and get around Tate. Sauer pulled even with Tate on lap 25. The pair of drivers battle door to door for several laps as each traded the lead. With three laps to go, Sauer got the advantage while they maneuvered lapped traffic. Sauer held on over the final circuits to claim the win with Tate settling for second. Andy Raley finished third followed by Dustin Ward and Brad Conant.
In Road Warrior action, Scott Pauls of Deerfield motored to the front and drove away to win the 20 lap Championship feature. Chris Gottschalk led lap one at the start with Bill Sweeney already up to second. Pauls joined the duo on lap three as Sweeney closed in on Gottschalk. Sweeney moved to the low side on lap four, pulling alongside Gottschalk while Pauls watched from third. Sweeney cleared for the lead a lap later, bringing Pauls along for second. Pauls took his turn on the bottom as the drew even with Sweeney on lap eight. Sweeney got loose in turn one on lap nine, allowing Pauls to shoot into sole possession of the lead. Pauls took control and cruised to the checkers for the win. Sweeney finished second followed by Bill Reynolds, Rodger Stephenson and Gottschalk.
Rounding out the two day event was the 35 lap Bandit feature event won by Phil Wuesthoff of Beaver Dam. Keith Erickson grabbed the initial lead on lap one from the pole with Tom Schuette up to second. Wuesthoff made his way up to third on lap five with Erickson still showing the way. Erickson opened up a healthy advantage while Schuette tried to hold Wuesthoff at bay in second. Wuesthoff got by for the runner up position on lap 11 as he began to cut into Erickson’s big lead. Wuesthoff finally caught the leader on lap 26 with track champion Heather Stark closing in as well. While racing in heavy lapped traffic, Erickson opened up the door on the bottom allowing Wuesthoff to charge past into the lead. Stark followed suit a lap later, but Wuesthoff was already on his way to the stripe to get the win. Stark was second followed by Erickson, Derek Dixon and Nick Schmidt.
Only one more event remains on the 2011 Jefferson Speedway racing schedule with the running of the Bracket Races on Oct. 29-30. Jefferson Speedway is located halfway between Jefferson and Cambridge on Hwy 18. Please visit www.jeffersonspeedway.com for more information.
Jefferson Speedway Race Summary
100 lap Feature Results- 1) Jason Erickson, Fort Atkinson 2) Zack Riddle, Brooklyn 3) Tim Sargent, S.Beloit (IL) 4) Casey Johnson, Stoughton 5) Doug Hahn, Whitewater 6) Dylan Schuyler, Jefferson 7) James Swan, Lake Geneva 8) Alex Papini, Machesney Park (IL) 9) John Ovadal Jr, Watertown 10) Shaun Scheel, Lake Mills 11) Steve Dobbratz, Rio 12) Chad Stevens, Beloit 13) Brady Liddle, Madison 14) Bruce Lee, Cambridge 15) Jerry Eckhardt, Johnson Creek 16) Chris Quam, Stoughton 17) Tommy Pecaro, Markesan 18) Luke Westenberg, Jefferson 19) Cliff Rucks, Deerfield 20) Kyle Jarlsberg, Jefferson 21) Dale Nottestad, Cambridge 22) Jon Reynolds Jr, Rockford (IL) 23) Roger Behlke, Jefferson 24) Noel Ramge, Helenville 25) Tory Adams, Madison
Fast Qualifier- Kyle Jarlsberg—14.230 seconds
Semi Final Winners- 1) John Ovadal Jr 2) Kyle Jarlsberg
Preview Feature Winners- 1) Dale Nottestad 2) Shaun Scheel
Qualifier Winners- 1) Jody Krueger 2) Tory Adams
50 lap Feature Results- 1) Jay Kalbus, Watertown 2) Matt Berger, Loves Park (IL) 3) Doug Bennett, Brodhead 4) Stephen Scheel, Lake Mills 5) Robert Hansberry, Madison 6) Kyle Chwala, Lake Mills 7) Mark Deporter, Fort Atkinson 8) Kurt Kleven, Cambridge 9) Terry Wangsness, Jefferson 10) Phil Denikas, Columbus 11) Jim Taylor, Stoughton 12) Shaun Scheel, Lake Mills 13) Brady Lilly, Milton 14) Will Rece, Stoughton 15) Tony Koepke, Jefferson 16) Tory Bagley, Stoughton 17) Adam Bleskan, Menomonie Falls 18) Rodger Stephenson, Cambridge 19) Austin Nason, Roscoe (IL) 20) Dan Schmidt, Farmington 21) Brian Pillar, Fort Atkinson 22) Eric Willhite
Fast Qualifier- Mark Deporter—14.892 seconds
Preview Feature Winner- Matt Berger
40 lap Feature Results- 1) 40 Bo Bennish 2) Mark English, Edgerton 3) James Bell, Brodhead 4) Gary Stark, Sun Prairie 5) Phil Malouf 6) Mike Lambert, Madison 7) Matt McKinney, Fort Atkinson 8) Ken Au, Jefferson 9) Kyle Smith, Lake Mills 10) Neil Higgins, Watertown 11) Casey Strese, Jefferson 12) Waylin Willman, Janesville 13) Jason Kubicz, Whitewater 14) John Handeland, Jefferson 15) Kyle Stark, Waterloo 16) Devon Dixon, Janesville 17) Peter Shelley, Edgerton 18) Mike Storkson, Madison 19) Darren Brown, Jefferson 20) Travis Schneeberg, Cottage Grove
Fast Qualifier- Kyle Stark—16.251 seconds
Preview Feature Winner- Kyle Stark
Last Chance Winner- Waylin Willman
Qualifier Winner- Neil Higgins
40 lap Feature Results- 1) Steven Sauer, Waterloo 2) Jim Tate Jr, Deforest 3) Andy Raley, Fall River 4) Dustin Ward, Waterloo 5) Brad Conant 6) Chester Williams, Waukesha 7) Wayne Buchs, Mazomanie 8) Sean Watters, Jefferson 9) Tony Ciano, Janesville 10) Greg Bowers, Waterloo 11) Kyle Watters, Stoughton 12) Jeff LeFave, Fort Atkinson 13) Ben Monday, Columbus 14) Lucas Buckingham, Whitewater 15) Jim Wolf, Watertown 16) Mike Manley, Fort Atkinson 17) Jered Vike, Sun Prairie
Fast Qualifier- Dustin Ward—16.290 seconds
Preview Feature Winner- Brad Conant
20 lap Feature Results- 1) Scott Pauls, Deerfield 2) Bill Sweeney, Edgerton 3) Bill Reynolds, Watertown 4) Rodger Stephenson, Cambridge 5) Chris Gottschalk, Jefferson 6) Tim Ellis, S.Beloit (IL) 7) Matt McKinney, Fort Atkinson 8) Rory Hardy, Oregon 9) Jason Haas, Jefferson
Fast Qualifier- Scott Pauls—16.728 seconds
Preview Feature Winner- Bill Sweeney
35 lap Feature Results- 1) Phil Wuesthoff, Beaver Dam 2) Heather Stark, Waterloo 3) Keith Erickson, Columbus 4) Derek Dixon, Janesville 5) Nick Schmidt, Menomonee 6) Dave Schmidt, Menomonee 7) Art Blakely, Janesville 8) Cory Jansen, Lake Geneva 9) Phil Malouf 10) Tom Schuette, Fort Atkinson 11) Jeremy Bredesen, Columbus 12) Josh Lenz, Lake Mills 13) Dylan Buckingham, Whitewater 14) Taylor Schmude, Cambridge 15) Tadd Douglas, Jefferson 16) Scott Ciesielski 17) Felicia Dewey, Janesville 18) Ryan Flanagan 19) Brandon Johnson, Avalon 20) Kyle Riedner, Waunakee 21) Seth Reamer, Columbus 22) Trevor Robinson, Orfordville
Fast Qualifier- Derek Dixon—14.232 seconds
Preview Feature Winner- Keith Erickson
Last Chance Winner- Tadd Douglas
Qualifier Winners- 1) Cory Jansen 2) Felicia Dewey