Jefferson Speedway Race Report:

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Ovadal Claims Spring Sizzler 50
By Andrew Schaller

May 10, 2008;  Jefferson WI --  John Ovadal Jr started the season out right by laying claim to his first feature win of 2008 in the Spring Sizzler 50 presented by Goodyear Racing Tires. Making up the front row at the start, Jerry Eckhart and Luke Padfield battled side by side until Eckhart took control on lap three with Chad Reimer moving into second.

Photo Highlights

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John Ovadal (71) works the inside of Jerry Eckhart (61) on the way to his win in the Late Model feature

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Bret Schmidt, posing with the checkers, after his convincing win in the Sportsman main event.42801a.jpg (14062 bytes)
Rookie Gary (35) Stark picks up his first International feature after making the pass on fellow rookie Steven Scheel (4). 42801a.jpg (14062 bytes)
Roger Stephenson (88) fends off the challenges of fellow competitor Jimmy Robinson (33).
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Mike Johnson (18) grabbing the early lead on his way to the Bandit feature victory.

Ovadal began his trek to the front from deep in the field, but was already knocking on the door of the top five by lap 13. Eckhart continued to lead with Reimer right behind when Ovadal picked off two competitors to claim fourth on lap 18. Following Ovadal through the field was Steve Dobbratz as he moved into the fifth position. Ovadal went right to work on Roger Behlke for third, making the pass three laps later with Dobbratz in tow. Ovadal and Reimer began an intense battle for second, ending in Ovadal taking the spot just past the halfway point of the race. The first of two cautions flew when Jason Erickson made hard contact with the backstretch wall and was forced to retire from the event while running in the top five. On the restart, Ovadal immediately began to challenge for the top spot being held by Eckhart. Ovadal cleared Eckhart on lap 33 and began to pull away as Dobbratz moved into second. The final caution of the race flew on lap 42, erasing the comfortable lead Ovadal was enjoying. As the green waved again over the field, Dobbratz made several attempts at a winning pass, but Ovadal proved too strong, taking the checkers out front. Rounding out the top five were Dobbratz, Eckhart, Behlke and Dylan Schuyler.

In sportsman action, Bret Schmidt charged to the front of the field and drove away from the pack to win the 30 lap feature event. After an accident on the opening lap, Ken Scott grabbed the early lead with Tom Reents following into second. Schmidt sliced his way into third by lap three and then drove to the inside of Reents for second. Schmidt made the pass and immediately powered to the inside of Scott looking for the lead. Scott broke loose, allowing Schmidt to take sole possession of the top spot, with quick qualifier Dave Oswald taking over second. Reents moved into third and the top three started to pull away from the rest. Schmidt was enjoying a very large lead when he encountered lapped traffic on lap 18, but was able to maneuver through without much problem as he cruised to the stripe for the win. Following him past the checkers were Oswald, Reents, Scott and James Helmer.

Rookie Gary Stark claimed victory in the international 20 lap feature event. James Bell and Steven Scheel made up row one at the drop of the green, with Scheel taking the early lead on the opening lap. Scott Riedner charged into second on lap three with Bell dropping to third and Stark riding in fourth. On lap six, Riedner got loose exiting turn two, allowing Stark to shoot by into second. Stark pulled up to the rear bumper of Scheel and drove to the low side, pulling even as the two battled for the lead. Stark took control on lap 12 while Scheel slid back into a fight for second with Riedner and Mark English. Riedner grabbed the spot for two laps until English took it over in the late laps. Meanwhile Stark drove away for his first win of the season. Rounding out the top five were English, Riedner, Scheel and Scott Hoeft.

In hobby stock action, Roger Stephenson was able to fend off many challenges to take home the win in the 25 lap feature event. Lincoln Keeser took the early advantage from fellow front row starter Chester Williams on the first lap. Stephenson went to the inside into second on lap four and went right to work on Keeser for the lead. Stephenson moved alongside Keeser on lap five and made the pass for the top spot a lap later with Bobby Selsing moving into second. Meanwhile, Jim Robinson was moving forward from his fifth row starting spot and into third on lap seven. Two laps later, Robinson was in second and running down the leader. On lap 13, Robinson caught Stephenson and started to look low for a lane to get by. But Robinson broke loose in turn two, allowing Stephenson to reclaim his advantage. Robinson again ran down the leader, and this time was able to pull even with Stephenson. But Stephenson used lapped traffic as a pick with four laps remaining to charge back out to a comfortable lead as he cruised to the win. Robinson came home in second followed by Kyle Stark, Selsing and Jim Tate.

Mike Johnson was awarded the bandit feature victory following post race inspection of the 20 lap feature race. Johnson took control of the event on the first lap with Mike Lambert right behind in second. Johnson stayed out front while John Beale took the second spot away from Lambert. While Johnson was leading, Tom Bleecker was coming to the front from deep in the pack. Bleecker made his way to third and eventually second by Beale with five laps remaining. Bleecker tried multiple grooves to get around Johnson, finally finding a lane underneath and making the pass exiting turn four on the final lap. Following post race inspection, Bleecker was found to be too light, handing the win to Johnson. Rounding out the top five were Beale, Dennis Johnson, Chad Olds and Terry Ciano.

Next Saturday, May 17, is the return of the ASA Midwest Touring Series featuring the Kwik Trip Stores 100 along with four other divisions of racing. Time trials begin at 5 pm with racing getting underway at 6:30. Jefferson Speedway is located halfway between Cambridge and Jefferson on Hwy 18. For more information, please visit

Jefferson Speedway Race Summary - Spring Sizzler 50 pres. By Goodyear

Late Model

--Feature Finish
1) 71 John Ovadal                2) 52 Steve Dobbratz
3) 61 Jerry Eckhart              4) 44 Roger Behlke
5) 33 Dylan Schuyler           6) 16 Luke Westenberg
7) 4 Chris Quam                  8) 99 Doug Hahn
9) 29 Scott Lindsay           10) 4 Luke Padfield
11) 5 Casey Johnson         12) 22 Jasper Gronert
13) 21 Ryan Zielske           14) 13 Andrew Brocker
15) 19 Chad Reimer           16) 11 Trent Erdman
17) 94 Jason Erickson       18) 27 Tom Schuette

Fast Qualifier: 94 Jason Erickson 14.270 seconds

Last Chance: 21 Ryan Zielske, 13 Andrew Brocker, 11 Trent Erdman, 27 Tom Schuette

Heats: 1) 21 Ryan Zielske 2) 22 Jasper Gronert 3) 11 Trent Erdman


--Feature Finish
1) 20 Bret Schmidt          2) 31 Dave Oswald
3) 42 Tom Reents            4) 39 Ken Scott
5) 7 James Helmer          6) 36 RC VanRamsell

Fast Qualifier: 31 Dave Oswald 15.106 seconds

Heats: 1) 20 Kody Hubred 2) 7 James Helmer


--Feature Finish
1) 35 Gary Stark         2) 57 Mark English
3) 1 Scott Riedner       4) 4 Steven Scheel
5) 00 Scott Hoeft         6) 90 Kyle Smith

Fast Qualifier: 57 Mark English 16.535 seconds

Heats: 1) 05 Ashley Smith 2) 00 Scott Hoeft

Hobby Stock

--Feature Finish
1) 88 Roger Stephenson          2) 33 Jim Robinson
3) 92 Kyle Stark                     4) 42 Bobby Selsing
5) 27 Jim Tate                        6) 89 Lincoln Keeser

Fast Qualifier: 27 Jim Tate 16.439 seconds

Last Chance: 1 Brett Carson, 85 Joe Edwards, 62 Allen McBride, 49 Buck Stultz

Heats: 1) 89 Lincoln Keeser 2) 92 Kyle Stark


--Feature Finish
1) 18 Mike Johnson 2) 04 John Beale
3) 3 Dennis Johnson 4) 89 Chad Olds
5) 66 Terry Ciano 6) 82 Mark Dewey

Fast Qualifier: 57 Tom Pfeifer 14.357 seconds

Last Chance: 66 Terry Ciano, 16 James Bohling, 76 Al Stillman, 19 Barret Hammond

Heats: 1) 66 Terry Ciano 2) 16 James Bohling 3) 57 Tom Pfeifer