While attending the Shawano Speedway Car Show at Bay Park Square Mall in Green Bay over the weekend I got the chance to speak with many of the drivers on hand about what their 2011 racing plans are. What I found out is there are plenty of new paint schemes for fans to look forward to, and some drivers who are switching divisions in 2011.
Matt Oreskovich jumps up to IMCA Modified division
Matt Oreskovich said he decided to move to the IMCA Modified division because he wants to race against new drivers and to challenge himself.
“I’ve done pretty good in the SportMods and I want to see if I can get the same results in a Modified,” Oreskovich said.
He will be racing a 2010 GRT chassis that he bought from Jared Siefert. Oreskovich actually bought the car last fall before the Indian Summer Classic special at Langlade County Speedway in Antigo. But his debut didn’t go well, as the motor seized up within the first half lap of hot laps. In 2011 Oreskovich plans on racing weekly at Shawano Speedway and occasionally at Luxemburg Speedway and Langlade County Speedway.
“The biggest goal I guess is to gain respect from most of the drivers out there, to be able to race door to door with everyone” Oreskovich said. “I’d like to win a few but I’d be satisfied with getting into the claim area for starters. We’ll work on the wins after that.”
Adam Clark joins the IMCA Modified ranks
For Adam Clark, it was a matter of just trying something different after racing the past six years in the IMCA Stock Car division. Clark will be racing a 2008 Victory chassis, and plans on racing weekly at Shawano Speedway, and select shows at other tracks.
The decision to race in the IMCA Modified division instead of the IMCA SportMod division was made by Clark because he had more parts that would better on the Modified, so he didn’t have to buy as many parts.
As for goals for 2011, Clark said, “Make every feature and try to finish in at least the top 10 for the first few months and see how it goes from there.”
Lance Arneson has a full summer of racing ahead of him
Lance Arneson will once again be racing in the IMCA Modified division but will be splitting his time on Saturday nights between Shawano Speedway and 141 Speedway.
“I plan on racing pretty much anywhere and everywhere,” Arneson said. “I’ll probably race Seymour for points on Sundays and bounce around between Shawano and 141 Speedway as much as I can. Hopefully race Luxemburg weekly if we can.
“[The price of gas] is going to have a lot to do with where we race on Saturday nights. Shawano is a lot closer to me and I like racing there – it’s only half hour away. But with 141, I have sponsors out that way so I want to race there too.”
Arneson will be racing a 2010 Tracer chassis and will be gunning for the championship at Seymour Speedway or Luxemburg Speedway.
Brandon Czarapata back in the IMCA Stock Car division
A driver who won’t be racing in the IMCA Modified division, but still plans on racing weekly at Shawano Speedway is Brandon Czarapata. He has raced an IMCA Modified for the past several years, but will concentrate on racing in the IMCA Stock Car division in 2011. He said the cost of the IMCA Modified division drove him back to the IMCA Stock Car division.
Czarapata will start the season in a different car than the one that was on display at the car show, but both are 2011 Wolfe chassis. He says he always enjoyed racing in the IMCA Stock Car division, but the engine claiming originally drove him to the IMCA Modified division. But with new claiming rules this year, he feels more comfortable coming back to the IMCA Stock Car division.
“Try to finish in the top five in points by the end of the year,” Czarapata said of his goals for 2011. “It’s a pretty good class. It’s difficult to get your feet wet again. I did well when I left but a lot has changed in that five years.”
Craig Bartz looking to have fun racing in 2011
Craig Bartz will once again be racing in the WISSOTA Late Model division. He will be racing a 2006 Rocket chassis and plans on racing weekly at Shawano Speedway, and a few other local shows.
“I’d like to win a feature, but also to stay consistent and stay out of trouble,” Bartz said. “Actually to have a good time racing, that’s the biggest thing – to make it fun.”
Jeremie Hedrick looks to make a name for himself in WISSOTA Late Model division
Another driver who will be racing weekly in the WISSOTA Late Model division at Shawano Speedway is Jeremie Hedrick. Hedrick raced in the division toward the end of last year. Hedrick made a name for himself at the Speedway in an IMCA Modified but decided a WISSOTA Late Model was the way to go now that he is back in the area racing.
“I looked at a lot of things with modifieds and what I personally was putting in for money into a modified compared to a late model and I felt it was just a better choice to make with the payoffs the way they are and structured the way they are,” Hedrick said. “You don’t have to worry about the claiming issues, which I’m not all that concerned about anyway, but it’s nice to put something in the car for a motor and leave it there unless there is an issue.”
Hedrick will be racing a 2006 MasterSbilt chassis. He said everybody wants a successful season but he wouldn’t say his goal is a successful season. “I definitely want to get a couple of wins on the board and get that out of the way,” Hedrick said. “And to just get myself established in a late model, that’s been the hardest part. Financially getting stable in a late model, they are so expensive it’s not something you just jump into and buy everything that you need unless you are a big money guy.”
Jason Jach returns to IMCA SportMod division
Jason Jach said wh will be doing battle in 2011 in a 2007 Tracer chassis and will be racing weekly at Shawano Speedway. He also plans to travel to Boone, Iowa for the IMCA Super Nationals in September. He’s been to that event since his rookie season.
When asked what his goals are for this year, he said to win one or two features and finish in the top five in points at Shawano Speedway.
Jeff Wickersheim back in the FASTRAK Late Model division
Jeff Wickersheim will be returning to the FASTRAK Late Model division in 2001, racing a 2010 RAW chassis. He said he hopes to win a couple features and finish in the top five in points at Shawano Speedway. He said he also plans on racing in some WDLMA specials.
Cody Hudson hopes to shake off injury before race season starts
Cody Hudson is hoping that he is ready for the 2011 racing season when the green flag waves. He hurt his rotator cuff at work and is still recovering from that. He’ll be racing a 2010 Victory chassis and plans to race weekly at Shawano Speedway and Luxemburg Speedway. He said he’ll be gunning for a champoinship at Shawano Speedway.
Shawn Wagner looking to defend his IMCA Stock Car title at Shawano Speedway
Look for a profile article about Wagner in an upcoming issue of Full Throttle magazine.
Tom Naeyaert returns to the WISSOTA Late Model ranks