For awhile on Saturday night it looked like another new driver was going to add his name to the feature wins list at Shawano Speedway. Life can throw you a curveball sometimes and racing isn’t immune to those same curveballs.
Josh Moesch and Jeremie Hedrick started on the front row of the WISSOTA Late Model feature. Since Moesch is in his rookie year in the division, and has limited racing experience, I’m sure a lot of fans assumed he would eventually fall toward the back, especially considering Terry and Nick Anvelink were starting right behind him. That didn’t happen though.
Moesch actually took the lead from Hedrick on the second lap and pulled out to a small lead running the low groove. By the sixth lap both Anvelinks were in the top three, but neither seemed to be able to gain on Moesch who was racing a very consistent line. Moesch’s lead vanished, though, when Aaron Bennett spun, bringing out the caution.
Well, if Moesch was going to win, he was going to have to keep running his consistent line and hold off some pretty good drivers. That all changed during the caution when Moesch pulled onto pit lane. When that happened, it seemed like the crowd collectively said, “NO.” Moesch’s crew looked under the hood of his car and he was done for the night.
It was a heartbreaking moment as there seemed to truly be a buzz throughout the grandstand during the first half of the race. I think everyone was thinking, “Can this kid really hang on and win?” But it wasn’t meant to be. I will say, though, I was really impressed with his racing ability.
Terry Anvelink wound up winning the feature. It’s nice to see Anvelink back racing again. When I talked to him the opening week he said he wasn’t sure how much racing he would be doing this year. Well, he’s back and winning races again.
There was a very scary accident during the early portion of the IMCA Northern SportMod feature. On a restart on lap three several cars got together entering turn three. In the melee Don Woller got turned into the outside wall, bringing another car with him. Those two cars were then hit by Jeremy Schaewe, causing Schaewe’s car to come off the ground. While off the ground, Schaewe’s car was then hit by another car causing it to land on its side before landing back on its wheels. A couple of more cars plowed into the carnage before everyone came to a stop.
Luckily nobody was injured in the accident. Clint Forstner eventually won the feature.
A.J. Diemel was back at the track for the first time in 2011. He was racing in the FASTRAK Late Model division. He finished third in the heat race and second in the feature. Joel Bennett ran away with the feature event.
Tom Schaal put the hard wreck from the week before behind him and won a thrilling IMCA Modified feature over Lance Arneson and Jason Czarapata. Schaal and Arneson raced side-by-side for much of the first half of the race.
Rod Snellenberger returned to victory lane in the IMCA Stock Car feature.
It should be a good night of racing this Saturday night as 141 Speedway doesn’t race that night so there should be a few more cars on hand at Shawano Speedway. After the racing program is complete there will also be Crash Football held in front of the grandstand. As it was explained to me, there will be a small car placed in the middle of the track with a team of demo cars on each side. The object is to be the first team to push the small car over the goal line for a “crashdown.” That could be interesting.