Anyone associated with stock car racing knows that it is a dangerous sport. It doesn’t matter if you are a driver, the spouse of a driver, a pit crew member or a fan, if you have been around local racing long enough chances are that you have seen some nasty crashes.
Those in attendance at Shawano Speedway Saturday night got to see a few nasty crashes, with two of them being drivers rolling their cars.
The first took place during one of the WISSOTA Late Model heat races. It took place on the second lap of the race. Justin Ritchie was on the outside and Paul Parker was on the inside. Racing down the backstretch, with Parker slightly ahead of Ritchie, the two made slight contact causing Parker’s car to turn sideways, hit and climb the concrete wall and bounce back onto the track. The car then rolled and landed on its roof. Parker was not injured in the accident, but he was done racing for the night.
Needless to say, Parker’s crew was not happy with the accident and blamed Ritchie for it, as they expressed their displeasure to Ritchie while Ritchie sat in his car on the frontstretch as the crash was being cleaned up.
There are two different videos of the accident on YouTube and I have watched them both. It is hard to tell if Ritchie’s car came down on Parker’s, or if Parker’s car drifted up into Ritchie’s, or a combination of both. What is known is that it was an unfortunate and scary accident.
The next nasty wreck took place on the frontstretch at the start of the FASTRAK Late Model feature. Just past the start/finish line Jeremy Schaewe’s car got sideways and then barrel rolled before coming to a stop on its roof in front of the entrance onto the track. It was a vicious looking wreck as the car landed hard on its roof. Luckily Schaewe was not injured in the wreck. The same can’t be said for his car, though.
The eerie thing about Schaewe’s wreck is the fact that he was involved in a bad wreck last year when he raced in the IMCA Northern SportMod division. Schaewe posted on Facebook prior to Saturday night’s races that it was the one year anniversary of the wreck in which he totaled his IMCA Northern SportMod. And then for it to happen again one year later is simply amazing.
There was also a nasty wreck on the backstretch during the IMCA Northern SportMod feature. No one was injured.
Going over the list of last week’s feature winners, Troy Springborn won the WISSOTA Late Model feature, John Peters won the IMCA Modified feature, Dan Michonski won the IMCA Stock Car feature, Joel Bennett won the FASTRAK Late Model feature and Cody Hudson won the IMCA Northern SportMod feature.
Nobody can accuse Ron Berna of not racing hard for every position and point available. He was running a comfortable third place for much of the WISSOTA Late Model feature. When the white flag flew, Berna drove hard into corner one in an effort to get by Brett Swedberg for second. He made the pass, but his car slid high coming out of corner two and caught the concrete wall, which wouldn’t release it.
The move dropped him from third in the race to 12th in the final rundown and cost him 11 points. It could prove to have a huge impact on the final point standings at the end of the year, as Berna is now 15 points out of first place.