There are many things that I enjoy about local stock car racing. I guess that should be a given considering the time I spend going to local tracks — not just Shawano Speedway. One of my favorite things, though, about local stock car racing is witnessing a driver win their first-ever feature in a division or at a track.
I’m not sure why, but this year Shawano Speedway has become a track where drivers are winning their first-ever features at the Speedway, especially in the IMCA Stock Car, IMCA Northern SportMod and FASTRAK Late Model divisions.
The first-time winner barrage started the second week of the season when Joel Bennett won the FASTRAK Late Model feature in dominating fashion. It continued the following week when Kerry Douglas won the IMCA Stock Car feature and Cody Hudson won the IMCA Northern SportMod feature.
Not to be outdone, the following week Aaron Holiday won his first-ever FASTRAK Late Model feature at the Speedway. Hudson also back up his feature win from the previous week by once again winning the IMCA Northern SportMod feature. In the process of winning that feature, Hudson passed Joey Taycher in corner four on the last lap, taking away Taycher’s first-ever feature win.
Last week the first-time winner streak continued when Harley Simon won his first IMCA Stock Car feature at the Speedway. Taycher didn’t let the previous week’s disappointment slow him down as he bounced back to win his first IMCA Northern SportMod feature at the Speedway.
What made last week even more amazing was the fact there probably should have been another first-time winner. Jeremie Hedrick led 19 laps of the WISSOTA Late Model feature before a slower car forced him to alter his racing lane. This allowed Nick Anvelink to take the lead. Without the slower car, I think Hedrick would have held on for the win, which would have been his first in the WISSOTA Late Model division.
In the IMCA Modified feature, Matt Oreskovich, who is in his rookie season in the division started at the rear of the field at the start of the feature and finished an impressive second.
There was a bit of excitement in the IMCA Modified feature. On the third lap of the race, Tom Schaal and Jerry Wilinski were battling for the second spot, when Schaal’s car slammed into the concrete wall in corner one. Wilinski was ruled the cause of the accident and put to the back of the pack for the restart. Schaal walked from corner one to the pit entrance to the outside of the track where he stopped. When Wilinski’s car got close to that area, Schaal let Wilinski know that he was not pleased with what happened.
Later in the race John Peters hit the concrete wall, also in corner one, while leading the race. The accidents the last two weeks have shown that the concrete wall is going to win every time.
For those Modified fans out there who are looking for a mid-week special to attend, 141 Speedway will be hosting the Clash @ The Creek on Wednesday, June 29. There are already 37 Modified drivers signed up for the event.