With some of the warmest weather of the year over the last week, it was a hot night of racing at Shawano Speedway — on and off the track. Nobody can deny that racing isn’t an emotional sport. There is the thrill of victory, but there is also the agony of having victory within your grasp, only to have it slip away. And depending on how it slips away, emotions can and do run high.
Emotions began to rise during the IMCA Stock Car feature. As usual, there was some very close racing during this feature. Mitchell Stankowski, Devin Snellenberger and John Heinz were battling for the lead for much of the race, with Heinz racing on the high-side. Heinz was able to take the lead with around five laps remaining, only to have a caution come out, regulating him back to second place on the restart.
On the restart, Heinz took the lead from Stankowski, but in corner two, it appeared Stankowski’s car came in contact with the car of Heinz, causing Heinz to spin. That is how I saw it from the grandstand. The official ruling was Heinz was in a spin before the contact, so Heinz was sent to the back of the pack on the restart, while Stankowski was able to keep the lead.
Needless to say, Heinz disagreed with the track ruling. After the race was restarted, it looked like Heinz was going to take justice into his own hands as he slowly drove around the speedway while the rest of the field raced hard. This is just a guess on my part, but it appeared Heinz was waiting for Stankowski to catch him.
With Stankowski still leading and being followed by Nate Michonski and Snellenberger, the three drivers approached the slow moving car of Heinz in corner two. Stankowski drifted high in corner two, and fell to third place. After that Heinz pulled off the track. It could have been interesting if Stankowski would have been leading when he caught up to Heinz.
The fireworks began to fly in the WISSOTA Late Model feature after a lap eight restart. The restart had Todd Frank leading, Gordie Seegert in second and Nick Anvelink in third. On the restart Frank drove high down the frontstretch, and once Anvelink cleared Seegert, Anvelink tried ducking to the inside of Frank before corner one. The two cars made contact, causing both cars to slide into the outside wall in corner one. Luckily no other cars were collected in the accident.
You could tell Frank wasn’t happy because when he drove away from the accident scene, he drove over the nose of Anvelink’s car. Anvelink pulled his car to the outside pits, and you knew he wasn’t happy when he ran to the track entrance, looked upset and was pointing at Frank’s car on the track.
After the races, I spoke with several people about the incidents and there was no agreement as to what happened. It’s amazing how people can see the same accident, but then each has different opinions as to what exactly happened. But that is human nature.
On Saturday, July 9, Shawano Speedway will be having the Reed Luepke, Child Cancer Awareness Night. The night will be sponsored by Trace Racing and A.J. Diemel Motorsports. There will be many silent auctions for fans to bid on, 50/50 raffles and other events. The proceeds will be used to offset medical expenses for Reed and will also be donated to Child Cancer Support Programs. Shawano Speedway will also be donating its portion of the normal 50/50 raffle to the cause.