Kreyer Dazzles, Schotten Stuns On Opening Night At DRP
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (May 28, 2011) – Some drivers just seem due for a big win. While Frank Kreyer had to slice his way through a stout field of returning Super Late Model division, Larry Schotten led wire-to-wire while holding on for his first feature win in 18 years of trying on Saturday at Dells Raceway Park.
After setting fast time hometown driver Frank Kreyer was placed deep in the 17-car starting field for Round One of the Alive for Five Super Late Model Series presented by Advanced Engine Concepts.
Kreyer made his fateful pass on Troy Nelson with two laps remaining in the 55-lap feature event. Testing the new concrete line on several occasions, Kreyer muscled to the inside of Nelson and nosed ahead at the line. The two raced side-by-side to the white, with Kreyer securing the lead as he crossed the line for the final time.
“It was pretty cool. My spotter told me it was ten to go and I knew to be patient,” Kreyer said of his final approach to the front. “It’s one of those things where it’s better to be patient than try to bonsai it and make mistakes.”
Aside from working through traffic, Kreyer also had to avoid a pileup three laps into the main event. The melee started when Molly Rhoads and Dennis Prunty made contact entering turn three. Rhoads spun in front of the pack, sending cars scurrying in all directions. Tom Lichtfeld, Ken Reiser, Michael Gunderson, Terry Schoppenhorst and Max McNamara were involved. Only Reiser and Gunderman were able to continue.
“Molly was turned completely flat out across my nose and I thought here we go,” Kreyer said. “The guy that planted the grass down in three and four is probably going to be (mad) at me because I drove right through that stuff.”
Jeff Storm ran a solid race, placing in the top three. Prunty recovered for a fourth-place finish with Mike Egan rounding out the top five.
Kreyer and his Super Late Model compatriots had nothing but good things to say about the Alive for Five format.
“I think it’s going to be a really positive thing. It’s getting the racers involved,” Kreyer added. “This economical time that we’re in is really tough and I think now the racers are taking a look and understand what the promoters and track owners are dealing with. We’ve got the race drivers grouped together. I think it can only help.”
Anyone who was born when Larry Schotten started racing at Dells Raceway Park is now old enough to vote. A ballot could easily be cast for Schotten’s win being one of the most popular in recent DRP memory.
Schotten led wire-to-wire in the 40-lap main event for the Late Models, but had to hold off the likes of Mike Lichtfeld and traveler Brian Johnson Jr., to break the hex.
“It’s something else. I’ve still got butterflies in my stomach,” said Schotten, who was nothing but smiles, even in technical inspection.
Although Lichtfeld challenged on several occasions both early and late in the race event, he was unable to get around the veteran. As Lichtfeld began to fade in the final circuits, that task fell on Roscoe, Ill. driver Brian Johnson Jr.
Johnson stole second from Lichtfeld on a restart with 10 laps to go and set his sights on the bright green machine of Schotten. As those two broke away from the field, Rich Schumann Jr. quietly moved within striking distance.
Schotten ran his line to perfection and left Johnson plenty of room on the bottom to test the new concrete lane. Although Johnson was to Schotten’s door on several occasions, he could not find enough grip to power past.
Schotten said some extra time in the shop and some help from the chassis builder Ed Holmes was enough to propel him to victory lane.
“The car was just awesome tonight. She was on a rail.”
Schumann finished third, Lichtfeld fourth and another visitor, Michael Bilderback, rounded out the top five.
Melby Motors to DRP Debut Win
Eric Melby sure didn’t look like a rookie. Competing in his first Sportsman division race at Dells Raceway Park, Melby dominated the 25-lap main event.
Melby seized the lead on a lap-four restart and cruised to an easy victory over Scott Luck and Rick Coppernoll.
As Melby built his straightaway lead, fast-qualifier Luck and Rick Coppernoll weaved through traffic while battling each other. After clearing early-race-leader Sandy Cook, Coppernoll secured second with Luck hot on his trail.
The two raced side-by-side to the stripe at the checkered flag with Luck edging out Coppernoll by .008 second for the runner up spot. Cook secured fourth while Mike Winters rounded out the top five.
After going toe-to-toe with Dave Trute last season, Mark Hohl figured he’s been the bridesmaid long enough. Hohl held off Trute’s machine with driver Jeff Burrows behind the wheel to claim the 25-lap Pure Stock Main.
After a side-by-side scrum for the first three laps of the feature, a caution threw the field into the mixer after a spin by Nick Rittman. Hohl restarted on the outside of the second row and rocketed to the top spot past Ray Burkum.
Hohl felt the pressure late in the race as Burrows closed the gap with three laps remaining. However, Hohl took advantage of a lapped car to thwart any chance Burrows would have had to make a pass on the inside.
Don Fassett finished third in the event, with Kevin Gilding and Bill Zeman rounding out the top five.
Rozek Rocks the Bandits
After setting fast time in the Bandit division, Steven Rozek started 14th in the 18-lap feature event. It didn’t take him long to get to the front.
Rozek raced to the seventh spot by lap three until a yellow helped him propel into the top five. On a lap-four restart Rozek jumped from seventh to second within one lap. Rozek then began the task of battling past Gene Bialozor for the top spot on lap six.
After five laps of working Bialozor, Rozek secured the lead on lap 12, and did not look back. While Rozek began to sail away, Kurt Kolden and Andy Portzen fought their ways into the top three.
Arnold Preston slipped into the top five in the final two circuits to finish fourth and Bialozor rounded out the top five.
Saturday, June 4 is the School’s ALMOST Out Special at Dells Raceway Park. Students with a valid High School or College I.D. will receive free admission. DRP will also host a rescheduled burnout contest with a $100 cash prize to the winner. Those who are interested in competing should contact the track office at 608-253-RACE.
The Late Models, Sportsman, Pure Stock and Bandits will be Qualifying is at 4:30 p.m. with racing to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road, five minutes north of downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., off highway 12-16. For more information including the latest news, the 2011 schedule and more visit www.dellsracewaypark.com.
(full results will be available at www.dellsracewaypark.com on Monday 5/30)
Alive For Five Super Late Model 55-lap Feature
1. Frank Kreyer, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; 2. Troy Nelson, Antigo, Wis.; 3. Jeff Storm, Waterford, Wis.; 4. Dennis Prunty, Lomira, Wis.; 5. Mike Egan, Slinger, Wis.
Late Model 40-lap Feature
1. Larry Schotten, Mauston, Wis.; 2. Brian Johnson Jr., Roscoe, Ill.; 3. Rich Schumann Jr., Portage, Wis. 4. Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville, Wis.; 5. Michael Bilderback, South Beloit, Ill.
Sportsman 25-lap Feature
1. Eric Melby, Portage, Wis.; 2. Scott Luck, Sauk City, Wis.; 3. Rick Coppernoll, Cottage Grove, Wis.; 4. Sandy Cook, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; 5. Mike Winters, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Pure Stock 25-lap Feature
1. Mark Hohl, Baraboo, Wis.; 2. Jeff Burrows, Mauston, Wis.; 3. Don Fassett, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; 4. Kevin Gilding, Prairie du Sac, Wis.; 5. Bill Zeman, Baraboo, Wis.
Bandit 18-lap Feature
1. Steven Rozek, Necedah, Wis.; 2. Kurt Kolden, Beloit, Wis.; 3. Andy Portzen, Wonewoc, Wis.; Arnold Preston, Pardeeville, Wis.; 4. Arnold Preston, Pardeeville, Wis.; 5. Gene Bialozor, Waterloo, Wis.