Hall of fame honors Schumacher, SweereBy:
Scott Owen, Special to the Leader
Vern Stedjee won the IMCA Stock Cars feature — his first of the season — Saturday at Shawano Speedway.
Brett Swedberg won the Late Models feature Saturday at Shawano Speedway.
Shawano Speedway introduced two new members to its hall of fame Saturday at the track.
The honorees were Clyde Schumacher, first-ever track champion at the Shawano Speedway, and George Sweere, hobby stock track champion in 1989, 1990 and 1991.
On the track, Vern Stedjee earned a hard-fought IMCA Stock Cars feature, his first at Shawano. Meanwhile, Jason “The Weasel” Jach secured his first IMCA Sport Mods feature of the year.
Marcus Yarie (IMCA Modifieds) won his sixth feature, Brad Wedde (Mighty Fours) won his third feature, and Brett Swedberg (Late Models) won his second feature of the 2016 season.
IMCA Stock Cars
Pole-sitter Kurt Olson grabbed the lead on the opening lap of the IMCA Stock Cars feature as Stedjee settled into second. As Olson continued to lead, Mike Schmidt passed Luke Uttecht to take third on lap five.
Over the course of the next three laps, Stedjee remained in pursuit of Olson, while Dan Michonski battled with Schmidt for third. On lap nine, Stedjee was able to get underneath Olson and took the lead away exiting turn four. A caution on the next lap slowed the pace and bunched the field up behind Stedjee.
As the race went back to green, Schmidt passed Olson for second and raced right on the rear bumper of Stedjee. On lap 14, Schmidt made an inside pass on Stedjee to take the lead. The duo raced side by side for the next two laps as Travis Van Straten joined the battle for the lead.
On lap 16, Stedjee put his car back in front of Schmidt and Van Straten. Two laps later, Olson’s car erupted in flames, ending his night while running in fifth and bringing out a caution with just two laps to go.
Stedjee was smooth on the restart as Van Straten raced to his inside. On the final lap, Van Straten got inside of Stedjee, but Stedjee would not be denied his first Shawano Speedway feature victory.
Van Straten, Schmidt, Rod Snellenberger and Trent Nolan completed the top five.
The Late Models feature saw Michael Stangl take the lead on the opening lap while Ron Berna raced in second. By lap seven, Swedberg was able to run down Berna and pass him for the runner-up spot.
Swedberg got inside of Stangl entering turn one on lap 12 and took the lead. A caution on lap 14 eliminated multiple cars from action. As the race got back underway, Stangl began to receive pressure from Justin Hirt in the battle for second. Hirt and Berna each passed Stangl on lap 16.
As the race wound down, Swedberg continued to lead and would go on to victory lane. Hirt, Berna, Stangl and Derek Jahnke finished second through fifth, respectively, in the race.
Starting outside row one, Kevin Feck took the lead on the opening lap of the IMCA Modifieds feature. Feck would remain out front until lap six when his car came to a halt up high in turn one, bringing out a caution. Shawn Frelich inherited the lead after Feck’s misfortune.
Over the next seven laps, Frelich would be chased by Beetle Bailey, Yarie and Jerry Wilinski. On lap 14, Frelich’s night came to an end as the leader’s car broke down.
Bailey inherited the lead, which he held for one lap before he was overtaken by Yarie and Wilinski. Yarie was able to fend off the charges of Wilinski for the rest of the race en route to victory. Bailey finished in third. Jamie Schmidt took fourth as Eddie Muenster finished fifth.
IMCA Sport Mods
Karah Taycher started outside row one of the IMCA Sport Mods feature and took the lead on lap one followed by Bryce Clements. Hard-charging Jach passed Clements for second on lap three after starting the race in seventh.
On lap six of the race, Jach pulled even with Taycher and took the lead away. Taycher pursued Jach until lap 13 when Jordan Barkholtz snagged the second spot. Barkholtz then began to methodically hunt down Jach.
Barkholtz went to the outside of Jach and took the lead as the white flag waived. Exiting turn two on the final lap, Jach and Barkholtz were side by side, with Jach down low and Barkholtz up high. They were still side by side through turns three and four.
As the checkered flag waived, Jach pulled ahead and won the race. Barkholtz would have to settle for second. Kyle Raddant, Karah Taycher and Tyler Thiex rounded out the top five.
Travis Welch led the first two laps of the Mighty Fours feature before Brad Wedde passed him for the top spot. Wedde held off Hollie Welch for the victory. Grant Kastning, Travis Welch and Lucas Hacker completed the top five.
Late Models Feature: 1) Brett Swedberg, 2) Justin Hirt, 3) Ron Berna, 4) Michael Stangl, 5) Derek Jahnke, 6) Jim Zdroik, 7) Tony Habeck, 8) Doug Blashe, 9) Tom Naeyaert, 10) Jared Siefert.
Heat 1: 1) Jeff Curtin, 2) Swedberg, 3) Robby Bunkelman.
Heat 2: 1) Hirt, 2) Zdroik, 3) Blashe.
IMCA Modifieds Feature: 1) Marcus Yarie, 2) Jerry Wilinski, 3) Beetle Bailey, 4) Jamie Schmidt, 5) Eddie Muenster, 6) Cole Petit, 7) Jim Zdroik, 8) Mark Weisnicht, 9) Tony Wedelstadt, 10) Jerry Muenster.
Heat 1: 1) Shawn Frelich, 2) Eddie Muenster, 3) Yarie.
Heat 2: 1) Kevin Feck, 2) Wilinski, 3) Jerry Muenster.
IMCA Stock Cars Feature: 1) Vern Stedjee, 2) Travis Van Straten, 3) Mike Schmidt, 4) Rod Snellenberger, 5) Trent Nolan, 6) Luke Uttecht, 7) Tom Riehl, 8) Dan Michonski, 9) Eric Zwirschitz, 10) Matt Alvey.
Heat 1: 1) Snellenberger, 2) Stedjee, 3) Carl King.
Heat 2: 1) Nolan, 2) Kurt Olson, 3) Michonski.
IMCA Sport Mods Feature: 1) Jason Jach, 2) Jordan Barkholtz, 3) Kyle Raddant, 4) Karah Taycher, 5) Tyler Thiex, 6) Brekken Kleinschmidt, 7) Bryce Clements, 8) Brandon Nygaard, 9) Brianna Ambroziak, 10) Jordan Reinke.
Heat 1: 1) Jach, 2) Barkholtz, 3) Ambroziak.
Heat 2: 1) Taycher, 2) Clements, 3) Nygaard.
Mighty Fours Feature: 1) Brad Wedde, 2) Hollie Welch, 3) Grant Kastning, 4) Travis Welch, 5) Lucas Hacker, 6) Tanner Westphal, 7) Dalton Nelson, 8) Alex Adams, 9) Jason Hopinka, 10) Aaron Milavitz.
Heat 1: 1) Travis Welch, 2) Westphal, 3) Wedde.
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