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Stock Car Division puts on a show for the ages

Anvelink wins again, Wudstrack claims first win
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Scott Owen Special to the Leader


Photos courtesy of Turn 2 Photos and Design Travis VanStraten won his first IMCA Stock Car feature of the season on Saturday at Shawano Speedway.

Sometimes it all just comes together. That was the case on Saturday night at the Shawano Speedway as fans were treated to some unbelievable action.

Nick Anvelink came from seventh to win his fourth Late Model feature of the year. Former dirt and pavement Late Model feature winner, Tim Rothe, scored his first career IMCA Modified feature win. Travis VanStraten came from 10th to win a caution-free IMCA Stock Car feature that had more passing than an indoor football game. It was VanStraten’s first feature win of the year.

Teagan Wudstrack was on cloud nine after coming from 11th to win his first ever IMCA Sport Mod feature. Jason Cornelius put his early season woes behind him with his first Mighty Four win of the year.

Anvelink took the lead with just three laps to go as he worked to the inside of Troy Springborn as the leaders worked through the tail of the field. As the traffic in front of them raced three-wide, Anvelink overtook Springborn and went on to win his 10th DiscountShopTowels.com Dirt Kings Late Model Tour race, his second win at Shawano Speedway.

Springborn led the first 22 laps of the 25-lap Gehm’s Club 117 Kings Classic after starting from the pole. Springborn took the lead going into turn one and battled with Justin Ritchie going down the backstretch, but Springborn prevailed on the high side.

Just past the halfway point, Anvelink charged to third position, passing Ron Berna on the inside. One lap later, Anvelink took second position away from Ritchie and set his sights on Springborn, who was half a straightaway ahead.

With five laps remaining, Anvelink closed the gap on Springborn, who was working around lapped traffic. Anvelink passed six cars en route to his win. Springborn finished second, followed by Ritchie, Berna and Brett Swedberg.

Pole-sitter Shawn Frelich took the lead on lap one of the IMCA Modified feature before a caution flag slowed the pace and reset the field after the opening lap. On lap two, Rothe went to the outside of Frelich and took the lead away. Rothe then dropped the hammer and began to pull away.

Behind Rothe, Matt Oreskovich ran second as Lucas Lamberies began working through the field after starting in 12th. On lap eight, Lamberies went to the inside of Oreskovich and tried to put the slide job on him for second. Lamberies was not able to clear Oreskovich though and the two cars made contact, with Lamberies getting a flat tire and pulling pitside.

Oreskovich was then challenged by Wyatt Block for second. The pair swapped the runner-up position multiple times as the leader, Rothe, continued to run away. At the end, it was Rothe with the dominant win followed by Block, Oreskovich, Kevin Feck and Rob Charapata.

Kurt Olson set the early pace in the IMCA Stock Car feature. Nate Michonski quickly challenged for the lead and led lap two by a nose. Olson went right back out front on lap three.

Behind the lead duo, Dan Michonski, Trent Nolan, Jeremy Christians and VanStraten began working forward from deep in the field. Business really picked up just past the halfway point of the race.

On lap 13, Christian cracked the whip and pulled alongside Olson to challenge for the lead. Christians led by the slimmest of margins at the finish line, but the race was far from over.

Christians and Olson continued to battle door to door on lap 14. VanStraten then moved to second on lap 15. On lap 16, Christians, Olson, VanStraten, Nolan and the Michonski brothers looked like rush hour traffic with three rows of door to door, bumper to bumper racing.

On lap 17, VanStraten put his car in the lead with an inside pass on Christians. In the end it was VanStraten fending off Christians, Nate Michonki, Dan Michonski and Trent Nolan for the win.

Last week’s feature winner Sawyer Haese took the lead on lap one of the IMCA Sport Mod feature. As Haese led, Matthew Radtke ran second, while Wudstrack moved to third.

On lap 11, Wudstrack made an inside pass on Radtke to move to second. Jordan Bartz went to the outside to pass Wudstrack for second on lap 12, but Wudstrack would take it right back on lap 13.

On lap 14, Haese, Wudstrack, Bartz, and Radtke were four-wide for the lead exiting turn two. Wudstrack pulled ahead down the backstretch to take the lead. Wudstrack would not look back. Haese, Bartz and Bryce Clements battled behind Wudstrack.

At the end it was Wudstrack leading the field to the checkered flag chased by Haese, Clements, Bartz and Radtke.

In Mighty Four action, Cornelius led lap one before giving way to Josh Slewinski on lap two. Slewinski continued to lead as Cornelius pulled alongside on lap seven. The two drivers ran side by side until lap 10 when Cornelius snuck underneath Slewinski for the lead.

Cornelius would stay out front and claim the win. Tanner Westphal passed Slewinski late in the race for second. Slewinski would take third, Kevin Bice fourth and Lucas Hacker was fifth.

Racing continues Saturday with a 6 p.m. start time. It is kids’ bike giveaway night at the track. More information can be found online at www.shawanocountyfair.net.

Dirt Kings Tour contributed to this story.