Ritchie records first mod win at Shawano

Swedberg, Stankowski, Lamberies and Nelson also reach victory lane
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Scott Owen Special to the Leader

Justin Ritchie has won a number of features at the Shawano Speedway, but the former Late Model track champion scored his first IMCA Modified feature win Saturday night.

Brett Swedberg cruised to his third Late Model feature win. Mitch Stankowski, who has been splitting his time between dirt and pavement racing, returned to victory lane after some time away from the IMCA Stock Car division. Lucas Lamberies won his seventh IMCA Sport Mod feature on the year while Brad Nelson celebrated his birthday with his fifth Mighty Four feature win.

The Late Model feature was led early on by Joel Bennett as Swedberg moved to second on lap three. Swedberg quickly applied the pressure to Bennett for the top spot. On lap seven, Swedberg moved underneath Bennett in turns three and four and made the pass for the lead.

Swedberg quickly said “goodbye” and pulled away from the rest of the field. Nick Anvelink eventually passed Bennett with two laps to go but had nothing for Swedberg. Bennett finished third followed by Chris Engels and Joe Reuter.

Cautions plagued the start of the IMCA Modified feature, but once the race got going, Tim Rothe took the lead. Ritchie pursued Rothe until lap three when he made an inside pass to take the lead. As Ritchie led, the action was hot and heavy behind him as Jason Czarapata, Lance Arneson, and Wyatt Block all came from deep in the field to battle for second and third.

In the end it was Ritchie making his way to victory lane followed by Czarapata, Block, Arneson and Konnor Wilinski.

Stankowski started outside the front row of the IMCA Stock Car feature and was initially challenged by teammate Mike Schmidt and Aaron Karcz. Schmidt pulled even with Stankowski on more than one occasion. As Karcz began to fade, Gary Kasperek, Dan Michonski, and Junior Karcz, (Aaron’s dad) worked towards the front of the pack.

Kasperek fell off the pace on lap nine, ending his night. Junior Karcz worked to second on the track by the halfway point of the race as Stankowski continued to lead. Over the last 10 laps of the race it was Stankowski, Karcz, Michonski and Travis VanStraten running nose to tail at the front.

Michonski raced side by side with Karcz for second but could not complete a pass. At the end it was Stankowski followed by Karcz, Michonski, VanStraten and Bert Moede Jr.

Tyler Sobiesczyk took the lead on lap one of the IMCA Sport Mod feature as Bryce Clements moved to second. Lamberies advanced from 10th to third by lap three. Lamberies pulled even with Sobiesczyk on lap five and utilized the inside groove to take the lead.

Lamberies would lead the rest of the way for the win. Sobiesczyk finished a career best second. Jordan Barkholtz, Jason Jach and Clements completed the top five.

After a week spent rebuilding his car due to a last lap crash in last week’s feature, Nelson led every lap of the Mighty Four feature. Brian Hillringhouse, guest-driving Lucas Hacker’s car, finished second. Jeffrey Teske, Jason Stueck, and Max Oreskovich completed the top five.

With the win, Nelson took the point lead and holds a four-point edge over Oreskovich and a five-point advantage on Brad Wedde. The Mighty Four champion will be decided next week as they do not race on fair night.

Racing will continue next Saturday night as the Spectator Eliminators will join the show. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Only two weeks remain in the 2018 season. More information can be found online at www.shawanocountyfair.net.