RAIN HELPS HOFFMAN WIN ASA LATE MODEL EVENT By Dean Strom
Race Completes Just 55 Laps Of Scheduled 100
Rain brought an early end to the ASA Late Model Series—North race, Saturday night at Lake Geneva (Wis.) Raceway. The field had just completed lap 55 of the scheduled 100 lapper when persistent showers picked up, making the racing surface unmanageable. Ironically, rain also played a part in determining the winner, as the initial green flag dropped.
“I think he spun his tires, I know I did a little bit,” recalled Hoffman.
Indeed that was the case for Smith.
Eddie Hoffman played the rain game right and won at Lake Geneva. (Steve Benesh Photo)
“I just spun the tires and got a little loose,” said Smith.
Hoffman set a comfortable pace once out front and cautiously worked lapped traffic while the youngster shadowed him.
“The car felt good,” said Hoffman. “But we weren’t that much faster than him on the clock, so It’s probably a good thing we got out front.”
By lap 18 Bires had worked his way past Anthony Danta and Chad Wood and into the third spot.
“Everyone knew the rain was coming,” said Bires. “My crew told me to get to lap 50 (a point where the race could be called official) so there was an emphasis on getting to the front in a hurry.”
Bires made a bold move to the outside of Smith just prior to the mid-point of the race. The pass attempt was impressive since very few passes are made on the outside at Lake Geneva Raceway.
Hoffman celebrated his win well after the rains came. (Benesh Photo)
After the mandatory series invert, 16-year old Jesse Smith found himself on the pole with the grizzled veteran Hoffman along side while fast qualifier Kelly Bires lined up sixth.
Prior to taking the initial green, as the field rolled around the .33-mile Lake Geneva oval, a very light shower fell. Cars continued to circle the speedway and series officials determined the asphalt race ready.
“The track was still pretty slippery,” said Hoffman. “I was surprised we went (green) as fast as we did.”
Hoffman pounced on the youngster at the drop of the green, beat him down to turn one and the rest was elementary.
“He was slowing down quite a bit going into the corners so I just jumped the outside and gave her, and it stuck,” said Bires. “If we had had more laps I think we could have run Eddie down, but it’s another thing getting around him.”
The triumph was Hoffman’s first ASA Late Model Series—North win of the year to go along with an ASA Late Model Challenge Series win.
Lake Geneva 100
Lake Geneva Raceway
1. Eddie Hoffman
2. Kelly Bires
3. Jesse Smith
4. Chad Wood
5. Anthony Danta
6. Nick Schumacher
7. Peter Cozzolino
8. Jack Smith
9. Pete Vanderwyst
10. Travis Dassow
11. Jason Setser
12. Jeff Bozell
13. Dan Lensing
14. Bill Knippenberg Jr.
15. Nick Neville
16. Michael Annett
17. Mark Hartline
18. Derek Neville
19. Rick Corso
20. J. Herbst
21. Jason Taghikhani
22. Jamie Dorsey
23. Mike Tetzlaff
24. Troy Hintzsche
25. Ryan Carlson
26. Joe Ross
Kelly Bires was the fast qualifier and finished second. (Bob Milner Photo)
Once the yellow flew for rain at lap 55, the cars were brought to the pit area. Safety vehicles attempted to dry the track, and actually were making progress, when the skies opened up once again.
“We moved the race up in the schedule a little bit,” said ASALM president Ron Varney. “We have to work with the track and we did move it up some, in an attempt to get as much of the feature in as we could, because we knew the weather was on the way. Unfortunately we didn’t get all of them in tonight.”
The final rundown showed Bires behind Hoffman with the young Smith, Wood and Danta rounding out the top five.