Richards Wins ASA Midwest Tour Back Home 100 at WI Dells
Local Wins Race Filled With Big-Time NASCAR Wisconsin Stars
Kenny Richards of Montello surely did come back home, the ASA Midwest Tour point leader racing his car to the win at his home track, Dells Raceway Park Tuesday night.
Before a full-house crowd at Wisconsin’s Dells Raceway Park, 53 Super Late Models timed in for competition on the ASA Midwest Tour circuit for the Back Home 100.
As the Tour’s stars have been proving all season long, these shows are hard to make and a place on the starting grid is truly an accomplishment. Only Johnny Sauter was able to race his way into the show in the field of six NASCAR drivers on hand. Sauter was third quick in time while his nephew Travis Sauter took home the Echo Outdoor Power Equipment Blow Your Competition Away pole award.
Chris Wimmer, Travis Kvapil, Scott Wimmer, Erik Darnell, and Tim Sauter were provisional starters in the 100-lapper. Andrew Morrissey, the current DRP point leader and provisional starter, was unable to fire his engine and did not start the race.
The first 30 laps ran caution-free. Ken Reiser took the early lead, and he and Dan Fredrickson in second paced 3-lengths ahead of the close-knit field. Fredrickson made a move on the outside and he took over the point on lap 19.
Kenny Richards (center) was able to beat Johnny Sauter (left) and Travis Sauter (right) for the win at the Dells. (Doug Hornickel Photos)
The pack closed up bumper-to-bumper behind Fredrickson and Reiser, with Dave Feiler, and Kenny Richards lying in wait. Richards was also able to make the outside line work as he passed Feiler for third on lap 26. On lap 30 Fredrickson’s engine failed and he spun low into the inside crash wall. Several drivers had narrow escapes approaching the scene, but Nathan Haseleu had nowhere to go and hit Fredrickson’s stationary car. Both Haseleu and Fredrickson ended their night with the assistance of tow trucks. Ken Reiser was also involved.
When racing resumed, Richards had inherited the lead and pulled out in front of the field while Johnny Sauter, Steve Carlson, Travis Sauter, and Brian Hoppe hounded Dave Feiler for second like a pack of wolves. Tim Sauter retired early with a tire rub, but Johnny and Travis worked their way to the front on the outside lane. With 45 laps in, all the cars behind Richards were on the same half of the track with battles brewing throughout.
Johnny Sauter came to the Dells Raceway Park with a mission to win the Back Home 100. He was calling on Richards from lap 50 to the finish but kept having to fend off lapped traffic to catch up. On lap 76 nothing stood between Sauter and Richards but 20 feet of clean air and Sauter ate it up.
With four laps remaining, Sauter looked high, then looked low and got all the way inside of Richards before Richards picked off lapped cars to defend the lead. An exhausted but excited Richards took the checkers first, Johnny Sauter on his rear bumper, and Travis Sauter rounded out the top three.
“It was a tough race. I’d like to thank everyone who was down and let me get by. It’s really great to win in front of a full house crowd at my home track,” Richards said from Victory Lane. “My sponsors and crew helped get together a great car for me tonight and I couldn’t be happier.”
“This ASA Midwest Tour is a lot of fun,” Johnny Sauter said from his second place position on the podium, “I get to do a few more of these races and it’s fun running the Super Late Models. I have never raced at Late Model here, so I’m really happy about this car Gary Schultz put me in tonight – it was a fast car but I ran out of time.”
“I think I needed a caution to try for the win,” commented Travis Sauter who finished third, “I had a good car but there was a lot of room to make up in front of me.”
The next event on the ASA Midwest Tour is at Michigan’s Norway Speedway Friday June 22.
Richards (#9) raced regulars like Nathan Haseleu (#87) and Steve Carlson (#66) (top), while Johnny Sauter (#187) raced toward the front by Dave Feiler (#96) (bottom).
The NASCAR Star Summer Shootout Series will be kicking off in the beginning of July in full fashion. Visit www.asamidwesttour.com to view the full schedule and order tickets online.