ASA Midwest Tour Shakopee 100 Goes Fredrickson's Way  by Lindsey Marks
Post-Race Rubbing Can't Keep Dan Fredrickson Out of Victory Lane
A combination of beautiful sunny skies, and a 35-car turnout had the grandstands packed early Sunday afternoon for the Shakopee 100; and, as always, the ASA Midwest Tour did not disappoint.

After a traditional qualifying session, three odd/even qualifying races and the last-chance event on the quarter-mile track, 26 cars took the green flag for the 100-lap main event. Travis Sauter led the field to the stripe followed by Jamie Iverson and Jonathan Eilen.

Despite five more cautions cluttering up the first half of the event, there was little action between the top-five drivers. Sauter kept his Chevrolet out front, with Eilen in a close second, followed by Steve Carlson, local driver Adam Royle, and Iverson.

Immediately after passing the halfway mark, Royle decided it was time to begin his trek to the front.  After banging fenders with Carlson and enduring yet another caution flag, Royle managed to take third spot.

As if taking a cue from Royle, the #77 of Eilen began pressuring Sauter for the lead around lap 60. The top-two drivers managed to pull away from the field while battling for position until they hit lapped traffic.  Royle caught up with the leaders around lap 80, while Dan Fredrickson quietly made his way up to fourth place.

A 27-lap green flag run, the longest of the evening, ended on lap 83 when Eilen and Sauter made hard contact while fighting for the lead. Sauter, who had led all 83 laps of the race to that point, spun around in turn four and both drivers were sent to the rear of the field.

The turn of events moved local drivers Royle and Fredrickson into the top two spots, with Carlson, Iverson and Nathan Haseleu rounding out the top five.
Dan Fredrickson (left) celebrated the win, but Adam Royle (right) wasn't super happy with finishing second.  (Doug Hornickel photos)
Much to Royle's disappointment, Fredrickson managed to make the pass at the stripe on lap 98 and never looked back.

Fredrickson took the checkers, and his third victory of the season, with Royle coming in second and Carlson in third. 

A disappointed and clearly aggravated Royle spun the winner around after the checkered flag was dropped.  Royle again made a point of showing his displeasure for Fredrickson's aggressive driving style during his post-race interview but Fredrickson was not the least bit affected by the comments.

"It takes a little bit of rubbing," he said. "But, that's what short track racing is all about."

Fredrickson (#36) battles Royle at Shakopee
Is it intimidating to be the only female on the track?  She admitted that, at one time, it was.

"I've put in my time," she said. "The older ones (drivers) are really great. It's the younger rookies that are hard."

It seems that her brother, A.J. Rhoads, may be her hardest competition at times.

"We've wrecked together a few times," she admitted. "I run him harder than anybody."

However, Rhoads also says that despite their roughness on the track, they are always there for one another.

Molly Rhoads' #98 (KC Traxler Photo)
A.J. Rhoads proved that during the third qualifying event when Molly, who was leading, got loose and was shuffled back to fifth place after the #22 of Russ Blakeley collided with her. A lap after the incident, A.J. got behind the #22 and sent Blakeley spinning.

Unfortunately, both brother and sister were sent packing after they failed to qualify into the feature event.

California Native Attempts to Race Into The Shakopee 100

Jerry Kobza, of Folsom, Calif., attempted to race his way into the first real Late Model event of his career.
A renowned sprint car driver in Northern California, who also has a history racing Midgets and one Craftsman Truck Series start back in 1999, Kobza decided to accept an offer to drive a Late Model.

Tim Olson gave him the chance to get some seat time during the Shakopee 100; however, Kobza did not seem to have much luck behind the wheel. After a wreck in the second practice session, the crew spent the majority of the afternoon rebuilding the front end of his Chevrolet.

His luck on the track in qualifying was no better and he did not manage to race his way in during the qualifying and last-chance events.

So, with a long journey home, Kobza has made the best of the opportunity.

"It is a big learning experience," Kobza said.

For now he is going to head back to California to get ready for his Sprint Car race next weekend.

Humble Driver Has The Only Open Trailer In The Pits

Jeff Lofquist is the driver of the #4 Just Fun Chevrolet. He pulled his plainly-painted Late Model into the pits on an open trailer. A humble man who just loves to race, Lofquist is not the least bit intimidated by the gigantic haulers and professionally painted race cars he competes with.

"I just like to race," he said.

With very little funding, Lofquist keeps his spirits high and enjoys whatever time he can have behind the wheel.

During the pre-race autograph session, Lofquist did not have the fancy hero cards that most drivers were handing out by the dozens; he had a silver Sharpie that he gave to anyone who came to talk to him so they could sign his car.

Lofquist knows that he is lucky to be racing because he always remembers it could all end quickly.

"If we wreck, we're done," he said.

Knowing that, Lofquist kept his car out of trouble during the qualifying events but was unable to race his way into the feature. Despite not making the 100-lap event, Lofquist's morale was high and his attitude is summed up by the name of his website
The turn of events moved local drivers Royle and Fredrickson into the top two spots, with Carlson, Iverson and Nathan Haseleu rounding out the top five.

Sauter's day went from bad to worse as he spun out again just two laps after the restart and brought out the final caution of the evening.

As the laps wound down, the excitement heated up as Fredrickson did all he could to get around Royle for the lead. Royle made his car look as wide as the track, while Fredrickson tried taking him on the high side.  With five laps to go, the two leaders battled side-by-side.

Fredrickson said he was just happy to win and he called the caution-filled event "a pretty typical Raceway Park race."

Many drivers refer to this quarter-mile track as "Wreck-way Park" and it sure seemed to live up to its nickname Sunday night.


Former Raceway Park Champion Donny Reuvers Shatters The Record Books

The Raceway Park track record, previously held by Jake Ryan, was broken during qualifying, as was the old ARTGO record of 13.672 seconds set by racing legend Butch Miller. In fact, 12 drivers surpassed Miller's record, but local driver Donny Reuvers beat them all with a fast lap of 13.493.

Due to the inversion process, Reuvers started the 100-lap feature in 13th place and the crowd was disappointed when the former track Champion slowed on lap 62 and pulled off the track with some type of mechanical trouble.

Brother and Sister Are There For Each Other On And Off The Track

Molly Rhoads was the only female who attempted to qualify into the Shakopee 100. The 25-year old was confident as she signed autographs next to her black and pink Ford during the pre-race autograph session.