Dan Frederickson Dominates at I-94 by Jana Jurkovich
Wimmer Sets a Record, Haseleu Turns His Ship Around in ASA Midwest
Nathan Haseleu tried in his #87, but nobody could top Dan Frederickson (#36) at I-94.. (ASA MW / Doug Hornickle / Fast Lap Photo Photos).
Frederickson wasted no time letting it be known he was a threat for his second win of the season as he first broke the record with a lap time of 16.89 seconds. Two cars later Donny Reuvers showed he might be capable of winning his third ASAMT event in a row when he put down a lap faster than Frederickson's by five one hundredths of a second. That was until Chris Wimmer came along and topped them all. His lap time of 16.79 seconds stands as new record at I-94 Raceway and made his fast qualifier for the ECHO Bear Cat July Spectacular 100.
"This is the first time I've raced here so to put down a lap like that is pretty awesome," said Wimmer, "I thought we were pretty good in practice, but I didn't know we'd be that good. It was pretty cool."
The top sixteen advanced to the feature on time and were separated by a mere .32 seconds. Meanwhile a tough field of 24 drivers fought for the remaining ten spots.
Six I-94 Raceway regulars made the field even more difficult as five made the final field of 26. Travis Sauter, who started the day 3rd in ASAMT points was forced to use a provisional, and Andrew Morrisey, who began the day 4th in points, failed to make the race at all.
Wimmer rolled a six on the dice making the invert for the ECHO Bear Cat 100 fourteen. That put Jon Olson on the pole and Adam Hensel to his outside for the start. Dan Frederickson started 10th and wasted no time moving his #36 Chevy to the front. By lap 4 he was up to 4th position and by lap 12 he took over the lead and began to drive away. "I was just kind of waiting for everyone to get going there at the beginning," said Frederickson, "And it seemed like a slow pace so I drove to the bottom and just went on by."
Nathan Haseleu, who started eighth, worked his way in to second by lap 21 and set his
sights on Frederickson.
"I brought my crate motor car, so that probably helped us, it's a little bit of an advantage
here," said Haseleu.
But Haseleu got used to seeing the bumper on Frederickson's Chevy as he drove away at
such a pace it seemed impossible to catch him.
"I saw him for awhile," the driver of the #87 said, "but then I was just concentrating and
he must have gotten through the lap traffic and then when I got 'em there was a bunch
of them and he was gone."
As Frederickson put it on cruise control and Haseleu secured his spot in second, the rest
of the field battled for position until the checkered flag flew. Fast qualifier Chris Wimmer
negotiated traffic and moved in to 4th by lap 29, but with 30 laps to go his car began to fade.
The #52 Chevy slid back to 14th position before rallying for a tenth place finish.
"This racetrack is really hard on your tires," said Wimmer, "I thought I was saving them in the beginning, but then I saw Frederickson drive away and I knew I needed to get going. I just burned all my stuff out trying to get to the front. I got really loose towards the end and was happy to hang on for a top ten."
Reuvers, who's been on a hot streak lately winning the last two ASAMT races, negotiated his way from 12th all the way 3rd just 26 laps in to the race. He would hold on to that position until late in the race when Steve Anderson hunted him down.
Anderson began the race a little slow, falling back from his sixth place starting position, but his car really came to in the last half of the race and he was one of the fastest cars on the track at the end.
"I knew I was going to have to keep my car around for the end," said Anderson, "but it just wasn't very good right at the beginning so I got shuffled back a ways. Shortly after I got pushed back and the guys got going I was like ok it's coming in, but was just too late."
For Anderson, who chooses about three ASAMT races to compete in each season, a third place finish is something to be proud of.
Fireworks can be expected on the 4th of July. Just like in the ASA Midwest Tour you can expect Dan Frederickson and Donny Reuvers to contend for a win and that an ASAMT record or track record is in jeopardy at each race. But as fireworks followed the ECHO Bear Cat 100 Saturday at I-94 Raceway, it was the unexpected that produced the most sparks.
Let's start with the finale. The way all those fireworks go off at the same time, the sheer number is what makes it difficult, just as 40 drivers attempted to make the field of 26 for the ECHO Beat Cat 100.
And you can't forget those old favorite fireworks, the ones you maybe don't see all the time, but then suddenly there they are. Just like a former champion finding his way back a top the podium.
Or how about the ones that light up the sky then disappear in a matter of seconds, just as some drivers saw their tires fade in the same amount of time.
But what was most unexpected was the way the pyrotechnics overpowered the night sky, just as one car dominated the race in such a way it barely seemed possible.
Just like those big, loud fireworks you can expect, the racetrack in Sauk Center, Minnesota saw its track record fall not once, not twice, but three times Saturday. Dan
Chris Wimmer (#52) set a new track record at I-94 Raceway.
With his second place finish Haseleu climbed the podium for the first time since August of last season.
"It's huge for us and the race team," said Haseleu, "We'll keep plugging away and hopefully get a win or two here yet."
The defending ASAMT Champion struggled early in the season, failing to finish the first two races of the year, but his sixth place finish at Grundy seemed to be the start to the Swiss Colony #87 turning its season around.
"It feels really good because you work really hard even when things are bad or good, you don't work any different, just some things don't click" said Haseleu, "It's nice when they click, it's a lot easier, everybody is in a better mood and it's a lot more fun."
Next up for the ASAMT is its "Western Swing." The Series makes up its previously scheduled race in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 18th and then has a quick turn around for the regularly scheduled race July 20th at Iowa Speedway. Unlike the fireworks that now disappear for another year, don't count Frederickson out on either of those tracks.
"Cedar Rapids I feel I can run really good there," said Frederickson, "and having won a few years ago at Milwaukee, I think we can be good at a long track."
"This tour is a big deal and these guys are good," said Anderson, "Danny was fast all night long. I was thinking I may be able to win, but tough crowd here."
While the rest of the field was busy going three wide around I-94 Raceway, Frederickson never slowed down, in fact he and 2nd place Haseleu were the only cars to finish on the lead lap. "It's hard to slow down, you know what I mean" said Frederickson.
And there might have been a little extra motivation behind the #36's dominating performance. Last year Frederickson finished runner-up to Jacob Goede and wasn't about to let that happen again.
"Goede had the better car last year, but he didn't have track position" said Frederickson, "I thought I lost the race in lap traffic and it was kind of a bitter loss, thought he did have the better car, and I did think about it during the day."
This marks Frederickson's second Series win of the season, but this one seems to hold a special place.
"When I come here during the weekly races and I see people come down to the pits and all that it reminds me of when racing was really genuine and a sport of integrity and I like that," said Frederickson, "I like coming here and it's just cool to win here."
His win also opens up an eighty-five-point lead in the ASAMT standings over second place Donny Reuvers.
Dan Frederickson in victory lane.