Schuler Shines on Day One at Jefferson
Jason Schuler led wire-to-wire to win the 35-lap Preview Feature for the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet on the first night of the two-day Wisconsin State Championships presented by Miller Brewing Company at Jefferson Speedway in Jefferson, WI. The field consisted of the drivers who have already qualified for tomorrow night's Twin 65's main event.
Schuler would get the jump over polesitter Doug Hahn to take the lead. As he drove off, Hahn found himself in a side-by-side battle with Jason Erickson throughout the caution-free event. As the two battled for the runner-up spot, fast qualifier Ross Kenseth followed the two waiting to see who would get the position.
With ten laps to go, Kenseth found himself in a battle with Kyle Jarlsberg for the fourth spot. Jarlsberg would get by the third generation driver for the spot with nine to go. Ahead of him, Hahn and Erickson would continue to go back and forth on who would the second spot. While this was going on, Schuler pulled away to a ten-car length lead.
At the checkers it was Schuler easily taking the win while Erickson would get the second spot over Hahn. Jarlsberg was fourth with Kenseth rounding out the top-five.
The 17 drivers who competed in the Preview Feature will now get their cars ready for the Twin 65's tomorrow night at Wisconsin's Action Track. Gates open at 3 p.m. with practice starting at 4:00 p.m. and racing starting at 6:30 p.m. with last chance races then the features for the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, Internationals, and Bandits.
Kenseth rolled a nine for the invert that will have James Swan and Bob Kahler on the front row for the first 65-lap feature on Saturday night.
In earlier action, Kenseth led the field of 48 cars in qualifying with a fast time of 14.237 seconds. Jon Reynolds Jr. was second quick with a time of 14.279 seconds with Erickson in third with his time of 14.283 seconds. Jeremy Miller was fourth with a time of 14.290 seconds and Schuler rounded out the top-five with a time of 14.305 seconds.
Bob Kahler and Steve Dobratz won the fast qualifier dashes. Casey Johnson and Skylar Holzhausen won the qualifier races. Dave Edwards won the Consolation race.
Hahn won the Champions race.
Kenseth Claims Wisconsin State Championship
Ross Kenseth's season in the BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet continues to shine as he won the 2009 Wisconsin State Championship presented by Miller Brewing Company at Jefferson Speedway in Jefferson, WI. Kyle Jarlsberg and Jason Erickson each claimed feature wins in the Twin 65-lap feature events that highlighted the two days of racing at Wisconsin's Action Track.
"The car was awesome, we came from ninth both times to finish third and finish second," an excited Kenseth said in victory lane. "I have to thank these guys from Pathfinder Chassis, this thing was really really good. I could go high or low on anybody."
Jarlsberg took the lead as the green flag flew over polesitter Scott Broughton. He would put some distance between himself and Broughton and would not be challenged throughout the 65-lap event.
Jefferson Speedway is well known for creating some great side-by-side battles with its unique track design and the fans saw that as positions were being battled behind Jarlsberg. The fans watch the battle for positions third through eighth as James Swan, Doug Hahn, Jeremy Miller, Luke Westenberg, Jason Schuler and fast qualifier Ross Kenseth were battling for those spots.
The first caution flew on lap 19 when Tim Sargent spun in turn four. On the re-start, Jarlsberg would pull away from Broughton as he held off a challenge from Swan.
Kenseth would make his charge to the front by getting past Schuler for the seventh position on lap 22. On lap 31, Hahn worked the inside of Swan to take over third.
Westenberg would bring out the second caution on lap 39 when he spun in turn four trying to get by Kenseth on the outside.
On the re-start Miller would work his way up to fourth by getting past Swan on lap 40. Kenseth would follow Miller and take over the fifth spot on lap 42. Kenseth would then get on the outside of Miller on lap 53 and take over the fourth spot.
Three laps later Kenseth would then get on the inside of Hahn but would hold off the challenge from the current BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet point leader. But with five laps to go, Hahn would get loose in turn two and that allowed Kenseth to get back on the inside and challenge for third. The two battled side-by-side all the way to the checkers.
At the finish it was Jarlsberg taking the win with Broughton in second. Kenseth would get third by a nose over Hahn and Miller would round out the top-five.
The top-eleven were inverted for the start of the second 65-lap feature.
Bobby Wilberg and Jason Erickson led the field to the green flag for the second 65-lap feature and just like what Jarlsberg did in the first, Erickson took off and didn't look back.
The story in the second feature was who would finish in the right position to win the overall title.
Jarlsberg started eleventh and worked his way up towards the front. But in front of him Kenseth, who started ninth in the second feature as well, stayed ahead of Jarlsberg on his charge to the front.
The first of two cautions in the second feature occured on lap seven when Tim Sargent made contact with the backstretch wall and came to a rest on the frontstretch. He was all right but was done for the night.
Erickson continued to lead on the re-start with Steve Dobratz in second. Kenseth continued his way to the front when he got by Hahn for seventh. Five laps later he would get by Swan for sixth.
The final caution flew on lap 32 when Westenberg spun in turn four. Erickson again pulled away from Dobratz on the re-start. Kenseth would again use the outside lane to get past Miller on the outside for the fifth spot on lap 39. On lap 41, he would get on the inside of Kahler and the two put on a tight side-by-side battle with Kenseth prevailing to take over the spot. Three laps later, he would get by Schuler for the third spot.
Kenseth would then chase down Dobratz and move into the second spot on lap 52. Behind him Jarlsberg would work his way up to fourth in the closing laps.
At the checkers it was Erickson taking the win with Kenseth in second. Dobratz would hold off Jarlsberg for third with Miller rounding out the top-five.
With his win in the first feature Jarlsberg would claim the overall Big 8 Series feature win with his first and fourth place finish. But, based on overall weekend performance, Kenseth was declared the 2009 Wisconsin State Champion with his second and third place run coupled with his fast qualifying time.
Kenseth also picked up a $100 bonus from Powersource Race Engines for being the Power Mover of the event as he passed the most cars.
The BRP Big 8 Series presented by Gandrud Chevrolet will be back in action on Saturday, October 3 at Rockford Speedway for the 44th Annual National Short Track Championships.