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Johnny Saathoff wins at Eagle Raceway on June 2nd 2012
posted: Jun 06, 2012 11:31:02

he large crowd that showed up for Student Break Out Night, sponsored by Colby Ridge and Nebraska Blue Sky Travel were greeted by clear blue skies and balmy temperatures. At intermission students were treated to a “Tour ‘de Track” as they got a ride around the facility.

There were no significant instances in the preliminary events.

The first event was the make-up A Feature from May 19th for the Exhaust Pros IMCA Sport Compacts. Keith Miller in the #420, Erica Cronin’s 30, the 20 of Sydney Yost and Robert Cigelman’s 95C were the top four after lap 1. Barry Kinnersley got the 00 into fourth on lap 2 but was passed by his father Maynard who moved his #18 into fourth the next time around. One more circuit saw Maynard jump up to second and then into the lead on lap 5. Barry advanced to third on lap 6. Nick Lindblad cracked the top 4 on lap 10 and then moved the #26 into third the next lap. Cronin moved back to fourth after another lap. Lindblad grabbed second the next time around and the top four remained unchanged to the finish. The final top 4 were Maynard Kinnersley, Lindblad, Barry Kinnersley and Cronin.

“It feels great to beat Barry. ‘Version 2.0’ isn’t always the best’” Maynard related. He continued by saying “Thanks to my wife for letting me go racing again. And thanks to Chad, Nick, Matt and Barry. It was a great night for the Kinnersley clan!”. Maynard’s sponsor is Kinnersley Grading.

Next was the make-up A Main from May 19th for the Nebraska Drive Shaft and Radiator IMCA Modifieds. As the field reached the flag stand after the first lap the lead cars were Rik Gropp’s V45, the 3W of Stacey Wilhelm, Dustin Andersen’s 8A and the 21H of Shane Hiatt. Hiatt passed Andersen on lap 2 and Tim Ward also went past Andersen for fourth the next lap. Wilhelm grabbed first on lap 6 as Chris Ableson moved to fourth in the 1X. It took Ableson just 1 more lap to jump all the way up to second. Andersen spun in turns 1 & 2 on lap 10. The restart saw Hiatt get past Ableson for second. Ward again moved to fourth the next time around and Ableson moved back to second on lap 12. 3 more circuits saw Ableson ride the rim around Wilhelm, but Stacey got back under him before the flag stand. Ableson took the point for good on lap 17 as Ward jumped up to second and Mike Densberger moved the #81 to fourth. Ableson took the win, Ward was second, Hiatt third and Densberger fourth.

“The track was good on both the top and bottom. Once I got to first I tried to just hang in there” Ableson said. He also stated “I got past Stacey, and then he passed me back. That last pass wasn’t the best, and I really hate doing it like that, but I slid up a lot farther than I wanted”. Ableson’s sponsors include Razor Chassis, Bilstein and the Klub Lisa Girls.

The Budweiser 360 Sprint Cars then moved onto the track for their feature event. First back to the flag stand were Mike Boston’s 51, John Klabunde in the 77, the 5H of Logan Forler and Ken Klabunde in the 28. Cody Ledger passed Ken Klabunde on lap 2, moving his 35L into fourth. Ken Klabunde got the fourth position back the next circuit. Lap 5 saw the 32 of Adam Gullion and Tadd Holliman’s 23R get together in 23 & 4. Both cars were relegated to the pits. Forler grabbed the second spot on the restart with Ledger again moving to fourth. Coming out of turn 2 on lap 9 Boston made contact with the 33 of Austin Farley, sending Farley flipping. Farley was not badly injured. Jordan Boston did a 360 degree spin in turns 1 & 2 on lap 13, bringing out the yellow flag. Ledger went to the pits under the caution with a flat right rear tire. That moved the 44 of Doug Lovegrove into the fourth spot. Forler grabbed the lead on lap 21. The amber lights were lit again on lap 23 as the 6 of Nick Bryan stopped on the back stretch. At the checkers the top 4 were Forler, Boston, John Klabunde and Lovegrove.

“The track was good tonight, and I was really happy with the work that they did at intermission. I will definitely be back next weekend for the ASCS National Tour show” Forler related. Forler’s sponsors include Van Dyke Motorsports, Lucas Oil and Steve Forler Trucking.

The next A Main was for the Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stocks. As they reached the flag stand on the first circuit Lee Kracht was in the lead in the 10K followed by Casey Moyer’s 38C, the X15 of Mike Christiansen and Garrett Bolander in the 98X. Bolander got past Christiansen on lap 2 and Josh Kennell also got around Christiansen to move the 71K to fourth the next time around. 3 laps later Kennel advanced to third and 2 laps later Justin Busboom cracked the top 4 in his #62. Bolander retook the fourth position on lap 10. As the checkers flew it was Kracht, Moyer, Kennell and Bolander.

Kracht said “First of all, thanks to the 2 most important people in my life; my wife and my son Ryan for putting up with my racing all of the time. And a BIG thanks to Justin and Al for putting my car back together after it being wrecked last week. Also to Don and Matt for helping me get through tech tonight”. Lee concluded the interview by relating “I owe so much to my great sponsors and all of the people who help on my car. A special thanks goes out to Roger for giving us one hell of a track to race on every week”. Kracht’s sponsors include Hartford Glass, Demon Decals, Sieh Farms, Jay’s Tire, Jonos Race Engines, Janzing Truck & Tractor Repair, Tunnisen Pheasant Hunting and Diamond Farms.

Next the NAPA IMCA Sport Modifieds rolled onto the high banks. As the cars rounded turns 3 & 4 there was a big melee which ended up sending Bob Ruisinger’s 7, the 23 of Steve Swarthout and Max Harder’s #34 to the pits. When the first official lap was done the lead was held by the 18 of Laini Schwartz with Gunner Pike’s 25J and Kevin Anderson’s 22K close behind. Shawn Harker moved the #40 into third on lap 2 and then up to second the next lap as Matt Richards took fourth in the 1R. Richards moved up to third on lap 3 and Todd Boulware took the fourth position on lap 5 in the 14X. Richards and Boulware both advanced 1 position on lap 7 with Richards snagging the lead and Boulware moved to third. It took Boulware only 1 more circuit to move to second. The final position change in the top 4 came on lap 11 as Anderson moved back to fourth. Richards, Boulware, Harker and Anderson were the top 4.

“This win is dedicated to Melvin Richards Sr. Also, I want to thank Gary and Barb Zlab, Jessica and Cade and ken Stefonick my crewman. We finally hit the setup right, and that made it a fun night. It’s always fun to win in front of a big crowd like we get here at Eagle” Richards stated.

It was then time for the Exhaust Pros IMCA Sport Compact A Feature. Corey Zeitner led the first circuit in his #60 followed by Barry Kinnersley’s 00, the 2CS of Brian Haller and Chad Bassinger in the 4X. Kinnersley passed Zeitner on lap 2 and Bassinger moved past Haller shortly after that. The last position change came on lap 4 when Matt Moyer moved his #29 past Haller for fourth.

Kinnersley said “This is a neat deal; father and son winning features on the same night! The bad part is I think I might have blown the motor, or at least a head gasket”. He finished by stating “Thanks to Matt, Chad, Nick and all of the guys who help us out. The biggest thanks go to Maynard, the best Dad in the world”. Barry’s sponsor is Kinnersley Grading.

The finale saw the Nebraska Drive Shaft and Radiator IMCA Modifieds. Andrew Hille’s 31, the 11N of Nathan Landauer, Dustin Anderson’s 8A and the 3A of Aaron Pella were the first four back to the flag stand on lap #1. Anderson, Pella and Chris Ableson in the 1X all passed Landauer on lap 3. Ableson moved to second the next lap as Johnny Saathoff jumped all the way up to third in the 96J the next time around. It took only 1 more lap for Saathoff to move all the way into the lead as Ableson held second. Tim Ward moved into fourth on lap 6 in the 4TW. Pella spun into the infield on lap 7 and the caution lights were lit. Bob Zoubek used the restart to take the 5S into fourth before advancing to third the next lap as Ward regained fourth. Dylan Smith got the 95 past Ward on lap 13 but dropped back dramatically on lap 17, allowing Ward to retake fourth. Mike Densberger spun his #81 in turn 1 the next lap. On the last lap Anderson retook the fourth spot. The final top 4 were Saathoff, Ableson, Zoubek and Andersen.

“The 96KX Jet Mod was working good tonight for the clean sweep. The car feels as good as it did last year, and I really like the new format” Saathoff stated. Saathoff’s sponsors include JM Motorsports, jet Racing, Penner Insurance, Toobey’s Lumber and 96KX.

Next weekend is the 2-day Eagle Nationals, presented by TBJ Promotions. The Lucas Oil ASCS National 360 Sprint Car Tour makes its annual visit to Eagle Raceway on June 8th and 9th. Front gates open at 5:30 both nights. Adult tickets are $15 on Friday and $20 on Saturday. Youths 6-12 are $5 both nights and children 5 and under are free. Discount weekend passes for both adults and youths are available at http://www.tbjpromotions.com/events/?i=1110. The pit gates open at 4 P.M. both nights and pit passes are $30. Support classes Friday evening are the NAPA IMCA Sport Modifieds and Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stocks. No IMCA points will be awarded Friday evening. Saturday the Nebraska Drive Shaft and Radiator IMCA Modifieds and Exhaust Pros IMCA Sport Compacts will round out the card. Full IMCA points will be awarded Saturday evening.