WISSOTA Late Model recap, presented by RydellCars.com
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (September 12) - Two B-mains kicked off the night for the WISSOTA Late Models. In the first B-main, Steffen Snare, Joey Pederson who was last year’s runner-up, and Curt Gelling all transferred to the A-main.
Brad Seng, the only two-time champion of the Seitz, also found himself in a B-main, despite winning his heat race on Friday night. That’s because Seng was light at the scales and was disqualified, forcing him to start dead last in the consolation race. Seng went on to finish seventh in the B-main, but since Pederson was able to race his way into the show, Seng received the final provisional as the highest finishing driver from last year’s event not yet locked in the main event.
Steve Laursen won B-main two and brought Kyle Peterlin, and Tommy Waselski along with him to the A-main. Grand Forks’ Steve Anderson came home one spot shy of a transfer spot.
The “win and you’re in” last chance race took Blake Jegtvig into the 92-lapper. The former WISSOTA Modified national champ held off multiple threats from Anderson, who once again finished one spot short of making the big dance.
The 92-lap, $9,200-to-win main event was set with 2009 champion, Pat Doar, on the pole and defending champion, AJ Diemel, to his outside. The green flag flew and the thunderous field charged into turn one, led by Doar. Diemel. Jake Redetzke, Chad Mahder, and Dustin Strand all shuffled into the top five on the freshly farmed racing surface. By lap four Strand moved his #71 into third as he made passes on Redetzke and Mahder. Mahder quickly returned the favor to regain third and set his sights on Diemel for second. Mahder passed the Elk Mound, WI driver’s #58 to take the runner-up spot as Doar began to enter lapped traffic on lap 13. By lap 30 Mahder had reeled in Doar and made a bid for the lead in traffic. Doar and Mahder went three wide with Jeff Hapala down the back stretch. Mahder came around to lead the lap at the line. The yellow flag was displayed on the following lap for the scheduled fuel stop. The running order at the stop was led by Mahder, Doar, Strand, Diemel, and Don Shaw.
Then after eight minutes, the race resumed and so did the action. Strand, Diemel, and Shaw went three wide for third off of turn two. The result was Shaw moving into fourth and Diemel sliding back to sixth as Redetzke seized an opportunity to crack the top five once again. Diemel quickly found his groove again, however, and drove back to the fourth position.
With 42 to go, Shaw realized that it was go time and the Ham Lake, MN pilot was charging through the field. Shaw moved from fifth to third in one corner as he made a pass on Diemel and Strand which put the second place runner, Doar, in his crosshairs. Shaw maneuvered past the “double one express” of Doar with 37 to go, but he wasn’t done yet. With Mahder caught in lapped traffic, Shaw quickly erased the gap and challenged for the lead. Shaw powered by the Toppers Pizza #55C with 31 to go and began to pace the field. Shaw was fast on the low side of the speedway and opened up a comfortable lead. It looked as though Shaw was destined to win the race he so desperately wants to win, but with 11 circuits remaining Shaw found himself at a disadvantage. A pack of three soon-to-be lapped cars were all racing for position right in front of Shaw on the bottom of the track. Shaw was very patient as he tried to get by the slower cars, which allowed Mahder to pull right up to his rear bumper. Mahder then switched his line to the cushion and drove by Shaw for the lead. Shaw watched helplessly as the gap between himself and Mahder became larger with each passing lap. When the checkers flew Mahder took the victory with Diemel in second, and Shaw in third. Jeff Massingill finished fourth from 13th, while John Kaanta rounded out the top five.
Brad Seng was the race’s hard charger. Seng drove the S&S Transport #12S from 26th to ninth.