Kralovetz captures 4th straight late model title
NORWAY — Bonduel’s Dillon Kralovetz may have finished second to Menominee’s Dalton Zehr in Sunday’s 100-lap late model feature during the Dickinson County Fair at Norway Speedway.
But the second-generation driver made Norway Speedway history by winning his fourth straight Coca-Cola late model title. Zehr passed Brian Stanchina of Kingsford for the lead on lap 30 and sweated out several cautions and sifted through lapped cars to win the 100-lap feature.
Zehr won not only the $1,000-to-win race but also the $1,000 bonus for being crowned champion of the two-night fair race.
Fair night champions were crowned in four of the track’s five classes. The fair champions were determined from the races Sunday and Friday night, Aug. 31.
Fifteern-year-old Parker Cain made the tow down from Big Bay worthwhile as he captured the $500 bonus on the Auto Value super stocks. Cain also won Friday night.
Iron Mountain’s Pete Fraser won the two-night 141 Auto Sportsman title while Norway’s Joe Ostermann won the division’s track championship.
Vulcan’s Tim Schultz captured his second straight Auto Value super stock crown while Adam Faull won the stock 4 class.
Kingsford’s Brad Barglind not only captured the sport truck feature but earned enough points to fend off Neenah’s Tanner Fickel for the division crown.
In the Auto Value super stock main, Cain played it straight, and traded paint with Upper Pine Creek’s Ryan Wender on the final lap to win the Auto Value super stock feature. Drama unfoded earlier in the race as race leader Andy Gerwig of Norway and track champion Schultz locked horns, with Gerwig driving over the top of Schultz’s racer, sending both machines scattered to the infield.
Both drivers were done for the race and Gerwig received the black flag for rough driving.
Gary Thom of Aurora emerged triumphant in the 141 Auto sportsman feature while Vulcan’s Jake Dolfurd won the final race of the season in the stock four main event.
A season-high 100 cars showed up to compete, including 31 Coca-Cola late models.
The staff of Norway Speedway and the Dickinson County Racing Association expressed appreciation to fans, drivers and officials for their support throughout the 2018 campaign.
Kelly claims wild feature
Vulcan veteran Kris Kelly waited for the right opportunity.
Kelly’s patience paid off when, while running third, both cars collided in front of him on the final lap. Kelly dove underneath the duo to capture the wild victory.
The 35-lap race was plagued by several early cautions. Those wrecks took out some heavy hitters including former track champions Dan Lindsley of Vulcan and Dalton Zehr of Menominee, along with top point contenders Escanaba’s Robby Iverson and Bark River’s Tom Lindquist.
For the first several laps, veteran Bruce White of Spread Eagle and rookie Tyler Wusterbarth of Oconto stayed neck-and-neck with White in the lead. After more cautions, Joey Pontbriand took the lead and appeared poised for his first feature win of the season.
With 10 laps remaining, Kingsford’s Jason Wells, Kelly and Stanchina closed the gap on Pontbriand, with Wells looking high and low to get past Pontbriand.
On the final corner coming out of turn four, Pontbriand and Wells made contact and slid high. Kelly ducked underneath for the win as Pontbriand’s racer spun wildly across the finish in second, coming to a stop near the turn one guardrail.
Stanchina hung on for third, with Wells taking fourth and defending track champion Kralovetz padding his point lead with a fifth-place finish.
Young Cameron Clifford, who briefly led early on, recovered from an earlier spin to post a solid sixth-place finish.
— Joe Verdegan is the Norway Speedway public relations director and track announcer.