Butz survives tangle with Mondeik, takes Auto Value feature at Norway Speedway
NORWAY — Several divisions featured hard battles at the top end of the field Friday night during the first Auto Value round of racing at Norway Speedway.
In the opening feature — the Auto Value Super Stock 35-lapper — Joey Pontbriand (Norway), Tim Schultz Jr. (Vulcan) and Tony Wender (Kingsford) went three-wide on the front stretch just shy of the race’s halfway mark.
Pontbriand emerged in turn one with the lead with Schultz in second. Over the next several laps, Schultz applied the pressure on Pontbriand, tapping Pontbriand’s bumper and getting the leader loose.
A two-car tangle between Kelly LaCount (Athelstane, Wis.) and Bob Scheifelbein (Pembine, Wis.) sent Schultz and Pontbriand scrambling to avoid contact. Unfortunately for Schultz, he would end up in the outside guardrail, night over.
Pontbriand went on to take the win and had nothing but praise for Schultz.
“(Schultz) is absolutely the best driver out here. He has been for a number of years. He is a future Hall of Famer. He’s got the most wins ever in the Super Stock class, and I knew I had to go,” said Pontbriand in a postrace interview. “I talk to Timmy one way or another about racing every day, and I feel terrible for him that he ended up in the guardrail because I would have liked to duke that out with him the last eight or ten laps there.”
As far as how he felt as Schultz put the bumper to him, Pontbriand “was smiling the whole time.”
Anthony Scheifelbein (Pembine, Wis.) and Kevin Peterson (Marinette, Wis.) came across the line in second and third.
A long green-lag stretch in the Bink’s Coca-Cola Super Late Model 50-lap feature led to a duel between Chad Butz (Green Bay, Wis.) and Justin Mondeik (Gleason, Wis.).
Butz led Mondeik lap after lap as the race reached its closing stages. Then, contact. Butz went spinning in turn one off the bumper of Mondeik.
In a show of sportsmanship, Mondeik took the blame for the accident and dropped to the rear of the field.
Despite a slew of late-race restarts, Butz held on for the win with Dan Lindsley (Vulcan) and Scott Stanchina (Kingsford) following.
One driver who had plenty of traffic to contend with was MC Signs and Graphics Four Cylinder feature winner Dean Bellmore (Hermansville).
To end the night in victory lane, Bellmore had to clamber his way from the back of the pack, and he did just that going two and three wide to do so.
“It feels good to win a feature race, let alone two weeks in a row,” Bellmore said. “It is most certainly a challenge starting from the trunk of the field with a numerous amount of talented drivers in the division.”
Bellmore commented the race overall went well, but he had to put his driving ability to the test to get the job done.
“I had to skillfully make my way through the abundance of cars and use their driving to my advantage by taking into consideration their strategies they do week to week on the track,” he said.
Gary Thom (Aurora, Wis.) crossed the finish line second but took the win in the 141 Auto Sales Stock Car main.
On the final lap, leader John Ostermann (Norway) ran a lap time under the class limit of 18 seconds, giving the win to Thom.
Todd Schmidt (Spread Eagle, Wis.) and Brian Massicotte (Kingsford) rounded out the top three.
A special appearance from the Sands Speedway Fuel Injected division capped off the night with the Marquette trio of Reece Cavin, Cole Hogwell, and Evan Sampla, taking the top three spots.
Norway Speedway drops the hammer again Friday night with Fan Appreciation Night. Racing starts at 7.
BINK’S COCA COLA SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE – Chad Butz, Green Bay, WI; Dan Lindsley, Vulcan; Scott Stanchina, Kingsford; Jason Wells, Kingsford; Tanner Kelly, Waucedah; Justin Mondeik, Gleason, WI; Tom Gee Jr, Sobieski, WI; Mike Lantange, Vulcan; Wyatt Spade, Norway; Ryan Hood, Niagara, WI; Bruce White, Kingsford; Cory Cootware, Iron Mountain; Robby Iverson, Escanaba; Jordan DeBoer, Arpin, WI
HEAT – Spade; Stanchina
DASH – Butz
FAST TIME – Butz, 14.304
AUTO VALUE SUPER STOCK FEATURE – Joey Pontbriand, Norway; Anthony Scheifelbein, Pembine, WI; Kevin Peterson, Marinette, WI; Tony Wender, Kingsford; Ryan Wender, Upper Pine Creek; Andy Gerwig, Norway; Bob Scheifelbein, Pembine, WI; Kelly LaCount, Athelstane, WI; Destiny Bullard, Marquette; Tim Schultz Jr, Vulcan; John Mattia Jr, Norway; Al Bilski, Norway (DNS)
HEAT – Tony Wender; Peterson
DASH – Gerwig
FAST TIME – Pontbriand, 15.881
141 AUTO SALES STOCK CAR FEATURE – Gary Thom, Aurora, WI; Todd Schmidt, Spread Eagle, WI; Brian Massicotte, Kingsford; B.J. Schoneck, Marion, WI; Trevor Pankratz, Little Suamico, WI
HEATS 1) Paul Bourgois, Iron Mountain; Bobby Lewis, Bark River 2) Pete Fraser, Iron Mountain; Travis Hulsizer, Menominee
FAST TIME – Preston Weddel, Crivitz, WI 18.002
MC SIGNS & GRAPHICS 4 BANGER FEATURE – Dean Bellmore, Hermansville; Mike Loberger, Marinette, WI; Elliot Reid, Faithorn; Trevor Cronick, Faithorn; Cory Grondine, Hermansville
HEATS 1) Owen Eichmeyer, Bucktown; Devin Farah, Iron Mountain 2) Dean Bellmore; Reid
FAST TIME – Reid, 18.125
FUEL INJECTED MUSTANG FEATURE – Reece Cavin, Marquette; Cole Hogwell, Marquette; Evan Sampla, Marquette; Tyler Bell, Marquette; Nathan Goodwin, Skandia
HEAT – Wyatt Clement, Marquette; Cavin
FAST TIME – Cavin, 17.349
SPECTATOR ELIMINATOR – Brandon Oxford, Escanaba