It was the old movie “Animal House’ that came to life Friday Night for the final race of the 2017 season at Eagle River Speedway. The ‘soon to be world famous’ Gauntlet race featured an old Station Wagon, topped with a ‘tank turret’ fending off 5 cars in a race around the track.
In the end the Gauntlet race was determined to be a ‘draw.’ Eagle River Speedway Flagman, Lou Deditz, and the 2016 Bobbi-0 Spirit Award winner and racer, Ken Valeria, piloted the ‘Death Car.’ That was the vehicle that sought to make it the entire 5 laps before the ‘Fab 5’ disabled the vehicle.
“While the Death Car ended up running on rims, it did make it to the end. However one of the chase cars did end up in front…thus it was a draw,” commented Eagle River Speedway Track Promoter, Kevin Dawson.
Earlier in the night, Phelps Jerry Grasse took the lead from Mercer’s Steve Altman late in the race to win the Midwest Modified Feature. Grasse, who was involved in a mid-season crash that totaled his car and left him with minor injuries, returned to the legendary tri-oval for the last 3 races of the season. In a new car, Grasse ended up winning 2 of those Features.
“Steve (Altman) ran a great race. If he wouldn’t have come out of the button-hook 3rd turn a little wide, which gave (Jerry) Grasse the lead, he may have gone on to get his first feature win of the season,” commented Deditz.
Bruce Crossing, Michigan’s Jordan Kurtti continued to thrill the fans. Kurtti ran different grooves on the track to get the lead, and once he got the lead, he would go on to win the Street Stock Feature. Making his return to the track that his grandfather built, Ryan Glembin in an IMCA sanctioned car, won the Heat race.
Land-O-Lakes, Dustin Koga got his first feature win of the season in the Speedway Trucks. With the Speedway Trucks running a Pure Stock engine, David Blackberg ran Iron River’s Mike Heikkila’s Pure Stock car in the Truck Feature, and took a second. Crandon’s Ethan Holm took Herb Dettman’s truck to a Heat win.
Koga wasn’t the only one to ‘dust-em’ to a Feature win. Phelp’s Dustin Kangas ended his Junior Sprint racing career by sweeping the Junior Sprint class. Kangas won both the Feature and Heat. The class has an age limit of 12, of which Kangas has reached.
Jason Eisel held off last year’s Pure Stock class champion, David Blackberg, and Ken Valeria, to win the Pure Stock Feature. Both Eisel and Blackberg won their earlier Heat races. Valeria ran in 3 classes, Street Stock, Pure Stock, and the Gauntlet race.
Blackberg’s ‘crew chief’ and girl-friend, Holly Belland won the Powder-Puff Feature. Bruce Crossing’s Marlene Lannet came in second.
It was Logan Lannet that won one of the Mechanic’s races, with Steve Melton piloting the Drivas-Walker Truck to a win in the other Mechanics race.
Eagle River Speedway Sept 8th, 2017 Results
Midwest Modified Feature: 1) Jerry Grasse, Phelps; 2) Steve Altman, Mercer; 3) Louis Malluege, Merrill; 4) Kelly Raffaelli, Toivola, (MI); 5) Ty Springer, Eagle River; 6) Jonathon Miller, Eagle River; 7) Jesse Raffaelli, Toivola (MI).
Midwest Modified Heat: 1) Altman; 2) Grasse; 3) Malluege; 4) Springer; 5) Miller; 6) Jesse Raffaelli; 7) Kelly Raffaelli
Street Stock Feature: 1) Jordan Kurtti, Bruce Crossing, (MI); 2) Dustin White, Conover; 3) Ken Valeria, Eagle River; 4) Ryan Valeria, Eagle River; 5) Rob Rodziczak, Rhinelander; 6) Brandon Knoblock, Wausau; 7) Ian Wainio, Princeton; 8) Dean Uttecht, Birnamwood; 9) Ryan Glembin, Eagle River.
Street Stock: 1) Glembin; 2) Ryan Valeria; 3) Ken Valeria; 4) Wainio; 5) White
Pure Stock Feature: 1) Jason Eisel, Rhinelander; 2) David Blackberg, Eagle River; 3) Ken Valeria, Eagle River; 4) Isabelle Valeria, Eagle River; 5) Bryce Wick, Eagle River; 6) Steve Melton, Rhinelander; 7) Ryan Brown, Eagle River; 8) Tristan Valeria, Eagle River.
Pure Stock Heat 1: 1) Blackberg; 2) Isabelle Valeria; 3) Steve Melton; 4) Tristan Valeria
Pure Stock Heat 2: 1) Eisel; 2) Ken Valeria; 3) Wick; 4) Brown
Speedway Truck Feature: 1) Dustin Koga, Land O Lakes; 2) David Blackberg Eagle River; 3) Josh Drivas Hazelhurst; 4) Ethan Holm, Crandon; 5) Cory Allen, Woodboro.
Speedway Trucks: 1) Holm; 2) Dustin Koga; 3) Blackberg; 4) Drivas; 5) Allen
Junior Sprint Feature: 1) Dustin Kangas, Phelps; 2) Josh Nevaroski, Minocqua; 3) Peyton Towne, Boulder Junction.
Junior Sprints Heat: 1) Kangas; 2) Nevoraski; 3) Towne
Mechanics Race 1: 1) Steve Melton, Rhinelander.
Mechanics Race 2: 1) Logan Lannett, Bruce Crossing, MI.
Powder-Puff Feature: Holly Belland, Eagle River.