By Mike Garrison
Race Report from Tom Erickson:
WRCR Winter Series Round #4
Round#4 of the WRCR Winter Series ended at 7:46PM last Saturday at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Saline, Michigan. With 4 of 7 events in the history books, the 2017-2018 season at the Washtenaw RC Raceway is past the halfway point. This event saw 140 entries in 9 classes with Stock Buggy fielding 31 cars. WRCR continues to be the place to enjoy lots of great racing this winter.
The turn out for the Novice class was down slightly fielding a single heat for qualifying. New comer to WRCR, Aiden Honeck, set the early pace running a good first qualifier and setting the early TQ time. Jeffrey Boyd did what he could in the remaining qualifiers to eclipse the TQ without success. He had to settle for second on the starting grid. Dominick Valente put himself in the third spot for the A-main.
When the tone sounded to start the main event, Aiden showed why he was TQ leading the field through the hairpin at the end of the start straight carving the corner fast. Jeff missed the start of the main event leaving Dominick in second place. Mark Kohler stuffed the tube on the initial turn giving Alanna Honeck a chance to get around a few cars to move into the third spot down the back straight. Aiden speed ahead of everyone turning laps a full second ahead of his competition. The fight for second place formed up late in the event as Dominick held the position for the entire event until Alanna and Mark caught up to him. These three would swap positions on each lap each claiming the second position. Tyson Bowling was also close enough to pass for position but not able to get up to second spot. On the last lap Dominick’s Slash slowed running out of precious battery power. Mark was able to build a gap on Alanna and Tyson who both crashed each other. When the 5 minute main event ended, Aiden had lapped the entire field and claimed the win. Mark Kohler held on to his lead over Alanna securing the 2nd place spot on the podium. Alanna was able to get past Tyson on the last lap to complete the podium in 3rd place.
1st Place: Aiden Honeck, 2nd Place: Mark Kohler, 3rd Place: Alanna Honeck
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Carrie Pilarski
1/16th - 1/18th Mini Class
The mini class has seen a great turnout this season. This is thanks to a Lost Cause Racing team fielding 3-4 cars into this group. Josh Salewsky has been unstoppable in this class since joining and this round was no different. He quickly set the fastest pace. Jeremy Salewsky, Josh’s brother, did his best to challenge Josh but could not put the laps down. Matt Lemorie was not far behind Jeremy. The main event started with Josh and Jeremy flowing through the initial corners as Matt flipped sending him back to last. Ben Belote moved into the third spot from fifth on the starting grid as Randy Drapinski also was collected at the start. Josh and Jeremy speed ahead building a gap on the rest of the field. These mini class vehicles can flip on any of the bumps on the track. This did not seem to impact Josh as he maintained an 8 second lead through the opening half of the event. Third position was where the action was as Matt first regained his starting position back from Ben. Then Randy was able to slip by Matt to take over. Ben was not far behind. Joe Gates made the moves to take over fourth behind Randy. Randy was able to fly his LC Racing Truggy high on the back straight until a bad landing sent him to the sidelines. Joe moved into third position with Matt and Ben fighting each other behind him. Steve “Sven” Baginski, Mr. LC Racing himself, stealthily joined the battle. Josh was holding his lead over Jeremy as the laps clicked off. The tone sounded right after the two passed the start finish line setting up a last lap challenge. Jeremy was closing the gap slightly but Josh held his composure and crossed the line for the win. Jeremy solid in 2nd place. Joe Gates held onto 3rd place with Sven in 4th place.
1st Place: Josh Salewsky, 2nd Place: Jeremy Salewsky, 3rd Place: Joe Gates
Points Leader after three races(no drops): Josh Salewsky
Some of the closest racing of the season has been in the Stampede class between C.J. Boka, Ben Belote and Matt Lemorie. Dominick Valente is gaining skills and tuning his Stampede to begin to challenge the lead group as well. This round was no different with C.J. setting the early TQ. The grid was not solidified until the last qualifier as Dominick first held second place. Ben took the position from him in Q3. Matt also improved enough to start from the third position. The 7 minute A-Main started smooth with the top four running in starting order. Glenn Handy grabbed a tube collecting Milo Spieth and Terry Bush setting up the opportunity for Joe Gates to pass them all and move into the fifth position early on. Ben got around C.J. when he rolled his truck on lap 2 to assume the lead. Matt also capitalized on this misfortune and moved up to the second spot. Joe passed Dominick to close in on C.J. at that point. Ben was able to grow his lead as C.J. and Joe pressured Matt. Positions changed every lap with C.J. coming out on top. Joe was able to start a small gap on Matt. Ben was running lap after consistent lap building his gap over C.J. in second position. Joe was chasing in third with a small gap on Matt. The finish was set as the gap between the top four was holding steady. When the tone sounded Ben had crossed the line in 1st place. C.J. Boka finished strong in 2nd place and Joe Gates held on for 3rd place.
1st Place: Ben Belote, 2nd Place: C.J. Boka, 3rd Place: Joe Gates
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): C.J. Boka
Stock Buggy 17.5 Blinky Class
The Stock Buggy class continues to be the top class this season. This round we saw an increase in participation eclipsing the 30 car level. Points leader Chris Peterson was not attending leaving the rest of the field to vy for crucial season points. Dan Dresselhouse set the early pace in qualifying round #1 with Tom Erickson not far behind. Patrick Ferris moved into second in Q2 with Travis Bievins improving. Kenny Ferris moved into third position after Q3 setting up to the grid for the A-main. Behind the pack top drivers were not able to make the big show ending up in the B-main. With so many cars the main events started with the C-main.
Stock Buggy C-Main
Zach Kohler headed off the 5 minute C-main. The opening laps were not kind to most of the drivers and Zach stuffed a tube on lap 2 sending him back in the pack. Jay Johnson was able to move from fourth on the grid to the lead for a lap. Then Sam Lori, starting from eighth position, avoided all of the crashes and assumed the lead with Jon Lori behind. Zach rejoined the lead group and pressured Jon first assuming third place behind Jay and Sam. Then getting around Jay as he fell back behind Jon setting his sights on Sam. Dave Ferris was moving up into the frey after early lap issues. Sam could not match the pace that Zach was running and slipped into second spot. Jon and Jay battled for the third position with Dave waiting for errors in fifth. Sam crashed shifting the top group up on spot. At the halfway point Zach had a comfortable lead. Jay and Dave were in a fight for second position as Jon slipped back. The fight continued for many laps as the race computer sounded “1-minute left”. Dave started to build a gap on Jay. A repeat of the previous race was mounting as Dave began to reduce the gap to Zach. Dave won the c-main in the previous race. Jay was not far behind hoping to take advantage of any mistake. Zach and Dave crossed the line before the tone sounded collecting Jay. A final lap battle with less than a five second gap. Jay already secured the 3rd place podium spot just ahead of Jon. Zach crossed the line next only 3.658 seconds ahead of Dave finishing 1st and 2nd place respectively.
Stock Buggy C-Main
1st Place: Zach Kohler, 2nd Place: Dave Ferris, 3rd Place: Jay Johnson
Stock Buggy B-Main
With A-main contenders in the mix the B-main was set to be as exciting as the C-main was. Bob Kathrens just missed the A-main and lead the field of ten buggies at the start. Andy Dresselhouse and Ben Belote in tow. On lap 2 Andy was able to get around Bob to take over the lead as Ben crashed leaving third spot to Kevin Heller. Ben quickly regained his pace and passed Logan Drapinski and Steve Baginski to regain third position. Andy was clocking fast laps and Bob could not stay in contact as Ben began to make contact. Starting from the tenth position, Mark Riegle made his way up to the fourth position. By mid-race Andy held onto a small lead on Ben who got by Bob. Mark started to make contact with Bob. Ben set the fastest lap of the event reducing the gap to first place even more. Andy crashed leaving open track for Ben to charge ahead into the first position. Bob was holding a small gap on Mark on the closing lap. Time expired with Ben taking the win, Andy in 2nd place and Bob in 3rd place.
1st Place: Ben Belote, 2nd Place: Andy Dresselhouse, 3rd Place: Bob Kathrens
Stock Buggy A-main
The big event of the day was set up next. Dan Dresselhouse already had the crucial TQ point and with a win he could edge into a potential tie in the overall points for the season. The start was clean with the field flowing through the opening lap in running order. Patrick Ferris was the first and only casualty ending his day on lap#2. Kenny Ferris moved into second position and began looking for a place to pass Dan for the lead. He was able to get by for a few laps but Dan was able to regain the lead. The two were close on the track with noone close behind. Tom Erickson, starting from last position moved into the third position and began reduce the large gap to the lead pair. One crash and Tom lost his gap on fourth place Dan Cook. The pace of the leaders fell off as the two fought for the lead. Kenny was able to get around Dan again this time with a pace that Dan could not hold. Behind the leaders the race for third place was on. Dan Cook had reduced the gap completely on Tom and the two were fighting nose to tail for many laps. Dan Cook was able to slip to the inside of Tom and narrowly make the pass. Tom continued to press as the event came to a close. Kenny crossed the line first for the win. Dan Cook and Tom passed next in 3rd and 4th place. Then Dan Dresselhouse crossed the line for a 2nd place finish.
1st Place: Kenny Ferris, 2nd Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 3rd Place: Dan Cook
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Chris Peterson
Stock Short Course Truck 17.5 Blinky Class
The Stock Short Course Truck class has been well attended this season. Dan Dresselhouse has dominated the class so far with TQ and wins in every race. The start of qualifying saw Jeremy Salewsky setting the early TQ pace ousting Dan by 3.5 seconds. Qualifying came down to Q3 with Dan setting the only 16 lap pace and securing TQ once again. Jeremy and Tom Erickson ran fast and furious after Dan and when the qualifier was done Tom edged out Jeremy by only 0.014 seconds for the second spot on the A-main grid. Travis Bievins was also within 0.5 seconds grabbing fourth spot.
Stock Short Course Truck B-Main
The B-main started with Mark “Red Pop” Thompson leading the way. Dominick Valente and Terry Bush chased behind with Dave Ferris not far back. No one could match the pace of Red Pop as he speed through the course. Dominick was able to hold a pace to maintain a gap to Terry. Mid race Terry closed in but could not get by Dominick. The finishing order was as they started with Mark taking the win, Dominick in 2nd place, and Terry in 3rd place.
Stock Short Course Truck A-Main
The A-main began with Dan Dresselhouse leading the field with Tom Erickson and Jeremy Salewsky charging behind him. Gary Reiser slipped past Travis Bievins and Andy Dresselhouse in the first turn to assume fourth position. Dan began to gap the field from the start as Jeremy got by Tom. Andy moved past Gary into fourth. Tom and Jeremy were battling hard changing positions frequently unto they both collided in the air allowing both Andy and Gary by. Tom recovered quickly and passed Gary and pressuring Andy. Travis moved on Gary and set his sights on Andy and Tom. First, Tom was able to get by Andy then Travis followed a lap later setting up a battle for second place. Travis improved his pace every lap and was able to get past Tom when he crashed. Tom charged ahead working the track to set up an upset but came up short. Dan took the win with a near perfect run. Travis finished in 2nd place only 1.237 seconds ahead of Tom in 3rd place.
1st Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 2nd Place: Travis Bievins, 3rd Place: Tom Erickson
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Dan Dresselhouse
4x4 Short Course Truck
The 4x4 Short Course class is increasing in attendance each race. Last season champion, Matt Lemorie, has been doing well this season and this race was no different. Matt set the early TQ with C.J. Boka in second. The grid was not finalized until Q3 with Matt holding strong as Top Qualifier. C.J. held onto second with Andy Dresselhouse close behind. The A-main started with the top five running in starting order through the first turn and onto the back straight. Mark Riegle moved first passing Andy for third position with Gio Enea in tow. Mark was able to put down some fast laps quickly closing on the bumper of C.J. passing him for a few laps. C.J. showed his experience and was able to get past Mark and two battled for most of the middle of the main event. Clean laps and great racing between the two as Mark was able to get ahead of C.J. again. Steve “Sven” Baginski charge through the pack and assumed fourth position ahead of Andy. The race came to a close with Matt securing another win. Mark maintained his pace in the closing laps and crossed the line in 2nd place. C.J. finished solidly in 3rd place.
1st Place: Matt Lemorie, 2nd Place: Mark Riegle, 3rd Place: C.J. Boka
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Matt Lemorie
4wd Open Buggy
The entire field of 4wd Buggy drivers are capable of running super fast laps. This made qualifying a huge challenge as each driver started the day with good runs. Early TQ was Dan Dresselhouse breaking into a 17th lap in five minutes. Dan Cook and Tom Erickson answered in Q2 with 17 lap runs. Dan Cook’s run only 0.006 seconds slower! Johnny Walker nearly made the 17th lap group in Q3 missing the mark by 0.448 seconds. The grid was set with Dan Dresselhouse holding TQ from Q1. At the start, Dan Cook was able to pass Dan Dresselhouse in the first turn with Tom right behind. Through the back straight Dan Dresselhouse bobbled on the last tabletop leaving Dan Cook and Tom Erickson to battle for the lead. Tom had the inside line and assume a half car length lead over Dan who maintained a close position. At the exit of the sweeper, Tom clipped the inside tube sending him spinning and handing the lead to Dan Cook. Johnny Walker and Ben Belote avoided the carnage and moved into the lead group. Dan Dresselhouse was also able to avoid the crashes and maintained the third position on lap#2. He was able to get past Johnny and move into a fight with Dan Cook for the lead within a few laps. Ben kept close behind and passed Johnny for third. Dan Dresselhouse put down some of his fastest laps and passed Dan Cook. Then Ben avoided a tumbling Dan Cook and moved into second position. The lead trio charged ahead with only seconds between them for the remainder of the event. The rest of the pack jockeyed for position but could not connect with the lead group. The final laps completed with no change. Dan Dresselhouse maintained his lead over Ben and Dan Cook recording another win in the class. Ben marked another 2nd place finish starting from eighth position. At his first WRCR event, Dan Cook showed he can compete finishing a strong 3rd place.
1st Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 2nd Place: Ben Belote, 3rd Place: Dan Cook (not Shown)
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Dan Dresselhouse
Open Stadium Truck
Open Stadium truck attendance continues to be strong. Qualifying began as most races this season with Dan Dresselhouse setting the early TQ. Josh Salewsky set a new TQ in Q2 that would hold for the rest of the race. Dan starting from the second position and Andy Dresselhouse in third. The opening lap saw the field flowing through the track in starting order with one exception. Randy Drapinski crashed sending him to last place. Then Josh crashed sending him pack leaving Dan and Andy running first and second. C.J. Boka moved into third until Josh was able to get back on track taking the position from him. Joe Gates was up to fourth place until Chad Gerow was able to get past him. Dan continued to put down fast laps maintaining a gap over Andy. Andy matched the pace of Dan and was able to hold a gap to Josh. A mid-race push from Josh set up a fight for a few laps where Josh crossed the line just ahead of Andy. Andy responded and regained the position and again built up a gap. Dan finished the race with a win nearly lapping Josh who finished in 3rd place. Andy finished in 2nd place.
1st Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 2nd Place: Andy Dresselhouse, 3rd Place: Josh Salewsky
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Dan Dresselhouse
Modified Short Course Truck
The modified Short Course Truck class has been a mainstay in WRCR history. This season the battle has been between Randy Drapinski and Josh Salewsky. Randy set the early TQ. Josh responded in Q2 setting a new TQ pace that would hold the rest of the event. Mark Riegle and Kevin Heller nearly bumped Randy back to fourth but Randy also improved his score holding the second starting position. Josh and Randy battled for the lead right from the start with positions changing each lap. Randy crashed letting Mark and Kevin by for a few laps. Randy put down strong laps but had to work hard to get past Kevin and Mark. By mid-race it seemed that the order was set but a small mistake by Randy set up a fight for second place with Mark. The two fought for the remainder of the event with Randy holding the advantage all the way to the end. Josh secured another win. Randy finished in 2nd place and Mark finishing in 3rd place only 1.012 seconds back. The finishing order was identical to previous race.
1st Place: Josh Salewsky, 2nd Place: Randy Drapinski, 3rd Place: Mark Riegle
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Josh Salewsky
King of the Hill
King of the Hill is another tradition at WRCR. Three rounds of racing the clock with up to twenty cars on the track for four minutes with no reverse and no marshals. It is a great chance to test your skills. This season Josh Salewsky and Mark Thompson have won the traditional 100K candy bar prize. Josh started the day with a good run which he repeated in Q2. Mark lead the race in Q3 and was just off pace by mid-race. Each lap he would reduce his pace by one second and finished 3 seconds off Josh’s earlier finishes. Josh takes the prize.
Josh Salewsky won the 100 Grand bars for King of the Hill
The Washtenaw RC Raceway Winter Points series is still going strong as it hits mid season break and track change. The 2017-18 season is continuing to be the place to race on Saturdays. The program was well run and finished before 8PM. Everyone was having a great time. The next points event is planned for Saturday, January 13th, 2018. Doors open at 8AM with racing starting at 10AM.
Mid season marks the time for the Annual Race to Cure Alzheimers benefit race. The 5th annual event will be held on December 30th, 2017 to close out the year. Doors open at 10am and racing will start at 12noon ending at 5PM so that track change can be completed. Run as many classes as you like with your donation to Alzheimers.
Look for the class rules and season schedule at www.WRCR.biz or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WashtenawRcRaceway/