By Mike Garrison
Race Report from Washtenaw RC Raceway - Tom Erickson:
WRCR Winter Series Round#5
Dresselhouse Triples: Clinches Stock SCT
The Winter hit Washtenaw County after the previous points race driving temperatures well below freezing. On race day the outside temp was down to 10 degrees. A three of the large gas heaters were running full tilt to drive the interior temps to a more comfortable level. The cold and snow did not deter racers as the attendance was strong for the first points race of 2018. With four races in the books it was time for a track change. The layout change looked and felt faster but the lap times only register a slightly faster time. Racing action was hot with more places to pass and higher straight away speeds. Traction fluctuated a little as the program progressed through qualifiers. The ambient temps reached 53 degrees at the beginning of the main events. The season is going strong and racing action was tight with only seconds separating each position.
The Novice class was back to two full heats in qualifying. Points leader Carrie Pilarski was present and running each qualifier smooth and steady ahead of the pack of Novice vehicles with one exception. Cade Riegle was leaps and bounds ahead of the entire field setting TQ each round and securing the top spot in the A final.
Novice B Main
The main events kicked off with the Novice B main. Cassidy M lead the pack at the start with Tammie Redkey following behind him. Aden Dodson and Eli Hurt chased close behind. On the opening lap Eli was able to get around Aden and close in on Tammie. Tammie put her SC5M on top of the tube requiring a marshal’s help. Cassidy sped along in the lead with Eli holding onto second place. Tammie regained her pace slowly closing in on Eli. Then it was Eli’s turn on the tubes in a spot that gobble up a lot of time. This allowed Tammie to regain second position. Aden and John Bell traded spots giving Eli and comfortable gap to retain third position. The finishing order was set with Cassidy taking the win, wire-to-wire. Tammie held onto 2nd place and Eli finished in 3rd place.
1st Place: Cassidy M, 2nd Place: Tammie Redkey, 3rd Place: Eli Hurt
Novice A Main
Not surprisingly, Cade kicked off the Novice A-Main driving hard and fast. Carrie was able to minimize the gap and stay close on the opening laps. Clay Hurt pressed hard early on and was able to get past Carrie. He was able to match Cade’s pace for the first half of the 5 minute main. Behind the lead trio, Mark Kohler battled with Chase M. for the fourth position. Chase took over the position for a few laps by Mark capitalized on a mistake and was able to retake and hold fourth place. Clay worked the whole main event to reduce the gap to Cade without success. Cade crossed the line for a victory lap and the win. Clay finished in 2nd place and Carrie held onto 3rd place. Mark finished in 4th place which was enough to take over the points lead by a single point.
1st Place: Cade Riegle, 2nd Place: Clay Hurt, 3rd Place: Carrie Pilarski
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Mark Kohler
1/16th - 1/18th Mini Class
Coming into the 5th round of the series, Josh Salewsky had a winning streak capturing top qualifier and first place points in the last three rounds. Joe Gates had won the first round placing him in the best position to challenge for the overall series championship. In qualifying Josh set the early TQ again with a solid first round performance. Joe and Matt Lemorie but down fast runs with Matt edging out Joe for the second starting position. The main event kicked off with Josh leveraging his position to lead the pack around ahead of Matt and Joe. Joe flipped his TLR Mini 8ightT sliding him back behind Milo Spieth. It was then Matt’s turn to send his Traxxas Mini EREVO off track. This allowed Joe to slip into second place and Milo in Third. Josh was on a blistering pace with a commanding lead. Joe began to gain on Josh in the closing laps but he could not catch Josh. The finishing order was Josh in 1st place. Joe finished in 2nd place and Matt passed Milo to finish in 3rd place
1st Place: Josh Salewsky, 2nd Place: Joe Gates, 3rd Place: Matt Lemorie
Points Leader after three races(no drops): Josh Salewsky
The season is long from over in the Stampede class. The top three all still have a shot at the overall championship. Points leader C.J. Boka set the early TQ pace with a smooth and error free run. Joe Gates topped the second qualifier but not enough to take command of the main. The last qualifier went to C.J. with an improved time and solid TQ run. The main event started with C.J. jumping to a big gap on the rest of the pack. He lead the first half of the 7 minute main event uncontested as Joe Gates and Matt Lemorie change positions on the opening laps. Joe settled into the second spot and began to drive hard to reduce the gap to the leader. Matt held onto third place as Ben Belote retired early. In the closing laps, Joe not only caught C.J. but passed him for the lead. The two coupled their large open wheels requiring marshalls to help get them back running. C.J. had the advantage and lead the closing laps with Joe close behind. C.J. crossed the line first for his second win of the season. Joe finished in 2nd place and Matt finished in 3rd place.
1st Place: C.J. Boka, 2nd Place: Joe Gates, 3rd Place: Matt Lemorie
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): C.J. Boka
Stock Buggy 17.5 Blinky Class
The points series for the Stock Buggy Championship is the tale of two groups of drivers. Chris Peterson, the current points leader, had a very small lead over Dan Dresselhouse going into round #5. The second group includes Andy Dresselhouse, Tom Erickson and Ben Belote all vying for the third spot on the season podium. Qualifying started off with Chris setting the early TQ. Forrest Remington made a run at it in the second qualifier as did Dan but Chris held out. With 33 entries just making the A-main would be a challenge. Final positions were determined by less than a second with Andy, Tom and Ben all making the big show. Brian Boucher also made it in in his first return to WRCR this season.
Stock Buggy C-Main
The C-Main was full of buggies with Zach Kohler earing the lead spot. Zach could not make the main event so Scott Weatherly assumed the top starting spot with Sam Lori and Dave Ferris following when the tone sounded. The running order swapped after the opening laps with Dave assuming the lead with Scott in second and Sam in third. Jon Lori, Tim Collins, and McKenzie Massel all remained close to the lead. Dave has won the C-main a few times this season and this round he maintained a good pace to hold onto the lead for another win. Behind him Scott, Sam, Tim and McKenzie continued to battle for the final podium spots. Sam assumed second spot mid race as Scott fell back to fourth. McKenzie moved into third spot. Scott worked his way back up to second position first passing McKenzie and then getting around Sam. The final laps solidified the third position first held by Sam who was passed in the last laps by Tim. Dave finished in 1st place, Scott in 2nd place, and Tim in 3rd place.
Stock Buggy C-Main
1st Place: Dave Ferris, 2nd Place: Scott Weatherly, 3rd Place: Tim Collins
Stock Buggy B-Main
The B-main was stacked with some fast drivers that just missed the A-main. Gary Reiser was started the field from the #1 position with Patrick Ferris and Paul Johnston lined up behind him. Patrick was patient on the opening laps waiting for the optimal point to pass Gary which he did on the third lap. Sean Carney wasted no time and passed Paul for third place. Behind Sean, Justin Milley moved into fourth place and move in behind Sean. The gap between first and second stayed nead eight seconds most of the five minute main event. Justin pressured Sean getting past him for a few laps but could not hold the position. Patrick crossed the line a lap ahead of everyone else for the win, Gary held on for 2nd place, and Sean captured 3r place.
Stock Buggy B-Main
1st Place: Patrick Ferris, 2nd Place: Gary Reiser, 3rd Place: Sean Carney
Stock Buggy A-main
The A-main of the Stock Buggy class is the big show of the day. The tone sounded and the field crossed the start-finish line in starting order and onto the back straight. Into the sweeper and contact began. Chris Peterson slipped back to third place leaving the lead open for Dan Dresselhouse. Forrest Remington crashed hard sending him way back. On the infield Andy Dresselhouse and Ben Belote got together Bryan Boucher and Tom Erickson kept it clean as they crossed the line with Dan in the lead, Bryan in second position, Chris in third position and Tom in fourth. Chris pressured Bryan with some clean laps and got around him and setting his fastest lap of the race. Ben rejoined the battle and passed Tom first and then was able to get by Bryan. By mid-race Chris was reducing the gap to the Dan driving hard to challenge for the lead. Ben held firm in third as the battle for fourth between Bryan, Andy, and Conan Honeck raged on. The last laps were intense as the lead pair ran nose to tail with Dan holding the advantage. Ben Belote landed hard and his B6d slowed enough for Bryan to move into third position. The rest of the pack jockey for position with Tom coming out on top in the fourth position. Chris made a final push to try to get the win but could not get by Dan finishing in 2nd place only 0.368 sec back. Dan capture a much needed win and Bryan captured 3rd place.
1st Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 2nd Place: Chris Peterson, 3rd Place: Bryan Boucher (not shown)
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Chris Peterson
Stock Short Course Truck 17.5 Blinky Class
This season and every season the Stock Short Course Truck class fields fast drivers and close racing. This season the turnout has been strong. With four rounds already complete, Dan Dresselhouse has a perfect season recorded. One more TQ and win would lock in the Championship. In qualifying Dan set the TQ early. Bryan Boucher and Sean Carney challenge in the second and third qualifiers but Dan answered with a new TQ less than a 1/2 second ahead of Sean. Bryan secured the third starting position only 1 second behind Sean. The main event was stacked with twelve trucks that passed through the first turn in running order at the start. Sean crashed on the second lap slipping back starting a shift in running order. Bryan assumed the second position Andy Dresselhouse and Tom Erickson close behind. Mid-way through the 7 minute final, Bryan and Andy flew over the step table into lapped traffic. Trucks tangled together and Tom was able to take the inside and pass them both into second position. At this point Dan had a large lead ahead of Tom. Andy came out of the carnage in third position leaving Bryan to battle with Rookie driver Travis Bievins for fourth position. The tone sounded just ahead of Andy who crossed the line in 3rd place. Next to cross was Dan for the win. Then Travis in 4th place just ahead of Bryan. Tom crossed the line 16 seconds back in 2nd place. With this TQ and win, Dan clinched the championship with a perfect run. Tom Erickson and Andy Dresselhouse are tied for second place in the points with Travis Bievens in fourth in his first season.
1st Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 2nd Place: Tom Erickson, 3rd Place: Andy Dresselhouse
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Dan Dresselhouse
4x4 Short Course Truck
Another season is going strong for the 4x4 SCT class. Season points leader and last season champion Matt Lemorie set the early TQ. He had to defend it each round with Mark Riegle and C.J. Boka raising the bar. At the close of qualifying it was Matt that held TQ with C.J. in the second position with Mark in third. The full heat of trucks started and charged into the back straight flying high and fast. Mark moved on C.J. passing him into second position. Mark continued clicking of super fast laps and was able to pass Matt for the lead. Brian Hurt moved in behind C.J. and both passed Matt as he flipped off the track. Kevin Heller moved into the fight with Brian and C.J. as the three swapped spots for many laps. As the main came to a close Kevin held a small lead on Brian just ahead of C.J. Mark finished in 1st place with a big lead ahead of Kevin in 2nd place. Brian edged out C.J. for 3rd place. Very close racing all day. Matt finished in 6th position still holding a strong points lead.
1st Place: Mark Riegle, 2nd Place: Kevin Heller, 3rd Place: Brian Hurt
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Matt Lemorie
4wd Open Buggy
Coming into the 5th round of the series, Dan Dresselhouse and Chris Peterson both captured wins in the super fast 4wd Open Buggy class. Entries in this class continue to grow as manufacturers bring out new product. Chris Peterson brought his A gain and was the first to break into the 18 lap pace in the opening qualifier a full lap ahead of Dan and the rest of the pack. Conan Honeck moved into the third starting position after the last qualifier. Chris led the field through the first turn clean as the main event began. All cars in running order entered the back straight but not all came out well. Dan landed on the inside tube letting Conan and Forrest move up to second and third positions. Tom Erickson made it through the tumbling cars moving up from seventh to fourth on the first lap. Tom and Forrest fought hard for many laps until Forrest crashed off track. Ben Belote moved into fourth position as Tom caught up with Conan. The last half of the race Tom and Conan swapped spots many times. It came down to who made the fewer mistakes which went to Conan. Both of these drivers remained on the lead lap with Chris. Chris capture his third win and the lead in the championship. Conan crossed the line with a 1.3 sec lead for 2nd place overall. Tom finished in 3rd place helping him move into third overall in the series. The points battle is all but over.
1st Place: Chris Peterson, 2nd Place: Conan Honeck, 3rd Place: Tom Erickson
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Chris Peterson
Open Stadium Truck
With four straight wins in this class, Dan Dresselhouse holds the points lead going into the 5th Round. Josh Salewsky and Andy Dresselhouse have challenged Dan each round denying him perfect scores. This round, Dan set the early TQ and it held through the rest of qualifying. Josh and Andy grabbed the second and third starting spots. The main event started with Dan and Josh fighting for the lead. Andy did not make the start leaving the third position for Joe Gates. Joe chased the lead group on the opening laps but an early spin out let Uncle Bob and Aiden Honeck through into third and fourth. Up front, Josh landed on a pipe wrong ending his race with mechanical issues. Uncle Bob continued on in second position as Joe Gates was able to get around Aiden. Dan had a commanding lead that was unsurmountable for Uncle Bob. The rest of the field had large gaps. Joe finished strong in 3rd place. Uncle Bob held onto 2nd Place and Dan captured his 5th win and strong lead in championship points.
1st Place: Dan Dresselhouse, 2nd Place: Uncle Bob, 3rd Place: Joe Gates
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Dan Dresselhouse
Modified Short Course Truck
The Modified Short Course Truck class has been well supported this season. Josh Salewsky leads the points series with a perfect record since joining the class. Kevin Heller, Randy Drapinski, and Mark Riegle have all finished on the podium making each spot on the season podium a fight. This round Josh repeated his performance setting TQ each round. Mark Riegle held off all comers to start from the second position. Justin Milley joined the class and was able to set the third best time. The start of the main event was as expected with Josh starting right away creating a gap on Mark in second place. The first laps were not kind to Justin and many of the other drivers. Milo Spieth moved into third place early in the main event. Kevin and Brian Hurt passed Milo fighting for third place. At the midway point Kevin was able to create a gap between himself and Brian reducing the gap to Mark. There wasn’t enough time on the clock for him to catch Mark. When the tone sounded ending the day of racing, Josh crossed the line in 1st place. Mark held strong finishing 2nd place and Kevin crossed in 3rd place. With four perfect rounds, Josh is quickly on his way to capturing the overall championship.
1st Place: Josh Salewsky, 2nd Place: Mark Riegle, 3rd Place: Kevin Heller
Points leader after four of seven races(one drop): Josh Salewsky
King of the Hill
Josh Salewsky won the 100 Grand bars for King of the Hill
The Washtenaw RC Raceway Winter Points series only has two more points races left to determine the overall championships. The mid season track change was a hit with the drivers providing more chances to pass making for close racing. The program was again well run and finished before 8PM. Everyone was having a great time. The next points event is planned for Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. Doors open at 8AM with racing starting at 10AM.
The annual Top Gun Shootout is planned for January 27th with trophies for top three in each class. Doors open at 8AM racing at 10AM. This event is a classic for the Washtenaw program with the top drivers in each class racing with Traxxas Slash chassis covered with Turkey pans. Drivers do know which of the cars is theirs until the start.