It was a hot night at the Emo Speedway on Saturday, but not as hot as the action on the track with the WISSOTA Amsoil qualifiers and the sixth-annual Mid-Season Summer Shootout taking place.
A total of nine WISSOTA Modifieds, 13 WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, and 12 Street Stocks took to the track for Amsoil Dirt Track Racing Series action.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds started out the evening with the first of two heats.
Anthony Visser and Matthew Mutz began on the front row but things quickly turned around for Visser, who he started falling to the back immediately and finished at the rear.
It would be Brady Caul to come from fourth to win the heat while Mutz finished where he had started—in second.
In the second heat, Kendal Gamsby started and finished in first place, followed by Steve Nordin.
In the Street Stocks, the first heat was covered by Don Bowman, who raced with Jeff Wickstrom throughout the first half.
Richard Visser claimed third spot, having charged up from sixth.
Then in the second heat, Terry Martin ran a solid race to take the checkered flag from a fifth-place start while Darien Trimble finished second ahead of Ron Westover.
For the second week in a row, there was only one heat of WISSOTA Modifieds as Jason Anderson and Dwayne Pelepetz were off for the night.
Gavin Paull, meanwhile, returned to the Emo Speedway in great fashion.
In the heat, Brad Loveday took advantage of his front-row start to open a sizable lead on Glen Strachan.
Gary Wilson rounded out the top three, with Paull moving up five positions to finish fourth.
Next up were the features—starting with a roller-coaster of an evening for the WISSOTA Midwest Modified drivers.
John Hettinga and Ken Anderson began on the front row as the race started innocently enough, with Anderson taking an early lead.
But in Turn #4, a couple of drivers at the back spun, causing a caution flag and leaving Mike Wilson sitting idle on the track.
On the restart, Hettinga pulled to the front, with Anderson running in second. But trouble was on the horizon as Christopher Leek lost control of his car and spun, leaving all his competitors scrambling to avoid him.
In the next corners, Mutz spun in Turn #1, causing yet another caution. This time, the Delaware restart had Hettinga starting alone up front, with Anderson and Caul behind.
By the time the cars made a complete lap after the restart, Nordin and Bill Reimer took a high flying ride over the top of the track.
With no caution flying, Caul started to make a move on Anderson around the outside. A hard-charging Gamsby, in fourth, made moves towards the top three drivers.
The race stayed green for several laps, with the top five separated from the other eight drivers.
The laps finally started to count down with plenty of bumping and rubbing taking place. Then after six laps of relative quietness, Visser got into the back of Caul, with Caul ending up in the infield.
The caution flag flew as Caul started moving, then stopped in a dangerous area near the front stretch.
The next restart had Hettinga in the lead, with Gamsby and Anderson in the second row.
Before completing another lap, Anderson checked up behind Gamsby and spun, with Visser, Tylar Wilson, and Mike Wilson having nowhere to go.
With what was thought to be a fire in Tylar Wilson’s machine had officials getting him out of his car over the race receiver, it soon was discovered to be a false alarm.
Another restart ensued, with Hettinga in front while Gamsby tried his best to sneak underneath him.
But his attempt caused him to slid up and hit the leader in the side.
Hettinga was not about to back down and the two raced along the front stretch—rubbing and grinding—fighting for top spot.
Just as Visser took a high line to avoid and pass the tangling duo, Gamsby shot back up the track and into the front left side of Visser’s car, with the result of a broken control arm and flat tire on Visser’s rig.
On the single-file restart, Hettinga held off a late-charging Tylar Wilson to win the Mid-Season Shootout and the Amsoil qualifier.
A big thank you to the track crew for working diligently to make sure the delays were kept to a minimum.
The Street Stocks produced an exciting feature, as well.
Jeff Wickstrom and Darien Trimble started on the front row but as the green flagged waved, Bowman moved to second in Turn #1 and by the end of the first lap, he had taken the lead.
On the second lap, Martin and Libby Wilson got tangled up on the front stretch, but they kept rolling and did not cause a caution.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of action in the middle of the pack as Richard Visser, Daniel Hettinga, and Ron Westover all moved towards the front.
Trimble had fallen back to fifth place by the seventh lap, and fell off the track on the next one, but held his ground, making his way back on.
There were many close battles, especially with Westover and Tyler Wickstrom.
In a big pileup of cars, Nick Leininger was sideways on the backstretch while Tyler Wickstrom had nowhere to go but into Leininger.
With Wickstrom’s night at an early end, the yellow flag came out once again when Leininger spun out on the front stretch a lap later.
As the excitement was happening at the back, the silent driver was Daniel Hettinga, who had started ninth in the feature but worked his way to second place.
Westover took third after having started dead last in 12th place.
Finally, the WISSOTA Modifieds were pretty decent in the feature, with only a couple of minor incidents.
They had the longest green flag run of the night, having completed 12 uninterrupted laps.
Paull showed some real speed throughout the night by grabbing the low line and sticking with it. Gary Wilson, on the other hand, started on the front row only to run into trouble himself that resulted in a flat tire.
After a couple of incidents, the field spread out and Paull took both the Amsoil qualifier win and the Mid-Season Shootout trophy.
The biggest movers of the race were Brad Loveday and Denny Trimble, who jumped from fifth to third and ninth to fourth, respectively.
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