STOCK CAR RACING: Season trophies awarded at North Central Speedway
BARROWS — The final night of the regular season went off as planned in between rain drops and eight champions emerged on season points championship night Saturday at North Central Speedway.
Tim Johnson was a two-time winner in the Super Stock and A-Modified class, while Josh Abrahamson took home the trophy in the inaugural season for Mod 4s.
Aaron Johnson became one of the youngest drivers ever to win a championship in the Pure Stock class, and veteran drivers Danny Vang and Jack Peterson won in the Midwest Modified and Street Stock classes.
In the Hornet class, Jake Hagemann and Brandon Mehrwerth were the victors.
The night’s racing was in doubt throughout the afternoon, but thanks to owner Cliff Sasker, promoter KT Torbert and the rest of the track crew, all of the heats and features were run as scheduled.
“It was a miracle that we got it in,” Tim Johnson said. “It just kept raining, but Cliff and KT did an excellent job and pulled it off. We were actually done so kudos to them.”
Dave Read also returned to the track two weeks after fracturing a vertebrae. He served as a guest flag man in the Super Stock and Street Stock features.
Johnson was one of the drivers that was happy to see Read back, and also considered the question of being in Read’s shoes on the outside looking in.
“I hate watching racing. I don’t even go to the races where I am not racing because I don’t like it,” Johnson said. “It’s a tough spot to be in, being hurt. I would probably do the same as him and be out here with your friends.
“Dave and I have always helped each other out. He’s a great guy and I look forward to seeing him back running in the car again.”
Johnson ran as many as four cars in the regular season — Street Stock, Midwest Modified, A-Modified and Super Stock.
His matchup with Shane Sabraski in the A-Modified and Super Stock class was one to watch all season long. Sabraski finished a distant second to Johnson in Super Stocks, but the gap was just four points in the A-Modified class heading into the last race.
Both drivers won their heat races, and earned a start from the front row in the feature.
Jeff Hart came from row two to grab the early lead, and Eric Martini took over first halfway through the 20-lap feature. Sabraski edged Johnson for third place in the front stretch on the final lap, but it wasn’t enough to catch Johnson for the points championship as he won by three points.
Sabraski then ran past Johnson for the victory in the Super Stock feature, and finished off the evening with a win in the Midwest Modified feature.
“It’s always fun racing with him. We are two pretty fast guys and we run the same classes so we always duke it out at every track we go to,” Johnson said of Sabraski. “It’s nice to be a rookie and win the A-Mod points. It was close with me only being four points ahead. We came around and made it work.”
Rob Vanmil has had a successful first season of racing at NCS in the Mod 4 class, which wrapped up its inaugural season with Josh Abrahamson capturing the points championship. Vanmil finished off the regular season with a run to the checkered flag for a win in the 15-lap feature. Vanmil ran out front of Abrahamson, who finished in second, for all 15 laps.
“I figured he was right on my butt so was giving it everything that I had,” Vanmil said of Abrahamson. “I got lucky when he pushed up right away to give me a lane underneath of him and I got out front and started hitting my marks. Everyone in the top 10 that are here are all top-notch cars, which makes it good.”
Along with running his Mod 4 car, Vanmil is also in his rookie season at the wheel of his Midwest Modified car and has had a respectable season with a spot in the top 15 in a competitive class. Vanmil has enjoyed his season at NCS, but is glad it’s coming to an end.
“I like coming here. It is a great track and I like the smaller ones. It’s always close, tight racing,” he said. “We have raced over 50 races, four nights a week, in each car. It has wore us down a little bit and we are looking forward to the end of the season.”
Other feature winners Saturday included Aaron Johnson, Jack Peterson, Eric Martini, Jake Hagemann, and Brandon Mehrwerth.
The NCS season concludes next weekend with the two-day Mighty Axe Nationals, which will also feature UMSS Sprint cars.
However, there are a number of NCS drivers who are in a great spot in national points heading into the Wissota 100 at Huron, S.D.
Shane Sabraski currently holds a 10-point lead nationally over Tim Johnson in Super Stock. Dave Read is the national points leader for Street Stock and should be able to return in time for the Wissota 100. Rob Vanmil is the leader for Mod 4s. Dan Ebert currently sits in fourth place in Midwest Modified, just 22 points out.
Dexton Koch is also recognized as the rookie leader for Super Stock, and Vanmil for the Midwest Modified.
Feature: 1-Jake Hagemann, 2-Sierra Kramer, 3-Brodey Kropuenske
NCS OUTLAW HORNETS
Feature: 1-Brandon Mehrwerth, 2-Hannah Jones, 3-Drue Fletcher
NCS PURE STOCK
Feature: 1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Gary Ohnstad Jr., 3-Robert Mueller
Heat 1: 1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Rodney Larson, 3-Kyle Dykhoff
Heat 2: 1-Robert Mueller, 2-Derek Daudt, 3-Brandon Fah
Heat 3: 1-David Eich, 2-Devin Larson, 3-Gary Ohnstad Jr.
WISSOTA STREET STOCKS
Feature: 1-Jack Peterson, 2-Allen Brehmer, 3-John Kropuenske
Heat 1: 1-Jack Peterson, 2-Dan Bartick, 3-John Kropuenske
Heat 2: 1-Robert Young Jr., 2-Allen Brehmer, 3-Tony Yezek
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS
Feature: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Danny Vang, 3-Dennis Czech
Heat 1: 1-Danny Vang, 2-Rob Vanmil, 3-Travis Wermter
Heat 2: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Dennis Czech, 3-Tom Gill
Heat 3: 1-Dan Ebert, 2-George Sniezek, 3-Ashley Mehrwerth
WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS
Feature: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Tim Johnson, 3-Dan Severson
Heat 1: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Seth Kramer, 3-Tim O’Brien
Heat 2: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Dan Severson, 3-Jake Goetze
WISSOTA MOD 4s
Feature: 1-Rob Vanmil, 2-Josh Abrahamson, 3-Corry Vanmil
Heat 1: 1-Josh Abrahamson, 2-Rob Vanmil, 3-Matt Staab
Heat 2: 1-Dean Larson, 2-Corry Vanmil, 3-Tommy Sabraski
WISSOTA A MODIFIED
Feature: 1-Eric Martini, 2-Jeff Hart, 3-Shane Sabraski
Heat 1: 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Jeff Hart, 3-Dan Ebert
Heat 2: 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Eric Martini, 3-Shawn Fletcher