Stock Car Racing: Hageman grabs 2nd win from the back row
North Central Speedway results from Saturday, May 20
BARROWS — Jenna Hagemann ran to her second straight win and Aaron Johnson came away with two trophies at North Central Speedway, Saturday, May 20.
Hagemann started from the sixth row and moved her way through the field of 17 drivers and took the checkered flag in front of Greg Kohl and Josh Maleski in a 15-lap race that caution free.
The back of the field start is something that Hagemann has learned to embrace through her career in the Sport Compact car.
"You just have to keep it smooth and pick the cars off one by one," Hagemann said. "It seems like I start from the back quite a bit but you just have to go out there and get to the front clean."
The lack of caution flags also helped Hagemann stay focused on the task at hand.
"The stop and go can mess with your head a bit once the green flag drops it is easier to keep in a rhythm and keep it going," she said.
Hagemann finished fifth in points in her rookie season of 2018 and collected eight top ten finishes in 14 feature races. She was in 10th place in 2019 and finished in second place in 2020, just three points behind Greg Kohl.
Her first career win at NCS came in 2021 where she secured two wins and a third-place finish, and a sixth-place finish followed in 2022.
With two wins to start the season Hagemann has her eye on winning the track championship.
"Last year, I missed a couple of races as we were traveling a bit but this year our plan is to be here every night and see what we can get done," she said.
For empty-nesters, obtaining a new hobby is often a natural step. For Jennifer Johnson, it was taking on two new challenges.
"Our kids graduated last year so Tim (Johnson) got me a race car and a puppy," Jennifer Johnson said. "I used to pit for him and always wanted to try it and he finally settled and did it."
Jennifer Johnson did not have a history of racing in her family, but marrying Tim and spending time with friends meant time at the track together.
"My dad is a truck driver so he taught me to work on cars and trucks," she said. "We had mutual friends so I came to the track a couple of years before I met Tim. But racing kind of contributed to it."
Last year at the Mighty Axe Nationals, Jennifer Johnson finally got her chance to get some seat time.
"I always wanted to try it and Kaleb Ruikka let me race his car for the Mighty Axe," she said. "I was super nervous but it was the most fun I have ever had so that probably is what started it. Last year was all nerves and this year I am getting more comfortable."
Jennifer Johnson is moving in the right direction with a 13th-place finish out of 17 cars Saturday.
Last year was Aaron Johnson's year. He was dominant in the Modified class claiming the track championship with 11 wins in 14 feature events.
In the season opener May 13th, Shawn Fletcher took the first-place spot in front of Johnson in a race the Fletcher led comfortably at the end. On Saturday, it was Johnson returning to the winners stand as he led all 20 laps with Fletcher in second place for 18 laps.
Johnson was able to keep a five car length margin in front of Fletcher for the majority of the race, setting up a battle for the points championship for 2023.
Johnson also took first place for the Stock Car class finishing in front of Tim Gonska and Dave Johnson.
Last year at the Might Axe Nationals, Dustin Nelson claimed his 100th career win and he added another one to that list with a first place finish in his Super Stock car.
Justin Jones was the winner for the Sport Mods and David Slovick took the top spot for the Mod 4's. Reigning Hobby Stock track champion Brandon Bombardo got his first win of the season.
IMCA Expert Insulation Modifieds
Feature: 1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Shawn Fletcher, 3-AJ Viehauser
Heat 1: 1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Nathan Sletto, 3-Ryan Putnam
Heat 2: 1-Shawn Fletcher, 2-AJ Viehauser, 3-Jeff Nelson
WISSOTA Super Stock
Feature: 1-Dustin Nelson, 2-Dylan Nelson, 3-Jack Koranda
Heat 1: 1-Dylan Nelson, 2-Dustin Nelson, 3-Austin Niemeyer
Heat 2: 1-Jack Koranda, 2-Erick Thiesse, 3-Jeffrey Frey
IMCA Northern Sportmods
Feature: 1-Justin Jones, 2-Jason Vejtruba, 3-Jake Hagemann
Heat 1: 1-Justin Jones, 2-Mark Martini, 3-Jason Vejtruba
Heat 2: 1-Jake Hagemann, 2-Luke Ryan, 3-John Young
WISSOTA Mod Four
Feature: 1-David Slovick, 2-Tommy Pogones, 3-Dustin Holtquist
Heat 1: 1-Dustin Holtquist, 2-Luke Erlandson, 3-Tommy Pogones
Heat 2: 1-David Slovick, 2-Robert Holtquist, 3-Chad Funt
IMCA Stock Car
Feature: 1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Tim Gonska, 3-Dave Johnson
Heat 1: 1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Dave Johnson, 3-Tim Gonska
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Feature: 1-Brandon Bombardo, 2-Tim Otterness, 3-William Herron
Heat 1: 1-Mark Johnson, 2-Tom Anderson, 3-Ryan Kleinschmidt
Heat 2: 1-Chris Seidel, 2-Chad Visser, 3-Brandon Bombardo
IMCA Sport Compacts
Feature: 1-Jenna Hagemann, 2-Josh Maleski, 3-Josh Backstrom
Heat 1: 1-Nathan Kohl, 2-Josh Maleski, 3-Bryan Maleski
Heat 2: 1-Jenna Hagemann, 2-Andrew Malinowski, 3-Alyssa Nelson
Heat 3: 1-Russell Kiker Jr, 2-Ellen Lange, 3-Brandon Backstrom