Congrats to Bill Martin on winning his first ever Red White & Blue Late Model event. There was plenty of action as a total of 11 drivers took to the field to battle it out at River City Raceway in La Crosse, WI.
Each segment was luck of the draw with no rotation of lanes. Each segment the drivers would redraw for their new lanes. Martin ended up winning out on the luck of the draw making it onto Lane 2 for all 3 segments which would prove to be a huge upper hand. Each segment contained 2 5 driver races to determine the finishing positions of all 11 drivers.
In the Red race we saw Tom Lange of Lavalle, WI take the first race with a 2 lap lead over the field. Tom came off only 3 times over the course of the race and still managed to keep a distant lead over everyone else. During this race we also saw 6 time RW&B winner Paul Gilbertson suffer from what appeared to be a bad setup heading into turn 3 on lane 2. Later it was discovered there was debris on the track which caused Gilbertson to drop out of the Red event early. In the following race Martin of Madison, WI discovered said debris and lane 2 was clear sailing. Martin ended up taking the victory in the race by a decent margin, however Lange still took the overall victory by only a half a straightaway difference between the 2.
The White Race saw some great racing action. Most notably in the 2nd of the 2 races of the segment as a strong battle between Mike Carlson, Drew Kreibich, and Bill Martin. 3 and sometimes 4 drivers remained all on the lead lap with the lead constantly changing hands. About mid-race Drew starting falling off the pace. Later it was found that pick-up shoes may have been the culprit to the dropping off the pace. As the segment came to a close Bill Martin had taken the segment overall by more than 4 laps over the rest of the field setting up a comfortable margin leading into the final Blue Segment.
The blue segment saw the top 3 cars from the first 2 segments running the same 5 car race together. This race also included 2009 Blue race winner Pat Schroeder who got started the event on Lane 1. As the race progressed it looked like it could have been anyone to win the race. Early on, though, a nasty crash involving the #18 of Rich Hohlfeld, the #39 Bill martin and the #28 of Pat Schroeder ended up knocking the rear of Hohlfeld’s car completely off. After a short pit stop Hohlfeld returned in a backup car and was able to continue the race before the green flag flew again. As the race progressed the lead changed hands once again over and over again between Schroeder, Martin, Lange, and Carlson. As the segment came to a close Tom Lange in the #9 came away with the victory by 1 lap over the field, but it wasn’t enough to eat into the 4 lap lead Martin had entering the final event.
Notes: Lauren Ihle (#81) makes her debut subbing in for Mark Swingle (#9) after failing to make the start in the Blue race.
Congrats to all drivers and thank you for your participation. We will all see you again next race at Dakota Interstate Speedway for our stop at the 7 Lane monster!