Schroeder wins back to back Fests, now has Book Ends
Once again Pat Amos Schroeder was the odds on favorite to win the Fest pole with his Havoline Thunderbird, a garage queen that sits parked all year waiting for this 1 day a year. This year was different as Pat was quiet and relaxed, unlike years past. With Eleven drivers entered, Pat would be 4th out for his attempt.
The random qualifying order put thirteen time Fest pole winner Paul Gilbertson in the number 1 spot. He was quick in practice in the #52 Bud T-Bird for the 2nd year in a row. Puk turned in the quickest lap he ever turned here, 0.034 faster than last year, and 0.041 off the track record set last year by Amos. Second out was Puk’s teammate Kevin Owen in the #16 D.A.P. Taurus. Kevin’s goal was to finish in the top 5. His time of 2:899 put him 8th on the grid. Next out was hometown favorite Jake Shimshak. Jake’s quickest lap was a 2:716 planting him 2nd quickest but up next was Amos. Not saying much Pat went about his business turning a best of 2:717 and figured oh well, no big deal. This placed Pat 3rd on the grid with Rich CrazyHo Hohlfeld, Johnny G, Shimmy, Bob T, AJ and Swingle yet to go. No one came close to the pole with their times being in the 8s. Puk ended up with his 14th career Fest pole. Deceased Don Ames is 2nd with 7 poles followed by John Gilbertson who has 6, his last coming 30 years ago in ’84.
For the 2nd time ever all qualified drivers had a chance to win the 15 second Dash 4 Cash, $15 and a $25 Amazon gift card. Puk edged Jake in heat 1 while Shimmy and Swingle ended up between Puk and Jake. Puk’s win was his 9th career.
All drivers names were randomly drawn by the computer and each driver would race on each lane once for 160 seconds. Amos won heat 1 on lane 4 with a lap count of 54 by 2 laps over Paul Shimshak and 3 over AJ. Shimmy, in Jake’s back up car, then scored wins taking heats 2 & 3. After placing 2nd in heat 3 Jake won heat 4 over Rich. Rich then won heats 5 & 6. Puk won heats 7 & 8 after placing 3rd in heat 6. Shimmy once again ran strong taking heat 9 over Puk and then Puk won heat 10 over Bill.
With one heat to go Puk held a 50 lap lead and his racing was over. Each heat winner had over 52 laps so it didn’t look promising for Paul. Schroeder stayed out of trouble and cruised to a 56 lap heat win taking the 40th annual “The Fest” for a second year in a row. This has happened only 5 times before between 3 drivers, Puk, Scott Murphy and now Pat.. Schroeder’s Havoline Ford also has tied a Fest record with Puk’s Caps Vending Nova having won The Fest 3 times.
FIN STR # DRIVER TYPE OF CAR/SPONSOR TIME LAPS
1 3 28 Pat Schroeder Thunderbird/Havoline 2:717 273
2 1 52 Paul Gilbertson Thunderbird/Bud 2:663 267
3 4 18 Rich Hohlfeld Fusion/Dairyland 2:803 258
4 11 30 Bill Martin Taurus/Redkote DNT 258
5 2 16oz Jake Shimshak MC/Old Milwaukee 2:716 257
6 7 16oz Paul Shimshak MC/Old Milwaukee 2:874 257
7 6 75 AJ Shimshak Monte Carlo/Mello Yello 2:861 247
8 5 88 John Gilbertson Thunderbird/Menards 2:824 247
9 8 16 Kevin Owen Taurus/D.A.P. 2:899 243
10 10 17 Bob Talley MC/Reeces 3:
11 9 23 Mark Swingle Monte Carlo/Camel 2:926 228
Hobbyfest for 2014 was taken home by Jake Shimshak and Bill Martin took home the win in the spectator drags edging out Paul “Shimmy” Shimshak in the best of 3 finale.