Beaver Dam Raceway Has Successful Opening Night

Beaver Dam, WI (April 11, 2023) – In a move which skeptics called risky and not thought through, Beaver Dam announced it would be moving their weekly racing show to Tuesday nights starting in 2023. The move, which brought up concerns for car count and fan attendance, were proven wrong as the season kicked off on Tuesday night.

95 cars lined the Beaver Dam pits and fans came out in tenfold in anticipation for a great night. In a new era for the track, starting to run IMCA rule sets for some of their classes showed to be the right move. 14 EK Machine Street Stocks, 18 N&S Towing IMCA Stock Cars, 21 Legends.Direct Legends, 18 Beaver Dam Tire and Service IMCA SportMods, and 24 Shepy’s Auto Body IMCA Modifieds made up the 5 packed divisions on the night.

A night of remembrance started with a great synopsis from announcer Ray Underwood, about a lost friend and longtime Beaver Dam Competition Director, Jerry Priesgen. Fans and racers together were able to share memories of Jerry, dubbed “Pink Hat”. Ski Graphics were kind enough to print out decals for crews and spectators alike to take and keep Jerry in their memory. After the races had finished, the official crews had all agreed, Jerry would have been proud of how the night went.

Heat racing would start right after opening ceremonies with Jacob Rens and Jason White picking up wins in the Street Stock division. Tim Warner and Jeremy Christians would bring home wins in the IMCA Stock Cars class. The legends would see Michael Weber, Hayden Schmuhl, and Jordan Miklas in victory lane. Nick Schultz, Colton See, and Jeff Steenbergen would earn a checkered flag in the IMCA SportMod heat races. Tim Robbins, Mike Mullen, and Dan Roedl would round out the heats for the IMCA Modified division, with Roedl saying in victory lane, “It’s a new season and we are just happy to have a good start.”

Track work would be completed after the heats and features would roll out with the Street Stocks first. Jason White in the 1X would be the pole sitter with the 11X of Jon Schultz next to him. The 1X would get a blistering start and run away from the field but the show was behind him, with defending champion James Fletcher up to second from his seventh starting spot within just 5 laps. The race would go on with a few fights on track before the only yellow flag of the race came out for a spun car in turn 4. During the yellow, the second place car of James Fletcher was forced to pull off due to a mechanical issue and was not able to continue. On the restart the 1X would lead them in and out of turn 1 but it would be the 55K of Jesse Krahn who would benefit most from the yellow being promoted to 2nd. The 24H of Presley Harrington would be in third on a hard charge, up 11 positions from where he started in fourteenth. The 1X would win on track with the 55K and 24H second and third, but after being found to have an illegal suspension part, the 1X would be disqualified which meant the 55K, Beaver Dam’s own Jesse Krahn would inherit the win.

The IMCA Stock Cars would be next on the track with the 99X, Horicon’s Jeremy Christians starting from the pole with the 2T of Travis Van Straten on his outside. The 99X would get a good start and the pack would file in behind him, with a lot of side by side action and racing for track position. The 2T of Van Straten would fall down the order allowing the 19S of Aaron Stolp to take the second position and slot right behind Christians. The two drivers would fight back and forth and swap spots for the lead for a number of laps, while they both gained on lap traffic. With four laps remaining, the 99X and the 19S would find the back of the pack and have to maneuver around the slower cars. They would take the white flag and out of turn 4, the 99X would slide up in front of a lapped car which wouldn’t give the 19S a chance to get back to him and the 99X of Jeremy Christians would take home the first IMCA Stock Car feature of 2023 with the 19S and 03W of Tim Warner rounding out the top 3.

The Legends would pull onto the track for the third feature of the night. The only class to have drivers from multiple states, with nineteen drivers from Wisconsin and two drivers from Iowa. One of the two drivers from Iowa, Marion’s Michael Weber in the 8W was on the pole with Sun Prairie’s Eric Blumer starting second in the 6E. The green flag would fly but it would be short lived as the yellow flag would come out as a three car incident including the 17F of Faith Zellmer, the 7A of Brady Ascherien, and the 00 of Mark McCallum all involved. The 00 was put on the tow hook and the 7A and 17F were forced to the work area. The field would re-stack and go back green flag racing with the 8W getting a great start with the 6E and the 44J of Jordan Miklas right behind him fighting for second. The battle would rage on before another yellow would fly for a slow car down the back straight. The grid would reorder and racing would start once again and the 44J of Jordan Miklas would make his way to the lead. Another quick yellow would fly for an incident including 33S of Mike Swenson and the 7 of Lily Fassbender both involved forcing them both off track. Through all the chaos, the 44J would be the leader on the restart and run away from the pack but not for long as the 41J of Parker Jones, 2022 track champion, and the 8W chased him down. The final yellow would fly for a spun car in turn 4 which would force the grid back together and make for an interesting finish. The green would come out once again and the battle would start once again with a blanket being able to be thrown over the top 5 cars. It would be the 44J of Jordan Miklas from Hartland, WI, who would round turn four and take home the win with Parker Jones and Michael Weber right behind.

The second to last feature of the night would be the IMCA SportMod feature. The 27 of Tate Jim Jr would be pole man with the 18Z Geoff Zdroik alongside. The race would start with the front row both going high in turn one allowing 2016 sportmod champion, the 19B of Jimmy Berkevich, to sweep on the exit of turn two and take the lead. The 19B wouldn’t look back as he drove off into the sunset but his lead was quickly spoiled as the spoiler of the 18Z came to a rest in turn one causing a yellow flag. The 19B would restart well and battle with the 62 of Jeff Steenbergen for the lead for a while until the 27 and the 40J of Dakota Johnson would cause the second and last yellow of the race. The race would restart and the 19B of Berkevich would run away with the lead and win in commanding fashion. The 62 would finish second and the 1K of Elojah Koenig in third.

The final feature of the night, the IMCA Modifieds would roll off with Kelsy Hayes in the 09 on the front row with Dan Roedl in the 33X alongside her. The 09 would get a good start but the 20 of Brandon Schmitt, who started third, didn’t wait around and swept by her on lap four to take the lead. The 20 would lead for almost every lap as the 33X and the 09 would battle for the second and third spot on track. The 20 of Schmitt was almost in a different postcode when the yellow flag flew with just 5 laps to go as a car was forced to spin on the back straightaway to avoid a slower car. The field would regroup and a restart with 5 laps to go with Schmitt in the lead and the 99 of Mike Mullen second. The green flag would wave once again and Schmitt would hit a rut in turn one allowing Mullen to throw a slide job into turns three and four and steal the lead away from the 20. Mullen would lead the rest of the way with Schmitt not being able to get close to him and Mike Mullen would win the first IMCA Modified feature of the season with the 20 of Schmitt finishing second and the 33X of Roedl in third.

The next race at Beaver Dam Raceway is scheduled for April 15th when the stars and the cars of the Bumper To Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series invades Beaver Dam with the Legends and the Street Stocks along for the ride. The next regular show is scheduled for April 18th and will be Vintage Car Night. Gates open at 4:30pm with racing slated to start at 6:30pm. Visit wismotorsports.net for more information about the events.

If you have a question about this story or have an idea for a future local sports story, please email Wade Bates at ddsports@goodkarmabrands.com

Article submitted by Beaver Dam Raceway