By Tom Wagner
Billy LeMieux, Tom Stark and Paul Deifenthaler out raced competitors and Mother Nature to win features Saturday night at The Hill Raceway in Sturgeon Bay.
Timing was key in the Stock Car feature as LeMieux played a game of beat the clock – or more precisely beat the rain – as he chased down leader Dave Schmidt.
Schmidt, the former Hobby Stocker looking for his first win since moving to the Stock Cars, set a steady pace atop the leader board early. Second was a back and forth affair with several drivers in the hunt before LeMieux could secure the spot.
On the 7th lap, LeMieux made a play to the inside, with Schmidt fighting him off after a side by side battle down the front stretch. LeMieux took another shot one lap later, gained a solid edge on the inside and made the pass stick.
LeMieux led the field past the event’s scheduled halfway mark just as the skies opened and the rain began to fall. With half the race in the books, the finish was official. The victory marked LeMieux’s 36th career feature win at Sturgeon Bay. He now stands one behind Benji LaCrosse for 5th place on the all-time win list.
Jarred VanLaanen looked to be heading toward a feature win in the Sport Mods. Jumping from a second row starting spot, he established the point on the first lap.
But Stark closed late in the race, looming a couple car lengths back. His move for the lead played out with two laps to go as the duo was maneuvering past a lapped car.
VanLaanen left a slight opening on the low line, and with a burst out of the 4th turn, Stark shot through to the lead.
The win was Stark’s 3rd career Sport Mod win in Sturgeon Bay and 8th total.
On a streak of 4 straight feature wins at Luxemburg, the red hot Deifenthaler scored his first ever at Sturgeon Bay in the Street Stocks.
He had to withstand a series of restarts prompted by back to back crashes that took out several contenders. The first incident sidelined Aaron Thornton, Travis LuMaye and Ryan Glembin. Dave DeGrave, who beat Deifenthaler in a qualifying heat, started in the second row for the restart, but a crash almost immediately wiped him out of action as well.
Week one winner Scott Boulanger and Beaver Dam regular Jesse Krahn kept it close, but Deifenthaler would prevail, leading start to finish.
The Baby Bomber feature was rained out.
The next race on The Hill Raceway’s schedule is Sunday afternoon, July 9th. The event will include the induction of three new members into the Door County Motorsports Hall of Fame, with the Raceway’s four divisions back in action.
The 2017 class includes Brad Anderegg, John Gregorich and Greg Curzon
The first green flag will fly at 2:00 PM.
The Hill Raceway is located at the John Miles Fair Park on Sturgeon Bay’s east side. Follow the track on Facebook for news and updates.
The Hill Raceway results 6/24/2017
Stock Car Feature: Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay – Dave Bouche, Algoma – Jaime Suchocki, Forestville – Scott Reinhardt, Baileys Harbor – Bret Koehler, Two Rivers – John Adams
Heat 1: Koehler – LeMieux
Heat 2: Adams – Reinhardt
Sport Mod Feature: Tom Stark, Egg Harbor – Jarred VanLaanen, Green Bay – Cody Rass, Sturgeon Bay – Bernie Reinhardt, Sturgeon Bay – Troy DeGrave, Luxemburg – Craig Dorner, Luxemburg
Heat 1: VanLaanen – Reinhardt
Heat 2: Stark – Rass
Street Stock Feature: Paul Deifenthaler, Manitowoc – Scott Boulanger, Luxemburg – Jesse Krahn, Beaver Dam – Paul Ambrosius, Seymour – Allen Dillon, Two Rivers – Nikki Carter, Greenleaf
Last Chance Qualifier: Ryan Glembin, Eagle River – Rusty Campo, Luxemburg – Jeremy Dubois, Forestville – Jeff Krauel, Carlsville
Heat 1: Mike Carter, Greenleaf – Dave Budzban
Heat 2 –Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg – Deifenthaler
Heat 3: Dillon – Scott Boulanger, Luxemburg
Baby Bomber Feature: Rained Out
Heat 1: T.J. Everard, Green Bay – Missy Clark, Luxemburg
Heat 2: Scott Schlafke, Cleveland, WI – Nick Everard, Green Bay