By Edward Anscutz
Scott Reinhardt edged Troy Muench by a matter of inches to take home his first Stock Car feature win of the season Friday night at The Hill Raceway in Sturgeon Bay. Joining Reinhardt in victory lane on the night were Craig Dorner in the Sport Mods, Dave DeGrave in the Street Stocks and Nick Everard in the Baby Bombers.
The last lap of the Stock Car feature could very well prove to be the most dramatic event of the 2017 racing season at The Hill, set up by a late caution with just three laps to go. Reinhardt had slipped to the inside of Rick Dix to take command on the 10th lap. He had already survived two cautions leading up to the final dash to the checker. The restart staged Muench to the outside of the second row with Jaime Suchocki to the inside. Before Muench could mount a challenge for the lead, he had to secure second not only from Suchocki, but also former track regular Larry Karcz, Jr who proved to be as solid as ever on the tricky 1/3 mile oval. He accomplished that with one lap to go, but it appeared that the margin between he and Reinhardt was too much to overcome in a single circuit. But that wasn’t the case, as Muench closed like a rocket, catching Reinhardt as they entered the third turn. Muench had one shot to take at the win and did so, pulling even with Reinhardt as they exited the fourth turn. It was a drag race down the front stretch with Reinhardt holding on by a matter of inches at the wire.
Suchocki fended off Karcz for third with Dix rounding out the top five. Dorner also withstood a late charge on the way to his first career Sturgeon Bay win in the Sport Mods. He made a sweeping move through 1 &2 on the 15th lap to swing past Shawn Umentum for the lead. This time the emerging pursuer was young star Cody Rass, who worked his way through traffic and into second late in the event. Rass gave chase, but could not get close enough to make a play for the lead. Umentum continued his solid Hill season by racing to third. Wyatt Block turned in a successful first run at Sturgeon Bay by placing fourth. With the second place showing, Rass chipped a few points off division front runner Tom Stark’s point lead as the Egg Harbor veteran finished fifth.
There were no late race dramatics to speak of in the Street Stocks as DeGrave had little trouble en route to the feature win. Allen Dillon was the early leader with Ford Malvitz getting by on the 5th circuit. His stay up front was short lived – just a lap – as DeGrave was past him and gone just one lap later. The feature win, coupled with a heat win on the night, was a repeat of DeGrave’s performance in the last Hill program that had come on Sunday night. That gave DeGrave a rare accomplishment; back to back clean sweeps at a single racetrack in the same week. Other than DeGrave who had checked out, no one had much for Malvitz as he ran unchecked for second. Mike Carter drove from deep in the field to take third, followed by Billy Hayes and Dillon.
While Everard was scored as the leader for every lap of the Baby Bomber feature, the victory was anything but easy. Mike Meier hounded him the entire way but could never quite get by. D.J. Jorgenson was also in the hunt and slipped by Meier in the final corner to claim second. First time Hill competitors Mike Zitzer and Brad Juckem completed the top five.
The next race on The Hill Raceway’s schedule is this Friday, July 21st, with the Raceway’s four divisions back in action. The first green flag will fly at 7:00 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 7/14/2017 Stock Car Feature: Scott Reinhardt, Baileys Harbor – Troy Muench, Namur – Jamie Suchocki, Forestville – Larry Karcz, Jr, Pulaski – Rick Dix, DePere – Charlie Kroll, Forestville Heat 1: Reinhardt – Tony Bouche, Algoma
Heat 2: Trent Nolan, Shawano – Suchocki
Heat 3: Muench – Dave Bouche, Algoma
Bud Shootout: Suchocki – Nolan – Reinhardt
Sport Mod Feature: Craig Dorner, Luxemburg – Cody Rass, Sturgeon Bay – Shawn Umentum, Green Bay – Wyatt Block, Tigerton – Tom Stark, Egg Harbor – Ryan LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 1: Duwayne Mertens, Luxemburg – Umentum
Heat 2: Jarred VanLannen, Luxemburg – Kelsy Hayes, Hobart
Street Stock Feature: Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg – Ford Malvitz, Sturgeon Bay – Mike Carter, Greenleaf – Bill Hayes, Sturgeon Bay – Allen Dillon, Two Rivers – John Hill, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 1: Hill – Corey Sampone, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 2: DeGrave – Hayes
Heat 3: Dillon – Malvitz
Baby Bomber Feature: Nick Everard, Green Bay – D.J. Jorgenson, Oneida – Mike Meier, Chilton – Mike Zitzer, Sheboygan – Brad Juckem, Chilton – Kyle Jorgenson, Oneida
Heat 1: Mitch Meier, Chilton – Tony Everard, Green Bay
Heat 2: Nick Everard – Scott Schlafke, Cleveland, WI