Veteran Martin, pondering retirement, comes up with Modified feature victoryFran Martin believes his racing career may be nearing an end. “Two races left,” the 55-year-old IMCA Modifieds driver from Lefor said Saturday night at the Southwest Speedway.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Fran Martin believes his racing career may be nearing an end.
“Two races left,” the 55-year-old IMCA Modifieds driver from Lefor said Saturday night at the Southwest Speedway.
If this season is Martin’s last in a 30-year career, he is going out in style.
Seven cautions distracted from Martin and Mandan’s Darrell Bauer’s exciting pursuit for the checkered flag during the 25-lap feature race.
It was Martin’s first win first since, well, “a while,” he said with a laugh.
“This is special,” Martin said.
The feature was hindered by two lengthy cautions on the first lap and the first restart lap as a few too many drivers from the middle of the pack piled around the first turn. A fourth caution in the third turn of the third-lap restart caused by veteran Marlyn Seidler ended with a rookie Travis Olheiser completely rolling his car, albeit at a slow rate.
The race lasted about 42 minutes. The drivers spent close to 11 minutes stopped on the track with red flags as cars were removed by wreckers.
Martin said concentration got him through the marathon race.
“Unless you’ve been in a car, you have no idea,” he said.
While Martin is on his way out, a youngster in a different class is beginning to get a feel for his wheels.
Brandon Renner can now legitimately say he has won a feature race at the Southwest Speedway.
The 19-year-old Pure Stocks racer from Zap got a line out front in his 15-lap feature and held it through a clean, caution-less race for his first win.
He had won a race by default last season after he finished third and the two drivers in front of him were disqualified.
“It’s amazing,” Renner said. “I’ve been racing here for a couple years now. It feels good to get one under your belt.”
Renner said with the track’s tacky surface, accentuated by Friday night’s rain, the race was his to lose once he took the lead.
If you’re out in front, it’s hard for people to pass you,” Renner said. “I had a pretty good line there.”
In the Wissota Street Stocks, T.C. Shelhamer didn’t look back and held on for the feature win.
The Plevna, Mont., racer found himself in the lead of the 20-lap race with less than five laps to go and stayed there despite a restart from a caution with four laps left to secure his first feature win at the Southwest Speedway in two years.
Shelhamer said he was a little nervous with veterans Josh Olheiser, Terry Zastoupil and Steve Johnson close behind him.
“I was waiting for those guys to come along,” Shelhamer said. “They were tougher than heck. … Usually I’m following them.”
In the Thunder 4’s, defending track champion Kendall Booke of Gladstone and Steve Jahner of Dickinson dueled with each other in the 10-lap heat and the 12-lap feature race.
Booke got the best of him both times, taking advantage of a green-white-checkered restart to win the heat and pulling away from Jahner with five laps left in the feature.
“My car, I’ve have to find the right line with it,” Booke said. “We couldn’t ask for a better night.”
Booke said a bad spark plug caused him trouble in his heat race.
“I’d come into the corners and it’d zap itself back and shoot me around,” he said with a laugh.
Mid-Season champions were presented with their awards following their respective feature races. Chad Jahner won the Pure Stocks, Derek Nitschke won the Thunder 4’s, Zach Frederick won the Street Stocks, and Seidler won the Modifieds.
Heat 1: 1, Brandon Deavy, Dickinson. 2, Terry Zastoupil, Dickinson. 3, Schaun Olheiser, Dickinson. 4, Darren Kruger, Dickinson. 5, Mark Selle, Dickinson, DNF.
Heat 2: 1, Chad Hausauer, Bismarck. 2, Chad Jahner, Dickinson. 3, Cole Lewis, Dickinson. 4, Brandon Renner, Dickinson. 5, Casey Vernon, Dickinson.
Feature: 1, Renner. 2, Olheiser. 3, Zastoupil. 4, Lewis. 5, Jahner. 6, Kruger. 7, Hausauer. 8, Deavy.
Heat: 1, Kendall Booke, Gladstone. 2, Devon Wandler, Gladstone. 3, Derek Nitschke, Dickinson. 4, Cody Hulse, Dickinson. 5, Steve Jahner, Dickinson. 6, Cody Reisenauer, Dickinson. 7, Scott Hagemeister, Dickinson.
Feature: 1, Booke. 2, Jahner. 3, Hulse. 4, Wandler. 5, Reisenauer. 6, Hagemeister. 7, Nitschke, DNF.
Wissota Street Stocks
Heat 1: 1, Josh Olheiser, Dickinson. 2, Zach Fredrick, Hebron. 3, John Feist, Bismarck. 4, Rick Johnson, Bismarck. 5, Hailey Jordan, Dickinson. 6, Travis Sadowsky, Dickinson, DNF. 7, Paul Decker, Dickinson, DNF.
Heat 2: 1, Steve Johnson, Bismarck. 2, T.C. Shelhamer, Plevna, Mont. 3, Terry Zastoupil, Dickinson. 4, Travis Ulmer, Dickinson. 5, Geoff Hellman, Mandan. 6, Monte Gawryluk, Dickinson, DNF.
Feature: 1, Shelhamer. 2, Olheiser. 3, Zastoupil. 4, Johnson. 5, Gawryluk. 6, R. Johnson. 7, Hellman. 8, Jordan. 9, Feist, DNF. 10, Frederick, DNF. 11, Decker, DNF. 12, Sadowsky, DNF. 13, Ulmer, DNF.
Heat 1: 1, Spencer Wilson, Minot. 2, Jason Wolla, Williston. 3, Darrell Bauer, Mandan. 4, Randy Burwick, Hettinger. 5, Allan Frederick, Hebron. 6, John Gartner, Bismarck. 7, Joren Boyce, Minot. 8, Steven Kuntz, Bismarck, DNF.
Heat 2: 1, Jeff Decker, Dickinson. 2, Bill Miller, Plevna, Mont. 3, Eric Paul, Dickinson. 4, Dwight Burwick, Dickinson. 5, Lenny Makowski, Belfield. 6, Travis Olheiser, Dickinson. 7, Travis Ulmer, Dickinson. 8, Josh Jones, Dickinson, DNF. 9, Rusty Corneliusen, Dickinson, DNF.
Heat 3: 1, Jared Thelen, Bismarck. 2, Dale Burwick, Dickinson. 3, Robert Hellebust, Bismarck. 4, Fran Martin, Lefor. 5, Tracey Domagala, Bismarck. 6, Cole LaMontagne, Bismarck. 7, Brian Miller, Baker, Mont. 8, Marlyn Seidler, Underwood. 9, Bob Miller, Baker, Mont.
Feature: 1, Martin. 2, Bauer. 3, Dw. Burwick. 4, Frederick. 5, Wolla. 6, Boyce. 7, Thelen. 8, Gartner. 9, Bill Miller. 10, LaMontagne. 11, Ulmer. 12, Da. Burwick, DNF. 13, Paul, DNF. 14, Hellebust, DNF. 15, Bob Miller, DNF. 16, Corneliusen, DNF. 17, R. Burwick, DNF. 18, Makowski, DNF. 19, Olheiser, DNF. 20, Wilson, DNF. 21, Seidler, DNF. 22, Johnes, DNF. 23, Decker, DNF. 24, Domagala, DNF. 25, Kuntz, DNF.