Instant Classic: Street Stocks live up to hype as Frederick wins first season titleCall it an instant classic. The Wissota Street Stocks lived up to their pre-race hype Saturday night during the Southwest Speedway’s Season Championship.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Call it an instant classic.
The Wissota Street Stocks lived up to their pre-race hype Saturday night during the Southwest Speedway’s Season Championship.
An unsuspecting game changer, a spectacular accident, and an intense race decided in the final laps made for one incredible championship feature race.
In the end, Dickinson’s Josh Olheiser fought his way from the middle of the pack to win the feature and, in doing so, helped Richardton’s Zach Frederick capture his first career track championship.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen the whole race,” Frederick said.
Frederick had reason to doubt.
He was using a car he had driven just once before. His season-long ride left last week’s races with a bent frame, forcing him to make the switch.
To make things more dramatic, Frederick came into the night tied for the lead with T.C. Shelhamer of Plevna, Mont.
For much of the race, Shelhamer looked on track to win his first career title.
Olheiser outdueled Shelhamer around the second turn to take the lead in the third-to-last lap.
“I knew where he was, but then he just had a better line than me,” Shelhamer said. “His car was hooked up and going.”
And it was exactly what Frederick needed as he chased Olheiser and Shelhamer to finish in third place and ended the season with a one-point victory.
“Once I saw Josh get past T.C., I was shaking with excitement,” Frederick said.
Looking back though, it was Frederick’s heat victory — which earned him 10 season points — that turned out to be the unsuspecting boost he needed to hold off Shelhamer, who took third in his heat to earn eight points.
Had Shelhamer won the feature, he and Frederick would have tied for the season title.
“That was fun,” Shelhamer said. “That’s what we wanted at the end. It was some excitement for the fans.”
Travis Ulmer was just seven points behind Frederick coming into the feature but blew his motor coming down the front stretch in the 12th lap.
He was racing with the lead group until then.
Adding to the drama was a scary rollover by Steve Johnson of Bismarck.
Johnson flipped end over end coming down the front straightaway after hugging the guardrail when he came back on the track.
Johnson had pulled into the pits three laps into the race and came back eight laps later.
Had he not flipped, officials would have sent him back to the pits because Wissota rules say that a driver can’t be more than one lap down when re-entering a race.
Johnson got out of his vehicle under his own power and was taken in the ambulance for observation. No more was available as to his condition.
Chad Jahner had a seven-point lead in the Pure Stocks coming into the night — and the Dickinson racer needed every point to hang on for his first career season championship.
He won the title by a single point.
“It’s enough,” Jahner said with a laugh.
Runner-up Shaun Olheiser made up four points in the heat race when he finished in second behind runaway winner Mark Selle while Jahner took sixth.
In the feature, Olheiser passed Jahner for the lead in the seventh lap and held on for the win.
Jahner, however, never wavered. He maintained his second-place spot, which helped him stay one point ahead of Olheiser in the season standings.
“I’m happy about the (feature) win. I wish I could have won (the season title), but what do you do? I’ll take one over the other,” Olheiser said.
Jahner went the entire season without a feature victory. This was his best finish.
“I would have loved the feature win, but as long as he was the only one in front of me, I was happy,” Jahner said, adding the win felt rewarding. “All that hard work, all the late nights finally pays off. All the stuff I learned, everything. It paid off.”
A caution-filled feature race detracted from a fight at the front between Marlyn Seidler and Jeff Decker.
Seidler, the veteran from Underwood, led from start to finish while Decker came in second. The two entered the night first and second in the point standings, respectively, and that’s where they stayed.
The race lasted just under 52 minutes.
Dickinson’s Derek Nitschke came into the night with a 26-point lead in the Thunder 4’s and didn’t give up the title he was almost assured.
In his buzzing green Chevy Cavilier, Nitschke blasted past the field in his feature race to capture his first season championship.
Southwest Speedway Season Championship
Heat 1: 1, Mark Selle, Dickinson. 2, Shaun Olheiser, Dickinson. 3, Brandon Deavy, Dickinson. 4, Darren Kruger, Dickinson. 5, Terry Zastoupil, Dickinson. 6, Chad Jahner, Dickinson. 7, Jeremy Binstock, Dickinson. 8, Cole Lewis, DNF. 9, Casey Vernon, DNF.
Feature: 1, Olheiser. 2, Jahner. 3, Lewis. 4, Zastoupil. 5, Deavy. 6, Kruger. 7, Binstock. 8, Vernon. 9, Selle, DNF.
Heat 1: 1, Cody Hulse, Dickinson. 2, Kendall Booke, Gladstone. 3, Derek Nitschke, Dickinson. 4, Devon Wandler, Gladstone. 5, Cory Reisenauer, Dicknison. 6, Nylee Boyce, Dickinson. 7, Steve Jahner, Dickinson.
Feature: 1, Nitschke. 2, Wandler. 3, Boyce. 4, Booke. 5, Reisenauer. 6, Hulse.
Wissota Street Stocks
Heat 1: 1, Zach Frederick, Richardton. 2, Ryan Hugelen, Belfield. 3, Monte Gawryluk, Dickinson. 4, Jim Heaton, Plevna, Mont. 5, Terry Zastoupil, Dickinson. 6, Rick Johnson, Bismarck. 7, J.D. Kuntz, Dickinson.
Heat 2: 1, Josh Olheiser, Dickinson. 2, Steve Johnson, Dickinson. 3, T.C. Shelhamer, Plevna, Mont. 4, John Feist, Bismarck. 5, Travis Ulmer, Mandan. 6, Paul Decker, Dickinson.
Feature: 1, Olheiser. 2, Shelhamer. 3, Frederick. 4, Hugelen. 5, Gawryluk. 6, Zastoupil. 7, R. Johnson. 8, Heaton. 9, Kuntz. 10, Decker, DNF. 11, Ulmer. 12, S. Johnson, DNF. 13, Feist, DNF.
Heat 1: 1, Marlyn Seidler, Underwood. 2, Tracey Domagala, Bismarck. 3, Allan Frederick, Hebron. 4, Wyatt Dinius, Dickinson. 5, Cole LaMontagne, Bismarck. 6, Darin Wendt, Williston. 7, Steven Kuntz, Bismarck, DNF.
Heat 2: 1, Jeff Decker, Dickinson. 2, Fran Martin, Lefor. 3, Lenny Makowski, Belfield. 4, Brian Miller, Baker, Mont. 5, Lonny Magstadt, Dickinson. 6, Jason Dinius, Dickinson. 7, Josh Jones, Dickinson, DNF.
Heat 3: 1, Randy Burwick, Hettinger. 2, Eric Paul, Dickinson. 3, Dale Burwick, Dickinson. 4, Kirk Wojahn, Gladstone. 5, Bob Miller, Baker, Mont. 6, Nick Hoff, Sidney, Mont. 7, Bill Miller, Plevna, Mont.
Heat 4: 1, Darrell Bauer, Mandan. 2, John Gartner, Bismarck. 3, Dwight Burwick, Dickinson. 4, Travis Ulmer, Mandan. 5, Donnie Goodman, Sheridan, Wyo. 6, Rusty Corneliusen, Dickinson, DNF. 7, Travis Olheiser, DNF.
Feature: 1, Seidler. 2, Decker. 3, Domagala. 4, Paul. 5, Martin. 6, Bauer 7, Dw. Burwick. 8, Da. Burwick. 9, Corneliusen. 10, Br. Miller. 11, R. Burwick. 12, Hoff. 13, Kuntz. 14, Ulmer. 15, Frederick. 16, Bob Miller, DNF. 17, Magstadt, DNF. 18, Wojahn, DNF. 19, Bill Miller, DNF. 20, Jones, DNF. 21, Wendt, DNF. 22, J. Dinius, DNF. 23, Makowski, DNF. 24, W. Dinius, DNF. 25, Gartner, DNF. 26, LaMontagne, DNF. 27, Goodman, DNF.