West Salem, Wisconsin (June 19, 2004) - Justin Diercks made it two NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series wins in a row, Saturday night at the LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway with a dominating performance in the Kwik Trip Glazers 150,...
West Salem, Wisconsin (June 19, 2004) - Justin Diercks made it two NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series wins in a row, Saturday night at the LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway with a dominating performance in the Kwik Trip Glazers 150, presented by Schreck Trucking.
Diercks led all but one lap and cruised to a 2.297 second victory over Steve Carlson. Tim Schendel, Erik Darnell and Eric Fransen rounded out the top five.
Diercks started from the pole position and led all but the first lap in the convincing win.
"The biggest part was just getting control of the race at the start and not let Steve have it," said Diercks. "I knew if I could do that, I could just ease the pace out and set my race."
After the mandatory series invert, Diercks started the 150-lap race along side Carlson in row one. Carlson nipped the 24-year-old at the line to lead lap one, but Diercks powered ahead to take the lead on lap two.
Behind them Brian Hoppe, Charlie Menard, making his first Midwest Series start, Schendel and Bud Pole fast qualifier Ryan Hanson jockeyed for position.
Hanson was the first of the quartet to make a charge to the front, but could get no higher than third.
Schendel moved past Hanson on lap 46 to take over the third spot and set sail on the lead duo.
Just two cautions for minor spins slowed the pace. In each case, Diercks and Carlson pulled away at the start, only to see Diercks put substantial real estate between himself and Carlson, the nine-time Midwest Series champion, as the laps wore on.
"We had a really good car," said Carlson. "Justin just had a better car today. There was nothing I could do with him."
Schendel was left with third place honors.
"All in all, it was a good points day," said Schendel. "We just didn't have enough for Steve or Justin."
With the win, Diercks moved into the championship point lead for the Midwest Series, but early in the season that is the farthest thing from the youngster's mind.
"This is really a special feeling," said Diercks. "I'm just going for wins, I could care less about points right now."
Darnell's race day charge started from the eighth position, but his weekend charge started in Kentucky. Darnell had raced Friday evening at Kentucky Motor Speedway in a NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series race, where he finished eighth. The long journey netted him his best career Midwest Series run.
Fransen moved from his 12th starting position to finish fifth. The advancement earned him POWERade Power Move of the Race honors.
Moving backwards, however, Hoppe raced in the top five all race until he blistered a right rear tire with just fifteen laps to go. Hoppe was able to nurse his Chevrolet home to a ninth place finish.
Local favorite Steve Holzhausen qualified seventh but broke the driveshaft in his Ford as the field took the green flag, ending his night.
The Midwest Series returns to action, Sunday afternoon, June 27, with the running of the AutoZone Midwest Series 200, at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna.