I-94 race summary 2004-07-04

SAUK CENTRE, MN (July 4, 2004) - Justin Diercks from Davenport, IA turned in a dominant run as he won his third NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Midwest Series win of the year in the July Spectacular 150 presented by Pepsi at the I-94 Raceway in...

SAUK CENTRE, MN (July 4, 2004) - Justin Diercks from Davenport, IA turned in a dominant run as he won his third NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Midwest Series win of the year in the July Spectacular 150 presented by Pepsi at the I-94 Raceway in Sauk Centre. Rookie driver Justin Hirt got the jump on the field as he pulled into the lead on the race's first lap. Hirt would show the way for the first 11 laps, before veteran racer Steve Carlson pulled alongside and took the lead. Sixth starting Diercks followed Carlson and wasted no time in getting past the former Series Champion on lap 15. Carlson stayed within a car's length of Diercks as the front pair broke away from the others.

The first caution of the race flew on lap 49, when Hirt and Josh Vadnais tangled in turn four, while fighting for the fifth position. The caution allowed everyone to cool their tires, which would prove to be crucial later in the event. Another long green flag run allowed Carlson to look to the low side of Diercks a few times around lap 70. Carlson would use the lapped car of Brent Kirchner to pull alongside Diercks, but he was unable to pull off the pass and had to fall in behind the leader.

Erik Darnell had engine problems in practice and was able to borrow Eddie Hoffman's backup car for the race. Darnell had to start the event near the tail of the field, but he slowly worked his way towards the front and just past the half-way point of the race, he moved by Jon Lemke to take the third spot. Another long green flag run allowed Diercks to extend his lead to as much as a full straightaway, before Kirchner's spin on lap 124, just in front of Diercks, brought the race's second and final caution. With 13 laps to go, Darnell slid his car out of turn four to take second away from Carlson as heavy tire wear plagued everyone as they carefully worked their way towards the finish. Darnell closed the gap in the final few laps, but couldn't get close enough as Diercks held on by .629 seconds to cross the line first and become the fourth different NASCAR Midwest Series driver to win at I-94 Raceway.

Jon Lewerer turned up the wick and took the win in the Modified Feature. Jerry Voigt got the jump on the field headed into turn one, but Lewerer quickly changed that as he flew into the lead, with John Notch right behind. Mike Meagher, driving Dave Ostendorf's car, hit the turn one wall to bring out the only caution in the 30 lap event. On the restart, Notch mounted a challenge and he took the lead on lap six. Notch then developed engine problems, allowing Lewerer to retake the lead three laps later. Notch quickly fell off the pace, before finally parking his car in the infield on lap 17. Back out in front, Lewerer continued to show the way as Tony Grams, in his second week out, gained momentum and closed in on the leader. Kevin Woeste closed the gap in third to make it a three car race out front. Lewerer was able to do all the right things at all the right times to hang on the rest of the way to take home the win.

Jerry Messer will be the first to admit that his car isn't the prettiest thing to look at, but he'll be the first to say that it's one fast car. Messer showed that as he won the Thunder Car Feature. Daryl Harth poked his car in front as three and four-wide racing for the lead made things very interesting to watch. Dirk Henry then took over for a couple of laps, before Matt Miller took his turn leading the race. As things started to settle down on the sixth lap, Messer then scooped up the top spot. The cautionless race allowed Messer to open up a sizeable advantage as he took the win by more than a full straightaway over Miller.

Adam Fronning turned in another great run as he won the UCAR Feature. David Bolstad took the lead from outside the front row. Andy Mayavski pressured Bolstad for several laps, but couldn't make enough of a run to get alongside the leader. Jay Gronewold's spin on lap 12 tightened things up, allowing eleventh starting Fronning, who had worked his way into third to tag up right behind the front pair. Bolstad took the restart, but Fronning came charging a couple of laps later as he stepped up into the lead. Mayavski and Bolstad traded second place a few times in the final few laps. At the finish, it was Fronning crossing the line a few car lengths ahead of Bolstad and Mayavski.

I-94 Raceway Results
July 4, 2004



1. Jon Lewerer (Coon Rapids) 2. Tony Grams (Zimmerman) 3. Kevin Woeste (Waite Park) 4. Jerry Voigt (Cold Spring) 5. Terry Merten (Sauk Centre) 6. Jason Schafer (Marshall) 7. John Gottwald (Paynesville) 8. Joey Johnson (Alexandria) 9. Jeff Rohner (Willmar) 10. Brady Barker (Grove City)-DNF 11. John Notch (St. Cloud)-DNF 12. Dave Deters (Sauk Centre)-DNF 13. Mike Meagher (Grey Eagle)-DNF 14. Matt Anderson (Atwater)-DNS

Thunder Cars

First Heat

1. Jarmin Henry (Sauk Centre) 2. Lance Stueve (Greenwald) 3. Jonathan Olmscheid (Elrosa) 4. Dirk Henry (Sauk Centre) 5. Daryl Harth (Glenwood) 6. Joe Karl (Osakis) 7. Mark Iverson

Second Heat

1. Ace Valencour (Sauk Centre) 2. Patrick Amelung (St. Joseph) 3. Jerry Messer (Sauk Centre) 4. Matt Miller (Glenwood) 5. Mark Milbeck (Erhard) 6. Matt Hoeschen (Sauk Centre) 7. Tim Wojtowicz (Minneapolis)


1. Jerry Messer 2. Matt Miller 3. Patrick Amelung 4. Dirk Henry 5. Lance Stueve 6. Jarmin Henry 7. Mark Milbeck 8. Daryl Harth 9. Joe Karl 10. Tim Wojtowicz 11. Jonathan Olmscheid 12. Mark Iverson-DNF 13. Matt Hoeschen-DNF 14. Ace Valencour-DNF


First Heat

1. Adam Fronning (Dalton) 2. Bobbi Maras (Grey Eagle) 3. Alan Thompson (Waite Park) 4. Andy Mayavski (St. Cloud) 5. Dan Bolstad (Fergus Falls) 6. Billy Weyer (Sartell) 7. Matt Peterson (Burtrum) 8. Tony Hallerman (Sauk Centre) 9. Levi Stenerson (Fergus Falls) 10. Corey Flynn (Alexandria)-DNF

Second Heat

1. Jeremy Fleck (Sauk Rapids) 2. Steve Meagher (Grey Eagle) 3. Andy Heying (St. Cloud) 4. Joey Deters (Sauk Centre) 5. Rod Lanners (Burtrum) 6. David Bolstad (Fergus Falls) 7. Doug Fick (Fergus Falls) 8. Troy Nelson (Alexandria) 9. Scott Petty (Elk River) 10. Jay Gronewold (Fergus Falls)


1. Adam Fronning 2. David Bolstad 3. Andy Mayavski 4. Rod Lanners 5. Andy Heying 6. Alan Thompson 7. Dan Bolstad 8. Bobbi Maras 9. Matt Peterson 10. Corey Flynn 11. Doug Fick 12. Joey Deters 13. Billy Weyer 14. Tony Hallerman 15. Levi Stenerson 16. Jay Gronewold-DNF 17. Scott Petty-DNF 18. Steve Meagher-DNF 19. Jeremy Fleck-DNF 20. Troy Nelson-DNF


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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Erik Darnell , Justin Diercks , Steve Carlson