TOPSY-TURVY CLASS BATTLES AND HISTORIC OFF-ROAD FINISH DOMINATE WSORR "TRIPLE-HEADER" AT BARK RIVER INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY BARK RIVER, Mich -- New points leaders emerged in six different Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing classes following...
TOPSY-TURVY CLASS BATTLES AND HISTORIC OFF-ROAD FINISH DOMINATE WSORR "TRIPLE-HEADER" AT BARK RIVER INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
BARK RIVER, Mich -- New points leaders emerged in six different Lucas Oil World Series of Off-Road Racing classes following a wild weekend of "triple-header" race action at Bark River International Raceway in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. All of the weekend's class battle headlines though were overshadowed by "Hot Rod" Rhonda Konitzer's performance as she became the first woman to gain a PRO class podium finish in a nationwide short-course off-road race Series. Konitzer's third place finish in WSORR Round IX came in the elite PRO 2WD class against many of the top professional drivers in the country.
The PRO 2WD battles were ferocious in all three rounds of WSORR action at the Boss Plows Off-Road Challenge, presented by the Island Resort and Casino in Bark River, and resulted in a reshuffling of the leaders in the season-long points battle. Carl Renezeder drove his Lucas Oil Sobe BFG Nissan Titan to the win in Round VII during a special "Happy Hour" round of racing on Friday night featuring the PRO classes. Mike Oberg finished second in his Amsoil Kumho Chevrolet with Scott Taylor third in the Skyjacker BFG Ford. On Saturday, the Round VIII winner was Evan Evans who managed his first WSORR win of the season in his Forest County Potawatomi BFG Chevrolet. He was followed across the finish line by Renezeder and Oberg.
In Sunday's Round IX PRO 2WD race, Taylor grabbed his third WSORR win of the year. Evans was second and then crowd favorite Rhonda Konitzer, driving a Goodyear Chevrolet, made her mark in the history books with her third place finish. The SPEED Network TV cameras were on-hand to record the moment. At the conclusion of the weekend, Taylor moved atop the standings one point ahead of Oberg and three points ahead of former PRO 2WD leader Kevin Probst.
The PRO 4x4 class also has a new points leader as Johnny Greaves won two of the three rounds of racing to move ahead of Al Drews. Greaves won both Round VII and Round IX in his Potawatomi Monster BFG Toyota. On Friday, Greaves was followed to the checkered flag by Scott Douglas in his Amsoil Kumho Ford and Drews in his Kumho Ford. Douglas took the honors in Round VIII followed by Carl Renezeder in the Lucas Oil Sobe BFG Nissan and Greaves in third. Following Greaves in the final round of weekend racing was Adrian Cenni in his Atrium Staffing BFG Chevrolet and Renezeder in third.
Chad Hord remains atop the PRO Light Pickup standings thanks to his Round VII victory but is now feeling some heat from rival Jeff Kincaid who doubled up with wins in the next two rounds. Hord's Lucas Oil Boss Plows Kumho Nissan was chased across the line on Friday by Art Schmitt in his Goodyear Nissan and Kincaid in the Potawatomi BFG Toyota. In Round VIII, the podium rotated with Kincaid on top followed by Schmitt and Hord. Kincaid was the Round IX winner followed by Steve Federico in the Invisible Glass PF Chang's Sticker Dude Hankook Toyota and Dan Vanden Heuvel, Jr in the Amsoil Kumho Nissan. All of the WSORR SRT division class battles have tightened up following their two rounds of race action at Bark River. Dan Baudoux in his Mole Lake Casino BFG Ford swept the competition with a pair of wins in the Super Stock Truck class. Rival Ben Wandahsega, in his Potawatomi Toyo Chevrolet remains the Super Truck points leader by virtue of his second place finish in Round VIII. Dave Waldvogel in his Bendix Toyo Chevrolet finished behind Baudoux in Round VII and sits only 8 points behind in the points race. Waldvogel also finished on the podium in Round VIII in third. Don Williams, in the Revtek BFG Ford, claimed the third place finish in Round VII.
Aaron Hawley is the new leader in the Super Buggy points race thanks to his first and second place finishes in his Goodyear Toyota machine. The Round VII winner was John Mason in a Goodyear Honda. Hawley was second and Todd Wallace's Kumho Toyota powered its way to third. In Round VIII, Hawley was followed by Scott Schwalbe in a BFG Toyota and Tim Lemons on Goodyear tires. Hawley moved just three points ahead of former class leader Gary Nierop on Goodyears who had a pair of fourth place finishes during the weekend.
The leaders in the 1600 Buggy points race have flip-flopped as John Fitzgerald moved ahead of Mark Steinhardt although both managed wins on the weekend. Steinhardt, on BF Goodrich tires was the winner in Round VII followed by Fitzgerald and Michael Notary both on Goodyears. Fitzgerald was the Round VIII winner followed by Michael Seefeldt and Mark Krueger both on BFGs.
There is a new leader in the 1600 Light Buggy class too as Todd Lemke has jumped ahead of the competition even though he didn't manage a podium finish in either round. This ultra-competitive class had six different winners heading into the weekend and the string was finally broken as both Jamie Kleikamp on Goodyears and Mike Vanden Heuvel on Toyo tires finally doubled up. Round VII had Kleikamp on top followed by Josh Hintz on Toyos and then Vanden Heuvel. In Round VIII it was Vanden Heuvel followed by Hintz and Kleikamp. Lemke leads Greg Stingle in the points battle by a single point.
The Stock Truck class race tightened up as leader Scott Beauchamp couldn't find his way to the podium while second-place rival Al Konitzer managed a first and a second. Konitzer was the Round VII winner in his Goodyear Dodge followed by Mark Kleiman in his BFG Ford. Eric Ruppel in a BFG Ford was third. Kleiman capped off his return to Stock Truck racing after a two-year hiatus by taking the win in Round VIII. Konitzer was second and Craig Metz made a successful debut in the class by grabbing third in his Toyo Ford.
The Round VII Formula 4x4 winner was Jim Ridderbush in a Maxxis Chevrolet followed by Tim Moeller and Bob Sayers both in Goodyear Fords. Jerry Conrad was the Round VIII winner in a Pit Bull Ford with Sayers second and Dave DeMaegd in a Jeep third. Sayers is the class points leader by just five points over Moeller. Marc Rogaczeski in a Goodyear Ford won the Round VII Enduro Truck battle followed by Bob Rinehart in a Goodyear Ford and Tracy Peebles in a Kumho Chevrolet. In Round VIII, Craig Rogaczeski took his Goodyear Ford to the checkered flag first followed by Matt Ives in a Goodyear Chevrolet and Marc Rogaczewski. Larry Manske remains the points leader on the season. Rob Weiland and his Goodyear Chevrolet won the Classix Round VII race. It was his sixth win of WSORR Tour 2007 increasing the points lead in his class. Bill Groboski was second in a Chevrolet with Adrian Tomlin third. Kurt Schuch was the Round VIII winner in a Kumho Chevrolet followed by Tomlin and Weiland.
WSORR moves on to Crandon International Off-Road Raceway for the 2007 BorgWarner World Championship Off-Road Races August 31-September 2. The race weekend features the Friday "Decision at Sundown" FCP PRO Light Challenge Cup races and Sunday's 13th running of the BorgWarner Shootout.