By Jason D Searcy
The ARCA Midwest tour Super Late Models capped off an incredible Thunderstruck 93 weekend of racing at Elko Speedway. This fifth annual event is a memorial to former racer Dan Ryan and raises funds to help fight ALS. With Kent Hrbek in attendance the 50/50 raffle raised over $800 on Friday night and over $1800 on Saturday night, they also had numerous other fundraisers and over $20,000 was raised for charity on the weekend.
Saturday night began with an on-track driver autograph session with all the racers and their cars in attendance at Elko Speedway. It was an awesome sight with over 150 cars participating.
Andrew Morrissey (photo above) from DeForest (WI) swapped the lead with veteran NASCAR star Rich Bickle before finally taking the top spot with 27 laps to go in the 125 lap main event. Morrissey held on for the win by .823 seconds over a hard charging Chris Wimmer who came from 8th place on lap 93 to second place at the finish line. Bickle dropped back to third in his final Elko Speedway race before retirement.
Three Minnesota rivals finished together in the finishing order. ARCA Midwest tour point leader #36 Dan Fredrickson from Lakeville (MN) got 6th, 2013 Elko Speedway Point Champion Adam Royle from Lonsdale (MN) 7th and Jacob Goede from Carver (MN) 8th.
Nick Murgic from Rosemount (MN) took the lead early in the race that saw 79 consecutive green flag laps to begin, Murgic then faded back to 23rd due to mechanical problems. Defending ARCA Midwest tour champion #77 Jonathan Eilen from Hampton (MN) started 7th and raced his way into the top 3 before backing into the wall, he was forced to pit numerous times and then fought his way back to finish 12th.
Elko Speedway 2013 Thunder Car Champion #99 Brent Kane from Lonsdale (MN) won the 10th annual Thunder Car Nationals 50 lap event during Thunderstruck weekend. Kane came from his sixth starting position in the 25 car field to win by .739 seconds over Ted Reuvers and Jacob Goede who finished third.
Chris Marek from Lakeville (MN) capped off his 2013 Championship season at Elko Speedway the right way by winning the wild 58 lap BIG 8 main event on Saturday night. 30 cars from all over the Midwest entered the race and 24 started the feature event.
Marek did Minnesota proud by leading most of the race and taking home the hardware. # 54 Dylan Moore had the lead early but took a wild ride and rolled his car down the front stretch, he landed on his roof and ended his night early. Jon Lemke also sustained damage in the incident, he had to pit and eventually finished 6th. The BIG 8 touring cars finished 2nd through 5th with point leader Casey Johnson from Edgerton (WI) scoring the runner up position 1.714 seconds behind Marek at the finish line.
Ten Mid American Stock Cars raced a 30 lap feature with Dan Gilster from LaCrosse (WI) winning his first ever feature with this series. Gilster won by an impressive 4.952 seconds but it was very close for the runner up position, point leader Brad Keith edged Kyle Nowak by a bumper to finish second Mark Pluer was in the mix for that position until last lap mechanical problems dropped him back to 7th.
Camden Murphy from Itaska (IL) won the 30 lap Midwest Super Truck main event, it was his first ever truck win. He won by .448 seconds over Jacob Vanwazer and Natalie Decker, point leader Jerry Wood finished fourth.
The Great North Legends had two feature races over the Thunderstruck 93 weekend. On Friday night Dirk Henry from Sauk Centre (MN) won his 4th feature of the year, he beat out Tim Brockhouse for the win. On Saturday night 24 cars took to the track for the 20 lap feature and Michael Ostdiek from Lakeville (MN) came home with the win, the top 4 crossed the finish line just .473 seconds apart. Derek Lemke finished second, Brockhouse third and James Wenzel fourth. Michael Ostdiek now has a 43 point lead over Derek Lemke going into the final race night at Elko Speedway.
The Mini Stocks also ran two features over Thunderstruck 93 weekend. Michael Wachs Jr from Shakopee (MN) started the 15 lap race seventh and won the Friday night main event, he beat Jack Purcell and Dan Knish to the finish.On Saturday it was Brandon Plekkenpol from Shakopee (MN) winning the feature, Jack Purcell got second and Ridge Oien third. Jack Purcell from Bloomington (MN) was the overall Thunderstruck 93 weekend top point getter and was awarded a huge trophy and free season pass into the pits for all of 2014. Purcell now leads John Vandenheuvel by 24 points in the standings.
Dean Reller from Speed Talk on 1360 Radio interviewed the Top 3 ARCA Midwest Tour finishers and the Midwest Super Truck winner, they will be broadcast on Saturday morning 10-11am on KRWC 1360 radio and www.krwc1360.com.