Diemel overcomes Hirt for $5,000 at Shawano
By Bert LehmanShawano Speedway
SHAWANO, Wis. (May 25) — Taking command on the last restart, A.J. Diemel of Navarino, Wis., pulled away at Shawano Speedway to win the richest-ever Crate Late Model race in Wisconsin history. Diemel earned $5,000 for the 40-lap Fastrak Great Lakes Region event at the half-mile oval. | Slideshow
Polesitter Justin Hirt of Tigerton, Wis., led most of the way but settled for second while reigning track champion Troy Springborn of Shawano was third. Tom Naeyaert of Shawano and Dave Fieber of Neenah, Wis., rounded out the top five in Monday's feature, plagued by a stretch of cautions just past the halfway point.
Hirt took command early over Diemel, Paul Parker, Springborn and Fieber with Tim Buhler quickly breaking into the top five. A lap-10 caution bunched the field, and the twosome of Hirt and Diemel pulled away on the restart with Diemel using the high groove in an attempt to grab the lead.
Hirt fought off the challenge and subsequent challenges before the halfway point, and pulled away a bit before a lap-24 caution, the first of a half-dozen yellow over the next few laps. Two of the cautions included at least six cars apiece, with Parker and Buhler among the retirees.
On the last restart, Hirt clipped an inside tire barrier in turns one and two as Diemel again jumped to the high side. This time, Diemel made the pass stick and pulled away for the victory.
Notes: Diemel's Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Amsoil and Integra Shocks. ... The race drew 22 cars. ... The next Fastrak Great Lakes touring race is scheduled for June 5 at Oshkosh (Wis.) Speedzone Raceway.
Memorial Day Salute: (1) A.J. Diemel, (2) Justin Hirt, (3) Troy Springborn, (4) Tom Naeyaert, (5) Dave Fieber, (6) Scott Lewis, (7) Dan Wanta, (8) Joe Reuter, (9) Aaron Wickersheim, (10) Todd Casper, (11) M.J. McBride, (12) Jeff Wickersheim, (13) Brett Swedberg, (14) Terry Gorst, (15) Jeff Curtin, (16) Tim Buhler, (17) Paul Parker, (18) Greg Nordlund, (19) Cody Grosskreutz, (20) Cody Welch, (21) Joel Bennett, (22) Matt Reitller. Fast qualifier (among 22 cars): Hirt. Heat race winners: Hirt, Fieber, Diemel.