A.J. Diemel collected $4,000 for his fourth Punky Manor trophy.
What won the race: Surviving a scrape with Jimmy Mars, A.J. Diemel of Elk Mound, Wis., won the Late Model portion of Red Cedar Speedway's Punky Manor Challenge of Champions for the fourth time, earning $4,000 in the WISSOTA special event. The third-starting Diemel added the victory to his previous wins in 2009-'10 and '12.
Quotable: "I hate to see that deal there with Jimmy ... It was kind of hard racing there and I was trying to get back up to that top in that lapped traffic there and he must've gotten a good run," winner A.J. Diemel said. "I apologize to them guys, they work hard to try to do this here in their hometown. for sure."
Key notes: Diemel got by polesitter and fellow MB Customs driver Jimmy Mars early in the feature. ... Mars was running second and tried to get around Diemel with five laps remaining when the frontfunners got together exiting turn four, cutting down the left-rear tire on the Mars car; he retired in 17th. ... Third-place finisher Jake Redetzke led early. ... Diemel's victory followed the previous weekend's $5,000 sweep of Cedar Lake Speedway's Legendary 100. ... Sixteen drivers were running at the finish.
On the move: John Kaanta of Elk Mound, Wis., started 21st and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Diemel's MB Customs Race Car is sponsored by Badger, Beltline Body Shop, Bobcat of Morris, Mars Race Cars, Deppe Enterprises, T.L. Sinz Plumbing, Schill Construction, Southworth Chevrolet and Prestige Custom Cabinetry.
Points chase: With 562 points, Mike Prochnow of Menomonie, Wis., won the 2017 track championship over Michael Keller (451 points), Rick Hanestad (407), John Kaanta (396) and Jake Redetzke (396).
Car count: 30
Polesitter: Jimmy Mars
Heat race winners: A.J. Diemel, Jimmy Mars, Darrell Nelson
Consolation race winners: Jesse Glenz