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Cedar Lake Speedway

Fuller best New Yorker in tuneup at Cedar Lake

July 30, 2009, 7:26 pm
By Todd Turner
DirtonDirt.com chief writer
Tim Fuller takes the checkers. (thesportswire.net)
Tim Fuller takes the checkers. (thesportswire.net)

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (July 30) — Outside front-row starter Tim Fuller overtook fellow Watertown, N.Y., driver Tim McCreadie on the fourth lap and led the rest of the 40-lapper at Cedar Lake Speedway for a World Dirt Racing League victory.

Fuller, who never got too much breathing room over McCreadie, earned $5,000 for the tuneup to Cedar Lake's 22nd annual USA Nationals this weekend, an unsanctioned event paying $50,000 to the winner. The big-block modified graduate also notched his second straight Late Model victory, following Saturday's World of Outlaws Late Model Series triumph at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. | Slideshow

McCreadie pulled within a few lengths of Fuller with 10 laps remaining, but Fuller edged away to complete his victory at the 3/8-mile oval, his first-ever victory in Wisconsin.

McCreadie was second just ahead of third-starting Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who was going for his third straight Cedar Lake victory on the WDRL circuit after two victories in June. WDRL points leader Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, was fourth and 20th-starting Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, rallied to finish fifth.

The race was slowed by two cautions, neither for serious incidents. A lap-10 yellow appeared for a slowing Denny Eckrich. Wendell Wallace slowed for a lap-15 yellow.

During the lap-10 yellow, Chris Simpson's No. 32 — sitting in the infield — was attended by the track's fire crew for a brief showing of flames under the hood.

Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., ran third most of the first 10 laps, but pitted under the first caution. He rallied to finish ninth.

WDRL @ Cedar Lake: (1) Tim Fuller, (2) Tim McCreadie, (3) Jimmy Mars, (4) Chad Simpson, (5) Brian Birkhofer, (6) Matt Miller, (7) Scott James, (8) Adam Hensel, (9) Jason Feger, (10) Nick Anvelink, (11) Dennis Erb Jr. (12) Steve Laursen, (13) Billy Moyer, (14) Chris Wall, (15) Bill Frye, (16) Chris Madden, (17) Ashley Anderson, (18) Al Purkey, (19) Will Vaught, (20) Brady Smith, (21) Terry Phillips, (22) Rick Aukland, (23) Wendell Wallace, (24) Dave Eckrich, (25) Chris Simpson, (26) Denny Eckrich. Fast qualifier (among 65 cars): Mars, 14.010 seconds. Heat race winners: Feger, Laursen, Fuller, Anvelink, Moyer, Phillips, Mars. Consolation winners: R. Aukland, Birkhofer, Vaught. Provisional starters: Denny Eckrich, Purkey.

Pole dash

Outside front-row starter Tim McCreadie cruised to a six-lap victory in the pole dash, topping fellow New York driver Tim Fuller by a half-straightaway. Jimmy Mars picked up one spot to finish third with Jason Feger fourth. The finish sets up the first four rows of the feature.

Finish: Tim McCreadie, Tim Fuller, Jimmy Mars, Jason Feger, Steve Laursen, Nick Anvelink, Terry Phillips, Chad Simpson.

Third consolation

Polesitter Will Vaught turned back a strong first-lap challenge from Dave Eckrich for a 12-lap victory. Eckrich, who edged ahead out of turn two on the first lap after making a bold move on the low side, finished second for the other transfer spot while outside front-row starter Josh McGuire finished third. The race went caution-free, but Al Purkey was running fourth when he lost control in turn four and fell back to the rear of the field on the third lap, but he's in line for a series provisional.

Finish: Will Vaught, Dave Eckrich, Josh McGuire, Jason Utter, Tim Isenberg, Jeremy Payne, Matt Aukland, Eric Turner, Rob Moss, Mike Balcaen, Zack Forster, Bill Koons, Bryan Wennen, Al Purkey. Scratched: Terry Casey.

Second consolation

Polesitter Brian Birkhofer outdueled fellow front-row starter Chris Simpson on the first lap and stretched away to a victory in the second consy. SImpson was fast enough to avoid any challenges for the second transfer spot as the runner-up while fifth-starting Jeep Van Wormer took third from Alan Mondus on the ninth lap, but couldn't gain any more ground. Fourth-starting Chad Mahder was running fourth when he spun in turn four on the fourth lap. Lee Thomason spun on the lap-four restart to draw the second and final yellow.

Finish: Brian Birkhofer, Chris Simpson, Jeep Van Wormer, John Anderson, Alan Mondus, Rodney Melvin, Jon Kirby, Tyler Reddick, Paul Parker, Chad Mahder, Gregg Hill, Mike Johnson, Dewaine Hottinger, Dan Shelliam, Lee Thomason, Zach Johnson.

First consolation

Polesitter Rick Aukland worked under fellow front-row starter Scott James to take command on the fourth lap and went on to win the first of three consolation races. James got the second and final transfer spot while Russ Scheffler was third, just ahead of Pat Doar and Denny Eckrich in the caution-free 12-lapper.

Finish: Rick Aukland, Scott James, Russ Scheffler, Pat Doar, Denny Eckrich, Brian Shirley, Jake Redetzke, Justin Fegers, Clint Smith, Rick Hanestadn, John Kaanta, Johnny Malcolm, Dusitn Hapka, Eric Pember, Pete Parker, Scott Gilberts.

Seventh heat

Driving harder into the corners than anyone else, fourth-starting Jimmy Mars made an outside move on Bill Frye on the third lap and never looked back. He's funning for his third straight WDRL victory at Cedar Lake. Frye couldn't keep up but held on to finish second, more than a straightaway behind the winner. Third-starting Chris SImpson took third from Jason Utter on the seventh lap, and two-time USA Nationals winner Rick Aukland dropped Utter to fifth on the final lap. A caution spoiled the first start when Dan Shelliam got into the frontstretch wall just past the flagstand; his No. 16 suffered significant right-side damage and was towed off the track.

Finish: Jimmy Mars, Bill Frye, Chris Simpson, Rick AUkland, Jason Utter, Jon Kirby, Eric Turner, Mike Johnson Dan Shelliam.

Sixth heat

Polesitter Terry Phillips led all the way in the 10-lapper with fellow front-row starter Chris Madden a half-straight back in second. Fourth-starting Brian Birkhofer got rolling late, taking third from Rodney Melvin on the seventh lap but failing to gain on Madden in the closing laps. Seventh-starting Matt Miller, gunning for his third straight WDRL victory, slipped under Melvin for fourth in the closing laps. Third-starting Terry Casey was running third early but lost three spots when he scraped the turn-one wall on the third lap; he pulled to the infield before the checkers fell.

Finish: Terry Phillips, Chris Madden, Brian Birkhofer, Matt Miller, Rodney Melvin, Jake Redetzke, Gregg Hill, Johnny Malcolm, Terry Casey.

Fifth heat

Winning a two-car battle with Chad Simpson, Billy Moyer became the first winner from the pole in the fifth heat. The fourth-starting Simpson pressured Moyer throughout, pulling alongside on the backstretch on lap seven, but Moyer held on as they pulled more than a half-straightaway ahead of the field. Fifth-starting Ashley Anderson was third with Adam Hensel rallying from outside the fourth row to finish fourth. Front-row starter Scott Gilberts slipped back to fifth in the caution-free prelim.

Finish: Billy Moyer, Chad Simpson, Ashley Anderson, Adam Hensel, Al Purkey, Scott Gilberts, Mike Balcaen, Eric Pember, Zach Johnson.

Fourth heat

Becoming the second Wisconsin driver to win a heat, Nick Anvelink started outside the front row and led all the way. Third-starting Dennis Erb Jr. hung with Anvelink but never made a serious bid for the lead while polesitter Russ Scheffler was third in the race slowed by three cautions. Division rookie Alan Mondus was a close fourth and John Anderson rebounded from an early spin to finish fifth. Although Anderson kept his car rolling after a spin between turns one and two, a caution appeared on the second lap. Anderson had been racing tightly with Clint Smith. Smith, who appeared to have a broken left-front suspension, spun in turn three while battling Mondus for a lap-three caution. Bill Koons drew a lap-eight caution in turn four.

Finish: Nick Anvelink, Dennis Erb Jr., Russ Scheffler, Alan Mondus, John Anderson, Matt Aukland, Bill Koons, Dewaine Hottinger, Clint Smith.

Third heat

Taking the lead on the fourth lap after polesitter Wendell Wallace dropped to the low groove, third-starting Tim Fuller swept around on the frontstretch and cruised to a 10-lap victory. Wallace, who stayed high except for a few laps after a lap-two restart, was nearly a straightaway back in second. Fifth-starting Brady Smith pressured the leaders early before dropping back to settle for third while Scott James was fourth, one spot better than fifth-fastest overall qualifier Jeep Van Wormer. Dustin Hapka, who started outside the front row, jumped the cushion in turn three and stopped at the wall for a turn-two caution; he pulled off the track after causing a second caution for returning to the track during the restart.

Finish: Tim Fuller, Wendell Wallace, Brady Smith, Scott James, Jeep Van Wormer, Brian Shirley, Tyler Reddick Bryan Wennen, Dustin Hapka.

Second heat

Steve Laursen, who won a recent Cedar Lake feature for his first win at the track in more than two years, led all the way from outside the front row, keeping fifth-starting Tim McCreadie at bay in a two-lap dash to the finish after a late caution. McCreadie, who lost a wheel leading last year's USA Nationals, finished a few lengths back in second in the 10-lapper with polesitter Josh McGuire in third. Third-starting Rob Moss slowed to a lap-three caution and pulled off the track; a lap-eighth caution appeared for Paul Parker's turn-two spin.

Finish: Steve Laursen, Tim McCreadie, Josh McGuire, Dave Eckrich, Chad Mahder, Rick Hanestad, Tim Isenberg, Paul Parker, Pete Parker, Rob Moss.

First heat

In his first visit to Cedar Lake, Feger started outside the front row and blew the field away, outrunning polesitter Chris Wall by more than a full straightaway. Will Vaught was nearly another straightaway behind in third with Pat Doar and Denny Eckrich rounding out the top five.

Finish: Jason Feger, Chris Wall, Will Vaught, Pat Doar, Denny Eckrich, Jeremy Payne, Justin Fegers, John Kaanta, Zack Forster, Lee Thomason.

Qualifying

Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., winner of back-to-back World Dirt Racing League events at Cedar Lake Speedway six weeks earlier, was fastest among 65 qualifiers Thursday for a $5,000-to-win tuneup to the unsanctioned USA Nationals.

Mars posted a lap of 14.010 seconds, outqualifying fellow M-B Customs Chassis driver Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, by more than two-tenths of a second. WDRL points leader Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, was third quick followed by John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., and Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich.

Time trials (unofficial)

  1. Jimmy Mars (28), Elk Mound, Wis., 14.010
  2. Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, 14.219
  3. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 14.309
  4. John Anderson (2), Omaha, Neb., 14.337
  5. Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 14.377
  6. Dave Eckrich (58), Cosgrove, Iowa, 14.393
  7. Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., 14.429
  8. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 14.434
  9. Terry Casey (42), New London, Wis., 14.457
  10. Eric Pember (90x), Pittsville, Wis., 14.475
  11. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 14.543
  12. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.553
  13. Rob Moss (1m), Iowa City, Iowa, 14.567
  14. Pat Doar (11), New Richmond, Wis., 14.587
  15. Bill Frye (66), Greenbrier, Ark., 14.592
  16. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 14.607
  17. Scott Gilberts (21G), Sand Creek, Wis., 14.627
  18. Nick Anvelink (15), Navarino, Wis., 14.628
  19. Steve Laursen (19), Cumberland, Wis., 14.667
  20. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 14.682
  21. Jason Utter (31), Columbus Junction, Colo., 14.683
  22. Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., 14.701
  23. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.705
  24. Russ Scheffler (74), Waukesha, Wis., 14.746
  25. Wendell Wallace (88), Batesville, Ark., 14.772
  26. Josh McGuire (41), Grayson, Ky., 14.776
  27. Chris Wall (71), Holden, La., 14.788
  28. Denny Eckrich (50), Tiffin, Iowa, 14.799
  29. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.815
  30. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 14.863
  31. Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 14.866
  32. Ashley Anderson (81), Eau Claire, Wis., 14.873
  33. Rodney Melvin (27), Benton, Ill., 14.922
  34. Jon Kirby (11), Russellville, Ark., 14.932
  35. Jeremy Payne (74), Springfield, Mo., 14.941
  36. Chad Mahder (55c), Eau Claire, Wis., 14.975
  37. Scott James (83), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 14.987
  38. Alan Mondus (55), Lakeville, Minn., 14.998
  39. Al Purkey (33), Coffeyville, Kan., 15.007
  40. Jake Redetzke (27), Eau Claire, Wis., 15.021
  41. Dan Shelliam (16), Hazel Green, Wis., 15.029
  42. Justin Fegers (F15), Mound, Minn., 15.042
  43. Rick Hanestad (71), Boyceville, Wis., 15.048
  44. Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 15.09
  45. Mike Balcaen (10), Winnipeg, Manitoba, 15.133
  46. Matt Miller (7), Waterville, Ohio, 15.143
  47. Rick Aukland (12), Zanesville, Ohio, 15.224
  48. Zack Forster (1), Bakersfield, Calif., 15.239
  49. Pete Parker (10), Kaukauna, Wis., 15.245
  50. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 15.277
  51. Matt Aukland (12), Fargo, N.D., 15.318
  52. Adam Hensel (44), Barron, Wis., 15.342
  53. Bill Koons (29), Omaha, Neb., 15.370
  54. Gregg Hill (8), Eveleth, Minn., 15.370
  55. Eric Turner (99T), Springfield, Mo., 15.399
  56. John Kaanta (85), Elk Mound, Wis., 15.400
  57. Dewaine Hottinger (65), Russellville, Ark., 15.475
  58. Paul Parker (10P), Kaukauna, Wis., 15.544
  59. Bryan Wennen (40), Lindstrom, Minn., 15.612
  60. Zach Johnson (73), Kensington, Minn., 15.659
  61. Johnny Malcolm (3), Corona, Calif., 15.736
  62. Mike Johnson (2j), Lompoc, Calif., 15.780
  63. Lee Thomason (53), Marion, Ill., 15.949
  64. Dustin Hapka (18), Grand Forks, N.D., 16.646
  65. Tim Isenberg (9t), Marshfield, Wis., 22.123
  66. Kerry Hansen (25), Spencer, Wis., no time

Feature lineup

Row 1: McCreadie, Fuller
Row 2: Mars, Feger
Row 3: Laursen, Anvelink
Row 4: Phillips, Chad Simpson
Row 5: Moyer, Hensel
Row 6: Erb, B. Smith
Row 7: Anderson, Frye
Row 8: Madden, Wallace
Row 9: Wall, Miller
Row 10: R. Aukland, Birkhofer
Row 11: Vaught, James
Row 12: Chris Simpson, Dave Eckrich
Row 13: Purkey, Denny Eckrich
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