STURGEON BAY, Wisc. – Call them the Kings of the Hill: the two drivers with more feature wins than anyone else at the Thunderhill Raceway in Sturgeon Bay added to their feature win totals on Saturday.
Todd Dart and Charlie Kroll, the only two drivers to hit the 50 win plateau at the Speedway since the track reopened in 1993, earned top honors in the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars.
The duo shared the spotlight on the night with fellow feature winners Chris Budzban in the IMCA Northern Sport Mods, Ed Anschutz in the Street Stocks and Dave Schmidt in the IMCA Hobby Stocks.
In the Modifieds, Dart put a virtual padlock on a potential 7th track championship; his first since 2008 with his 8th win of the season.
Two-time defending champ James Tebon had taken the lead from Tyler Hackett on the second lap. Dart patiently worked his way into second on the 10th lap, closing on Tebon two laps later. They raced side by side for two laps until Dart took command, pulling away to his 55th career feature win at the Hill.
Kroll’s 51st career Thunderhill win came at the expense of Craig Dorner who was looking for his first.
Dorner won a two lap duel with Scott Reinhardt on the fifth lap to take the lead in the IMCA Stock Car headliner. As Dorner moved past Reinhardt, Kroll followed him through into the second spot. With both drivers choosing the bottom groove, Kroll settled in behind the leader waiting for an opening.
Dorner left the door open just enough exiting the second turn on the 14th lap to give Kroll enough room to pull even. After a drag race down the backstretch, Kroll gained the edge through the corners to gain the point at the line.
By the time Dave Bouche passed Dorner for second, he had no chance of catching Kroll, who motored away to his first win of the season.
While he didn’t win the trophy on the night, Bouche was able to extend his point lead in the division by two more over second place Shawn Havel. Havel passed Reinhardt on the last lap for fourth in the feature, falling now 8 points behind Bouche in the title chase.
Sandwiched between the contenders was Dorner.
Like Bouche, Budzban was able to gain some ground on competitors in his quest for his first ever IMCA Sport Mod crown.
The first half of the feature belonged to Randy LeMieux, Jr, who passed his uncle Rick LeMieux for the lead on the second lap. Budzban motored into second on the 7thlap, and joined by Bernie Reinhardt, the top three broke away from the rest of the field.
As the leader, Budzban led the field to the green for the restart – which he timed perfectly. He shot from the pack, never giving LeMieux a chance to challenge, sailing easily to the win.