STURGEON BAY, Wis. – Despite a late start to the season, Josh Lambert put everyone on notice that he will be the man to beat in 2016 by scoring his third feature win in the IMCA Sport Mods at Thunderhill Raceway on Sunday.
Other feature winners were Greg Gretz (IMCA Modified), Shawn Havel (IMCA Stock Car), Travis LuMaye (IMCA Hobby Stock), Jeremy DuBois (Street Stock) and Nathan Delsart (Thunder Truck). John Knudson won the Trailer Race.
Entering the IMCA Sport Mod feature five drivers were in contention and only separated by 5 points for the championship. Cody Rass entered the nights as the point leader and fell back in the early goings as Rookie Connor Iverson paced the field. By lap four Josh Lambert raced by, taking the lead.
A caution on lap six for Tom Stark took him out of the title hunt with mechanical woes. On the restart Lambert set sail leaving the battle for second to Matt Valiquette and Jacob Zellner. In the championship chase title contenders Chris Budzban, Randy LeMieux Jr., Jarred VanLaanen and Rass slugged it out.
Another 6 laps went by before the caution waved again, setting up a six-lap dash to the checkered. Zellner chased Lambert on the restart but was never able to catch him. Lambert cruised to a dominating win and a clean sweep. Zellner had to settle for second. The title contenders were next to cross the line with Budzban third, LeMieux fourth and VanLaanen fifth.
With a sixth place finish Cody Rass claimed his first ever championship by 1 point over VanLaanen and LeMieux in the IMCA Sport Mods.
The IMCA Stock Car headliner was a sketchy one early on as drivers fought aggressively. Before a lap could be complete a large pileup collected point leader Dave Bouche, Scott Reinhardt and Billy LeMieux.
Bouche was able to continue with minor sheet metal damage. LeMieux and Reinhardt were forced to make trips down pit lane. Tom Brumlic took control of the opening laps. Bret Koehler and Reinhardt tangled out of turn four, drawing a caution as Koehler bounced off the wall and was done for the night.
On the restart Shawn Havel made his move on Brumlic and took the lead away. A caution with 4 laps remaining bunched the field for the final time. After charging through the field Billy LeMieux raced to the back bumper of Havel in the waning laps but it was all for not as Havel captured a division best, 4th feature win of the season. Brumlic was third followed by Tony Bouche and Jamie Suchocki.
Dave Bouche raced home to a safe eight place finish and was crowned the IMCA Stock Car champion. He won the title by four points over his uncle, Tony Bouche. Dave tied the record for most championships in a row, set by Eugene Gregorich at four. Bouche now holds a total of five Thunderhill championships, with the other coming in the Street Stock.
The IMCA Hobby Stock title chase was drama filled early on as Amber Weidner led the opening laps while point leader Marcus Moede dropped to last on the field. Dave Schmidt came into the night nine points out of the lead, raced into the top four. Schmidt looked like had Moede right where wanted him but contact with Justin Hartel sent Schmidt and his title hopes spinning to the infield, drawing the caution on lap 3. On the restart CJ Weckler worked to the lead but his reign up front was short lived as Travis LuMaye raced by down low.
LuMaye went unchallenged the remainder of the event and earned his 2nd feature win of the season. Weckler brought home second, Dean Anhalt was third, Luxemburg champ Dan Van Pay was fourth and Schmidt rallied to place fifth.
Marcus Moede took home his first ever Thunderhill championship in the IMCA Hobby Stocks. Moede also holds a title at Luxemburg. He beat Dave Schmidt by six points.
Fresh off a heat race win, Tyler DeBouche paced the IMCA Modified feature. DeBouche worked the top groove and Greg Gretz raced into second. Gretz closed in at the midway point but with both drivers running the same line, DeBouche had the advantage.