NEW RICHMOND, Wis. – What a difference a night can make.
On Friday night Rob Caho Jr. crashed while battling for the lead in the UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series feature race at St. Croix Valley Raceway. One night later during the second TSCS show of the season, Caho found himself sitting in victory lane at the Cedar Lake Speedway.
Caho led all 20 laps of the feature, but Cam Schafer closed in during the latter portion of the race to make things very interesting up front.
“I saw Schafer down under me in turn one late in the race, and I figured I better push it a little harder,” Caho said.
Caho ran the majority of the race up high on the cushion with little margin for error. The feature ran nonstop from start to finish on the three-eighths-mile high-banked dirt oval.
Fourteen Traditional Sprints were on hand at CLS. Former series champion Kevin Bradwell suffered an engine failure in hot laps, so that left thirteen cars for the heats. Brian VanMeveren, who crossed the line first at SCVR on Friday but was later DQed in post-race tech, picked up where he left off (with a new carburetor) en route to winning the first 10 lap heat.
Defending TSCS champion Caho won the second heat. While running second in the second heat, Tom Kamrath got over the cushion in turns three and four and slapped the concrete wall ending his night with damage on both ends of his car. Caho was high in passing and finishing points following the heats, and he drew the best number possible, a zero. This meant the feature would line straight up based on the points each driver earned in the heats with the three rookie contenders starting at the tail of the field.
Caho and third starter VanMeveren raced hard for the top spot at the start of the feature. Caho narrowly had the lead when the pair crossed the line to complete the opening lap. Outside front row starter Schafer overtook VanMeveren on lap three for second, but Caho had built a bit of a lead early on. As the laps clicked off under green, Schafer slowly reeled in Caho.
On several occasions, Schafer would get close but then lose a little ground. In the waning stages of the race, Schafer closed in again as the leader worked lapped traffic. With just a few laps remaining, Schafer ducked under Caho low in turn one, but Caho shot off the high side in turn two to retain the lead. At the checkers, Caho held a slim lead over Schafer for the top spot. Jeff Pellersels, a winner at CLS a couple years ago, ran strong on the bottom throughout the race.
Pellersels was very slowly gaining on the lead duo during the second half of the feature, but he needed a caution. Nary a yellow would wave though. Joseph Kouba, also a CLS non-winged winner from back in 2011, rode home in fourth ahead of young rookie sensation Chase Viebrock. Rounding out the top 10 finishers were VanMeveren, Mike Mueller, Jake Kouba, Brad Nelson and another rookie John Lewerer.