STURGEON BAY, Wis. – As he pulled into the pits by himself, Scott Boyea was simply hoping for the best.
Without a pit crew, a night without issues and a safe journey back to the trailer after the feature might be the definition of a good night. As it turned out, his evening turned out significantly better than that.
Boyea scored the most lucrative win of his career, taking home a $1,500 paycheck with a victory in the IMCA Northern Sport Mod John Soukup Memorial at Thunderhill Raceway Friday night.
Boyea shared the spotlight with four other feature winners on the night, including Todd Dart in the IMCA Modifieds, Shawn Havel in the IMCA Stock Cars, Dave Schmidt in the IMCA Hobby Stocks and Von Eytcheson in the Street Stocks.
A one time regular at Thunderhill in the Modified class, Boyea was one of several visiting teams chasing the area’s highest Sport Mod payout of the year. The list of new faces included former Oshkosh Sport Mod champ Todd Wiese, who established himself early as the man to beat.
From his front row starting spot, Wiese jumped to two sizeable leads, but both times he had to start from scratch due to cautions back in the pack.
After the second restart, Wiese wasn’t able to match his early success, as he couldn’t shake free from Chris Budzban. The Thunderhill co-points leader established the inside line, taking control of the lead on the 13th lap. Two laps later, Boyea entered the fray by passing Wiese for second, and the stage was set for a dramatic run to the finish.
Budzban held the point through the middle third of the 40 lap headliner with Boyea racing right in his shadow. With 13 laps to go, Jason Maccoux bounced off the front stretch wall, bringing out the races’s final caution.
The ensuing restart and race to the checker provided perhaps the best feature finish in recent memory. First it was three-wide for the lead, with Budzban on the low line, Boyea on top, and Wiese getting back in the hunt sandwiched in the middle. After a couple of laps, Wiese drifted back slightly, and it became a two car battle; back and forth. Boyea would be scored the leader one lap, Budzban the next.
On the final corner of the final lap, Boyea made a last ditch run from the outside to cross the line in front by less than a quarter of a car length. Not far behind the lead trio at the finish was Randy LeMieux. Jr., capping a great run from his 6th row starting spot.