Wausau, WI – For the second straight year the Mid-American Stock Car Series returned to State Park Speedway, this time on Wausau Noon Optimist Kid’s Night where kid’s bike races and giveaways brought fans in by the carload.
Fresh off his win Tuesday at the Milwaukee Mile, Mark Pluer found River Valley Victory Lane at State Park Speedway Thursday night, picking up his second win in as many days.
It didn’t take long for Pleur to find his way to the front of the field. He used the outside groove at State Park Speedway and went from fourth to first in two laps as just ten laps ticked off the lap counter of the 40-lap feature.
The first caution flew with 27 laps to go as Eric Wilhite, Jack Stern and Dave Verhagen were involved in an incident. This put Rick Tackman Jr. outside Pleur on the restart and Tackman didn’t let Pleur get away. The two battled side by side for six laps as Brad Keith closed in on the top two. As Tackman worked the high side and tried to get around Pleur, Keith stayed on the inside lane, right behind Pleur, looking to make a move on Tackman for second.
Pleur cleared for the lead once again and now Tackman and Keith raced side by side for the second spot. With 18 laps to go Keith grabbed the second position and set his sights on Pleur. The 48 machine of Keith closed in on the 54 machine of Pleur and with 11 laps to go was on his back bumper. For a few laps Keith tried to find a way around Pleur, but couldn’t make it work inside or outside, then with just over five laps to go, Pleur managed to stretch his lead once again and held on to take the checkers. Keith came home in second and Tackman third.
In the Budweiser/Fabiano Brother Limited Late Model feature Wayne Mackesy completed the clean sweep, setting fast time, winning the heat and picking up his third feature win of the year.
Travis Volm, who pulled double duty Thursday, took the early lead in the 15-lap feature. After an early caution Jeff Spatz made his way to the front and looked inside Volm for the lead. The two raced side by side for two laps before Spatz cleared for the top spot with 11 laps remaining.
But Mackesy wasn’t far behind and one lap later his 93 used the inside groove to get past Spatz and in to the top spot. As Mackesy put some distance on the field, Clint Sillars closed in on Spatz for the second spot. Sillars looked inside and then outside and with three to go Sillars made contact with Spatz. Spatz held on, but slid back to fourth as Sillars settled in to second. Mackesy made his way to River Valley Bank Victory Lane with Sillars second and Natalie Decker third.
In the Marathon Parts City Pure Stock feature in took just two laps for Dave Lashua to take the lead. As Lashua checked out from the field, there was a lot of action going on behind him. Michael Merriam went to battle with Karl Geett for the second spot. The two battled side by side with Merriam prevailing with 14 laps to go.
Nick Erickson closed in on the top three and looked inside Genett for third, but one lap later the 16 of Genett went around, bringing out the caution and sending him to the back.
It was Lashua and Merriam side by side on the restart and Lashua held on. Erickson looked for a way around Merriam for second and then Travis Volm came in to the mix on the outside groove looking for a way in to the top three. Merriam settled in to second while Volm and Erickson battled for third, but nothing was settled yet as Tim Nawrocky was now closing in rapidly on the top cars. He jumped to the outside and took fourth and then third.
Up front Merriam caught Lashua and now Nawrocky got by Erickson for third and closed in on the top two. Nawrocky went to battle with Merriam for second and took the spot with just three laps remaining and then went to work on Lashua.
Nawrocky looked inside the 01 of Lashua as the white flag flew. Coming out of turn four the two were side by side and Lashua held Nawrocky off by inches to pull his Pure Stock in to River Valley Bank Victory Lane. Nawrocky finished second and Merriam third.
Adam Eckes needed just two laps to take the lead in the Snap-On Mini-Mod feature an hold on for the checkers. While Eckes checked out from the field, John Lietz took second from Justin Mondeik as Brad Conant moved his way from his 12th starting position in to the top five. With 11 laps to go Conant caught Lietz and tried to use the outside lane to take the second spot. The two raced side by side for over 5 laps, when Conant finally cleared with 6 to go, but there was no catching Eckes who took the checkers.
Garrett Strachota took the early lead in the Motors Service and Supply Mini-Stock feature and held on for the first six laps before relinquishing the lead to George Seliger. Strachota fell back to fourth as he was split on the backstretch by Mariah Gajewski and Dillon Mackesy who took second and third respectively.
Gajewski began to close on Seliger as the laps ticked away. As the white flag flew Gajewski was all over Seliger’s bumper and made contact going in to one. They both saved it, but this opened the door for Josh Opper to dive to the inside and take the lead while the other two regained their composure. Gajewski fought back through three and four and made contact again, this tie with Opper, shoving him out of the way and taking the checkers. Opper second and Seliger third.