Kevin Douglas
Kevin Douglas

Kevin Douglas
Madison, WI

Rechek Trounces Badger Midget Field in Beaver Dam Raceway Homecoming Race
1384
4/22/2024

4/22/2024

Badger Midget Auto Racing Association


Rechek Trounces Badger Midget Field in Beaver Dam Raceway Homecoming Race

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin's, Matt Rechek, scored a popular hometown win to open the season for the Advanced Fastening Supply Badger Midget Series and Beaver Dam Raceway. It was a cold day for fans and a tricky track for drivers.

With temperatures in the mid-40's early in the day and dropping through the night, coupled with the typical Beaver Dam breeze, many in the pits wondered if fans would brave the climate more suited for a late November Packer game. As it turned out, they came in droves for a day that had snow flurries just 50 miles away. To say the least, Badger officials and teams were heartened by the gathering.

PRELIMINARY ACTION

The track was very smooth as Badger went out for their first uneventful hot lap session. After the bigger IRA 410 Sprint Cars and Dirt King Late Models took their turns, Badger returned for group qualifying, to a very different track. In every flight, at least one midget spun. It was as if the lightweight cars, with cold tires and cold clay, were no longer gelling. In the end, Brandon Waelti topped the field of 20 that took times, with a lap of 16.691, earning him the FIVEone Motorsports Fast Time.

With the difficulties in qualifying, some wondered what the heats would look like. One thing that changed right way was the groove. Before Auto Meter Heat-1, the track underwent some preparation. In doing so, the bottom groove was soupy to the point that the tractor tires were moved up to keep cars off the bottom-most line. The wide Beaver Dam track could easily handle one less lane and it helped to keep things interesting. Ironically, the only yellow throughout the heats was for one jumped start.

When the green flag dropped on the first heat, Iowa's Ken Hanson sprung to the lead, running low while Beaver Dam's Aaron Muhle took to the cushion. Within two laps "The Blue Mounds Bullet," Parker Jones, dispatched them both and sailed to the win. Muhle got by Hanson to finish second and third respectively.

Harrison Kleven took the early lead in Simpson Race Products Heat-2 only to get squirrely coming out of the second turn. Aaron Fiscus narrowly missed him in the process. Fiscus led Cody Weisensel for a couple of laps, eventually yielding to Weisensel who cruised to a convincing win.

Behling Racing Equipment Heat-3, saw Eric Blumer take the lead briefly, running low. Mitchell Davis and Waelti were hooked up on the high side and powered around him before they were in the third turn. Waelti tried Davis low, but abandoned the practice after one run at him and Davis took the win.

Twenty-six midgets had signed in, but with a couple of scratches, there was no need for a Madison Extinguisher Service Last Chance Quailfier, VMS Rod Ends Heat-4 or the High Performance Lubricants B-Main.

THE MAIN EVENT

The Schoenfeld Headers Invert Draw, put polesitter, Waelti, in 8th to start the Lyco Manufacturing Inc. Feature. Rechek found himself on the pole for the field of 23. When flagman Alex Gihart dropped the green, the drag race to turn-one saw Rechek with the advantage.

Half way through the second lap, Parker Jones hung on for the ride as his RAB, Bill Ecker-owned #57, went tumbling down the backstretch. The crowd went silent, waiting for word on the driver's condition. After a bit, he was seen climbing out of the car and walking to the ambulance, to the relief of fans. Concern grew again, as there was a lengthy delay and it was apparent that Jones would be transported to the hospital. (Reports on his condition have greatly improved, see below.)

On the restart Rechek was in command again only to have action stopped by a mishap in turn-two including Jace Starks, Waelti and Hanson. Waelti ended up on his side requiring another red flag. Hanson had piled into the pair. The night was over for all three.

Once racing resumed, Rechek amassed a straightway lead, while Fiscus and Weisensel battled for second and third, with Kevin Douglas and Muhle duking it out for the next two spots.

Just when Rechek felt like he was getting a rhythm, the yellow came out for the stalled car of Fiscus. When racing ensued, the running order was Rechek, Weisensel, Muhle, Brian Peterson (who started 12th and 13th respectively) and Douglas. It was Rechek's race and Weisensel could only get within five lengths when Rechek hit some lapped traffic with two to go. There was never really a challenge after that and Rechek sealed his first midget win at his hometown track. Muhle, Peterson and Davis rounded out the top-five.

As he pulled his Craig Dori-owned #38 into The Dump Bar & Grill Victory Lane and prepared for an interview with Zack Krueger, a roar for the victor came from the crowd. Rechek, still absorbing the win in his own mind, admits he never heard it.

PARKER JONES UPDATE

Parker Jones reports that while he may have walked to the ambulance on his own, he couldn't even see what the car looked like, as his vision was that marred by the crash. He took a turn for the worse from there and very understandably was checked out at the hospital and he was eventually released without an overnight stay. He reports his eyes hurt Sunday morning, but were already getting better as of Monday, so good in fact, that he was back to work.

MORE RACE DAY HONORS

The Spankins Motorsports Rookie of the Race was no surprise, as there was only one rookie in the race, Joel Willman. To make his first midget race especially memorable though, he also stayed out of trouble, passed a car to make him the 13th out of 14 cars running and earned the Bob Tattersall Hard Charger award.

Todd Kluever had a rough start to the year with engine trouble keeping him from any competitive laps. He was given the Hammers Auto Service Shop Inc./ Midwest Engine Service Hard Luck Award.

UP NEXT

The AFS Badger Midget Auto Racing Association takes a couple of weeks off before they head to the Land of Lincoln for their first doubleheader. On May 10th and 11th they travel to Kankakee County Speedway on the Friday and the familiar confines of Sycamore Speedway for a Saturday night tilt.

BMARA SAYS "THANKS!"

Fans, thanks so much for supporting the races this weekend. It was cold, but you stood up, stepped out and really made the night special for all involved, thanks again!

Along with our award sponsors, Badger would like to thank the following businesses:

1855 Saloon & Grill; Engler; Fusion Engineering; Hoosier Racing Tire; Industrial Truck Repair, Inc.; MyRacePass; Horizon; Horizon Carpentry Inc. .

Article Credit: Bill Blumer Jr. (Badger Media)
Photo Credits: Roy Ophime Photography


Submitted By: William Blumer

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