WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (August 13, 2011) – An ominous forecast threatened Saturday’s Alive For Five Super Late Model Series presented by Advanced Engine Concepts Round Four. Little did everyone know that a different type of Storm was brewing – and was poised to visit victory lane at Dells Raceway Park.
Jeff Storm jumped out to an early lead and dominated the 55-lap feature until the final circuits. AFF Round One winner and current point leader Frank Kreyer chased Storm down from a straightaway back and made several attempts to steal the win away.
“That 51 car (of Kreyer) is fast,” Storm said after providing a smoke show on the front straight. “Our car was good enough to win, but it could be better.”
Despite the forecast, a season-high 29 Super Late Models rolled through the gates for the third consecutive increase in car count in the Alive For Five Series.
Cautions and restarts again played a factor in the race as Storm had to survive several displays of the amber. The first ten laps clicked off without incident as Storm took the lead from fellow front-row starter Tom Lichtfeld and began to stretch out his advantage. Behind Lichtfeld, Dave Trute had taken third from Amanda Ferguson and was looking to move to second.
The first caution flag fell on lap 11 when Dennis Prunty spun after making contact with Troy Nelson. Both were sent to the tail of the field.
For the restart the decision cone was placed. Storm restarted alone in the front row with Lichtfeld and Trute aligned side-by-side in the second row and Ferguson flanked by Frank Nitzke to the outside in the third row.
An incident entering turn one after the drop of the green targeted a pair of former Lake Geneva racers. Landry Potter and Jamie Wallace made contact and Wallace was sent spinning into turns one and two. With nowhere to go Nelson hopped over the left side of Prunty’s racer. Must See Racing Sprint driver Jason Cox, making his Super Late Model debut, was also involved. All were able to continue.
Another restart went awry when Mike Egan and fast qualifier Bobby Kendall made contact after several cars in front of them checked up. Egan was sent spinning into turn one.
Per a new rule for the Super Late Models, the following restart was single file. With some time and space to operate in third, Trute worked to the bottom of Lichtfeld to take second. Nitzke followed Trute into third.
Nelson’s hard-luck day continued as he spun in turns one and two to bring out a caution with 21 laps in the books. By that point a train of Kreyer, Ken Reiser, Terry Schoppenhorst and Dalton Zehr were creeping toward the top five.
When the green fell again, Kreyer patiently worked his way around his team car driven by Ferguson. When the door was opened Reiser moved to the inside and took the spot, but again the run was cut off by a caution.
Kreyer immediately challenged Lichtfeld for fourth with Reiser not far behind. However, Schoppenhorst’s run to the front was stalled as he made contact with Ferguson sending the young Florida driver spinning. Both were sent to the tail of the field.
With 25 laps remaining Kreyer was able to work around Lichtfeld, bringing Reiser along. With some distance to close on the top three, Kreyer set his sights on a developing second-place battle. Nitzke dared to take the outside line on Trute and stole second. Trute later dropped out with a problem on his machine.
A final restart with 16 laps remaining set Storm, Nitzke, Kreyer, Reiser and Zehr in the top five. Derek Childs, who was utilizing his Budweiser Late Model with ten inch tires, won the last chance race and had worked his way up to sixth from his 19th-place starting spot at that time.
Storm broke away from the pack leaving Nitzke to deal with Kreyer. After Storm had built a substantial lead, Kreyer broke free of Nitzke and he began to try to reel in the leader.
Slowly Kreyer chopped away at the disadvantage. With five laps to go he was within car-lengths and with two to go he was on Storm’s bumper. Through the final circuit Kreyer dropped as low as he could to open up the bottom on Storm. Storm was not shaken, however, as he held his ground. Kreyer settled for second for the third consecutive time after winning Round One, Dalton Zehr jumped around Kenny Reiser to take third and Nitzke held on for fifth.
The Super Late Models return for the finale of the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series on Season Championship night Sept. 10.