John Baumeister Jr. and Gary Hellenbrand Pick Up Opening Night Wins at Madison
John Baumeister Jr. (NASCAR Late Models) and Gary Hellenbrand (NASCAR Dave's White Rock MISfitz) picked up wins at the NASCAR Whelen All American Season Opener at Madison International Speedway on Friday night. The NASCAR Pellitteri Waste Systems Bandits feature was rained out.
Baumeister Jr. Best of the Late Models
John Baumeister Jr. took the lead with seven laps to go just before the rains hit the track ending the Late Model feature.
Rusty Hansen and Brent Edmunds led the field to the green flag with Edmunds grabbing the top spot followed by Hansen, Zack Riddle, Jon Reynolds Jr., and John Baumeister Jr. Back in the pack a spirited battle was taking place between Bobby Wilberg and Dale Nottestad.
Out front the top five were distancing themselves from the sixth place car of Wilberg. On lap 11 Hansen looked to the inside of Edmunds going into turn three and eventually took the top spot coming out of turn two on lap 12. Meanwhile both Wilberg and Nottestad had caught the top five. At the halfway mark Hansen was stepping away out front with a six car length lead over Edmunds. Hansen’s lead was nearly ten car lengths with ten laps to go before the caution flag came out when Zack Riddle spun on the backstretch. As a result, both Riddle and Edmunds would go to the tail of the field.
For the restart the cone came out with Hansen choosing the inside and Reynolds Jr. the outside with Baumeister Jr. and Nottestad lining up in the second row. Hansen and Reynolds Jr. would stay doubled up with Baumeister Jr. up to join the mix. With seven laps to go Baumeister Jr. powered his way past Hansen after several attempts to take the lead followed by Wilberg and Nottestad. One lap later Hansen spun coming out of turn four bringing out the race’s second caution.
Baumeister Jr. chose the inside with Nottestad lining up outside followed by Wilberg and Jerry Mueller. The caution flag quickly came out when Stephen Scheel slowed on the backstretch. At this time strong storms closed in on the track bringing the race to an end and giving the victory to Baumeister Jr. Wilberg, Nottestad, Mueller, and Reynolds Jr. rounded out the top five.
Dale Nottestad was quickest in qualifying with a lap of 18.598 (96.785 mph). Heat races were won by Zack Riddle and Bobby Wilberg.
Gary Hellenbrand Wins First Ever MISfitz Feature
Gary Hellenbrand took the lead with four laps to go and hung on to win the 20 lap feature for the Dave’s White Rock MISfitz. It was the debut of the new division at Madison.
Rick Coppernoll and Bryan Hellenbrand brought the field to the green flag with Coppernoll quickly jumping out to the point. Scott Riedner, Bobby Frisch, and Dave Edwards were up to join the leader. On lap 3 Frisch worked his way past Coppernoll to take the lead with Riedner overtaking Coppernoll one lap later. On lap 9 the car of Coppernoll slowed on the backstretch bringing out the caution flag.
Frisch continued to lead on the restart followed by Riedner and Edwards as the trio closed in on the twenty second mark. With eight laps to go both Frisch and Riedner went under the breakout time for the first time and were both black flagged one lap later when they did it again giving the lead to Edwards.
With four laps to go Gary Hellenbrand pulled to the inside of Edwards to take the lead. Hellenbrand would hold off Edwards to pick up the win followed by Edwards, Ray Hellenbrand, Mike Taylor, and Brian Hellenbrand.
Fast time was set by Ray Hellenbrand with a trip of 20.122 (89.454 mph). Bobby Frisch won the eight lap heat race.
Bandits Feature Rained Out
Due to a weather system that was approaching the speedway, the Bandits feature was postponed until May 31st when the division will run double features.
Brandon Junget set his first-ever fast time at Madison with a lap of 14.746 (61.03 mph). Winners in the heat race were Steve Dickson and Dave Schmidt.