Neil Knoblock was as surprised as anyone in attendance that he was able to win the Dick Trickle 99. The three 33 lap segment race has a unique formula where they start the first segment straight up based on qualifying times. The second segment is a complete invert of the finishing order of the first segment, and the third segment is an inversion picked off board of covered numbers to determine the final segment lineup.
Dan Fredrickson took the wins in segments one and three, while Colin Reffner took the win in segment two. Yet to determine the overall winner it is based on all three segments and how you finish. Neil Knoblock was the most consistent of everyone, and despite not winning a segment, took the overall title with his second, sixth, and third place finishes.
“Consistency and trying to stay out of trouble,” said Knoblock. “This Hamke chassis is unbelievable and such a consistent car. I ran a Chevy ACE motor after running a 9:1 all year and it’s 50 pounds lighter with the Chevy ACE. The key is to sacrifice a little bit of horsepower for torque and weight. The car didn’t fade.”
The first segment started off auspiciously with crash on lap one involving Fredrickson, fast qualifier Griffin McGrath, and Nathan Haseleu. Fredrickson started behind McGrath and got a jump on the start. Fredrickson tried to get underneath McGrath and made contact. That contact sent McGrath to the high side and took Haseleu right to the turn one wall with him. Becca Kasten was almost clear, but clipped McGrath’s car with her right rear, and ended her day.
Once racing resumed, Fredrickson took the lead until he was passed by Tim Schendel on lap 3. Schendel pulled to a brief lead, before Fredrickson began to reel him in. Five laps later Fredrickson retook the lead and command of the race.
Fredrickson checked out on the field, but the battles behind him would play a huge part in the overall title.
Knoblock and Erik Darnell would both get around Schendel and finish in second and third respectively. Boris Jurkovic rounded out the top five.
Segment Two saw a complete invert and Steve Carlson on the point. Colin Reffner would get around Carlson and bring Dennis Prunty along.
A yellow on lap 10 for the stalled car of Jason Weinkauf created a shakeup in the standings when the cone was brought out. Brandon Hill jumped to the outside to claim the second spot on the restart. When the green waved, Reffner pulled ahead and Hill followed.
Going into turn two Frank Kreyer got together with Prunty, who in turn got bumped by Fredrickson. Prunty, Fredrickson, and Kreyer were off for repairs, with only Prunty pulling off for good after one lap of green.
With Fredrickson relegate to the rear for his involvement, his chase to the front was pivotal.
Hill would take over the lead on the restart, but Reffner battled back on the inside to regain the lead. Andrew Morrissey moved into third, while Schendel was up to fourth.
Schendel would make his way around both Morrissey and Hill, and by the end of the race Erik Darnell would get by Morrissey as well to take the fifth spot. Fredrickson rallied to finish in tenth.
Reffner pulled way for an easy win and set upto pick the invert for segment three. He would pick a three plus the stated eight, giving Fredrickson the pole for the final segment.
The final segment was over before it really started. Fredrickson car was a rocket and pulled away to huge leads that were only erased by a yellow on lap 10. Reffner and Chris Eggleston collided down the backstretch with both cars suffering major damage.
Fredrickson got off to another huge start and pulled away from Boris Jurkovic for an easy victory. The consistency of Knoblock got him to a third place finish. However the run of the night was made by Dennis Prunty. While in contention for the win in segment two, he was the victim of a crash that needed many laps to repair. The crew got the job done in order for him to start dead last. Prunty was by far the fastest car of the final segment, as he raced his way all the way to a fourth place finish, passing Erik Darnell on the white flag lap.
By virtue of his consistent finishes, Neil Knoblock scored the best in combined finishes, despite Dan Fredrickson’s two segment wins. The tenth place finish in segment two, proved to be Fredrickson’s undoing.
Knoblock was overjoyed as he was congratulated by the man the race was named after.
“That’s Dick Trickle,” Knoblock kept repeating as the many photographs were being snapped.
“I didn’t have the fastest car out there,” said Knoblock. “I was a top three car, and just so the way everything worked out for us it seemd to be with a second, a sixth and a third there that’s all it takes, by one point. One car. I was happy just to be up there in the top three, but to win this, I’m amazed.”
Obviously it would have been better if he had won a segment, but the end result was even better.
“I like how you said that,” said Knoblock about not winning a segment. “If I was racing Cup, which I’m not, but put it in perspective. If we were in the same type of deal racing the chase and say it was a three race chase, and I finished second, sixth and third and we would have won it I wouldn’t feel bad at all.”
Dan Fredrickson on the other hand didn’t feel all that good about it.
“It was bad I would say,” said Fredrickson. “In that second race we were having just a heck of a time choosing a lane on those double file restarts. So we were way deep in the field and started getting our way through there. Super good car, ridiculously fast and about 3-4 cars in front of me one guy spun another guy out and I tried to stop for that car but then somebody ran into the back of me. The way the rules are here, and I didn’t know it was this way, you go to the back even if you stop and are involved in the caution. I thought it was kind of a try to avoid a yellow deal, but I should’ve known the rules. We banged up our car got it back to tenth. If we would have gotten to ninth we would’ve won the race. Maybe one more lap I would have passed Boris for ninth”
Cardell Potter drove to an easy victory in the Stubby Feature, a race for the cars that didn’t make the field or last chance races on times. Potter started on the pole and led every lap as he took the checkers a half straightaway over Mark Eswein and Joel Theisen. Frank Nitzke wound up in fourth with Bobby Kendall bringing it home in fifth.
The C Main was won by Corey Jankowski. The bigger shock was that Jankowski was even in this event after setting a new track record in the Futures qualifying yesterday. Today his time was not good enough, but he made the most of it by getting the win.
The key move of the race was when Jankowski got past Nick Barstad heading into turn one. Barstad immediately tried the crossover move when Jankowski drifted high, but Jankowski was able to slam the door. Jankowski then easily cruised to the win. Barstad wound up in second with Mason Mitchell in third. Billy Mohn finished in fourth with Jon Lemke rounding out the top five.
LA CROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY
Super Late Models “Dick Trickle 99”
Livewire Energy & Coca-Cola 33 Feature (24 Cars) — 1, Dan Fredrickson, Lutherville, Minn.; 2, Neil Knoblock, Wausau; 3, Erik Darnell, Beach Park, Ill.; 4, Tim Schendel, Sparta; 5, Boris Jurkovich, Manhattan, Ill.; 6, Kyle Calmes, Appleton; 7, Nick Murgic, Rosemount, Minn.; 8, Jeremy Lepak, Edgar; 9, Chris Eggleston, Erie, Col.; 10, Jason Weinkauf, Merrill; 11, Frank Kreyer, Wisconsin Dells; 12, Skylar Holzhausen, Bangor; 13, Dennis Prunty, Knowles; 14, Brandon Hill, Genoa City; 15, Colin Reffner, Wisconsin Rapids; 16, Andrew Morrissey, De Forest; 17, Steve Carlson, West Salem; 18, Mark Kraus, Stratford; 19, Steve Holzhausen, Bangor; 20, Matt Tifft, Hinckley, Ohio; 21, Chris Weinkauf, Merrill; 22, Rebecca Kasten, Germantown; 23, Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 24, Nathan Haseleu, Pardeeville.
Livewire Energy & Coca-Cola 33 Feature (19 Cars) — 1, Colin Reffner; 2, Tim Schendel; 3, Brandon Hill; 4, Erik Darnell; 5, Andrew Morrissey; 6, Neil Knoblock; 7, Kyle Calmes; 8, Jeremy Lepak; 9, Boris Jurkovich; 10, Dan Fredrickson; 11, Matt Tifft; 12, Chris Eggleston; 13, Skylar Holzhausen; 14, Steve Carlson; 15, Nick Murgic; 16, Jason Weinkauf; 17, Frank Kreyer; 18, Dennis Prunty, 19, Mark Kraus.
Livewire Energy & Coca-Cola 33 Feature (17 Cars) — 1, Dan Fredrickson; 2, Boris Jurkovich; 3, Neil Knoblock; 4, Dennis Prunty; 5, Erik Darnell; 6, Jeremy Lepak; 7, Kyle Calmes; 8, Andrew Morrissey; 9, Skylar Holzhausen; 10, Nick Murgic; 11, Brandon Hill; 12, Tim Schendel; 13, Jason Weinkauf; 14, Chris Eggleston; 15, Colin Reffner; 16, Frank Kreyer; 17, Steve Carlson.
“The Stubby” 30 Feature — 1, Cardell Potter, Camp Douglas; 2, Mark Eswein, Wisconsin Rapids; 3, Joel Theisen, Maple Grove, Minn.; 4, Frank Nitzke, Berlin; 5, Bobby Kendall, Montello; 6, Dean Cornelius, New Prague, Minn.; 7, Adam Degenhardt, Coon Valley; 8, Tim Rothe, Appleton; 9, Jeff Strom, East Troy; 10, Maxwell Schultz, Reedsville; 11, Bret Widdis, Green Bay; 12, Don Turner, La Crosse; 13, Thor Anderson, Bondurant, Iowa; 14, Josh Wallace, Genoa City; 15, Jacob Goede, Carver, Minn.; 16, Dean La Pointe, Marshfield; 17, Clint Sillars, Weston; 18, Matt Kocourek, Franklin.
C-Feature —1, Corey Jankowski, Tomah; 2, Nick Barstad, Prior Lake, Minn.; 3, Mason Mitchell, West Des Moines, Iowa; 4, Billy Mohn, Lakeville, Minn.; 5, Jon Lemke, Shakopee, Minn.; 6, Jimmy Dragich, Germantown; 7, Greg Vangool, Saskatoon, SK; 8, Tim Lampman, Oak Creek; 9, Derek Childs, Poynette; 10, Kirby Kurth, Wisconsin Rapids; 11, Darren Wolke, Belle Plaine, Minn.; 12, Tommy Jones, Park City, Ill.; 13, Brian Allen, Hiawatha, Iowa; 14, Mike Carlson, West Salem; 15, Nick Clements, West Salem; 16, Rob Myers, Hartford; 17, Gary La Monte, West Allis; 18, Jacob Vanoskey, Hartford; 19, Ryan De Stefano, Colgate; 20, Tony Bagstad, Westby; 21, Dan Jung, Iron Ridge; 22, Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan.