BARROWS — Christina Wollak broke through with her first career Street Stock victory, while Dennis Czech drove away with a victory in the Midwest Modified feature Saturday night at North Central Speedway.
Wollak and her dad, Ernie Wollak were all smiles after the race after Wollak turned the tables on veteran Tim Johnson to take the feature in the Street Stock Class.
“I can’t take the smile off of my face. I’m still shaking I’m so excited,” Christina Wollak said.
“I want to give a special thanks to my dad who has done everything for me,” she added. “My pit guy, Josh Williams, and my boyfriend, Chris. I also want to thank my mom, and everyone who is at the track supporting me.”
Wollak, who sits in third place behind Tim and Mark Johnson ini the point standings, had a front row start for the feature. That has been a familiar spot for Wollak this year, as she has run from the front of the pack and finished well throughout the year.
However, she has not been able to hold off Tim Johnson, a driver whom her dad, Ernie, also sponsors. It was shaping up to be that way again Saturday as Wollak jumped to the lead on the third lap, taking it from Scott Baron.
Wollak then raced on the low side and held off the charge from Johnson who kept trying to get underneath of her through the corners.
Johnson’s persistence finally paid off, as Wollak got a little too high on the track and lost the lead to Johnson with four laps left.
Instead of losing ground to Johnson, Wollak stayed close and on the white flag lap, she got under Johnson and regained the lead. She then held Johnson off for the last lap and a half for the win.
“I’ve learned from the expert,” Wollak said of her pass of Johnson on the second to last lap. “There is a lot more technique to the sport than people think and I am still getting it figured out. I’m still working on it.”
Wollak got her start at 16 in the Hornet class. NCS owner Cliff Sasker and promoter KT Torbert extended the Hornet class this year, and also have an Outlaw Hornet class this year.
The class is an opportunity for drivers as young as 12 to get started in the sport, and perfect their driving skills. Wollak credits the class with her development.
“I started driving in the Hornet class when I was 16, and I did that for around two and a half years, then I moved to a Street Stock after that and this is my third year,” she said.
“I think the hornets are the best class to put young drivers in,” Wollak added. “It gets them a good start. I had no idea what racing was about, but I started in the hornet class and went from there.”
On Saturday, Ashley Mehrwerth took the checkered flag in the Outlaw Hornet feature with Brandon Mehrwerth getting the victory in the Hornet feature event.
The Midwest Modified feature was marred by five caution flags, which included points leader Dan Ebert being sent into the wall on the front straight-away, resulting in damage to the front end of his car.
Through all of the caution flags, Czech stayed on an even keel. With the race reduced to five laps after the fifth caution, Czech stayed out front to pick up the win.
Czech was happy he was able to keep his focus in the long race, but also was just as happy for Wollak’s victory, which occurred right before the Midwest Modified feature.
“It definitely works against you when you have that many cautions behind you,” Czech said. “But that’s part of the race, just holding your own and staying out there.
“I was also really happy to see Christina Wollak, a friend of mine, take one home right in front of me.”
The start of the race was also delayed for more than 60 minutes due to a wet track with the rain and storms in the area. Once the track was set, it proved to be fast, which was to Czech’s liking.
“I never think a track is too fast,” he said. “It’s all part of learning the track. When you get out there, you race the track, and then race against the other drivers. For me, personally, I like a fast track.”
Czech also said the competition at NCS is just as tough as other area tracks.
“Any track that you go to in the Midwest Modified class is going to be tough competition,” he said. “You just get high car counts and the class is just so even.
“When you race A Modifieds, there is a difference in the engines, but in Midwest Modifieds, it’s the driver. It’s a very technical class when it comes to the driver.”
Feature-1-Brandon Mehrwerth, 2-Hannah Jones, 3-Derek Daudt
NCS Outlaw Hornets
Feature-1-Ashley Mehrwerth, 2-Matt Everts, 3-Jess Geesey
Heat 1-1-Nick O’Brien, 2-Richard Nelson, 3-Ryan Larson
Heat 2-1-Devin Larson, 2-Logan Baumann, 3-Jonny Moe
Heat 3-1-Mark Olson, 2-Tom Anderson, 3-Gary Ohnstad Jr.
Heat 4-1-Chris Seidel, 2-Lance Srague, 3-Nick Hooper
Consi-1-Pat Zerfas, 2-David Dosh, 3-David Eich
Feature-1-Gary Ohnstad Jr., 2-Jonny Moe, 3-Mark Olson
Heat 1-1-Todd Wooden, 2-Scott Baron, 3-Christina Wollak
Heat 2-1-Mark Johnson, 2-Dan Severson, 3-Jack Peterson
Feature-1-Christina Wollak, 2-Jack Peterson, 3-Todd Wooden
Heat 1-1-Danny Vang, 2-Dennis Czech, 3-Nick McCann
Heat 2-1-Travis Wermter, 2-Craig Larson, 3-Mike Japp
Heat 3-1-Dan Ebert, 2-Dan Severson, 3-Marc Miller
Feature-1-Dennis Czech, 2-Travis Wermter, 3-Craig Larson
Heat 1-1-Mike Frolik, 2-Max Dondelinger, 3-Jake Goetze
Heat 2-1-Tim Johnson, 2-Dave Read, 3-Toby Patchen
Feature-1-Tim Johnson, 2-Mike Frolik, 3-Max Dondelinger
Heat 1-1-Dan Ebert, 2-Ryan Canon, 3-Charles Cooper IV
Feature-1-Ryan Canon, 2-Jerry Esler, 3-Dan Ebert