UMSS driver Chris Graf made it two wins in a row Saturday in his appearances at North Central Speedway this season in the opening round of the Mighty Axe Nationals.
He was awarded first place after original winner Scotty Thiel was disqualified for his car being too light.
Graf led the first three quarters of the race and was leading by a quarter of track length when the caution flag flew on lap 18 of the 25-lap feature.
Brooke Tatnell was running third at the time when his car went into the wall on turn three. Tatnell’s car suffered severe damage, but he walked away from the crash.
The crash, however, reset the field and allowed Thiel to get the top spot coming out of the restart.
“I was following Brook through there and he got caught up in some lapped traffic,” said Thiel (before he learned of his disqualification). “It is unfortunate for him, but it put us in a pretty good position, and I knew that we had a good shot at it as my car was coming in toward the end.”
Thiel received his Axe and headed to the tech shed for inspection. After his car was weighed, he learned it was eight pounds less than the required weight. After three different weigh ins, the result didn’t change. The weight difference was about the gallon of fuel.
Thiel’s disqualification landed the Axe in Graf’s lap.
“I don’t want to take a win this way, but you don’t come by Axes very often, and with this one I know there was a little emotion and arguing at the scale shed,” Graf said. “At the end of the night, there are rules and they need to be enforced. If it means that it comes out better for me, so be it.
“I was in a such a rhythm that I could go on the top or on the bottom, it really didn’t matter. I don’t know what happened with that restart if my tires cooled or what, but the car just wasn’t there the last nine laps. But I don’t have any doubt that if the caution hadn’t come, no one would have caught me.”
Thiel will be eligible for Sunday night’s race.
Eight other Mighty Axes were awarded, and more than 190 cars made the call for the heat races.
The A-Modified race was also part of the RV Advantage Modified Tour which a number of North Central drivers participate. Scot Danzeisen won the Mighty Axe and the tour will have a second feature Sunday night.
Feature -1-Matthew Dibb, 2-Greg Kohl, 3-Dewey Sunderman
Feature -1-Drue Fletcher, 2-Tim Lavoi, 3-Matt Everts
Feature - 1-Michael Blevine, 2-Butch Butcher, 3-Aaron Johnson
B Feature-1-Matthew Hammitt, 2-Derek Daudt, 3-Rodney Larson
Heat 1-1-Butch Butcher, 2-Robert Mueller, 3-Clay Christopherson
Heat 2-1-Aaron Johnson, 2-Aaron Fenstermaker, 3-David Eich
Heat 3-1-Michael Blevine, 2-Dylan Nelson, 3-Kyle Dykhoff
Heat 4-1-Lance Sprague, 2-Gary Ohnstad Jr., 3-Devin Larson
Feature - 1-Kevin Schmidt, 2-Allen Brehmer, 3-Christina Wollak
Heat 1-1-Tony Yezek, 2-Christina Wollak, 3-William Brenny
Heat 2-1-Scott Baron, 2-Allen Brehmer, 3-Kevin Schmidt
Heat 3-1-Mark Johnson, 2-Brad Schmidt, 3-Ryan Kostreba
Feature - 1-Rob Vanmil, 2-Corry Vanmil, 3-Josh Abrahamson
Heat 1-1-Troy Kuehl, 2-Landon Atkinson, 3-Josh Abrahamson
Heat 2-1-Rob Vanmil, 2-Tommy Sabraski, 3-Tommy Bawden
Feature - 1-Dan Ebert, 2-Shane Sabraski, 3-Dennis Czech
B Feature 1-1-Danny Vang, 2-Zach Stewart, 3-Ashley Mehrwerth
B Feature 2-1-George Sniezek, 2-Mitch Weiss, 3-Scott Sroufe
Heat 1-1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Allen Gessell Jr., 3-Tim Johnson
Heat 2-1-Dan Ebert, 2-Jon Frolik, 3-Ryan Studanski
Heat 3-1-Scott Engholm, 2-Adam Johnson, 3-Kevin Kraemer
Heat 4-1-Dennis Czech, 2-Travis Wermter, 3-Christopher Leek
Heat 5-1-Ron Jones, 2-Corey Koenig, 3-Tom Gill
Feature - 1-Chris Graf, 2-Tony Norem, 3-Jerry Richert Jr.
Heat 1-1- Jason Tostenson, 2-Jerry Richert Jr., 3-Sye Anderson
Heat 2-1- Chris Graf, 2-Andy Jones, 3-Scotty Thiel
Heat 3-1- Brooke Tatnell, 2-Tony Norem, 3-Tony Kaus
Feature - 1-Scot Danzeisen, 2-Shane Sabraski, 3-Tim Johnson
B Feature 1-1-Andy Gordon, 2-Danny Staff, 3-Shawn Fletcher
B Feature 2-1-Mike Stearns, 2-Jason Voigt, 3-Chuck Olson
Heat 1-1-Dan Ebert, 2-Shane Sabraski, 3-Justin Jones
Heat 2-1-Scot Danzeisen, 2-Ron Jones, 3-Don Eischens
Heat 3-1-Tim Johnson, 2-Scott Wark, 3-Dave Mass
Heat 4-1-Curt Myers, 2-Ryan Canon, 3-Phil Braun
Feature - 1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Dave Mass, 3-Seth Kramer
Heat 1-1-Tim Johnson, 2-Seth Kramer, 3-Dan Severson
Heat 2-1-Jake Goetze, 2-Tim Obrien, 3-Ross Reed
Heat 3-1-Shane Sabraski, 2-Joel Collins, 3-Steve Weber