BARROWS - The Fourth of July brought fireworks and ASCS sprint cars to North Central Speedway on Saturday night.
There were also fireworks on the track with green-white-checker finishes in three feature races on a night loaded with caution flags.
The annual Kouba Memorial Sprint Race is an opportunity for the Northern Plains Division of ASCS sprint cars to race at NCS with a 25-lap feature and a six-lap dash for cash, sponsored by the Koubas.
For the top two drivers in the ASCS Northern Plains in 2008, a return to NCS means coming back to a place where both have had success.
Lee Grosz is the defending ASCS 2007 points champion and leads in points in the 2008 race. Grosz enjoys NCS and has mostly good memories here.
"The first time I here I flipped over but ever since then we have done well," Grosz said. "Last year we came here when I was running No. 1 but ended up finishing second. Then, at the Mighty Axe Nationals, I ended up taking third the first night and winning the second night."
Grosz had a tough start to his holiday weekend while racing in Grand Forks, N.D., earlier this week.
"On Thursday (at Grand Forks) we were running in 10th and got run over on the front end and damaged an axle. We went back on Friday and went off the track again and went for a little ride. We had to go home and get the frame straightened out a bit to get ready for (Saturday)."
Erik Lutz currently stands second behind Grosz in the season points standings. Lutz likes to race at NCS but is still waiting for that first feature win here.
"I always like it here, it's a lot of fun. I do like the shorter track," Lutz said. "We raced the Mighty Axe last year and won the heat the first night and we were leading the feature. There was a caution and I slipped out of line and ended up fourth that night. I have won the Kouba Dash here before but I would like to get that feature win."
Saturday night would prove to be a repeat of the history that Lutz has at NCS. Both Grosz and Lutz were in the heat race together and they finished 1-2 with Lutz taking the checkered flag. Lutz believes he has a perfect record of first-place heat finishes in his career at NCS.
The next event was the Kouba family sponsored six-lap dash for cash. Lutz kept his hot night going with a first-place finish in the dash with Brent Kronfuss finishing second and Grosz third.
That left the 25-lap feature as the last event of the night. Lutz started from the sixth spot and Grosz started from the seventh. Brainerd's Sye Anderson earned a start from the front row.
The big move for drivers came on lap 12 where Blake Anderson brought out the caution flag in the No. 34 car. The restart allowed Lutz and Grosz to make a strong move and eventually move into the top four positions. Grosz's car proved to be the strongest on the track and he moved into first place and held off Jerry Richert and Lutz to claim the checkered flag.
Lutz mentioned before the race that drivers like and respect each other and it showed in an exciting and clean feature.
"We stay out of each other's way," said Lutz. "We are pretty good friends with those guys and we all get along. It's fun racing with a great group of guys."
Pure Stock: In a race that had six caution flags, Robert Mueller, Derek Olson and Allen Brehmer displayed great three-wide racing in a two lap green-white-checker finish in the Pure Stock feature event. Mueller held off points leader Derek Olson to take the first place finish.
Street Stock - Points leader Tim Johnson was on his way to a victory in the feature event when Dan Severson caused a spin out back in the seventh spot to bring out a caution flag. The result was a green-white-checker in the Street Stock class. Johnson managed to hold off a hard charging Jack Peterson and take the checkered flag.
Midwest Modified - In the battle of the Jones's, Mike and Andy battled each other to a photo finish in the Midwest Modified feature event. In a race reduced to two laps due to five caution flags, they were nose to nose coming out of turn four with Andy edging Mike in the closest finish of the season.
Super Stock - Tim Johnson was a double feature winner, taking the checkered flag again in the Super Stock feature race. Johnson sat second in points behind Dan Gullickson going into the feature event. He held off Dave Mass on his way to victory. "The same thing happened last night. We finished one and two," Johnson said. "We have always been good and raced clean. Tonight's feature was really good. We got a new body for the car and it's feeling great."
NCS PURE STOCK
Feature-1-Robert Mueller, 2-Derek Olson, 3-Allen Brehmer
B Feature 1-1-Corey Lodermeier. 2-William Hietalati, 3-Rod Larson
B Feature 2-1-Dan Bartick, 2-Ryan Schleicher, 3-Rob Kugel
Heat 1-1-Robert Mueller, 2-Bill Nelson, 3-Brian Boser
Heat 2-1-Mike Japp, 2-Cody Przybilla, 3-Max Dondelinger
Heat 3-1-Mike Smude, 2-Gary Ohnstad Jr., 3-Clayton Caird
Heat 4-1-Allen Brehmer, 2-Derek Olson, 3-Dusty Paul
WISSOTA STREET STOCKS
Feature- 1-Tim Johnson, 2-Jack Peterson, 3-Conrad Olson
Heat 1-1-Tim Johnson, 2-Mark Johnson, 3-Robert Young
Heat 2 -1-Justin Jones, 2-Jack Peterson, 3-Conrad Olson
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS
Feature-1-Andy Jones, 2-Mike Jones, 3-Troy Jordan
B Feature 1-1-Clayton Wagamon, 2-Travis Wermter, 3-Mike Kuhlman
B Feature 2-1-Matt Weisman, 2-Dave Mass, 3-Jerry Esler
Heat 1-1-Ryan Studanski, 2-Bud Martini, 3-John Thompson
Heat 2-1-Monte Hall, 2-Mitch Lowe, 3-Brad Feierabend
Heat 3-1-Mike Jones, 2-Troy Jordan, 3-Luke Hines
Heat 4-1-Andy Jones, 2-Dan Ebert, 3-Butch Butcher
WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS
Feature-1-Tim Johnson, 2-Dave Mass, 3-Dan Gullickson
Heat 1-1-DJ Dondelinger, 2-Dan Gullickson, 3-Jake Goetze
Heat 2-1-Don Shaw, 2-Tim Johnson, 3-Kevin Yeager
Heat 3-1-Todd Wallock, 2-Dave Mass, 3-Ken Puckett
Feature-1-Lee Grosz, 2-Jerry Richert Jr., 3-Eric Lutz
Dash-1-Eric Lutz, 2-Brent Kronfuss, 3-Lee Grosz
Heat 1-1-Jerry Richert Jr., 2-Brent Kronfuss, 3-Chris Graf
Heat 2-1-Eric Lutz, 2-Lee Grosz, 3-Joseph Kouba
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