Satriano, Harker, Armstrong, Andersen & Krichau win Combustion Chamber Nighteagle
By Greg Soukup
The crowd at Combustion Chamber Night, presented by the Lincoln Saltdogs and The Ticket Saturday night, enjoyed great racing and fantastic weather.
Cole Krichau slammed the first turn wall in the first heat for the Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compacts and totaled his race car. He was not seriously hurt, but had to make a mad dash back to the shop in order to get a back-up ride and make it back to the track in time for the B Feature.
Joey Danley took a wild ride in the second Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car heat when he jumped the cushion, tried to correct and ended up snap-rolling five and a half times. He would make repairs and return for the B Feature. Chad Fegley had an almost identical ride in the same turns 3 and 4. He would not return to action. Neither racer received significant injuries.
Kevin Kloke’s 35 led the first circuit of the Hoosier Tire IMCA Sport Modified A Main with Scott Bivens in the S56, Gary Saathoff’s 96 and the 18T of Cole Wayman rounding out the top 4. Joe Feyen passed Wayman on lap 2 to put the 25X into fourth. Feyen jumped to second the next lap with Bivens and the 99RE of Arie Schouten holding third and fourth. Schouten got around Bivens for third the next lap as Feyen grabbed the lead. 2 more laps were in the books when Shawn Harker put the 40 into third, Saathoff grabbed second and Kloke fell to fourth. Harker passed Saathoff with 11 to go but lost the spot back to him the next lap. The first caution of the race saw Lee Horky loop the 7 in turn 4. Trent Roth used the restart to take fourth in the 14T. The next circuit saw Harker snag the lead. Saathoff slowed in turn 2 with 5 laps remaining making the top 4 Harker, Feyen, Roth and Schouten. Roth moved up to second on the restart. The next time around Breanna Pfansteil stopped in turns 3 and 4 for another caution. Schouten took over the third spot with 4 laps left. Horky stopped in turns 1 and 2 the next circuit to slow the action again. There was a multi-car pileup in turn 1 and 2 on the restart. The final lap saw Feyen move back up to third, making the final top 4 Harker, Roth, Feyen and Schouten.
“We had a catastrophic engine failure last night, so we worked until 3:30 this morning getting the engine swapped out, got up at 8 and got the car finished up, fired up and ready to go. At 1 o’clock this afternoon we were loaded up and ready to come here. The track was good. I had to put my crate motor in to replace the open motor I’d been running all year. I have to drive a little different with the crate motor and need to do a little tuning to the car to make it run a little better. I need to thank Johnny Saathoff for the great car and Zach Woods at Speedway Motors for the motor. He’s been helping me all year and now with this crate motor he’s helping me to tune that. Also, my dad Alan Harker and my friend Eric Weakland for staying up all night last night helping to get this engine changed so that we could be here tonight” Harker said. Harker’s sponsors include Jet Racing, Speedway Motors, Speedway Shocks, Lakeside Landscape, Tex Cattle and Patriot Crane.
The Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock Feature had Tyler Jackson’s 13T, the 17T of Troy Dowty, Brett Saathoff in the 11B and Kenny Roberts’ 69 the top 4 after 1 lap. The top 4 had a big shuffle on lap 2 as Roberts grabbed the lead, Roy Armstrong put the 6R into second, Dowty fell to third and Jackson dropped to fourth. Saathoff moved back to third the next time around as Dowty held onto fourth. Cody Leifeld looped the 24X in turn 4 on the fourth lap. Tyler Saathoff moved the 16T into fourth on the restart. Armstrong finally managed to pass Roberts with 5 to go. Tyler Saathoff spun in turn 4 the next lap, moving Justin Busboom’s 62 into fourth. Leifeld stopped in turns 1 and 2 with 3 to go for the final caution of the race. Jeff Ware jumped to third on the restart. The final top 4 ended up Armstrong, Roberts, Ware and Brett Saathoff.
This was Armstrong’s third victory at Eagle Raceway this season. Armstrong said “We brought the other car tonight. This is the one that we’ve been racing at another track, and we decided to bring it up tonight to try it out. We hit the set-up pretty good, and Roger had another great track. It looked like we had a lot of fans in the stands, which is always the way here. I want to thank my sister Bonnie, my girlfriend Jo and my buddy John who was my pit crew tonight”. Armstrong’s sponsors include Hummer Contracting, Schmidt Machine and NEAPCO.
The Kaplan University IMCA Modified A Main had Mike Lineberry lead lap 1 in the72 with the 3T of Nate Thompson, Chad Andersen’s 8C lead the pack after the first circuit. Josh Blumer made the top 4 on lap 2 in his #21. Tracy Harr passed Blumer the next time around to put the 5T into fourth. Blumer got back past Harr the next lap and Harr came to a halt in turns 1 and 2 on lap 5. Andersen moved to second on the restart as Bob Zoubek put the 5S into fourth the next lap. Zoubek advanced to third the next lap and then grabbed second after another circuit with Lineberry falling to fourth and Thompson holding fourth. Andersen took over the lead on lap 8 with Zoubek, Thompson and Blumer second through fourth. Rik Gropp passed Blumer the next lap and advanced to third with 10 to go. Johnny Saathoff grabbed the fourth spot with 7 laps remaining for the final change in the top 4, making it Andersen, Zoubek, Gropp and Saathoff.
This was Andersen’s first Eagle Raceway victory of the 2017 season and came from the 7th starting spot. “Hopefully we have more wins coming. The game plan was to move up fast. The ruts on the bottom seem to be my strong point here. We ran the bottom to get past the cars in front of us, move to the top and set the pace according to how good our car was. I didn’t hit any landmines this week. The luck we’ve had all season so far; it seems like either I hit something and wreck or I spin out while leading and coming for the win. Hopefully our luck is changing and we can start picking up some wins. I need to thank Jeff and Ray, Pat and everybody else who helps out. Of course, my sponsors Madman Chassis, K20 Graphics, Flatfoot Trucking, Integra Shocks, Candy Wrappers and everyone else who makes it possible for me to come out and race” he related.
The 13BS of Justin Callender, the 8 of Sarah Cronin, Kasha Hall in the 92K and RJ Maas in the 88K led the first circuit for the Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compact Feature. Maas moved to third on lap 2 as Larry Cronin put his 70SS into fourth. Larry Cronin jumped all the way up to second the next lap with Sarah Cronin holding third and Maas retaining fourth. Larry Cronin took over the top spot after another lap with Sarah Cronin moving to second and Steffen Oaks putting the 17 into third and Callender clinging to fourth. Maas got by Callender he next lap for fourth. There were 9 laps remaining when Cole Krichau cracked the top 4 in his 30K. Krichau moved up to third the next lap and took second after 1 more circuit. Dillon Richards made a huge move with 3 to go, putting the 84 into fourth. The first 4 across the finish line were Larry Cronin, Krichau, Oaks and Richards. Larry Cronin refused a claim on his car after the race, disqualifying him. That made the final top 4 Krichau, Oaks, Richards and Sarah Cronin.
Krichau’s victory came after starting at the rear of the B Feature and then starting at the tail of the A Main. “Definitely not the way that I wanted to win. I want to thank Larry’s Auto Recyclers and Moonlite Ranch for sponsoring us and for everything else that they do. I especially want to thank Larry Cronin, Josh and Brian for helping out. All of us stripped this car to get it ready as a back-up. Last week was the first time that we got to bring it out and kind of drive it in hot laps. It was very fortunate that the four of us got this car together. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get this win tonight” Krichau said.
Chase Weiler’s 0 stopped on the initial attempt at a start for the Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car finale. When a lap was finally official it was Dan Satriano’s 17, the 51 of Mike Boston, Doug Lovegrove in the #1 and the 20P of Shon Pointer the top 4. Shayle Bade jumped the 03 up to third on lap 2 before losing the spot to Pointer the next lap. Lovegrove moved back to fourth on lap 8 and Pointer took second the next time around. Boston advanced back to third on lap 12, only to lose the spot to Lovegrove after another lap. Bade again cracked the top 4 with 9 to go, moving back into fourth. Lovegrove moved up to second with 3 laps remaining. Toby Chapman looped the 7KX with 1 to go, setting up a green/white/checkered finish. Jason Martin jumped his 36 up all the way to third on the restart. Again, there was 1 lap left when Pointer and the 14G of Gene Ackland got together, ending up with Pointer’s racer rolling onto its side. Martin was also towed to the pits during the red flag. It was Satriano, Lovegrove, Bade and the 12 of Tyler Drueke the top 4. The racers were warned at that time that the next flag would end the race. On the ensuing restart Jimmy Grasso’s 8G and Chapman got together on the back stretch. That made the race official with Satriano winning, Lovegrove second, Bade third and Drueke fourth.
Satriano has been racing at Eagle Raceway since 2008, but this was his first win at the track. “I didn’t think that it was ever going to happen. We’ve had so many ups and downs at this place. I mean, one week you can run fantastic and think that you’re on to something and then the next week you show up here and you can’t even get out of your own way; or at least that’s what it feels like. I can’t thank everybody enough that helps me and who bears with the pain of doing so bad. They stick with us, and then we finally get one. We finally get one at Eagle Raceway. I used to come here when I was 8 or 9 years old, and my dad worked on a car. One day we were here in the stands and I was like ‘One day I’m going to race on that race track’. Not only have I raced on it, I’ve won on it! They don’t come easy here. I feel like I’ve beat the best Racesaver drivers in the country. That’s what the Racesaver class is about. A lot of nights I don’t feel like I’ve got enough motor, or good enough tires, or I feel like my equipment is good enough to run with these guys. I get discouraged. We needed this, we needed this really badly! Our whole team needed this really badly. We got down to one to go, and I told myself ‘Just stay calm, and stay focused’. Then after the restart I got thewhite flag and all of a sudden, I saw the red lights come on and knew that I’d won. I want to thank Matt Zoz number one. If it wasn’t for him, I would have given up a long time ago. I have to thank my brothers John and Dave for helping out as much as they can. My pit crew guy Steve; I don’t know what I’d do without Steve right now. He shows up every week and puts up with me whether I’m in a good mood or bad. He’s always optimistic and positive. My daughter Juliana who wins more than I do, but is the drive and inspiration to go as hard as I could possibly go. My girlfriend Theresa who has been coming out here for the last month or so. I make her nervous as all hell every time I go out there. She’s an extremely positive person, and doesn’t care if I finish dead last or if I win. I have nothing to prove to her. Thanks to Speedway Graphics for always doing the vinyl on my car and having it look good. A Coating Enterprises for always doing the powder coating after I crunch all of these parts up. Lil’ Hands Daycare for coming on board; I needed some tires and they bought us some tires. I’m probably missing somebody to thank, but we’ll get them on the next one” stated the happy winner.
Next Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night, presented by the Nebraska Lottery, Kaplan University, Miller Lite and The Eagle. Front gate admission for those 6 and up is just $5! Twinky the Clown will be there from 5:30 to 7:30. The Nebraska Lottery will also be in the courtyard. Eagle Raceway’s famous Fire Hose Rodeo will be held after the features are complete.
Front gates open at 5:15, hot laps are at 5:30 with racing beginning at 6:30. The Racesaver IMCA Sprints, Kaplan University IMCA Modifieds, Hoosier Tire IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stocks and Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compacts will all be racing.
Pit gate open at 4:00 with pit admission being $25.