LaSALLE — Robert Pohlman Jr. used to be a regular at LaSalle Speedway, showcasing his talents on a weekly basis. Saturday night he rolled back into town for the $1,000 special and left with his pockets a little heavier.
The Modified driver started in the second slot next to pole sitter Vince Cooper of Morris. Behind the No. 2 was Kevin Hastings and Ottawa's Dale Lueth.
Just after the green was signaled, Cooper, the new young gun of LaSalle, pulled into the infield with a puff of smoke and apparent engine woes. His winning streak halted as he was forced to watch one of the best Modified shows to date from inside the grass.
Pohlman made short order of moving to the lead while displaying unbelievable power as he took the lead immediately and pulled away from his 18 remaining competitors. By Lap 13, Pohlman appeared to be in his own time zone as he flew into a quarter of a track lead over the battle between Hastings and Lueth.
At the end of Lap 18, Lueth made a bonsai move on Hastings to position himself in second. A restart of Lap 26 brought the pack back to a single file restart with Pohlman and Lueth separated by the lapped machine of Brian Bushong. Bushong moved up on the track and side by side with Lueth. Hastings, Milo Veloz, Bobby Allen, Mineral's Marty Thompson and Josh Vinnage gave chase.
Veloz was hot and certainly deserved a hard-charger award as he had worked himself up from a back-of-the-pack start in 18th. He was believed by many spectators to have been lapped, but in fact he was silently working his way up to the leaders.
Lueth was working hard to challenge him, but the laps quickly wound down. Lueth finished a convincing second to Pohlman. Hastings held off Veloz for third, with Thompson, Allen, Vinnage, Travis Kohler, Jim Farris, Jason Hastings, and Phil Schnarr trailing.
Allen earned the fastest qualifier title with a lap of 14.508. Kohler won the first Heat race ahead of Lueth, Allen and Farris. Phil Line won Heat two over Cooper, Vinnage and Thompson. Kevin Hastings collected the third Heat race with Pohlman, Bushong and Jason Hastings following.
Dixon's Tim Hamburg swept the Midwestern Late Model division activities. His second win in a row came in championship style as he claimed the fastest qualifying lap, his heat and then the feature victory.
Twenty three competitors signed in for the fourth race of the season. All drivers were granted a starting grid spot for feature time.
On the pole, was Hamburg with Dave Smith. Bartlett's Ed Williams Sr. and LaSalle's Mike Glynn lined up in the second row ahead of Spring Valley's John Piccatto and Tonica's Scott Schmitt.
By the sixth lap, Hamburg was already working his way around cars to bring them a lap down. Glynn had maneuvered his way around Smith and Williams into second.
Glynn was able to bring his nose under Hamburg to get a shot at some side-by-side action, but Hamburg closed the door and blocked any attempts for a battle.
At the restart of Lap 16, a new starting line was put in place when the officials made the call to move it closer to the flagman from the original chalk line. Only the leader was informed, creating a little chaos for the remaining drivers.
One lap later, Jerry Vance slammed hard into the wall between turns one and two causing a red light stop. Once the leaders went green, Glynn tried again both on a higher line and low, but Hamburg kept the door closed.
While he gave chase, Ralph Markham was moving hard through the pack and had positioned himself into strong third with Williams, Eric Dauber and Piccatto behind.
At the close of the 25 laps, Hamburg crossed the stripe first. Glynn took home his third second-place finish so far this season. Markham finished third with Williams, Piccatto, Eric Rebholz, Darin Furar, Dauber, Jim Partipilo, Schmitt, Aaron Schmidt, and Dave Smith in tow.
Williams earned second to Hamburg in the first heat with Dauber and Rebholz behind. In the second Heat, Glynn passed Schmitt for the lead and held it for almost two laps. A caution restarted the field and Glynn was put behind him for the restart. Schmitt scored the win over Glynn, Smith and Markham.
Ed Williams Jr. earned the Street Stock top dog title for the second week in a row. With nineteen drivers on the track, Williams took the action three wide by the end of the first lap. He was unstoppable from then on.
Two laps into the race, Joe Brown slammed hard into the same spot as Vance had earlier this time hitting the security fence bars.
When the green flew again, Williams powered up and left Kevin Lenzen, Scott Schoener and Marty Thompson in a three-wide fight.
A yellow on the final lap brought the show to an even higher level of excitement. The three frontrunners of Williams, Lenzen and Thompson were fighting in a down to the wire finish.
Williams prevailed as Thompson took the second-place finish over Lenzen, Schoener, Nick Sell, Rick Koltveit, Robert Schlappi, Matt Ramer, Leon Cade, Tim Loomis and Gary Schmitt.
Alex Clubb of Morris claimed the Hornet Feature and Heat races for the night. Tony Provenzano Jr. finished second ahead of Dan Leonard, Gabe Roncor, Jon Small, Jamison Deford, John Clubb, Loren Westerhold, Jim Lazier and Asa Robart.
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Saturday night is Fan Appreciation night sponsored by Terry Monroe. Admission is lowered to $5.
Special to the Pantagraph
LaSalle Speedway Results
Midwestern Late Model
Qualifying: Tim Hamburg 13.632
Heat One: Tim Hamburg, Ed Williams, Eric Dauber, Eric Rebholz
Heat Two: Scott Schmitt, Mike Glynn, Dave Smith, Ralph Markham
Feature: Tim Hamburg, Mike Glynn, Ralph Markham, Ed Williams, John Piccatto, Eric Rebholz, Darin Furar, Eric Dauber, Jim Partipilo, Scott Schmitt, Aaron Schmitt, Dave Smith, Keith Piano, Dave Miller, Jack Benson, Joe Partipilo, Scott Langer, Robert Voice, Jason Bogle, Shawn Kemp, Jerry Vance, Danny Bardell, Wally Forsythe
Qualifying: Bobby Allen 14.508
Heat One: Travis Kohler, Dale Lueth, Bobby Allen, Jim Farris
Heat Two: Phil Line, Vince Cooper, Josh Vinnage, Marty Thompson
Heat Three: Kevin Hastings, Bob Pohlman Jr., Brian Bushong, Jason Hastings
Semi Feature: Ray Bollinger, Derek Line, AJ Dixon, Jay Crichton, Ron Morris,
Matt Weibel, Mark Novorolsky, Scott Hauge, #64, Zac Oedewaldt, Leah Monfries
Feature: Robert Pohlman Jr., Dale Lueth, Kevin Hastings, Milo Veloz, Marty Thompson, Bobby Allen, Josh Vinnage, Travis Kohler, Jim Farris, Jason Hastings, Phil Schnarr, Terry Hudson, Phil Line, Brian Bushong, Ray Bollinger, Jay Crichton, Shawn Scripter, AJ Davis, Derek Line, Vince Cooper
Heat One: John Peterson, Scott Schoener, Leon Cade, Nick Sell
Heat Two: Kevin Lenzen, Ed Williams, Jack Cholke, Robert Schlappi
Feature: Ed Williams, Marty Thompson, Kevin Lenzen, Scott Schoener, Nick Sell, Rick Koltveit, Robert Schlappi, Matt Ramer, Leon Cade, Tim Loomis, Gary Schmitt, Joe Jelinek, Jake Cholke, Steve Schwemlein, John Peterson, Jeff Small, Bill Dauber, Joe Brown, Mike Hughes
Four Cylinder Hornets
Heat One: Tony Provenzano Jr., Dan Leonard, Gabe Roncor, John Clubb
Heat Two: Alex Clubb, Jamison Deford, Jon Small, Loren Westerhold
Feature: Alex Clubb, Tony Provenzano Jr., Dan Leonard, Gabe Roncor, Jon Small, Jamison Deford, John Clubb, Loren Westerhold, Jim Lazier, Asa Robart, Tony Harlacher, William Law, Jon Wagner, Timmy Faust, Jake Gould