(Norway, MI) –After three years of Michigan drivers winning Norway Speedway’s Stateline Challenge NASCAR truck champion Johnny Sauter changed all that at Norway Speedway Friday night.
Sauter survived early race pressure from Andy Monday and late race pressure from Dalton Zehr and his own nephew Travis Sauter to win the 35th annual Stateline Challenge.
The second-generation driver started on the outside front row and quickly darted into the lead of the contest. Monday scrapped his way up to third on lap four and began chasing down Sauter and second place car Jason Wells. A lap seven yellow slowed the action and on the restart Monday ducked underneath and he and Sauter traded the lead for several laps. Fast qualifier and defending race winner Zehr broke through the pack into third and began chasing down the leaders.
On lap 55 a melee ensued in turn two in which Monday, who was running near the front, was charged with the caution. Monday retired to the pit area. On the restart Zehr began pressuring Sauter applying the chrome horn more than once. With five laps to go Zehr sent Sauter into a spin on the frontstretch. Zehr “tapped out” admitting fault for the caution. As such per track policy Zehr was sent to the tail of the field while Sauter kept his lead. Sauter kept the lead and cruised to victory, despite late race pressure by nephew Travis Sauter who finished second. “Man I don’t know what was going on with Dalton behind me,” Sauter said in victory lane. “It got a little physical. He knows I came here to win this race though. I can’t thank Coleman Machine enough for giving me a great car. This track changed a ton from when we practiced here at 11 this morning. This track really, really changed a lot.”
Travis Sauter settled for second. Wells hung on for a third place finish. Scott Stanchina and Kris Kelly placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
A field of 30 Coca Cola super late models checked in to do battle. Of the 19 starters in the late model feature, 10 drivers resided from Michigan while nine hailed from Wisconsin.
Other feature winners on the evening included Upper Pine Creek’s Ryan Wender, who captured a green-to-checkered caution free feature in the Auto Value super stocks. The 141 Auto Sportsman feature also went caution free with Joe Ostermann of Norway capturing his third feature flag of the year. Vulcan’s Adam Faull and Kingsford’s Brad Barglind chalked up feature wins in the stock four and sport truck classes, respectively.
Next Friday night July 13 Norway Speedway will host the Rick Stanchina Memorial presented by Pembine Sport and Lawn. A nickel toss for the kids will take place on the track.
Racing gets underway at 7 p.m.
Please check our website norwayspeedway.com and also our page on Facebook for further information or email [email protected].
STATELINE CHALLENGE SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE – Johnny Sauter, Necedah, Wisconsin; Travis Sauter, Necedah, Wisconsin; Jason Wells, Kingsford; Scott Stanchina, Kingsford; Kris Kelly, Norway; Dillion Kralovetz, Bonduel, WI; Robby Iverson, Escanaba; Cameron Clifford, Norway; Dalton Zehr, Menominee; Tyler Radavich, Eldorado, Wisconsin; Gregg Haese, Francis Creek, WI: Neal Sannes, De Pere, WI; Jordan Ives, Bark River; Bruce White, Spread Eagle, WI; Tom Lindquist, Bark River; Mike D’Angelo, Gwinn; Andy Monday, Appleton, WI; Mickey Schallie, Darboy, WI; Joey Pontbriand, Norway
SEMI FEATURE – Lindquist; White; Schallie; Scott Hoffman, Menominee; Brian Stanchina, Kingsford; Taylor Haufschildt, De Pere, WI; Alyssa Larson, Green Bay, WI; Dean Varda, Vulcan; Scott Bolster, Marquette; Jordan Chambers, Green Bay, WI; Jason Stanaway, Negaunee; Dan Lindsley, Vulcan; Ricky Holmstrom, Florence, WI
HEATS 1) Radavich; Chambers 2) Lindquist; D’Angelo 3) Haese; Johnny Sauter
DASH – Kelly
FAST TIME – Zehr, 14.404
AUTO VALUE SUPER STOCK FEATURE – Ryan Wender, Upper Pine Creek; Andy Gerwig, Norway; Tim Schultz, Vulcan; Kevin Peterson, Marinette, WI; Anthony Schiefelbein, Pembine, WI; Tyler Wusterbarth, Oconto, WI
HEAT - Peterson
FAST TIME – Wender, 16.114
141 AUTO SALES SPORTSMAN FEATURE – Joe Ostermann, Norway; Michelle Janczewski, Armstrong Creek, WI; Reid DeVoe, Faithhorn; Todd Schmidt, Spread Eagle, WI; Jade Novara, Kingsford
HEATS 1) Schmidt; Bobby Lewis, Bark River 2) Jordan Schettler, Kingsford; DeVoe
FAST TIME – DeVoe, 18.110
4 CYLINDER A FEATURE -Adam Faull, Vulcan; Cody Skog, Vulcan; Jake Dolfurd, Norway; Brett Bray, Norway; Adam Loomis, Norway
HEATS 1) Dean Bellmore, Hermansville; Devon Wilcox, Florence, WI 2) Mike Moore, Aurora, WI; Skog
FAST TIME – Skog, 18.249
-Norway Speedway Press Release. Speed51.com photo