Froemke, Rodin win titlesWho says veterans don’t get a little unnerved once in a while?
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Who says veterans don’t get a little unnerved once in a while?
Lisbon’s Duffy Froemke has been racing cars since 1989, but during season championship night at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday the 23-year racing vet had found himself somewhere he’d never been before.
Leading the WISSOTA Street Stock season standings with one night of points racing left.
“I told my pit guy. I said, ‘You know, I went out for the heat race and I actually had butterflies on the start going down the backstretch before the green flag. I hadn’t had them all year,’” Froemke said. “We kind of laughed, but you try to not let that get to you.
“If there is a car in front of me, I want to pass it. That’s kind of the mentality I’ve got.”
Froemke started the 20-lap feature in fifth position and once again finished inside the top five with a solid third-place finish to lock up the title by 24 points over Jamestown’s Billie Christ.
Froemke entered the night with a 17-point margin over Christ, but Christ started the main event in ninth and was hung up near the back of the 18-car field throughout the race. Christ finished right where he started in ninth, after falling as far back as 14th.
Froemke rolled to a pair of feature wins in Jamestown this season, and finished in the top five all but once.
“Everything kind of fell together. We only had one DNF that one night otherwise I don’t think I took less than fourth place every night,” Froemke said. “The car worked great. Every once in a while you get one of them years.”
Royce Jawaski also capped a strong season, after winning just a single feature in 2011 at West Fargo.
The Horace native started sixth and held off a hard-charging Joe Jacobson over the final few laps to notch his first victory of the season in Jamestown and his seventh overall. Jawaski has three wins in Wishek and three more in Lisbon.
Jawaski was the beneficiary of some bad luck that was bestowed on Hannaford’s Rory Opp. Opp led seven laps after cruising to the lead on the high side from the fourth starting position, but the rear-end of his car ignited into springs and sparks on the front straightaway with seven laps left.
Opp’s misfortune came just as the field was taking the yellow flag for a car off the track in turns three and four, and it handed the lead over to Jawaski.
“It looked like something broke in the trailing links or something and fell off,” Jawaski said of Opp’s No. 43. “(My night) was pretty good. It was a little bit tight but the car felt really good.
“But, yeah, nobody would have got by Opp if he hadn’t broke.”
Over the remaining seven laps, Jawaski used the top of the track to fend off Jacobson, who finished second after starting eighth.
“I saw him down there, but I guess I wasn’t driving as hard as I had to,” Jawaski said. “I was pretty confident he’d give me enough room on top.”
Jamestown’s Dustin Erickson finished fourth, while Kensal’s Casey Stangeland finished fifth.
It was a perfect night for Marion’s Cory Rodin.
After finishing second to Carrington’s Chris Gussiaas last weekend and entering Saturday night’s championships tied with Gussiaas for the points lead at 579, Rodin won his heat, won the 15-lap Bomber feature and captured the 2012 Central Dakota Pure Stock track championship.
Gussiaas’ night went sour right from the get-go, drawing a high number and starting the second of three heat races in the back row. As he tried to make up ground in the heat race, Gussiaas cut down a right rear tire and was relegated to the pits.
Gussiaas, however, covered a lot of ground in the feature. After starting tail-end Charlie in the 22-car field, Gussiaas was able to work his way to a fifth-place finish.
But it was Rodin’s title to lose. After starting ninth, Rodin made a three-wide pass on the high side to sling by Enderlin’s Taran Langland and Jamestown’s Kyle Anderson to take over the lead with eight laps left.
Rodin led the rest of the way, as he bested Gussiaas by 12 points in the final standings. Rodin and Gussiaas tied with the most Bomber feature wins at the track this season with four.
Jamestown’s Bryan Wolf finished second, as Langland took third and Anderson came home fourth.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: 1, Royce Jawaski; 2, Joe Jacobson; 3, Duffy Froemke; 4, Dustin Erickson; 5, Casey Stangeland; 6, Mike Mund; 7, Geoff Hellman; 8, Matthew Lesmeister; 9, Billie Christ; 10, Jeff Vogel; 11, Shawn Becker; 12, Josh Ganser; 13, Mike Anderson; 14, Richard Pommerer; 15, Kyle Langland; 16, Jake Emo (DNF); 17, Rory Opp (DNF); 18, Brad Schmitt (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Jawaski; 2, Opp; 3, Hellman; 4, Vogel; 5, Becker; 6, Langland.
Heat 2: 1, Froemke; 2, Christ; 3, Stangeland; 4, Lesmeister; 5, Emo; 6, Anderson.
Heat 3: 1, Jacobson; 2, Erickson; 3, Ganser; 4, Pommerer; 5, Mund; 6, Schmitt.
Feature: 1, Cory Rodin; 2, Bryan Wolf; 3, Taran Langland; 4, Kyle Anderson; 5, Chris Gussiaas; 6, Keith Striefel; 7, Mike Sahr; 8, Chad Hausauer; 9, Leann Christensen; 10, Dalton Polries; 11, Matthew Kropp; 12, Ryan Carr; 13, Devin Christ; 14, Dusty Hinrichs; 15, Brandon Compson; 16, Tyler Schlenker; 17, Jeremy Willman; 18, Matt McPherson; 19, Lane Stoppleworth; 20, Jon Perkins; 21, Lindsey Hansen (DNF); 22, Blake Prado (DNF); 23, Kyle Sand (DNS).
Heat 1: 1, Rodin; 2, Anderson; 3, Polries; 4, Christensen; 5, Carr; 6, McPherson; 7, Schlenker; 8, Stoppleworth.
Heat 2: 1, Striefel; 2, Wolf; 3, Langland; 4, Hinrichs; 5, Christ; 6, Prado; 7, Compson; 8, Gussiaas (DNF).
Heat 3: 1, Sahr; 2, Perkins; 3, Kropp; 4, Willman; 5, Hansen; 6, Sand (DNF); 7, Hausauer (DQ).
Feature: 1, Dylan Wiesz; 2, Nylee Boyce; 3, Michelle Stoxen; 4, Kellen Bjone; 5, Darin Hreha; 6, Bill Bachmeier; 7, Chase Golliet; 8, Matt Seckerson (DNF); 9, Alex Kelstrom (DNF).
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org