Diemel grabs WISSOTA 100 victory at Brainerd
By Kirk HolmesAll the Dirt
BRAINERD, Minn. (Sept. 13-15) — A.J. Diemel of Navarino, Wis., earned $5,000 for his victory in the Late Model portion of the 22nd annual WISSOTA 100 at North Central Speedway. Diemel started on the pole and raced to a victory over the son-and-father duo of Chad Mahder (second place) and Duane Mahder (third place). Harry Hanson and WISSOTA rookie of the year Kyle Peterlin rounded out the top five while WISSOTA Late Model points leader Zach Johnson was sixth. |� Slideshow
“We just got the car finished up about 7:30 on Wednesday morning before we came here to practice,” said Diemel, who survived a mid-race scare when he tangled with Gordie Seegert Jr. “It’s just been a long struggle to get everything done and going. I can’t say enough about my crew; my dad, Matt and Randy. They all did so much just to get it done. And this car, even though it’s purple, it’s good.”
Chad Mahder, who posted his second consecutive runner-up finish in the WISSOTA 100, capped a rare father-son finish in a big event, which was held at the Brainerd track for the first time. “It’s not the first time we have done it, but it may be a first for the WISSOTA 100,” Mahder said in a trackside interview.
Diemel and Harry Hanson lined up on the front row for the 40-lapper and Diemel, the 2006 runner-up in WISSOTA's weekly standings, quickly ran away from the field while Hanson settled into second ahead of Steve Vesel, Chad Mahder and Johnson.
Diemel’s lead was up to 10 lengths on lap five when Mahder dipped to the bottom of the track and swiped third from Vesel. It was apparent by lap eight the race was Diemel’s to lose when Bob Richardson smacked the wall in turn two and the caution lights came on.
Diemel sprinted away when the green waved while Duane Mahder vaulted from the outside of the third row in the double-file restart and overtook rookie Kyle Peterlin for sixth. Also, Johnson dropped Vesel back to fifth. Chad Mahder and Hanson waged their personal duel a slight distance ahead of Johnson while Duane Mahder continued to hound Vesel. The elder Mahder finally got by on lap 17, two laps before disaster nearly struck the long-gone Diemel.
As Diemel entered the first turn on lap 19, Seegert dove in hard and spun up through the middle of the track. Diemel locked up his brakes and spun. The passenger side of his car slammed into Seegert’s driver’s door, but not hard enough to damage either ride. Diemel was restored to the lead position and hit the afterburners when the green flag reappeared. One lap later, Duane Mahder relegated Hanson to fourth. Johnson, meanwhile, got out of line for a moment on the restart and faded back to seventh. By the time John Henkemeyer of Sauk Rapids slowed the top of turn four on lap 29, Johnson was back up to sixth and Vesel was ninth behind Jake Redetzke and Jeff Provinzino, who started 18th.
The race was slowed by one more caution on lap 35, and despite the best efforts of Chad Mahder, Diemel raced away for the big victory.
WISSOTA 100: (1) A.J. Diemel, (2) Chad Mahder, (3) Duane Mahder, (4) Harry Hanson, (5) Kyle Peterlin, (6) Zach Johnson, (7) Jake Redetzke, (8) Jeff Provinzino, (9) Steve Vesel, (10) Tom Waseleski Jr., (11) Todd Gehl, (12) Terry Anvelink, (13) Tom Waseleski Sr., (14) Keane Laakson, (15) Steve Isenberg, (16) Scott Greer, (17) Gordie Seegert Jr., (18) Rick Sweet, (19) Nick Musel, (20) Doug Herrick, (21) John Hinkemeyer, (22) Tim McMann, (23) Bob Richardson, (24) Jodi Olson.