MIDDLETOWN — Tim Schnathorst was overcome with emotion as he sat in his compact sports car racing Saturday night at 34 Raceway.
Schnathorst had just won the track championship by finishing fifth in the 12-lap sport compact feature race, two places behind Larry Miller.
Schnathorst and Miller finished tied in the points race with 297 points, but Schnathorst claimed the season championship by virtue of his three standout wins. Miller didn’t win a notable race this season.
As Schnathorst sat in his car, beads of sweat running down his face and tears welling up in his eyes, he couldn’t help but think of his grandfather, Lloyd Huss, who died three and a half years ago.
All of Schnathorst’s racing memorabilia involves Huss, including the number 63 on his compact sports car.
This, Schnathorst said, was for his grandfather, a special gift he has been trying to get for his grandfather for three years.
“I did it for my grandfather. I wish he was here watching me. I finally got one,” Schnathorst said. “I built a car with his birthday on the side of my car. It’s June 3. That’s his birthday.”
While Bobby Douglas won the feature race, the season title finally belonged to Schnathorst.
Huss had promised his grandson that he would help him build a race car, but he fell ill and died before he could keep that promise. Schnathorst built the car and then went to work making his grandfather proud.
“I’ve been fighting it all season. I’ve been fighting it all season. It’s been a great ride,” said Schnathorst, 36, who started coming to 34 Raceway when he was three years old along with his grandfather, his father, Tim Schnathorst and his uncle, Bob Schnathorst. I’m happy to finally get the championship this year.”
Also winning notable races on Saturday were Cody Wehrle in 305 sprints, Travis Denning in IMCA Modified, Jason Roth in IMCA Sport Modified and Jeff Guengerich in IMCA Late Models.
The winning track championships in their respective classes were Wehrle and Guengerich along with Sean Wyett in IMCA Sport Modified and Austen Becerra in IMCA Modified.
Brian Tipps won the mini-hauler season title on August 20, while Chad Krogmeier was the IMCA stock car season champion.
Guengerich, who started racing in 1992 at the age of 22, claimed his first IMCA Late Model Track Championship in style. He won the 20-lap feature race, passed Dalton Simonsen on lap 11 and then passed veteran Tommy Elston for the win.
“I have never won an IMCA championship,” Guengerich said. “I won one a few years ago at Columbus Junction, but I’ve never won an IMCA championship. There weren’t always a lot of cars here this year and we didn’t have a lot of late model shows, but we still won.”
Wehrle capped off his dominant 305-sprint season with his seventh win of the season, pulling away from Dugan Thie to win the 20-lap feature.
Wehrle finished 43 points ahead of Daniel Bergquist in the points race.
“It’s a lot of fun when you’re winning. It can be a bear and hard on you and everyone when you’re not winning and you’re going through tough times. We’ll celebrate when we can because it can be a long time before we make it.” back here. Who knows? Wehrle said.
Wyett led 12 of the 18 laps in the IMCA Sport Mods feature before spinning on the first and second laps of lap 15. Jason Roth took the lead on the restart and won the feature.
Wyett won his fifth straight season championship by 37 points over Bob Cowman.
“I wouldn’t say dominance because there have been guys like Becerra and a few other guys that have given me some good competition over the years,” Wyett said. “It just fell into my hands towards the ends. I’m not going to say they gave it to me in any way. I had to earn it every year. It’s not something that comes easy. We just try to be faster.” weekly.”
Becerra was making his move on the 20-lap IMCA mods when he, too, lost control in the first and second turns. He would finish fourth when Travis Denning claimed victory.
Becerra won the points title by 31 points over Dennis LaVeine, followed by Bill Roberts, Jr., Mitch Boles and Chad Giberson.
“It’s been really good,” Becerra said. “I can’t thank the person who gave me the opportunity enough, John Fuller and his wife, Joyce, for giving me this opportunity. The opportunity to drive this modified is pretty sweet.”
DIRT LATEST MODELS
Featured Results — 1. Jeff Guengerich; 2.Tommy Elston; 3.Dalton Simonsen; 4. CJ Horn; 5.Ray Raker; 6. Dustin Schram; 7. Brandon Rothzen; 8. Jeremy Pundt; 9.Doug Burkhead; 10.Scott Strauss. Heat gainers – Simonsen and Elston.
Featured Results — 1. Cody Wehrle; 2. Dugan Thye; 3. Noah Samuel; 4. Daniel Bergquist; 5.Chase Richards; 6. Nathan Murders; 7.Tanner Gebhardt; 8.Travis Pence; 9. McCain Richards; 10. Joey Laue. Heat gainers – Nick Guernsey and Jake Glasgow.
Featured Results — 1. Travis Denning; 2. Jed Freiburg; 3.Jadin Fuller; 4. Austen Becerra; 5.Mitch Boles; 6. Brandon Rothzen; 7. Bill Roberts, Jr.; 8.Austin Blume; 9. Dennis LaVeine; 10. Chad Gibson. Heat gainers – Fuller and Becerra.
meMCA SPORT MODIFIED
Featured Results — 1. Jason Roth; 2.Bob Cowman; 3.Erick Turner; 4.Kyle Boyd; 5. Andrew Swailes; 6. Travis Hartman; 7. Draython Schanfish; 8. Sean Wyett; 9. Rex Widmer; 10. Randy Farrell. Heat gainers – Wyett and Widmer.
Featured Results — 1.Bobby Douglass; 2.Justin Stevenson; 3. Larry Miller; 4. Barry Taft; 5. Tim Schnathorst; 6. Noah Kayser; 7.Brandon Pickney; 8.Wayne Chamblee; 9. Trent Fowler; 10. Chadrick Edward Poland. Heat gainers – Douglas and Kayser.
Matt Levins is a sportswriter for the USA Today Network in Burlington, Iowa, who has covered local sports for 31 years at The Hawk Eye. Contact him at [email protected]