Rauen rolls to victory at Mississippi Thunder Speedway

 

by Ryan Clark

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (June 3) - Jason Rauen proved to be the man to beat as he led all 35 laps of feature action when the Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series presented by Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants made its second-ever visit to Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

Tim Isenberg found himself on the pole of the main event for the second straight night when Fast Dash winner Justin Mitchell pulled a "3" at the scales during the invert draw. Rauen, who started outside of the front row, quickly took charge, leaving Isenberg to battle with Mitchell for second.

While Isenberg ran the top side and Mitchell the bottom groove, Rauen built a straightaway lead by the time lapped traffic slowed his progress 10 laps into the event. Shortly after Rauen worked past the first of numerous lapped cars, the caution flag waved on lap 12 when Dave Eckrich slowed on the back stretch. Mitchell, who was running second when the caution waved, and Isenberg, pulled onto Rauen's bumper for the ensuing restart.

Rauen again took command when racing resumed as he once more built a straightaway advantage. Isenberg took advantage of the restart and worked the high line past Mitchell for second only to see the caution flag wave once more on lap 19. By this time, Chad Simpson, who started 15th after a miscue in his heat left him out of the dash lineup, made his way into the top five behind Chris Simpson.

On the restart, Rauen continued to dominate out front while Isenberg rocketed ahead of Mitchell for second, remaining committed to the high groove. Isenberg was able to keep Rauen within his sights in the waning laps as the leader once again entered lapped traffic, but he was unable to close the gap as Rauen drove to the win. Mitchell came home third ahead of Chris Simpson, who furiously held off Chad Simpson at the line for fourth.

FEATURE (35 laps, with starting positions)

1. (2) 98 Jason Rauen (Farley, IA)

2. (1) 9T Tim Isenberg (Marshfield)

3. (3) 28X Justin Mitchell (Cedar Rapids, IA)

4. (4) 32 Chris Simpson (Oxford, IA)

5. (15) 25 Chad Simpson (Mt. Vernon, IA)

6. (6) 90 Lance Matthees (Winona, MN)

7. (7) 50 Denny Eckrich (Tiffin, IA)

8. (11) 24 Brad Waits (Rochester, MN)

9. (23) 96 Doug Herrick (West Concord, MN)

10. (9) 19 Mike Sorensen (Rochester, MN)

11. (12) 16 Tyler Bruening (Decorah, IA)

12. (10) 6 Nick Herrick (West Concord, MN)

13. (5) 20 Jake Meier (Tipton, IA)

14. (13) 71 Andrew McKay (Eden Prairie, MN)

15. (16) 31 Jason Utter (Columbus Junction, IA)

16. (20) 01 Kyle Jumbeck (Houston, MN)

17. (14) 8 Kelly Anderson (Hager City)

18. (19) 18 Dustin Hapka (Grand Forks, ND)

19. (25) 7 Dennis Hillson* (Blooming Prairie, MN)

20. (18) 55 Kevin Kuehn (Winona, MN)

21. (21) 22 Jill George (Cedar Falls, IA)

22. (24) 4G Chris Gilbertson (Trembeleau)

23. (22) 35B Jerry Bloom (Rochester, MN)

24. (17) 3 Kevin Sather (Ankeny, IA)

25. (8) 58 Dave Eckrich (Cosgrove, IA)

(*Dennis Hillson was the provisional starter, based on final 2010 points)

First heat (10 laps): 1. Rauen; 2. Denny Eckrich; 3. Chris Simpson; 4. Nick Herrick; 5. McKay; 6. Kuehn; 7. Sather; 8. Gilbertson; 9. George; 10. Hillson.

Second heat (10 laps): 1. Mitchell; 2. Meier; 3. Dave Eckrich; 4. Waits; 5. Anderson; 6. Hapka; 7. Bloom; 8. Doug Herrick; 9. 9H Roger Herrick (West Concord, MN); 10. 33L Joe Ludemann (Grand Meadow, MN).

Third heat (10 laps): 1. Isenberg; 2. Sorensen; 3. Matthees; 4. Bruening; 5. Chad Simpson; 6. Utter; 7. Jumbeck; 8. 61 John Rogers (German Valley, IL); 9. 97X Don Schaefer (Dover, MN)

B Feature (15 laps): 1. Utter; 2. Sather; 3. Kuehn; 4. Hapka; 5. Jumbeck; 6. George; 7. Bloom; 8. Doug Herrick; 9. Gilbertson; 10. Rogers; 11. Roger Herrick; 12. Ludemann; 13. Hillson; 14. Schaefer.

Fast Dash (9 laps): 1. Mitchell; 2. Rauen; 3. Isenberg; 4. Chris Simpson; 5. Meier; 6. Matthees; 7. Denny Eckrich; 8. Dave Eckrich; 9. Sorensen.