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Chad Kemenah gets Arctic Cat All Star win number 33 at 34 Raceway
BURLINGTON, IA (June 11, 2017) - Wrapping up a Midwest road trip that resulted in three consecutive podium finishes with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, Alvada, Ohio’s Chad Kemenah is now a three-time Series winner in 2017, this time holding off charges by the “North Pole Nightmare” Bill Balog and the “Madman” Kerry Madsen to claim $5,000 in Burlington, Iowa.
Raising his career win total to 33 with “America’s Series,” Kemenah led all but four circuits during the 30-lap main event on Sunday evening at 34 Raceway, surrendering the top spot to only Bill Balog before regaining command less than five laps later. Balog held on to finish second, followed by Kerry Madsen, Brian Brown and Paul Nienhiser.
“I have to keep winning if I want to keep my son from catching me,” Chad Kemenah said in victory lane regarding his son’s go-kart career. “He’s going to be coming for my job here pretty soon. But really - I can’t say enough about this team. Things are going really well right now and we are all having fun. I have so many people to thank, my brother included. He does a phenomenal job with this car. It’s just him and I out here this weekend, so we’ll definitely be celebrating the entire way home.”
Despite an opening lap caution that halted the Arctic Cat All Star main event, the result of a multiple car incident in turns one and two, as well as a car getting upside-down in turns three and four, Chad Kemenah would go on to lead the feature field to green from the pole position, wasting no time opening his command to nearly a half-straightaway by lap three. Utilizing the very bottom of the 3/8-mile oval, Kemenah reached the back of the running order by lap six, which in turn allowed Ryan Smith and Kerry Madsen to keep the Hunter Racing/DKW Transport/Bonnell’s Rod Shop/No. 10H in reach.
By lap 15, traffic started to intensify for Kemenah, with most of the field that was racing directly in front of him also working the bottom edge of the speedway. Meanwhile, Bill Balog, who restarted sixth on the feature grid after the opening lap tangle, was beginning to make moves all alone on the topside of the speedway; capturing third on lap 14, second on lap 15, and eventually taking command from Kemenah on lap 20, ending a two-lap, side-by-side battle on laps 18 and 19.
Despite Balog’s impressive march forward on the cushion, his command was short-lived, surrendering the lead back to Chad Kemenah on lap 24. The defending Arctic Cat All Star champion went the remaining distance undisturbed, crossing under the final checkers nearly three seconds ahead of Balog and Kerry Madsen.
“I tried not to screw up, but the bottom was just so good tonight,” Bill Balog explained. “We can’t be disappointed with this one. We’ve been running pretty well. We’ll take this and move forward.”
Kemenah’s weekend podium sweep ignited with a third place performance on Friday evening, June 9, at Lincoln (IL) Speedway, followed by a second consecutive third place performance at Macon (IL) Speedway on June 10. The current Series point leader will enter Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket with a 180-point cushion.
“This is a perfect momentum boost for us heading into Ohio Sprint Speedweek,” Chad Kemenah stated. “When you head into Speedweek on a good note, you’re bound to have good things happen to you. We’re all pretty excited to get started.”
Celebrating 35 years in 2017, Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket is next to take center stage on the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions campaign trail, complete with eight events over a nine day stretch beginning with competition at Attica Raceway Park on Friday, June 16. “America’s Series” will visit eight different facilities throughout all four corners of The Buckeye State during the eight-race stretch, each awarding $5,000 top prizes, as well as full points toward the 2017 Arctic Cat All Star championship. A $3,000 point fund will also be distributed amongst the top-ten finishers in the Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket standings.
As an added bonus to race fans who can not attend Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket, six of the eight events will be broadcast live via www.onthecushion.com beginning Friday night at Attica Raceway Park.
Those seeking additional news and notes regarding Ohio Sprint Speedweek should stay tuned online at www.allstarsprint.com. A full preview will be posted in the coming days.
Contingency Awards/Results: 34 Raceway - Sunday, June 11, 2017:
Group ( C )
Heat #1 - Group (A) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Heat #2 - Group (B) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Heat #3 - Group (C) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Heat #4 - Group (D) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Dash #1 (4 Laps)
Dash #2 (4 Laps)
B-Main (12 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
A-Main (30 Laps)
Current Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Standings (June 11, 2017):
Justin Peck masters mighty Macon Speedway for Arctic Cat All Star victory
MACON, IL (June 10, 2017) - Becoming the eighth different driver to stand in Macon (IL) Speedway victory lane during Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions competition, Justin Peck is now an Arctic Cat All Star winner, ultimately leading 37 of 40 laps to score a first-ever Series victory and the largest payday of his young career. The Monrovia, Indiana, native, who recently graduated from high school, started sixth on the feature grid and was within striking distance of the top spot by lap three. Impressively enough, Peck earned his way into the Arctic Cat All Star main event by winning his respective heat race - without a nose wing.
“Honestly, this is kind of a shock,” Justin Peck said during his victory lane interview, driver of the Duracoat/Axalta Coatings/Pro Shocks/DRC/No. 5X. “I owe this all to my crew; everyone that is involved with this team. This is such an awesome feeling.”
Paul Nienhiser and Chad Kemenah led the 24 feature starters to green on Saturday night at the “World’s Fastest 1/5-Mile Clay Oval.” Kemenah jumped to the early advantage, followed to the infield flagstand for the first time by Nienhiser and Justin Peck. Despite getting the early jump, Kemenah’s tenure at the top of the running order was short-lived, soon tracked down by Peck. The 18-year-old worked his way into the runner-up position by lap three, eventually driving around Kemenah with a high side hustle move through turns one and two on the following circuit.
Peck maintained his position at the top of the running order for the remaining 36 laps, surviving a total of eight cautions, two of which resulting in red flag conditions, to claim his $5,000 share.
Nienhiser, who battled inside the top-three during much of the 40-lap program, eventually had the opportunity to use traffic as a pick, soon driving under Chad Kemenah at the entrance of turns three and four to take over the runner-up position on lap 24. It was a second consecutive Arctic Cat All Star runner-up finish for the for the Chapin, Illinois, native. Kemenah held on to finish third, followed by Friday night winner Carson Macedo and former NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.
“You know, I thought we were really good there at the beginning,” Peck explained. “But once the track started to take a little bit of rubber, that’s when I started to get nervous. When you are out in front like that, you obviously can’t tell what is going on behind you. Paul (Nienhiser) showed me his nose there toward the end, so I had to adjust my line a little bit and move down the track. All you can do is try to run in the rubber where you think it’s the best. It all worked out tonight.”
For the first time since 1998, the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will invade 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa; the third and final Midwest event of the weekend for “America’s Series,” as well as the first and only visit to The Hawkeye State in 2017. Holmesville, Ohio’s Kenny Jacobs scored the 34 Raceway victory during the Series’ first visit in 1998, one of 98 total Arctic Cat All Star victories for the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee.
34 Raceway will open pit gates at 2:00pm on Sunday, June 11. General admission gates will open to the public at 4:00pm, with racing scheduled to hit the speedway at 7:15pm, sharp. Those seeking additional information pertaining to ticket sales and reserved seating should contact 34 Raceway live on the Web at www.34raceway.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Macon Speedway - Saturday, June 10, 2017:
Group ( C )
Heat #1 - Group (A) (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
Heat #2 - Group (B) (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
Heat #3 - Group ( C ) (10 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
Dash #1 (6 Laps)
B-Main (12 Laps) - Top 6 Transfer
A-Main (40 Laps)
Current Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Standings (June 10, 2017):