Lena, Wis. ~ When racing began just after the first cup of coffee on Sunday morning in Lena, Wis., it marked the start of the second half of racing for the 2023 AMSOIL Championship Off-Road, presented by the U.S. Air Force season.
The racing was tight and, at times, physical on Saturday. Heavy rains created a scramble to get the track into excellent racing conditions, and with more than 250 cars hitting the Dirt City Motorplex, it was rough and tumble. Close-quarter contact and opportunistic driving were the norm in round seven.
Round eight, meanwhile, was met with dry skies and blue grooves. Fast, technical racing highlighted the day, and drivers went looking for wins while keeping an eye on the ultimate prize, a 2023 short-course championship.
Carlson Back On Top in Pro Turbo SxS
Andrew Carlson put a tough weekend of Pro Turbo SxS racing at his hometown track (ERX) behind him as he relished in a track set-up at Dirt City that fit his hard-charging style.
Rodney VanEperen was first quick off the start and was whipping his Yamaha hard into every turn as he was going for his first win of the year and his first podium. He looked the part on Sunday, but Carlson didn’t give him an inch of breathing room. They were one-two at the midpoint before Carlson pushed his Polaris into the lead. After that, Carlson found a lot of forward momentum as he picked up his second win of the year.
As for Hot Rod VanEperen, he tried to settle into second but had his hands full with Saturday winner and current points leader Kyle Chaney. Chaney had worked his way into third just before the halfway mark. He threw the kitchen sink at VanEperen before a pair of spins cost him the spot and allowed VanEperen to pull away and Robert Loire to take over the final podium position.
Greaves Sweeps Pro Stock SxS
CJ Greaves was patient for the first half of the Pro Stock SxS race and lightning quick in the second as he took home the weekend sweep and his fourth straight class win.
Jake Jorgenson led the field to the mandatory caution, but Greaves was on the throttle off the start and railed around the race leader for the top spot. He pulled Owen VanEperen around the track with him as the two pushed extremely hard over the next six laps. Greaves would hold off VanEperen at the line (.314 difference) for his sixth win. VanEperen put together a strong performance at Dirt City, finishing second both days.
Hometown driver Dylan Marquardt started on the pole and moved around the top four until the race’s final lap. He slipped past Jorgenson on the last lap for his second podium in 2023.
Pro-AM SxS: After starting his rookie season with three straight wins, Kolton Krajicek finally picked up his fourth Pro-AM SxS win on Sunday. Krajicek got into the lead on the first lap and never looked back, grabbing the win and his first podium since round three in Crandon.
Jesse Greaves and David Gay will head to Bark River with a boost of confidence. Both men succeeded in Dirt City on Sunday, each getting their best finish of the season and first podium of the year. Greaves locked down the runner-up spot, while Gay powered past round four winner Tyler Remmeried with three laps to go for third.
570 SxS: Round one winner Ryker Remington led Sunday’s 570 SxS race from start to finish as he notched his second win of the year. Corbyn Wassenberg was looking for his fourth win of the season but fell short after crossing the line less than a second behind Remington. Madisyn Winistorfer earned her first podium finish after getting past round seven winner Ellah Holtger for third.
Sportsman SxS: Trent Peetz took over the race lead on lap four and pulled away for his first Sportsman SxS win. Peetz also closed the points gap (13 points) on Lucas Houle after Houle crashed early in the contest.
Tyler Wusterbarth picked up his first win of the season on Saturday and followed it up with a second-place finish on Sunday. Kadin Piontek started eight on Sunday and moved into the third spot on lap eight for his first podium of the year.
170/200 SxS: Round seven winner Tanner Thibeault made it a weekend sweep in 170/200 SxS on Sunday. The points lead was fifth off the line but grabbed the lead on the first lap and never looked back. Four-time class winner Raymond Deininger worked through the field from a 14th start position to finish second. Axel Dreher earned his first podium of the year by climbing into third after starting tenth.
Youth SxS: Ryker Remington took over the Youth SxS points lead on Saturday and then took home the weekend sweep on Sunday. Remington led from start to finish for his fifth win of the 2023 campaign. After missing the first two rounds, Layne Peterson has podiumed in six straight races, including a second on Sunday. Three-time class winner Libby Nielsen finished third.
Up next for AMSOIL Championship Off-Road, presented by the U.S. Air Force: Round nine and ten at the Bark River International Raceway in Bark River, Mich. on August 12-13.
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