“The 2nd day of speedweeks at Constantine was brutal conditions as the heat index was approaching 100 degrees all day, but our USTS prevailed, got every race in and were done in a timely 3 and ½ hours and kept the program rolling even with a short break in the middle. Thanks Todd and our USTS crew, great job”
July 23 2016 Constantine, MI
Our first class up was 250R with Tim Small jumping out to wins in the first two heats to take a lead over Mike Krier and Derek Gesler. Paul Bosnich our points leader had trouble in all three heats and scored no points in the 250 class this weekend As the came out for the 3rdheat, Derek Gesler was unable to answer the bell and that cost him a chance at the podium. JJ Walls who was 5th in the first heat, put two good heats together and Mike Krier won the 3rd heat to put him into 2nd place behind Tim.
Next up was one whale of a great class in 350H and Kurtis Nydahl added to his lead in this class for the Hi Point Championship for 2016 as he took the win in with the two folks chasing him Amy Nydahl finishing 2nd and Gary Buskirk finishing 3rd. The first heat we had 3 gun jumpers including the winner on the water, Neil, LaRose and Kurtis, Amy, Gary, finished in the first heat how they would finish overall. Neil, in the 3rd heat went into the first turn hot, the boat hooked and spun him backwards for a bit. As he said, at least I stayed in the boat, and found out where that fine line is at. Get it out the way for Depue is my motto and that he did. Kurtis took the first two heats, but Amy was not going to have nonsense and took the 3rd heat to make her statement.
Next up was 500H with three great stories built into this class, and a hohum, he made another podium finish for one of the finest individuals you will ever find on the planet. Now for the first three feel goods. Dan Kirts driving that familiar H-4 took the first heat of racing in 500H and it seemed like old times for me calling the race with him out front and winning the heat, but alas, the gremlin got him in the 2nd heat and he finished just short of the podium. The 2nd and 3rd heats were all Nic Shakeshaft, new to capsule classes as Nick has been driving that beautiful green 250H. Nick drove well and it was a deserved win. The 3rd feel good, was young Jake Hoffert of Depue who has wanted to race for many years. Well today, he took his first crack in his capsule and wow, wow, wow, he finished in the 2nd spot overall. Great job Jake and look forward to your family and friends cheering you on at Depue. Now for the nicest guy on the planet, Ike Yoder finishes on the podium again as Ike is one of the steadiest and great drivers in the capsule class. The first names of each of these drivers is right out of The West Side Story movie
First up after our break was K-Pro with our point leader Rex Bayer having a dilemma as he is a very good pitcher and his team was in a tournament this weekend. So, Rex did what he should have and was playing Baseball today. Understand that he may be with us tomorrow. Mackenzie Hellsten and Brianna Payn traded the two heats today, with Mac about 3 seconds faster for the two heats. Brady Brinkman, Tom’s son in only his 2nd race finished 3rd in all three heats to set it up for tomorrow.
Next up was 125H and we promptly ran into trouble. Jon Wienandt went to the first turn with Jon just a bit ahead as they got there, the boat hooked and was showing its bottom as Brandon coming through the spray had nowhere to go except through the left side of the boat. Fortunately by that time Jon had been thrown clear of the boat and Brandon in the Thomson Brothers built boat, hunkering down in the lay down was not injured either. Can’t say the same thing about Jon’s boat and I think a wiener roast is in the offering. Thank goodness both were okay. In the rerun of the heat, Todd Anderson got a great start in that and in the second heat and entered the 3rdheat with a perfect 800 points, but it was not to be as Todd coming off the beach for the 3rd heat got near the first turn, the boat somehow hooked, turn left, dug a chine and over he went. The rerun of that heat turned out to be what Raymond Hammond needed to accumulate enough points with that win to take the top spot and to take the Hi Point lead for 2016, with both Brandon Mills and Jon Wienandt taking a hit in points as well as on the water. Todd had enough points to take the 2nd spot overall and Kristi Ellison driving good steady heats finished in the 3rd spot.
Our last class of the day was the big 500R with a reall donnybrook occurring. In the first heat Jay Anderson got by Tim Small driving the 2 cylinder GRM in the 2nd turn pipes locked up on the Brinkman entry. Jay winning the heat with Andrew finishing 3rd. The second heat got about 4 Holy Buckets as Kurtis Nydahl who had trouble in the first heat, gave Tim a run for that win, with Tim pulling it out by about ½ boat length. Cooper Thompson, our flagman, was saying over and over, awesome, awesome, awesome. Indeed Cooper it was absolutely awesome. Tim went on to win the 3rd heat as well and with the two firsts and a second took the win. Andrew Thirlby parlayed his finishes behind Tim and Kurtis for 3rd overall. Unfortunately for Jay Anderson, after winning the first heat, the boat stopped on the backstretch after finishing and could not answer the call for 2nd and 3rd heat.
Despite the 3 incidents, everyone gets to go back to the Motorhome or the hotel. That means it was a great race.
My thanks to Sue Sailer and her team, unbelievably professional in every way. Thanks to our turn judges, and pull boat drivers as well, Rick Jedwabny and Paul “Big Pal” Bosnich roaming the pits to make sure we did not leave anyone on the beach, and to the “boss,” Todd Brinkman.
See you Monday sometime when I’m back to the home-front.