Absence ends in winner’s circle for Van Straten

By Dave Panske

OSHKOSH, Wis. (May 9) – He’s been out of the sport for a while but Travis Van Straten hasn’t forgotten how to get to the winner’s circle.

Van Straten picked up his first feature win ever at Oshkosh Speed Zone Raceway Friday, also his first Total Power Sales IMCA Stock Car victory in only four nights out since ending a 2½-year retire­ment this season.

Larry Karcz Jr. took the lead for the first two laps before Van Straten moved in front. Jake Lun­derby, John Heinz and Larry Parshen bunched up in a battle for second as Van Straten pulled away from the field.

Van Straten held a quarter-lap lead at the mid-point of the race. Heinz was running second and was starting to close the gap with Karcz Parshen and Harley Simon behind.

A lone caution on lap 12 bunched the field and Karcz retook the runner-up spot on the restart with Heinz, Simon and Parshen behind. Karcz Hounded Van Straten for a couple laps before a battle for second allowed Van Straten to again pull away from the field.

Once in front, Mike Mullen pulled away from the rest of the Automotive Supply Company IMCA Modified field. Defending track champion Todd Wiese was first across the stripe in the Karl Chevro­let Northern SportMod feature.

Other winners were Tim Reichenberger in the Outlaw Chassis Grand Nationals, Jerry Winkler in the Gold Star Racing Products Street Stocks and Erik Kollmann in the Ellington Mutual Insurance Dirt Devils.

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