By Edward Anschutz
STURGEON BAY, Wis. (May 31) – Tom “Tuffy” Brumlic outdueled Dylan Heilmann to score his first IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature win at Thunderhill Raceway Saturday night.
Mike Wietor paced the opening laps of the headliner before Dylan Heilmann swept through using the low groove to take the lead. Heilmann distanced himself from the pack as Charlie Kroll and Brumlic worked through traffic.
Brumlic worked to second using the high side to reel in the leader. With each driver running a different groove, the stage was set for a great battle. Brumlic pulled even with Heilmann as the duo raced door-to-door.
Brumlic found a bit more speed running the cushion and grabbed the lead for good by the midway point. Brumlic set sail, going unchallenged the remainder of the caution-free contest. Heilmann edged out Kroll by a bumper for second while point leader Shawn Havel and Dave Bouche rallied late after starting deep in the field to finish in the top five.
Other feature winners included Todd Dart in the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds, Ryan LeMieux in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and Scott Boulanger in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
Modified action saw James Tebon jump out to an early lead, surprising to many fans as Tebon’s car had started on fire during his qualifying race. Tebon pulled away as Sean Jerovetz and Dart slugged it out for the runner-up spot. Dart secured second at midway, setting his sights on the leader. Dart rode the high groove with Tebon down low.
With four laps remaining, Dart was able to slingshot past Tebon to take the lead. Dart then kept the rest of the field at bay in scoring his first win of the season. Considering how Tebon’s night started, second was pretty solid. After his big payday last weekend, Sean Jerovetz brought home third.
The saying “Race motors always run the best before they blow up” held true for the SportMod winner. Rick LeMieux raced to the point, leading lap one. Second-year racer Jacob Zellner zoomed by a lap later to take the lead. Point leader Ryan LeMieux began his march through the field and into third, right behind Randy LeMieux Jr. Zellner pulled away as the LeMieuxs challenged each other. A caution wiped away the lead midway through the feature.
This was the break Ryan needed as he methodically worked around Zellner and to the lead. Once up front the car began to show small signs of smoke. Ryan raced to a sizable advantage only to see it disappear with three laps remaining, as Zellner lost the handle on his racer, which brought out the caution.
LeMieux had another puff of smoke from his engine on the restart as Randy and Chris Budzban came chasing. Ryan kept the lead but coming for the checkers out of turn four the engine started to expire, Ryan held it to the floor and was able to pick up the win. The smoke was so bad you couldn’t see half the track after the race was over. It was his second feature win of the weekend after winning Friday night at Luxemburg. Budzban was able to secure second and LeMieux Jr. third.
Boulanger found redemption after being disqualified last week as he took the lead away from C.J. Weckler with six laps remaining to win the Hobby Stock feature. Derek Moede was second and point leader Jeremy Jauquet came home third.