MORRIS – Close, but unchanging.
Those were the first 70 laps of Friday night’s ARCA Midwest Tour Calypso 100/Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy County Speedway.
The final 30?
Not close, and unchanging. Unchanging up front anyway, where Chris Weinkauf completed a wire-to-wire victory before a large throng at the three-eighths-mile oval.
The win was the first on the ARCA tour for the 39-year-old Merrill, Wisconsin, native.
After winning the first of two heats. pole-sitter Weinkauf quickly jumped in front of front-row partner and other heat winner, Nick Barstad, a position Weinkauf stayed in for the entire race.
The best challenge to Weinkauf was made by 2013 race champion Jonathan Eilen, who spent many laps glued to the back bumper of the leader.
Weinkauf and Eilen were soon joined by Ty Majeski, and the trio took off from the pack and stayed in 1-2-3 close order until lap 69, when Weinkauf lapped Larry Schuler on the outside and took off.
Shortly before Weinkauf’s pullaway, Majeski swiped second place from Eilen.
Majeski, who won the ARCA event earlier in the season at Illiana Speedway, couldn’t make up ground on Weinkauf as they worked through lapped traffic.
Grundy points leader Ricky Baker was the top local finisher, landing in fourth, ahead of Eddie Hoffman, Cardell Porter, Nathan Haseleu, Matt Kocourek and James Swan.
A wreck-filled second leg of the Grundy/Illiana Street Stock Challenge went to Chris Woodall.
Woodall took the lead on lap 17 from Peter Hernandez, who was behind the wheel of Cheryl Hryn’s No. 8. Woodall beat Eddie Ligue to the line by 2.210 seconds.
Hernandez held on for third, ahead of Bob Davis, Jacob McKown and Craig Matteson.
Street stock heats went to Michael Gerike, Mark Ross Jr. and Davis.
The second leg of the Grundy/Illiana Pure Stocks Challenge saw less mayhem. Spencer Leake passed Ryan Gilliam on lap 7 and ran away with the 20-lap event. Ryan Lagestee was second, followed by Ricky Wilson, Dan Schmeissing, Matt Baikie and Blaine Passini.
Pure stock heats were captured by Tom Crawford Sr., Gilliam and Schmeissing. The semi went to Justin Mikel.