Young guns put veterans on notice at Rick Goral Memorial Night
By Joe Orsini
For Star-News Sports
LUXEMBURG – Over 100 cars signed in to duke it out for the Fourth Annual Rick Goral Memorial Night and many of those cars joined the opening ceremonies to pay tribute to Rick’s memory and the legacy he built with Bobby Dorner in Luxemburg.
Drivers, young and old, showed their respect but it was a trio of young, hungry drivers that would later put on a show.
Young gun Cole Czarneski started the Village Kitchen IMCA Modifieds A-main with a good chance at victory with a front row starting spot.
He grabbed the lead on the opening lap from pole sitter Derek Moede, but a quick caution on lap two slowed the field.
The restart had Greg Gretz shoot into second and put immediate pressure on Czarneski.
At the halfway mark, Czarneski held court over Gretz, Konnor Wilinski, as well as Mike Mullen and Benji LaCrosse, who had both worked into the top five from their fifth row starting spots.
Mullen slid past Wilinski to third and was closing on the lead pair when the double checkers flew. Czarneski grabbed his second career modified feature win in as many nights while Gretz held on to second, Mullen was third, Wilinski fourth and LaCrosse rounded out the top five.
The Quietwoods RV IMCA Stock Car feature event kicked off with another young gun, Aiden Gretz, chasing his first feature win.
Gretz ran door-to-door with Mike “The Longest Yard” Pierrard for the lead at the drop of the green.
The duo crossed the stripe to complete the opening lap dead even.
Pierrard eventually secured the top spot while Tom Brumlic and another young hot shoe, Caden Lemieux, ran side by side for third.
LeMieux briefly gained the advantage before Brumlic, the crafty veteran, wrestled it back.
At the halfway mark, Pierrard continued to lead Gretz with Brumlic fighting with Tyler Wilson for third.
Contact between the two sent Brumlic into a spin and Wilson to the tail of the field as caution flew.
The restart saw Pierrard lead Gretz, Brumlic, “The Bulldozer” Dave Bouche, and “Chummy” Eric Arneson back to racing speeds.
Brumlic and Arneson moved to second and third on the track when caution flew once again with two laps remaining.
The restart had Pierrard, Brumlic, and Arneson stage a three-wide fight for the win.
When the dust settled, Arenson secured the victory, Pierrard had to settle for second, Brumlic third, Gretz held on to finish fourth and “Handsome” Shawn Havel completed the top five.
Cole Slezewski looked like the car to beat in the opening laps of the IMCA Northern Sport Mod feature as he jumped to an early lead.
Unfortunately, cautions kept piling up as the field struggled to complete more than one lap at a time.
By the third restart, with just five laps in the books, Vlies had charged into the top spot, closely followed by Logan Theys, Randy LeMieux Jr. and Jeff “Pepe” Vlies.
With laps winding down the younger Vlies kept his cool and secured his second career feature win.
Last week’s winner, LeMieux, came home second.
Pepe Vlies celebrated with his son in victory lane with a third-place finish.
Seth Hoefner had a strong run with a fourth place finish, and Cody Rass recovered from an early trip down pit lane to finish fifth.
The NEW Tech Metals Unified Dirt Street Stock A-main event opened with Derek Kaye rocketing into the lead from his row-two starting spot.
Pole sitter Bailey Laviolette charged back to run door-to-door with the leader on the outside. Laviolette’s machine suffered a broken shock mount and the 22 started dropping back.
By the halfway mark “The Muscles From Brussels” Garrett Geyer had raced into third while Shanon Guelette peeked inside of Kaye to grab the top spot.
A caution with eight laps to go bunched the field. Guelette led Kaye, Geyer, Presley Harrington and Jason Geyer back to the green.
Garrett Geyer took advantage of the restart to steal the lead but the yellow flew again with five laps to go when Guelette transmission expired and ended his night prematurely.
Harrington took advantage of the restart to snatch away first place and held on over the closing laps to take first.
Unfortunately for Harrington a trip across the scale showed his racer to be underweight and he was disqualified.
This resulted in the youngster, Garrett Geyer, earning his first career feature win.
Jason Geyer finished second; Travis Zirbel had a solid run coming home third; Kaye held on for fourth; and Ford Malvitz finished fifth.
The Murder Hornet feature race had Barney DeVares, Brandon Kaye and Scott Schlafke break into a three-wide dogfight for the lead at the drop of the green flag.
Kaye and DeVares faded, with Schlafke grabbing the lead.
Trevor Cronick was there to make sure the night wasn’t a cake walk for Schlafke, putting heavy pressure on the leader and eventually snatching the top spot away.
Schlafke then fell into a scrum with Brian Watzka Jr. with Watzka eventually claiming second.
When the double checkers flew, it was Cronick winning for the second week in a row.
Watzka held on to second; Schlafke was third; Jamie Van Ooyenin fourth; and Taylor Junk in fifth.