By: Eric Huenefeld
Almost always, Enduro racing is exciting in its own special way. A track packed with frantic drivers wrestling their machines for a couple of hours as well as facing whatever elements may jump in their way. That is what fans have come to expect at Rockford Speedway for races such as Saturday's Stone and Double T 200.
What the fans may not have expected however was the thrilling late race twists and turns that led to multiple leaders in the final 75 laps and a last lap battle for the top money, which saw Dyer, Indiana's Ryan Lagestee pass Aurora's Tony Doherty in the final moments of the 200 lap marathon.
The event started with a field of 77 cars, but was quickly paired down due to both attrition and a couple of multi-car dust-ups in the first 20 laps that would bring out a couple red flags. After the initial slow start, the race would sail on with 75 laps of non-stop racing. Maple Park driver Dale Markham assumed the lead and held it for the first 50 laps. However, Markham would have to head to the pits as the race neared the 75 lap mark. Wisconsin driver Davey Pennel would then inherit the lead from Markham and hold it as the race grew 100 laps old and hit halfway.
As the second half of the 200 lapper began, it was Pennel leading the field back into action. Pennel seemed to be on a path to victory, lapping much of his competition over the first 40 laps of the second segment. However, a dust-up with a lap car would flatten two of Pennel's tires. He would head pit side and hand the lead to Union's Scott Vetter near lap 150. Vetter's lead would only last about 15 laps, until his car suffered problems, and he too was knocked out of the lead.
Out of nowhere, Tony Doherty, with a car featuring a loose hood, would assume the lead with 25 laps to go. Doherty was suddenly a lap ahead of the field and seemed to finally be the driver in control. But with 15 to go, Doherty developed a right front flat. Doherty would begin to nurse the car in order to preserve the lead. Then, with 5 laps to go, the tire totally shredded, leaving Doherty with nothing but a rim on his right front. The enduro veteran Doherty knew that in order to finish, he had to slow down to avoid hard contact with the wall and an end to his day.
Meanwhile, a charging Ryan Lagestee would unlap himself in that 15 lap time frame and find himself on the same straightaway with Doherty with the white flag flying. With the crowd on it's feet, Lagestee caught Doherty in the backstretch chicane and completed the pass for the lead in Turn 3. Both drivers stopped at the start/finish area post race to let scorers confirm the result, and after the confirmation for Race Control, the cheers from the crowd reigned over an exhuberant Lagestee in Victory Lane.
Doherty finished a hard-luck second, ahead of Ryan Gilliam who survived for third. Doug Finnern and Jeremia Rychecky rounded out the top five.
4/7/2012- Spring Classic Results...
A-Main01 -- 1. Ryan Lagestee, Dyer, Ind.; 2. Tony Doherty, Aurora; 3. RyanGilliam, Matteson; 4. Douglas Finnern, Des
Plaines;5. Jeremia Rychecky, South Beloit; 6. Tom Markham, Kirkland; 7. DossShultis, Elizabeth; 8. Rob Vlcek,
Dekalb;9. Mitch Maloney, Lake Zurich; 10. T.J. Markham, Sycamore; 11. ButchIverson, Oak Lawn; 12. Jim Gagliani,
GardenPrairie; 13. Stacy Roach, Genoa; 14. Joseph Adolphson, Rockford; 15.Jerid Butram, Loves Park; 16. David
Prince,Oregon; 17. Scott Vetter, Union; 18. Donnie Schick, Rock Falls; 19.Troy Boss, Rock Falls; 20. Kyle Smith, St.
Charles;21. Mike Cunz, Dekalb; 22. Davey Pennel, Sparta, Wis; 23. FreddyWittmann, Jr., Des Plaines; 24. Seth Pippel,
Rockford;25. Tom Goedert, Machesney Park; 26. Dan Munns, Fort Atkinson, Wis;27. Victor Ballard, Beloit, Wis; 28.
RyanFinley, Shabbona; 29. Steve Hagemann, Cherry Valley; 30. MichaelBrancecum, Jr, St Charles; 31. Jamie Sathoff,
RockFalls; 32. Thomas Andrus, Rockford; 33. Charlie Olson, Kingston; 34.Charlie Frisch, Beloit, Wis; 35. Paul
McMillan,Davis; 36. Dale Markham, Maple Park; 37. Rick Zifko, St. Charles; 38.Roger Markham, Virgil; 39. Devon
Dixon,Janesville, Wis; 40. Gary Ballard, Beloit, Wis; 41. Neal Kerner,Schererville, Ind.; 42. Mike Jucius, Oak Lawn; 43.
RyanDecker, Palatine; 44. Justin Pearson, Belvidere; 45. Kevin Gentry,Genoa City, Wis; 46. Lonnie Bresley, Sr.,
Sterling;47. Matt McCain, Aurora; 48. Mark Hagemann, Troy Grove; 49. RalphMarkham, Maple Park; 50. Jacob Aldrich,
Rockford;51. Blake Andrus, Rockford; 52. Tyler Wheaton, Lansing; 53. JimStone, Candlewick; 54. Josh Russell,
Rockford;55. Stephen Hillary, Machesney Park; 56. Kathleen O'Shields, StCharles; 57. Mike Nelms, Lombard; 58. DJ
Sparks,Belvidere; 59. Jarrod Sutherland, Machesney Park; 60. JonathanStoltz, Freeport; 61. Jason Dull, Machesney
Park;62. Jim Klingel, Aurora; 63. Eric Hagemann, Troy Grove; 64. BlaineMcClellan III, Dixon; 65. Matthew Eby,
Belvidere;66. Tyler Deschaine, Loves Park; 67. Adam Krenzel, Janesville, Wis;68. Jay Kincaid, Whitewater, Wis; 69.
JayOrr, Milwaukee, Wis; 70. Chad Scott, Rochelle; 71. Bob Bertolozzi,Rock Falls; 72. Amanda Whalen, Steward; 73.
RyanAndrews, Woodstock; 74. Justin Nagel, Whitewater, Wis; 75. Bill Rud,Streamwood; 76. Eddie Brown, Sandwich;
77.Caleb Shultis, Stockton.
This article was posted to the website on April 9th, 2012
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