Van Minsel collects emotional USRA B-Mod win at Mississippi Thunder Speedway
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August 16, 2013  |  by Dan Bailey

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. -- Jon Van Minsel is a ‘smiler’; before a race, after a race ... most likely even during a race. During Friday night’s Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mod portion of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Winona program at Mississippi Thunder Speedway, no one would have faulted him for roaming the pits without his trademark smile as less than two weeks ago, the Spring Grove, Minn., racer, and his entire family laid to rest Jon’s father.

But, as race time rolled around, there was Jon, next to his familiar #1 ... smile and all. By the end of the evening, that smile was absolutely huge. But there was work, dedication and determination needed to bring forth the success that had the crowd cheering at the end of the 18-lap main event.

After winning the night’s third heat race, Van Minsel lined up outside the fifth row for the “Coca-Cola Bottling 18” feature. As several competitors battled for the lead through the opening 12 laps, Van Minsel had his work cut out for him, needing to work through the top half of the 28 car field. But, like a good ol’ Ginsu knife from a late-80s TV commercial, Van Minsel sliced through the field with smooth and clean precision on his hunt to the front.

While the #1 was working towards the front, no fewer than eight other drivers spent time battling in the top five within legitimate reach of the top spot. Pole Sitter spent the first 11 laps in the lead pack, putting the silver #7M out front on lap 6. Former B-Mod champion Kyle Jumbek spent the first two circuits in the lead before dropping out the top-5 on lap 6. Jake Timm enjoyed two stays out front, leading a total of 6 laps, and B-Mod hot-shoe Parker Hale showed off his brand new Jack Links Beef Jerky “Squatch Stick” wrap at the front of the field for a three-lap stay.

But on lap 13 Van Minsel completed his trek to the top, taking the lead and closing out the feature in style with a great battle for the win with Hale. Van Minsel climbed from his car in the Mississippi Thunder Speedway Victory Lane, thrust his arms victoriously into the air ... and there was his smile; bigger and happier than ever.

“That was fun working through the field like that. And racing with Parker there at the end, he’s a great competitor and it’s fun to race someone like that,” remarked Van Minsel about the race to the win. “I know that my dad was in this car with me tonight.”

Hale held on for second, with 2012 Track Champion Erik Kanz completing the top three finishing positions.

Looking back, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that Van Minsel collected the feature win, as he did turn in the evening’s fasted lap, a 16.617 screamer early in the main that topped the field.

Racing resumes next Friday night August 23rd with another night of high-speed action at Mississippi Thunder Speedway; bring the family and friends and enjoy Loberg’s Auto Glass & Repair Night on-track action from the River City Manufacturing USRA Modifieds, Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stocks, Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks, Redbox+ 600 Modifieds, & Elmer’s Auto Salvage MTS Pure Stocks battling on ‘The Big 1/3-Mile’ while the Sunshine Sanitation A and B Mini-Mods will again attack ‘The Lightning Speedway’ for their evening’s action!

Mississippi Thunder Speedway is located 3.0 miles north of Fountain City on Wisconsin Highway 35. For more information, call 608-687-3282 or visit www.mississippithunder.com on the World Wide Web.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
USRA Weekly Racing Series
Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013

USRA B-MODS

Heat #1:
1. (2) 17B Matt Buddenberg, Decorah, Iowa
2. (3) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
3. (1) 6 Dustin Kruse, Brandon, S.D.
4. (4) RED1 Dan Wheeler, Savage, Minn.
5. (5) 11 Jack Baehman, Hudson
6. (6) 21B Jeff Brauer, Rochester, Minn.
7. (7) 4G Chris Gilbertson, Trempealeau

Heat #2:
1. (2) 95X Shaun Walski, Winona, Minn.
2. (4) 7M Miah Christensen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
3. (6) 5W Kyle Jumbeck, Houston, Minn.
4. (5) 12K Casey Knutson, Spring Grove, Minn.
5. (1) 54 John Feirn, Chippewa Falls
6. (3) 90 Tyler Creeley, Winona, Minn.
7. (7) 21C Cole Cropp, Menomonie

Heat #3:
1. (3) 1 Jon Van Minsel, Spring Grove, Minn.
2. (2) 28 Parker Hale, Grand Meadow, Minn.
3. (4) 23K Erik Kanz, Winona, Minn.
4. (5) 12 Tucker Breitung, Prior Lake, Minn.
5. (6) 80J Lee Jonsgaard, Minnesota City, Minn.
6. (1) 15W Alex Williamson, Rushford, Minn.

Heat #4:
1. (4) 476X Troy Hovey, Decorah, Iowa
2. (6) 55 Mason Daughters, Polo, Mo.
3. (7) 10 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
4. (1) 14X Dan Hesch, Acadia
5. (2) 13 Ryan Konkel, Winona, Minn.
6. (8) 79 Bobby Carpenter, Black River
7. (3) 8X Darran Jonsgaard, Fountain City
8. (5) 34F Nick Frion, Ellsworth

Feature:
1. (10) 1 Jon Van Minsel, Spring Grove, Minn.
2. (5) 28 Parker Hale, Grand Meadow, Minn.
3. (8) 23K Erik Kanz, Winona, Minn.
4. (7) 476X Troy Hovey, Decorah, Iowa
5. (13) RED1 Dan Wheeler, Savage, Minn.
6. (26) 15W Alex Williamson, Rushford, Minn.
7. (24) 4G Chris Gilbertson, Trempealeau
8. (11) 55 Mason Daughters, Polo, Mo.
9. (6) 10 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
10. (21) 21B Jeff Brauer, Rochester, Minn.
11. (1) 7M Miah Christensen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
12. (16) 14X Dan Hesch, Acadia
13. (27) 8X Darran Jonsgaard, Fountain City
14. (9) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
15. (14) 12K Casey Knutson, Spring Grove, Minn.
16. (2) 5W Kyle Jumbeck, Houston, Minn.
17. (20) 13 Ryan Konkel, Winona, Minn.
18. (17) 11 Jack Baehman, Hudson
19. (28) 34F Nick Frion, Ellsworth
20. (18) 54 John Feirn, Chippewa Falls
21. (23) 79 Bobby Carpenter, Black River
22. (22) 90 Tyler Creeley, Winona, Minn.
23. (4) 17B Matt Buddenberg, Decorah, Iowa
24. (12) 95X Shaun Walski, Winona, Minn.
25. (3) 6 Dustin Kruse, Brandon, S.D.
26. (25) 21C Cole Cropp, Menomonie
27. (15) 12 Tucker Breitung, Prior Lake, Minn.
28. (19) 80J Lee Jonsgaard, Minnesota City, Minn.



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