Wissota Late Model Challenge Series

Madness In Monte; TPO Tops Searing After Wild Last Lap Winning Pass


Wissota Late Model Challenge Series

Madness In Monte; TPO Tops Searing After Wild Last Lap Winning Pass

For Immediate Release – June 7th, 2024

The 2024 season for the Structural Buildings WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series powered by Momentum Truck Group, Freightliner, Western Star rolled into the second of a four-night Western Minnesota-Eastern South Dakota swing on Friday, June 7th with the series’ first of back-to-back nightly stops at the Fiesta City Speedway in Montevideo, Minnesota.

Point leader Cole Searing started the night by setting fast time with a lap of 15.222 seconds around the newly configured oval, while Jeffrey Massingill, Matt Gilbertson, Cory Crapser and Searing topped the four qualifying heat races early in the night’s program while Rick Niemi raced to the checkers in the night’s b-main to set the 25-car starting field.

After several pop-up rain showers hampered the program prior to the Late Model feature, Searing and Gilbertson earned the front row for the night’s 40-lap, $3,000-to-win feature event with Gilbertson getting the upper hand on the initial start and leading the field into turn number one to take command as the field completed the opening circuit on the lightning-fast black dirt oval.

With Gilbertson out front, Searing and Peterson duked out for second early in the race, which started with a long green flag run for the first 19 circuits. The race for fourth just behind the leaders was intense as well with Crapser and Jeff Massingill dueling for a top five run during the first half of the affair. Gilbertson continued to lead the first dozen laps at his hometown track until Searing was able to shoot by on lap 13 to take command. Once Searing took the lead Peterson rolled up on Gilbertson as well and the two battled for runner up honors early until the field was slowed by the first caution on lap 19.

The caution on lap 19 for Todd Frank slowed the action and bunched up the field for the restart, which again saw Searing take off out front, but allowed Gilbertson to roar back by Peterson into second only to have a quick caution fly for Todd Bennett, stacking up the field again and negating the Gilbertson pass.

On the ensuring restart, Searing again took the lead but Peterson was able to hold off Gilbertson for the runner up spot as the field flew down the back stretch to complete lap 20. From there, the race went the rest of the distance non-stop with Searing and Peterson trading blows, including some contact on the restart and more as a car slowed directly in front of them trying to exit onto the infield, while they ran out front, rapidly working through lapped traffic in the closing stages of the event.

The first 39 laps were intense, but that nothing would compare to the final lap when Searing’s left rear tire lost air pressure and he lost speed heading into the final set of turns. Peterson was able rip the top of the speedway and blast by as they raced out of turn four to the checkered flag to steal the win in thrilling fashion. Searing was able to limp his #10 across the line in second with Gilbertson and Crapser quickly closing and finishing third and fourth respectively, just ahead of Massingill, who rounded out the top five.

Mike Jans won the WISSOTA Street Stock feature, Darren Engesser won the WISSOTA Midwest Modified main event, Brady Albertson won the WISSOTA Hornet feature and Coltyn Schuler won the Pure Stock feature event to wrap up the night.

Full results: 6/7/2024 - Fiesta City Speedway on MyRacePass

The next 2024 Challenge Series event is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th right back at the Fiesta City Speedway in Montevideo, MN with a 6:30pm start time.

For upcoming schedule information and tickets, visit www.WISSOTAChallengeSeries.com.

AOK Photos

Submitted By: Nikki Cook

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