Freedom’s Kyle Calmes sweated out several caution periods and some
stiff challenges from Appleton’s Jeff Van Oudenhoven to win the opening
round of the 47th running of the Red, White and Blue state championship
series. The night’s events were presented by L & S Electric. Escanaba’s
Robby Iverson jumped into the lead at the drop of the green of the 50
lap super late model feature. Iverson surrendered the lead to Green
Bay’s Chad Butz on lap three. An amber flew one circuit later when
Iverson tangled with another racer in turn four. When racing resumed
Kyle Calmes and Dennis Prunty pressured Butz, with Prunty taking over
the 2nd spot by lap seven. Prunty went to pass Butz for the lead but
bobbled on the frontstretch on lap 11 and pulled a miraculous save but
dropped two spots in the process. By lap 14 Van Oudenhoven joined Butz
and Calmes and a three car tussle emerged for the lead. The trio’s hot
battle was quickly cooled off on lap 16 when a four car melee coming out
of turn two ensued. The track was blocked and as the red flag was flown.
Drivers involved included Kris Kelly, Tim Springstroh, Cory Kemkes and
Pete Vandermolen were caught up in the wreck. Back under green Calmes
inherited the lead with Van Oudenhoven slipping past Butz for 2nd. By
lap 20 another amber flew after Steve Apel made contact with Mickie
Schallie, sending Schallie’s racer into a spin. When racing resumed
Calmes maintained the lead as Van Oudenhoven maintained second with
Prunty a close third. As the laps clicked off the top three broke away
from the field as the trio ran nose-to-tail for the next several laps.
Calmes began pulling away from his two foes with twenty laps remaining.
With 13 lap remaining Schallie blasted into Brad Anthony driving into
turn one, drawing another amber. With 13 laps remaining Calmes kept his
lead, keeping Van Oudenhoven at bay to collect the win. “This is a tough
crowd out here – one of the toughest super late model fields in the
state,” said Calmes in victory lane. “My first Red, White and Blue win.
It feels great. I tell ya what Chad Butz sure did a good job and I
really had to wrestle the lead away from him. He’s gonna be real good
down the road.” Van Oudenhoven, a former Red, White and Blue champion,
settled for second followed by another Red, White and Blue champ Maxwell
Schultz, Prunty and the defending R, W & B champion Bobby Kendall. The
attrition rate was rough as only 14 of the original 24 cars that started
were running at the finish.
Green Bay’s Eddie Muenster snatched the lead from Nathan Van Wychen on
lap four and sweated out two caution periods to win the late model
feature. Muenster became the first repeat winner in the division as the
veteran second-generation driver captured the opening night win