WILMOT, Wis. — Clayton Rossmann added to his Wilmot Raceway early racing legacy by capturing his second 20-lap AutoMeter/Brewington Electric Wisconsin WingLESS Sprints feature of his career on Saturday night.
Rossmann, who won his first ever feature at age 15 last summer, took the lead following a caution on a restart with 11 laps remaining. Ryan Marshall, who held top spot through three early cautions, suddenly lost power with 12 laps remaining while in the lead, bringing out a yellow and retiring to the pits.
On the restart, new leader Ryan Zielski also lost power, retiring to the pits and bringing out another yellow.
Rossmann took over the point on the restart with one final yellow coming with four laps remaining.
The now 16-year-old, second generation driver became the second youngest sprint car feature winner in Wilmot’s history. Nathan Crane was second. Chris Klemko came from 10th starting spot to finish third.
Greg Olsen was fourth and Tim Cox came from 11th to finish fifth.
“I really wish that I could have battled Ryan (Marshall) and Ryan (Zielski), who both had mechanical woes,” Rossmann said, joined by his family in victory lane. Rossmann’s win in 2021 made him the youngest sprint car feature winner ever. “The first one was when I was 15 and now I’m only 16 and have a second one. It feels great.”
The Pfeiffier Trailer Sales IRA Lightning Sprints seemed to be cursed with a similar story, where race leaders often found themselves heading to the pits.
C.J. Malueg was in a tight three- and even four-way battle for the top spot in the race’s early going. He inherited the lead with two laps left following a red flag. The stoppage came when John Kirk had his car roll onto its side going into turn one after losing a left-rear wheel on a restart.
Derek Fortier had the early lead, but lost it to Mike Neau with 15 laps remaining after a red flag restart when Andrew Kiedrowski flipped in turn one. Kiedrowski was not injured.
Fortier retook the front when Neau brought out a caution as he lost power while leading and retired to the pits.
The mechanical gremlins continued for the front runners when Fortier was not able to refire after the red flag for Kirk’s incident. That put Malueg in front on the restart and he was able to maintain the lead to the checkered.
He revealed in victory lane that he had engine problems in the closing laps.
Adam Schroeder was second, Tim Brannam took third, and Jeff Schmidt finished fourth. Max Brannam rounded out the top five.
“I didn’t know if we’d make it to the finish when I got the lead, because the motor was running hot and we were almost out of water, so I was afraid the engine might blow,” Malueg said. “I’m glad it stayed together, but I felt bad for the guys in front of me who kept having problems. I’d much rather have raced them for it.”
Mike Simons won his fourth modified feature of the season in a curfew shortened 11-lap main event.
Simons took the lead from early pacesetter Jason Wirth three laps into the feature after three cautions slowed the pace. A red flag came out with 11 laps to go when David Powers flipped in turn three and the mangled car landed upside down.
There was an extensive cleanup after safely removing Powers from the vehicle, which set the time back for the final restart. Powers walked to the ambulance for a checkup.
Unfortunately, one the race resumed, five cars tangled behind Simons and brought out a final caution.
With the curfew reached, the cars were lined up in their restart order with Simons taking the yellow/checkered first for the win. His younger brother Nick Simons started ninth and finished second.
Mike Wittenburg made his way from tenth to third. John Dost and Tom Neubauer took fourth and fifth.
“This isn’t the way I’d like to get the win,” said Simons, three-time Wilmot champion and current point leader. “I have to thank my sponsors and everybody who helps out. We’ll be back next week.”