By Rob Ristesund
Jac Haudenschild was second-best in poker but first to the checkered as he collected the $10,000 prize at the seventh annual Gold Cup at Husets Speedway Saturday night. The event, sponsored by Royal River Casino, features a unique feature line-up format as the top eight qualifiers play a game of poker with the winner getting his choice of starting position for the main event. Terry McCarl was dealt the best hand and promptly chose the inside pole while Haudenschild held the second best hand and lined up next to McCarl for the thirty lap event. At the wave of Doug Clarks green flag it was McCarl in the Forbrook #5 shooting into the lead with Haudenschild close behind. It took just four laps for the pair to come upon lapped traffic from the twenty-three car field, and two laps later when McCarl was forced to slow momentarily for a slower car it was Haudenschild taking the point. The first of three red flags during the event stopped the action on lap eight when second row starter Jeff Mitrisin made contact with a lapped car and flipped on the backstretch, giving strong running Craig Dollansky a break as he lined up in third directly behind Haudenschild and McCarl. The wave of the green flag on the restart was quickly followed by the red as Don Droud got upside down coming out of the fourth turn for the start. Droud, as were all others involved in mishaps during the evening, walked away uninjured. The race resumed once again and it was Haudenschild opening a slight advantage while McCarl and Dollansky battled for second. The halfway mark of the race saw Dollansky overtake McCarl for second, but McCarl battled back and regained the spot half a lap later. On lap eighteen it was Dollansky taking the runner-up spot once again, and two laps later the final red flag flew when McCarl clipped the wall coming out of the fourth turn and flipped down the front chute, ending his run for the evening. As the rest of the race went non-stop, it was Haudenschild quickly opening a half-a-straightaway lead over Dollansky soon after the restart. As the pair entered lapped traffic one more time, it was Dollansky closing in on the leader and making it look as if he might have a shot at the lead before the finish. But a flat right front tire with three laps to go put an end to those thoughts as Dollansky was forced to hold on to his second place finish and the $5000 that went with it. Marlon Jones had another good run at the track as he held off Peter Murphy for third and $4000, while Murphy collected $3000 for his efforts. Besides the mishaps in the feature the red flag flew twice in the highly competitive heat races as the drivers fought for the top two positions which qualified them for the card game. Randy Anderson had a right front spindle break on his car in the first heat, sending him hard into the turn two wall and severely damaging his car. Kasey Kahne got the most air time out of all the incidents as he clipped Don Drouds spun machine in the fourth heat, sending him flipping high in the air and eventually landing squarely on the top wing of Clint Garner. Neither Anderson nor Kahne were able to return for the feature.
The Pam Oil/Valvoline/AC Delco/Lewis/Pepsi 360 sprints were also on hand and it was Kim Muntefering taking his second feature win of the year. Muntefering led wire-to-wire to top the sixteen car field, while rookie Joe Peterson turned in an impressive run finishing a strong second. Brett Stegenga, Chad Meyer and Mike Ellingson rounded out the top five. The race was halted once on lap nine when John Miller flipped the Kasten #10 after tangling with Lee Goos.
Heat #1: 1) 25 Chad Radel; 2) 40 Peter Murphy; 3) 57 Jake Peters; 4) 00 Jason Statler; 5) 12L John Lambertz; 6) 3TW Dave Ekern; 7) 71A Randy Anderson (DNF)
Heat #2: 1) 6 Marlon Jones; 2) 16 Gary DeWall; 3) 4 Kenny Hansen; 4) 16L Leonard Lee; 5) 55X Skip Jackson; 6) 14R Randy Rosenboom; 7) 16X Bill Robertson (DNF)
Heat #3: 1) 5J Jeff Mitrisin; 2) 22 Jac Haudenschild; 3) 16W Jason Wendt; 4) 4W Matt Wasmund; 5) 10L Shane Leibig; 6) 25T Butch Barr; 7) 11X Gregg Bakker (DNF)
Heat #4: 1) 5 Terry McCarl; 2) 7 Craig Dollansky; 3) 9M Micah Schliemann; 4) 3 Dennis Moore, Jr. (DNF); 5) 40X Clint Garner (DNF); 6) 12 Don Droud, Jr. (DNF); 7) 23K Kasey Kahne (DNF)
B Feature: 1) 3 Dennis Moore, Jr.; 2) 12 Don Droud, Jr; 3) 40X Clint Garner; 4) 16X Bill Robertson
A Feature: 1) 22 Jac Haudenschild; 2) 7 Craig Dollansky; 3) 6 Marlon Jones; 4) 40 Peter Murphy; 5) 16 Gary DeWall; 6) 16L Leonard Lee; 7) 25 Chad Radel; 8) 00 Jason Statler; 9) 57 Jake Peters; 10) 10L Shane Leibig; 11) 55X Skip Jackson; 12) 4 Kenny Hansen;13) 9M Micah Schliemann; 14) 16W Jason Wendt; 15) 3 Dennis Moore, Jr.; 16) 3TW Dave Ekern; 17) 25T Butch Barr; 18) 14R Randy Rosenboom (DNF); 19) 5 Terry McCarl (DNF); 20) 12 Don Droud, Jr (DNF); 21) 4W Matt Wasmund (DNF); 22) 5J Jeff Mitrisin (DNF); 23) 12L John Lambertz (DNF)
Heat #1: 1) 2 Mike Ellingson; 2) 23 Steve Haman; 3) 20 Joe Peterson; 4) 10 John Miller; 5) 8 Brent Vonk (DNF); 6) 51 Doug Martens (DNF)
Heat #2: 1) 47 Brett Stegenga; 2) 1W Chad Meyer; 3) 31M Kim Muntefering; 4) 1 Scott Fokken; 5) 83 Justin Henderson; 6) 21K Tim Krueger
Heat #3: 1) 18 Gary Johnson; 2) 101 Chuck McGillivray; 3) 47N Brad Nelson; 4) 25 Brian Baker; 5) 17 Lee Goos, Jr.
A Feature: 1) 31M Kim Muntefering; 2) 20 Joe Peterson; 3) 47 Brett Stegenga; 4) 1W Chad Meyer; 5) 2 Mike Ellingson; 6) 83 Justin Henderson; 7) 18 Gary Johnson; 8) 1 Scott Fokken; 9) 101 Chuck McGillivray; 10) 47N Brad Nelson; 11) 23 Steve Haman; 12) 25 Brian Baker; 13) 8 Brent Vonk; 14) 10 John Miller; 15) 17 Lee Goos, Jr.; 16) 21K Tim Krueger