By Quinn McCabe
May 3, 2021-Dubuque, IA –The Badger Midget Auto Racing Association opened its 85th season of auto racing on Sunday, May 2 at the Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway in Dubuque, Iowa. Andy Baugh took the checkered flag to score his first ever BMARA feature win after five years of trying.
The first ever trip to the Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway for the Badger Midgets started off with Zach Boden setting fast time. Boden established a track record of 15.975 seconds to give the fans the fastest lap time of all classes racing at the track. Following Boden in qualifying were Chase McDemand, Jake Neuman, Lamont Critchett and Baugh rounding out the top five.
Jeremy Douglas started off with the night of racing with a win in the Last Chance Qualifier race after a spirited battle early with Denny Smith and Danny Kleven.Harrison Kleven led the initial lap of the first heat race of the evening but could not hold off a hard charging Chase McDermand who came from last to win setting an eight lap track record of 2 minutes 21.294 seconds.
Baugh took home the second heat race of the night and held a healthy lead over second place at the checkered flag. Fans were not disappointed though with an intense battle between Neu-man, David Budres and quick qualifier Boden all the way to the checkered flag for the runner up position.
The 85th BMARA A-main started off with the traditional four wide salute to the fans bringing everyone to their feet and cheers across the grandstands. Cody Weisensel was your polesitter of the event and brought the field to the green. However, it didn’t last as Weisensel would spin between turns one and two bringing out the first caution on the opening lap. On the restart, Kevin Olson inherited the pole position and brought the field down. Olson would lead the opening lap of the 85th BMARA season adding yet another mark to his historic career.
Baugh, starting fourth, passed for second on the opening lap. He ultimately passed Olson for the lead on lap two charging down the backstretch into turn three. From there, Baugh would have to hold on after receiving challenges from McDermand and Neuman. McDermand stalked Baugh between laps four and 11 nearing his rear bumper until the second caution caused by a spin from Jake Dohner in turn four. On the restart McDermand made a bid for the lead on the out-side entering turn one to no avail losing the position to a hard charging Neuman.McDermand retired with mechanical issues on lap 16.
Neuman could come within a car length of Baugh, but wasn’t able to close in close enough to challenge. The final caution appeared on lap 20 for debris on the race track.On the restart Neuman tried for the lead but was unable to make a pass as his right rear tire began to show signs of losing air.Baugh would lead the final five laps taking the victory by 1.322 seconds in his Mike Raymond owned Phantom Chassis #6B Honda over Neuman and a hard charging Boden, Olson and Budres rounding out the top five.
“You guys have it going on,” stated an elated Baugh in Victory Lane, “I’ve been trying to win a Badger race for five years and I finally got one.”Kyle Starks took the Hard Charger Award advancing eight positions to finish 12th.
Mike Stroik received the Howard Law Cash Draw award. The next Badger Midget race will be Friday, May 21 at the Davenport Speedway in Davenport, Iowa.
A Feature 25 Laps1. 6B-Andy Baugh; 2. 57-Jake Neuman; 3. 51-Zach Boden; 4. 9K-Kevin Olson; 5. 31B-David Budres; 6. 21K-Kurt Mayhew; 7. 20-Cody Weisensel; 8. 9S-Mike Stroik; 9. 6-Jeremy Douglas; 10. 87-Jake Dohner; 11. 29-Harrison Kleven; 12. 2-Kyle Stark; 13. 10-Denny Smith; 14. 8-Jake Goeglein; 15. 92-Dan Kleven; 16. 31-Shay Sassano; 17. 71-Kyle Koch; 18. 14-Lamont Critchett; 19. 40-Chase McDermand; 20. (DNS) 5K-Kevin DouglasLast
Chance Qualifier 8 Laps–Madison Extinguisher Service1. 6-Jeremy Douglas; 2. 92-Dan Kleven; 3. 10-Denny Smith; 4. 8-Jake Goeglein; 5. 31-Shay Sassano; 6. (DNS) 77-Ken Hanson
Heat 1 8 Laps–Auto Meter1. 40-Chase McDermand; 2. 9K-Kevin Olson; 3. 20-Cody Weisensel; 4. 14-Lamont Critchett; 5. 29-Harrison Kleven; 6. 71-Kyle Koch; 7. 5K-Kevin Douglas; 8. (DNS) 38-Matthew Rechek
Heat 2 8 Laps–Simpson1. 6B-Andy Baugh; 2. 57-Jake Neuman; 3. 31B-David Budres; 4. 51-Zach Boden; 5. 21K-Kurt Mayhew; 6. 9S-Mike Stroik; 7. 87-Jake Dohner; 8. 2-Kyle Stark
Qualifying–Schoenfeld1. 51-Zach Boden, 00:15.975; 2. 40-Chase McDermand, 00:15.993; 3. 57-Jake Neu-man, 00:16.021; 4. 14-Lamont Critchett, 00:16.413; 5. 6B-Andy Baugh, 00:16.451; 6. 9K-Kevin Olson, 00:16.627; 7. 21K-Kurt Mayhew, 00:16.788; 8. 20-Cody Weisensel, 00:16.891; 9. 31B-David Budres, 00:16.914; 10. 71-Kyle Koch, 00:16.947; 11. 9S-Mike Stroik, 00:16.990; 12. 38-Matthew Rechek, 00:17.118; 13. 2-Kyle Stark, 00:17.124; 14. 5K-Kevin Douglas, 00:17.266; 15. 87-Jake Dohner, 00:17.402; 16. 29-Harrison Kleven, 00:17.423; 17. 6-Jeremy Douglas, 00:17.562; 18. 31-Shay Sassano, 00:17.716; 19. 92-Dan Kleven, 00:17.998; 20. 8-Jake Goeglein, 00:18.154; 21. 10-Denny Smith, 00:18.154; 22. (DNS) 77-Ken Hanson, 00:18.154Hard Charger Award –Kyle StarksHoward Law Cash Draw Winner –Mike Stroi