Doerr Grabs First Career AFS Badger Midget Win at Wilmot

Derek Doerr JW's Car & Racing Photos

From Loren Kelly
Wilmot, WI 8/27/22–The Wilmot Raceway surface was technical and racey, and it appeared Zach Boden would take another win in his quest for his first AFS Badger Midget Championship at the “Salute to Harry Turner” event on the flat and fast 1/3 mile track.

Lapped traffic and Derek Doerr had other plans on Saturday night.

Cody Weisensel and Mike Stroik led the 23-car field to the green flag, with Weisensel and third place starting Kyle Stark swapping the lead twice on the first circuit. Fifth starting Boden moved into third and within two laps had run the bottom line to perfection and swept past both Stark and Weisensel to take the lead.

Meanwhile, the battle for fourth was incredibly intense. Todd Kluever and Doerr both worked around Weisensel and began to hound Stroik for 3rd with five laps in the books. Just one lap later, the race was halted for the first time for a spun #56 of Charles Rufi in turn two. Boden led the field back to the green flag with Stark, Stroik, Doerr and Kluever in tow. While the Red Arrow Electric #51 of Boden pulled away with the lead, Doerr began a spirited assault of Stroik for third as the race neared halfway. The Waupaca, WI resident stayed patient and eventually pulled even with Stroik down the back stretch and then overtook the #9S into turn three.

With the race reaching the halfway mark, Boden began to encounter lapped traffic and Stark closed the gap ever so slightly. However, the battle for the top spot was brought to a temporary halt by a stopped Weisensel on the front stretch. Once again Boden took the green flag and began to extend his advantage over Stark and Doerr. One lap later, Stark missed the bottom of turn one ever so slightly and Doerr needed no extra invitation and took the second spot away with 10 circuits remaining.

Once again, Boden encountered lapped traffic with 7 laps to go, and it would end up being his undoing. A slower car got sideways in front of the #51 and cut down across the Wilmot Raceway track surface and into the front end of Boden, sending his machine up onto the inside berm. Absolute heartbreak for the Cambridge, WI driver. Doerr assumed the lead and took the green flag with Stark, Kluever and a hard charging Aaron Muhle behind him. With just 4 laps to go, Kluever worked his way around Stark for second, and Jake Neuman was making his presence known after starting deep in the field. The Howard Law #57A ripped the cushion around Stroik and into the Top 5.

Over the final 3 circuits, no one could challenge the #20D up front and Doerr crossed the line to take his first career AFS Badger Midget Series feature win. Kluever finished in the second spot, with Neuman, Muhle and Jeff Zelinski rounding out the top 5 as Stark encountered problems with his #2 machine on the final circuit and dropped to sixth.

“Today’s been one of the hardest days of my life.” An emotional Doerr said in victory lane. “I had to put one of my dogs down today. I’m just happy to be here with my dad and my girlfriend. I spent a lot of years racing different types of cars, but it feels amazing to be in victory lane with the midget. I just needed to be patient all race and we got it done.”

Saturday’s Schoenfeld QuickTime Award went to Todd Kluever, Auto Meter Heat 1 was won by Cody Weisensel and Todd Kluever took the checkered flag in Simpson Race Products Heat 2. The Madison Extinguisher Service Non-Qualifier was won by Charles Rufi. Jake Neuman earned the Advanced Racing Suspensions Hard Charger Award in the A Main with a 15th to 3rd charge. Jake Dohner went home with the Howard Law Cash Draw, and the Oliver Motors Last Place Bonus went to Jeremy Douglas. The Cartopia “Hard Luck” Award went to Shay Sassano.

Stark extended his lead at the top of the standings thanks to Boden’s misfortune, but Boden limited the damage with a charge from the tail of the field to 15th at the finish, and the gap between the top two sits at just 58 points with just three races remaining in 2022. Todd Kluever, RJ Corson and Aaron Muhle round out the top 5 point scorers.

The Advanced Fastening Supply Badger Midgets return this Saturday and Sunday with two massive events. Saturday night the series heads to Sycamore Speedway for the final time in 2022, and Sunday the AFS Badger midget series returns to Angell Park Speedway for the Firemen’s Nationals where the stars and cars of the Badger Midgets will make their final appearance of 2022 at the famed oval. Tickets for both nights will be available at the track, as well as on the Ticket Hoss app for Sunday’s races in Sun Prairie.

Wilmot Raceway “Salute to Harry Turner” Results 8/27/22

A Feature 25 Laps | 00:14:15.195 | Advance Fastening Supply

1. 20D-Derek Doerr[4]; 2. 55-Todd Kluever[6]; 3. 57A-Jake Neuman[15]; 4. 24M-Aaron Muhle[9]; 5. 15Z-Jeff Zelinski[12]; 6. 2-Kyle Stark[3]; 7. 9S-Mike Stroik[2]; 8. 5K-Kevin Douglas[8]; 9. 87-Jake Dohner[14]; 10. 15C-RJ Corson[7]; 11. 40JR-Dave Collins Jr[20]; 12. 21K-Kurt Mayhew[11]; 13. 38-Cody Weisensel[1]; 14. 51-Zach Boden[5]; 15. 29-Harrison Kleven[21]; 16. 59-Kyle Koch[18]; 17. 10-Denny Smith[19]; 18. 56-Charles Rufi[17]; 19. 74-Max Brannam[23]; 20. 23-Patrick Ryan[13]; 21. 28-Jim Fuerst[10]; 22. 9K-Bryon Walters[16]; 23. 6-Jeremy Douglas[22]

Non-Qualifier 8 Laps | 00:02:10.577 | Madison Extinguisher Service

1. 56-Charles Rufi[3]; 2. 59-Kyle Koch[5]; 3. 10-Denny Smith[2]; 4. 40JR-Dave Collins Jr[7]; 5. 29-Harrison Kleven[6]; 6. 6-Jeremy Douglas[4]; 7. (DNF) 74-Max Brannam[1]; 8. (DNS) 31-Shay Sassano

Simpson Race Products Heat 2 8 Laps | 00:02:05.204 | Simpson Race Products

1. 55-Todd Kluever[8]; 2. 20D-Derek Doerr[6]; 3. 24M-Aaron Muhle[1]; 4. 15C-RJ Corson[2]; 5. 9S-Mike Stroik[5]; 6. 21K-Kurt Mayhew[3]; 7. 23-Patrick Ryan[4]; 8. (DQ) 57A-Jake Neuman[7]

Auto Meter Heat 1 8 Laps | 00:02:09.271 | Auto Meter

1. 38-Cody Weisensel[4]; 2. 5K-Kevin Douglas[2]; 3. 51-Zach Boden[7]; 4. 28-Jim Fuerst[1]; 5. 2-Kyle Stark[6]; 6. 15Z-Jeff Zelinski[8]; 7. 87-Jake Dohner[5]; 8. 9K-Bryon Walters[3]

Schoenfeld Headers Qualifying 3 Laps | Schoenfeld Headers

1. 55-Todd Kluever, 00:15.016[12]; 2. 15Z-Jeff Zelinski, 00:15.017[23]; 3. 57A-Jake Neuman, 00:15.066[24]; 4. 51-Zach Boden, 00:15.070[18]; 5. 20D-Derek Doerr, 00:15.155[9]; 6. 2-Kyle Stark, 00:15.158[8]; 7. 9S-Mike Stroik, 00:15.263[6]; 8. 87-Jake Dohner, 00:15.342[15]; 9. 23-Patrick Ryan, 00:15.435[20]; 10. 38-Cody Weisensel, 00:15.542[19]; 11. 21K-Kurt Mayhew, 00:15.550[21]; 12. 9K-Bryon Walters, 00:15.608[7]; 13. 15C-RJ Corson, 00:15.615[1]; 14. 5K-Kevin Douglas, 00:15.626[5]; 15. 24M-Aaron Muhle, 00:15.680[22]; 16. 28-Jim Fuerst, 00:15.704[2]; 17. 40JR-Dave Collins Jr, 00:15.737[4]; 18. 29-Harrison Kleven, 00:15.908[3]; 19. 59-Kyle Koch, 00:15.940[10]; 20. 6-Jeremy Douglas, 00:15.983[17]; 21. 56-Charles Rufi, 00:16.139[13]; 22. 10-Denny Smith, 00:16.466[14]; 23. 74-Max Brannam, 00:16.993[11]; 24. 31-Shay Sassano[16]