Chris Lewis Wins Renegade Main at Cedar Lake

Chris Lewis Track Rat Photos

From Hoosiers Up
New Richmond, WI, September 9, 2023- With apologies to Thomas Paine…these are the times that try racers’ souls. On a night that Mother Nature proved to be persistently bothersome; grit, guile, luck, daring, and skill would all be needed to conquer the evening. Cedar Lake track officials, with a healthy dose of assistance from the Pirtek Renegade teams, were twice able to reclaim the water-logged track from the elements. Coupled with Job-like patience from the fans, the night into another memorable bit of lore that is the Jerry Richert Memorial. Twenty-six Renegade teams persevered through not one but two rain delays, with the first of three heat races finally seeing a green flag well past the nine o’clock hour.

Zach Widdes scored the win in Pirtek heat #1 that also saw the first of several rollovers on lightning fast, moisture-laden track – which claimed Cam Schafer as its initial Hoosiers up victim. RTS Podcast heat #2 saw Jake Kouba snare checkers, while Brad Cunningham wrapped up Hoosier Tire heat #3.

Lucas Logue and Nick DaRonco set the pace for the 20-lap finale’, with DaRonco establishing his #8 ride at the point early and the 10z of Zach Widdes hot on his fuel cell. The lead duo were in a 2-car breakaway well ahead of “The Joker”, Chris Lewis, the Grand Rapids, MN, chauffeur and 9-time Northern Renegades winner. Another gap behind Lewis saw a beehive of action involving Logue, Jon “Ted Hitchcock” Lewerer, Jake Kouba, and Cam Schafer, who had quickly charged up from his eighth row starting spot.

With the action starting to heat up in the battle for the lead, Widdes suddenly rolled to a stop in turn two, bringing out the caution. Back under green, DaRonco was showing the strength that has led him to eight wins already this season and began to pull away again. But the moisture in the track resulted in a heavy berm forming in turn three, and DaRonco caught the ledge at precisely the wrong angle, and joined the list of the evening’s overturned racers.

After inheriting the lead, Lewis was steady and fast, with an iron-grip on the top spot through a series of cautions – but Schafer was able to pick up positions on the multiple restarts. For the final green-white-checkered finish, the #54 was in second, and ready to pounce. Under green, the slide job that Schafer had successfully used on prior restarts wasn’t enough to grab the top spot as The Joker throttled-stomped away the challenge. On the white flag lap, Schafer, who, remember, started the night upside-down, managed to muscle his way into the lead in turn two.

Lewis, however, wasn’t willing to just relinquish what he’d held for nearly half the race and came right back underneath the multiple time series champion going down the back stretch. Working a lower groove, Lewis accomplished what very few have, he passed the winningest driver in Renegade series history in the final turn to claim his first career Pirtek Renegade double checkers. Lewerer was an impressive third in his first action of the season, with Brad Cunningham and Jake Kouba rounding out the top five.

The last official event for the Pirtek Renegades is the annual Legendary 100 this Thursday through Saturday at Cedar Lake. The season wraps up two weeks later at CLS with the annual Arrive-and-Drive on Saturday afternoon, September 30, followed by an exhibition race that evening. More information on upcoming events for the Pirtek Renegades, as well as links to other Renegades series, can be found at, or on facebook.

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 5J-Chris Lewis[7]; 2. 54-Cam Schafer[17]; 3. 7B-Jon Lewerer[6]; 4. 2C-Brad Cunningham[3]; 5. 6-Jake Kouba[8]; 6. 99-Bryan Roach[11]; 7. 46H-Ken Hron[18]; 8. 93-Brad Peterson[5]; 9. 12-Johnny Parsons III[9]; 10. 25A-Ashley Williams[14]; 11. 57-Ryan Buck[13]; 12. 36-Tyler Wass[15]; 13. 955-Lucas Grosinger[22]; 14. 20L-Lucas Logue[1]; 15. 6X-Mark Martin[21]; 16. (DNF) 95-John Vaillancourt[20]; 17. (DNF) 38S-Allen Stettner[12]; 18. (DNF) 8-Nick DaRonco[2]; 19. (DNF) 10Z-Zach Widdes[4]; 20. (DNF) 17-Erik Bjorklund[16]; 21. (DNF) 7X-Dan Atchison[10]; 22. (DNF) 37-Marc Meyerhoff[19]; 23. (DNF) THE1-Tony Gernert[24]; 24. (DNS) 97B-Buenvanida Gilbertson[23]; 25. (DNS) 135-Joshua Hulberg[25]; 26. (DNS) P1-Mark Chevalier[26]

Pirtek Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 10Z-Zach Widdes[2]; 2. 5J-Chris Lewis[7]; 3. 38S-Allen Stettner[1]; 4. 12-Johnny Parsons III[5]; 5. 57-Ryan Buck[6]; 6. 37-Marc Meyerhoff[8]; 7. 955-Lucas Grosinger[9]; 8. 54-Cam Schafer[3]; 9. P1-Mark Chevalier[4]

RTS Podcast Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 6-Jake Kouba[1]; 2. 20L-Lucas Logue[2]; 3. 8-Nick DaRonco[7]; 4. 7X-Dan Atchison[5]; 5. 25A-Ashley Williams[6]; 6. 95-John Vaillancourt[8]; 7. 17-Erik Bjorklund[4]; 8. (DNF) 46H-Ken Hron[3]; 9. (DNF) 97B-Buenvanida Gilbertson[9]

Hoosier Tire Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 2C-Brad Cunningham[1]; 2. 93-Brad Peterson[2]; 3. 7B-Jon Lewerer[3]; 4. 99-Bryan Roach[5]; 5. 36-Tyler Wass[4]; 6. 6X-Mark Martin[8]; 7. (DNF) THE1-Tony Gernert[7]; 8. (DNF) 135-Joshua Hulberg[6]