by Andrew Schaller
JEFFERSON, WI (Saturday, May 05, 2012) Fort Atkinson’s Jason Erickson kicked off his 2011 Late Model Title defense in style on Saturday night by capturing the Radio Doctor 50 lap Late Model feature on season opening night at Wisconsin’s Action Track. On a night in which he also laid claim to quick time in qualifying, Erickson looked to start a quest to add a rare fifth championship to his racing resume in the 2012 campaign.
Bob Kahler and Bruce Lee paced the field of hot shoes to the green flag as Kahler took early control on lap one. Trent Erdman charged up to second behind Kahler as Lee dropped back to third.
Erdman began to apply heavy pressure to the early leader as the pair of drivers stretched their lead over the field. Caution flew on lap ten closing the pack back together for the restart with Kahler showing the way followed by Erdman in second and Chris Quam riding in third. The two leaders once again opened up a large advantage as racing resumed while Kyle Jarlsberg made his way into the top five. Jarlsberg cleared for the third position at the midway point of the event as he set his sights on the duo out front. Jarlsberg caught them on lap 30 as he began to work the low side of Erdman for second. Jarlsberg completed the pass for second on lap 32 and began to challenge Kahler for the point. Jarlsberg finally got a good run underneath the leader as he drew even with 11 laps remaining. Jarlsberg cleared for the top spot just before the caution waved on lap 41. After another brief caution on the restart, Casey Johnson slipped past Kahler and pulled Erickson along with him for third. Another caution on lap 47 set up a shootout to the finish. As the green flew once again, Johnson took a peek under Jarlsberg. The pair of competitors touched as they entered turn one sending Jarlsberg spinning. The resulting caution forced both drivers to the rear of the field for the restart, handing the point over to Erickson with Kahler back in second. Erickson cruised through the final circuits to see the checkers first and pick up his first feature of 2012. Kahler came home second followed by Quam, Jerry Eckhardt and John Ovadal Jr.
This article was posted to the website on May 6th, 2012