BURLINGTON, Iowa — Defending Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions titlist Chad Kemenah scored his third series win of the season on Sunday night, topping a 35-car field at Iowa’s 34 Raceway.
Kemenah held off charges from Bill Balog and Kerry Madsen to take home the trophy, banking $5,000 for his efforts.
He led all but four circuits during the 30-lap main event on Sunday night, briefly surrendering the top spot to Balog before regaining command en route to his 33rd career All Stars win.
Balog held on to finish second, followed by Madsen, Brian Brown and Paul Nienhiser.
“I have to keep winning if I want to keep my son from catching me,” Kemenah said in victory lane regarding his son’s go-kart career. “He’s going to be coming for my job here pretty soon. But really — I can’t say enough about this team. Things are going really well right now and we are all having fun.”
“I have so many people to thank, my brother included. He does a phenomenal job with this car. It’s just him and I out here this weekend, so we’ll definitely be celebrating the entire way home.”
Despite an opening lap caution that halted the main event, with a multiple car incident breaking out in Turns 1 and 2 and a car getting upside-down in Turns 3 and 4, Kemenah lead the feature field to green from the pole, wasting no time opening his margin up to nearly a half-straightaway by lap three.
Utilizing the very bottom of the three-eighths-mile oval, Kemenah reached the back of the running order by lap six, which in turn allowed Ryan Smith and Kerry Madsen to keep the leader in reach.
By lap 15, traffic started to intensify for Kemenah, with most of the field that was racing directly in front of him also working the bottom edge of the speedway.
Meanwhile, Bill Balog, who restarted sixth on the feature grid after the opening lap tangle, was beginning to make moves all alone on the topside of the speedway; capturing third on lap 14, second on lap 15 and eventually taking command from Kemenah on lap 20, ending a two-lap, side-by-side battle on laps 18 and 19.
Despite Balog’s impressive march forward on the cushion, his command was short-lived, surrendering the lead back to Kemenah for good on lap 24.
The defending champion went the remaining distance undisturbed, crossing under the final checkers nearly three seconds ahead of Balog and Madsen.
“I tried not to screw up, but the bottom was just so good tonight,” Balog said. “We can’t be disappointed with this one. We’ve been running pretty well. We’ll take this and move forward.”
Kemenah will enter Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket with a 180-point cushion in the point standings.
“This is a perfect momentum boost for us heading into Ohio Sprint Speedweek,” Kemenah added. “When you head into Speedweek on a good note, you’re bound to have good things happen to you. We’re all pretty excited to get started.”
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…