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USTS 2018 Constantine, MI Post Race Summary By Ray Rodda


Illustration for article titled USTS 2018 Constantine, MI Post Race Summary By Ray Rodda
Photo: Heather Fox on Instagram: “That moment when you hear on the loud speaker you just won first place in your first ever 125 runabout race
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USTS CONSTANTINE RESULTS FOR 3RD ROUND OF RACING

The Third Round of the USTS season and beginning of Speedweeks kicked off under dripping skies at Constantine, Mi, but we were able to get it all in.
A wonderful couple of moments took place this weekend as we remembered Ed Thirlby and Steve Litzell who both passed this past year. Connie and her family went out with the help of Ike Yoder to the first turn and scattered rose petals in the first turn as Constantine was Steve’s favorite race course while Amazing Grace was playing on the PA. Just as they got to the first turn, the sun peaked through the clouds and bathed the first turn in bright sunlight, very touching indeed.
A wonderful tribute to Ed was then performed by 16 drivers who brought their boats to the concrete pad in front of the Legion and a 16 engine salute to Ed, led by Julia Thirlby with Andrew the lead motor started as the other 15 drivers chimed in. Well Done!!!!!! Later that evening a great event as the Thirlby family provided dinner, steaks by the way, with all the trimmings for the whole pit area with a great video tribute to them as well. We will miss them both forever.

Racing was fast and furious all weekend as almost every class traded heat wins and fights for every position. We had two drivers, Kurt Nydahl and Jake Quesse each hit the water in the first turn, neither one injured and as I like to say when asked how did the races go, Great, everyone went home, or should I say, ON TO DEPUE, YEA

Saturday Results:
In 500 Hydro steady Eddie Jake Hoffert will be unrecognizable to even his friends as his first win was the catalyst for his friends being able to shave his full and long beard, and did they have fun doing so. Dan Kirts and Nick Shakeshaft rounded out the podium for this class.
500ccH Final Results:
1 JAKE HOFFERT
2 DAN KIRTS
3 Nick Shakeshaft

One of the most competitive classes in the Title Series was without one of its star drivers as Tim Small suffering from back problems was unable to compete, but this class did not have trouble with finding star power, as Paulie Bosnich jumped out in front in the first heat and was never going to be caught as he won going away.
Mike Krier was not going to be denied a chance at the win and came out and won a heat, but was unable to finish one of the heats, while JJ Walls, the 2017 National Champ, finished in the 3rd spot overall.

250ccR Final Results:
1 PAUL BOSNICH III
2 MIKE KRIER
3 JAY WALLS, JR
The next class up was all about speed and finishes, as a 1,2,3 finish overall won the class for Kurtis Nydahl. Zach Larose showing improvement at each race in starts and situational awareness won a heat as did Kurtis’ sister Amy Nydahl. Nothing like turning and burning in this class as it remains ultra-competitive.

350ccH Final Results:
1 KURTIS NYDAHL
2 AMY NYDAHL
3 ZACH LAROSE



In 125H it was a war of attrition and gun-jumping as no one really grabbed ahold of the bit and ran off, Brad Dygert’s weekend was probably one he’d like to not repeat this weekend at Depue. Brad back in the boat after missing Springfield because he got between two dogs fighting and ended up with 16 stitches in his hand was ready to do battle, engine wise, not so much. That opened the doors to Brandon Mills to take home the win and Mac Hellsten continuing to show more and more maturity on the race course drove to the podium finish along with Eric Wilson, first podium for him I do believe, congrats Eric.
125ccH Final Results:
1 BRANDON MILLS
2 MACKENZIE HELLSTEN
3 ERIC WILSON


Can you say it’s as easy as winning 1,2,3, well Daniel Hooten can say that as the red number 4 was untouchable in the 500R as he won all three heats of a great competitive class with a good field of boats. Pete Voss was not going be denied his proper place on the podium as he drove to a couple of 2nd places to ensure his position on the podium and Kevin Ellison, the first time in a 500r did a great job driving one of the Thrilby Auto parts entry to a 3rd overall.
500ccR Final Results:
1 DANIEL HOOTEN
2 PETE VOSS
3 KEVIN ELLISON
K-Pro finished up their 3rd and 4th heats, in the same manner as the first two. Brady Brinkman finished out front in all 4 heats, with Ethan Fox 2nd and Cooper Thompson 3rd. The fun part, two new drivers appeared on the horizon as Chase McKean, son of Sean McKean, a third-generation driver after his Grandfather Jim and Dad Sean, did a great job as he finished in the 4th position and brand-new driver, Joe Perez from, where else, Depue, driving in his first ever competition finished in the fifth spot. Great job young men.
KPro Hydro Final Results:
1 BRADY BRINKMAN
2 ETHAN FOX
3 COOPER THOMPSON
4 CHASE MCKEAN
5 JOSEPH PEREZ
Wow, talk about running off and hiding, Andrew Thirlby put on a clinic on driving a runabout at outrageous speeds and won both heats of racing as he did the deed indeed. Marty Thayer who has been racing modified only up to this year stepped into the other Thrilby Auto Parts entry and took home a 2nd place for the overall top two spots for that team with the ever-present Pete Voss for the second podium of the weekend and heads with a good shot at DePue
700ccR Final Results:
1 ANDREW THIRLBY
2 MARTY THAYER
3 PETE VOSS


Even the most seasoned driver, pit crew people, and of course fans and even an old geezer of an announcer cannot help but get excited when the most competitive class in the USTS comes to the water and believe me they did not disappoint us in this one. 10 of them hit the water for the first heat and between Amy and Kurt Nydahl, Zach Larose, and Pete Kelly in all three heats, who was on first, second, third or fourth.
As it turned out this was the class that both Jake Quesse and Kurtis tested the temperature of the water in the first turn as in different heats they both went over in the corner. Neither was injured and not the same can be said for the right sponson of Jake’s hydro, work to do for the prop rider crew to fix for this coming weekend. 100 mph duct tape won’t do the trick for this one. Unfortunately, Jake’s boat is not the only one that needs work as Chris Hellsten withdrew after the first heat as his boat was taking on water and needs some work for next weekend as well.
250ccH Final Results:
1 AMY NYDAHL
2 ZACH LAROSE
3 PETER KELLY

As the story goes, ya gotta finish 3 heats, and the young college student Baylee Burkland doing a great job of staying out of trouble did just that, finishing 2nd 3 times to Brad Dygert’s two heat wins, and Jon Wienandt’s first in the other heat. As I mentioned, I’m sure Brad hopes that the gremlins are long gone by the time he reaches Depue as he did not finish a heat because of engine problem, but clearly is fast.
175ccH Final Results:
1 BAYLEE BURKLUND
2 JON WIEDANDT
3. BRAD DYGERT
One heck of a 350R race was in store as Paulie Bosnich trying to double up and Mike Krier trying to show that he could win a runabout race on his own design-build put on one heck of a show. Paulie won the first heat, Mike the second heat so it set them up with 700 points apiece going to the final. Mike got a great start on the inside and was never headed from that point on as Paul on the outside had Brian Payn following Mike through the corner on the inside settled in for the 2nd spot in that heat and Paulie 3rd.
350ccR Final Results:
1 MIKE KRIER
2 PAUL BOSNICH III
3 BRIAN PAYN

Youngster Dan Kirts celebrating his 77th birthday in style yesterday taking the 1100 title at Constantine over his son Jim and Jake Hoffert as Jake finished on the podium for the 2nd time and I’m sure at least 5 miles faster without the heavy beard holding him back.
1100ccH Final Results:
1 DAN KIRTS
2 JIM KIRTS
3 JAKE HOFFERT

All and all a great weekend of racing and now on to the boat racing capital of the world in Depue, Illinois with a great weekend with our sponsor The Depue Men’s club, with a great weekend of social activities and the best of the best racing for titles at the USTS Nationals.

Ray

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