D.J. Weltmeyer gets first late-model win at Illiana
By Tony Baranek Post-Tribune correspondent June 10, 2012 8:28PM
Updated: July 12, 2012 6:11AM
SCHERERVILLE — The first words between father and son were pretty simple following 19-year-old D.J. Weltmeyer’s first career late-model feature victory Saturday night at Illiana Speedway.
From the son: “We did it.”
From the dad: “Good job. Proud of you.”
The torch has officially been passed.
The son of area racing legend Dave Weltmeyer earned his first feature checkered flag in impressive fashion, holding off a determined Eddie Hoffman by a scant 0.171 seconds.
It was a process.
Weltmeyer, who had second-fast qualifying time behind Hoffman, started in the third row. Mike White, who beat Jack Kalwasinski at the drop of the green from the front row, built a pretty substantial advantage.
It wasn’t until the 18th lap that Weltmeyer was able to get by Paul Shafer Jr., to take over second place and begin hunting down the leader.
He was still a few car-lengths behind when White began slowing on the back straightaway.
“I was ready for it, just in case something would happen if the lead were to fall into my hands,” Weltmeyer said. “Something happened in the suspension. It started sparking, and then he pulled off the track and gave me the old wave (by).
“All I could think now is, ‘Man, this is ours to lose, now. OK, now that we’ve got the lead we’ve got to keep it. We’ve got to do what we can to hit our marks.”
He hit them well enough to hold off Hoffman, even after a late single-file restart.
“We just got in there at the end, so we didn’t have much time to work or battle,” Hoffman said. “We couldn’t quite get by him. He was definitely fast.”
Anthony Danta came from as far back as seventh to capture third place. He was followed by Shafer, John Nutley and Dennis Lyp.
Turbo stox points leader Jacob McKown prevailed in the 25-lap main event, taking the top spot from Bobbie Jean Wall on lap seven and holding off four-time track champ Bill Serviss. Shawn Wiltjer, Wall, Dan Witt and Pat Ligue completed the top six.
Matt O’Leary won a tight battle with Alex Arelano by 0.198 seconds in the Legends feature, while Alex Treptow beat David Tomaszewski in the pure stocks and Stan Zolodz prevailed in the bandoleros.