Blumer Starts on Positive Note in Badger Opener at Beaver Dam Raceway

Blumer Starts on Positive Note in Badger Opener at Beaver Dam Raceway

It's the best of both worlds for Eric Blumer when it comes to geography. He was born and raised in Sun Prairie, WI, but in the off season moved to Beaver Dam, WI. Both towns have storied dirt tracks that he's been lucky enough to race on.

Saturday marked the season opener for the AFS Badger Midget Series and Beaver Dam Raceway. Blumer debuted his new-look #68 midget at the event. In his second year as a regular on the Badger trail, he looked forward to a good night. He's won at BDR in karts and Legends, but it was his first race in a midget there.

Foremost in the mind of many in the pits was the weather. It was cold enough to see your breath, cloudy and windy to boot. It was one of those races where you'd think a lot of folks would stay home and just watch the event on FloRacing, rather than venture out. Gloves, stocking caps and several layers of clothing were the order of the day.


His crew, including Justin Hoium, Greg Leatherberry and Logan Stevens had the car in good shape when Blumer went out for his first hot lap session. He tested a couple of grooves and was surprised to find he was the 10th fastest car when the session was over.

Unfortunately this did not equate to qualifying where he clocked in 2nd to last of the 20 who took time, at 17.9, about 1.3 off the pace set by Brandon Waelti.

Blumer started on the pole for his heat and faded fast, ending up 6th out of the nine cars that took the green. A gear change was in order.


Blumer started 16th in the field of 23. Shortly after the green dropped, the race was halted for a nasty flip involving Parker Jones. A lengthy delay ensued as Jones was transported to a local hospital. We are please to report that he was released and doing well by Monday.

On the restart Blumer held his own on a track that favored the low groove. He was able to pass a couple of cars and then another red came out for a three car pile-up that included a tip over for Waelti.

On the restart Blumer found himself in 10th place. When racing resumed Blumer battled with Kyle Stark. For about thirty-feet, Blumer was ahead of Stark, putting him in 7th, but Stark was stronger on the outside and regained the position. That was Blumer's high water mark for the night.

From there, he waited for Kevin Douglas to make a mistake, so he could slip under him and tried holding off Robby Wirth at the same time. It was an entertaining battle between the three. In the end Blumer finished his first feature in midget at Beaver Dam Raceway in 9th.


As if it wasn't cold enough, one of Eric's primary sponsors, Owen Leatherberry, who is stationed with the U.S. Navy in Guam, was doing exactly what the team figured a lot of fans would do. He was watching the race live on Flo.

While doing so, he was also "Snapping," live shots of his view of the Pacific Ocean, with temperature updates the were in the mid-80's, offering, "It looks cold there." All of this while sitting in his white shorts, Hawaiian shirt and Birkenstocks, enjoying the warm ocean breeze. Owen at least spared the team photos of the umbrella in his drink.


Pre-race estimates of what the crowd would be like, due to the cold temps, were dismal. The fans proved a lot of people wrong, as they came out in droves. There was room for more, but given the circumstances, it was an awesome gathering. Thanks to them all!

Thanks to Bob and Bill Kastorff who messaged us from the stands.

We were happy to have our friends (and sponsor) Bob Ropke and his son Chuck in the pits with us and it was great to see Stan Otis from Club LaMark supporting all the teams he sponsors.

After sitting out in the cold all day, the Geist family from Cartopia stopped by, as did fans Scott Derlein, Craig Van De Kreeke, Mike Ooyen and crew. That meant a lot!

Thanks to Kaden Kreger for hanging out with us.


After a couple of weeks off, we anticipate the #68 will be in action for the first doubleheader of the season as Badger travels to Kankakee and Sycamore, both in Illinois. Friday, May 10 and Saturday May 11 are the dates.


Thanks so much to Justin and Greg for helping prepare the car in the off season!

And thanks so much to our sponsors, there is no way Eric Blumer Racing would exist without you. Fans, please support these folks when you can and tell them, "Eric Blumer sent you!"

Club La Mark
Storage & Handling Systems
Doral Equipment Rental
J.F. Ahern Co.
The Hill Bar & Grill
Melissa Folz In memory of Addison Dahlke
Northern Air Systems
BRS Radiator, Machine & Fabrication
North Central Utility
Fowler Heating & Air Conditioning
Ground Up Lifts
East Central Coin
Grandpa Blumer

And thanks to our troops across the globe, especially Owen Leatherberry USN !

Article and photo by Bill Blumer Jr.

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