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Blumer Takes Frankenstein to Wipperfurth Memorial Legend Win at Beaver Dam

4/20/2021
Blumer Takes Frankenstein to Wipperfurth Memorial Legend Win at Beaver Dam

Pepsi in hand, ball cap tilted back, surely Jim Wipperfurth was proud as he looked down on the track watching Eric Blumer win the most important race of his career at Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday. The Jim Wipperfurth Memorial is a tribute race to the late Sun Prairie area welder and fabricator who was a friend to the racing community and one of Eric’s first sponsors back in his kid kart days. Today, Jim’s son, Joe, helps Eric immensely.

The event was scored as an INEX event, BDR points race and the first race of the 2021 season for the Wisconsin Legends Racing Dirt Series, where Blumer is the reigning champion. But, none of that matter to him. It was about the trophy and joining Brayden and Logan Wipperfurth, grandkids of the race’s namesake and their folks, Joe and Nicole in Victory Lane. It was also about winning for his two main crewmen, Justin Hoium and Greg Leatherberry who had strong ties to Jim.

The luck of the draw put Blumer on the pole for the main event and he seemed to check out several times, amassing a half a straightaway lead, only to have it erased by cautions. The battle for second was torrid throughout the race with Jordan Miklas, Nick Johnson, Ryan Kuehn, Ryan Mech, Brian Peterson and others all in the mix at some point. This helped Blumer regain his advantage.

While he led the whole race by virtue of crossing the finish line first every lap, Miklas did pass Blumer several times late in the race, only to have the Sun Prairie driver shut the door. Both Miklas and Kuehn got under Blumer with four laps left, but once they had to battle each other, Blumer took off again and won by about six car lengths.

After the checkers flew, the boisterous celebration was briefly subdued when the crew realized there was a red flag. They learned that Mech had flipped crossing the finish line. From their vantage point they had no way to see this. Mech exited his vehicle on his own power and the celebration started again for EBR. After the race the team apologized to the Mech crew. The Mech team understood the situation and while Eric was asking Ryan about his wreck and wellbeing, Mech was equally interested and happy for Eric and the win. So it goes with this group of racers.

“Races are won in the shop,” is a thought often shared by race teams and that was proven true by EBR. A month prior, Blumer told his crew he would run the car now known as “Frankenstein,” over his newer ride, dubbed, “Alice,” for this important event.

Alice is the primary car, equipped with a chassis that has just one season on her. She got all of the best (or new) parts the EBR team had. Her fenders are new and freshly painted, along with a brand new FZ09 engine. She was a half a second faster than her brother at the open practice Beaver Dam held.

Frankenstein, on the other hand, has a chassis that’s at least five years old and described by a local chassis repair shop as, “Tweaked, but not bad enough to matter in dirt racing.” Frank was built as a back up car, one to run on a second night of racing in a weekend, if the main car had problems. He’s equipped with the team’s old 1250 engine and otherwise bears every secondhand part Blumer had amassed in the previous three seasons. His body and fenders are riddled with cracks that have been “Bondoed” and some that there wasn’t time to fix and are held together with Gorilla Tape. He looks like his namesake. He was an afterthought.

But, Eric went with the familiar. He knew there would be a learning curve with the FZ09 and he just had a feeling the 1250 would do the trick. “That was his call,” said the crew chief. “I don’t care, it’s not my car,” noted Leatherberry, uttering his usual tagline.

Considering the origins of the winning car, it was apt that after the checkers, Blumer realized Frankenstein lost the nut that holds the bolt to the shift linkage. It was loose, but still in place. The bolt would have likely come out and cost him the race had they done one more restart or had a few more laps. Perhaps it stayed in place with a little help from above. If so, we hope Jim didn’t spill his Pepsi.

The EBR team is back in action at Beaver Dam Raceway, Saturday, April 24 when the Legends are on the card with IRA 410 sprint cars. Please see the BDR site, www.wismotorsports.net for full and official details. We also believe you can watch the race live (subscription required) on FloSportsTV, click here for details: https://www.floracing.com

A huge thanks goes out to our sponsors and crew:

BRS Radiator, Machine & Fabrication; Northern Air Systems, Inc.; Dog Guard of Wisconsin; Storage & Handling Systems; North Central Utility of Wisconsin LLC; East Central Coin Inc.; Club LaMark; Bullseye Games; Ground Up Lifts; Sieg Law Office; OWL Graphics and Lettering; Grandpa Blumer, Legends Direct, Stephanie Blumer and Casey Bollig Photography.

Justin Hoium, Greg Leatherberry, Mike Hughes, Bill Tefft and Cody Weisensel.

A SPECIAL THANKS: Sun Prairie Star sports editor, Jeff Seisser has notified us that April 29, will be his last day. Jeff has been instrumental in supporting the EBR team, readily accepting all of our photos and stories to publish in our hometown newspaper. We wish him the best in the future!

And finally a salute to our troops:

Owen Leatherberry- U.S. Navy
Andrew Upperman- U.S. Marine Corps.

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Blumer Takes Frankenstein to Wipperfurth Memorial Legend Win at Beaver Dam
Blumer Takes Frankenstein to Wipperfurth Memorial Legend Win at Beaver Dam

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