The Voice (62)
Dan Deicher, "The Voice" of the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway and the Mississippi Thuunder Speedway covers racing at La Crosse, Fountain City, Tomah and Wisconsin Dells. News, off season moves, schedules, rule changes and more.
ZEHR ESCAPES HARD-CHARGING KENDALL TO CAPTURE TUNDRA OPENEr
The first 42 laps of Round One Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes were smooth sailing for Dalton Zehr Saturday afternoon at Wisconsin International Raceway. However, a caution with eight laps remaining brought some instability, and some hearty challenges.
Zehr was able to escape on three separate restarts and hold on for victory in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series opener for the second season in a row. The win was Zehr's sixth career TUNDRA victory in 16 starts.
Although the inside line is the preferred groove during green flag conditions, Zehr selected the outside line each time the Barricade Flasher Service TUNDRA barrel was placed. Zehr was able to jump away from Tommy Gee Jr. on the first two restarts with eight laps to go. The third restart brought a tough test in fast-qualifier Bobby Kendall.
"That was a lot like work right there," Zehr commented of the restart with seven laps remaining. "He definitely gave me a hard run. I'm glad it wasn't any longer."
As the duo dashed into turn one on lap 43, Zehr charged the outside and washed up, hoping for a momentum run off turn two. Kendall was able to stay side-by-side with Zehr until they exited the second turn, where Zehr found his run and pulled ahead of Kendall.
"He had a really good run and I was able to get him off the corner," Zehr said. "He was good to me. I know that."
Kendall, who has two years of experience racing weekly at WIR, battled from the 13th-starting spot. He felt as though he gave everything he had left on the final display of the green flag.
"I thought I needed to get him on the restart," Kendall said. "[Our car] was fast all day. We just didn't have enough tires at the end. We had some good runs off of two, but he was strong on the outside."
A fortunate inversion placed Zehr on the pole after a 14th-place qualifying effort. He and TUNDRA Dean's Satellite Rookie Travis Rodewald paced the 28-car feature field to the first green of 2014. A quick move by Zehr allowed him to slip past Rodewald and grab the point position by the time the field hit the back stretch.
As Zehr paced the field through the first ten laps of the main, the top five began to see a change in complexion. Gee made a move on Rodewald and grabbed second on lap 11. Six laps later defending WIR Champion Jeff VanOudenhoven made the move past Rodewald to third.
By the halfway point of the feature a trio of hard-charging contenders worked their way into the top ten. Michael Bilderback, Kendall and Eugene Gregorich Jr. lined up behind defending TUNDRA Champ Nick Panitzke and readied themselves to run toward the top five.
With a lot of track space to make up, it was clear that the hard chargers needed some help to have the opportunity to challenge for the win. That help came on lap 42 when Morgan Rasmussen spun exiting turn four.
The field realigned with Gee and Zehr in the front row. VanOudenhoven and Ty Majeski set up in the second row. Behind them were the duos of Bilderback and Rodewald and Kendall and Gregorich.
Zehr broke away from Gee at the drop of the green, but the restart was short-lived. Majeski and Bilderback came together, sending Majeski into a spin. The field was able to avoid Majeski as only he and Bilderback were deemed involved. Unfortunately for Bilderback, some damage was sustained to the rack and he was unable to continue.
The ensuing restart saw the same front row, but aligned VanOudenhoven with Kendall in the second row. As Zehr jumped away again, Kendall followed in his tire tracks and stole second from Gee. An axle on the race track brought out the final caution which set up the Zehr versus Kendall restart.
Driving for WIR-based Chase Motorsports, a win for Zehr was doubly sweet to start the season. It set the tone not only for another run at a TUNDRA title, but potentially for a weekly title at the facility, as well.
"It was a team effort. We put in a lot of effort here and it paid off," he said. "[Winning both titles] can be done, but that's a tall order. We started off on the right foot here and for [the TUNDRA] season."
Chase Motorsports also utilize power plants from B&B Race Engines. Sadly, B&B owner Bruce Mueller passed away Saturday morning. The win was a fitting tribute to a local racing icon.
Another B&B powered machine, that of Tom Gee, completed the podium. It was a strong showing for the WIR local who will be chasing the Rookie of the Year title.
"We'll go home with a third place and a clean car. That's what it's all about," Gee said. "Overall the car was great."
The best showing by a WIR local who will not be chasing the TUNDRA title this season was Kyle Calmes, who made a late charge to finish fourth. Travis Dassow rounded out the top five.
Austin Nason outlasted Dan Lindsley in a dazzling side-by-side display to claim the 25-lap Country Plumber Shootout.
Due to passing points, and bonus points from qualifying, Kendall secured the TUNDRA point lead after Round One. His 125 point output is the largest by a TUNDRA driver under the current point format. Calmes' passing points propelled him into second in standings, and a charge from Joey Garjoni from 22nd to 10th placed him tied for third in standings with Gregorich, who finished seventh after starting 18th. Zehr is fifth in standings.
The next event for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series is Round Two Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes at Golden Sands Speedway on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26. Zehr is the defending winner of that event. Paige Decker picked up a win in the last TUNDRA appearance at GSS last July.
Golden Sands Speedway is located on Highway 54 just outside of Plover, Wis. For more information visit www.gssraces.com
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park. TUNDRA's business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and the 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).
Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mod Feature winner Jon Van Minsel.
Rivercity Manufacturing USRA Modified feature winner Brandon Davis
Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stock feature winner Jeff Brauer
Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stock feature winner Nick Schwebach
Midwest Poker League Flyers feature winner Mark Bornitz
Elmer’s Auto Salvage MTS Pure Stock feature winner Jason Newkirk
Matthew La Duke and Braden Brauer were winners during the season opening event for the Sunshine Sanitation A & B Mini Mods.
A few La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway drivers were crowned champions Saturday night. For the rest.....they will have to wait until Oktoberfest racing! Congratulations goes out to the 2014 Budweiser Dash champs, Greg Sheck in the Sportsmen, Steve Carlson from the NASCAR Late Models and Jason Bolster in the Thunderstocks. The Street Stock Champ will be crowned on Saturday night August 30th during the 200 lap Enduro event. The others will fight for division championships on October 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.
With the best of the best converging on MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY for the "3rd Annual Baehman Law B-Mod Nationals - The $100,000 Weekend" there three particular drivers who ended up proving themselves just a wee bit better than the rest. 2012 B-Mod Nationals $10,000 champ Travis Sauer walked away with the trophies and the cash at the end of Thursday's and Saturday's B-Mod Nationals' Features while Scott Bintz raced his way towards a Victory Lane celebration Friday night. Jason Krohn proved to be absolutely un-stoppable putting together a "3-peat clean sweep" winning the Rivercity Manufacturing USRA Modified $1,000 features Thursday, Friday and Saturday night! MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY owner Bob Timm insured the racers and fans that he's already begun thinking about the 4th Annual B-Mod Nationals for 2015. He has some ideas that he thinks both Drivers and fans alike with really enjoy!
Well as I say at the La Crosse Speedway.......OH HERE WE GOOO! (while I have a voice) Three straight weekends of dirt and asphalt racing.....all within three hours of La Crosse. Over the next three weeks, fenders will be rubbed, paint will be traded, stock cars will be ruined, champions will be crowned and a lot of beer will be put away. And it all starts at the Rockford Speedway this weekend.
Friday- Cool 5 Championships will be decided for the Weekly Warrior Late Models, All American Sportsman, American Short Trackers and Roadrunners. Plus, the popular Bandit Challenge. ‘Faster than a Speeding Bullet’ Qualifying begins at 5 PM, with racing set to start at 7:07 PM. SATURDAY-The busiest day of NSTC is Saturday, leading up to ‘Short Track Saturday Night!’ Saturday features seven divisions of race cars and five championship features! Leading the way Saturday is the Big 8 Late Model Series. The Big 8’s best contest a 108 lap feature. Saturday night also includes the Mid-American Stock Car Series competing in a 50 lap feature race. The Great Northern Sportsman Series and Illini Midgets also contest a pair of 50 lap features Saturday night and are joined by the Hobby Stox, who close the night with a 30 lapper. The Super Late Models are part of the too, qualifying and running preliminary races for Sunday’s 200 lap main event. Saturday afternoon also includes the first on-track appearance by the Racing Xtreme Sprint Cars. ‘Faster than a Speeding Bullet’ Qualifying begins Saturday afternoon at 2:15 PM, with racing slated to start at 5:05 PM. SUNDAY-Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Cars are set to run a complete show, including qualifying, heats and a 50 lap feature event. The main event Sunday of course is the 49th running of the 200 lap ‘National Short Track Championship’ for Super Late Models. Also returning to Sunday of NSTC are the Match Races, NASCAR Late Models. ‘Faster than a Speeding Bullet’ Qualifying for the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Cars begins at 11:15 AM Sunday. Check out www.rockfordspeedway.com for more info.
Then.......it's on to the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. 17 different classes of cars competing. 700 laps of feature racing. TEN Championships to be decided. Things get underway on Thursday night, October 2nd with the Super Late Models: “The Futures” race. Champions will be crowned all night long for the La Crosse NASCAR Late Models, La Crosse Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Hornets and Outlawz. Also competing are the Bandits and the World-Famous Double-O Race. Friday brings outsiders to the area as the Great Northern Sportsmen Series crowns a champ on the 5/8th mile. The Midwest Trucks will be back again, also putting finishing touches on a champion. And the widely popular Super Late Model: “Dick Trickle 99”, 3 segment race will be ran. Saturday the horsepower starts to grow as all of the action centers around the famed La Crosse big oval as Super Late Models: ARCA Midwest Tour, the Big-8 Late Model Series, Midwest Dash Cars and the Mid-American Stock Car Series travel to western Wisconsin, fresh off the Rockford Speedway. Sunday is the big one......as tradition and prestige return to the fairgrounds with the Super Late Models: ARCA Midwest Tour 200 lapper, the Big-8 Late Model Series-Style JMCK 63 Invitational and the always popular Vintage Cars. www.oktoberfestraceweekend.com has all of your info.
October 10th and 11th, as the asphalt cools down, the dirt starts a kickin' at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City. The bad boys and girls of dirt converge on the 3/8th's mile.....coming from 4-5 states. In addition to all regular weekly divisions, MTS will also be running regionally sanctioned Midwest Modifieds; and since USRA and WISSOTA National Points are still being awarded, racers will be battling hard at this show for every last point they can accumulate! Many of the USRA and WISSOTA Points chasers may be present. Also making a return, USRA Stock Cars. And after a 5 year hiatus, MTS welcomes back the Hornet/Flyers. Open Practice begins Thursday October 9th with two Full programs to follow Friday and Saturday evening! Mini Mods will hit the LIGHTNING SPEEDWAY at 5:30 PM Friday and 3:30 PM Saturday to begin the action; first green flag on "The Big 1/3-Mile" will immediately follow the official opening ceremonies at 6:30 PM Friday and 5:00 PM Saturday! www.mississippithunder.com has all of you info.
Whew........after all of that announcing.......I should take out some stock in throat lozenges huh? GET OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHORT TRACKS!
Award winning Photographer, Robert Butterfield will be keeping you udpated on the sights of the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend right here all weekend long. All of the individual, side by side and at the line shots right here. You can also check in throughout the weekend at www.butterfieldphotos.com and on their Facebook page, Butterfield Photography.
Oct 2, 2014; La Crosse, WI. USA; Dan Deicher interviews Ty Majeski driver of the #91 NASCAR Whelen Late Model and the ARCA Superlate Model during the taping of the 7 Rivers Racing Show to kick off the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. Mandatory Credit: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography-Midwest Family Broadcasting.
Oct 3, 2014; La Crosse, WI. USA; Dan Fredrickson wins a close battle in Friday nights Dick Trickle 99 Super Late Model feature edging out 2nd place finisher Nick Murgic and 3rd place Dalton Zehr wrapping up day 2 of the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography-Midwest Family Broadcasting.
Oct 3, 2014; La Crosse, WI. USA; Dan Fredrickson in his #36 Super Late Model during the Dick Trickle 99 event Friday Night for the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography-Midwest Family Broadcasting.
Oct 3, 2014; La Crosse, WI. USA; First segment winner for the Dick Trickle 99 and second place finisher overall, Nick Murgic in his #12 Super Late Model Friday Night for the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography-Midwest Family Broadcasting.
Oct 3, 2014; La Crosse, WI. USA; Midwest Truck Series winner #71 Blake Brown Friday Night for the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography-Midwest Family Broadcasting.
Oct 3, 2014; La Crosse, WI. USA; #21 Dave Trute winner of the Great Northern Sportsman Feature Friday Night for the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography-Midwest Family Broadcasting.