Oshkosh Speed Zone Raceway
Friday, July 27, 2012
Muenster Makes Last Lap Pass, Collects Modified Checkered at The Zone
by Jeffrey Sachse
OSHKOSH, Wis. -- The evening at Oshkosh Speedzone proved to be an almost flawless night. Several feature contests were decided on the final lap, three local racing legends were honored for the accomplishments of their storied careers, over 110 cars were on hand for the show and fans got to witness all the action for a mere $5.
The program which saw 21 events take place plus the on track induction ceremonies, would be completed in just over three hours and fifteen minutes.
This year’s “Walk of Fame” inductees included former Leo’s Speedway stars M.J. McBride, Willie Goeden and Terry Baldry. Between them, they have scored over 30 track championships at tracks throughout Wisconsin and each earned their share of checkered flag’s at Leo’s Speedway, the forerunner to today’s Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway.
On track racing action was again top notch this evening.
In the Automotive Supply Company Modified main event Eddie Muenster would make a last lap pass on Johnny Whitman to earn his first feature win of the 2012 season. The Miller Lite Grand National feature contest also went down to the wire, with current point leader Brian Henry successfully fending off a last lap passing attempt by Tim Reichenberger to earn his first feature victory since early in the 2010 season.
The Total Power Sales Street Stocks would see Jon Ashcraft fend off team mates Jerry Kope and Jerry Winkler in a hard fought battle for the win, his first, in Street Stock competition at the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. The Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devil main event would see defending division champ Jason Fairbank work past the most recent feature winner in the class, Mike Montie, for the victory.
Tonight’s racing action started with a unique twist to determine the starting field for tonight’s 24 cars main event for the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds. 32 drivers has checked in for the division, with the first 16 being locked into the show through qualifying. Craig Priewe earned the distinction of becoming the first “fast qualifier” in the class this season turning in a lap of 18.138 seconds. 22 cars basically all qualified within a second of quick time.
The 16 cars locked into the show then ran two qualifying races to determine the feature starting lineup with the winners making up the front row. Muenster and defending track champion Brian Drexler would win those contests and make up the front row of the feature. Two heat races and a B-main would determine the rest of the 24 car starting field.
Muenster would get the drop on Drexler as the green flag fell for the main event but it would be Johnny Whitman who would thrill the crown with a daring outside pass of both drivers to grab the lead. A quick caution would appear when Dennis Schultz would come to rest atop a tire in turn two after one lap was in the books.
Only one more lap was completed before a wild accident took place on the front stretch. The cars of Joe McGrath and Tom Schaal tangled while Scott Mullen got collected in the incident. As a result Mullen would flip onto his roof on the front stretch. Mullen emerged from his car unhurt but he was done for the evening. Schaal also had to call it a night with significant damage to his machine. Interestingly only two roll overs have occurred this season, both have been in the Modified feature races.
On the restart Whitman went back to the lead with Drexler and Muenster giving chase, the lead trio were busy doing battle often three wide when action was slowed again, this time by a spin by Mike Klenz on lap three.
Drexler would briefly hold the second spot before Muenster reclaimed the position on lap eight. Whitman running a high line around the track appeared to have the speed to stay out front while Muenster favored the bottom line.
Kevin Feck would cause the next two cautions one on lap ten when he spun and another moments later when he lost a wheel which then rolled onto the track.
Coming off each restart Whitman would show the way, with his chief rival Muenster unable to find a way by.
Jared Siefert meanwhile had come from deep in the field to reach the third position before the final caution flag flew on lap 16.
The lead duo of Whitman and Muenster would break away from the pack on the restart while third would be contested to the wire, decided by a three wide battle between Siefert, Drexler and Chad Bartel.
Whitman would stay in the high groove while Muenster found the traction he needed down low to surge ahead for the lead as the white flag flew. Rim riding around the track Whitman tried to close back in on Muenster, but Muenster would have the speed he needed to take the checkered flag. Whitman would settle for second followed by Siefert, Bartel and Drexler who completed the top five.
The Leon’s Frozen Custard Sport Modified main event would see 28 drivers check in for racing action this evening, with 20 competitors taking the green flag for their main event.
Rookie drivers Jordan Tuyls and Angie Wolf did battle for the initial lead of the race and Tuyls had the upper hand for the first two laps before Wolf took over the top spot. A spin by Jon Schultz on lap four slowed the field for the first caution of the contest. On the restart Wolf for herself immediately challenged for the top spot by Tuyls and Ryan Besaw.
Besaw become the third leader of the race as he slipped by Wolf for the lead. The second and final caution would appear on lap six. The field would fan out five wide for this restart, with Troy Jerovetz making a mad dash toward the front.
Besaw would hold the top spot until Jerovetz would wrestle away the lead position on lap eight. Besaw would hold fast in the second spot as the halfway point of the race was reached. Division point leader Tracy Wassenberg had climbed to third ahead of Brad Lautenbach.
While Jerovetz set sail out front Lautenbach began picking of cars working past both Wassenberg and Besaw to reach second with six laps remaining. However Jerovetz had built a comfortable lead and was able to maintain the gap on Lautenbach to the checkered flag to score the win. In taking the victory Jerovetz extended his win streak to four, setting a new track record for the most consecutive victories in the class. Lautenbach would earn second followed by Erik Mahlik who charged to third over the final laps. Besaw would settle for fourth just ahead of division point leader Wassenberg.
The Miller Lite Grand Nationals saw 21 drivers check into the pit area for action this evening. Jeff Richards and Tim Doehling would comprise the front row with Doehling out front when the first caution appeared when Jay Schaalma tagged the wall and came to a top on the backstretch on lap three.
With racing resuming Doehling went back to the lead with Jeff Richards falling into the second slot. Third became hotly contested as Troy Weich began to work over Tom Schneider for the position.
The race would see a major shakeup among the leaders on lap 14 when the red flag would appear when a fire erupted under the hood of Doehling who was leading the contest. The safety crew quickly extinguished the flames and Doehling was able to drive his car back to the pit area. Under caution, second running Richards was sent to the pits as his machine was dragging bodywork on the raceway which had come loose after clipping a tire in turn four on a couple occasions.
This left Weich in the lead of the event with Brian Henry, Tom Schneider and Tim Reichenberger following. Henry was able to find room under Weich as the two did battle for the lead. Henry would secure the top spot on lap 16. Reichenberger would reach second a lap later and he began to reel in Henry. Reichenberger managed to pull alongside Henry as the white flag flew but Henry was able to make the bottom line work pulling ahead in the dash to the checkered coming off the final two turns. Reichenberger would settle for second followed by Weich, Steve Schneider and Larry Richards.
Jeff Wicinsky would set the lead in the early going of the Total Power Sales Street Stock main event before Jon Ashcraft took the top spot coming off a caution on lap four. Ashcraft who fields cars for Jerry Winkler, Jerry Kope and his daughter Lexii Ashcraft was seeking his first feature win at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway.
Both Winkler and Cope swapped the second spot while Jon Ashcraft fought to keep both drivers behind him. Ashcraft was able to build a small gap over Kope in the closing laps of the contest and he would take his first career feature checkered by two car lengths over Kope. Winkler, the division point leader crossed the line in third. Richard Garb worked into the fourth spot while Shaun Haydon overcame a stop in the pit area after an early race caution to reach fifth spot by the checkered flag.
The Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils put on an excellent race with no cautions during their feature contest. Mike Montie would lead the first half of the event before Jason Fairbank began to apply the pressure for the lead position. Montie would began to slow and he suffered a flat right front tire and in doing so he turned the top spot over to Fairbank.
Fairbank would pace the remainder of the race and add to his point lead. Matt Dewilde scored his best finish of the season taking second followed by Chris Maas, Matt Brehmer and Patrick Klawitter.
Racing action continues with Knaus Cheese and Weyauwega Star Dairy presenting the Leroy Dehn Memorial
race next Friday, August 3rd.
All five weekly divisions which are the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Leon’s Frozen Custard Sport Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils will be in action for the event.
Racing will begin at 7:00pm. Adult admission for the show is just $10, while students ages 11 through 15 admitted for $5. Children 10 and under are admitted free with a paid adult ticket.
Then the Winnebago County Fair will present a special Tuesday Night program to open the fair on August 7th. The show will again feature all five weekly point divisions.
Fair attendees can use their general admission pass to witness the racing action which will be taking place on the third-mile clay oval. The fair admission includes admission onto grounds, grandstand shows and unlimited rides, this includes the ability to attend the races at no additional charge above the cost of a fair admission ticket. The fair officially opens at 5:00pm, with racing action set to take place at 7:00pm.
Advance tickets into the fair are just $10 if tickets are purchased by Monday, August 6th. General admission fair tickets purchased at the gate will be $12. To receive the discount fair admission tickets must be pre-ordered prior to Monday, August 6th.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.winnebagocountyfaironline.com/store/
The racing program that you can attend with your fair pass will include a complete point show featuring all the weekly divisions which compete at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. A field of nearly 120 cars will be expected for the program as no other area tracks are in operation and it gives drivers from other tracks a great opportunity to experience the competitive racing program at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway.
The final Tuesday Night special will take place when Hansel Trucking will present the WDLMA Late Models in their lone appearance of the season. The fastest fendered cars in the state will be appearing on Tuesday Night August 21st. Joining the WDLMA Late Models will be the debut of the Badger Modified Tour at the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. The finest Modified drivers from the upper Midwest will challenge top local favorites for bragging rights as winner of the inaugural Badger Modified feature winner at The Zone. Rounding out the program will be the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modified division.
For fans wanting to take in two evenings of racing comprising the fastest cars in the state a special "Need For Speed Week" ticket will offer fans a chance to do just that. The ticket will be good for the Tuesday Night Hansel Trucking WDLMA Late Model/Badger Modified Special on August 21st and final appearance of 2012 for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints on Friday Night August 24th.
The IRA Sprints are regarded as the fastest open wheels cars in the Midwest, while the WDLMA Late Models are the quickest full bodied cars in the state of Wisconsin.
Additional information on the "Need For Speed Week" ticket package will be announced shortly.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.
Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events. Fans can also friend the raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedzone and you can receive all the latest updates from the track on twitter as www.twitter.com/thespeedzone.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Eddie Muenster; 2.) Johnny Whitman; 3.) Jared Siefert; 4.) Chad Bartel; 5.) Brian Drexler; 6.) Craig Priewe; 7.) Justin Ritchie; 8.) Joe McGrath; 9.) Kyle Lentz; 10.) Mike Mueller; 11.) Travis Spaulding; 12.) Rick Robbins; 13.) David Hoerning; 14.) Jamie Schmidt; 15.) Jerry
First Qualifying Dash: 1.) E. Muenster; 2.) McGrath; 3.) Schaal; 4.) Mullen; 5.) Ritchie; 6.) Priewe
Second Qualifying Dash: 1.) Drexler; 2.) Whitman; 3.) Bartel; 4.) Tim Lemirande; 5.) Schmidt; 6.) Jerry Muenster
First Heat: 1.) Siefert; 2.) Mike Klenz; 3.) Dennis Schultz
Second Heat: 1.) Mike Wedelstadt; 2.) Mueller; 3.) Kevin Feck
Consolation: 1.) Mike Klenz; 2.) Hoerning; 3.) Benjamin Brinkman; 4.) Scott Derenne; 5.) Ron Paulick
LEON'S FROZN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Troy Jerovetz; 2.) Brad Lautenbach; 3.) Erik Mahlik; 4.) Ryan Besaw; 5.) Tracy Wassenberg; 6.) Andy Kleczka; 7.) Kelsy Hayes; 8.) Josh Long; 9.) Rod Solem; 10.) Mark Howe
Consolation: 1.) Lautenbach; 2.) Clint Forester; 3.) Tristin Peebles; 4.) Jeremy Bjenhaes; 5.) Randy Kreuger
First Heat: 1.) Jerovetz; 2.) Mahlik; 3.) J.J. Anderson
Second Heat: 1.) Wassenberg; 2.) Tuyls; 3.) Wolf
Third Heat: 1.) Long; 2.) Jon Schultz; 3.) Besaw
MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Brian Henry; 2.) Tim Reichenberger; 3.) Troy Weich; 4.) Steve Schneider; 5.) Larry Richards; 6.) T.J. Smith; 7.) Jim Rhode 8.) Tom Schneider; 9.) Terry Van Roy; 10.) Tim Warner
First Heat: 1.) John Schultz III; 2.) Reichenberger; 3.) Brian Gilles
Second Heat: 1.) Rhode; 2.) T. Schneider; 3.) Jeff Richards
Third Heat: 1.) Tim Doehling; 2.) L. Richards; 3.) S. Schneider
TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Jon Ashcraft; 2.) Jerry Cope; 3.) Jerry Winkler; 4.) Richard Garb; 5.) Shawn Haydon; 6.) Jeff Jungwirth; 7.) Tim Mueller; 8.) Patty Winkler; 9.) Dan Knaus; 10.) Ben Kuhn
First Heat: 1.) Winkler; 2.) Frank Knaus; 3.) Kope
Second Heat: 1.) Ashcraft; 2.) P. Winkler; 3.) Jeff Wicinsky
LYNN'S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Jason Fairbank 2.) Matt Dewilde; 3.) Chris Maas; 4.) Matt Brehmer; 5.) Patrick Klawitter; 6.) Jon Charles; 7.) Steve Seehawer; 8.) Wes Lungwitz; 9.) Joe Minks; 10.) Ben Meyerhofer
First Heat: 1.) Minks; 2.) Fairbank; 3.) Mike Montie
Second Heat: 1.) Brehmer; 2.) Dewilde; 3.) Lungwitz