Dells Raceway Park
Thursday, July 12, 2012
DRP Starts Second Half of 2012 Saturday
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. -- After a week off to refresh and rejuvenate, Dells Raceway Park racers get back into action this Saturday, July 14. With nine regular season weeks remaining, a strong start to the second half of the season could be the difference between being a Champion or being a runner up.
Through the first half of the season the Late Models have been chasing Dan Lensing. Lensing has won three of the six features for the Late Models including a dominating win in the North American Cup, when he also set fast time.
His closest competitor is defending Track Champion Rich Schumann, Jr., who sits 23 points behind Lensing. Unlike last season when he had to wait until the end of July, Schumann has grabbed a feature win. However, his most important race of the first half of 2012 may have been his fourth place finish in the North American Cup after recovering from a flat tire to finish fourth.
Still in the conversation are two-time feature winner Mike Lichtfeld, Jesse Bernhagen, and John DeAngelis. The trio has a fair amount of ground to make up to catch the top two, but have proven they have the clout to run up front week in and week out.
TUNDRA Super Late Model Series standings see the top five drivers within six points. After two events Rich Bickle has a four point lead over Corey Jankowski (who accumulated a whopping 13 passing points in Round Two) and Dennis Prunty. Bickle and Prunty put on a dazzling display in Round One while Prunty dominated most of Round Two before fending off a late charge from Frank Kreyer and Tanner Whitten.
Round Three of TUNDRA action rolls into DRP on Saturday, July 21. Weather has been a factor in keeping drivers on the fence about whether they will attend or not. However, car counts have been stellar as TUNDRA continues to grow momentum. With three races in the final nine weeks at DRP, fans can expect a few new faces and more Super Late Model Excitement in the second half of DRP's 2012 season.
In the Sportsman division, Randy Breunig is looking to add a DRP title to his collection. The former Columbus Champ has been strong over the past win, collecting two wins before the midway break. Newcomers to the division, Dave Trute and Mitch Lyden have kept themselves in the title hunt as a team. Sitting just 18 points back of Breunig, Trute and Lyden continue to get the hang of the division each week. Lurking not too far behind them in third is last year's Champion Scott Luck, who pulled away from competitors in 2011 with a strong second half of the season. To keep pace with Bruenig and Trute/Lyden, he may need the same type of performance.
Thus far the Pure Stock division has belonged to Mark Hohl who has three feature wins. However, the team of Jeff Burrows and Brad Warthan have become a force in the division over the past few weeks before the break. Warthan won the most recent Pure Stock feature and closed the gap to 28 markers between first and second. With more Pure Stocks arriving each week, Warthan and Burrows will have a better opportunity to separate from Hohl and gain more points. However, Hohl had a strong second half of 2011, and if history repeats itself, he may claim the second Pure Stock title of his career.
Without question the car to beat in the Bandits has been that piloted by Gary Stark. Stark missed one week of action and had a fill-in with youngster Chase Munns carrying the torch. The duo has built a 41 point lead on the rest of the pack in the Bandits. However, Stark does have 2 DNFs this season, and consistency has been an issue. It has not been an issue for the likes of Spencer Wilhelm, Andrew Portzen and Arch Preston. Should Stark stumble down the stretch one of those three, or fifth-place Haley Kapp or sixth-place Ali Pennel, may be able to capitalize and make a run for the crown.
The second half of the 2012 DRP season kicks off this Saturday with qualifying slated for 4:45 and racing at 6:30. The Outlaw Double "O" race originally scheduled for this week has been pushed back to August 4 as sponsorship negotiations for the event continue.
Normal ticket pricing applies this Saturday: $12 for adults (16 and up), $10 for seniors (62 and up), $8 for youth age 10-15 and kids 9 and under receive free admission. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. with racing scheduled to begin at 6:30.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road, five minutes north of downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., off highway 12-16. For more information including the latest news, the 2012 schedule and more visit www.dellsracewaypark.com.