JEFFERSON, Wis. (September 19, 2016) - Having swept Friday and Saturday's Late Model events, Casey Johnson had to feel good heading into Sunday's TUNDRA Super Late Model
Series Round Six Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes at Jefferson Speedway. Even with a different car owner and fresh competition, there was no stopping Johnson.
Johnson battled past fellow title contender Dalton Zehr on lap 37 of the 75-lap main event and dashed away on several restarts to pick up his second career TUNDRA win at
his home track and first series title.
Although there was still a realistic chance that Zehr could take the title away - he had erased a 24-point deficit last season - that bit of history didn't seem to shake
any confidence Johnson had for the weekend. In fact, he knew that being at his home track would be a great opportunity to find Victory Lane for the first time in 2016.
"I got a call from the car owner a couple days ago," Johnson said. "He told me to go to this race not thinking about points and to go get him a trophy. It was
fun coming here with that mentality."
It was the third time in the series' six seasons the Champion capped the season with a win. Dennis Prunty sealed the Championship with a win in 2012 and Dalton Zehr
accomplished the feat last season.
The win and the title prove to loom large for Johnson, who admitted he's trying to get his name on the Super Late Model scene. A win with Chase Motorsports in the
Red, White and Blue series at Wisconsin International Raceway earlier this season began that process. A touring title only serves to help him continue that quest.
"It feels great," Johnson said. "We've been looking for this for a while."
Any thoughts that the title could elude Johnson came just after qualifying. Johnson set fast time and a new TUNDRA track record, but then pulled the invert during
An invert of 12 put Zehr on the pole and left Johnson with some work to be done.
Outside pole-sitter Eric Connell took the lead from Zehr at the outset of the race, but eventually surrendered the top spot to him on lap ten. By this point Johnson
had moved from his 12th-place starting spot to ninth.
Perhaps the biggest scare of the weekend was awaiting Johnson on lap 18.
While racing for fourth, Kelsey Dassow and Michael Ostdiek came together down the back stretch. Still in close quarters heading into three and four Ostdiek
contacted Dassow, which sent her spinning. Johnson dived to the bottom, which proved to be the way through. Those who tried to avoid on the outside weren't as fortunate.
Although it was a stroke of luck, it's nothing Johnson hasn't seen at his home track before. His run to the front Sunday was a similar formula to that which he used to
win the 2014 event - stay patient early, then strike when the time is right.
This time, however, it had Championship implications.
"At the very start you had to be real cautious and let everything shake out a little bit," he said. "Once we got into the Top Five and the lead was in sight, we
were able to go at it."
Patience certainly was a virtue for Johnson, but making good decisions for the restarts proved just as important. With multiple drivers choosing the outside line
behind Zehr for the restart, Johnson ducked behind Mike Lichtfeld in the second row. When the green fell, Johnson was able to secure Second and set his sights on the lead duo.
Just as Johnson had caught Lichtfeld and engaged him in a battle for Second on lap 31, a caution fell when Jordan Thiel and Jordan Ives came together on the front
stretch, sending Ives spinning to the infield. Both were sent to the tail, but would not stay back there for long.
This time Johnson decided to stay behind Zehr for the restart. Just two laps after the green came back out, Johnson cleared Lichtfeld and looked to close the gap on
Zehr. On lap 35 Johnson slipped to the bottom as Zehr tried to hold him off up top. Two laps later, Johnson cleared his title-contending rival and dashed away into the lead.
Although Johnson was strong out front, there were still challenges to come. After another yellow on lap 47, Johnson and Lichtfeld squared off in the front
row. Lichtfeld held close, but Johnson was able to pull away. At that point Zehr tried to retake the Second spot from Lichtfeld, but spun on lap 48. Just like Thiel and Ives, Zehr's
day in the Top Five was not complete.
Just as he did on the previous restart, Johnson escaped Lichtfeld and built a lead. Behind the Top Two Jordan DeVoy and Ryan Farrell were disputing Third. The
two drivers who were former crew members together for both James Swan and Dan Church had a spirited battle. However, Farrell got into the back of DeVoy in turn two on lap 65, which sent DeVoy
spinning. Both were sent to the tail, which brought Thiel and Ives back into the Top Five.
Much as it had been before, Johnson's restart was masterful and he cruised away from the pack. He would face one final restart in single file formation after the
yellow fell for debris with four to go, but it was just a formality on the way to the win.
"I've raced with Mike [Lichtfeld] a lot, so I knew he wasn't going to do anything too crazy. He's a heck of a race car driver. I wasn't too worried running on
the outside of him - got to thank him for running me clean," Johnson said of the restarts.
For Lichtfeld, a second straight podium finish and a TUNDRA career-best Second was a solid way to cap off a season that started with a string of bad luck. He knew
that although he was in contention, it would be difficult to leave Wisconsin's Action Track with a win.
"That's kind of going to school on a Sunday when you're with Casey Johnson here," Lichtfeld said. "We came down here and watched him put a whooping on them Friday
night. I guess he did it last night and he put an old fashion whooping on us again today."
Behind Lichtfeld, Thiel's battle back to Third had major point implications. Coming into the race Thiel was Third in standings and the altercation earlier in the
race had sent him down to Fifth. His run back to the front helped him retake Third with a 17-point pad over Lichtfeld.
"We had one hell of a car and it felt good all day," Thiel said. "Getting in that little scuffle and getting sent to the back didn't help anything, but sometimes
driving angry is a good thing."
Thiel had to hold on for dear life over the final five circuits as he was tested furiously by Zehr. Zehr found the inside line and came up just inches shy of a
podium spot at the line. Jordan Ives rounded out the Top Five with his TUNDRA career best finish.
Although Zehr did not have the same fate as last season, he held his head high. To go with his two Championships, Zehr has now finished Second in TUNDRA standings
"Second means you were there to contend for it," he said. "You're going to get a lot more Seconds than you are wins. We'll keep coming back and hopefully
contend for the Championship next year."
Braison Bennett sealed off the season with a solid Seventh place finish and was named the Dean's Satellite and Security Rookie of the Year.
ROSSIER CLINCHES VINTAGE TITLE WITH WIN
Rex Rossier preceded Casey Johnson's Championship clinching win by doing the same in the
TUNDRA Vintage 25-lap feature. Much like Johnson, Rossier set a new track record earlier in the day and had to work through the feature field.
Dick Kath stormed to an early lead in the event, but eventually was chased down and surpassed by Pat Heaney. Heaney looked strong out front, but soon had to deal
with Rossier knocking at the door for the lead. After a restart with four laps to go, Rossier dived to the insdide line and took the top spot from Heaney on the way to the win.
Heaney finished Second, Jerry Schneider was Third, Pat Echlin was Fourth and Bryan Webb rounded out the Top Five.
With the sixth season of TUNDRA in the books, the series would like to thank its partners
for their involvement: Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Dean's Satellite and Security, The Country Plumber, Habelman Brothers Company Cranberries, Johnnie's Hobbies, RSI X-ray,
Five Star Race Car Bodies, TD Graphics, Coleman Racing Products, Wegner Automotive Research, and Neuline Torque Arm.
TUNDRA would also like to thank Wisconsin International Raceway, Dells Raceway Park, LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, State Park Speedway, Golden Sands Speedway, and
Jefferson Speedway for their support. In addition, a large thanks is in order to the drivers and teams who supported the series at the six events this season. The series would also like
to thank the drivers and teams of the Midwest Truck Series, Sportsman division and Vintage division for their support of the events this season.
Finally, the series would like to thank its ever-growing fan base. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to more entertaining events in
The TUNDRA Super Late Model Series is working to secure and time and location for the awards
banquet. Information will be available on the web site as soon as all is confirmed.
The 2017 TUNDRA Super Late Model Series season kicks off on Saturday, May 13 at Wisconsin
International Raceway in Kaukauna, WI.
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 the 2016 schedule, news, results and the point standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms)
MACKESY SCORES SENSATIONAL SECOND TUNDRA WIN IN A ROW
Posted on Sep 6, 2016
Photos by Eamon Bauman, Robin Back
PLOVER, Wis. (September 5, 2016) – Sometimes history takes a while to repeat itself. Sometimes it comes rushing back in a hurry. The latter was the case Monday afternoon in TUNDRA Super
Late Model Series Round Five Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes at Golden Sands Speedway.
Mark Mackesy – fresh off holding back young Super Late Model standout Derek Kraus for his first win at State Park Speedway in Round Four – used his veteran prowess once again to fend off Kraus for
his second straight win in a 75-lap main event. With the win Mackesy became only the second driver to win back-to-back TUNDRA races. Dalton Zehr accomplished the feat in 2011 and
2012. However, Mackesy did become the first to go back-to-back at different tracks as Zehr’s doubles came at Dells Raceway Park.
“It’s pretty darn neat. There are so many good drivers here,” Mackesy said. “To say you’re on the list once is pretty amazing. Then to do it again…you’re not a one-hit wonder.”
Despite the fact that Mackesy has plenty of laps at both tracks, his experience in recent years at Golden Sands is limited. His visit to Victory Lane on Monday was the first time he had won at
the facility in four years.
“They’re both distinctively different tracks,” Mackesy said. “Today it helped to have the experience of running Wausau because it was a warm day and the track got slick. We tried the same
gear that we run at Wausau, but typically we don’t. This setup is pretty darn close to what we run at Wausau.”
almost seemed as though Mackesy had lost his chance when pole-sitter Jordan Thiel stepped away at the beginning of the feature and Mackesy settled into Third. However, it was part of the game
plan for Mackesy to take it easy at the beginning and turn up the wick at the end of the race. Mackesy’s winning move came on lap 59 when he cleared Thiel for the lead.
just tried to take it easy because I was actually starting to buzz the tires a little bit. I was just trying not to spin them,” Mackesy said. “I didn’t want to over drive it and just tried to
stay calm. The 25 (Thiel) just got really free off. I think he greased up a little bit. He had a really good run though.”
Along with the pass for the lead, a move early in the race proved to be just as critical. From his outside-front-row starting spot, Mackesy fell back to Third behind Thiel and Mike
Lichtfeld. He was able to tuck in line just before Kraus could get to his inside.
just wanted to stay in the Top Three, but Mackesy got down in front of me in the beginning of the race and we just wanted to race with him to see what we could do,” Kraus said.
With Kraus settling behind Mackesy and the Top Five beginning to take shape, Thiel stretched out his lead over Lichtfeld to almost a straightaway. However, as the laps clicked off Lichtfeld
closed the gap. Just as Lichtfeld had closed within striking distance on lap 17, the only yellow of the race fell for a dual spin of Jake Capek and Toby Rott.
the restart, Lichtfeld chose the outside. Both Mackesy and Kraus decided to keep the bottom lane, which allowed Ryan Farrell to jump to the outside of the second row. On the restart
Lichtfeld held on as long as he could up top, but eventually surrendered the lead to Thiel and settled in Second in front of Mackesy. Behind the lead three, Farrell had found a home in Fourth and
Kraus was Fifth.
After five laps of riding in the tire tracks of Lichtfeld, Mackesy prepared to make his move. Mackesy swung to the inside on lap 25 and grabbed the runner up spot. Just as Mackesy made
his move on Lichtfeld, Kraus slid past Farrell and into Fourth.
Just inside the Top Ten fast qualifier Michael Ostdiek was the first to make some moves. He closed in on the Top Five, but was stuck on the outside and eventually began to slide back in the top
groove before settling in.
Further back in the pack the point leaders were trying to make the best out of being caught in traffic. Casey Johnson had fallen back early in the race, and Dalton Zehr started deep in the pack
after accepting a provisional. The duo began to pick their way through the Top Ten on lap 32.
While positions in the Top Ten were still being sorted out, Thiel did the same as he had done at the beginning of the race. With plenty of clean air, Thiel again stretched his lead out to
nearly a straightaway over the rest of the pack. However, by lap 40 it was apparent that Mackesy was chopping away at the lead.
Mackesy closed in on Thiel, Kraus approached the bumper of Lichtfeld. On lap 43 Kraus found the inside lane and made his move into Third. Although they were battling, that duo was also
catching the leaders.
lap 53 Mackesy and Kraus had erased the deficit to Thiel. Noticing that Thiel’s machine was loosening up, Mackesy prepared to make his move. He went to the bottom on lap 54 as Thiel tried
to fend him off on the outside. Although he put up a good fight, Thiel relinquished the lead on lap 59. Kraus and Lichtfeld followed Mackesy into Second and Third.
Just as the Top Three prepared to step away, Wyatt Blashe made his way past Thiel into Fourth. He quickly hooked to the bumper of Lichtfeld and kept himself in contention for the win.
Although Lichtfeld and Blashe looked swift, Mackesy and Kraus eventually separated themselves to settle the score. Kraus closed on the bumper of Mackesy several times in the final ten laps, and
took several looks to the outside. However, Kraus could not make a run to the top, and could not find any space on the bottom.
fell back at the start and I didn’t think we’d get back up there,” Mackesy said. “All of the sudden we were in the lead, then Derek was on me like stink on an ape. He kept the pressure
on. I was hoping he’d give me a little break, but the car was really, really good. I knew if I kept it down that he wouldn’t booger me out of the way.”
Despite the opportunities, Kraus could not find a way past Mackesy in the final laps of Round Five. He claimed the runner-up spot for the second race in a row. “It was a really good race,”
Kraus said. “I just couldn’t go around the outside and couldn’t pass him on the inside – it wasn’t there.”
Behind the lead duo, Lichtfeld held on to Third for a podium that has eluded him so far in 2016. Wyatt Blashe rode to a Fourth Place finish – eclipsing the career best Sixth Place finish he had
set at Wausau in Round Four.
final spot in the Top Five was up for dispute in the final circuits. Zehr had picked his way through the field and closed in on Joel Theisen. With five laps to go Zehr made the move past
Theisen into the Top Five. Theisen settled into Sixth, just in front of Johnson.
Johnson’s move to Seventh helped him hold his point lead over Zehr. Johnson picked up points on Zehr in qualifying while Zehr placed Third in his heat. The gap now sits at 24 points
heading into the final event at Jefferson Speedway on September 18.
That number has some significance in speaking of history repeating itself. Zehr trailed Ty Majeski by the exact same margin last year heading into the final race at Jefferson. Zehr went on to
win the event and the title by five points. However, with Jefferson Speedway being Johnson’s home track, some history may just end up being history.
BACK GETS TRUTE BACK
Greg Back had to work for his first TUNDRA Sportsman win in Saturday’s 40-lap main event. After getting passed by fast qualifier Dave Trute on a restart, the Central Wisconsin native was not
going to let a win slip away at his home track.
Back reeled Trute in after a pass on lap 23 and applied the pressure after another restart on lap 28 until making the final pass at the white flag.
Brandon Scholze took an early lead in the main, surging past fellow front-row starter Jason Stark. Jason Thoma quickly slid into Third behind Schole and Stark and started to set his sights on
Deeper in traffic Trute – who had set fast time – and Back started to work their way through the field on the heels of Mahlon Borntreger. Borntreger made a pass on Thoma for Second on lap eight
and took the lead from Scholze on lap 11. Back followed Borntreger into Second with Trute right behind in Third.
lap 15 Trute was checking the bottom line on Back for Second. However, just as he seemed to find the inside, Back went to the high side and made the pass on Borntreger for the lead on lap
17. Trute also jumped to the outside and followed to Second.
the lead duo of Back and Trute stepped away from the pack and began to race side-by-side they quickly closed in on lapped traffic. The lapped traffic cars were not taking notice of the
move-over flag, so to prevent an incident and allow the leaders to race, race control threw a yellow flag and issued a warning to the drivers at the tail of the field.
the restart Back chose the inside and Trute elected to take the high line. Back initially took the lead, but Trute was able to tuck in right behind him. On lap 23 Trute took the lead and
opened up an advantage of about three car lengths. Despite making the pass, Trute could not stretch out the advantage over Back.
With Back on his bumper held the lead until a yellow fell again on lap 28. On the restart Trute was able to power past Back on the inside, but again Back would not fade. Eventually Back
closed to the bumper of Trute with just three laps to go and prepared to make his move.
With the pressure on Trute, Back was able to find some space on the inside line and pulled even in the battle for the lead. As they raced to the line for the white flag Back nosed ahead and
then secured the lead on the final lap. Trute would settle for Second, Scott Luck made a solid late-race run to Third, Borntreger finished Fourth, Joe Monti rounded out the Top Five.
TUNDRA Sportsman will not compete at Jefferson, but will have a sixth race at the Dells Raceway Park Falloween event on October 23.
ROSSIER RIVALRY TO ROYCE
TUNDRA Vintage feature turned into a brotherly battle as Royce and Rex Rossier stepped away from the pack to settle the score in the 25-lap main event. In the end Royce Rossier was able to deny
his brother Rex a third straight win.
Both Royce and Rex – who had set fast time – rocketed through the field. Royce was first to get to the head of the pack, with Rex joining him shortly after. Over the final half of the
race Rex got to the bumper of Royce and searched for a way to the outside. Each time he tried the outside, his machine snapped sideways and he was forced to tuck back in line.
Royce went on to beat his brother by just a few car lengths at the start/finish line. Rex settled for Second, Pat Echlin was Third, Pat Heaney was Fourth, and Dick Kath rounded out the Top
TUNDRA Super Late Model Series rounds out its 2016 season at Wisconsin’s Action Track Jefferson Speedway on Sunday, September 18. Round Six Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes will be part of the now
three-day Wisconsin State Championships which begin Friday, September 16. The Sunday program will feature the TUNDRA Super Late Models, Midwest Truck Series, Vintage, Legends and
Bandoleos. Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30 and racing is at 2 P.M.
Jefferson Speedway is located on Highway 18 between Jefferson and Cambridge, WI. For more information visit www.jeffersonspeedway.com
MACKESY MASTERS THRILLER AT STATE PARK
Posted on Aug 16, 2016
WAUSAU, Wis. (August 14, 2016) – The 75-lap TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes feature on Sunday evening at State Park Speedway was full of twists and turns. When the
dust settled it was multiple-time track Champion Mark Mackesy who showed that there is little substitute for years of experience at the tricky quarter mile.
Mackesy aced the outside line on a restart with ten laps remaining to pull away from 14-year-old up-and-comer Derek Kraus. It was Mackesy’s second time on the podium in a TUNDRA race, and
retribution for a Seventh Place finish in last year’s event.
“That’s pretty neat. We haven’t won a big race here since the Flip Merwin Memorial race in 2013,” Mackesy said. “To beat this stellar field of cars that’s here tonight is amazing.
There is so much talent in this feature tonight, it’s unbelievable.”
win was also satisfaction after a tough week of healing an ailing machine. Mackesy suffered what he thought were motor issues in State Park’s Thursday event.
thought we had some motor issues and we weren’t going to run,” he said. “We worked on it yesterday. It wasn’t the motor at all. I actually had some loose battery cables.”
feature worked its way to a boil slowly. Ernie Schlough seized the lead from the pole position driving the #7-11 which is piloted by reigning TUNDRA Champion and fast qualifier Dalton Zehr at
State Park on Thursday nights. Schlough looked every bit as confident behind the wheel as Zehr as he paced the field through the first 20 circuits while the quicker qualifiers were mired deep
in traffic. Even a caution and restart on lap 15 couldn’t shake Schlough.
Once the field had settled in from the lap-15 restart the plot began to thicken. On lap 21 Zehr tried to duck to the bottom line in front of point leader Casey Johnson. Zehr spun and
Johnson rode up the track. The point leaders and fastest qualifiers had just slid into the Top Ten after starting 11th and 12th on the grid. Zehr’s machine appeared to suffer the
most damage with some body work hanging.
Zehr accepted blame for the incident and attempted to use the gentleman’s agreement to allow Johnson to take his spot back. However, both cars went to the pit area to assess the damage.
By rule, once a car leaves the track it must restart at the tail of the field. Both Johnson and Zehr went to work regaining positions immediately after the green fell again.
front, Schlough continued to battle Billy Mohn for several laps after the restart, but was too strong on the inside line. Schlough’s solid effort forced Mohn to tuck back in line in
Second. Through the next 15 laps, the field continued to tiptoe on the inside line while track position looked to be at a premium. However, another caution caused another shakeup on lap
37. It involved Zehr for the second time and he and Bryan Keske wrestled for position.
lap 37-restart brought some changes to the front of the field. Ryan Farrell was able to work past Billy Mohn for Second and brought Kraus into Third. The duo of Farrell and Kraus
feverishly worked to chase down Schlough, but would not catch up until a yellow came out for another spin on lap 47.
this point two cars were starting to find their stride. Both Mike Lichtfeld and Mackesy had been hanging in the Top Ten throughout the first half of the race. On the lap-47 restart both
were in the Top Six and were prepared to make some moves after the green fell again. Just after the field was set back into motion, Kraus stole Second from Farrell and Lichtfeld followed to
Third. Mackesy moved past Farrell just four laps later.
Although Schlough had another comfortable cushion after the restart, he was unable to run away from Kraus. However, Kraus was caught by Lichtfeld on lap 59. A quick slide to the inside
allowed Lichtfeld to take the runner-up spot and set his sights on Schlough. Mackesy soon caught Kraus and prepared to battle for Third.
Lap 64 Lichtfeld was to the bumper of Schlough for the lead. Just after the lead pair crossed the line for lap 65, Lichtfeld prepared to make his move. He looked to the inside entering
turn one, then tried to hold the line coming off turn two for a run down the back stretch. Unfortunately for both drivers, space became limited. The two came together, sending Schlough
spinning into the infield. Lichtfeld would have to rejoin at the tail of the field and Schlough’s excellent TUNDRA debut was cut short.
tangle between the leaders set up the lap-65 restart in which Mackesy elected to take the high line on Kraus. No other driver was able to make the line work, but the years of experience paid
dividends for Mackesy.
could see when I was behind Derek that he couldn’t get up and out of the corners and I could get a good run,” Mackesy said. “I knew if I could get a run on him through the corner I could get
around him on the outside.”
“That was a lot of work,” he commented. “We started so deep in the field and we just had a hard time getting through traffic.”
Behind Mackesy Kraus settled for Second. “We had a pretty good car, we just didn’t have the forward drive off and that’s where he beat us,” Kraus commented.
Although his bid for three straight feature wins came up just one spot shy, Kraus was pleased with the run. He continues to impress with a calm demeanor, and an ability to stay out of
frantic day of Dalton Zehr continued behind Kraus. While most attention was focused on the battles for the lead up front, Zehr was on a mission. He had moved to Fourth with just two laps
to go and quickly closed on Farrell as the white flag fell. Zehr used some physicality to open up the inside line in the final sweep through three and four, and stole Third at the
checkered. Farrell settled for Fourth and Mohn rounded out the Top Five.
With his move into Third, Zehr was able to salvage what could have been a harmful day in the TUNDRA points race.
definitely wasn’t my proudest race,” Zehr said. “We were involved in a lot of yellows and I really don’t like being in any of them. It’s a tight track and tough to get around.
Unfortunately we made more contact with guys than I would like to. But we were able to make it back up to Third all the same.”
Johnson was able to salvage his day after the incident with Zehr as well. Although he did not make the same kind of late run, Johnson was still able to return to the Top Ten and finish
Seventh. His lead now sits at 29 points atop the standings heading into the next race at Golden Sands Speedway.
TRUTE HOLDS OFF VOLM IN SPORTSMAN
incredible battle for the win wasn’t just for the Super Late Models to display. The 30-lap Sportsman race came down to the final circuits as fast qualifier Travis Volm pressured Dave
Trute. Trute was able to hold on and secure his second win of the season.
Scott Luck grabbed the early lead from the front row and began to check out over the rest of the pack. Behind him Jason Thoma had secured Second and would soon be run down by the trio of Trute,
Volm and Greg Back.
the halfway point Trute made his move on Thoma for Second. By opening up the inside line, Trute brought Volm to Third and Back to Fourth. Just three laps later the trio had caught Luck
and were ready to test him for the lead.
lap 19 Luck was shaken off the bottom line, which allowed Trute to cruise to the lead. The slip by Luck was unfortunate for Volm who was challenging for Second on the outside. Volm fell
back behind Back and had to recover quickly. By lap 25 he moved past Back into Second and set his sights on Trute.
After three laps Volm had caught the back end of Trute. He took a quick look to the outside, but then tucked back in line before the white flag fell. Volm kept right on Trute’s bumper
through one and two, but could not get to the inside. Entering three and four, Volm again looked low, but found no space to make the pass.
Trute went on to win by a car length over Volm, Back was Third, John Zuch finished Fourth, and Thoma rounded out the Top Five. The win propelled Trute back into the point lead of the
ROSSIER ROCKETS TO ANOTHER VINTAGE WIN
Rossier made it two Vintage wins in a row after he carefully picked through the field in the 30-lap feature. Rossier took the lead from Pat Heaney on lap 18 and didn’t look back.
There was one final challenge that Rossier would have to face – a long yellow after one of the machines dropped fluid around the track. With some oil dry down on the surface, Rossier was still
able to hold off Heaney and his brother Royce on the restart.
Heaney went on to finish Second, fast qualifier Jerry Schneider made a late pass on Royce Rossier for Third and Darrell Paasch finished Fifth.
TUNDRA Super Late Model Series heads to Golden Sands Speedway for Round Five Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes on Labor Day, Monday, September 5. Racing will begin at 2 P.M. TUNDRA will be
joined by the Midwest Truck Series, Vintage, and Sportsman.
CROSS OFF LACROSSE: ZEHR ADDS ANOTHER TO TUNDRA WIN LIST
Posted on Jul 3, 2016
WEST SALEM, Wis. (July 2, 2016) – The TUNDRA Super Late Model Series has visited nine tracks since it began as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series in 2011. Dalton Zehr has now won at
eight of those nine tracks.
two-time and reigning series Champion put a check mark next to LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday night as he survived several restarts to win the Johnny’s Hobbies 50. The win was his
11th in TUNDRA and 100th of his career.
“We’ve been doing a lot of racing,” Zehr said of his team’s 2016 calendar. “Any time you can do a lot of racing you build momentum behind the team and they get better at working together.”
Starts and restarts proved to be a critical formula for Zehr and some of the other quick machines to come through the field. A ten-car invert placed Jordan Thiel on the pole for the 50-lap
feature alongside Joel Thiesen. Thiel broke away in the first ten laps before a caution gave those faster qualifiers a chance to work some magic on the lane choice.
the lap 10 restart, Johnson, Nick Panitzke and Zehr chose the outside line behind Thiesen. This particular restart would prove to be crucial in shaping the eventual podium as Johnson moved to
Second, Panitzke to Third, and Zehr settled in Fifth.
chose the outside on (that) restart, which I honestly thought was a little bit of a risky move. I’m not sure what happened on that inside row, but it checked up pretty good. Then it was a
race to the front from there.”
the field began to sort out from the lap 10 restart, Johnson closed the gap on Thiel in front, but was unable to make a move. On lap 16 the top four had broken away from Thiesen in Fifth and
the battle for Sixth which included Travis Dassow, Mike Lichtfeld and Ty Majeski. With some ground to make up, Majeski moved past Lichtfeld on lap 18 and Dassow on lap 20.
Unfortunately for the night’s fastest qualifier, the race came to an end just five laps later. Majeski slowed on the front stretch and attempted to pull off the track surface after it appeared
he lost all power in his machine.
restart at lap 25 pitted Thiel on the inside and Johnson to his outside. After one botched restart, Johnson powered past Thiel through turns one and two to take the top spot. Zehr
followed on the outside into Second and Panitzke secured Third just three laps later.
Just as the race was approaching lap 30, Zehr began to challenge Johnson for the lead. Zehr slid to the inside line on lap 30 and began a back-and-forth battle with Johnson. Zehr nosed
past Johnson by mere inches at the line on lap 32, just before a caution came out for a spun Lichtfeld on the front stretch. Zehr was given the lead and the critical first choice when the
TUNDRA barrel was placed to pick a lane for the restart.
Surprisingly, Zehr chose the outside on the restart, giving Johnson the bottom groove. Johnson enjoyed an exceptional restart and cleared Zehr without issue. Johnson built an advantage of
about three car lengths until the yellow fell again when Michael Sauter came to a stop on the back stretch.
This time it was Johnson who had the first choice. Just like Zehr on the previous caution, Johnson selected the outside line, leaving the bottom for Zehr. Johnson tried to clear Zehr on
the top side, but could not turn him away. Zehr held on in the low groove as the pair raced door-to-door for the next two circuits. Finally on lap 36 Zehr was able to surge past Johnson
and secure the top spot.
was kind of a shaky call,” Johnson said of selecting the top groove. “I got him on the inside before that but I thought maybe we’d get a run on the outside. But I spun the tires and that
was all it took.”
There was still some doubt to be had about a Zehr win. With 11 laps remaining Panitzke swiped Second from Johnson and set his sights on running down the leader. Although he made up some
ground, it appeared Panitzke would need some help to close the gap. That help came on lap 47 when a final caution fell for a Joel Thiesen spin.
Because the restart came with less than 5 laps left, the field was single-file at the drop of the green. Zehr played the restart to perfection and had enough of a cushion to keep Panitzke in
the rear view mirror.
“Restarts weren’t our best game for sure, so I was glad to see that last one be single file,” Zehr said.
the former Champion Panitzke, a Second Place finish in his return to the series was a satisfactory result. “We had a lot of fun coming back to TUNDRA. I kind of let (Zehr) and (Johnson)
go and figured I’d let them beat up on each other a little bit and see if I could capitalize late, but they kind of cleared up.”
Behind Panitzke, Johnson scored yet another podium finish in TUNDRA action. To go with his two Second Place finishes already, the Third Place finish helped cap another decent day in regard to
the TUNDRA standings. “Not a bad day at all. Obviously we’re hunting for trophies but in the long run it was definitely a good points day.”
Nick Barstad enjoyed a solid late-race run to take Fourth in just his second ever TUNDRA start. After leading the race early, Thiel held on for a TUNDRA career-best finish of Fifth.
Despite Zehr’s win, Johnson’s better qualifying effort and a lap led secured enough bonus points to keep his healthy lead in the standings. He holds a 49-point edge over Zehr, who moved to
Second and a 72-point lead over Dassow. Terry Schoppenhorst sits in Fourth, 84 points out of the top spot. Thiel’s Fifth place finish moved him to Fifth in the standings, 94 points out of
Super Late Models will enjoy a six-week break until the next event at State Park Speedway.
Double the Fun for Prietzel in Sportsman Twin Features
Patience was the name of the game for the faster cars in the wildly entertaining Sportsman twin features. Veteran and Hall of Fame racer Bill Prietzel played that game to perfection, picking up
both 15-lap events.
Prietzel also collected an extra $200 from Dean’s Satellite and Security for his trips to Victory Lane.
Rachel Kallas and John Zuch led the field to green in the first feature. The two leaders jousted for the top spot for the first five laps, until Kallas secured the lead. Just after she
took the top spot, Kallas immediately was pressured by LaCrosse regular Brian Hesselberg. Hesselberg took the lead on lap six as Prietzel and fast qualifier Dave Trute scrapped for Second.
Although on the outside, Prietzel was able to take the lead from Hesselberg with three laps left in the first feature. Trute followed quickly and set his sights on Prietzel. Meanwhile,
Greg Back had captured Third and was closing quickly.
Trute tried frantically to find a line past Prietzel, but could not make the last-lap pass. Prietzel cruised to the win in the first 15 and Back was able to clip Trute at the line for
the second 15-lap feature Kallas and Zuch again led the field to green, but this time their battle for the top spot intensified. There was little to no separation between the two. When
Kallas pulled ahead, Zuch fought back. When Zuch had the edge, Kallas regained position.
Things finally broke free with three laps to go when Zuch finally cleared Kallas. The result was a mad scramble as Trute, Back and Prietzel tried to rush to the lead. With two laps to go
both Trute and Prietzel were winding up ready to make their moves on the leader from as far back as fifth and sixth.
Back tucked into second on the inside behind Zuch, Trute was behind Back and Prietzel had taken Fourth when the white flag fell. As the top four went into turn one Trute attempted to go to the
inside of Back, leaving the outside for Prietzel. Prietzel went door-to-door with Back down the back stretch, then charged to pull even with Zuch through turns three and four. With a run
to the stripe, Prietzel was able to hold off Zuch by half a car length. Back was Third and Trute had to settle for Fourth.
Drivers were awarded points on the average of their finishes. The order was Prietzel, Back, Trute, Zuch, Hasselberg, and Kallas.
Rossier Rockets to Vintage Win
Stockton Rocket was back in form in the 25-lap Vintage feature event. After setting fast time earlier in the evening, Rex Rossier blazed a path to the front of the field and picked up his first
series win of the season.
Roger Peterson and Royce Rossier battled for the lead early, only to see Rex on their doorstep by lap four. After making the pass on Peterson, Rex went to the outside of his brother Royce to
take the lead.
yellow fell for a spin with ten laps to go, giving Dave Gawronski and Ken Lewis a chance to steal the win from Rossier. However, the battle between Lewis and Gawronski allowed Rossier to
escape. Gawronski finished Second, Lewis Third, JJ Meyer was Fourth and Gene Pennington rounded out the Top Five.
TUNDRA will take a mid-summer break and be back in action on Sunday, August 14 at State Park Speedway. Details on the event will be release in the coming weeks on TUNDRA’s web site.
State Park Speedway is located at the foot of Rib Mountain at 5711 North Mountain Rd in Wausau. For more information visit www.stateparkspeedway.com
PRUNTY OUTLASTS JOHNSON, CONDITIONS FOR TUNDRA VICTORY
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (June 4, 2016) – The rains came, the red flag was displayed and a large pause was put on TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Round Two Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes on Saturday at
Dells Raceway Park. At that point, some of the Prunty clan decided to make their way back to a local campground.
“The kids are at the campground waiting for me. I guess it’s better than seeing me finish last,” Prunty joked.
What they missed was another dazzling run by the former TUNDRA Champion at the third-mile. After the rain delay on lap 12 of 75 Prunty methodically picked his way from eighth to second, putting
himself in a good position when race leader Mike Lichtfeld’s machine experienced electrical issues.
“We’ve been really strong here over the past couple of years,” Prunty said of his continued success at the venue.
win was the third in TUNDRA action for Prunty. All three have been at DRP including the Championship clinching feature win in 2012. The last time Prunty appeared in a TUNDRA event at DRP
he finished Second in 2014.
Although Prunty was able to claim victory, there were several key moments after the race resumed which put him in position to capitalize. The biggest key could have been his pass on Casey
Johnson for Third on lap 48 as Johnson proved to be strong in the late stages of the feature.
Once into Third, Punty went on the attack to take Second from Travis Dassow on lap 51. After Prunty took the spot, it looked as though he would need a monumental run to catch Lichtfeld, who had
captured the lead shortly after the race resumed from the rain delay on lap 12. Lichtfeld’s lead was nearly a straightaway, and he was having no trouble picking off lapped traffic.
However, shortly after Prunty had taken Second away, a distinct rumbling sound began under the hood of the 44. Although Lichtfeld continued to nurse the machine, it was clear that he was
underpowered and unable to hold off the rest of the field. Prunty caught him on lap 54 to take the lead. Dassow followed back into Second with Johnson right on his bumper in Third.
Prunty started to build a lead, Johnson tested Dassow. He was able to make the pass on lap 59 and set his sights on Prunty, who was starting to find the thickest lapped traffic. With laps
clicking off the board, Johnson continued to make gains and was to Prunty’s bumper with less than ten laps remaining.
After a few challenges in the final five circuits, Johnson was continually turned away. Finally, with two laps to go, Prunty was able to get some breathing room after clearing more lapped
were right there, I don’t know if I would have had enough for him,” Johnson said of the battle with Prunty. “Traffic played a big part in the race.”
Behind the lead duo, reigning two-time TUNDRA Champion Dalton Zehr was making a frantic run to cap a frantic day. He made the pass on Dassow for third with six laps remaining, securing a podium
finish after going to the back of the field.
“That’s only half of the day,” Zehr said of his finish. “We showed up with a rear end that was blown out and worked on it throughout all of practice. We started at the back of the pack
and had a fast race car obviously. The thing was just awesome in traffic. In open traffic I think the two guys in front of me would have been really hard to pass.”
Aside from the problems during practice, Zehr was also involved in a caution on lap 12, just before the rains came. When the field came out to finish drying the track, he experienced a dead
battery, which was changed in time to get him out at the tail end of the field before the green fell again.
Although the defending Champion may have saved his chances to contend again, there is still a gap to make up due to the strong runs of Johnson, Dassow and Bobby Kendall, who sit ahead of Zehr in the
With his second consecutive runner-up finish, Johnson has made an early statement in the TUNDRA points. He leads Dassow by 34 markers. Kendall is just 49 points behind, with Zehr (53
behind) and Terry Schoppenhorst (57 points behind) rounding out the Top Five.
Johnson, who has won a TUNDRA race in his own Super Late Model, was quick to credit the relationship with Chase Motorsports, now in its second season.
“This car has been real stout,” he said. “We’ve finished Second in both TUNDRA races and qualified top two in both of them. Any time I get a chance to sit in here, I’ll do it.”
He’ll get another chance to sit behind the wheel at the next event which is Friday, July 1 at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Johnson finished Seventh in the event last season, one spot behind
Zehr. Dassow has had a team driver compete for him at the last two events – his wife Kelsey last season, and Brad Keith two seasons ago. Kendall last competed with TUNDRA at LaCrosse in
2014. He finished Eighth.
KALLAS GRABS SPORTSMAN CHECKERED
second TUNDRA Sportsman Series feature event provided just as much excitement as the first. Seventeen-year-old Rachel Kallas held off Hall of Fame racer Bill Prietzel to capture the feature
was Kallas’ second career feature win in a Super Stock/Sportsman type car. She has also been competing in the Late Model division at Dells Raceway Park.
With curfew looming and another race to run afterward, the feature length was shortened to 18 laps. Kallas and Jason Thoma led the field to green and remained side-by-side for the first six
laps of the race. The incredibly competitive field remained nose to tail behind them.
Kallas was able to clear Thoma on lap six, leaving him to deal with Bryce Miller. As they went side-by-side, Prietzel and Greg Back found enough room to make some passes into the Top
Five. On lap 10 Prietzel moved to Third with Back coming to fourth. Meanwhile, it was tough sledding for fast qualifier Dave Trute, who was still bottled up in traffic.
lap 12, Prietzel caught and made the pass on Miller for Second. Back soon followed. Trute had finally shaken free and was closing in on the Top Five.
the final five laps Prietzel began to size up Kallas. She was able to fend off Prietzel’s charge just after the white flag fell and dashed back to the line for the win. Back beat Trute by
a nose to the line for Third and Kevin Berg narrowly slipped past Miller for Fifth at the stripe.
ECHLIN HOLDS OFF SCHNEIDER IN TUNDRA VINTAGE
long ride from Dyer, Indiana and a long night of waiting ended up worthwhile for Pat Echlin. He captured the win in the TUNDRA Sportsman feature by holding off a charge from Round One winner
Just like the Sportsman race, the feature had to be shorted due to curfew. Echlin cruised to the front of the field and built a healthy advantage before Schneider attempted to track him
Rossier was Third, Ken Lewis was Fourth, and Royce Rossier rounded out the Top Five.
TUNDRA heads to LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway for Round Three Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes on Friday, July 1. The program will feature Super Late Models, Sportsman, Vintage and the Midwest
Truck Series. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7:30. More details on the event will be released soon.
LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway is located at N4985 Cty Rd M in West Salem, Wis. For more information visit www.lacrossespeedway.com
TUNDRA SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES 2016 SCHEDULE
As of 1/8/16
Dates, times and divisions subject to change
Saturday, May 7 – Wisconsin International Raceway, Kaukauna, Wisconsin
2 P.M. Start, 50 Lap Super Late Model Feature
Divisions: Midwest Truck Series, TUNDRA Vintage, Sportsman, Wisconsin Sport Trucks
Saturday, June 4 – Dells Raceway Park, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Night Race, 75 Lap Super Late Model Feature
Divisions: Midwest Truck Series, TUNDRA Vintage, Sportsman
Friday, July 1 – LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, Wis.
Night Race, 50 Lap Super Late Model Feature
Divisions: Midwest Truck Series, TUNDRA Vintage, Sportsman
Sunday, August 14 – State Park Speedway, Wausau, Wis.
Afternoon Race, 75 Lap Super Late Model Feature
Divisions: Midwest Truck Series, TUNDRA Vintage, Sportsman
Monday, September 5 – Golden Sands Speedway, Plover, Wis.
Afternoon Race, 75 Lap Super Late Model Feature
Divisions: Midwest Truck Series, TUNDRA Vintage, Sportsman