MAJESKI HOLDS BACK APEL IN THRILLING TUNDRA OPENER

 

Full Round One Results

Points After Round One

Ty Majeski Interview 

Steve Apel Interview    

 

Kaukauna, Wis. (May 10, 2015) - If TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Round One Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes proved one thing, it was this - the next generation of Super Late Model stars are here, and they are good.

 

Ty Majeski topped a tussle of four drivers under the age of 26 who won a Late Model Championship last season. The Midwest Tour titlist battled past last year's TUNDRA Champion Dalton Zehr. He chased down then outlasted two-time Big 8 Champion Casey Johnson for the lead on a restart. He then held off two-time Slinger Speedway Champion Steve Apel in a dazzling shootout in the Duke FM 50 on Saturday at Wisconsin International Raceway.

Ty Majeski in Victory Lane (TUNDRA PR photo) 

 

The win was anything but easy for the Seymour, Wis., native who lives just 20 miles away from WIR. Majeski finally fought off Johnson after a three-lap, side-by-side battle following a restart on lap 29. He then was tailed by Steve Apel, who had several brief looks to in the inside line, over the final 15 laps.

 

"It was a really good race. I'd clear him by one or two down the straightaways and he'd get me going into the corner," said Majeski, who picked up his second career TUNDRA win. "I knew if I kept hitting my marks it would be tough for him to make the pass."

 

The 15-lap showdown between Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalists was a virtual tug of war. Any time Majeski built his lead to several car lengths, Apel pulled back to his bumper. When Apel closed, Majeski jumped away to gain a small amount of breathing room.

 

Although Apel had the chances, the Performance Diesel fast qualifier came up just short of doubling up his awards for the day.

 

"We had a really good battle with Ty. He's a really clean racer," Apel commented. "I wanted to race him like I think he would race me. We didn't get the win, but I think we had a car that definitely could have won the race."

Ty Majeski (91) holds Steve Apel (51) at bay.  (Chuck Look photo) 

 

Neither driver had an easy cruise to the front of the field. In fact, both sported battle scars of moving to the front of the field from their 12th and 14th starting spots.

 

The 14-car invert placed Jeremy Lepak and Frank Nitzke on the front row of the feature. As has been the case over the past several seasons, the outside line proved to be the better line when the green flag dropped. Frank Nitzke cleared Lepak coming to the line on lap one and brought Randy Schuler along to second.

 

Eventually Lepak found his way back inside Schuler for second. While Nitzke built the lead, the field behind him started to sort out. Just six laps in Majeski was up to seventh, with Apel riding ninth and Zehr jumping from 15th to tenth. Their charges were halted when a yellow flew for a spin involving Mike Lichtfeld and Alex Stumpf.

 

The lap seven restart brought the first of several field-altering restarts. For Majeski and others further back in the field, the task of choosing a lane became a gamble each time.

 

"You didn't know which lane to pick and what guys were going to do what," Majeski said. "We picked a good lane on some restarts and not-so-good of a lane on the others."

 

The first restart was short lived as another spin forced the field back under caution. A restart on lap ten gave Maxwell Schultz his first chance to race for the lead. He powered away from Nitzke on the outside after Lepak surrendered the high line to stay low for the restart. Jesse Oudenhoven followed to second and was tailed by Casey Johnson, who had started seventh.

 

Johnson, driving the winning Chase Motorsports entry from a season ago, immediately challenged Schuler for the runner up spot, proving the outside lane to be successful again. Behind him the outside line paid dividends for Zehr, who slid to fifth on lap 12. Majeski and Apel were stuck on the inside line and fell backward in the running order.

 

A caution for debris off Ryan Farrell's machine saved a melee in turn three that involved Zehr, Austin Nason, and Frank Nitzke. Nason's machine was damaged, stalling his run to the front. Nitzke had damage, but was able to return to his starting spot in the top ten.

 

The restart on lap 13 pitted Schultz outside Oudenhoven with Johnson outside Schuler and Majeski flanking Zehr in the third row. Apel was just outside the top ten.

 

Schultz overpowered Oudenhoven and regained the lead. One lap later Johnson slid to second. Riding that momentum, Johnson shot past Schultz to the lead on lap 15. As he started to jump away, Zehr and Majeski pressured Schultz.

 

Another caution fell on lap 19 when Schuler's machine experienced mechanical failure and he came to a stop in turn four. Schultz elected to stay behind Johnson up high, leaving the inside for Zehr to face off against the car he drove to victory in this race one season ago.

 

Johnson pushed his racer past Zehr after a short battle up front and began to stretch his lead. Once Majeski passed Schultz, a frantic race for second began. Majeski found a way to dip to the inside on lap 21. Just as he got to that spot, Apel made a pass and made his first appearance in the top four. Apel had the best seat just behind the five-lap scrap. Majeski finally cleared Zehr on lap 26. Two laps later Apel had his turn to work past Zehr.

 

A caution on lap 28 set up the battle between Majeski and Johnson. For the first time all day, choosing the inside line paid off, although Majeski had to work frantically to fight off Johnson. Apel passed Johnson just two laps later, then reeled in Majeski for the 15-lap showdown. Behind them Johnson held third, Zehr finished fourth and Oudenhoven (also 26) rounded out the top five.

 

The win for Majeski sends a statement that he is back on his game early this season. Majeski was a solid title threat for most of last year, but had to sacrifice two TUNDRA starts to chase the Midwest Tour title. This season there are no conflicts to keep him from doing both. He is already looking forward to Round Two.

 

"I really like Jefferson. That's another of my favorite race tracks," Majeski said. "I'm excited to go there. Hopefully we can keep qualifying up front and getting good consistent finishes. We should be [in the Championship chase] at the end."

 

It is possible Majeski could be facing the same three drivers for a TUNDRA title this season. Zehr has committed to the full schedule. Johnson will be at the next two races (Jefferson and La Crosse), then will face a decision. Apel said prior to the event they would "see how things went at WIR and may be at more races." It would seem things went pretty well.

 

"We really did our homework over the winter. Our goal this year was to go to a track and win a race other than at Slinger. That's our number one priority," Apel said. "Winning a race at Slinger is up there, but I want to be able to go run other tracks and be competitive everywhere I go. To be able to do that in our first race outside of Slinger is a huge confidence booster for the team and myself."

 

Round Two for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes is set for Saturday, June 20 at Jefferson Speedway in Jefferson, Wis. Qualifying is set for 5 P.M. with racing to begin at 7. TUNDRA will be joined by the Mid-American Stock Car Series.

 

Jefferson Speedway is located on Highway 18 just outside of Jefferson, Wis. For more information visit www.jeffersonspeedway.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 point standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).

ENTRY LIST FOR ROUND ONE AGAIN PITS TUNDRA VERSUS WIR LOCALS

 

Round One Printable Entry List 

 

PORTAGE, Wis. (May 5, 2015) - One of the major plot lines from TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Round One of the 2014 season  was how the series travelers would stack up against the best of Wisconsin International Raceway. From top to bottom the results were mixed, even the winning team was a combination of traveler and local.

 

As TUNDRA begins its fifth season this Saturday, May 9, once again the best of TUNDRA will be have to face drivers who know the D-shaped half-mile very well.

 

Leading the charge for TUNDRA is defending series Champion Dalton Zehr. Zehr won the season-opening event last season in the Appleton-based Chase Motorsports entry. This season Zehr will be behind the wheel of his familiar red number 119. With wins last year at WIR and two season ago at Golden Sands, Zehr will be looking to win his third straight TUNDRA lid lifter.

 

Another strong contender carrying the TUNDRA colors will be Ty Majeski. Majeski became the youngest TUNDRA winner last season when he captured the checkered flag at Dells Raceway Park in August. He has had success at WIR, as well. Last season Majeski won the Red Race and nearly captured the overall Red, White and Blue Championship, if not for mechanical issues during the Blue Race.

 

Majeski's loss was another TUNDRA Traveler's gain. WIR local turned TUNDRA Traveler Maxwell Schultz picked up a share of the RW&B Championship last season. His last-lap pass for third-place forced a tie with Brett Piontek. Schultz has finished second and third in weekly Fox River Racing Club standings, and should be viewed as a top contender for Saturday.

 

Countering a tough field of TUNDRA Travelers will be many tough competitors from WIR, including 4-time Champion Jeff Van Oudenhoven. He, along with Andy Monday have multiple feature wins to boast at the facility. They have also captured many fast times on Thursday nights, and will hope to make it look routine this weekend.

 

In mention of fast times, last year's Round One fast qualifier Bobby Kendall will be a part of the event. Kendall will compete in select TUNDRA races this season, but will compete regularly at WIR on Thursday nights as he did two seasons ago.

 

Former WIR Late Model Champions Jim Duchow, Cory Kemkes and Brent Strelka will also test their meddle against the TUNDRA Travelers. Both Kemkes and Strelka competed in Round One last season. Strelka placed 12th, Kemkes 14th.

 

Although the Chase Motorsports machine will not be piloted by Zehr this season, an able new driver will step in. Last year's TUNDRA Round Two winner and former Big 8 Series Champion Casey Johnson will be carrying the banner for the locals at Round One. He will compete regularly on Thursday nights and run for Rookie of the Year. Fellow WIR Super Late Model rookie Alex Stumpf has also filed an entry for Round One.

 

Several other outside forces could worry the WIR regulars. Top Dean's Satellite Rookie contenders from one year ago Regan May, Mike Lichtfeld and Wyatt Blashe are hungry to bounce back from missing the cut in qualifying last season.

 

Illinois drivers Austin Nason and Dan Lensing have already made noise early this season. Nason picked up a Pro Late Model win at Speedweeks in February and Lensing set fast time in a stout field for the Ice Breaker 100 at Dells Raceway Park. Jeremy Lepak and Steve Rubeck have had mixed success at WIR, and could also be seen up front.

 

Two other past Champions may find themselves toward the front on Saturday, as well. Former Marshfield and Golden Sands Champion Jim Sauter Jr. has filed an entry. He last competed at the WIR Midwest Tour race in August and scored a tenth-place finish. The field will also hope to contain 2-time Slinger Champion Steve Apel. Apel struggled last year in TUNDRA Round One at WIR, but is off to a fast start at Slinger once again this season.

 

Several TUNDRA Rookies will look to make their names known, as well. Greg Pawelski and Wyatt Brooks will make their TUNDRA debuts Saturday. They will join a rookie class with two Minnesota drivers. Kyle Hansen of Lesueur, Minn., and Cole Anderson of Northfield, Minn., were both Elko Speedway Rookies of the Year last season.

 

Round One for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes is set for Saturday, May 9 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, Wis. Qualifying is set for 12:30 P.M. with racing to begin at 2. Area Street Stocks, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Vintage and Figure 8s will complete the card for the event. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up. Kids 12 and under receive free admission.

 

Wisconsin International Raceway is located at W1460 County Road KK, just past the roundabout at Hwy 55 and KK outside of Kaukauna, Wis. For more information visit www.wirmotorsports.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 final 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).

 

TUNDRA Round One Expected Entries

31 as of 5/5/15

07 - Cory Kemkes, Appleton, Wis.

1 - Jesse Oudenhoven, Kaukauna, Wis.

7 - Kelsey Dassow [TT], West Bend, Wis.

10 - Andy Monday, Appleton, Wis.

11 - Bobby Kendall, Montello, Wis.

12 - Jim Duchow, Appleton, Wis.

14 - Austin Nason, Roscoe, Ill.

17 - Scott Hoffman [TT], Menominee, Mich.

17 - Greg Pawelski [TT][R], West Allis, Wis.

18 - Frank Nitzke, Berlin, Wis.

19 - Dan Lensing [TT], Roscoe, Ill.

22 - Kyle Hansen [TT][R], Lesueur, Minn.

31W - Wyatt Brooks [TT][R], Amherst, Wis.

31 - Corey Jankowski [TT], Tomah, Wis.

32 - Steve Lichtfeld [TT], Portage, Wis.

33 - Reagan May [TT], West De Pere, Wis.

34 - Maxwell Schultz [TT], Reedsville, Wis.

40 - Jeremy Lepak [TT], Ringle, Wis.

44 - Mike Lichtfeld [TT], Pardeeville, Wis.

45 - Jim Sauter Jr., Necedah, Wis.

45 - Jeff Van Oudenhoven, Kimberly, Wis.

47 - Casey Johnson, Stoughton, Wis.

51 - Steve Apel, Slinger, Wis.

52 - Brent Strelka, Freedom, Wis.

60 - Alex Stumpf, Brillion, Wis.

61 - Steve Rubeck [TT], Cherry Valley, Ill.

72 - Randy Schuler, Mukwonago, Wis.

78 - Wyatt Blashe [TT], Clintonville, Wis.

91 - Ty Majeski [TT], Seymour, Wis.

97 - Cole Anderson [TT][R],Northfield, Minn.

119 - Dalton Zehr [TT], Middleton, Idaho

[TT]    TUNDRA Traveler    

[R]       Dean's Sattelite and Security Rookie

 

 

 

 
Matt Panure
TUNDRA Super Late Models
matt@tundrasuperlates.com
920-360-7618 

PAWELSKI ENTERS TUNDRA ROOKIE RACE

Posted on Apr 28, 2015

PAWELSKI ENTERS TUNDRA ROOKIE RACE

PORTAGE, Wis. (April 28, 2015) – Gregg Pawelski has become no stranger to traveling over the past few seasons. The West Allis, Wis., native will make a jump from Late Model to Super Late Model traveling in 2015, and plans to compete for the Dean’s Satellite and Security Rookie of the Year title with the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series.

For Pawelski, a chance to join TUNDRA is a chance to rub elbows with top racers while keeping costs low.

“We wanted to join TUNDRA to race against the best racers while keeping within my budget,” Pawelski said. “I love going to some tracks I have never seen, and looking forward to going toe-to-toe with the best.”

With some experience at Slinger, all six tracks on the 2015 schedule will be new ventures of Super Late Model racing for Pawelski and his team. Pawelski has raced in Big 8 style cars at Jefferson, La Crosse and Dells Raceway Park. Wisconsin International Raceway, State Park Speedway and Golden Speedway will be brand new experiences for him.

“I’m looking forward to racing a Super Late Model at a lot of new tracks,” Pawelski said. “Maybe we’ll surprise people once in a while along the way.”

From 2012 to 2014 Pawelski competed on a part-time basis with the Big 8 Late Model Series. In 2012 Pawelski competed in four of ten races, picking up two top tens (Rockford and Columbus). The following season Pawelski attended just two of the nine series races. Last season, along with some weekly racing, Pawelski attended four of ten Big 8 races. He recorded top tens at Madison and Dells Raceway Park.

Historically, adapting quickly to new tracks has been important to success among rookies. TUNDRA has become known over the past two seasons for having very strong rookie battles. Two years ago Paige Decker barely edged out Matt Pyburn. Last season Reagan May and Mike Lichtfeld battled to the final laps of the season with May coming out ahead.

Although Pawelski should be viewed as a top contender for the Dean’s Satellite and Security rookie title, he’s not ready to make that statement just yet. “My expectations are to have fun…that’s it. I try to keep expectations low, that way I am never disappointed in the result,” he said, jokingly.

Pawelski’s normally brightly colored number 17 will be sponsored by Playtime Doggy Daycare, Creative Development and Pathfinder Chassis. His crew consists of John Nelson, James Poleske, Tim Lange

Round One for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes is set for Saturday, May 9 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, Wis. Qualifying is set for 12:30 P.M. with racing to begin at 2. Area Steet Stocks, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Vintage and Figure 8s will complete the card for the event. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up. Kids 12 and under receive free admission.

Wisconsin International Raceway is located at W1460 County Road KK, just past the roundabout at Hwy 55 and KK outside of Kaukauna, Wis. For more information visit www.wirmotorsports.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 final 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).

TUNDRA 2015 Schedule

Round One
Saturday, May 9 – Wisconsin International Raceway (2 p.m. start), Kaukauna, Wis.

Round Two
Saturday, June 20 – Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, Wis.

Round Three
Friday, July 3 – LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, Wis.

Round Four
Saturday, July 18 – Dells Raceway Park, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Round Five
Saturday, August 1 – State Park Speedway, Wausau, Wis.

Round Six

Monday, September 7-- Golden Sands Speedway

Plover, Wis