Zehr Dominates Wausau Noon Optimist Kids Night
By: Brandon Aschenbrenner
The Wausau Noon Optimist night brought out tons of kids and their bikes on kid’s night. The bikes would be used for entertainment during the intermission period as the kids raced against other kids in their age group for a coveted trophy and flag. Racer’s kids, grandkids and even racers themselves all got involved in the action, including a special driver/crew race. These “big kids” would race against each other with Rayce Haase reigning victorious and pocketing the $50 bonus and the bragging rights.
In the Green Mill Super Late Models presented by C-Tech, Jerry Brickner picked up the fast time award. Jeremy Lepak and Ryan Hinner would take heat wins in some very close finishes. The feature event would see Jeremy Lepak and Mike Olson, making his first visit this season, start on the front row. Lepak was able to jump out to the early lead, but last year’s track champion, Dalton Zehr was able to make the pass on the inside and take the lead five laps into the race. A competition caution would fly at the half way point of the sixty lap feature, and the restart would be more of the same with Zehr pulling away, this time from Stratford’s Derek Kraus. With nineteen laps remaining, Brickner and Jay VanDerGeest got together in turn four and spun bringing out a yellow. Both would continue, but would be sent to the back because of contact. A final restart would see M.G. Gajewski attempt to pass Zehr on the high side, but Zehr was having none of it and he was able to park it in victory lane. Gajewski would hold on for second, with Kraus, Mark Mackesy and Olson rounding out the top five. In the points, Gajewski now has a sixteen point edge over Lepak.
The Budweiser/Fabiano Brothers Limited Late Models had Adam Peschek getting fast time in Fred Mueller qualifying. Todd Handrick would win the heat race. The feature would start with Handrick and Jeff Nowak, last race’s winner, in the top spots. Handrick occupied the bottom lane while Nowak tried to work the top side. Lots of back and forth racing between the two would shuffle out with Todd Handrick coming out victorious. Jeff Nowak would hold off Adam Peschek for second. Brock Heinrich and Lyle Nowak finished out the top five. Peschek has the point lead still by twenty-four over Heinrich.
The Ropa’s Pizza Pure Stocks would feature Dillon Mackesy during opening ceremonies. Two heat races would end with Brian Schramm, after a last lap move, and Jeff Spatz, holding off the field, in victory lane. In the feature, cautions would be frequent, but some great side by side racing occurred throughout the field. Jeff Spatz would be on the bad end of a few cautions, first on lap seven when his car spun in turn four and then again a lap later with a flat tire. After that, another caution would fly when Warren Bartelt and Alex Volm made contact. With all the cautions and restarts, Mackesy and Travis Volm were able to make their way to the front. Yet another caution however would keep things slow and bunched up when a chain reaction spin involving Louie Merriam and Chad Dietsche would send those cars to the back and effectively ending Merriam’s night. The final nine laps were raced without incident and would see Mackesy fighting off Volm to pick up his first feature on the year. Mitch Stankowski, Schramm and Nick Grish would pocket top fives. Travis Volm still holds a large fifty-three point lead.
In the Snap-On Mini-Mods Greg Blount got quick time, his first of the year. In the heat, Jimmer Lietz would win over his dad John in a photo finish. The feature would find the Lietz family up front again, but this time John was able to get away. John Lietz would continue on without too much resistance and he would cruise to his second win of 2017. Dale Louze, Jimmer Lietz, George Seliger and Blount would round out the field of five. Points are still being led by Seliger over Louze by twenty.
The Motors Service and Supply Mini-Stocks had Robb Wruck turn the quickest lap in qualifying. Kevin Tessmer got the job done in the heat race. In the feature though, it would again be Wruck taking the lead five laps in and never letting go picking up the checkered flag. Tessmer would bring it home second with Garret Strachota third, Brett Breitenfeldt fourth and Kyle Check fifth. In the standings, Strachota leads by twenty-four over Tessmer.
In the D&D Automotive Bandoleros Kole Guralski took fast time. Anna Malouf and Hannah Wolfe won the heat races. The feature would see Kole and Jevin Guralski battle early and Alex Hartwig would make some attempts at the lead on the high side. Caution would fly when Jessica Ziemiecki spun in turn four and collected Wolfe. Both cars were damaged but were able to continue. Kole Guralski was able to fend off Hartwig in the closing laps and made it to Brickner Family Auto Group victory lane. Kole has a thirteen point lead over Wolfe.
The next race at State Park Speedway is the Larry Detjens Memorial Weekend. On Friday July 28 we will have the Miller Light Big 8 Late Model Series feature along with Bandos, Mini Stocks and Mods. On Satuday July 29, we will have the Merrill Iron & Steel Super Late Model feature along with Mini Stocks and Mods, Pure Stocks and Limited Late Models. Friday Schedule is qualifying at six with racing at seven and Saturday is qualifying at five with racing at six. Check out www.stateparkspeedway.com or the State Park Speedway Facebook page for more information.
Flip Merwin Memorial and Dave Lashua Memorial Well Worth the Wait
By: Brandon Aschenbrenner
Double memorial night would honor two wonderful individuals who influenced many racers and fan throughout their years. The Flip Merwin Memorial, originally scheduled for June 16th, and the Dave Lashua Memorial brought out tons of fans and drivers to show their support. It was announced that any driver in the pit area, who had been influenced by either of these two gentlemen, could bring their cars onto the track for opening ceremonies. The response was every single car in the pits made their way onto the track and proceeded to do two slow parade laps in honor of Flip and Dave. An extra special thanks goes out to the Flip Merwin and Dave Lashua families as both provided trophies to the winners in victory lane.
In the Green Mill Super Late Models presented by C-Tech, Mike Lichtfeld would get interview for fast time from two weeks ago. Jay VanDerGeest and MG Gajewski would capture heat wins. The feature event, set for seventy-five laps with two competition cautions, started with Justin Mondeik and Mark Mackesy on the front row. Mondeik would take the early edge, but only twelve laps later, Gajewski would steal away the lead. Three laps from the first scheduled caution with fifty laps remaining, contact between Derek Kraus and Dillon Hammond brought out the yellow. This would serve as the twenty-five lap segment. Back to green and Gajewski lead all twenty-eight laps until the final scheduled caution with twenty-five laps remaining.
The final segment started with a lot of battling between Gajewski and Lichtfeld for the lead. Caution would fly again only two laps into segment three when Ryan Hinner spun in turn one and Hammond got collected and would be forced to retire from the race. On the restart, back and forth again Gajewski and Lichtfeld went until Gajewski would prevail with twenty laps left on the scoreboard. Down to only nine laps left and one last caution would bunch up the field brought out when VanDerGeest’s car spun out of turn two.
Gajewski would flex his muscle and hold off Jeremy Lepak and Kraus and pick up his first Flip Merwin/Dave Lashua feature. Lepak and Kraus would fight to the end finishing top three respectfully. Lichtfeld and Jerry Brickner took home top five finishes. Mark Mackesy, Hinner, Clint Sillars, Mondeik and VanDerGeest would finish in the top ten.
The Budweiser/Fabiano Brothers Limited Late Models had Brock Heinrich out for opening ceremonies. Jeff Nowak would hold on to the lead in the heat race without much of a challenge. The feature was almost a repeat as Nowak was able to lead the race and pull away early. Adam Peschek, who has been very fast all year, benefited from a mid-race slip by Phil Malouf, and Peschek started reeling in Nowak’s lead with the laps counting down. Peschek would find the bumper of Nowak with only a few laps left and tried to make a move up high, down low and every which way, but Nowak was having none of it and he held his ground and picked up his first Flip Merwin/Dave Lashua trophy. Peschek finished in second by less than one-tenth of a second. Heinrich, Lyle Nowak and Malouf would end up with top five finishes.
The Ropa’s Pizza Pure Stocks were joined with the Central Wisconsin Steel Frame Challenge Series and a seventeen car field would show their support for Dave Lashua with a thirty-four lap feature event, thirty-four was Dave’s original racecar number. Travis Volm was the fastest in town as the entire field re-qualified with the series in attendance. Two heats would end with track champion from last year at SPS Louie Merriam and GSS regular Mark Kalata getting their pictures in victory lane.
The feature event was stacked and ready to roll with Nick Grish and Kalata starting on the front row. Grish was able to lead early, and hold on until Kyle Genett would work his way past Grish and bring Volm and Karl Genett along with him. Grish and Kalata would soon after make contact on the back stretch, causing Grish to come to almost a stop which brought out the yellow flag. Contact rule was called and both would be sent to the rear. After the restart, Volm was able to take advantage and the top spot from Kyle Genett. Younger Genett Karl would make the same move and move up to second. However Volm looked dominate and he was able to pick up the feature victory. Karl Genett took a hard fought second. Dillon Mackesy raced his way to third. Mitch Stankowski had a strong showing by finishing fourth and Kyle Genett would hold onto a fifth place finish. Brandon Knoblock, Brian Schramm, Jeff Spatz, Grish and Kalata would finish in the top ten. Anthony Lashua, driving his dad Dave’s car this season, finished a well-deserved eleventh. The Central Wisconsin Steel Frame Challenge Series points are updated on their Facebook page and they will be back in action on July 7th at Golden Sands Speedway.
In the Snap-On Mini-Mods Adam Eckes was the fastest a few weeks ago. In the heat race, George Seliger laid notice to all that he was not messing around and he ran away with the win. In the feature, it was a replay of the heat for Seliger as he led early and no one got close to him. The best racing was on for second and back through the field. Notably Eckes, Dale Louze and Joe Kuehn found very hard for the top four. Eckes would prevail over Louze for second and third place with Kuehn holding off Mike Heidmann for fourth.
The Motors Service and Supply Mini-Stocks would find Garret Strachota being interviewed on the front stretch. Isiah Rowe and Robb Wruck would pocket heat wins. In the feature, Wruck was able to get to the front very quickly and was able to drive away from the field. Deeper in the pack some good hard racing was had for second on back. Eventually Strachota would clear traffic and run down Wruck, but ran out of laps as Wruck celebrated with a backflip from the passenger side door in victory lane for the first time this season. Strachota took the second position while Brett Breitenfeldt fought his way to third. Kevin Tessmer ended up in fourth and Isiah Rowe took the fifth spot.
In the D&D Automotive Bandoleros Hannah Wolfe celebrated fast time from June 16th. Kolton Guralski looked won the heat race easily. The feature would see Alex Hartwig make the early move to the top side of Guralski and he would pick up the win. Kolton Guralski and Hannah Wolfe took podium positions respectfully. Jevin Guralski and Anna Malouf rounded out the top five.
The next race at State Park Speedway is Thursday, July 20th. It will be the Kid’s Night with the ever popular bike races and all of our great regular divisions in action. Gates open at 4:30, Qualifying at 6:00 and Racing at 7:00. Check out www.stateparkspeedway.com or the State Park Speedway Facebook page for more information.
MACKESY VICTORIOUS IN CWRA STARS TO
LEGENDS TOUR EVENT AT STATE PARK SPEEDWAY
WAUSAU, WI - Mark Mackesy, Wausau, WI., not only picked up his first Feature win of the 2017 racing season, but roared to a main event sweep, capturing both 25 lap events in the CWRA "Stars to Legends Tour" event at State Park Speedway here Thursday night. The race program was the third for CWRA in 2017.
For Mackesy it was his first start on the CWRA Tour this year and he made the most of it by taking the lead in main event number one at the halfway point and holding off a determined Frank Nitzke, Berlin, WI., at the end of 25 laps. Following the two at the finish were Jake Capek, Nekoosa, WI., early race leader, Rachel Kallas, Winneconne, WI., Derrick Van Dreel, Stevens Point, WI., and Wayne Breitenfeldt, Wausau, WI.
The second 25 lap main found Mackesy starting from the 7th spot in the lineup but that proved barely a deterrent, as the local racing favorite wasted no time again moving into the first position near the half-way point of the event. The task became a bit tougher in race number two than one for Mackesy however, as Jeff Weinfurter, Wis. Rapids, WI., who suffered mechanical problems in the first Feature came flying through the field from the back of the pack to challenge. Drawing up to Mackesy's rear bumper was as close as Weinfurter could get however, as the laps ran out with Mackesy getting his 2nd main event win of the night holding off Weinfurter. A spirited battle took place throughout the race between four drivers for the next positions, with Van Dreel eventually securing the 3rd spot with Capek, Nitzke and Kallas following at the finish.
With his two main event wins, Mackesy was declared the overall winner of the event followed by Capek, Nitzke, Van Dreel, and Kallas.
Nitzke's solid performance has put him on top the point standings heading into the next CWRA "Stars to Legends Tour" event Friday, June 23rd, at the Golden Sands Speedway, Plover, WI. That event will be the Albert Getzloff Memorial race, held in honor of Getzloff, who provided drivers with race tire service for many years on the Central Wisconsin Racing Association circuit.. A full program is scheduled for the night with racing set to start at 7:45pm.
For more information on CWRA go to the CWRA Facebook page or to starmakermultimedia.com under the news section.
25 lap Feature race one. 1. Mark Mackesy, Wausau WI., 2. Frank Nitzke Berlin, WI. 3. Jake Capek, Nekoosa, WI., 4. Rachel Kallas, Winneconne, WI., 5.Derrick Van Dreel, Stevens Point, WI., 6. Wayne Breitenfeldt, Wausau, WI., 7.Darek Gress, Neillsville, WI., 8. Monty Gress, Neillsville, WI., 9. Mike Sievers, Wis. Rapids, WI., 10.Jeff Weinfurter, Wis. Rapids, WI.
25 lap Feature race two. 1. Mackesy, 2. Weinfurter, 3. Van Dreel, 4. Capek, 5. Nitzke, 6. Kallas, 7. D. Gress, 8. Breitenfeldt, 9. M. Gress, 10. Sievers.
Overall event standings. 1. Mackesy, 2. Capek, 3. Nitzke, 4. Van Dreel, 5. Kallas.
Qualifying 1. Weinfurter.
CWRA Stars To Legends Tour point standings as of 6/8/17.
1. Frank Nitzke 222
2. Jake Capek 218
3. Derrick Van Dreel 214
4. Jeff Weinfurter l 204
5. Rachel Kallas 192
6. Michael Sievers 165
7. Skylar Holzhausen 144
8. Mark Mackesy 108
9. Wayne Breitenfeldt. 101
10. Kirby Kurth 101
Thursday Night Thunder Ends In Wild Style
By: Brandon Aschenbrenner
Back to the traditional Thursday night we went at State Park Speedway and a special visit from the Wisconsin Challenge Series (WCS) Super Late Models highlighted a great night of racing action. European style Fred Mueller qualifying once again made its appearance and drivers and fans are slowly getting accustomed to the changes.
In the WCS Super Late Models, presented tonight by Werner Electric, Skylar Holzhausen would set the quickest time at 13.847. For the WCS races, there is a Dash, which would put the ten fastest cars into a ten lap race with a full invert and then the finishing results would set the starting positions one through ten for the feature. Ryan Hinner outpaced MG Gajewski and cruised on for the win. The other eight competitors that took time would run a ten lap qualifier race where there was not an invert and where they finished, they would start the feature behind the top ten. Jeremy Lepak would reign supreme in the qualifier passing Wyatt Brooks for the win. As mentioned, these races set the lineup for the 75 lap main event.
Hinner and Gajewski would set the pace for the 19 car feature. Hinner was able to get a strong start and he led the first laps with Casey Johnson hot on his heels. Johnson was able to make the pass within a few laps and started to run away from the field. Hinner got thrown back to fifth as Gajewski, Derek Kraus and Skylar Holzhausen battled for second. Caution would fly with 45 laps left for debris in turn four. Johnson and Gajewski again would start side by side with Johnson taking the top spot. Yellow would fly again with 38 laps remaining because of contact between Jason Weinkauf and Brooks in turn two sent Brooks around. Johnson continued to lead and pace the field well until another caution with 20 laps left involving Jason Weinkauf and Jerry Brickner. A shootout was on tap, and Johnson would again get away, but another caution slowed things down with eight laps left when Brickner and Jim Sauter Jr got together in turn four. Johnson again got a good restart and pulled away from Gajewski. Dalton Zehr made it past Gajewski before one more yellow flag would bunch the field up, this one for Jason Weinkauf and Brooks for the second time. A three lap fight to the end would pit Johnson versus Zehr and a great close side by side fight took place. Zehr was able to muscle past Johnson on the high side and hang on for the feature win. Johnson took second, Gajewski third, Chris Weinkauf fourth and Mike Lichtfeld fifth. Sixth through tenth would be Lepak, Holzhausen, Kraus, Thiel and James Wenzel respectfully.
The Budweiser/Fabiano Brothers Limited Late Models saw Lyle Nowak picking up fast time. Todd Handrick would hold off Evan Call for the heat win. In the feature, Call would have an early end to the night as the car wasn’t up to par. Phil Malouf was able to lead the first laps until Heinrich made his way to the top side and then made contact with Malouf causing the field to scatter. That would allow Adam Peschek to claim the lead. Malouf would spin in turn four and cause a caution shortly after leaving seven laps left on the scoreboard. Peschek was able to hold the bottom line and fend off Heinrich for the victory, his first of the season. Heinrich, Handrick, Malouf and Nowak finished top five.
The Ropa’s Pizza Pure Stocks would once again find Travis Volm being interviewed during opening ceremonies. Brian Schramm won the first heat and Volm nipped Dillon Mackesy for the heat two win. In the feature event, it was Anthony Lashua leading early, but soon Schramm would make his way to the lead. Schramm put some distance between himself and the field and was able to outlast a late charge by Volm to pick up his first feature win on the season. Volm took second, Louie Merriam took third with Mitch Stankowski and Mackesy rounding out the top five.
In the Snap-On Mini-Mods Jimmer Lietz continued to shine in qualifying picking up fast time for the third race in a row. John Lietz picked up from where he left off last week and made it to Brickner Family Auto Group victory lane in the heat race. The feature would see Greg Blount lead the early part of the race until Adam Eckes, making his return to racing, took the top spot away. Eckes would pull away with the win as the rest of the field fought for positions. Eckes picked up the feature win. George Seliger picked up second place. Jimmer Lietz, Blount, John Lietz and Dale Louze rounded out the field. Chris Lehrmann had an early end to the night with engine issues.
The Motors Service and Supply Mini-Stocks would see a different diver with quick time this week, and that would be Garrett Strachota. Kevin Tessmer was able to gain some points back by swapping with Strachota and made his was to winners circle after the heat. In the feature, once again it would be left for Strachota and Tessmer to fight to the checkered flag. Tessmer was able to hold on and keep Strachota behind him for his first feature victory. Strachota took second with Breitenfeldt third, Tom Lecher and Mark Schooney finishing fourth and fifth.
In the D&D Automotive Bandoleros Alex Hartwig showed up on top of the speed charts in qualifying. Kolton Guralski looked strong in winning the heat race. The feature event would see Hartwig make the early move to the front and he would hang on to win his first ever feature. Kolton Guralski and Hannah Wolfe put on a good show for second with Guralski prevailing. Jevin Guralski, fresh off repairs from last week, took home fourth and Anna Malouf and Keagan Benz polished off the field of bandos.
The next race at State Park Speedway is Thursday, June 8th. It will be the CWRA Super Late Models running as well as the Midwest Trucks and all of our great regular divisions in action. Gates open at 4:30, Qualifying at 6:00 and Racing at 7:00. Looking further ahead, the Flip Merwin Memorial will be on Friday June 16th. Check out www.stateparkspeedway.com or the State Park Speedway Facebook page for more information.
Friday Night Excitement Highlights
By: Brandon Aschenbrenner
Just five days after the Sunday special
race, the cars were back on track at State Park Speedway. A
new and very noticeable change this season is group
qualifying presented by Fred Mueller. The first attempt at
this type of qualifying set up time frames for cars to make
some laps in practice type format. Then the fastest
individual lap of the division would be awarded with fast
In the Green Mill Super Late Models
presented by C-Tech we saw MG Gajewski take fast time
breaking into the thirteen second bracket. Natalie Decker
and Jeremy Lepak took home heat wins. The feature was full
of action all over the race track which started with Mark
Mackesy and Jeremy Lepak on the front row. Eleven laps into
the sixty lap contest, yellow came out for Robin Procknow to
ensure he would be safely able to exit the racing surface
after numerous black flags. Shortly after the restart, Lepak
would work past Mackesy and assume the lead. Just after
that, Mackesy spun off of turn four and collected Jay
VanDerGeest and Decker. VanDerGeest would be able to drive
away, make some repairs and re-join the field, but Decker
would not. On the restart Mike Lichtfeld took the lead away
from Lepak and set sail. James Wenzel spun in turn one with
thirty-one laps remaining and caused the third yellow. The
racing would continue to be wild and crazy until the end
with Lichtfeld taking the win and Lepak holding onto second.
VanDerGeest got his slightly damaged ride back up to a very
respectable third place finish with Ryan Hinner and Jerry
Brickner taking top five finishes.
The Budweiser/Fabiano Brothers Limited
Late Models found Adam Peschek as the fast timer. The heat
race provided some wonderful side by side racing for the win
between Evan Call and Dave Cabelka. Call would sneak out the
win by only three one-hundredths of a second. In the
feature, it would start the same way as the heat. Cabelka
though was able to take the top spot bringing rookie Brock
Heinrich with him. As Heinrich made the move for the lead,
yellow flew when Peschek spun in turn three after making
contact with Call. After the restart, Heinrich was able to
secure the top spot. With five laps remaining Todd Handrick
and Call made contact in turn 2. Call retaliated under
yellow and was disqualified for his actions. The restart
would see Heinrich and Lyle Nowak side by side. Nowak got to
the inside of Heinrich, but he was able to keep the door
closed and maintain the lead. That allowed Peschek to make
his way to second and look for the lead, but Heinrich was
able to hang on and pick up his first feature win in a late
model. Peschek, Nowak, Cabelka and Handrick rounded out the
rest of the top five.
The Ropa’s Pizza Pure Stocks had a
real good showing of cars once again and Travis Volm would
qualify the quickest. Two very exciting heats would see Jeff
Spatz hold off Anthony Lashua by inches in heat 1 and Louie
Merriam fend off Mitch Stankowski in heat 2. The feature
would start with Brandon Knoblock and Merriam on the front
row. The outside lane that Merriam was in got the jump and
he brought Stankowski to the front with him. Some great
racing took place all the way through the pack, but up front
Stankowski could not find a lane to get around Merriam. As
Volm was catching both of them, Stankowski turned up the
heat and some contact hurt his chances at the win. Volm was
able to find some momentum on the top side and was able to
capture the win, even with Knoblock spinning out of turn
four as the field took the white flag. Merriam would hang on
to second, Stankowski third, Dillon Mackesy fourth and Brian
In the Snap-On Mini-Mods, Jimmer Lietz
picked up his second fast time putting down a lap of 15.946.
The heat race would belong to John Lietz as he was able to
secure the lead early and fend off Dale Louze. In their
feature race, John Lietz and Greg Blount, last year’s
Mini-Stock champion, brought the field to the green flag.
Lietz again would take the top spot early and Louze ended up
challenging him once again the entire race. It would be John
Lietz though holding on for the win with Louze taking
second. Snappy Joe Kuehn worked his way through the field,
but was not able to get further than third before the
checkered flag flew. Blount and Jimmer Lietz would round out
the top five.
The Motors Service and Supply
Mini-Stocks Kevin Tessmer topped the speed chart for the
second time. One heat found Garret Strachota making the high
line pay off with a win. In the feature, it was pretty much
the same story as Strachota made it two for two in 2017
winning the feature and parking it in Brickner Family Auto
Group victory lane. Brett Breitenfeldt made some adjustments
after the heat and finished a strong second place, Tessmer
would take third, new driver Kyle Check took fourth and
Kendra Bauman fifth.
In the D&D Automotive Bandolero
division Hannah Wolfe would wind up with quick time for her
second time this season. Kolton Guralski held off Wolfe for
the heat win. The heat race got real exciting for Anna
Malouf though with two laps remaining when the right rear
tire flew off of her car due to a broken spindle. She would
spin, but not make contact with anything and would get the
car ready for the feature. In the feature event, Jevin
Guralski lead the first two laps until he would experience a
very similar situation to Anna and lost the left front tire,
due to a broken spindle. Alex Hartwig was unable to avoid
the spun Jevin Guralski car and made contact causing
unfixable damage to both cars, but both drivers were unhurt.
The restart would see Kolton Guralski fend off Wolfe and go
on to pick up his first feature of the season. Wolfe held
onto second, Malouf third, Emma Hunstiger fourth and Keagen
The next race at State Park Speedway is
Thursday, June 1st. It will be the Wisconsin Challenge
Series Super Late Models running the Werner Electric 75 and
all of our great regular divisions will be in action. Gates
open at 4:30, Qualifying at 6:00 and Racing at 7:00. Check
out www.stateparkspeedway.com or the State Park Speedway
Facebook page for more information.