Wedelstadt Tops Mod Action After Late Race Pass!
Larry Richards Grand National Win Nets Track Title!
Oshkosh, WI, August 30, 2013 – Stories abound on the final point night of action at Oshkosh Speedzone as LaSure’s Banquet Hall presented the evening’s race program. There are tales of hard fought battles and championships won, and musings about coming oh so close. In the end fans were treated to plenty of drama as titles were decided, and in the case of one division the championship is still up in there air even though there is no longer the ability to earn points this season!
Heading into the night fans new the next champion in the Automotive Supply Company Modified division would have the name Jerovetz, the question was simply which one? Sean the former Modified title holder at the 141 Speedway, or Troy, last season’s Sport Modified champion at Oshkosh. Fate actually determined the title as Troy who entered the evening 5 points behind Sean encountered mechanical ills before the halfway point of the main event leaving Sean to take the crown in the Jerovetz name. In the end Sean finished the season 13 markers ahead of Troy after completing tonight’s main event in eighth place. That race was captured by Mike Wedelstadt who powered past Mike Klenz for the lead with less than two laps to go in the contest.
The Outlaw Chassis Grand National main event would see a battle between the two title contenders as Larry Richards outran Brian Henry for the victory. As a result Richards managed to tie Henry in the point total. The tiebreaker is the number of feature wins which favored Richards who won four contests and nights that awarded points to Henry’s two victories. This gave Richards his first division title since the 2010 season.
A miscue by defending Total Power Sales Street Stock champ Richard Garb would result in Jerry Kope taking over the point lead in the final stages of the main event. Kope’s fourth place performance allowed him to surpass Garb and it was just enough to fend off Jerry Winkler who earned his seventh feature win of the 2013 season here at Oshkosh. Winkler came up just 5 points shy of Kope’s total in spite of missing the opening night of racing. Garb’s eleventh place run dropped him to third in the final point tally.
One division that had already been settled was the Hansel Trucking IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds. Todd Wiese comfortably outran the competition in the title chase, his first at Oshkosh Speedzone. Bernie Miller captured the evening’s feature contest, his first career main event win in 11 years of trying.
The final division has no declared winner nor champion as the outcome of the 4 cylinder tech will be decided this week after ignition boxes were pulled from the top five cars. Since modifications are not allowed to the chips an elaborate technical inspection will be made. The outcome will be declared next week.
There was action aplenty in each of the feature contests. The Automotive Supply Company Modified main event had the initial start called back when Mike Wedelstadt looped his car in turn four. That incident would prove to be the only miscue Wedelstadt as he was about to make amends by charging through the field.
When action did finally get underway Joe McGrath took the lead for the first two circuits until the spot was briefly taken by Travis Spaulding. Mike Klenz would muscle past Spaulding on lap three becoming the third leader of the contest.
Once clear of traffic Klenz began to pull away from the field. Tim Lemirande was able to secure the second spot on lap four as the lead duo motored away out front. Deeper in thepack Wedelstadt was making up for the early race miscue by swiftly working through traffic. He had reached the third spot before the next caution appeared on lap 12 when Marcus Yarie stalled in turn two.
The race resumed briefly only to see second running Lemirande spin around in the second turn. The entire field missed him with the exception of Rick Robbins and the pair made hard contact as Robbins slammed into Lemirande’s stalled machine. Both drivers were okay but both were done for the evening with their cars assisted back to the pits via wrecker.
Klenz brought the field back up to speed with Wedelstadt tight on Klenz’ rear bumper as the pair raced the high side of the track. Behind them an excellent battle was taking shape for third between McGrath and T.J. Smith.
With three laps to go Klenz drifted up in turn two allowing Wedelstadt to scramble past with the top spot. He then began to stretch out his lead taking the win by six car lengths. Klenz laid claim to second place. Third was decided on the final circuit as Smith hugged the low line and inched ahead of McGrath to secure the position. McGrath and Dennis Schultz would comprise the top five.
The Outlaw Chassis Grand National event would prove just how equal this year’s point contenders Larry Richards and Brian Henry are. Richards would have a better starting spot for the final main event of the year, one which he utilized to take the lead by the completion of the first lap. Henry meanwhile would bide his time working from deep in the field.
Richards’s chief rival in the early going was Troy Weich who had comfortably held down the second spot until heading to the pit area. While Richards ran out front Henry was now making progress reaching the top five by lap seven and continuing his charge forward reaching third two laps later.
By now Richards had built a large lead but that changed quickly when the caution flew for a multi-car tangle on lap nine bunching the field. This gave Henry the opportunity to pressure Richards as he had now had Richards in his sights. On the restart Henry cleared one more position making his way by Tom Schneider for second before the final caution waved.
The dash to the checkered would show exactly how a battle for a title should take place. Henry would apply the pressure to Richards for the lead knowing to win the title he must find a way to the front while Richards knew he just needed to click off a half dozen more flawless laps. On lap 15 Henry was able to try and work under Richards but Richards was up to the challenge. Over the final laps Richards was able to maintain a slight gap on Henry taking the victory and in doing so the title. Henry would settle for second in both the race and the point chase. Schneider, Tim Simon and Don Schumacher comprised the top five.
Robby Thiel showed the way in the Hansel Trucking IMCA Northern Sport Modified main event for the first two circuits before Bernie Miller worked to his low side to claim the top spot. The event was slowed by a couple cautions before a solid green stretch run began. Miller continued to set the pace with Clint Forestner working his way into second. Forestner was unable to close the gap on Miller and the lead got event larger when Forestner dropped from the contest just past the halfway point.
The second position then became the focus as Jon Schultz and Cody Hokenstad wrestled for the position. Millers large lead would disappear with four laps to go as a pair of cars getting together in turn four requiring a lengthy caution period to separate the machines.
Miller got an excellent restart in the dash to the checkered while Schultz and Hokenstad when wheel to wheel for second. That battle allowed Miller to scramble away for the victory his first in 11 years of trying and he celebrated the accomplishment from victory lane. Schultz came out on top in the battle for second with Hokenstad, Kevin Bethke and newly crowned champ Todd Wiese comprising the top five.
The first three sports in the Total Power Sales Street Stocks were held down by the female competitors in the division as Brandi Luebke, Lexii Ashcraft and Patty Winkler brought the field to the green flag to present a non-stop feature race. Lexii would show the way on the opening circuit before Dan Knaus worked into the top spot on lap two. Not to be denied Lexii kept the pressure on and was able to retake the lead briefly on lap seven.
Meanwhile eyes would focus on the point battle with Winker knowing he needed a win to have a shot at the title doing all he could to reach the front. He would succeed in taking the top spot on lap eight putting the pressure on point leaders Richard Garb and Jerry Kope to gain enough positions to outscore Winkler in the point battle.
Both Kope and Garb struggled to make progress and a miscue by Garb would drop him to the tail of the lead lap as his title hopes began to diminish. This put the pressure on Kope who now needed to make some progress to win the title.
Slowly but surely Kope began to march forward all while Winkler continued his stranglehold on the lead. With no cautions to slow his pace Winkler comfortably grabbed his seventh win of 2013, setting a personal record for wins at the track in a single season. Justin Lindner finished a distant second. Jon Ashcraft earned the final podium spot in third. Kope’s efforts allowed him to finish in the fourth spot, a position good enough to edge Winkler for the title by five points. Frank Knaus completed the top five. Garb finished the contest in eleventh earning third place in the title chase after leading the standings heading into the evening.
The final feature of the evening created more questions and answers not only in the victory but also in who will win the title. In a non-stop 20 lap contest a wild scramble ensued at the finish line with Ralph Liegeois Jr. edging Mike Montie and Jason Fairbank at the line by inches. However in post-race tech it was determined that several of the top five cars may have made modifications to their ignition control boxes which is against the rules. To assure a level playing field all of the top five cars turned over their ignition boxes which will be thoroughly checked for modifications. The race winner and the overall champion will be named after tech is complete.
With the point race now over two big special lie ahead to round out the 2013 racing season at Oshkosh Speedzone.
After an open practice session this coming Tuesday evening September 3rd racing will switch to Saturday afternoon on September 7th with the running of the Fall Classic. Formerly the event took place over two days, but a new one day format is in place for 2013. A complete show of heats, consolations and main event will all take place on Saturday.
Six divisions will participate in the show with IMCA Type Modifieds, Sport Modifieds, Stock Cars being joined by Street Stocks, Grand Nationals and 4 cylinders.
The Modifieds will be racing for a top prize of $2,000, the highest payout of any event held for the class at Oshkosh Speedzone this year. A cool $1,000 will be awarded to the winners in the Sport Modifieds, Stock Cars, Street Stocks and Grand Nationals.
A minimum of 20 cars is needed in each class to provide the aforementioned awards.
Pit gates will open at 9:00am, with the grandstands opening at Noon and the first race taking place at 2:00pm.
Adult grandstand admission is $20 and students ages 11-15 are admitted for $10.
The 2013 season will wrap up with the running of the Sprint Spooktacular held on Friday night September 13th. The open wheeled show will feature the fastest cars on clay, the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw 410 Sprints. They will be joined by the MSA 360 sprint series and a third class is currently being contemplated for the event.
Pit gates will open at 4:00pm, with the grandstands opening at 5:00pm. Sprint warm-ups take place at 5:30pm with Qualifying for the IRA sprints getting underway at 6:00pm. Racing will follow qualifying.
Special event pricing is in effect with Adult grandstand admission of $20 and students ages 11-15 are admitted for $10. Children ages 10 and under are admitted FREE with a paid adult.
Fans and drivers can find additional details on those events by visiting the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net . Oshkosh Speedzone can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedzone
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Mike Wedelstadt; 2). Mike Klenz; 3.) T.J. Smith; 4.) Joe McGrath; 5.) Dennis Schultz; 6.) Chris Engels; 7.) Brian Drexler; 8.) Sean Jerovetz; 9.) John Schultz; 10.) Matt Klenz; 11.) Tim Robbins; 12.) Pat Toetz; 13.) Rick Robbins; 14.) Tim Lemirande; 15.) Marcus Yarie
First Heat: 1.) McGrath; 2. ) D. Schultz; 3.) Smith
Second Heat: 1.) J. Schultz; 2.) Lemirande; 3.) T. Jerovetz
HANSEL TRUCKING IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Bernie Miller; 2.) Jon Schultz; 3.) Cody Hokenstad; 4.) Kevin Bethke; 5.) Todd Wiese; 6.) Kelsy Hayes; 7.) Colten Van Hierden; 8.) Brock Saunders; 9.) Cory Wegner; 10.) Ryan Besaw
First Heat: 1.) Hayes; 2.) Van Hierden; 3.) Wiese
Second Heat: 1.) Miller; 2.) Clint Forestner; 3.) Robby Thiel
OUTLAW CHASSIS GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Larry Richards; 2.) Brian Henry; 3.) Tom Schneider; 4.) Tim Simon; 5.) Don Schumacher; 6.) Jason Fish; 7.) Brad Juckem; 8.) Terry Van Roy; 9.) Terry Schoppenhorst; 10.) Troy Weich
First Heat: 1.) Weich; 2.) Schumacher; 3.) Henry
Second Heat: 1.) Tim Reichenberger; 2.) Richards; 3.) Fish
TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Jerry Winkler; 2.) Justin Lindner; 3.) Jon Ashcraft; 4.) Jerry Kope; 5.) Frank Knaus; 6.) Lexii Ashcraft; 7.) Steve Gawaresky; 8.) Mark Schultz; 9.) Patty Winkler; 10.) Jeff Jungwirth
First Heat: 1.) J. Winkler; 2.) Lindner; 3.) Gawaresky
Second Heat: 1.) Kope; 2.) Jungwirth; 3.) Dan Knaus
Third Heat: 1.) F. Knaus; 2.) L. Ashcraft; 3.) Richard Garb
ELLINGTON MUTUAL INSURANCE DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): Results pending tech
First Heat: 1.) Ralph Liegeois Jr.; 2.) Kasey Gross; 3.) Patrick Klawitter
Second Heat: 1.) Jason Fairbank; 2.) John Stenger; 3.) Shaun Bangart
Third Heat: 1.) Mike Montie; 2.) Chris Maas; 3.) Matt Brehmer
This article was posted to the website on August 31st, 2013