Oshkosh, WI, June 1, 2012: - In spite of an occasional mist in the air a solid crown turned out for the evening on Graphics Point / Bennett Family Insurance Night at the races. The evening proved to be another action packed program at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway as four of the five feature contests were decided by less than a car length. The race that will stand out in most fans minds this evening would be the finish of the Automotive Supply Company Modified main event. Living up to the nickname "Wisconsin's Modified Action Track", the feature race came down to a restart with two laps to go in the contest.
"Crocodile Kyle" Lentz would slip under Tim Lemirande, who lead much of the event, and then fend off Lemirande in a torrid battle over the final lap for his first career victory at the third-mile clay oval. The Miller Lite Grand National main event was claimed by Jeff Richards after he edged out current division point leader, Tim Warner. Returning to action this year, it was Richards first feature victory since the 2007 season when he won the track championship. His brother Kenny, the 2008 champion, won the Grand National feature on victory night. Two of the three members of the Richards family have now found victory lane in 2012.
In the Total Power Sales Street Stocks, Jerry Winkler won his second main event of the 2012 season as he was able to hold off Mike Nehmer who had hounded him though out the contest. The Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devil division also went down to the wire with Matt Brehmer edging out early race leader Was Lungwitz to score his second consecutive feature win of the 2012 season. The event saw the first roll over of the year at Oshkosh Speedzone as Patrick Klawitter rolled his machine in turn one. Klawitter was unhurt in the incident.
In the only runaway victory of the evening, Tracy Wassenberg dominated the last half of the Leon's Frozen Custard Sport Modified main event taking the win by a half lap over his nearest rival.
The evening began with 122 cars checked into the pit area including a total of 68 modifieds between the two divisions. The Automotive Supply Company Modifieds checked in with 41 entries, while the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds had 27 participants. Among the fendered cars, the Miller Lite Grand Nationals and Total Power Sales Street Stocks both had 19 drivers in each class and the Lynn' Service Center Dirt Devils checked in with 16 cars.
The Modifieds hit the racing surface with 22 cars in the main event. Lemirande would take charge of the race as the green flag dropped while Matt Klenz and Tony Wedelstadt dueled side by side for the second spot. Lentz would secure the fourth position before the end of the first lap.
The first caution of the contest appeared on lap seven as Eddie LeMay slowed to a stop on the backstretch.
Lemirande was back to leading as the race resumed. Klenz, who had held second, slipped up the track on the restart allowing Tony Wedelstadt to move into the second slot with Lentz moving into this and Chris Engels securing the fourth spot.
Lentz began to make his move working to the inside of Tony Wedelstadt on lap nine. The pair ran wheel to wheel for the next several laps before Lentz secured the spot. By this time Lemirande built up a eight car length lead and was looking solid in the top spot.
With seven laps to go a minor tangle occurred in turn three prompting the second yellow of the contest. Underway again Lemirande got a good restart while Lentz remained within striking distance but was having to defend his second position from Mike Wedelstadt who was rim riding the high line in hopes of moving forward. Brian Mullen, who had transferred into the main event by winning his consolation race, had charged through the pack and reached the fourth position as the laps wound down.
The white flag was about to fly when the yellow came out for a tire which was knocked onto the racing surface in turn one. This setup a two lap dash to the checkered flag. As the green flag waved Lemirande charged deep into turn one but lost traction and slid up the track allowing Lentz to work underneath him in turn two. Lentz would nose ahead and lead at the white flag. Heading down the backstretch on the final lap Lemirande would pull even with Lentz, but Lentz had the racing groove and the speed to best Lemirande and reach the checkered flag in first. Lemirande would settle for second with Mike Wedelstadt and Mullen following.
In the final turn several cars just behind the leaders got crossed up and defending division champion Brian Drexler was first to maneuver around them reaching the line in fifth.
Mike Mullen the division point leader who has two feature wins to his credit already this season was unable to get his car to fire for the feature race. Mike's father, Brian, has now taken over the point lead.
In the Miller Lite Grand Nationals Jeff Richards took command of the race at the drop of the green flag while Brian Gilles and Tom Schneider did battle over the second spot. Tim Simon putting on a show for the fans running a very high line climbed into the fourth spot.
Warner the current class point leader, also joined the battle for second spot as the pack of cars fought for runner-up honors. That battle allowed Jeff Richards to slowly pull away from the pack.
Simon would come away with the second position still using the high groove with Warner coming out of the pack style battle in third as the race neared the halfway point.
A spin by Schneider on lap 12 would slow the pace and erase the dozen car length lead Jeff Richards had built. Underway again Richards reclaimed the top spot with Warner now in second. Simon, who had been running near the front of the pack would slip wide allowing several cars to scramble past.
Larry Richards, Jeff's father and the 2010 division champion had quietly worked into the third spot and joined the fray at the front of the pack. A spin by Jay Schaalma with four laps to go gave the field another shot at Jeff Richards but he was again up to the challenge leading the way.
Larry Richards his fine run would come to an end moments later when he would lose a tire in turn two, coming to a halt on the backstretch and forcing the final caution with two laps to go giving up the third position.
In the dash to the checkered flag Jeff Richards was able to fend off Warner for the victory by a car length. Warner would take second followed by Brian Henry whose late chase netted a third place finish. Steve Schneider and Tim Reichenberger completed the top five.
19 cars took the green flag for the Leon's Frozen Custard Sport Modifieds. Tristin Peebles was first to show the way in the contest. Attention was focused on Wassenberg who was wasting little time moving forward slicing through the pack. He would find himself in the second spot before the first caution flag would fly.
Peebles got a slow start with Wassenberg and Troy Jerovetz darting past for first and second. Once out front Wassenberg started to show his pace pulling away from Jerovetz and the rest of the field. Ryan Besaw advanced into the third spot passing Peebles at the halfway point but he was well behind the lead pair.
Besaw would inherit second moments later as the Jerovetz machine had suspension failure forcing him to pull into the infield. Besaw now found himself in second place nearly a half lap behind Wassenberg.
With no further cautions to slow his pace Wassenberg dominated the remainder of the contest. Besaw would settle for second followed by Todd Weise. Kelsy Hayes turned in an impressive performance having transferred from the consolation race and then worked through the pack in the main event to reach fourth. Clint Forester completed the top five finishers.
The Total Power Sales Street Stocks were in action with 19 starters. Dan Knaus would set the early pace chased by Mike Nehmer and Jon Ashcraft while Jerry Winkler joined the battle from the fourth spot.
Winkler was wasting little time in his charge to the front working past both Ashcraft and Nehmer to reach second by lap six.
Winkler continued his charge putting pressure on Knaus before darting to his inside down the front stretch on lap eight. Moments later Knaus would loop his ride coming off turn four forcing a caution and turning second spot over to Nehmer.
Winkler would set the pace to the finish first in an event slowed by a couple more cautions, one for a dramatic incident by Lexii Ashcraft who lost control of her car and blasted over some infield decorations, flattening some shrubbery before coming to a halt before reaching the infield victory lane.
Winkler's win would be his second of 2012 further tightening his point lead in the division. Nehmer would settle for second followed by Mark Schultz, Jon Ashcraft and Richard Garb.
Several drivers set the pace during the early portions of the Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devil feature contest with Wes Lungwitz showing the way for several laps before Jason Fairbank took over the top spot.
Brehmer took the top spot on lap eight with Cory Wegner reaching second before losing a wheel and forcing a caution. Brehmer would set the pace for the duration of the contest which included a red flag for Patrick Klawitter's flip in turn one. The final laps of the race clicked off without incident with Brehmer scoring the victory. Lungwitz, Fairbank, Joe Minks and Jon Charles comprised the top five finishers.
Racing action continues next week on Friday Night, June 8th with Capital Credit Union Night at the races. It is also Driver's Sponsor Appreciation Night.
Racing action will begin at the new 7:00pm start time with nearly 120 cars expected to be on hand in the five division program. The Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils will continue their season long point battle.
Adult admission tickets are just $10, students ages 11 through 15 are admitted for just $5 and children 10 and under are free to attend the races.
A one of two remaining summer practice sessions is being held on Tuesday, June 5th. The track will be open from 5:00pm until 9:00pm. Pit passes for the practice are $15, while fans can watch from the grandstand for free. It’s a great opportunity to get additional seat time and fine tune your car.
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. Weekly racing
Friday Night racing continues until September. Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Kyle Lentz; 2.) Tim Lemirande; 3.) Mike Wedelstadt; 4.) Brian Mullen; 5.) Brian Drexler; 6.) Johnny Whitman; 7.) Travis Spaulding; 8.) Chris Engels; 9.) Matt Klenz; 10.) Joe McGrath; 11.) Jamie Schmidt; 12.) Chad Nelson; 13.) Ben Stumpf; 14.) Mike Mueller; 15.) Charlie
First Consolation: 1.) Eddie LeMay; 2.) Joe McGrath; 3.) Stumpf; 4.) Ewald; 5.) Pat Toetz; 6.) Tim Robbins
Second Consolation: 1.) Mullen; 2.) Craig Priewe; 3.) Mueller; 4.) Nelson; 5.) Rick Robbins; 6.) Jeremy Hedrick
First Heat: 1.) Engels; 2.) Matt Klenz; 3.) Robby Thiel
Second Heat: 1.) Eddie Muenster; 2.) Schmidt; 3.) Whitman
Third Heat: 1.) Lentz; 2.) Drexler; 3.) Spaulding
Fourth Heat: 1.) Lemirande; 2.) M. Wedelstadt; 3.) Justin Ritchie
Fifth Heat: 1.) Tony Wedelstadt; 2.) Mike Mullen; 3.) Mitch McGrath
MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Jeff Richards; 2.) Tim Warner; 3.) Brian Henry; 4.) Steve Schneider; 5.) Tim Reichenberger; 6.) Tom Schneider; 7.) Brian Gilles; 8.) Terry Van Roy; 9.) Kodiak Wirtz; 10.) Tim Simon
First Heat: 1.) Richards; 2.) Gilles; 3.) Warner
Second Heat: 1.) S. Schneider; 2.) Jim Rhode; 3.) T. Schneider
LEON'S FROZN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Tracy Wassenberg; 2.) Ryan Besaw; 3.) Todd Wiese; 4.) Kelsy Hayes; 5.) Clint Forester; 6.) Tristin Peebles; 7.) Mark Howe; 8.) Raymond Keyser; 9.) Jon Schultz; 10.) Angie Wolfe
First Consolation: 1.) Schultz; 2.) Keyser; 3.) Brock Saunders; 4.) Hayes; 5.) Aaron Maule; 6.) Brandon Berth
First Heat: 1.) Jordan Tuyls; 2.) Wiese; 3.) Besaw
Second Heat: 1.) Forester; 2.) Troy Jerovetz; 3.) Peebles
Third Heat: 1.) Wassenberg; 2.) Kevin Bethke; 3.) Rob Charapata
TOAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Jerry Winkler; 2.) Mike Nehmer; 3.) Mark Schultz; 4.) Jon Ashcraft; 5.) Richard Garb; 6.) Frank Knaus; 7.) Patty Winkler; 8.) Jerry Kope; 9.) Jeff Jungwirth; 10.) Dan Juszczyk
First Heat: 1.) Jeff Wicinsky; 2.) F. Knaus; 3.) Garb
Second Heat: 1.) Ashcraft; 2.) P. Winkler; 3.) D. Knaus
LYNN'S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Matt Brehmer; 2.) Wes Lugwitz; 3.) Jason Fairbank; 4.) Joe Minks; 5.) Jon Charles; 6.) Chris Maas; 7.) Erik Kollmann; 8.) Tracy Peebles; 9.) Timothy Kundinger; 10.) Ben Meyerhofer
First Heat: 1.) Meyerhofer; 2.) Fairbank; 3.) Cory Wegner
Second Heat: 1.) Mike Montie; 2.) Lungwitz; 3.) Brehmer
This article was posted to the website on June 2nd, 2012