August 17, 2012; OSHKOSH, WI – Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway would show it’s appreciation to its loyal fans with free steamed corn on the cob, soda and beer after an exciting racing program that once again proved why the raceway has become known as “Wisconsin’s Modified Action Track!”.
In the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds Marcus Yarie would show his tenacity as he would have to fend off a hard charging Brian Mullen through several late race restarts to capture his first career feature win at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. On each restart Yarie would prove master of the high line keeping Mullen chasing his rear bumper and in the process providing a thrilling show for the fans.
The Leon’s Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modified main event would be captured by Rod Solem. Solem whose family obligations only allow him to run on a limited basis has proven tough when he has been able to appear at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. He is the defending Sport Modified winner for the past two years in the track’s Fall Classic and tonight’s win was a perfect warm up for that program which is now only three weeks away.
Defending Miller Lite Grand National champion T.J. Smith had a lot on his mind after earlier in the day having his loyal dog pass away. Smith would spend the closing laps of the contest in a wheel to wheel duel with Jim Rhode taking the victory by less than a car length in drag race to the checkered flag coming off the final turn.
Total Power Sales Street Stock action would see a three way battle for the win come down to the final lap as Mark Baker earned his first career feature victory at Oshkosh Speedzone in thrilling fashion having to fend off the challenges of Jerry Kope and division point leader Richard Garb for the victory.
Mike Montie continued to show the way in the Lynn’s Service Center dirt devil division in a non-stop feature race. Montie edged out defending division champion Jason Fairbank by a car length in taking tonight’s win.
A starting field of 20 Automotive Supply Company Modifieds would accept the green flag for their feature contest with former Street Stock standout David Hoerning getting the jump on polesitter Tim Robbins for the early lead while Dennis Schultz and Travis Spaulding gave chase. Spaulding wasted little time in disposing of Schultz working into the second spot just before the first caution flag flew for a spin by Kevin Feck in turn two on the second lap. Yarie who had started in the tenth spot had already advanced up to the fifth position.
As the race resumed Hoerning went back to leading the contest, while the battle for second became the focus of attention as a three wide battle ensued between Spaulding, last week’s feature winner Eddie Muenster and Yarie. Yarie would slip by Muenster for third on lap three and he then began to put the pressure on both Spaulding and Hoerning who were opting for a high line around the track while Yarie worked the lower groove.
A wiggle by Hoerning was all Spaulding needed to blast into the lead on the next circuit and Yarie also took advantage of the situation to reach the runner-up position.
Spaulding soon found himself having to defend the lead position as Yarie continued his march forward seeking a clean sweep of the evening after earlier winning his heat race. Yarie continued to hug the bottom line and would work past Spaulding on lap seven moving out to a two car length lead. Muenster held down the third spot with Hoerning and Mullen in the top five at the halfway point.
Before lap twelve was complete a car stalled in pit lane attempting to exit the track forcing a caution. A second quick caution flew for a Benjamin Brinkman spin before racing would resume. Yarie shot back to the lead as the green flag waved leaving Spaulding, Muenster and Mullen to battle for second.
Lap 14 would be Muenster’s undoing has suspension problems forced him to spin in turn two while running in the second position bringing out the third caution of the race.
Yarie would now face the challenges of Mullen on the restart. Yarie would choose a high line around the track with Mullen sticking to the low groove. On several occasions the pair would draw even only to see Yarie use the momentum of the outside line to pull away while Spaulding watched the show from his third position.
Three more cautions would spice the races final laps and each time Yarie would withstand the pressure of Mullen. The race would finally draw to a conclusion as a final yellow flag flew after the leaders had accepted the white flag. This gave Yarie his first career victory at the track. Mullen would settle for second. Tim Lemirande who is in the thick of the title chase finished third followed by Spaulding and Mike Klenz who had won his consolation race rounding out the top five.
Defending champion and division point leader Brian Drexler had a trying night as he was unable to make the main event through his heat race after another car had spun him late in the contest. He then made the feature taking the final transfer position in his consolation event. During the main event he was unable to crack the top ten taking eleventh. As a result his nearest point rival Tim Lemirande closed within 23 points forcing the title chase to come down to the final point night for the modifieds which will be September 1st.
The Leon’s Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds would see 23 starters take the green flag. Brad Ambroziak fresh off a heat race victory found himself setting the pace in the early going. Rookie Angie Wolfe was proving her speed reaching the second spot before lap three and she then began to close the gap on Ambroziak.
The battle for third between Kelsy Hayes and Jordan Tuyls would result in the only caution of the contest as the pair tangled coming off turn two on lap six. Solem meanwhile had worked his way through the pack up to the fifth spot.
Racing resumed with Ambroziak showing the way. Wolfe would settle in to the second spot as Solem made a charge from fifth to third before lap eight began. On lap nine Wolfe worked the low groove to slip past Ambroziak taking over the lead position. Solem was quick to follow the maneuver reaching second before the end of the lap.
On lap twelve Wolfe slipped a bit in turn one allowing Solem to work to her inside when she moved up the track to gather up her ride. Solem would lead at the stipe on lap thirteen as Wolfe settled into second. Todd Wiese would reach third on the next lap now setting his sights on Wolfe as Solem powered away from the field.
Wolfe’s strong performance came to end as she spun in turn two with five laps remaining turning second over to Wiese. Over the final laps Solem would prove uncatchable taking the victory. Wiese would take runner-up honors. Robbie Thiel was able to fend off a last lap passing attempt by last weeks’ feature winner Jon Schultz to hold onto third thus earning his best finish of the season. Schultz would settle for fourth as defending track champion Zeke Bishofberger made a rare appearance at the track this season to complete the top five.
Troy Jerovetz who had won a record setting five consecutive feature wins this season heads up the division standings by 37 points over Ryan Besaw with two point nights remaining.
The Miller Lite Grand National main event would see 18 starters with Tim Doehling setting the pace in the early going and 2010 division champ Larry Richards giving chase. Jim Rhode soon made it a three way battle for the top spot as the lead trio started to pull away from the pack. On lap six the only slowdown of the contest occurred to remove debris from the racing groove.
Doehling would go back to showing the way when racing resumed while Rhode worked into the runner-up spot. Richards who has been running strong soon began to fall back in the pack while Steve Schneider and Smith traded the third spot back and forth.
Smith would gain the upper hand and now made Rhode his next target hoping to steal second. The battle for second soon became the battle for the lead as Doehling who had been comfortably leading slowed on lap twelve pulling into the infield turning the top spot over to Rhode.
The final seven laps of the contest would see Smith and Rhode toss the lead back and forth. Smith running the low groove had gained the upper hand on lap thirteen but Rhode was proving his skill in the high line pulling back ahead briefly with three laps to go in the race. Smith would rally over the final two laps again pulling ahead as the white flag waved. Rhode’s last lap effort to steal the lead came up a half car length short with Smith taking the win. Rhode would settle for runner-up honors. Troy Weich continued his streak of strong performances slipping past Schneider in the closing laps to take third. Schneider and Terry Van Roy completed the top five finishers. Current point leader Brian Henry would finish in the sixth spot.
As a result of his victory tonight Smith has closed to within seven points of Henry in the title chase with two point nights remaining for the class. Schneider currently sits third nine markers back.
The Total Power Sales Street Stock division had 21 cars check in for competition this evening with 19 drivers able to make the main event which saw plenty of fender rubbing action throughout the contest. Lexii Ashcraft would show the way during the opening laps of the event fighting off Justin Lindner and Jeff Wicinsky to hold the lead position. Richard Garb the division point leader who had scored his first career feature win last week was looking to make it two in a row as he worked the high line moving forward to join the lead battle.
A couple tires knocked onto the racing surface would result in the first caution on lap six. On the restart Ashcraft would surrender the lead to Garb. Ashcraft would soon slip back in the pack as Jerry Kope and Mark Backer rolled into the second and third spots before the halfway point of the contest.
The lead trio would thrill the fans as they swapped positions back and forth. Garb preferring the high line while both Kope and Baker fought in the lower groove would trade spots each lap. A lap thirteen caution for another errant tire would slow the pace for the second time.
Underway again Garb, Kope and Baker when back to their tussle for the lead. On lap fourteen Garb would slip up the raceway giving Baker the top spot it was a position he would not relinquish the remainder of the contest.
Once out front Baker was able to build a small gap while Kope and Garb continued to battle for the second spot. Over the final laps Baker flawlessly cut laps around the third-mile clay oval which would result in his first feature win at the track. Kope would take over second during the final laps with Garb having to settle for third. Wicinsky finished fourth and Lindner completed the top five.
Garb’s closest point rival Jerry Winkler had a trying evening. After expiring an engine in his car he jumped into the borrowed ride of Jon Ashcraft for the feature contest. He then came from deep in the field to reach sixth by the finish. Garb now has a slim 4 point lead on Winkler with two point nights to go.
The Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devil division would run from green to checker and would feature a four car battle for the lead that lasted the entire distance of the contest.
In the end Mike Montie would pace the final half of the event holding off the challenges of defending champ and division point leader Jason Fairbank to claim the win. Fairbank would settle for second just barely edging Wes Lungwitz for the spot. Matt Brehmer took fourth with the top four cars reaching the finish in a tight group. Early race leader Andrew Meyerhofer would complete the top five finishers.
Fairbank now holds a commanding 34 point lead with two nights remaining. It is very likely he only needs to finish the final two point races without a dnf to successfully defend his track title.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway now prepares for one of its busiest weeks of racing this season as “Need for Speed Week” begins. This week’s events will be held on Tuesday Night August 21st and Friday Night August 24th. Both shows will feature the fastest cars on dirt.
During the next seven days, seven different classes of cars will take to the racing surface including the fastest fendered machines in the area the WDLMA Late Models on Tuesday and the true “Masters of Speed” the Bumper to Bumper IRA Winged 410 Sprints on Friday.
It begins with the final Tuesday Night special of the year as Hansel Trucking will present the WDLMA Late Models in their lone appearance of the season. Joining the WDLMA Late Models will be the debut of the Badger Modified Tour at the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. The finest Modified drivers from the upper Midwest will challenge top local favorites for bragging rights as winner of the inaugural Badger Modified feature winner at The Zone. The highly successful Modified tour which made its debut this season has seen the car count approach 60 entries at some of shows. Rounding out the program will be the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modified division.
For fans wanting to take in both evenings of racing a special "Need For Speed Week" ticket will offer fans a chance to do just that. The ticket will be good for both the Tuesday Night Hansel Trucking WDLMA Late Model/Badger Modified Special on August 21st and final appearance of 2012 for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints on Friday Night August 24th the ticket is available at the track for $28 for adults.
The IRA Sprints are regarded as the fastest open wheels cars in the Midwest and will headline the Friday Night program. The IRA Outlaw Sprints will be joined by three weekly fendered classes as Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils are also a part of the program with a full points show.
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.
Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events. Fans can also friend the raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedzone and you can receive all the latest updates from the track on twitter as www.twitter.com/thespeedzone.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Marcus Yarie; 2.) Brian Mullen; 3.) Tim Lemirande; 4.) Travis Spaulding; 5.) Mike Klenz; 6.) Craig Priewe; 7.) Jerry Muenster; 8.) Johnny Whitman; 9.) Tim Robbins; 10.) Kurt Moeller; 11.) Brian Drexler; 12.) John Schultz; 13.) Dennis Schultz; 14.) David Hoerning; 15.) Benjamin Brinkman
First Consolation: 1.) Mike Klenz; 2.) Drexler; 3.) Mike Wedelstadt; 4.) Justin Ritchie; 5.) Dustin Jackson
Second Consolation: 1.) Kevin Feck; 2.) Moeller; 3.) Beetle Bailey; 4.) Pat Toetz; 5.) Ron Paulick
First Heat: 1.) Matt Klenz; 2.) D. Schultz; 3.) Lemirande
Second Heat: 1.) Hoerning; 2.) Spaulding; 3.) Priewe
Third Heat: 1.) Mullen; 2.) J. Muenster; 3.) T. Robbins
Fourth Heat: 1.) Yarie; 2.) J. Schultz; 3.) Eddie Muenster
LEON'S FROZN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Rod Solem; 2.) Todd Wiese; 3.) Robbie Thiel; 4.) Jon Schultz; 5.) Zeke Bishofberger; 6.) Brad Ambroziak; 7.) Kevin Bethke; 8.) Randy Krueger; 9.) Troy Jerovetz; 10.) Ryan Besaw
First Heat: 1.) Brock Saunders; 2.) Derek Schnetzer; 3.) Mark Howe
Second Heat: 1.) Nick Fuhrman; 2.) Jordan Tuyls; 3.) Wiese
Third Heat: 1.) Ambroziak; 2.) Kelsey Hayes; 3.) Bethke
MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) T.J. Smith; 2.) Jim Rhode; 3.) Troy Weich; 4.) Steve Schneider; 5.) Terry Van Roy; 6.) Brian Henry; 7.) Nick Schumacher; 8.) John Schultz III; 9.) Will Schumacher; 10.) Tim Reichenberger
First Heat: 1.) Larry Richards; 2.) Tim Doehling; 3.) Reichenberger
Second Heat: 1.) Weich; 2.) Smith; 3.) Van Roy
TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Mark Baker; 2.) Jerry Kope; 3.) Richard Garb; 4.) Jeff Wicinsky; 5.) Justin Lindner; 6.) Jerry Winkler; 7.) Mark Schultz; 8.) Lexii Ashcraft; 9.) Dan Knaus; 10.) Jeff Jungwirth
First Heat: 1.) Kope; 2.) Lindner; 3.) Shawn Haydon
Second Heat: 1.) Frank Knaus; 2.) Garb; 3.) Jon Ashcraft
Third Heat: 1.) Wicinsky; 2.) D. Knaus; 3.) Jungwirth
LYNN'S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Mike Montie; 2.) Jason Fairbank; 3.) Wes Lungwitz; 4.) Matt Brehmer; 5.) Andrew Meyerhofer; 6.) Ben Meyerhofer; 7.) Adam Wolff; 8.) Patrick Klawitter; 9.) Matt Dewilde; 10.) Hillary Kreutz
First Heat: 1.) Lungwitz; 2.) A. Meyerhofer; 3.) Chris Maas
Second Heat: 1.) Brehmer; 2.) Fairbank; 3.) Chad Ewald
This article was posted to the website on August 18th, 2012