Oshkosh, WI, May 2, 2012: The wait is over! Almost! In just a couple days the 2012 racing season at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is set to begin. On Friday Night, May 4th the chase for the 2012 championships are underway with 5 divisions of racing taking to the third-mile clay oval. The show, presented by WXMM 92.9FM will feature Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils.
WXMM 92.9FM is the opening night presenting sponsor and is a contemporary country station licensed to Chilton, WI. WXMM serves Appleton, Oshkosh and all of the Fox Valley. You’ll find great artists like Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Montgomery Gentry, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, and many more.
The station will be broadcasting live from the raceway and will be doing multiple giveaways including a t-shirt toss during the season opening program.
Well nearly 120 cars are expected to take to the track during the program with potential car counts much higher given the fact that a vast majority of Oshkosh Speedzone's top drivers are back in action again in 2012.
Currently 19 of the top 25 Automotive Supply Company Modified drivers have already either reserved a pit space or filed paperwork for the upcoming season. Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is fast becoming known as "Wisconsin's Capital of Modified" racing, having had the highest car counts in the state last season for the class.
Early indications are showing that could hold true again in 2012. Winning the title at the raceway will prove especially rewarding considering that every driver in the top 13 is returning for a title effort this year.
Last year's champion Brian Drexler is sure to have his hands full having come off one of the closest point battles in recent years. His nearest rivals including Tim Lemirande, Eddie Muenster, Travis Spaulding, Mike Klenz all finished within 19 points of Drexler last year and are looking to improve. Other top ten runners which includes Chris Engels, Jerry Muenster, Jamie Schmidt, Ivar Malmquist and John Schultz are also looking to improve upon their 2011 performances.
In the Miller Lite Grand Nationals 10 of the top 12 drivers have currently shown their desire to complete for the 2012 title. Defending champion T.J. Smith may not compete the entire season but is expected to make several appearances throughout the year. If he is unable to make all the shows look for fierce competition between Tim Warner, Larry Richards, Jim Rhode and Terry Van Roy in the upcoming championship chase. Also not to be counted out is Oshkosh's own Tim Reichenberger who had been the driver to beat the last half of the 2011 season. Brian Henry who is to have a new cars this year and Tom and Steve Schneider who have rebuilt machines could also factor into the chase.
The Total Power Sales Street Stock will see the return of 9 of its top 10 competitors including defending champion Jeff Jungwirth and his closest rival in the 2011 champion Jerry Winkler. Jungwirth will have a different ride to defend his title chase, while Winkler is part of a 4 car operation which also includes Jon Ashcraft and his daughter Lexii. The team will also field a car for former division standout Jerry Kope who is returning to action this year. The Star Dairy team of Frank and Dan Knaus will also be chasing checkered flags this season as well as Mark Schultz, Patti Winkler, Richard Garb, Gordy Lewis and Mike Nehmer.
The championship chase in the Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils is a little more in flux as Dan Juszczyk last season's point runner-up and Josh Roehl who had claimed fourth have both moved up divisions. Other top five runners including defending champion Jason Fairbank, Cory Wegner and Erik Kollmann will be returning.
One championship that should be wide open is the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modified division. With a switch to IMCA sanction it's expected many new drivers will appear at the raceway including top racers from nearby tracks that are choosing to chase IMCA points. This coupled with the fact that defending champion Zeke Bishofberger had indicated he would be racing hit and miss in preferring to travel during the 2012 season should leave the title chase wide open.
All this action can be seen this Friday at family friendly prices. Grandstand admission for the event is $10 for adults. Students ages 11-15 are admitted for $5 and children 10 and under can join in the family fun for FREE.
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. You can also follow Speedzone on Facebook and Twitter and you can subscribe to our FREE weekly e-newsletter which will arrive in your inbox by visiting the track website.
This article was posted to the website on May 2nd, 2012