Mark Eswein takes the win at
Golden Sands Speedway Season Opener!!

By Amy Kolo

April 17, 1999; Plover, WI: -   The weather was a bit on the colder side, but that did not stop a large crowd of race fans from enjoying the 1999 season opener, twin 50’s at Golden Sands Speedway.  With a $1,000.00 up for grabs in the late model feature, cars traveled from all over the tri-state area to have a chance at the snatching the large purse. 

Mark Eswein $1,000 richer after Season Opening Super Late Model feature win!

Mark Eswein #71 got things off to a good start at Golden Sands Speedway as Eswein came home the victor in the 50-lap Super Late Model feature.  Eswein won a total of $1,040 for his efforts in the feature event!

The first round of events showed the Mid-American Cars.  A season opener tradition at Golden Sands Speedway the Mid-American cars put on another fine show.  Front runner, Bill Prietzel ended up with fast time.  Bobby Gutknecht started leading the feature with the likes of Tim Schmidt, Scott Null, and Steve Strasburg in hot pursuit.  First time feature runner Rusty Dunge, tried to stay at the front of the pack but became a lapped car by lap 10 of the 50-lap feature.  Still a very good run for never being in a feature before. 

41899a.jpg (22289 bytes) Bobby Gutknecht scored his third career win on the Mid-American Stock Car Series tour when he made his way into victory lane on the third-mile high banked Golden Sands Speedway oval. 

By lap 11 and 13 the yellows started coming out.  Null and Ken Hutchens ended up taking a spin.  By the 14th lap more lapped traffic started coming into play, giving the leaders a chance to start stealing spots away from each other.  Bobby Gutknecht held on to his spot, with Tim Schmidt directly behind him.  The third place position kept changing hands lap after lap.   Finally Brian Schwartz was able to put a solid hold and started working on the first and second place positions.  As the checkered flag was waved, Bobby Gutknecht flew across the finish line followed by Tim Schmidt and Brian Schwartz.

Jim Duchow made his first appearance in a Late Model at Golden Sands Speedway, but it was one he will be wanting to forget.  Duchow was the first driver of the year to break the track record, but had a hard wreck in the dash event.  He was dazed in the wreck but was otherwise not seriously injured, a testament to the safety of these late Models

Before the late model feature race took place, something broke in Eric Getzloff’s car, sending him into the front stretch wall during his first lap in timing.  Eric is thankfully okay.  Also new comer James Duchow had a misfortune coming into turn one.  Duchow was the first late model to break the track record this season.  Needless to say the track record was broken seven times, by seven different drivers!  During the late model fast dash Duchow ended up becoming airborne and hitting the wall.  After the direct impact of the wall, Duchow’s car then did a 360 in the air before it touched the ground.  The crowd went silent.  EMT’s were immediately on site.  After a couple of minutes Duchow got out of his car and gave a wave to the crowd.  Duchow is also thankfully okay. 

Chris Wimmer held the late model track record up until the season opener.  Then the track record was shattered seven different times.  Jeff Weinfurter, MG Gajewski, Mark Eswein, James Duchow, Chris Wimmer, Neil Knoblock, and Greg Weinfurter all broke the old track record. 

Greg Weinfurter ended up with the fastest time with an amazing 12.066!  Greg then took the Hot n’ Now Ultimate Challenge, where he has to start in the back of the pack and win the feature to take home the progressive pot.  The Hot n’ Now Ultimate Challenge pot started with $600.00, and goes up every race if no one wins it.  The 50-lap late model feature was pure excitement! 

Mike Cox started out in the lead with Jamie Iverson and Randy Rasmusen right behind him.  The front stayed pretty much the same up until lap 15, when a spin occurred in the back of the pack.  The back of the pack had many changing positions as the fast runners tried to make it to the higher positions.  At the restart, Iverson took the lead with Knoblock directly behind him. 

By lap 20 Knoblock was in the lead.   A yellow came out on lap 23 as Greg Weinfurter and Scott Fields got tangled up.  Both racing hard, trying to get to the front.  Iverson then went into the pits with car problems, giving the second position to Mike Cox.   Knoblock kept the lead with Cox hot on his heels.  Mark Eswein started making his way up to the front.  By lap 36 Knoblock started losing positions and power.  By lap 38 Knoblock was in the pits with a powerless racecar. 

Cox then took the lead with Eswein and Rasmusen on his tail.  By lap 39 Eswein was able to get around Cox for the lead.  By lap 41 Rasmusen snuck around Cox and started working on Eswein.  With only seven short laps to go all cars charged hard for the large opening purse.  Mark Eswein ended up finishing first and taking a check of $1,040.00 home!  Randy Rasmusen took second place with Mike Cox finishing third.

The Super Stock class also has an ultimate challenge for the 1999 season.  Letter Perfect, which decals many of the local racers is sponsoring the Super Stock Letter Perfect Challenge.  The challenge works the same way as the Hot n’ Now challenge.  If the fast timer wishes to take the challenge he/she has to start in the back of the pack and win the feature race to take home the progressive pot. 

Cale Laessig was the first Super Stock driver of the season to make his way to victory lane.  Laessig held back the challenges of Judd Brandl and last years champion Jason Kirsling to pick up the win.

Letter Perfect started out their challenge with $300.00 in the pot.  Jason Szymkowiak started out with the fast time and did elect to take the challenge.  With the first lap of the 25 lap feature, Alan Sankey took the lead but it was quickly taken away by Scott Hamel.  Cale Laessig started moving up on Hamel by lap 5.  Laessig took the lead from Hamel on lap 10, at the same time Judd Brandl also got around Hamel and took the second position. 

A spin occurred on lap 12 sending Hamel, Keith Bohmsach and Randy Storlie all to the back of the pack.  Laessig still had the lead with Brandl in second.  After the yellow Kirsling was able to move up into the third position.  By lap 16 Jason Szymkowiak was making his way up to the front of the pack!  Szymkowiak took the third position away from Kirsling, but on the very next lap Kirsling took his position back.  The two kept changing positions until lap 20 when Szymkowiak started loosing power and positions.  

With just five laps to go it was a dash to the finish.  Cale Lassieg took the checkered with Judd Brandl in second and last years pure stock champion, this years super stock rookie, Shawn Stelzer was able to steal the third place finish away from Jason Kirsling.  Jason Szymkowiak finished in 12th position.  If his car hadn’t started losing power he more thank likely would have probably won the feature and the Letter Perfect Challenge.  

Jeffrey Gruber had a fine day at Golden Sands Speedway in the Pure Stock class as he set fast time and then came back to win the feature event!

The pure stock class has grown tremendously over the winter months.  There are so many new racers that the racing was very interesting.  All the cars were spinning, crashing, passing, and lapping each other.  Mark Flink, a 1998 season cruiser racer, led the first three laps.  As cars started spinning, and passing each position changed during every lap.  Daryl Kubly led seven of the fifteen-lap feature.  Jeff Gruber led the last five laps and took the checkered flag.   Mike Brooks finished second with Brad Scholze in third.

Super Late Model Division
50 Lap Feature Event Time Trials
1. #71 Mark Eswein

1. #13 Greg Weinfurter

12.066 Seconds
2. # 3 Randy Rasmussen 2. #70 Neil Knoblock 12.156 Seconds
3. #11 Mike Cox Jr. 3. #52 Chris Wimmer 12.186 Seconds
4. # 3 Jeff Weinfurter 4. #66 Jim Duchow 12.226 Seconds
5. #22 M.G. Gajewski 5. #71 Mark Eswein 12.240 Seconds
6. #40 Jeremy Lepak
7. # 6 Scott Fields

Established New Track Record

8. #77 Todd Stapleman
9. #13 Greg Weinfurter
10. #107.5 Monte Gress

Semi-Feature: 1.) Troy Nelson; 2.) Jeremy Lepak; 3.) Doug Drost; 4.) Steve Gress; 5.) Burton Brown; 6.) Kirby Kurth; 7.) Ted Schoppenhorst; 8.) Rene Scheinoha
First Heat: 1.) Brown; 2.) Drost; 3.) Nelson
Second Heat: 1.) Kurth; 2.) Stapleman; 3.) Kevin Peterson
Third 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Jamie Iverson; 2.) J. Weinfurter; 3.) Chris Weinkauf
Dash: 1.) Wimmer; 2.) G. Weinfurter; 3.) Knoblock

CWSSA Super Stock Division
Feature Event Time Trials
1. #01 Cale Laessig 1. #17 Jason Szymkowiak 13.540 Secs.
2. #27 Judd Brandl 2. #52 Mike Doughty 13.686 Secs.
3. #40 Shawn Stelzer 3. #99 Jason Kirsling 13.719 Secs.
4. #53 Randy Storlie 4. #53 Randy Storlie 13.743 Secs.
5. #24 Keith Bohmsach 5. #17 Bernie Fritz Jr. 13.752 Secs.
6. #99 Jason Kirsling
7. #52 Mike Doughty
8. #24 Merle Weinfurter
9. # 7 Jim Cormack
10. #78 Brad Scholze

Semi-Feature: 1.) Cormack; 2.) Carl Saylor; 3.) Cary Lyons; 4.) Brian Stroik; 5.) Bernie Fritz Sr.; 6.) Don Cline
First Heat: 1.) Matthew Wicz; 2.) Saylor; 3.) Cormack
Second Heat: 1.) Laessig; 2.) Alan Sansky; 3.) Scholze
Third Heat: 1.) Stelzer; 2.) Kirlsing; 3.) Storlie
Dash: 1.) Kirsling; 2.) Fritz; 3.) Szymkowiak

Pure Stock Division
Feature Event Time Trials
1. #26 Jeffrey Gruber 1. #26 Jeffrey Gruber 15.437 Secs.
2. #22 Michael Brooks 2. # 9 Marv Flick 15.619 Secs.
3. #78 Bradly Scholze 3. #98 John Mathews 15.745 Secs.
4. # 6 Thryran Rezen
5. #15 Anney Turzinski
6. # 9 Marv Flick
7. #42 Roland Kuhn
8. #15 Michel Somers

First Heat: 1.) Scott Christensen; 2.) Daryl Kubly
Second Heat: 1.) Brooks; 2.) Scholze; 3.) Gruber
Dash: 1.) Brooks; 2.) Mathews; 3.) Flick

Mid-American Spring Opener 50

Pos. Driver Hometown Car
1. #10 Bobby Gutknecht Oak Creek, WI 1999 Grand Prix
2. #69 Tim Schmitt Muskego, WI 1997 Thunderbird
3. # 9 Brian Schwartz Countryside, IL 1999 Monte Carlo
4. # 3 Mike Monroe Pell Lake, WI 1999 Monte Carlo
5. #18 Jesse Wilcox Waterloo, WI 1997 Cutlass
6. #17 Dennis Krumrie Glenwood, IL 1995 Grand Prix
7. # 5 Bill Prietzel Franklin, WI 1997 Avenger
8. #88 Rick Corso McHenry, IL 1997 Thunderbird
9. #36 Steve Strasburg Roscie, IL 1999 Avenger
10. #30 Gregg Haese Two Rivers, WI 1995 Grand Prix
11. #22 Kurt Van Der Wal Oskaloosa, IA 1999 Monte Carlo
12. #65 Jim Malinowski Palos Hills, IL 1994 Lumina
13. #00 Rick Lemmens Kewaunee, WI 1995 Grand Prix
14. #11 Kevin Rybuck New Belrin, WI 1999 Monte Carlo
15. #27 Rusty Dungy Bloomington, IL 1994 Lumina
16. # 8 Jimmy Becker Burlington, IL 1994 Lumina
17. #20 Mike Combs Sheridan, IL 1999 Monte Carlo
18. #10 Ken Hutchins Black River, WI 1994 Lumina
19. #45 Brad Dahmer Sheboygan, WI 1999 Monte Carlo
20. #37 Scott Null Lake Mills, WI 1994 Lumina

20 Lap Last Chance Race: 1.) Hutchens; 2.) Dahmer; 3.) Dungey; 4.) Jamie Dorsey;5.) Bill Schwader; 6.) Peter Hernandez
First 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Hutchins; 2.) Schwader
Second 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Strasburg; 2.) Malinowski
Third 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Wilcox; 2.) Rybuck
Fast Qualifier: # 5 Bill Prietzel, Franklin, WI......12.898 Seconds  (RECORD)