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2001 Golden Sands Speedway Driver's Banquet!
By Amy Kolo

October 19, 2001; Plover, WI -  The Ridges Golf Course and Supper Club hosted the 2001 Driver's Banquet. The top twenty-six in the Super Late Model, top fifteen in Super Stocks, top ten in Pure Stocks, top ten in 4-Cylinders, and the top five in Cruisers all received trophies for their recognition on an excellent 2001 racing season. Our Safety Crew also gave out their own awards to add a little humor to the night. Russ, Jerry, Jeff, and Brian gave out awards entitled: "The Sandbox Award", "SpinOut", "On The Hook", and the "Yellow Flag Award".

The guys that won the award laughed and thought it was pretty cool.Everyone's favorite season finale proved to be bigger and better. In the mist of everything that has been going on in America, the night gave some people a little enjoyment. Alan Bassuener held a meaningful prayer to the crowd with a moment of silence. At the seven o'clock hour, those who brought their candles lit them; others used lighters while others held another moment of silence for the victims in New York.

Photo Highlights

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Super Late Model Division top runners:  Back Row-Chad Devine, Bernie Fritz Jr., Doug Drost, Dwayne Vetrone, Todd Stapleman, Rocky(crew chief for Burton Brown), Frank Nitzke, Charlie Schwock, and Euqgene Gregorich.  Front Row-Brandon Selle, Jeremy Lepak, Jeff Weinfurter, Judd Brandl, Burton Brown, Mark Eswein, Alan Check, and Aaron Roehl.
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Super Stock Division stars:  Back Row-Andy Simonis, Brian Stroik, Scott Hamel, Mike Doughty, Jeremy Szymkowiak, Tim Plowman, and Mike Brooks.  Front Row-Jason Kirsling, Alan Sankey, Keith Bohmsach, and Shawn Stelzer.42101a.jpg (19971 bytes)
Pure Stock Division: Back Row-Dale Risch, Craig Nigh, and Dan Gollen.  Front Row-Scott Christiansen, John Matthews, Ken Soyka, and Hank Frasch
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4-Cylinder Divison racers:  Back Row-Brian Schmutzer, Eric Nelson, Roger Stanczek, Nick Weirzba, and Doug Adams. Front Row-Brandon Abott, Johnny Bell, and Keith Wirtz
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Track official Russ Schoenman looking fly in his tux (left). Bernie Fritz Jr. receiving his “SandBox Award” from the track crew (right)

Golden Sands Speedway maintained it's own Super Late Model point fund for the third year in a row, with a lot more Late Model driver's qualifying for it's payoff. A huge thanks goes out to all who participated in the Super Late Model Point fund. Thanks to CarQuest Auto Parts, Coca-Cola, Premium Brands (Miller Lite), Baer Beverage (Budweiser), ARP Racing Bodies, Coleman Chassis, Rander Car Chassis, Diamond Race Wheels, Goodyear Tires, B&B Racing Engines, Wenger Automotive, Five Star Bodies, Bassett Racing Wheels, Koch Petroleum, Aero Racing Wheels, and Beway Racing Products. The point fund amounted to over $30,000.00 in cash and contingencies.

Ten different drivers took home a feature win for the 2001 season. One race even featured a tie! Judd Brandl and Jeff Weinfurter took the checkered at the same time. Congratulations to all the feature winners for 2001, Mark Eswein, Doug Drost, Jeff Weinfurter, Kirby Kurth, Todd Stapleman, Jeremy Lepak, Frank Nitzke, Allen Check, Judd Brandl, and Gary Back.

The fight for the track champion in the Super Late Model Division was a tough one. Mark Eswein rode at the top of the list for most of the year, with Neenah driver, Burton Brown, trying to boot Eswein out of the top spot. Burton ran hard week after week. Mark had a few timing mishaps and had to take the semi-feature a few times, which Burton used to his advantage to gain the point lead over Mark. Mark and Burton traded off the first and second spots a few times. But, Burton ended up as the track championship for the season, by a mere five points. Burton never even won a feature race! I got to take that back, Burton did win one feature, the Eve of Destruction Bus feature!

All in all every Super Late Model driver and team did their best and put on great shows each and every Friday night. Jeremy Lepak also tried very hard to take the championship this year, but had a few nights with engine problems. Jeremy did finish a strong third place. Burton would like to thank his fans, sponsors, pit crew, and family for helping him out and cheering him on to his championship.

Nine different drivers took features home with them for the 2001-season. Congratulations to Keith Bohmsach, Mike Doughty, Jason Kirsling, Randy Storlie, Larry Schultz, Shawn Stelzer, Alan Sankey, Jim Cormack and Dave Pagels for excellent feature wins.

Keith Bohmsach was the top dog in the Super Stock division. This driver amazed his fellow competitors on the speed he maintained and his sheer willingness to be on top night after night. Keith Bohmsach dominated the entire year with amazing times and finishes. Keith ended up in a semi feature once due to engine problems, other than that he finished most of the time higher than the sixth position. Keith would like to thank all his fans, sponsors, pit crew, and family for all their help and support in making the 2001 season an awesome one.

The Pure Stocks and the 4-Cylinders split the season, with both divisions racing equally every other week. John Matthews took the Pure Stock championship by storm, winning week after week. John even had a few clean sweeps. The same went for Johnny Bell in the 4-cylinder division. Johnny won feature after feature and set fast times week after week. Johnny even took a few clean sweeps with him. Johnny Bell finished in the championship spot almost a hundred points ahead of the second place guy.

Congratulations to our to rookie drivers in Super Late Model and Super Stock for the 2001 season, Eugene Gregorich and Jeremy Szymkowiak. A big congrats to Dave Phillips for receiving Golden Sands Speedway's Congeniality Award. Golden Sands Speedway also gave awards to the best looking car in each division and the Mechanic of Year award in each division.

Best looking cars were #94 Super Late Model Benjamin Brinkman, #52 Super Stock Mike Doughty, #18 Pure Stock Hank Frasch, and #30 4-Cylinder Roger Stanczek. The Mechanics of the Year awards went to Super Late Model Burton Brown's team, and Super Stock Shawn Stelzer's team. Congratulations to all and thank you for an excellent 2001 season.