July 5, 2002; Plover, WI - Twice this season Allen Check of Rosholt, Wisconsin watched the checkered flag fall for the car in front of him in feature action. Heading into the 2nd Annual Charter Communications Night at Golden Sands Speedway, Check had recorded a pair of second place feature finishes this season. Tonight however, it was Check making his way to the finish line first after leading much of the 40 lap Late Model main event. The win for Check was his first since May of the 2001 season.
In Super Stock action, it was Wisconsin Rapids native Keith Bohmsach, the defending champion of the division winning his third weekly feature of the 2002 season. Rounding out the evening, Doug Rose and his Green Mamba Jet Car put on a exhibition for the fans, melting a pair of full sized cars down to the ground.
Polesitter Greg Weinfurter and Greg Back made up the front row for the start of the 18 car feature field in Super Late Model action. Greg Weinfurter made the initial jump into the lead, but Back running wheel in the outside line roared to the front to lead lap one by a matter of inches. It took Back several laps to secure the top spot was Greg Weinfurter fought tenaciously on the bottom groove. On lap four Back was able to solidify his lead as Check, who had started third now challenged Greg Weinfurter for second.
Check, using the outside groove, motored into the runner-up spot on lap six. Jeff Weinfurter was next to drop his brother Greg back a spot as he advanced into third. By lap ten Check was looking to the inside of Back, who appeared to have trouble keeping the car at the bottom of the turns. This allowed Check room underneath, and Check was able to slip by for the top spot.
However, just as the lap was completed, defending champion Burton Brown and last week's feature winner Mark Eswein bumped in turn four, sending Eswein spinning wildly down the front stretch. The field scattered to avoid him but the caution appeared to sort things out. Both Brown and Eswein were able to continue from the back of the field.
When the green flag flew Check had a clear track in front of him and he started to build a cushion for his lead. It was now Jeremy Lepak, who had started seventh putting on a charge, going to fourth my moving past Greg Weinfurter on lap 13. Troy Nelson followed Lepak to fifth. The next target for Lepak was Jeff Weinfurter and Greg Back.
On lap 20, Back bobbled a bit allowing Jeff Weinfurter to go around him on the high side, and Lepak to drop to the bottom of the track. The trio raced three wide into turn three with Back lifting to allow Lepak and Jeff Weinfurter to safely race for second. Lepak, on the bottom was able to gain the position and came across the line in second, with Jeff Weinfurter settling into third. Troy Nelson also took advantage of the slip by Back to roll to fifth on lap 22.
Check meanwhile had extend his lead to a dozen car lengths running a flawless line around the track. Lepak was able to match his pace but was unable to close on the leader. Meanwhile third became the focus of attention as Nelson got past Jeff Weinfurter and then started closing on Lepak.
Over the final laps Check was able to get some additional security for his lead as Nelson managed to wiggle under Lepak to challenge for second with a pair of laps to go. Check got to the finish line unchallenged, but Lepak and Nelson went the final two laps wheel to wheel for second. The the stripe Lepak was inches ahead of Nelson for the runner-up spot. Nelson captured a hard fought third spot. Jeff Weinfurter was fourth and Jason Weinkauf made the finish in fifth. Visiting driver Kyle Kinder finished sixth on the evening.
For Weinkauf, it was a solid performance. He had accepted the Hot N' Now Ultimate Challenge by setting fast time for the first time this season and then electing to start in the tail of the field in an attempt to win $1,100 in bonus money.
Ultimately he was able to get as far as the fifth spot, leaving the bonus unclaimed. In Super Stock action, Shawn Stelzer continued his domination of quick time honors for the class and took that division's Point Shell/Turbo Wash Challenge which was up to $550. Stelzer too, left the money on the table, as he finished seventh.
Outside front row starter Dave Neitzke got the initial lead of the main event in Super Stock action. Bohmsach who started third faded a bit the opening lap, before switching to the outside lane. He was able to maneuver around Scott Hamel for third on lap five. Meanwhile out front Galen Manternatch, running second had closed on Neitzke. Manternatch made a bid for the lead on lap six, but slid up the track in turn four, handing second to Bohmsach. Hamel also took advantage of the situation to climb to the third spot.
Bohmsach was able to quickly reduce the lead Neitzke had built and on lap nine the pair reached the finish line dead even, with Neitzke holding the low line and Bohmsach running the high groove. Going down the backstretch Bohmsach used the momentum to pull into the lead. The first of three cautions flew on lap ten when Tim Hintz, last week's feature winner, spun in turn four.
When action resumed Bohmsach was back out front. Hamel used the high line to get around Neitzke for second, while the field swapped spots behind them. A spin by Matt Raykowski on lap 15 bunched the field again, and again when the green returned Bohmsach set the pace, with Hamel, Tim Plowman, Jason Kirsling and Merle Weinfurter who had won the semi-feature following.
With Bohmsach out front it was Plowman and Hamel putting on a show for the fans as they ran wheel to wheel for second. Plowman briefly held the spot before Hamel reassumed the position. Kirsling then came to life, moving to the inside of Plowman for the third spot and then motoring past Hamel for second with seven laps remaining in the race.
The final caution came out with just five laps remaining when Manternatch spun in turn two and was tagged by Jeremy Szymkowiak. This set up a dash to the checkered. When the green unfurled Kirsling was immediately on Bohmsach's rear bumper, seeking a way by. Bohmsach stayed low on the track, while Kirsling sought an opening. The pair bumped briefly with two laps to go, but neither slowed their pace. In the end Bohmsach was able to win the race by a car length over Kirlsing in a hard fought contest. Hamel was able to ward off a last lap challenge by Merle Weinfurter for third, with Weinfurter, Jim Cormack and Larry Schultz completing the top six runners.
Three 2_man Cruiser races events were also held this evening. With each car containing a pilot who operates the steering and the brake, and a co-pilot who works the gas pedal, the action was exciting as usual. The first race, an accident shortened affair was won by the team of Wisinski and Wisinski, while the second race which went the distance was captured by Szymkowiak and Szymkowiak. The final of the three races was captured by Dodson and Hall.
Next week is the 2nd Annual Bumper to Bumper Kid's Night, with plenty of extra promotions for the younger fans of Golden Sands Speedway. In racing action for the evening will be the Super Late Models, Super Stocks and the 4 Cylinder's will be the evening's guest class. Time trials are set for 6:30 p.m., with the first green flag of the evening scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
Golden Sands Speedway known as Central Wisconsin's Power Playground is located between Wisconsin Rapids and Plover, Wisconsin on Highway 54. For additional information please call (715) 423-4660 or consult the track website at www.goldensandsspeedway.com