July 19, 2002; Plover, WI - Fans at Golden Sands Speedway were treated to wild night of racing that included, three wide racing, drivers spinning each other out, crashes into the frontstretch wall and a rollover. That however was just the bus races held at the end of the evening and the mayhem delights the packed house. Those surviving to take a trip to victoy lane included track tech official "Snoozer", and fellow tech man Terry Marzofka.
The regular race program consisting of Super Late Models, Super Stocks and 4 Cylinders saw just a single caution during their feature races making for a quickly run show.
In the Super Late Models it was Greg Back of Vesper, son of long time central Wisconsin standout Gary Back, scoring his first career feature win in convincing fashion. The Super Stocks were paced by Keith Bohmsach who withstood heavy pressure in the closing laps of the event from several drivers to earn his fourth feature win of the season. Dennis Goetsch made it back to back victories in the 4 cylinders after winning last week.
Prior to the evening's program opening ceremonies saw several fans awarded prizes after winning a couple of the contests held at the track. Matthew Rasmussen was the Jr. Fan Club member of the night, while other prizes were awarded to Kyle Cook who won the WAL-MART gift certificate and D.J. Esmahan who won the River City Motors Wisconsin Rapids Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificate.
Fast qualifiers for this evening having the choice to accept some bonus money for starting in the back included Jeff Weinfurter and Jason Kirsling. Kirsling, who stopped Shawn Stelzer's qualifying streak at 10 races, by turning his first fast time effort of the year, opted not to take the Point Shell/Turbo Wash Challenge which was up to $650, as Kirsling had recently taken over the point lead and is seeking the division title.
Weinfurter on the other hand upon scoring his first fast time effort of the season went after the $1,300 worth of challenge money presented by Hot N' Now in the Super Late Model class. Weinfurter was mired in traffic in the feature contest and was unable to collect the bonus earning a ninth place finish.
Greg Back wasted little time in working into the lead at the drop of the green flag, as 16 cars started the 30 lap Super Late Model feature contest. Back had outsprinted fellow front row starter Benjamin Brinkman to take over the pace of the race. By lap two Monte Gress had moved to Brinkman's inside as the field raced pack style behind Back who ran alone out front.
It was the tight side by side duels taking place near the front of the pack that allowed Back to slowly pull away each lap. While the lead was never in question for much of the race, the remainder of the field all ran within a pack that would stay together to the checkered. As the race clicked off the first 10 laps the lead group remained back style with the exception of Brinkman who managed to clear Gress for second and drop to the inside lane, with Gress following in third on his rear bumper.
Brandon Selle, running the outside then attempted to move forward in the field. At the halfway point Back had stretched his lead out to a dozen car lengths with Brinkman unable to close. Selle and Gress found themselves in a wheel to wheel battle for the third position that would continue for until lap 20 when Selle nosed ahead for the spot. Selle, running well in the outside line appeared to be the one to break the log jam as he began to work past Brinkman for the second spot actually nosing ahead slightly with five laps to go.
By now Back had checked out on the field, running comfortably a half lap ahead of the duel between Selle and Brinkman for second. With four laps to go, Selle's hard fought efforts were erased with a slip with dropped him back a couple car lengths on the outside and allowed Brinkman and Gress to move back into the second and third spots.
Back took the victory by a half-lap margin, with the pack bearing down on the checkered with everyone racing two wide. Brinkman was clearly in second, with Gress, hugging the inside line nosing out Selle for third. Selle would finish fourth while another side by side crossing of the stripe was settled in a photo finish as Frank Nitzke took fifth by inches over Allen Check. who earned sixth.
The 25 lap Super Stock feature rolled out for the green flag with Bohmsach setting the pace. Jim Cormack moved into second by lap two attempting to use the outside line to close on Bohmsach. On lap three, the third running car of Chris Brooks slide up the track giving the position to Shawn Stelzer, who then nosed to the inside of Cormack and the pair proceeded to do battle for the runner-up spot.
Stelzer secured the spot on lap five and set out after Bohmsach who was two car lengths out front. Tim Hintz joined the lead duo moments later after taking third from Cormack on lap seven. Just seconds later Cary Lyons and Brooks did a twin spin in turn two forcing the only caution of the race.
The field was restacked and the green flew again with Bohmsach again taking the lead. Meanwhile Hintz and Stelzer resumed their battle for second, with Hintz getting the position by lap 12. Hintz then tried to close the gap on Bohmsach getting as far as his rear bumper cover with ten laps to go. By running the outside line however, it opened up the bottom of the track and allowed Stelzer to challenge again for the runner-up spot. As if playing a chess match it was Stelzer making the correct move this time moving back to second with five laps to go.
Stelzer, running on the ragged edge had closed up on Bohmsach's rear bumper on the white flag lap, waiting for a slip by Bohmsach to provide the opportunity for a pass. Bohmsach however drove a clean lap to the checkered to take the win. Stelzer was second, Hintz third, Randy Storlie climbed to fourth and fast qualifier, Kirsling finished in fifth. As a result of the finish this evening Kirsling maintains the point lead by five points as there remain seven nights of racing to decided the division title.
While side by side duels were the order of the day in the Super Stocks and Super Late Models, there was plenty of passing taking place in the 4 cylinders. Eric Nelson led the first two laps of that event before Dennis Goetsch worked into the top spot from deep in the field. Keith Wirtz making some daring three wide passes had moved to third by lap six. Wirtz then disposed of Nelson taking second two laps later.
Goestch meanwhile had built up a full straightaway lead, which Wirtz was having a hard time reducing. Help in reducing that lead came in the form of some lapped traffic with three laps to go. Temporarily blocked, Goetsch had to tip-toe through the lapped cars, while Wirtz charged hard. This allowed Wirtz to close to within a car length as the pair cleared the lapped vehicles with the white flag waving. Goetsch was able to sprint to the finish maintaining the car length lead to secure the victory. Wirtz finished a close second after an exciting charge. Jason Bell rallied to third with Nelson and Doug Adams making up the top five runners.
Next week is the 4th Annual Team Schierl Companies Night. The program will feature Super Late Models, Super Stocks and Cruisers. In addition the next round of the Iron Man competition will play out will a Roll-Over contest. 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