May 10, 2002; Plover, WI - For the second consecutive week the Super Late Model main event at Golden Sands Speedway proved to be a green to checkered contest. Without a caution to aid his opponents Kirby Kurth of Nekoosa ran and hid from the rest of the field after taking the lead on lap 8 of the 40 lap contest. In the Super Stock division it was Wisconsin Rapids native Keith Bohmsach who would top the main event which was spiced with several cautions for various on track incidents. Bohmsach himself narrowly avoided becoming collected in one of the accidents.
Starting out the evening, third year Super Late Model pilot Brandon Selle recorded his first career fast qualifying effort turning a lap of 12.164 seconds. Selle would take the Hot N' Now Ultimate Challenge making him eligible for bonus money if he were to win the main event from the back of the pack. Selle's noble effort to take the challenge after his first fast time would result in a 14th place finish.
The field of 16 late models took the green flag with defending track champion Burton Brown and Benjamin Brinkman leading the field to the green flag from the front row. Kurth started the event on the inside of the second row and gave chase to the lead pair when the green flag fell. Brown would take the initial lead, while Brinkman would rim-ride the track attempting to maintain his position. Kurth would slip past Brinkman and into second and began to work on Brown.
Kurth using the outside line, powered past Brown through turns one and two on lap eight to take the top spot. Once out front he methodically began to stretch his lead to a comfortable margin making the race for second the focus of attention. Brown held the spot while positions swapped behind him. Making solid progress in the race was Jeremy Lepak who had started seventh and Jeff Weinfurter who won the feature on opening night and who had started 12th.
Brown meanwhile found his second position in jeopardy as two time champion Mark Eswein came up to challenge him for position. While Eswein attempted to look low on Brown, Lepak opted for the high side. Lepak worked well in the outer groove and would pass both Eswein and Brown for the runner-up spot on lap 25.
While Lepak was able to move to second, Kurth had built up a
quarter-lap lead effortlessly circulating the track.
J. Weinfurter appeared to be able to match Kurth's pace, but with Lepak and a quarter-lap between them it would be a challenge to win the race. Weinfurter was able to accomplish half of the task as he got alongside Lepak on the outside with four laps to go to grab the position. Kurth however had a very solid lead and would streak to the win e=with nearly a quarter-lap margin on J. Weinfurter. Lepak netted third. A late race charge by Allen Check allowed him to climb to fourth with Brown and Eswein rounding out the top six runners.
In The Super Stock division Shawn Stelzer set the quick qualifying mark for the second straight week besting a field of 35 cars and took that division's challenge presented by Point Shell/Turbo Wash. Stelzer however would drop out of the feature event and was unable to collect. The cash prizes in both challenges will increase again next week.
In Super Stock feature action it was a pair of number 7 machines of Brian Stroik and Jim Cormack on the front row for the start of the 25 lap feature contest. After a dead heat on the opining lap, Cormack would nose ahead in the outside lane to lead at the stripe on lap 2 as veteran racer Merle Weinfurter climbed into the third position.
The race was to see a wild event occur on lap 4 which would eliminate several cars. Stroik and Jeremy Szymkowiak were racing side by side when Szymkowiak cut down a tire after contact. The pair sailed off the turn three bank and into the sands trap. Meanwhile several cars behind them spun in different directions to avoid contact as several of them became involved in the melee including Stelzer the evening's fast qualifier and Bohmsach who stopped in the sand trap.
When the race resumed it was Cormack back in the lead fending off the challenges of Merle Weinfurter and Jason Kirsling. Bohmsach made a daring three wide pass at the drop of the green to advance to fourth. M. Weinfurter managed to make his car stick and work well in the lower groove while Cormack held to the high line. M. Weinfurter was able to get under Cormack and going down the backstretch on lap eight he was able to assume the lead. At the same time Bohmsach was bust working on Kirsling taking third and then securing second from Cormack on lap 10. Cormack battling an ill-handling car began to fall back in the field on the outside line.
The next caution appeared when Manternach spun on the front stretch with 11 laps in the books and was narrowly avoided by several cars. When the race resumed M. Weinfurter was in command of the race while Bohmsach and Kirsling fought a thrilling duel for second. Both drivers, with championships in this class under their belt managed to swap the second spot on several occasions. Bohmsach finally secured the position on lap 19 and set his sights of M. Weinfurter.
M. Weinfurter appeared to be headed to his first checkered at Golden Sands in several seasons as the cagey veteran kept Bohmsach at bay. However with three laps to go he slipped up the track in turn one allowing Bohmsach a line as the bottom. The pair made brief contact as Bohmsach blasted by for the lead. At the line it was Bohmsach taking the victory, his first of the 2002 season. Kirsling was able to follow Bohmsach to move into second at the finish. M. Weinfurter would have to settle for the third position. Randy Storlie would edge out Tim Hintz by a couple feet to claim fourth. Hintz and Tim Plowman would make up the top six finishers.
The seventh place driver of Chris Brooks turned in a notable performance. After being unable to qualify he came from the back of the field in the Consolation event to win the race earning him a start at the tail of the semi-feature. Brooks then methodically advance in the semi-feature and would take advantage of some late race mechanical difficulties and contact between the leading cars to secure the victory in that race earning a spot in the feature.
Three of the wild and exciting 2-Man Cruiser races were held as a field of nearly 30 cars were on hand. Split into three heats, the winners were the teams of Field and Schultz, Drews and Van, and claming the final event was Mroczenski/Engman.
Completing the evening was the first ever Lawn Mover Races held on an infield road course laid out on the grass which also utilized the asphalt of the track's victory lane. Competing in the contest were Jerry Trzebiatowski, Brian Stroik, Alicia Faivre, Kane Punzel, Mike Bretz and Ryan Rossier.
Racing continues next week at Golden Sands Speedway as it presents a pair of events. The regular weekly program will take place on Friday evening, May 17th. The show will feature Super Late Models and Super Stocks while the 4 Cylinder will return for their second events of the season. Spectator racing is also on the card and as always a large field of entries are expected. Time trials are set for 6:30 p.m., with the first green flag of the evening scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
Then on Sunday Afternoon, May 19th, the weather delayed Wisconsin Challenge Series, the Ice Breaker 75, will take to the track. Over 40 cars are expected to do battle in a 75 lap feature contest which will see 22 cars take to the track. The event will pay $1,800 to win. Twin 30 lap qualifying events are also scheduled for the class. The Super Stocks will appear with the WCS Late Models for the first time and compete in an event known as the Conqueror's Cup. The race which will run 35 laps pays $400 to win and $100 to start. Cards from nearly a dozen area tracks are expected to compete throughout the day in the Super Late Model and Super Stock divisions. The day will conclude with round one of the Wisconsin 2-Man Cruiser State Championships. Time Trials are at 12:30 p.m., with racing set to take place at 2:00 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