May 14, 2002; Plover, WI - If you are Burton Brown you have to like your current situation in the Wisconsin Challenge Series. The Neenah, Wisconsin driver just scored his first career Wisconsin Challenge Series event victory by claiming the Spring Fling 75 at Columbus 151 Speedway. He's in the early season point lead, and he's heading for the next track on the schedule Golden Sands Speedway where he won the track championship last season. Not only that but he opened the regular season at Golden Sands Speedway last week with a dash win and a third place feature finish.
This makes Brown one of the favorites to win the twice weather delayed Ice Breaker 75 when a field of 22 Late Models take the green flag for that contest on Sunday Afternoon, May 19th.
While Brown currently enjoys the look down from atop the standings, the next six Wisconsin Challenge Series events will be hard fought. Residing just two points back in the standings is Wausau, Wisconsin's Jeremy Lepak. Lepak, has set two fast qualifying efforts in Wisconsin Challenge Series races. He almost broke the track record at the season opening WCS event at Columbus 151 Speedway, and set fast time in the last appearance of the WCS cars at Golden Sands last August.
Lepak has also begun the 2002 season with strong performances. Currently leading the point standings at Golden Sands Speedway, Lepak finished second in the season opening race at Golden Sands and finished fourth in the Wisconsin Challenger Series opener at Columbus 151 Speedway. Lepak is also one of the very few drivers that have qualified for every Wisconsin Challenge Series race since it's inception. He's also adept to running longer races as he started his first career ASA race last season with a solid performance.
Other contenders not to be overlooked include 2-time Golden Sands Speedway track champion and defending Wisconsin Challenge Series champion Mark Eswein of Wisconsin Rapids. Eswein has never failed to qualify for a WCS event and has finished in the top ten in every event he's run. Eswein narrowly missed winning the Dick Trickle 99 at Dells Motor Speedway last September when he came up short on a last lap passing attempt and finished third.
Also notable on the entry list for the Ice Breaker 75 is Waukon, Iowa's Ken Reiser. Reiser, a two time track champ[ion at Dells Motor Speedway has qualified in the top seven for every WCS race. He's also finished in the top 10 in every WCS race held so far, recording a second last August at Golden Sands and recently finishing third at the Spring Fling 75 at Columbus 151 Speedway. Reiser also captured the Time Stopper Cup, for earning the most points in Wisconsin Challenge Series action last season.
While those drivers are among the favorites several others that could pull off a big win include Rocky Breezer of Portage who won the Dick Trickle 99 last September at Dells Motor Speedway. Jeff Weinfurter of Wisconsin Rapids who has already scored a weekly feature win at Golden Sands this season and finished second in his other start so far this year. Gary Back of Vesper who came of a strong fifth place run in the WCS opener and Allen Check who was last season's hard charger award winner and who is currently near the top of those standings again this season.
Pit Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. the Ice Breaker 75 on May 19th. The show is the second event on a seven race schedule for the Wisconsin Challenge Series. Time Trials are set for 12:30 p.m., and racing set to take place at 2:00 p.m.
The main event is a 75 lap feature contest for the Super Late Models. The fastest 16 will be determined through qualifying, with twin 30 lap qualifying races determining the balance of the 22 cars starting field. Frank Nitzke, won the Lifeline Lotto at the season opening event will have the opportunity to use that winning entry as a promoter's choice start in the feature contest should he not qualify for the show. Nitzke's use of the Lotto would increase the starting field to 23 cars. The race will pay a minimum of $1,800 to win and $255 to start.
The race will also be the first of the 2-tire shows, which require competitors to have two used tires on their cars for the duration of the event. This popular rule, lowers the cost to compete and allows for a more competitive program. So far the Wisconsin Challenge Series has averaged nearly 40 cars per show.
In addition to the Ice Breaker event for the Super Late Models, area Super Stocks will be participating in a special feature of their own known as the Conqueror's Cup 35. Running as the support class for the big show, the Super Stocks will compete for a grand prize of $400. A field of 20 cars will compete in the 35 lap contest, which will pay $100 to start.
Rounding out the day will be the first event of the Wisconsin 2-Man Cruiser State Championships. Points will be tallied at four events where the Cruisers are the support division for the Wisconsin Challenge Series races and a Wisconsin State 2-Man Cruiser Champion will be crowned.
The family priced adult admission for this event is just $10. The ticket price is arguably the lowest in the Midwest for an event of this caliber.
Golden Sands Speedway is a high-banked third-mile paved oval located between Wisconsin Rapids and Plover, Wisconsin just off Highway 54. Wisconsin Challenge Series information can be found by calling (920) 731-6804 or by logging onto the series website at www.wisconsinchallenge.com