May 24, 2002; Plover, WI - It was an evening for new faces to visit victory lane as some very popular feature victories were scored at Golden Sands Speedway. On a cool crisp evening, Greg Weinfurter of Wisconsin Rapids nailed down his first Super Late Model feature win since, May 2, 1999. To do so, Greg had to fend off his brother Jeff in the early portions of the feature and survive a late race restart, earning a convincing and popular win.
In Super Stock action, Scott Hamel made his evening efforts pay off with his first career feature victory in a non-stop contest. Hamel, who has been a regular in the class of 13 years overcome some problems in the early evening as he broke and axle during practice. Hamel was able to make repairs to his car and participate in the evening's action. He would then pace the entire distance in the feature to earn a popular win by holding off a late race charge by Dave Neitzke to earn top honors for the class.
Fan Appreciation prizes were awarded again this evening. The Jr. Fan Club Member of the week was Kyle Chiapuzio, while Elizabeth Moen won the Wal-Mart Gift Certificate. Lucas Betro who won the River City Motors Rapid Chamber Gift Certificate.
In early evening action, Mark Eswein bested a field of 29 late Models for fast time honors but opted not to take the Hot N' Now Challenge which was worth $500 if he were to come from the back of the feature an win the contest. In Super Stocks it was Shawn Stelzer out qualified some 32 competitors setting fast time for the fourth consecutive week. He did take the challenge worth $250 presented by Point Shell/Turbo Wash. Stelzer however was stifled by mechanical problems in the feature and fell out of the contest.
The 40 lap Late Model main event Greg Weinfurter would pole vault past fellow front row starter Benjamin Brinkman for the initial lead. The two raced wheel to wheel with Brinkman contesting for the top spot in the challenging outside lane. Brinkman would nose ahead at times with Weinfurter rolling back to the lead by a matter of inches during other laps. The action came to a brief halt on lap six as Rene Scheinoha slid off the track on the front stretch and got stuck in the sand trap.
Brinkman had been in front my a matter of inches at the last completed lap and had the top position all to himself as the race was restarted single file. Greg Weinfurter was second with his brother Jeff third, defending track champion Burton Brown ran fourth and Todd Stapleman who had already made two trips to victory lane this evening by winning the dash and the heat race was holding fifth.
Greg Weinfurter managed to nose under Brinkman into turn one on lap eight and changed to the top spot bring his brother Jeff to second. Brinkman, caught on the outside would lose several positions before being able to get back into line. The final caution of the contest flew on lap 15 when Troy Nelson looped his car in turn two.
On the restart the Weinfurter brothers did battle for the top spot, while Stapleman came up to challenge Brown for third. Brown switched to the outside line on lap 18 and got a good run on Jeff Weinfurter, advancing into second. Further back Allen Check had witnessed this move and used the outside line to surpass both Stapleman and Jeff Weinfurter to annex third on lap 21. Stapleman then performed a similar move to grab fourth on the following lap as Jeff Weinfurter fell back into the pack.
His brother Greg meanwhile was comfortably out front as the battle for second heated up between Brown, Check and Stapleman. Check was the first to make his move. Again opting for the outside lane to move up Check was able to power past Brown for second with seven laps remaining, and Stapleman followed to third. The tussle for second allowed Greg Weinfurter to build upon his lead which was at six car lengths over Check at the finish. Check would lay claim to second, Stapleman took third. Fast qualifier Mark Eswein would make it to fourth in the closing laps of the contest with Brown falling back to fifth.
In preliminary action Kirby Kurth took advantage of lapped traffic and scored a solid victory in the Late Model semi-feature over Frank Nitzke and and Judd Brandl. All three advanced to the main event. Eugene Gregorich Jr., who led much of the contest was slowed by a lapped car and fell to fourth during the final two laps of the event.
The 25 lap Super Stock feature took the green flag. It was Hamel starting on the pole for the contest with Brian Stroik to his outside. Hamel got a good initial jump on the start at the drop of the green setting the early pace. Dave Neitzke came up to the second spot by lap two and would spend much of the remainder of the race looking for a way to the lead.
Most of the racing action took place behind the lead duo as the tight field raced door to door pack style throughout much of the contest. Merle Weinfurter lead the group in third in the early going. Weinfurter held the position through lap six before Jeremy Szymkowiak took the position on lap seven.
Meanwhile Hamel was enjoying a 6 car length lead out front with Neitzke giving chase. Without a caution to slow his pace Hamel stretched his lead by lap 15 to a dozen car lengths on Neitzke, while Szymkowiak found himself having to defend his position in third as Tim Hintz closed in. Hintz used the outside lane with seven laps remaining to maneuver into third.
Out front the action began to heat up as Neitzke was now reeling in Hamel. As the laps wore down Neitzke was able to close within a car length as the white flag flew. Hamel would never have to face the challenges of Neitzke on the final lap as Hintz made a bold move to the outside to challenge for second. Hamel would race to the line three car lengths out front. Neitzke would hang onto the runner-up spot by a foot over Hintz for second. Hintz, Szymkowiak and Randy Storlie would round out the top five finishers.
In earlier Super Stock action, newcomer Duwayne Davis bested Larry Schultz in the Semi-feature, while Dan Gollen captured the consolation race.
Next week is WAL-MART Kid's Night. In addition to racing in the Super Late Model, Super Stock and 4 Cylinder divisions a Monster Truck show will take place at the track prior to qualifying. 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