May 31, 2002; Plover, WI - It was an evening filled with spills and thrills as the largest crowd of the season gathered for WAL-MART Kid's Night at Golden Sands Speedway. With the weather nearly ideal the crowd was treated to some exciting racing and a few unexpected surprises.
The surprises coming in the form of some wild action was topped off by the Monster Truck "The Rock", nearly flipping after breaking an axle after a car crushing exhibition. Landing on three wheels the truck came to a rest in the infield with the crowd on it's feet cheering at the mayhem. Other incidents during the evening included Ken Soyka climbing the hill in the backstretch and hitting a lightpole, standing his car on it's trunk, Nicholas Quinnell, Keith Hansen and Tim Hintz went blasting into the water protection barrels on the front stretch on Super Stock action, and Ted Reichenberger's high speed exit of the race track in turn three into the sand trap. In each case the drivers emerged unhurt.
The Late Models feature also had plenty of action as a tangle between the leaders helped establish Jeremy Lepak of Wausau in a position to score his second victory on the season in convincing fashion, while Keith Bohmsach of Wisconsin Rapids also earned his second weekly Super Stock main event of the year. Rounding out the program Dennis Goetsch captured the 4 cylinder feature.Super Stock action.
Several weekly Fan Appreciation prizes were awarded. The Jr. Fan Club Member of the week was Shane Froelich, while Austin Hutchinson won the Wal-Mart Gift Certificate. Nick Truehl who won the River City Motors Rapid Chamber Gift Certificate.
Preliminary racing action saw two time track champion Mark Eswein take top qualyifing honors for the second straight week topping a field of 29 Late Models. Eswein however opted not to take the Hot N' Now Ultimate Challenge which was worth $600 if he chose to come from the back of the pack and win the feature.
In the Super Stocks however Shawn Stelzer who outran a field of 36 Super Stocks, did accept the challenge for his division. Stelzer who had set quick time five consecutive nights here at Golden Sands had been hampered by mechanical problems in the feature races, but this evening he blasted through the field to finish second, narrowly missing the $300 bonus presented by Point Shell/Turbo Wash.
Action continued to be wild at the start of the Late Model feature as Jason Weinkauf took a wild slide through the grass at the start of the contest. He was avoided by the field and would return after a trip to the pit area. On the restart Monte Gress was on the pole with Brandon Selle to his outside.
Selle got an excellent start taking the opening lead. Defending track champion Burton Brown moved around Gress for second on lap three and began to work on Selle for the top position. Brown opting to use the outside line wheeled next to Selle to challenge for the lead. Coming to the strip nearly dead even on lap six, the pair made contact with Selle spinning wildly down the front stretch. Todd Stapleman took evasive action to miss him and slid off the track in turn on tagging the wall. Selle and Stapleman were done for the evening and Brown was regulated to the rear of the field for the restart.
Troy Nelson lead everyone back to the green with Lepak following in second. Lepak followed Nelson for a couple laps when opportunity presented itself on lap ten. Nelson slid up the track slightly and Lepak got to his inside, taking the lead position on lap ten.
Behind the lead duo of Lepak and Nelson, last weeks feature winner Greg Weinfurter, Allen Check and fast qualifier Mark Eswein gave chase. Weinfurter was attempting to gain second from Nelson on the outside on lap 12, when he slid up the track falling back. Eswein opted to use the outside line at this point and motored past Check for fourth at the halfway point of the race. Eswein took just four more circuits to drop Weinfurter out of his third position.
The final ten laps clicked off at a rapid pace with Lepak comfortably out front for the win. Nelson held off a final lap challenge by Eswein to take second. Nelson, Check, Weinfurter and Frank Nitzke would complete the top six finishers.
In earlier action Eugene Gregorich Jr., would capture the Late Model semi-feature over Kirby Kurth and Judd Brandl. The top three positions were added to the tail of the main event
In the Super Stock main event Mike Brooks sat on the pole with Dave Neitzke to his outside for the 25 lap main event. Neitzke would get the initial lead as Brooks began to drift backwards into the field. Bohmsach who had started in the second row quickly scrambled to second. As lap two began there was a wild tangle mid pack which occurred as cars tried to navigate turn four three wide. The end result was Tim Hintz leaving the racing surface and hitting the water barrels which protect the wall on the front stretch. The safety barrels did their job and Hintz emerged unhurt and his car was too damaged to continue.
With several cars out of the contest the race resumed and the next 23 laps went off without further incident. When action resumed Neitzke and Bohmsach ran wheel to wheel for the lead with Bohmsach using the outside line to gain the upper hand on lap six. Behind the lead duo Randy Storlie had slipped into the third position as the race approached the ten lap mark and further back in the pack Stelzer was slicing his way to the front after starting 14th on the grid.
Storlie maneuvered into second behind Bohmsach who had built a comfortable lead by lap ten. With Bohmsach comfortably in the lead all eyes were turned to Stelzer who continued his march forward. Stelzer cracked the top five as the race reached the halfway point taking fourth two laps later and then surpassing Neitzke for third on lap 16.
Stelzer's next task was to close the gap on second running Storlie. With no cautions to tighten the field, Stelzer was having to turn a blistering pace to narrow the gap on the lead duo. With seven laps to go he caught Storlie, and he swept to his outside through turn three with five laps to go and the pair ran wheel to wheel for the position. Stelzer finally secured the position with three laps remaining.
The final task was to reel in Bohmsach who held a eight car length advantage. Stelzer went to work on the lead which he managed to cut in half before the checkered flag fell. Bohmsach took the win. Stelzer's amazing charge netted him second. Storlie claimed third. Jason Kirsling quietly crept to fourth and Neitzke completed the top five.
The Mini-Stock main event saw Roger Stanczek pace the opening circuits before Dennis Goetsch motored his way to the lead on lap four. The contest would be the first feature of the evening to go non-stop and Goetsch would hold the top position the remaining distance. Doug Adams moved into second in the closing laps but was unable to mount a serious bid for the lead. Jason Bell, Jim Williams and Stanczek completed the top five.
Next week is the 5th Annual Scaffidi Motors Night with a full show of Super Late Models and Super Stock racing. The event will also mark the first time this year that the Bus Races will take place. The huge behemoths will race two and three wide around the high banked track providing plenty of spills and thrills. Roll-overs in the bus races have not been uncommon. 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