June 12, 2003; Plover, WI - It was a busy Father's Day weekend at Golden Sands Speedway as the high banked third-mile paved oval hosted two complete race programs within a 48 hour period. On a warm and sunny Sunday Afternoon, the winner's circle saw two new faces. In the Super Late Model division, it was Chris Weinkauf of Merrill earning his first feature win at the track. Weinkauf, a start performer in several regional series, had narrowly missed winning a major Wisconsin Challenge Series event at the track last season when he finished second to former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor Nathan Haseleu.
Today, he more than made up for the near miss, taking top honors in a special 50 lap event dubbed the Big Gold Series Round One. Fans, had an opportunity to win a cool $1,000 should any of the top five finishers from an event held earlier this season win the race. As it turned out the best finisher of those five was Jeremy Lepak who was the evenings fast qualifier. Lepak had charged to fifth in the contest, a solid showing, but the prize of $1,000 was unclaimed.
In the Super Stock division Steve Borski was the victor in a contest which ran with just a single caution period. The win was Borski's first feature victory in eight years of on and off racing. In the 4 cylinder division it was Adam Krzykowski who would score his second straight feature win in the class.
During preliminary racing action, Lepak scored his fourth consecutive fast qualifying effort with a lap of 12.188 seconds. In the Super Stock division, it was Cary Lyons nabbing quick time honors with a run of 13.741 seconds, making him eligible for the Coors Light Challenge worth $350 if he were to win the main event from the tail of the field. Lyons accepted the challenge and climbed as far as eighth place before the checkered flag fell. In the 4 Cylinder division, Plover Auto Body had $25 in the pot for Torey Nitzsche who earned her first career fast qualifying effort. Torey accepted the challenge but fell short finishing sixth.
A field of 19 cars took the green flag for the first Big Gold Series feature event, with Pat Williams and Monte Gress making up the front row. Gress got a solid start to take the initial lead as Williams fell back in the inside lane. Mark Mackesy quickly advanced to the runner-up slot and began to pressure Gress for the lead position. Gress would choose the high lane to set the pace, while Mackesy opted the low groove to challenge for the lead. At lap five the pair would wind up wheel to wheel for the lead position. Meanwhile Benjamin Brinkman fresh off a heat race win was working forward, reaching third by lap six.
Gress reasserted himself taking sole position of the top spot by lap ten as the lead trio of Gress, Mackesy and Brinkman line up nose to tail. A bit further back Chris Weinkauf was making a quick charge through the pack. After starting in the 12th spot, he had reached the fourth position on lap 14. Weinkauf then set out after the leaders.
On lap 17, Mackesy again dove to the low lane in effort to wrestle the lead from Gress. This time the maneuver worked and Mackesy assumed the lead position briefly as they engaged in a wheel to wheel duel. Gress, would remaining the high groove and actually paced several of the laps up to the halfway point when Mackesy finally got the upper hand and began to pull away.
Lap 27 saw Gress slid up the track allowing Brinkman to maneuver into second. Brinkman was just beginning to pressure Mackesy for the lead, when he too slid up the banking giving Brinkman the low line on lap 31. Brinkman was quick to capitalize on the situation taking the lead. Mackesy came back down the track in second but he now has Weinkauf searching for a way by. Weinkauf was also able to work the low line to get past Mackesy for second and his next goal would be to run down Brinkman who had built up a small lead.
Brinkman was setting a quick pace with Weinkauf seeming to be the only driver to match it. Just behind the lead pair Jeff Weinfurter grabbed the third position with 15 laps to go. Brinkman ran the low groove in effort to keep Weinkauf at bay and he managed to hold onto the lead position until Weinkauf finally used the momentum of the outside lane to sneak ahead by a couple feet on lap 38. The very next lap saw Jim Sauter Jr., slid off the track on the front stretch hitting the safety barrels that protect the front wall and forcing the lone slowdown of the race.
As a result Weinkauf was at the head of the pack when the green flag returned and he would sprint ahead with the lead. Over the final laps Brinkman was forced to defend his runner-up spot allowing Weinkauf to reach the checkered flag with a four car length margin. Brinkman secured second in the closing laps with Weinfurter, Allen Check, Lepak and Chris Weinkauf's younger brother Jason rounded out the top six finishers.
In Super Stock action Chris Brooks and Steve Borski would bring the field to the green flag. Borski drove hard into the turns in the outside lane, powering ahead of Brooks for the initial lead of the contest. Scott Hamel would sneak past Dave Neitzke for the third position and he attempted to close on Brooks.
Hamel would roll alongside Brooks to challenge for the second position, all the while Borski was increasing his lead. Reaching a dozen car lengths by the time Brooks was able to resecure the second spot. At the halfway point Borski had a commanding lead as Brooks, Hamel, Tim Hintz and Shawn Stelzer held the top five positions. On lap 18, Hintz began to surge forward working past Hamel for third and then reeling in Brooks. With six laps remaining in the contest Hintz worked past Brooks for the second position, but by now Borski had built up a solid lead. Hintz barely had time to nibble away at the advantage before his car began to slow. Hintz pulled into the infield while running second as the rear end gave out with just four laps left in the feature. At nearly the same time Hamel shot past Brooks for position, giving him second as Hintz dropped to the infield.
The final laps quickly passed however with Borski taking the win by six car lengths over Hamel. Brooks managed to hold onto third ahead of a fast closing Shawn Stelzer. Stelzer, Keith Bohmsach and Neitzke completed the top six runners.
The first three laps of the 4 cylinder feature saw three different lead changes as Mike Whitmore, Randy Luedtke and Randy Nitzsche each took their turn at the lead. Once Nitzsche was out front it appeared he was headed for victory as he had built up a straightaway lead over Adam Krzykowski by lap eight. However, the yellow flag flew on lap ten ad both Nitzsche and Krzykowski were placed back two spots due to exceeding the field average speed.
This left Eric Kluever in the lead as the race resumed. Krzykowski was quick to maneuver back to the top spot with four laps remaining and he would set the pace to the finish Nitzsche would make his was back to second, with Kluever, Shawn Teske and Jenny Nitzsche making up the top five.
Rounding out the afternoon was the extremely popular bus races. A fleet of eight busses took to the track for a ten lap contest. Keith Wosick would prove to be the man to been in the mammoth machines taking the victory.
Next Friday evening, June 20th, will be the Mid-Season Championship races. The show will feature Super Late Models and Super Stocks, while Pure Stocks and 2-Man Cruisers will also see action. Time Trials take place for weekly events at 6:30p.m. and racing gets underway at 7:45 p.m.
Golden Sands Speedway "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