June 20, 2003; Plover, WI - While it took some time to complete his new car, Troy Nelson of Antigo figured out the right way to make it's debut, as he sped to victory in the 50 lap Super Late Model headliner during the Mid-Season Championship events at Golden Sands Speedway. Nelson, who began the season with an older machine, was finally able to make his debut in the new ride this evening. The car proved effective as he was able to fend off some serious challenges by Greg Back in a contest which would go from green to checkered without interruption. Jeff Weinfurter of Wisconsin Rapids, who finished the contest in fourth after setting fast time, earned the most points on the evening and was declared the overall Mid-Season Championship winner.
In the Super Stock division, Jason Kirsling, was able to outpace Scott Hamel enroute to a convincing win in their 35 lap headliner, but it was Jim Cormack, who finished the event in the third position who scored the most points on the day taking Mid-Season Championship honors. It was simple to figure out the Mid-Season championship winner as John Matthews swept the Pure Stock division.
In preliminary activities fans enjoyed some success as various giveaways took place throughout the day. Shawn Stea took home the WAL/MART Gift Certificate, while Raefe Gross was the Junior Short Trax fan of the week. In qualifying activities, Jeff Weinfurter scored his first fast qualifying effort of the 2003 season. He opted to take the Bassuener Excavating Challenge which was up to $800 if he could win the main event from the tail of the field. His charge would net him a third place finish. In the Super Stocks, Tim Hintz also decided to take the challenge which was worth $400, presented by Coors Light. Hintz would find himself mired in traffic and would finish in the eighth place.
At the drop of the green polesitter Burton Brown and Troy Nelson went wheel to wheel for the opening lap of the Super Late Model feature. Nelson was able to work the high lane and go to the lead, while Brown slipped back on the inside lane. Brown would wiggle coming off turn four on the second lap, allowing Greg Back move into second with an outside pass.
While Nelson and Back began to pull away from the field, Allen Check moved forward into the third slot behind the lead pair while Brown and Brandon Selle trilled the crowd with a side by side duel that would last a dozen laps.
Out front Nelson was receiving pressure from Back was was running a lower line through the turns. The fast pace of the lead pair allowed them to pull away from Check for their own private battle. On several occasions Back would wiggle to the inside of Nelson, but Nelson using the momentum of the outside lane would surge ahead after each challenge.
At the halfway point the running order was Nelson, Back, Check, Brown, defending champion Mark Eswein and fast qualifier Jeff Weinfurter. In lap 30 Eswein would move up in the running order one spot as he worked past Brown, on the very next lap Brown would give up another position as Weinfurter reached fifth.
Meanwhile out front the lead duo of Nelson and Back had a quarter-lap advantage on Check was was unable to reel in the leaders. With 15 laps to go the leaders began to encounter lapped traffic. This seemed to work to Nelson's advantage as he now began to slowly pull away from Back, reaching a six car length lead as the race headed into the final ten laps.
While Nelson was now running comfortably out from attention now focused on a wheel to wheel battle between Eswein and Weinfurter for the fourth position. Weinfurter would take the spot with just three laps remaining but he had no time left to close on Check. At the finish it was Nelson by a comfortable margin over Nelson. Check drove a steady race to finish third with Weinfurter, Eswein and Joe Krzykowski making up the top six finishers.
16 cars took the green flag for the Super Stock main event which was contested at 35 laps. Chris Brooks worked past Dan Gollen for the opening lead. Jason Kirsling worked under Scott Hamel for the third position before the completion of lap two and began to close on Gollen.
Gollen who won the feature race two weeks ago, slid up the track in turn four on the seventh lap, allowing Kirsling an easy pass for second. Kirsling then closed up on the back bumper of Brooks, searching both high and low a way to the lead. Kirsling opted to try the high side but slid up the track on lap twelve, giving Gollen the runner-up position back.
Brooks began to build up a decent lead as the see-saw battle between Kirsling and Gollen continued, with Kirsling reasserting himself and claiming the second spot again on lap 13. This time Gollen had his hands full as Hamel also worked past into third. Gollen would fall to fifth behind Cary Lyons before finally working back to the bottom of the track.
Brooks' lead slowly began to shrink as Kirsling began to close reaching his rear bumper by lap twenty. Kirsling looked to the low side and managed to find a way under Brooks, taking over the top spot on lap 21.
With 11 laps remaining Don Cline spun forcing the caution to appear. On the restart Krisling got a good jump pulling away from the pack. Hamel would work past Brooks for second, while Brooks and Lyons became engaged in a battle for third. That battle would come to and end when the pair made contact sending Brooks spinning off turn two with six laps remaining. Both Lyons and Brooks restarted the race at the tail of the field.
In the dash to the checkered Kirsling was able to stay out front as Hamel and Jim Cormack contested the second spot. That battle allowed Kirsling to reach the finish by four car lengths ahead of Hamel who edged Cormack for the second position. Cormack, Shawn Stelzer and Keith Bohmsach made up the first five finishers.
The Pure Stock main event saw a dozen competitors take the green in a wild race as several cars danced on the edge of control. Frank Calabrese would snare an early lead in the event and he held the spot until nearly spinning giving the lead to Eric Nelson. Nelson running strong was able to pull away from Calabrese as the race approached the halfway point. Meanwhile fast qualifier John Matthews was working traffic and he also maneuvered by Calabrese when Calabrese gain got loose on lap eight.
Matthews then closed on Nelson and the two played a game of cat and mouse changing lines around the high banked third mile oval. Matthew's finally managed to get alongside Nelson on the outside and the surged ahead with five laps remaining. Nelson spun on the final laps and lost several positions before regaining his momentum. At the finish it was Mathews, Calabrese, Harvey Vera, Nelson and point leader Bert Soyka.
Next Friday evening, June 27th, will be Union Night at the races. This program will feature Super Late Models and Super Stocks with the 4 Cylinders joining as the guest class. Another highlight of the evening is a huge fireworks display.
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