July 10, 2003; Plover, WI - There was plenty of action on the high-banked Golden Sands Speedway as Charter Communications presented the second round of the Big Gold challenge. Starting 15th on the field, Allen Check of Shantytown maneuvered through traffic in workmanlike fashion, snaring the lead of the 50 lap Super Late Model headliner with ten laps remaining to earn the victory in the second round of the Golden Sands Speedway "Big Gold" Challenge. In taking the win Check pocketed $1,000 for his efforts as he scored his first feature win of the season. In the Super Stock division, it was Tim Hintz of Marshfield finding his way to victory. Runner-up in points last year, Hintz has recorded several fast times this season, but until this evening he was unable to reach victory lane here at Golden Sands Speedway. By fending off a hard charging Jason Kirsling, who edged Hintz for the title last year, Hintz was able to earn his first feature win of the 2003 season. In the four cylinder class, a wild mid-race accident involving current point leader Adam Krzykowski and Kevin Eckes, setup a late race dash which allowed rookie Rick Brandl to score the win.
The evening got underway with the threat of rain leaving the area, and fans were treated to a crisp evening of racing under clear skies and cool conditions.
Fan prizes awarded during the evening included, Christopher Rangel who was the WAL-MART gift certificate winner, and Cortney Cline was named the Junior Fan member of the week.
In event qualifying for the evening current point leader Mark Eswein earned his fourth fast time effort of the 2003 season with a lap of 12.233 seconds, narrowly edging out Jason Weinkauf who turned in a lap of 12.238 seconds.
In the Super Stocks, Brad Scholze scored his first career fast qualifying effort in the division. The 2000 season Pure Stock champion turned in a lap of 13.580 seconds to edge out Tim Plowman's lap of 13.585 seconds for the quick time honors. Scholze opted to take the Coors Light Challenge which was up to $550, which he would earn if he were to come from the tail of the field and score the win, but ultimately Scholze could climb no higher than 10th at the checkered leaving the prize unclaimed.
18 Super Late Models took the green flag for the second Big Gold event of the season, with Scott Beyer and Chad Devine going wheel to wheel for the opening laps.
Beyer and Devine waged a wheel to wheel duel that lasted for the opening laps of the contest. Devine paced the initial lap by inches by Beyer remained tenacious on the bottom groove. Beyer would move ahead on lap two as Monte Gress joined the fray making it a three way battle for the top spot.
Gress got to Devine's inside as the pair squared off for second allowing Beyer to scoot away. The field was tightly stacked behind the battle for second between Gress and Devine. Ultimately Gress would wrestle the position away when Devine worked a bit high in turn four on lap eight. This allowed the inside row to move forward giving the third position to Mark Mackesy who also made his way past Devine.
Out front Gress had caught Beyer and he swept to his outside to challenge for the lead while Mackesy watched from the third position. Gress officially became the event's third leader on lap ten as he nosed ahead of Beyer. Mackesy dropped Beyer another notch on lap twelve taking over the second position.
The lead position continued to be hotly contested, this time the the battle waged between Gress and Mackesy. Mackesy preferring the outside line. The pair were just beginning to contest the top spot when the caution flag appeared on lap 18 when a couple cars spun in turn two, that included former leaders Devine and Beyer.
On the restart the leaderboard showed Gress, Mackesy, Brandon Selle, Jason Weinkauf and Burton Brown in the top five. At this point of the event Check had already worked his way into the seventh spot.
At the front Gress shot back into the lead while Mackesy gave chase. Weinkauf advanced to third at Selle's expense at the race's halfway point. Further back Check was putting on a show for the fans sweeping past cars on the outside line. He picked off Brown, Eswein and Selle in rapid fashion to run fourth by lap 28. The second slowdown of the event occurred on lap 30, when Greg Back spun in turn four.
When the green flag fell again Gress continued to set the pace. Weinkauf would get a good restart and find himself slipping pack Mackesy for second. Weinkauf would work the the low groove looking for a way by Gress. The leaders made contact heading into turn one with ten laps remaining, sliding up the track. Mackesy who was third slowed briefly, allowing Check to dive to the bottom of the track. Without breaking his momentum Check swept past all three cars and reached the line with the lead in hand on lap 40. The final slowdown of the event came with eight laps to go.
Out front Check drove a smooth race to pull away from his rivals, recording his first victory of the 2003 season. Weinkauf would move to second with three laps laps to go but he would be unable to cut into Check's lead. Mackesy finished the event in third. Selle and Gress would battle to the line for fourth with Selle having the advantage. Gress finished solidly in the top five with Jeff Weinfurter reaching sixth.
The Super Stock main event saw 16 cars on the grid for the 30 lap contest. Scott Hamel and Tim Hintz would square off for the opening lead with Hamel pacing the opening circuit before Hintz surged ahead using the outside line. Hintz would clear Hamel for sole position of the lead on lap three. Kirsling, last season's division champion found himself in third by lap two and he quickly went to work on Hamel looking to improve his position. Kirsling following a similar move to Hintz, worked the outside line around Hamel to garner second on lap five.
As Hintz and Kirsling began to pull away from the field, as Hamel followed in third. By lap ten, Tim Plowman and Keith Bohmsach both had worked forward in the pack to run fourth and fifth respectively. With no cautions to slow the pace, Hintz and Kirsling had already pulled away from third place runner Hamel by a full straightway.
Hamel lost a couple positions with ten laps to go as Plowman and Bohmsach both maneuvered by him into the third and fourth positions. Bohmsach would ten begin to pressure Plowman for the third positions as he worked the low groove on the track. Bohmsach was able to wedge under Plowman and after a couple laps of side by side racing Bohmsach annexed the third position.
Out front Hintz was on cruise control, maintaining a eight car length lead on Hintz. Hintz in turn had a quarter-lap advantage on Bohmsach. This left much of the attention of the fans focused on the battles further back in the field. With no cautions to slow the pace Hintz easily sped to his first win of the 2003 season with Kirsling settling for second. Bohmsach's late charge netted a third place finish while Plowman claimed fourth. Hamel rounded out the top five finishers.
Action behind this group got pretty wild as the field came toward the checkered. Mike Doughty and current point leader Shawn Stelzer touched briefly and both drivers tried to gather up their rides. Doughty was able to cross the strip in sixth, but Stelzer found himself spinning off the track and into the safety barrels which protect the front wall, just short of the finish line. Stelzer was unhurt but his car took considerable damage.
The 4 cylinder feature event had all kinds of excitement. Jasper Drangler making his first appearance at the track paced the opening lap before Rick Brandl took over the lead position. Adam Krzykowski reached second spot by lap five, with Keven Eckes following in his tire tracks. The action for second heated up as Krzykowski and Eckes made contact while doing battle for second with five laps to go. Kryzkowski shot off the track in turn two going up the hill on the backstretch, coming to rest near the billboards. Eckes would be sent to the pits for the contact but initially challenged the decisions. Eckes was eventually assisted to the pits by means of a wrecker.
When the race resumed Eric Kluever briefly surged past Brandl for the lead, but Brandl reasserted himself to take the top spot on lap 11. Brandl would pace the distance to the checkered with Kluever, fast qualifier Torey Nitzsche, Brandon Abbot and Mike Oehmichen completing the top five runners..
Next Friday evening, July 18th will be the Terrace Homes Night at the races. The show will again feature Super Late Model and Super Stock action, while the Pure Stock will be on hand as the guest class of the evening. In addition, the highly popular Bus Races will take place during the program ad the behemoth machines battle on the high-banked third mile paved oval.
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