July 25, 2003; Plover, WI - With the weather threatening all around on Team Sheril Night at Golden Sands Speedway, the drivers displayed their skills as every feature race was run green to checkered without a single caution flag. That effort allowed the entire program, with the exception of the Cruiser races, to be completed before a soaking rain fell just past 9:30 p.m.
In the Super Late Model feature Jeff Weinfurter was able to sweep past Allen Check in the early portion of the contest to grab his first weekly feature win of the 2003 season on the high-banked third mile oval. Weinfurter previously won the Wisconsin Challenge Series special at the track on Memorial Day. He became the ninth different driver to record a feature win this season.
Jason Kirsling set the pace in the Super Stock division, leading every lap of the contest as he cruised to victory in the main event for the second time this season. In the 4 cylinder class, Scott Stelzer scored a popular first feature victory driving an older Volkswagen Beetle much to the delight of the crowd. The Cruiser then rolled onto the track for their first feature contest, but a steady drizzle turned to a downpour forcing cancellation on their events for the evening. The class will return on August 8th.
The evening got underway after a brief delay for a shower with Jason Weinkauf netting quick time turning in a lap of 12.280 seconds to edge Mark Eswein for quick time honors by .009 seconds. Weinkauf elected to take the Basseuner Excavating Challenge which was worth $1,400 should he come from the tail of the field and score the win. He managed to reach sixth by the checkered leaving the prize unclaimed. In the Super Stock division, Mike Doughty netted his first fast time of 2003, but elected not to accept the challenge worth $700 presented by Coors Light.
Fan Participation prizes included Kyle Hanneman claiming the WAL-MART Gift Certificate, and Julie Ann Kalupa earning Short Trax Junior Fan of the Week honors.
As a field of 16 Super Stocks took to the track the battle for the lead of the event would prove to be brief as polesitter Jason Kirsling bolted to the lead with Dan Gollen in pursuit. Tim Hintz filtered into the third slot by the end of lap one and the lead trio began to pull away from their pursuers.
By lap ten Kirlsing had pulled out to an eight car length lead on Gollen who was unable to narrow the gap. Hintz maintained the third positions while drivers traded spots behind him. Tim Plowman, using the outside line was slowly advancing through the pack reaching the top five at the halfway point of the contest.
With no cautions to slow his pace Kirsling quickly clicked off the laps. Any chance Gollen had of closing on the leader evaporated as he and Hintz began to tussle for the second spot with less than ten laps to go. Plowman broke free of traffic to reach the fourth spot with three laps remaining. The real battle was for second over the final laps as Gollen and Hintz would run wheel to wheel for the runner-up spot. On the white flag lap Gollen managed to pull back ahead of Hintz securing the position.
As the checkered flag fell Kirsling was a dozen car lengths ahead of Gollen with Hintz close behind in third. Plowman's charge netted a fourth place run while Scott Hamel barely edged out division point leader Shawn Stelzer for fifth.
The 40 lap Super Late Model feature lined up with polesitter Monte Gress and fellow front row started Allen Check squaring off at the drop of the green flag. Check was able to grab the opening lead as Gress settled into the runner-up spot about a car length behind. Mark Mackesy placed himself into third during the opening laps.
Further back, Jeff Weinfurter, who had started in the fourth row was quickly moving forward dispatching cars with ease in the outside lane. Rim riding the track he soon found himself working past Brandon Selle for the fourth spot. Weinfurter then switched to the low groove to work on Mackesy, taking the spot with an inside pass on lap five.
Out front Check was unable to stretch his margin on Gress who continued to pursue from the second spot. Gress however soon had his hands full with Weinfurter who was blazing around the track. On lap eight Weinfurter dove to the bottom of turn one to get under Gress and he won the drag race down the backstretch to nab second.
Though Check was running a flawless line around the track in the lead, Weinfurter was able to reel him in. The two were soon engaged in a battle for the top spot with Check hugging the bottom of the track through the turns, while Weinfurter again opted to use the high groove. Weinfurter used the momentum of the outside lane to slowly press ahead of Check taking the lead on lap 17, as Check settled into second.
With Weinfurter now out front, attention turned to current point leader Mark Eswein who was also slicing through the pack. He reached the top five at the halfway point and like Weinfurter was able to advance seemingly at will. Eswein quickly dispatched Gress and Mackesy to reach third with 12 laps remaining. With a determined effort he then closed the gap on Check who held second place. The battle between Check and Eswein was brief with Eswein scooting past for second with nine laps to go.
However, by this point Weinfurter had built a comfortable lead and though Eswein was able to close the gap slightly, Weinfurter's pace was enough to have him reach the checkered in first place by six car lengths. Eswein would settle for second. On the final lap Benjamin Brinkman who has been steadily moving forward all race found himself side by side with Check contesting the third spot. Check managed to reach the stripe by a matter of inches to take the spot. Brinkman's effort would net a fourth place finish, with Mackesy and fast qualifier Jason Weinkauf in the top six.
The 4 cylinders too to the track just as a drizzle began. Scott Stelzer worked into an early lead which slowly diminished over the last half of the contest as Eric Kluever came within a couple car lengths of the top spot. On the white flag lap the drizzle intensified but Stelzer stayed focused on the checkered taking the win ahead of Kluever and Adam Krzykowski.
Next Friday evening, August 1st is Kwik Trip/Tobacco Outlet Night at the races. The show will feature Super Late Models and Super Stock action, while the 4 Cylinders will again be on hand. There will also be an event known as the Fire Department Challenge as area Fire Departments send representative to compete in the tracks equally prepared Saturn race cars.
Time Trials take place for weekly events at 6:30 p.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