August 22, 2003; Plover, WI - Drawing ever closer to the conclusion of the 2003 racing season at Golden Sands Speedway, the drivers on the high banked third mile oval turned in some impressive displays of racing this evening during the Fabco Equipment / Big Gold Round Finale. In Super Late Model competition NASCAR ITEMS rookie contender Jeremy Lepak of Wausau was able to break through traffic at the halfway point of the 50 lap main event, scoring his third feature win of the 2003 season at the raceway. Unfortunately for fans registered in the Big Gold program, none of the top five finishers of the previous Big Gold race could keep Lepak from the victory, and therefore the $1,000 giveaway was unclaimed.
In Super Stock action, former champion Keith Bohmsach of Wisconsin Rapids, earned a division leading fifth feature victory. Rounding out the evening's winners was Jenny Nitschke who scored her first career feature victory in the 4 cylinder division after some extremely close racing with her Aunt Torey Nitzsche. The ladies finished first and second in the event.
On a picture perfect evening, fans in attendance were not only treated to a great racing program but earned some fan prizes as well. Devin Zimbeck became the recipient of a WAL-MART gift certificate during the giveaways and Jessy Doering took the honor as the Junior Fan of the week.
In preliminary action Jason Weinkauf claimed fast time honors in the Super Late Models, while current point leaders Shawn Stelzer earned the honor in the Super Stocks. Due to the Big Gold event, the Basseuner Excavating Challenge was not available this evening, but it will return next week and the fast qualifier for the night will have a shot at a $1,800 bonus for setting fast time and winning from the tail of the field. In the Super Stocks, Shawn Stelzer did take the Challenge presented by Coor's Light, which was worth $900, but he was unable to reach the front of the pack and claim the prize.
The 50 lap Super Late Model contest would have a little of everything for the race fan. The first half of the race saw side by side see-saw battled throughout the lead group, while the second half of the race saw plenty of passing as the faster cars near the tail of the field broke free of traffic. The race was slowed on the initial start when Monte Gress was collected in an accident and forced to retire to the pits. From there however a long green flag stretch began.
The front from consisted of Benjamin Brinkman and fellow front row starter John Totzke Jr., a second year driver in the division. The event started with Brinkman getting the initial laps, but Totzke fought back tenaciously wanting to reach the lead. In a thrilling battle the two ran wheel to wheel, neither gaining more than a half car length lead over the first 20 laps as the field raced pack style behind.
Clinging to the outside groove, Totzke would surge ahead of Brinkman on occasion only to have Brinkman rally and nose ahead in the corners in the inside. The whole time Frank Nitzke, who earlier won his heat race in convincing fashion waited in the third spot for either of the leaders to break free.
At the halfway point the top 14 cars were all running pack style side by side waiting for a break. That break occurred on lap 26, when Totzke went just a bit wide in turn four allowing Brinkman to pull ahead by a car length. That was all that was needed for the pack to begin to shuffle. Nitzke immediately pressured Brinkman for the top spot, as Totzke fell back. Lepak charged into third.
Brinkman again found himself having to battle for the lead, by Nitzke was faster than his former challenger and motors right past Brinkman for the lead on lap 27. Lepak also disposed of Brinkman in a quick maneuver on the next lap to reach second, as Brinkman now began to fall back in the field. Greg Back reached third at Brinkman's expense before the start of lap 30.
Out front Lepak was now hounding Nitzke for the top spot. Nitzke ran the high groove, and Lepak found room to his inside and on lap 32 Lepak officially became the fourth leader of the event. Over the next several laps Lepak moved ahead by a bit, with Nitzke trailing about two car lengths behind. Further back, defending champion and current point leader Mark Eswein was slicing though the field. Eswein reached fourth with 15 laps to go, and then worked around Back for third with a ten laps left in the contest.
With Lepak out front, the battle in the closing laps would come down to a duel for second between Nitzke and Eswein. Eswein opted for the low groove and Nitzke the high line. Eswein would prove quicker of the pair reaching second, with just two round remaining in the contest.
Lepak drove a smooth line to the finish to score the win with Eswein two car lengths behind. Nitzke finished strong third, with Jeff Weinfurter and Back completing the top five. Allen Check, the winner of the last Big Gold event came from deep in the field to finish sixth.
The Super Stock main event would see the contest run from green to checkered without a single caution period. Dan Gollen and Dave Neitzke brought the field to the green flag. Gollen got a solid start, while Neitzke began to fall back in the pack in the outside lane giving Gollen the lead. Before the completion of the first lap Bohmsach has powered into the second spot. Tim Hintz and Jason Kirsling reached third and four respectively by the second lap.
Out front Bohmsach was busy working on a way past Gollen for the top spot. Gollen slipped just a bit on lap five and Bohmsach shot to his outside making an outside pass for the top spot through turns one and two. The battle for second became a three car tussle between Gollen, Hintz and Kirsling and that battle allowed Bohmsach to steadily pull away with each passing lap.
Hintz would opt for the outside line to work on Gollen for the second spot, and the pair ran wheel to wheel for nearly a dozen laps. On lap 19 of the 30 lap contest, Hintz finally secured the spot after a thrilling side by side duel with Gollen. By now however, Bohmsach was off in the distance, having build a lead of nearly a half lap.
Kirlsing would reach the third spot on the next lap as Gollen lost another position. Though in second, Hintz's hold on the position was precarious at best as he ran hard to try and fend off Kirsling. All the while Bohmsach continued to stretch his lead. With 8 lap to go Hintz got sideways and while correcting he was forced to slow and gave the second spot to Kirsling.
Kirsling however was looking at a margin of a half-lap to reach Bohmsach and without a caution to aid in his efforts the lead would be insurmountable. The race would roll to the finish without interruption and Bohmsach took the win by a comfortable margin. Kirsling pulled away from his nearest rivals for second. Tim Plowman rallied up to third in the final laps. Hintz would settle for fourth. Brad Scholze motored up to fifth in the closing laps of the event.
The 4 Cylinder contest would be hard fought contest. Scott Stelzer would set the opening pace in his Volkswagen Beetle. Jeremy Behr would be the event's second leader on lap six. Mike Oehmichen became the third leader on lap eight making a successful three wide pass for the top spot.
Oehmichen then had his hands full as a pair of ladies were working him over for the top spot. Jenny Nitzsche worked the low groove while her Aunt Torey Nitzsche ran the high line. Torey would nose ahead of Oehmichen briefly with five laps to go to become the events fourth leader. However, it was Jenny running the low groove who would reach the front when it counted most, claming the top spot with three laps to go, becoming the fifth leader of the race.
At the finish Jenny Nitzsche took the win by a car length over Torey Nitzsche. Oehmichen claimed third, Behr fourth and Stelzer fifth.
The final point night of the 20003 season will be contested on August 29th. The show known as the Coca-Cola Season Championships will conclude the point chase. Champions will be crowned in the Super Late Model and Super Stock divisions. Both 4 Cylinders and Pure Stocks will also be competing that evening giving fans four big divisions of racing.
Racing will then return on Friday evening September 5th with the championship event of the Wisconsin Challenge Series. Highlighting the evening will be a 100 lap feature contest which will settle the 2003 championship chase for the series. The snowmobile engine powered Mini-Trucks, known as Wisconsin Sport Trucks will also be on hand along with a huge field of wild 2-Man Cruiser races. It was also announced the at Pure Stock division will join the program.
Time Trials take place for each of these shows 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