May 23, 2003; Plover, WI - For the second straight week, fans attending the racing program at Golden Sands Speedway, didn't need to have a seat to watch the Super Late Model main event on the high-banked third mile oval. In this weeks thriller, it was a three car duel between defending track champion Mark Eswein, Mark Mackesy and fast qualifier Jeremy Lepak that kept the outcome in doubt until the checkered flag flew. In the end it was Eswein who showed the way, scoring his second win of the 2003 season. In the Super Stock division, Tim Plowman has shown he's among the contenders for the division title this season, sprinting to victory ahead of a hard charging Keith Bohmsach. The Pure Stocks rounded out the show with John Matthews grabbing the victory in his first appearance of the season.
Preliminary fan involvement events saw Laveren McCann win the WAL-MART Gift Certificate, while Dayn Karcheski was awarded the Short Trax Jr. Fan of The Week honors.
During preliminary racing action, Jeremy Lepak scored his second consecutive fast qualifying effort with a blazing lap of 12.056 seconds. Lepak then opted not to take the Bassuener Excavating Challenge, which was worth $500 if he could win the event coming from the back of the pack. In the Super Stock division, it was Tim Hintz, last season's point runner-up who scored his first fast qualifying effort of 2003 with a 13.305 second tour around the track. Hintz did take the Coors Lite Challenge, and effort which would reward him with $250 should he have won the main event from the back of the field. As it turned out he was mired in traffic and would finish eighth.
40 Lap Super Late Model contest was to have lined up with Scott Beyer and Rene Scheinoha in the front row, but Beyer experienced mechanical problems during the warm up laps and opted to start at the tail of the field. This left Wisconsin's fastest female driver, Rene Scheinoha on the pole for the start of the race. When the green flag fell, she was outgunned by Mark Mackesy who took the opening lead, while Eswein followed him into second. Scheinoha fell to fourth on the second lap as Lepak moved into the third spot.
The lead trio of Mackesy, Eswein and Lepak then began to separate themselves from the field, while Scheinoha settled into a groove running strong in fourth. Mackesy running the high groove, left open the bottom of the track which allowed Eswein to move in next to Mackesy to challenge for the top spot. Mackey's momentum in the high line, however allowed him to maintain the top spot, event though Eswein was right at his door. Lepak also joined in the fray looking for a way to advance his position.
After nearly a dozen laps of side by side racing the top three of Mackesy, Eswein and Lepak drifted back into single file formation. On lap 15, Lepak moved to the high line in effort to take second from Eswein, and behind the leaders Jeff Weinfurter successfully completed an outside pass of Scheinoha to grab fourth, but he was well behind the lead trio. Allen Check motored into the top five at the halfway point.
Soon the lead trio of Mackesy, Eswein and Lepak were again in side by side formation. Eswein continued to work the bottom line in effort to steal the lead and he and Mackesy were in a near dead heat on several laps. With a dozen laps remaining in the event Eswein drove hard into turn one and two, gaining enough momentum to grab the top spot from Mackesy. Three laps later Lepak performed a similar maneuver dropping Mackesy back to third.
Over the final eight laps of the race it became a two car shootout between Eswein and Lepak. Eswein opted to run the low groove on the track, while Lepak looked to the high side to try and make a pass. Though Lepak would get as far as Eswein's door on one occasion, it would be Eswein would would retain control of the pace to the checkered. Lepak would settle for second less than a car length behind. Over the final laps Mackesy bell back from the lead duo but he was still able to comfortably gain third spot ahead of Weinfurter and Check who rounded out the top five. Sixth place went to Jim Sauter Jr., the winner of last week's feature. This evening he finished second in the semi-feature to earn a spot in the main event, and then powered through the field to reach sixth place. Former ASA star, Steve Holzhausen, driving a machine owned by Pete Kempf also made the feature by winning the semi and he chased Sauter through the pack to reach seventh.
The 30 lap Super Stock feature saw Dave Neitzke and Mike Brooks square off for the opening lead. Neitzke led the first lap by a matter of inches before the pair would reach the stripe in a dead heat the next lap. Brooks running the high line would slowly gain the momentum needed to secure the top spot. After six laps of side by side racing Brooks was able to pull away slightly in the top spot. Further back, Galen Manternatch and Tim Plowman were quickly moving forward and they found themselves in third and fourth by lap ten, with Keith Bohmsach reaching the top five on the next circuit.
Plowman was the man on the move using the outside line to drive past Manternatch for third on lap twelve, but his charge toward the front was delayed a bit when the lone caution of the event flew on the next lap when Dan Gollen expired a motor in turn three oiling down the track. Several cars spun in the fluid but everyone was able to avoid significant contact.
When the race resumed Brooks was back in the lead, but Plowman and Bohmsach were making quick moves to place themselves into second and third respectively. With the outside line working well all evening Plowman chose the outer groove and he was able to draw even with Brooks with ten laps remaining in the race. As the lead duo entered turn four with eight laps remaining the pair touched. Brooks momentarily lost control getting sideways, falling back several positions. Plowman was able to gather up his car without losing momentum and maintained the lead.
Over the final laps of the contest Plowman was able to keep Bohmsach at bay, streaking to the checkered by a margin of two car lengths. Bohmsach was second with Neitzke who ran a solid pace throughout the event taking third. Shawn Stelzer would claim fourth and defending division champion Jason Kirsling, who was making his first showing of the year with a new car taking fifth.
The Pure Stock field grew by several cars this evening and grow even further during the program as several cars arrived late for competition but were able to join the feature in the back of the pack. Andrew Hintz would pace the opening laps of the contest before Timothy Steinhoff would take the top position. Steinhoff would command much of the contest with Matthews giving chase. Matthews would make his move with two laps to go, working to the inside of Steinhoff for the lead. Former Midwest Enduro Stock Car champion Frank Calabrese, who had started in the tail of the field, worked to second on the final lap but he was unable to challenge Matthews for the win. At the finish it was Matthews, Calabrese, Erik Nelson, Steinhoff and Harvey Vera in the top five.
The first major special of the 2003 season at Golden Sands Speedway will feature the Wisconsin Challenge Series Late Model event. The Memorial 100 set to take place on Memorial Day, Monday Afternoon, May 26th. The highlight of the day will be a 100 lap feature contest for the WCS Super Late Models. Twin 30 lap qualifying races will set the field for the event which will pay $2,000 to win and $400 to start. Also on the program will be the popular Wisconsin Sport Trucks. The miniature truck bodied racers are powered by snowmobile engines and can race three and four wide while achieving speeds approaching those of the Late Models.
2-Man Cruisers will also join the show with their wild on track antics, and the day will be complete with the ever popular Bus Races, as the behemoths do battle on the high banking.
Gates will open for the WCS Special at 10:30a.m., with time trials at 12:30 p.m. and racing starting promptly at 2:00 p.m. Admission for the show is a fan friendly $12.
Next Friday evening will be round one of the Big Gold Challenge as fans have an opportunity to be paired with drivers in the Super Late Model main event. Should any of those drivers win the race, a lucky fan will win $1,000. The feature contest for the class will run at 50 laps next week. Also on the card are the popular Super Stocks, a return of the Pure Stocks and the first showing of the Legend cars. It will also be WAL-MART kids' night at the races, with plenty of special prizes and giveaways for children. 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