June 12, 2003; Plover, WI - Jeremy Lepak continued his busy racing season schedule. After competing in a NASCAR ITEMS race last week in Colorado, he returned to his hometrack this evening to earn fast qualifying honors and nab the 40 lap main event in the Super Late Model division. The win was his second of the year as he had won the season opening event back in late April. To take the win this evening Lepak had to fend off a strong challenge by Mark Mackesy, who has run especially strong of late as he seeks his first win of the year. In the Super Stock division, Dan Gollen was comfortably in command of the feature event until a caution with three laps to go bunched the field. Gollen then was able to outrun defending champion Jason Kirsling to earn his second feature victory of the 2003 season. In the 4 Cylinder class, it was Adam Krzykowski who managed a clean sweep of the class after some hard racing in the feature event.
With fans returning to the track after two straight rainouts, a large crowd was on hand. Fans were rewarded during the evening with a number of drawing and giveaways including WAL-MART Gift Certificate which was given to Cindy Barse while D.J. Esmahan was given the Short Trax Jr. Fan Member of the week award.
During preliminary racing action, Lepak scored his third consecutive fast qualifying effort with a lap of 12.244 seconds. Lepak then was given the option to take the Bassuener Excavating Challenge, which was worth $600 if he could win the event coming from the back of the pack, for this week he opted not to take the challenge. In the Super Stock division, it was Tim Hintz, last season's point runner-up who scored his second straight fast qualifying effort with a 13.423 second tour around the track. Hintz also opted not to take the challenge this week which would rewarded him with $300 should he have won the main event from the back of the field.
The 40 lap Late Model feature contest saw 16 cars take the green flag on the high-banked third mile oval. Mark Mackesy and Brian Back would find themselves on the front row and ready to do battle as the green flag fell. Mackesy would bolt into the lead at the drop of the green as Back settled into the runner-up spot. While Chad Devine and Jason Weinkauf contested the third spot. Weinkauf had just taken the position when the first of two caution flags would appear, when Pat Williams shot off the track and into the sandtrap in turn three. After pulling the car free of the sand he was able to continue.
Back up to speed Mackesy had a brief challenge for the position from Back who attempted to use the high side to make a pass. When the endeavor failed it allowed Weinkauf to slip underneath and steal the second position on lap four. Back who was running third would cause the second caution, when he went off course on lap six, winding up in the sandtrap in a similar position as Williams had a couple laps earlier.
This reset the field with Mackesy, Weinkauf, Devine, Allen Check and Judd Brandl holding down the first five spots. All 16 cars came back to the green flag. Mackesy and Weinkauf began to contest the third position, while Check, who was utilizing a car owned by defending track champion Mark Eswein this evening maneuvered past Devine for third. Out front Mackesy was working the high line for all it was worth as Weinkauf got to his inside. The pair would run wheel to wheel for the next several laps. Further back Frank Nitzke and Lepak would reach the top five before the completion of lap 10. Lepak chose the outside line to advance further reaching fourth on lap 12.
Out front the battle was hotly contested as the side by side duel between Mackesy and Weinkauf kept the fans entertained. Weinkauf managed to nose ahead briefly before Mackesy reasserted himself moving back out front. On lap 14 Lepak would get under Check for the third spot and he began to close on the lead pair.
The lead trio of Mackesy, Weinkauf and Lepak were nose to tail at the halfway point. On lap 22 Lepak moved further up the ladder as he worked by Weinkauf for second. Once in second Lepak quickly nibbled away at the four car length lead Mackesy had in place. With 15 laps remaining in the race, Lepak was able to work the bottom of the track and surge into the lead, as Mackesy and Weinkauf gave chase. Though Lepak was out front Mackesy would remain within a couple car lengths the remainder of the race.
The laps clicked off quickly uninturped by any slowdowns and Lepak would reach the finish two car lengths ahead of Mackesy. Weinkauf ran solidly in third. Check finished fourth and Eswein came out on top of a wheel to wheel battle with Nitzke for the fifth spot that went down to the wire. Nitzke was sixth by inches at the finish.
The 30 lap Super Stock headliner saw Brian Stroik and Dan Gollen go at it for the opening lead. Stroik would nose ahead briefly before Gollen gather up the momentum to make the pass in the outside lane before the start of lap two.
Gollen would then slowly pull away from his rivals, while the second place battle intensified between Stroik and Chris Brooks. Brooks running hard in the outside lane would gain the position on lap five and he set out to match the pace set by the Gollen, the race leader. The race began to settle in with the fast cars having a hard time working through the pack.
At the halfway point, Gollen had clearly proven he had a fast machine having pulled out to a quarter lap lead over Brooks and Stroik. Dave Neitzke found himself in fourth and Jason Kirsling the defending champion was slowly making headway having reached the fifth spot.
On lap 17 Kirsling maneuvered past Neitzke for the fourth position and two laps later he would use the outside line to displace Stroik from the third spot. After a wheel to wheel battle with Brooks, Krisling continued his charge reaching the runner-up spot with eight laps remaining. By now however Gollen had built a half lap lead making it impossible for Kirlsing to have a shot to challenge for the lead in the brief time left in the race.
For Gollen however, the last thing he wanted to see was a caution flag, and that's exactly what happened with three laps remaining when Shawn Stelzer and Scott Hamel locked horns sending Stelzer spinning in turn two. This bunched the field for a three lap sprint to the finish. When the green flag returned Gollen got a good start and Kirlsing found himself having to fend off Brooks who challenged for the runner-up spot. This allowed Gollen to pull away by two car lengths, a margin he would hold to the finish. Kirlsing bested Brooks for second, with Brooks, Stroik and Keith Bohmsach rounding out the top fivefinishers at the checkered. Hintz, the evenings fast qualifier managed to work his way up to the sixth spot.
In 4 cylinder action, Steve Stewart blasted though the field on the opening lap to take the lead and seemed headed for an easy victory. However, Adam Krzykowski, who had already set quick time and won his heat was able to reach the runner-up spot and run down Stewart for the top position. The lead pair of Krzykowski and Stewart were well ahead of the pack with five laps remaining when the caution flew. Per track rules, when the lead cars best the field average qualifying time on three consecutive laps those cars would be placed back two positions.
This briefly put Eric Kluever in the top spot, but when the green returned Krzykowski and Stewart fought right back to the first and second spots. At the finish it was Krzykowski picking up the sweep, with Stewart, Kluever, Mike Oehmichen and Torey Nitzsche following.
A huge turnout of 2-Man Cruisers were on hand this evening and they treated the crowd to some wild racing in three feature races. Those events were captured by the teams of Szymkowiak and Wieraba, Floistad and Floistad and the final feature was taken by Yeske and Yeske.
The second night of the Golden Sands Speedway weekend doubleheader will take place on Father's Day. Sunday Afternoon, June 15th. The show will feature the first round of the Big Gold Challenge. 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.
Also on the card are the popular Super Stocks. Bus Races and 4 Cylinders are also scheduled for the program. It will also be WAL-MART kids' night at the races, with plenty of special prizes and giveaways for children. Pit Gates will open at: 10:30am, time trials will take place at 12:30pm and racing will begin at 2:00 p.m.
Next Friday evening, June 20th, will be the Mid-Season Championship races. The show will feature Super Late Models and Super Stocks, while Pure Stocks and 2-Man Cruisers will also see action. 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
2 Man Cruisers