May 14, 2004; Plover, WI - Jason Weinkauf battled past defending track champion Mark Eswein, and a tenacious Mark Mackesy to earn his first Super Late Model feature victory of the season here at Golden Sands Speedway. Weinkauf, who had turned in the fastest qualifying lap of the evening in the division patiently picked his way through the field for the win. The feature win for Weinkauf was his first since May of last year on the high banked third-mile paved oval, though he has already claimed a feature victory this season at another area raceway.
In Super Stock feature action, it was Tim Hintz nabbing his first Super Stock checkered since July of last year. Hintz was able so survive a late race caution flag, and then outsprint Tim Plowman to the finish. For Plowman it was his second straight runner-up finish.
In Pure Stock action a full field of cars took to the track for a wild 20 lap main event. When the dust settled it was Michael Gwidt holding on for his first career feature victory in the class. The 4 Cylinder division was also on hand this evening, with John Flick able to outsprint last weeks feature winner Torey Nitzsche for the victory. Spectator racing completed the evening with Nick L'Huillier taking the win over Eric Zeg.
A field of 17 cars rumbled toward the green flag to start the 40 lap feature contest, with Late Model rookie of the Year contender Keith Bohmsach and Mark Mackesy racing side by side for the first couple circuits before Mackesy got the upper hand.
While Mackesy began to pull away, Bohmsach found himself working hard to fend off Eugene Gregorich Jr. The battle was just beginning to heat up when Jeremy Lepak, the winner of the first two feature events so far this year, spun around in turn four. Officials judged that contact with Burton Brown had caused the spin and both drivers resumed the chase from the tail of the field.
Underway again, it was a torrid three car battle for the lead with Mackesy leading while having to fend off both Bohmsach and Gregorich Jr. Defending track champion Mark Eswein had already moved into the fourth spot and was beginning to make his presence felt out front.
Gregorich worked the outside line and made it work to secure the second position on lap nine and he then began to work on the race leader Mackesy. By lap 12 Weinkauf had worked his was into the top five after running mid pack the opening circuits.
Bohmsach lost a couple positions on lap 17 allowing Eswein to secure the third spot, and Weinkauf to motor into the fourth position. At exactly the halfway mark, both Eswein and Weinkauf used the outside lane to power past Gregorich to reach the second and third sports respectively.
Mackesy's small lead evaporated quickly as Eswein began to pressure for the top spot. Eswein looked to his outside on a couple occasions, but was unable to make a run for the lead. Meanwhile, this opened up the lane at the bottom of the track for Weinkauf, who shot past Eswein for second on lap 25, and on the very next lap he motored by Mackesy for the lead. Eswein followed the maneuver and found himself in second on the very next lap.
The lead duo of Weinkauf and Eswein then pulled away from the field for their own private battle. With nine laps remaining in the contest Mackesy and Gregorich made contact while doing battle for third. While Mackesy was able to quickly gather up his mount to hold the position, Gregorich lost several spots in the process, allowing Brandon Selle to reach the fourth spot.
Over the final laps Weinkauf was able to maintain a three car length cushion to secure the victory with Eswein trailing in second. Mackesy would be rewarded with a third place effort after some very tenacious driving. On the final lap visiting driver Dean Cornelius, a track champion from Raceway Park in Shakopee, Minnesota was able to work past Selle for the fourth spot. Selle would complete the top five followed by Bohmsach and Chris Weinkauf, Lepak, Gregorich and Greg Back in the top ten.
In Super Stock action, Chris Brooks made his first appearance of the 2004 season sitting on the pole for the 30 lap contest. To his outside was David Pagels, driving a car with vintage mid-1960's Chevrolet tin on his machine. Pagels would place his popular car out front after a couple laps of battle with Brooks.
Matt Raykowski would maneuver into the second spot on lap five and set out after Pagels. Rookie Collin Wilcott was also looking impressive advancing past Brooks for third before the first caution flag flew on lap nine when Brian Schmutzer and last weeks feature winner Shawn Stelzer made contact, which caused Schmutzer to loop his ride. By this time Hintz had already worked his way into the top five.
As the green flew again Pagels jumped back to the lead. Further back Hintz was already picking off cars working into the fourth spot. Hintz continued his assault on the the lead maneuvering past Wilcott for third moments later.
By lap 13 Hintz's charge placed him in second. On the very next lap Hintz powered around the outside of Pagels for the lead and slowly pulled away from the field. Pagels meanwhile would backslide several spots over the next few laps.
With Hintz sailing out front attention switched to Tim Plowman, who was working traffic picking up in a rapid fashion. He reached fifth with ten laps remaining in the contest. Rim riding the racetrack Plowman had worked past Wilcott for second with five laps remaining, but Hintz has a dozen car length lead.
The scenario changed greatly with three laps to go as Brooks spun off the top of the track near turn one forcing a caution with three laps remaining. This placed Plowman right on the rear bumper of race leader Hintz for the three lap sprint to the checkered.
When action resumed Hintz got a good start, and though Plowman applied plenty of pressure over the final laps Hintz was able to run a smooth line and take the win. Plowman would settle for second ahead of Wilcott who had an impressive third place run for the rookie driver.
Opening night feature winner Scott Hamel finished fourth, and Stelzer last weeks feature winner rebounded from his earlier accident to finish in fifth.
Several different drivers tasted the lead before John Flick got out front of the 4 cylinder vent with a pass of Scott Stelzer near the mid point of the contest. Over the closing laps Flick came under heavy pressure from Torey Nitzsche. A spin by fast qualifier Scott Stelzer in his vintage Volkswagen Beetle closed the field in the waning laps, but Flick was able to fend off Nitzsche and a host of others for the win. Nitzsche would settle for second, Mike Oehmichen third, and Jenny Nitzsche and Aaron Philipps claiming fourth and fifth respectively.
In a very wild Pure Stock race, the seasons largest field of the season participated. The 20 lap contest was filled with plenty of wild passing and spinning, but drivers would quickly get themselves headed the right direction, or leave the racing surface if then encountered mechanical problems allowing the contest to run from green to checkered.
Former Cruiser driver Troy Engman would be passed for the top spot by Michael Gwidt near the mid point of the race and the pair would separate themselves from the field working past lapped cars and errant machinery. Gwidt would reach the finish line first with Engman less than two car lengths back. Last weeks feature winner and the evening's fast qualifier Brad Guralski overcame a near spin to finish third. Al Bartels and Todd Kuehl would complete the top five finishers.
Next week another exciting program will take place at Central Wisconsin's Power Playground, Golden Sands Speedway.
Several special events will take place. First for race fans, the first 300 admissions through the front gate will receive a free poster featuring many of the top Late Model drivers at the raceway. It will be a perfect collectable for autographs after the races.
On track racing will be highlighted by a 50 lap feature contest for the Super Late Models. The winner of that race will be guaranteed a starting spot as a track option in the upcoming Memorial 100 for the Wisconsin Challenge Series on Memorial Day afternoon. Should the winner of next week's feature event not qualify for the big Memorial Day show, they will start in the 24th position.
In addition Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and 4 Cylinders will run a full show, and the evening will conclude with the popular 2-Man Cruiser class. 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