Golden Sands Speedway Race Report

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Kendall Captures Memorial 100 at Golden Sands Speedway!
By Amy Kolo

May 30, 2005; Plover, WI - Sometimes you just get it right, ask Jeff Kendall.  With a packed grandstand and an overflowing pit area, fans were treated to a stellar event, featuring many of the Midwest's finest short track competitors at Central Wisconsin's Power Playground Golden Sands Speedway.   When the checkered flag fell in the 100 lap main event which was slowed by only a pair of cautions it was Jeff Kendall of Montello sprinting to the finish ahead of the fastest qualifier of the day Rory Melbinger of Marshfield.  For Kendall it was his second career WCS feature victory having captured the North American Cup 100 at Dells Motor Speedway during the 2002 season.  Kendall a two-time Dells Speedway champion spent the early portion of the contest dueling with Todd Stapleman who debuted a brand new racecar for the lead.  Kendall would gain the upper hand on lap 33 and manage to keep a fair distance between himself and Melbinger in the closing laps to take the win by 6 car lengths.

Photo Highlights

As the crowd began to pour into the raceway it was Melbinger who served notice early on he would be ready for action turning in a lap of 12.190 seconds pacing the 48 cars which had checked into the pit area.  First year WCS campaigner and titlist in several divisions at Dells Motor Speedway Kenny Richards would nail down the second fastest lap of the day, while Nathan Haseleu who has finished first and second in his first two WCS showing this year garnered the third spot.

After a pair of qualifying races captured by Steve Carlson and Eugene Gregorich Jr.  a field of 23 cars were set for the 100 lap main event.

Starting on the pole for the contest was Stapleman.  His new ride completed days prior to the WCS contest this afternoon was up to the task, fending off NASCAR Touring Series regular Dexter Bean for the initial lead.  Bean, has a busy week repairing his machine after an accident in the most recent WCS contest, proved his ride was up to the task by keeping pressure on Stapleman through the opening laps.    Bean attempted to run the high line, but  wiggled in turn four on the fifth lap allowing Minnesota native Dean Cornelius and Kendall to climb to second and third respectively.  Bean was able to gather up his errant ride and slip into the fourth slot ahead of Adam Royle. 

The first slowdown of the event appeared on lap ten when Nathan Haseleu who captured the main event in the inaugural event for the series at Wisconsin International Raceway two weeks ago spun into the infield off turn two.

On the restart Stapleman had his hands full with Cornelius and Kendall as both drivers sought the lead position.  Cornelius work to the high side in effort to pull alongside Stapleman, but Stapleman's pace allowed him to retain the lead.    Stuck in the outer groove, Kendall then swept under Cornelius for the second position on lap 14. Bean followed in the fourth spot with Royle maintaining the top five positions.

Kendall began to apply the pressure to Stapleman searching both high and low for a way into the lead spot.  The battle out front was halted on lap 26, when the second and final caution flew when Royle looped his ride off turn two.

The field reset with Kendall, Stapleman, Cornelius, Bean and fast qualifier Melbinger in the top five slots.  As the green flag flew again, Kendall went to work on Stapleman to wrestle the lead spot away.  Finding room on the outside on lap 33, Kendall charged into the lead position dropping Stapleman to second.

Further back Melbinger was on the move climbing to fourth.    By the halfway point of the contest Kendall began to stretch out a small lead as second became contested between Stapleman, Cornelius, and Melbinger.  Allen Check, a local favorite who already won a main event at Golden Sands this season had worked into contention in the fifth spot.

On lap 53, Melbinger gambled on choosing the outside line, and found it to his liking, rapidly passing Cornelius and then working past Stapleman to advance into the second position.  Cornelius, seeing the maneuver, followed suit on the next lap charging into the third.

Stapleman now showing signs of his car going away began to backslide in the field giving fourth to Check. 

Check gave the local fans something to cheer for as he then ran down Cornelius to battle for third.  The pair swapped a little paint while doing battle for the positions, which Check getting the upper hand and securing the spot on lap 73.

By now Kendall had a dozen car length margin on Melbinger who was unable to close the gap. 

With 20 laps to go Carlson, who had started 17th on the field after winning his qualifier, cracked the top five.

The laps clicked off quickly and though Melbinger was able to close the gap slightly Kendall's biggest challenge was working lapped traffic on his way to the checkered the final ten laps.

With nothing to slow Kendall's progress he reached the line six car lengths ahead of Melbinger. Kendall, whose hometrack is Dells Motor Speedway where he leads the current standings has also been an infrequent competitor at Golden Sands, he last captured a checkered on the high banked third mile in September of the 2000 season when he won a season ending 75 lap contest.

For Melbinger, a veteran of 23 years of racing and owner of several titles at Marshfield Speedway on both dirt and asphalt the second place finish was his best in WCS competition. 

Check's third place run matched his best performance in WCS competition.  He had turned in a similar performance at Golden Sands in WCS competition in August of 2002.

Cornelius and Carlson would complete the top five runners.

Sixth would go to defending WCS and Golden Sands Speedway champion Mark Eswein who ran among the leaders all day.  Frank Nitzke another local racer turned in what would tie the best ever performance for a "crate" engine in WCS competition with a seventh place run.  Prior to Nitzke's effort, Pete Moore had a similar performance with a crate motor last season at Columbus 151 Speedway.

Bean would finish in the eighth spot, with Golden Sands Speedway regulars Burton Brown and Chris Weinkauf making up the top ten runners. 

Earlier in the day qualifying races were very important for several race teams attempting to make the show as both events had full starting fields.    In the first contest Carlson would outrun local racer Kurt Guralski and Burton Brown.  Matt Kocourek and Steve Holzhausen just missed the show in fourth and fifth respectively.

In the second event Gregorich Jr., would make his way to the line in first place over M.G. Gajewski and Charlie Menard.  Jeff Weinfurter winner of three WCS events at Golden Sands had been running in a solid second position with a handful of laps remaining when his engine expired negating any chance of him making the show.  John Totzke Jr. and Elliott Weiler would cross the line in fourth and fifth at the finish just shy of a transfer spot.

The day's proivisional was awarded to Terry Baldry setting the 23 car field.

The weekly Friday Night racing program will continue next Friday, June 3rd as the raceway will present the Cruisin’ for a Cure program.    The show will feature Super Late Models, Suiper Stocks, Pure Stocks, 4 Cylinders and at the conclusion of the program Spectator Drags!

Friday evening shows begin with qualifying at 6:30 p.m., and racing 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

For complete RACESTAT Computer Results Click Here

Memorial 100 Results - Golden Sands Speedway - May 30, 2005

100 Lap Feature: 1.) Jeff Kendall, Montello; 2.) Rory Melbinger, Marshfield; 3.) Allen Check, Rosholt; 4.) Dean Cornelius, Chaska, MN; 5.) Steve Carlson, West Salem; 6.) Mark Eswein, Wisconsin Rapids, WI; 7.) Frank Nitzke, Berlin; 8.) Dexter Bean, Westby; 9.) Burton Brown, Freemont; 10.) Chris Weinkauf, Merrill; 11.) Todd Stapleman, Wautoma; 12.) Nathan Haseleu, Marshall; 13.) Jeremy Lepak, Wausau; 14.) M.G. Gajewski, Wausau; 15.) Kenny Richards, Montello; 16.) Jason Weinkauf, Merrill; 17.) Charlie Menard, Eau Claire; 18.) Ryan Mathews, Lake Geneva; 19.) Terry Baldry, Omro; 20.) Kurt Guralski, Wausau; 21.) Eugene Gregorich Jr., Kewaunee; 22.) Adam Royle, Farmington, MN; 23.) Brady Baldry, Pickett

First 30 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Carlson; 2.) Guralski; 3.) Brown; 4.) Matt Kocourek, Racine; 5.) Steve Holzhausen, Bangor; 6.) Don Turner, LaCrosse; 7.) Blake Horstman, Westby; 8.) Callin Harrell, Harrison; 9.) Adam Dengenhardt, Coon Valley; 10.) Bobby McDonald, Combined Locks

Second 30 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Gregorich; 2.) Gajewski; 3.) Menard; 4.) John Totzke Jr., Wisconsin Rapids; 5.) Elliott Weiler, Marshfield; 6.) Brandon Selle, Dale; 7.) Terry Baldry, Omro; 8.) Ken Reiser, Waukon, IA; 9.) Keith Bohmsach, Wisconsin Rapids; 10.) Frank Kreyer, Pardeeville