Golden Sands Speedway Race Report

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It's Gregorich by Inches in Super Late Action at Sands,
Weinfurter up to the Test in Super Stocks!

By Jeffrey Sachse

July 21, 2006; Plover, WI - It was a matter of inches.  Coming off the final turn in Super Late Model action on Team Scheril Companies Night at Golden Sands Speedway, defending track champion Mark Eswein appeared to be on his way to his first feature win of the 2006 racing season, but a hard charging Eugene Gregorich Jr., had other ideas.  Running the high line Gregorich would come off turn four with enough momentum to reach the finish line first by a matter of inches, stealing the win from Eswein and taking his second trip to victory lane this season.

In Super Stock action Brian Weinfurter would lead a freight train of competitors to the finish line taking the victory by a slim margin over Wes Coon whose late race charge fell just short of victory.  In the Pure Stock class, a late race charge by Mike Gwidt brought him to the lead in the closing laps of the contest to collect the victory.  The three races held for the 2-Man Cruisers were captured by the teams of Bohm/Gladowski and Floistad/Floistad while the final checkered of the evening for the class went to Kampert/Kampert.  To round out the evening a field of busses took to the racing surface with Gary Wosick making his way to the front and grabbing the victory.

Photo Highlights

The Super Late Model field would do battle for 40 laps non-stop, and fans were treated to an excellent high speed display.  Gregg Ruffalo would open the contest with the lead as Blake Horstman tried working the high side for the top spot.  Ruffalo would attempt to repel the challenges of both Horstman who was trying the high line and Brandon Selle who was working the low groove.  The trio ran in close formation while defending track champion Mark Eswein made his way into the fourth spot by lap four.

Selle had worked by Horstman for second and tried on several occasions to pass Ruffalo.  The track officials felt Ruffalo was using too much racetrack on and lap eight the caution flag was thrown and Ruffalo was moved back two positions.  This place Selle in the lead with Horstman, Ruffalo, Eswein and Tim Hintz in the top five.  Eugene Gregorich who had started in the fourth row was up to the sixth spot.

Selle would set the pace on the restart with Horstman giving chase.  Eswein made his way under Ruffalo on lap ten after working the inside lane.  Once stuck in the outside groove Ruffalo would lose several spots elevating Hintz to fourth and Gregorich to fifth.

Eswein continued his march forward surpassing Horstman with an inside pass coming off turn two on lap 17 to reach second.  Selle continued to lead the way but Eswein closed quickly and would make his way under Selle with an inside pass in turn three at the halfway point of the race.  While Eswein was having a great deal of success this evening, so was Gregorich who crept ever close to the front of the pack.  In quick fashion Gregorich picked off cars reaching the third spot on lap 23.

Only Selle in second place was left to act as a buffer between Eswein and a hard charging Gregorich.  Selle would fall to Gregorich's charge with a dozen laps to go in to go in the event.  But Eswein had built up a six car length lead.  Lap after lap Gregorich would narrow the gap until the pair were nose and tail with five laps left in the event.  Eswein opted for the low groove while Gregorich chose the high side.  As the white flag flew Gregorich dove deep into turn one and the pair drew even going down the backstretch.  Eswein would nose ahead into turn three, but Gregorich's momentum allowed him to draw even for the drag race to the finish coming off turn four.  As the crowd rose to it's feet, Gregorich would reach the stripe first by a matter of inches.  Eswein would settle for second.  Selle's solid performance would net a third place run.  Horstman claimed fourth and Hintz would complete the top five.

The Super Stocks would make their way to the high banked third mile oval with Dan Braun and Brian Weinfurter on the front row of the event.  As the green flag flew Weinfurter would get the jump on Braun taking the opening lead.  Braun would then face the challenges of Scott Hamel to would challenge for the second spot.  The pair would run side by side for the second position as Weinfurter slowly opened up a small lead.

Hamel would slip on lap eight, giving Braun firm control of the second spot.  Before Braun could get back in line Wes Coon and Brian Back also made their was past into third and fourth respectively on lap eight.

Coon would continue his charge to the front working the high line on Braun. After several laps of side by side racing Coon would prove successful in taking the position.

Weinfurter meanwhile had built up a six car length lead, which Coon fought hard to erase. Coon was assisted in his effort to catch Weinfurter when the caution appeared with six laps to go after Mike Brooks and David Pagels tangled on the front stretch.

As the green flag returned Weinfurter was back to leading the way with Coon glued to his rear bumper.  Back would hold down the third spot followed by Matt Raykowski and fast qualifier Tim Plowman.  Over the final laps Coon would drift to the high side several times to try and setup a pass but Weinfurter was able to hold off the challenges and take the win.  Coon would settle for second followed by Raykowski, Back and Plowman.

Erik Kawlewski would set the pace for much of the Pure Stock feature with Dean Aschbacher following in his tire track.  Mike Gwidt using the high line would reach second with seven laps to go in the contest and would sweep into the lead with two laps left in the race.  Once out front Gwidt would pull away from Kawlewski and take the checkered by three car lengths.  Kawlewski would finish second.  Current division points leader and the evening's fast qualifier Dean Zakrezwski would make a final lap pass of Aschbacher for third.  Aschbacher and Frank Calabrese would round out the top five finishers.

Next Friday Night, July 28th will be the start of a double header weekend with racing taking place on both Friday and Sunday evenings.  On Friday night the stars of the Wisconsin Challenge Series will make their final appearance of the season at Golden Sands Speedway.  Series competitors Frank Kreyer, Andy Monday, Adam Royle, Jeff Kendall, Dave Feiler, Steve Holzhausen, John Zimmermann and Don Turner will joining defending series champion Nathan Haseleu in effort to best the top local competitors including Mark Eswein, Kenny Richards, Brandon Selle, the Weinkauf brothers Jason and Chris for supremacy in a 100 lap feature contest which will feature a 24 car starting grid.  The filed will be set through qualifying and a pair of 30 lap qualifying races.  The evening will conclude with a 30 lap B-feature for those drivers who just missed the main event.

In addition to the WCS Super Late Models, 4 cylinders, 2-Man Cruisers and the popular Wisconsin Sport Trucks will also be on the schedule.

The on Sunday evening, July 30th, Golden Sands Speedway will be hosting a special twilight program to makeup for several of the rainouts earlier in the year.  The program will feature a full show of Super Late Model, Super Stocks, 4 cylinder and 2-Man Cruisers.

Golden Sands Speedway  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

For complete RACESTAT Race Results Click Here!

Super Late Models
40 Lap Feature:
1.) Eugene Gregorich Jr; 2.) Mark Eswein; 3.) Brandon Selle; 4.) Blake Horstman; 5.) Tim Hintz; 6.) Kenny Richards; 7.) Gregg Ruffalo; 8.) Pat Williams; 9.) Jim Duchow; 10.) Jason Weinkauf
25 Lap Semi-Feature: 
1.) Chris Weinkauf; 2.) Kasey Chase; 3.) Derek Gress; 4.) Elliott Weiler; 5.) Todd Stapleman; 6.) Joe Krzykowski

First 12 Lap Heat: 1.) Stapleman; 2.) Tom Litchfield; 3.) Jeremy Switlick
Second 12 Lap Heat: 1.) C. Weinkauf; 2.) Weiler; 3.) Chase
Third 12 Lap Heat: 1.) J. Weinkauf; 2.) Burton Brown; 3.) Frank Nitzke
Fourth 12 Lap Heat: 1.) Eswein; 2.) Duchow; 3.) Richards

Fast Qualifier: Richards, 12.118 Seconds

Super Stocks
25 Lap Feature:
1.) Brian Weinfurter; 2.) Wes Coon; 3.) Matt Raykowski; 4.) Brian Back; 5.) Tim Plowman; 6.) Josh Oleson; 7.) Scott Hamel; 8.) Dave Neitzke; 9.) Roger Stanczyk; 10.) Randy Emmerich
15 Lap Semi-Feature: 1.) David Pagels; 2.) Jason Szymkowiak; 3.) Bert Soyka; 4.) Ed Szelagowski; 5.) Thomas Dowe
First 10 Lap Heat: 1.) John Totzke Jr.; 2.) Dowe; 3.) Szelagowski
Second 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Oleson; 2.) Braun; 3.) Storlie
Third 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Back; 2.) Raykowski; 3.) Hamel
Fast Qualifier: Plowman, 13.246 Seconds

Pure Stocks
15 Lap Feature:
1.) Michael Gwidt; 2.) Eric Kawlewski; 3.) Dean Zakrezwski; 4.) Dean Aschbacher; 5.) Frank Calabrese; 6.) Ron Grabarski; 7.) Andrew Hintz; 8.) Troy Engman
12 Lap Semi-Feature: 1.) Gary Haarklau; 2.) Becky Grabarski; 3.) Joey Koch; 4.) Mark Kealiher; 5.) Raymond Kramer
First 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Coletta Gomes; 2.) Kealiher; 3.) Kramer

Second 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Hintz; 2.) Chuck Stebbens; 3.) Haarklau
Third 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Brad Luck; 2.) Gwidt; 3.) Zakrezwski

Fast Qualifier: Zakrezwski, 14.843 Seconds

2-Man Cruisers
First 10 Lap Feature:
1.) Bohm/Gladowski; 2.) McDonald/McDonald; 3.) Burns/Bates; 4.) Wadel/Kalata;
Second 10 Lap Feature:
1.) Floistad/Floistad; 2.) Michels/Zellner; 2.) Kelley/Resheske; 4.) Zallner/Kuhn; 5.) Helbach/Helbach

Thirs 10 Lap Feature: 1.) Kampert/Kampert; 2.) Wierzba/Wierzba; 3.) Green/Wheelock