Henry, Jerovetz and Garb Collect Titles, Drexler and Fairbank Repeat as Champions!
August 31, 2012; OSHKOSH, WI – Unlike the 2011 season where championships were decided by Mother Nature and a rain out on the final night of racing, the 2012 titles in all five weekly divisions were settled on the track with several champions being determined only when the final checked flag fell. In total 101 cars checked into the pit area capping a season where the car count had never dipped below 100 on a regular race night setting a new record for the track.
Brian Drexler and Jason Fairbank would prove successful in defending their 2011 titles with Drexler capping off a season comprised of consistent performances to capture the 2012 Automotive Supply Company Modified title. Likewise Jason Fairbank showed that avoiding trouble and finishing among the leaders each week was key in winning the Lynn’s Dirt Devil season crown.
For Troy Jerovetz domination was the key winning his first Oshkosh Speedzone championship, in a mid-season streak Jerovetz cranked out five consecutive victories and once out front in the title chase he never looked back. In taking the green flag for tonight’s main event he successfully put the exclamation point on the season as the division’s top point earner.
The Miller Lite Grand National division saw a five point separation between title hopeful Brian Henry and defending division champ T.J. Smith as action started this evening. In the feature contest both drivers patiently picked their way through the field with Smith leading Henry through the pack. Never able to gain separation on Henry during the race, Henry’s title hopes grew with each passing lap. In the closing laps Henry made a pass on Smith putting a firm grasp on the championship trophy. Henry would cross the finish line in sixth two spot ahead of Smith extending his point lead to seven in the final point tally.
It was the final lap which determined the championship in the Total Power Sales Street Stocks, and it wasn’t until the exact moment that Richard Garb flashed under the checkered flag that the championship picture came into focus. Garb had entered the night with a seven point advantage on the hard charging Jerry Winkler. In the feature contest Winker would be the man on the charge working forward in the pack reaching as high as third with six laps to go in the event while Garb patiently picked of cars whenever the opportunity arose. With three laps to go Garb was still mired mid pack and Winker was cashing down second running Jerry Kope. At that point if Winker would make the pass and Garb would lose a single position the pair would have ended in a tie for the title. However the final three laps would benefit Garb as Garb successfully managed to avoid a pair of cars which tangled in front of him climbing into the fifth spot as the checkered flag waved. With Winkler taking third, Garb successfully earned his first championship by a mere five points.
The feature races themselves proved to be highly competitive as while championships may have been the highlight of the evening, the spotlight also shines brightly on those reaching victory lane.
Taking feature checkered in the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds would prove Tim Lemirande did all he could to erase the 23 point lead defending champion Brian Drexler had built heading into the final night. Lemirande would show his speed early on finishing second in his heat race while Drexler struggled in his heat race and was forced to run a consolation event. While Lemirande was solidly in the show all he could do was watch as Drexler dominated his consolation race to make the feature contest. Once the green flag fell in the main event Drexler was officially declared the champion as he had earned an insurmountable point lead by making a start.
As the green flag fell David Hoerning paced the field while Tim Robbins and Jon Schultz settled into second and third place. Lemirande who had started deep in the field was powering to the front from the moment the green flag waved. Making several amazing three and four wide passed he climbed to seventh by the end of the first lap and roared past several more cars on the next circuit including Schultz to secure the third spot before the first caution appeared when Mitch McGrath looped his ride in turn two. Officials soon discovered that his rear bumper had come off and due to safety issues he would not be allowed to return to the contest.
Action would resume with Hoerning again showing the way while Lemirande went to work on Robbins, further back Marcus Yarie who had won the most recent modified feature at Oshkosh had cracked the top five.
The second slowdown of the event occurred on lap ten when Joe McGrath spun in turn two in nearly the identical spot his son Mitch had spun earlier. On the restart Hoerning went back to showing the way while Lemirande worked past Robbins who began to fall back in the field. This allowed Yarie to reach the third spot, while out front Hoerning had his hands full with Lemirande. Lemirande made his ascendance to the front complete taking over the lead position with six laps to go in the contest.
The pace was slowed again on lap 17 when Ron Paulick looped his ride. On the restart Lemirande jumped back in the throttle leaving the field in his wake, while Yarie shot past Hoerning into the runner-up spot. Yarie closed the gap reaching Lemirande’s rear bumper as the white flag flew. However before the final lap could complete Jamie Schmidt who was making his first appearance in several weeks had his engine come unglued. In a huge cloud of smoke Schmidt’s machine rolled to a stop and the event ended under a yellow checkered finish. Lemirande was awarded the victory with Yarie settling for second. Hoerning turning in one of his best runs of the season netted third. Mike Wedelstadt and Scott Mullen would complete the top five finishers. Drexler would finish 11th, which was enough to give him the title by exactly 11 points over Lemirande.
The Miller Lite Grand Nationals would run their 20 lap feature race non-stop. Showing the way Nick Schumacher led the field for the first two laps of the contest before Tim Reichenberger slipped past to grab the top spot. Once out front Reichenberger showcased the speed of his machine building a huge lead. By the halfway point of the contest Tim Doehling has surpassed Schumacher for second brining Terry Van Roy with him into the third position.
As the race began to wind down Doehling slowly whittled into Reichenberger’s huge advantage closing within a half dozen car lengths with three laps to go. Doehling could get no closer however and Reichenberger would take the checkered flag earning a convincing victory. Doehling would settle for second followed by Van Roy, Larry Richards and Brian Cesar who was making a rare appearance at the track a successful one by rounding out the top five finishers.
The Leon’s Frozen Custard Sport Modified race was a bit unsettled by comparison slowed by five caution flags, three of which were the result of tires which are in place to separate the track from the infield being knocked onto the raceway by errant machines.
Rookie’s Tristin Peebles and Angie Wolf would hold town the top two spots for the first two circuits before second year Sport Modified competitor Jon Schultz made his way to the front of the pack. Schultz who won his first Sport Modified feature at Oshkosh Speedzone less than a month ago looked strong out front with the heaviest pressure coming from Rod Solem who reached second on lap four.
Solem would apply the pressure to Schultz through several restarts and the battle for the top spot would soon become a three way contest as newly crowned champion Troy Jerovetz joined the fray.
Schultz would have his work cut out for him the balance of the event but he would prove up to the task holding on for his second win of the season. Jerovetz would make several attempts to work past Solem for the runner-up spot but Solem repelled the challenges to take second. Jerovetz laid claim to third. Wolf turned in one of the strongest performances by a rookie this season in the class finishing fourth with Kelsy Hayes completing the top five giving female competitor’s two of the top five positions as she and Wolf have proven they can with the best of the boys on any given night.
The Total Power Sales Street Stock main event saw Trevor Schmid hold onto the lead position from green to checked in a race that had only two caution periods. Schmid spent the early portions of the event fending off the challenges of Jeff Wicinsky before Jerry Kope worked his way into the runner-up spot on lap nine. The final half of the contest would be run without a caution and with nothing to slow his pace Schmid was able to keep a comfortable distance ahead of Kope to secure the victory. Title contender Jerry Winkler would grab the third spot with six laps to go in the contest a position he would hold to the finish. Mark Schultz would hold down the fourth spot and Richard Garb had the championship in hand as he crossed the finish line in fifth.
Mike Montie would lay claim to yet another feature win in the Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devil division. Adam Wulff set the pace in the early going chased by Hillary Kreutz who scored her first career checkered at Oshkosh Speedzone when she won her heat race earlier in the night. Kreutz would turn over the second spot to Patrick Klawitter on lap three. Klawitter became the second leader of the race securing the top spot on lap six. Klawitter paced the next several circuits with constant pressure from Matt Brehmer who had Montie in tow.
At the halfway point of the event Brehmer took over as the third leader of the race as Montie continued to chase Brehmer’s rear bumper. Montie was able to find room to slip past Brehmer with six laps to go pacing the remaining distance to score the victory. Brehmer would earn second followed by 2012 division champion Jason Fairbank, Wulff and Chris Maas who took the fifth position from Kreutz on the final lap.
The final event of the year will take place next week with the running of the 3rd annual Fall Classic weekend.
The show will take place on Friday Night September 7th and Saturday Afternoon September 8th. The rain date if needed will be Sunday Afternoon September 9th.
Fans can expect to see nearly 200 drivers participate in the two-day racing event.
This year the show has been expanded from five to six divisions with the addition of the IMCA Stock Cars. Extremely popular throughout the area the IMCA Stock Cars are known for their fender rubbing racing style. For the past two Fall Classics the IMCA Stock Cars were allowed to complete with the Grand National division but with increased interested in participating in this year’s Fall Classic track officials decided to give the class its own spot on the program.
The IMCA Stock Cars will be paid $1,000 to win the event and $100 to start.
If the Stock Cars turn out in the numbers expected you will be able to see the Stock Cars as part of the Fall Classic for many years to come.
Headlining the show will be the IMCA type Modifieds. “Known as Wisconsin’s Modified Action Track” Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway has been able to present a thrilling Modified program each and every week featuring some of the area’s top drivers. Last year 45 Modifieds checked into the pit area and Chris Engels came away with the victory topping 2011 Speedzone champion Brian Drexler for the win.
This year’s event will pay $1,500 to win the feature contest. The event will pay $150 to start. The race will see 24 drivers take the green flag. For drivers not making the big show semi-feature contests will be held after all the qualifying heats and consolations on Saturday. Those races will pay $350 to win and $60 to start.
The Sport Modified division also had an impressive turnout with 42 drivers taking to the track which established an all-time competitor turnout for the class at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. Rod Solem has the distinction of winning every Sport Modified Fall Classic feature so far. Last season he ran down Brad Lautenbach in the closing laps of the event to steal the victory.
During the 2011 Fall Classic the Street Stock division saw 33 racers test Oshkosh Speedzone’s third-mile clay oval. Gary Kasperek would edge out 2011 track champion Jeff Jungwirth for the victory.
The Sport Modifieds and Street Stocks each will be competing for $1000 to win. The Sport Modifieds will get $100 to start while the Street Stocks get $80 to start the feature contest.
The Grand Nationals will also be on hand again in 2012, and will be competing for the $1,000 top prize. The starting pay for the main event will be $100. Last year’s event was captured by Tim Reichenberger who made the feature through a consolation race. He then methodically worked through the pack to edge out visiting driver Don Sorce for the victory.
Rounding out the classes on hand for this year’s Fall Classic weekend will be the 4 cylinder division. The main event will pay $400 to win and $60 to start. Brian Johnson topped the 4 cylinder contest last season.
All payouts will be made in cash Saturday Night after the races.
The racing action begins on Friday Night at 6:00pm with heats and qualifying races. The racing will continue on Saturday with a 3:00pm start time. Last chance qualifiers, semi-features and the main events will take place on Saturday.
Pits will open at Noon each day.
Grandstand admission is $15 each day for adults and $10 each day for students. Adults can get a weekend pass for $25. A weekend pit pass is $50.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.
Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events. Fans can also friend the raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedzone and you can receive all the latest updates from the track on twitter as www.twitter.com/thespeedzone.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature: (Top 10) 1.) Tim Lemirande; 2.) Marcus Yarie; 3.) David Hoerning; 4.) Mike Wedelstadt; 5.) Scott Mullen; 6.) Craig Priewe; 7.) Johnny Whitman; 8.) Matt Klenz; 9.) Travis Spaulding; 10.) Joe McGrath
First Consolation: 1.) Brian Drexler; 2.) Jamie Schmidt; 3.) Will Sorce; 4.) James Steffanus; 5.) Steve Kloehn
Second Consolation: 1.) Spaulding; 2.) Klenz; 3.) Ron Paulick; 4.) Charlie Ewald; 5.) Pat Toetz
First Heat: 1.) Mitch McGrath; 2.) Wedelstadt; 3.) Ben Stumpf
Second Heat: 1.) Yarie; 2.) Mullen; 3.) Hoerning
Third Heat: 1.) Kevin Feck; 2.) Lemirande; 3.) J. McGrath
LEON’S FROZEN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature: (Top 10) 1.) Jon Schultz; 2.) Rod Solem; 3.) Troy Jerovetz; 4.) Angie Wolf; 5.) Kelsy Hayes; 6.) Mark Howe; 7.) Kevin Bethke; 8.) Jordan Tuyls; 9.) Tristin Peebles; 10.) Randy Krueger
Consolation: 1.) Todd Wiese; 2.) Jerovetz; 3.) Derek Schnetzer; 4.) Brock Saunders; 5.) Howe
First Heat: 1.) Tuyls; 2.) Krueger; 3.) Rob Krull
Second Heat: 1.) Clint Forester; 2.) Ryan Besaw; 3.) Schultz
Third Heat: 1.) Dion Wahl; 2.) Peebles; 3.) Solem
MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10) : 1.) Tim Reichenberger; 2.) Tim Doehling; 3.) Terry Van Roy; 4.) Larry Richards; 5.) Brian Ceasar; 6.) Brian Henry; 7.) Nick Schumacher; 8.) T.J. Smith; 9.) Jim Rhode; 10.) John Schultz III
First Heat: 1.) Reichenberger; 2.) Brian Gilles; 3.) Schultz III
Second Heat: 1.) Doehling; 2.) Weich; 3.) Richards
TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10) : 1.) Trevor Schmid; 2.) Jerry Kope; 3.) Jerry Winkler; 4.) Mark Schultz; 5.) Richard Garb; 6.) Jeff Wicinsky; 7.) Justin Lindner; 8.) Jon Ashcraft; 9.) Frank Knaus; 10.) Dan Knaus
First Heat: 1.) Mark Baker; 2.) Schmid; 3.) Winkler
Second Heat: 1.) Wicinsky; 2.) Frank Knaus; 3.) Garb
LYNN’S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Mike Montie; 2.) Matt Brehmer; 3.) Jason Fairbank; 4.) Adam Wulff; 5.) Chris Maas; 6.) Hillary Kerutz; 7.) Rick Fairbank; 8.) Erik Kollmann; 9.) Chad Ewald; 10.) Timothy Kundinger
First Heat: 1.) Wulff; 2.) Montie; 3.) Klawitter
Second Heat: 1.) Kreutz; 2.) R. Fairbank; 3.) Brehmer
This article was posted to the website on September 1st, 2012