Oshkosh, WI, June 8, 2012: - Once again Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway lived up to its reputation as "Wisconsin's Modified Action Track" as 40 Automotive Supply Company Modifieds checked in for action on the third-mile clay oval during Capital Credit Union night at the races. Mitch McGrath would survive a late race restart to score his first victory at the track of the 2012 season. In the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds Tracy Wassenberg earned his second straight victory of 2012 pulling away from Joey Taycher and Rod Solem in the final laps of the contest. 27 Sport Modifieds were on hand for the program. All totaled 126 cars had checked into the pit area for the nights events.
In the Miller Lite Grand Nationals Steve Schneider earned victory number two for the year after a torrid late race battle with Tim Reichenberger. Scott Besaw driving as a substitute driver for Lexii Ashcraft, who was attending her graduation would make his way to victory lane in the Total Power Sales Street Stock division. Besaw had borrowed the car earlier in the year with the same result. A feature victory. The evening concluded with Jason Fairbank topping the Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils. It was the first victory of the season for the defending division champion.
A totaled 23 racing events were completed right at the three hour mark in a fast paced program.
71 year old Jerry Muenster with over 50 years of racing experience got the jump on the field at the drop of the green flag for the start of the Automotive Supply Company Modified main event. Mike Klenz who earlier won his heat race would slip ahead of Muenster to become the next leader of the contest. The battle for second would be hotly contested between Eddie Muenster, Mitch McGrath and Matt Klenz, who like his father Mike checked into victory lane earlier in the program with a heat race victory.
Second place changed hands several times over the next lap before McGrath was able to secure the spot. Once in the runner-up position McGrath worked to the high line and began to challenge Klenz for the lead. Klenz opting to hug the inner-most groove of the track as his preferred line would swap the lead every lap with McGrath until McGrath again proved the speed of the outer grove sliding in front of Klenz with the lead in hand on lap five.
By the halfway point McGrath had begun to pull away from the field leaving Klenz in his wake. Klenz seeing the progress McGrath was making also opted for the upper groove as he fought to hold off Eddie Muenster, Jamie Schmidt and Brian Mullen.
While second would prove to be a hard fought battle McGrath was on cruise control out front. His pace was slowed only by the long caution of the event on lap 15 to remove a chuck of sheet metal which flew onto the track on the front stretch.
On the restart McGrath proved up to the challenge holding the lead over the final five laps to earn the victory. 21 of the 23 starters were on the track at the checkered. The three and four wide battle for second was resolved with Klenz taking the position with Mullen on his rear bumper as they crossed the finish line. Third running Mullen extended his point lead to twelve points over defending track champion Brian Drexler who finished fourth this evening. Tom Schaal completed the top five finishers in his Ford powered machine.
The Leon's Frozen Custard IMC Northern Sport Modified division feature continued the evening's theme of three and four wide racing. Though the track surface took rubber early the wide racing groove was extremely smooth and gave drivers great control of their machines allowing for great side by side action.
Rookie Jordan Tulys sat on the pole for the start of the contest but it would be fellow front outside front row starter Mark Howe taking the opening lead.
Joey Taycher, Todd Wiese and Troy Jerovetz ran pack style doing battle for the second spot. Further back division point leader Tracy Wassenberg was charging from his ninth position. Rod Solem winner of the past two Fall Classic Sport Modified features was also on the move advancing from his twelfth starting spot.
Howe held steady out front while Wassenberg broke into the top five by lap five. The first slowdown of the contest occurred when Nick Furman rolled to a stop in turn one on lap six.
With the green flag waving, Howe would resume the lead of the event while the field spread out four wide behind him. Wassenberg would wrestle the runner-up away on lap nine before setting his sights on Howe. Howe was turning in his best performance of the season but Wassenberg was able to run him down taking the lead with an slide move on lap ten.
From that point on all Wassenberg had to do was survive a restart on lap 14 which occurred when a tire got knocked onto the front stretch on lap 14. Wassenberg would pull away from the field after the restart to earn a convincing victory. Taycher would net a second place finish after a later race battle with Solem. Solem would take third. Jerovetz claimed fourth and Kelsy Hayes reached the top five when she completed a pass on Howe on the final lap.
Last week's feature winner and pole sitter Jeff Richards would pace the Miller Lite Grand Nationals to the opening green flag for the 20 starters in their main event. Jeff Richards would lead the way with his father Larry slipping into the second spot. Larry only held the position briefly as Steve Schneider would work past him before lap two.
The lead duo of Jeff Richards and Schneider started pulling away for their own private battle. Schneider would close in on Jeff Richards rear bumper searching for a way to the top spot. The battle for the lead soon became a trio as Tim Reichenberger who had started mid pack had steadily worked his way forward.
Schneider would opt to try the outside line, a move which would payoff as he worked past Richards for the lead in turn two on lap eleven. Schneider would begin to extend his while Reichenberger maneuvered into second on lap thirteen. Once in second Reichenberger began to close the gap on Schneider. The pair were setting up to do battle for the top spot when the caution appeared on lap 16 for a tire knocked onto the racing surface in turn two. Slowing for the caution the lead duo made contact but both were able to continue.
One the restart Schneider shot back to the lead with Richards would briefly retake the second spot from Reichenberger. Schneider clicked off the laps to the finish with a slim lead to take his second feature victory of 2012. Reichenberger would rally to take second. Richards held onto third. Division point leader Tim Warner earned a solid fourth ahead of Brian Gilles who completed the top five.
The Total Power Sales Street Stock division saw 21 drivers take the opening green flag. Brian Long set the pace the first two laps before Dan Knaus took over the top spot. Knaus continued in charge of the contest with Patty Winkler and Jerry Kope swapping second spot.
A spin on lap seven by Jeff Wicinsky caused a caution bunching the pack for the restart. Knaus again set the pace with Kope, Patty Winkler and Scott Besaw following. Kope became the third leader of the contest taking the spot on lap nine. Besaw would continue his charge reaching second by lap twelve.
Kope soon found his hands full with Besaw, as Cope opted for a high groove around the track while Besaw held onto the inner groove. The pair would run side by side for several laps before Besaw got the upper hand. Once out front Besaw would slowly pull away to take his second feature win of 2012. Kope a former division champion who returned to action this season would settle for second, his strongest performance since his return. Division point leader Jerry Winkler earned a third place finish followed by Frank Knaus and Patty Winkler in the top five.
The Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils would see a field of 16 take the green flag for their feature contest. Front row starters Joe Minks and defending division champion Jason Fairbank would square off for the opening lead in and event which would run from green to checkered without interruption. Minks would pressure Fairbank for the top spot throughout the first half of the race before Fairbank secured the spot and slowly pulled away.
At the finish Fairbank had a eight car length lead on Mike Montie who took over the second spot with only a handful of laps left in the contest. Minks would settle for third ahead of Jay Orr and Ben Meyerhofer.
Racing action continues next week on Friday Night, June 15th with NAPA Auto Parts of Oshkosh and Fond Du Lac will be presenting the race program.
Racing action will begin at the new 7:00pm start time with nearly 120 cars expected to be on hand in the five division program. The Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils will continue their season long point battle.
Adult admission tickets are just $10, students ages 11 through 15 are admitted for just $5 and children 10 and under are free to attend the races.
The final summer practice session of the year will be held Tuesday, June 19th. The track will be open from 5:00pm until 9:00pm. Pit passes for the practice are $15, while fans can watch from the grandstand for free.
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. Weekly racing
Friday Night racing continues until September. Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events.
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Mitch McGrath; 2.) Mike Klenz; 3.) Brian Mullen; 4.) Brian Drexler; 5.) Tom Schaal; 6.) Tim Lemirande; 7.) Scott Mullen; 8.) Justin Ritchie; 9.) Jamie Schmidt; 10.) Matt Klenz; 11.) Jerry Muenster; 12.) Marcus Yarie; 13.) Joe McGrath; 14.) Ben Stumpf; 15.) Johnny Whitman
First Consolation: 1.) J. McGrath; 2.) Whitman; 3.) Chris Engels; 4.) Will Sorce; 5.) Mike Sandholm; 6.) Tony Wedelstadt
Second Consolation: 1.) Ritchie; 2.) Mike Wedelstadt; 3.) Yarie; 4.) Craig Priewe; 5.) Dennis Schultz; 6.) Andrew Araco
First Heat: 1.) Stumpf; 2.) Kyle Lentz; 3.) S. Mullen
Second Heat: 1.) M. McGrath; 2.) Schaal; 3.) Mike Mullen
Third Heat: 1.) Mike Klenz; 2.) J. Muenster; 3.) Drexler
Fourth Heat: 1.) Matt Klenz; 2.) Schmidt; 3.) Travis Spaulding
Fifth Heat: 1.) B. Mullen; 2.) Eddie Muenster; 3.) Lemirande
MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Steve Schneider; 2.) Tim Reichenberger; 3.) Jeff Richards; 4.) Tim Warner; 5.) Brian Gilles; 6.) Larry Richards; 7.) Jim Rhode; 8.) T.J. Smith; 9.) Brian Henry; 10.) Tim Simon
First Heat: 1.) L. Richards; 2.) J. Richards; 3.) Schneider
Second Heat: 1.) Henry; 2.) Rhode; 3.) Kodiak Wirtz
Third Heat: 1.) Reichenberger; 2.) Gilles; 3.) John Schultz III
LEON'S FROZN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Tracy Wassenberg; 2.) Joey Taycher; 3.) Rod Solem; 4.) Troy Jerovetz; 5.) Kelsy Hayes; 6.) Mark Howe; 7.) Adam Pugh; 8.) Ryan Besaw; 9.) Todd Wiese; 10.) Kurt Moeller
Consolation: 1.) Rob Krull; 2.) Ron Besaw; 3.) Kevin Bethke; 4.) Brad Ambroziak; 5.) Angie Wolf; 6.) Todd Ewald
First Heat: 1.) Taycher; 2.) Ryan Besaw; 3.) Jordan Tuyls
Second Heat: 1.) Moeller; 2.) Hayes; 3.) Pugh
Third Heat: 1.) Jerovetz; 2.) Wiese; 3.) Solem
TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Scott Besaw; 2.) Jerry Kope; 3.) Jerry Winkler; 4.) Frank Knaus; 5.) Patty Winkler; 6.) Richard Garb; 7.) Jeff Jungwirth; 8.) Dan Knaus; 9.) Shawn Haydon; 10.) Mike Nehmer
First Heat: 1.) Mark Schultz; 2.) Jungwirth; 3.) Besaw
Second Heat: 1.) Jeff Wicinsky; 2.) Garb; 3.) Kope
Third Heat: 1.) J. Winkler; 2.) Nehmer; 3.) D. Knaus
LYNN'S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Jason Fairbank; 2.) Mike Montie; 3.) Joe Minks; 4.) Jay Orr; 5.) Ben Meyerhoffer; 6.) Cory Wegner; 7.) Erik Kollmann; 8.) Trent Nolan; 9.) Chris Mass; 10.) Matt Brehmer
First Heat: 1.) Wegner; 2.) Fairbank; 3.) Jon Charles
Second Heat: 1.) Montie; 2.) Minks; 3.) Nolan
This article was posted to the website on June 9th, 2012