Oshkosh, WI, May 18, 2012: With nearly ideal weather conditions taking place the largest field of the 2012 racing season took to the racing surface as Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway played host to a program presented by Total Power Sales and Oshkosh Lanes. A total of 133 cars checked into the pit area for the program headed up by a season high 43 Automotive Supply Company Modifieds.
Currently Oshkosh Speedzone has had among the largest fields of Modifieds participating in the Midwest leading some to dub the third-mile clay as "Wisconsin's Modified Action Track". There was also a field of 32 Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds which tied the track record for weekly participants set last week. Between the two classes 75 modifieds were in the pit area.
20 Total Power Sales Street Stocks, 19 Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils and 18 Miller Lite Grand Nationals represented the full-fendered divisions.
In the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds it was Mike Mullen becoming the first driver in 2012 to capture a second feature at the track. Mullen would work by Tom Schaal in an event that had but a single caution.
The rest of the divisions however were a bit more unsettled. Time shortened race victories went to Scott Besaw in the Total Power Sales Street Stocks with Besaw driving a car normally driven by Lexii Ashcraft. The Leon's Frozen Custard Sport Modifieds also reached the time limit and it was Troy Jerovetz out front when the race reached its conclusion.
The Miller Lite Grand Nationals went the full distance with Tim Doehling scoring his first victory in several seasons. Doehling who severed as a car owner for Shawn Haydon the past couple years jumped back behind the wheel in a newly built car and made his way to victory lane after a hard fought battle. The Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils rounded out the evening with Matt Brehmer scoring the victory.
The Automotive Supply Company Modifieds put on another solid performance for the fans this evening as the star filled field lines up 23 strong for the opening green flag. Joe McGrath would take the opening lead of the contest while his son would have the reversal in fortune as he was the first car to drop from the contest.
Joe McGrath meanwhile had his hands full with Tom Schaal in his Ford powered machine. Schaal would find room at the bottom of the track to grab the top spot on lap two while Chris Engels joined the chase from his third running position.
Deeper in the field Mike Mullen the winner on opening night and his father current point leader Brian Mullen were moving forward choosing opposite grooves around. Mike was using the low groove finding tack on the inside lane, while the elder Mullen rim rode around the raceway.
A spin by Tony Wedelstadt on lap four caused the only slowdown of the contest. Action began again with Schaal setting the pace followed by McGrath, Engels and Mike Mullen. Mike Mullen expertly worked the low groove and quickly picked off both Engels and McGrath reaching second by lap seven.
Schaal's lead would slowly evaporate as with each passing lap Mike Mullen closed the gap reaching Schaal's read bumper by lap 12 and on the next lap he would move to the inside of Schaal. After a brief battle Mike Mullen would surge ahead on lap 13.
Once out front Mike Mullen would prove uncatchable slowly pulling away from Schaal over the remaining distance to become the first repeat winner of the 2012 season in feature action. Schaal would settle for a well earned second place finish. Brian Mullen would make a last lap pass on Mike Wedelstadt to earn the third position by a foot. Wedelstadt held down fourth followed by McGrath.
The Miller Lite Grand Nationals took to the track with Jeff Richards sitting on the pole of the event with Tim Doehling to his outside as the pair made up the front row. At the drop of the green flag 17 cars roared to life with Doehling taking the opening lead. A pair of cautions on laps one and three keep the field bunched and when action resumed Doehling was back leading the way.
Second place became hotly contested with Brian Gilles and Richards vying for the spot. Gilles would gain the upper hand and he soon moved in to challenge Doehling for the top spot. Gilles would run the inside of the raceway while Doehling preferred a higher line. The two would exchange the top spot several times over the next few laps.
The battle for the lead would end when Gilles would bump a tire coming off turn four on lap eight breaking his momentum and forcing him to lose second to Tom Schneider. Richards also slipped in line ahead of Gilles before Gilles regained his pace. The caution would fly on lap nine to move a tire off the racing surface.
Once underway Doehling was back to setting the pace pulling away from Richards with Tom Schneider holding down the third slot. Doehling's lead extended to several car lengths when the final caution of the event appeared with three laps to go as last weeks feature winner Steve Schneider looped his ride coming off turn four while running in the fifth spot.
Over the final laps Doehling would keep Tom Schneider at bay to collect the win. Richards would cross the line in third but he did not pass post race tech which elevated Gilles into the third position. Terry Van Roy was credited with fourth and Tim Warner the division point leader completed the top five finishers.
The Street Stock division had an ample supply of caution flags, which was unusual for the class which normally produces very few slowdowns. 19 cars accepted the initial green flag. Three caution flags would fly in the first three laps.
When the race resumed on lap four Dan Knaus was out front but he was quickly challenged for the top spot by Scott Besaw. Besaw found room under Dan Knaus to assume the lead position on lap four.
Last week's feature winner Jerry Winkler had been picking his way through the pack working into the third spot the following lap. Moments later Knaus would loop his ride in turn two brining out the fourth caution of the contest on lap eight.
The race was quickly approaching the time limit the event and the race resumed for a green white checkered finish. Besaw held the top spot with Winkler on his rear bumper and Mark Schultz holding down the third spot waiting for a miscue by the leaders. The white flag would fly with Winkler seeking a way by Besaw, however before the lap could be completed the fifth caution of the event appeared drawing the event to it's conclusion with nine laps in the books. Besaw was awarded the victory with Winker and Schultz following. Defending division champion Jeff Jungwirth was credited with fourth followed by Mike Nehmer in the top five.
The Sport Modified were also very unsettled this evening with cautions flying frequently during the event. Travis Kleindl set the pace for the first lap before Mark Howe assumed the lead of the event. Troy Jerovetz would become the events next pacesetter working under Howe for the lead on lap three.
Jerovetz would begin to pull away from the field while Howe had his hands full with Zeke Bishofberger the defending division champion who was making his first appearance of the 2012 season. Lap seven would see a slowdown to remove a tire from the racing groove.
It took several more tries to get the race restarted as minor incidents occurred after each restart. At each restart Jerovetz held fast to the lead with Bishofberger now sitting in the number two slot. The time limit was again fast approaching having seen six cautions. A twin spin on lap twelve forced a final yellow and the event was completed as the time limit expired. Jerovetz was awarded the victory with Bishofberger, Andy Kleczka, Todd Weise and Howe.
The Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils had its largest turnout of 2012 with 19 starters taking the green flag for the feature event.
A couple cautions slowed the event early while Jon Charles did his best to stay ahead of Matt Brehmer. Last weeks feature winner Mike Montie would drop from the event while running third when he lost a tire on lap three which resulted in the third yellow flag of the event.
Brehmer would find room on the low line to sneak past Charles for the top spot on lap four. On the next circuit the fourth yellow flew for a two car tangle.
Brehmer would slow pull away from the field over the remaining distance which would go caution free. Cory Wegner would reach the second spot before the halfway point of the race be he was never able to seriously threaten Brehmer for the lead. Charles would earn the third position over Erik Kollmann and Ben Meyerhofer who completed the top five.
Racing action continues next week on Friday Night, May 25th with Bennett Family Insurance Night at the races. Before racing begins kids will have an opportunity to ride in a race car. The ride along portion of the program will begin at 6:15pm. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids to the track early if they wish to participate in the ride along.
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.
A practice session is being held on Tuesday, May 22nd. 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.) Mike Mullen; 2.) Tom Schaal; 3.) Brian Mullen; 4.) Mike Wedelstadt; 5.) Joe McGrath; 6.) Chris Engels; 7.) Craig Priewe; 8.) Mike Klenz; 9.) Ryan Besaw; 10.) Brian Drexler; 11.) James Robbins; 12.) Travis Spaulding; 13.) Justin Ritchie; 14.) Jonny Whitman; 15.) Will Sorce
First Consolation: 1.) Whitman; 2.) Ritchie; 3.) Sorce; 4.) Joel Crowbridge; 5.) Jeremy Christians; 6.) Matt Klenz
Second Consolation: 1.) Mike Klenz; 2.) Jerry Muenster; 3.) Kyle Lentz; 4.) Pat Zdroik; 5.) Jeff Steenbergen; 6.) Dan Jung
First Heat: 1.) Jamie Schmidt; 2.) Engels; 3.) M. Wedelstadt
Second Heat: 1.) J. McGrath; 2.) M. Mullen; 3.) Robbins
Third Heat: 1.) Mitch McGrath; 2.) Ryan Besaw; 3.) Drexler
Fourth Heat: 1.) Schaal; 2.) Tony Wedelstadt; 3.) B. Mullen
Fifth Heat: 1.) Tim Lemirande; 2.) Priewe; 3.) Spaulding
MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Tim Doehling; 2.) Tom Schneider; 3.) Brian Gilles; 4.) Terry Van Roy; 5.) Tim Warner; 6.) Tim Reichenberger; 7.) Brian Henry; 8.) Jim Rhode; 9.) T.J. Smith; 10.) Larry Richards
First Heat: 1.) L. Richards; 2.) Doehling; 3.) Jeff Richards
Second Heat: 1.) Gilles; 2.) Rhode; 3.) Warner
LEON'S FROZN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Troy Jerovetz; 2.) Zeke Bishofberger; 3.) Andy Kleczka; 4.) Todd Weise; 5.) Mark Howe; 6.) Kurt Moeller; 7.) Tracy Wassenberg; 8.) Ryan Besaw; 9.) Kevin Bethke; 10.) Kelsy Hayes
First Consolation: 1.) Raymond Keyser; 2.) Hudson; 3.) Dion Wahl; 4.) Colten Van Hierden; 5.) Jessi Ness; 6.) Rob Krull
Second Consolation: 1.) Moeller; 2.) Ambroziak; 3.) Jon Schultz; 4.) Tristin Peebles; 5.) Derek Schnetzer; 6.) Ken Childre
First Heat: 1.) Ron Besaw; 2.) Joey Taycher; 3.) Bishofberger
Second Heat: 1.) Kevin Bethke; 2.) Travis Kleindl; 3.) Angie Wolf
Third Heat: 1.) Kleczka; 2.) Jerovetz; 3.) Rob Charapata
Fourth Heat: 1.) Howe; 2.) Todd Wiese; 3.) Tracy Wassenberg
TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Scott Besaw; 2.) Jerry Winkler; 3.) Mark Schultz; 4.) Jeff Jungwirth; 5.) Mike Nehmer; 6.) Frank Knaus; 7.) Richard Garb; 8.) Tim Reichenberger; 9.) Patty Winkler; 10.) Jim Pollnow
First Heat: 1.) Jeff Wicinsky; 2.) Garb; 3.) F. Knaus
Second Heat: 1.) Besaw; 2.) Dan Knaus; 3.) Jungwirth
Third Heat: 1.) Schultz; 2.) J. Winkler; 3.) P. Winkler
LYNN'S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Matt Brehmer; 2.) Cory Wegner; 3.) Jon Charles; 4.) Erik Kollman; 5.) Ben Meyerhoffer; 6.) Jim Mink; 7.) Christopher Maas; 8.) Tracy Peebles; 9.) Timothy Kudinger; 10.) Patrick Klawitter;
First Heat: 1.) Mike Montie; 2.) Meyerhoffer; 3.) Peebles
Second Heat: 1.) Wegner; 2.) Jason Fairbank; 3.) Brehmer
This article was posted to the website on May 19th, 2012