With title hopes in mind, contenders for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series 2017 Championship will have more than a few challengers looking to play spoiler in Round Five Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes at Golden Sands Speedway on Labor Day.
Thanks to bonuses from Wegner Automotive Research, there is an extra $500 on the line for the winner of the event and extra $100 prizes for top TUNDRA and Golden Sands Speedway regulars.
Two-time TUNDRA Champion Dalton Zehr still headlines the title race with a 26-point lead over Cole Anderson. Although Zehr stretched out his lead in the last event at State Park Speedway, he lost ground to Anderson, who jumped from Fourth to Second. The former co-Dean’s Satellite and Security Rookie of the Year continues to find consistency in both qualifying and feature finishes since his win in Round Two at LaCrosse.
In reference to rookies, John Beale and Colin Reffner are still very much in the title conversation – just 42 and 46 points back of Zehr. Both drivers continue to scrap for the Rookie of the Year title. Reffner has had past success in his time at Golden Sands by taking the Super Late Model Rookie of the Year title at the facility in 2011. Beale may not have as many laps, but he set fast time and made his way to the lead of the feature in last week’s 50-lap feature at the third-mile.
Fellow rookie Grant Griesbach also secured a Top Ten finish in his debut at Golden Sands last week. The 15-year-old Pewaukee High School sophomore is coming off his first Super Late Model feature win at Slinger Speedway just over a week ago.
What may be most unique about the TUNDRA stop at Golden Sands is that a good number of TUNDRA Travelers are also GSS regulars. Mike Lichtfeld sits Seventh in TUNDRA points, but is the current point leader of the Golden Sands Super Late Model program. Wyatt Brooks has collected two feature wins at the facility along with his win in TUNDRA Round Three at Jefferson. Jordan Thiel, Jeremy Lepak, and Steve Lichtfeld also compete regularly at GSS, and certainly should be threats come Monday.
As for those who compete at GSS regularly – Darren Jackson, Mike Olson, and Frank Nitzke have experienced success in past TUNDRA events. Olson made the dash in last year’s event and Nitzke has past podium finishes in TUNDRA action at GSS. Also, track owner Cody Smiley is slated to jump back behind the wheel and make his TUNDRA debut.
Not to be outdone are last year’s First and Second Place finishers. Mark Mackesy and Derek Kraus put on an epic duel in last year’s event…just weeks after doing the same at State Park Speedway. Both drivers will be on hand once again. Kraus is riding some TUNDRA momentum after yet another Second Place finish in this year’s series stop at Wausau.
Other drivers with past TUNDRA success to keep an eye on will be: Mike Egan, Adam Peschek, and Bryan Syer-Keske. Egan has a past podium finish at Golden Sands in TUNDRA action. Peschek finished Third in his TUNDRA debut at Jefferson. Keske qualified into the dash at State Park and shared the Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 with Anderson.
Several drivers are also expected to make their TUNDRA debuts or returns to the series after some time off including WIR Late Model racers Mike King Jr. and Todd Verhagen, Norway Speedway feature winner Tyler Radavich, and Brian Hakala.
TUNDRA will be joined by the Midwest Truck Series and Sportsman. Fan gates open at noon, qualifying is at 12:30, and racing is scheduled to begin at 3 P.M.
Golden Sands Speedway is located on Highway 54 between Plover and Wisconsin Rapids. For more information visit www.gssraces.com
Round Five Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes Golden Sands Speedway – Plover, WI Expected Entries (33) as of 8/30/17 Car # – Driver, Hometown
00 – Darek Gress, Neillsville, WI 2 – Jordan Thiel, Darboy, WI 2 – Darren Jackson, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 4 – Mike King Jr., Kimberly, WI 5B – John Beale, Verona, WI 9 – Braison Bennett, Neenah, WI 9 – Derek Kraus, Stratford, WI 12 – Mark Mackesy, Wausau, WI 13 – Cody Smiley, Plover, WI 13 – Tyler Radavich, Eldorado, WI 17 – Grant Griesbach, Pewaukee, WI 17 – Gregg Pawelski, West Allis, WI 18 – Frank Nitzke, Berlin, WI 25 – Wyatt Brooks, Amherst, WI 27 – Paul Paine, Mound, MN 31 – Corey Jankowski, Tomah, WI 32 – Steve Lichtfeld, Portage, WI 38 – Jordan DeVoy, Lake Geneva, WI 40 – Jeremy Lepak, Ringle, WI 42 – Brian Hakala, Wisconsin Dells, WI 44 – Justin Mondeik, Gleason, WI 44 – Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville, WI 52 – Todd Verhagen, Freedom, WI 64 – Mike Olson, Dorchester, WI 66 – Adam Peschek, Oconomowoc, WI 80 – Monte Gress, Neillsville, WI 81 – Bryan Syer-Keske, Lakeville, MN 87 – Colin Reffner, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 89 – Mike Egan, Slinger, WI 91 – Mickey Schallie, Darboy, WI 97 – Cole Anderson, Northfield, MN 98 – Brandon Selle, Dale, WI 711 – Dalton Zehr, Somewhereville, ID