The TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes rolls into action for the final time next Monday, September 2 in Round Six Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes. The Cleaver 108 Presented by RacePal will write the final chapter in yet another memorable season.
Casey Johnson is in the driver’s seat to claim his second straight – and third overall – TUNDRA Championship. With his win in Round Five at Wausau, Johnson vaulted himself to a 73-point lead over Gabe Sommers. Johnson needs only to start a heat race and finish no worse than 24th in the feature to claim the title. Don’t expect him to sit back, however. Johnson claimed his 2016 Championship with a win at Jefferson and his 2018 Championship with an overall winner’s bonus last season in the twin features at Dells Raceway Park.
Gabe Sommers is sitting in solid position in the runner-up spot. Last year’s Rookie of the Year took a major step forward this season, picking up his first ever series win at Dells Raceway Park in July. His 24-point spread back to John Beale is not impossible to overcome, but Sommers has garnered good success at Plover. He most certainly will be one of the contenders for the win.
The space from Third to Sixth is where things get a bit dicey. Beale sits in the final podium spot, but is only two points ahead of Justin Mondeik. Jordan Thiel is only ten points back of Beale. The team of Dennis Prunty and Neil Knoblock is just 13 back. Any of these four could take the Third Place spoils.
Beale has enjoyed strong runs in races at Plover in the past. Mondeik is a threat to win each time he shows up at the third-mile. Thiel finished Second the last time TUNDRA visited GSS. Knoblock has won big races at Golden Sands in the past. A strong day and some lucky breaks could make all the difference in this grouping.
Much the same are spots Seven through 11. Top Rookie Rich Schumann Jr. sits in the Seventh spot, three points ahead of Jordan Devoy. Devoy is clear of Chad Butz by just three markers. Mike Lichtfeld trails Butz by one point. The team of Joel Theisen and Andy Monday is just four points back of Lichtfeld. This grouping could be a wild card come next Monday.
Schumann has little experience at Plover, but has proven to be strong in all situations this season. Devoy will be running a backup car, but claims Golden Sands as one of his favorite tracks and one that suits his driving style. Butz enjoyed good success in his CWRA appearances this year at GSS. Lichtfeld is the most recent TUNDRA winner at the facility. Andy Monday will be tagging in for Theisen, but has experience at Plover in the older days of the Wisconsin Challenge Series.
Several other drivers could make a push toward the Top Ten in Monday’s finale. Darek Gress is only 20 points back of the spot and has won CWRA races at Golden Sands in the past two seasons. Wyatt Brooks sits 24 points out and has won major races at GSS. He also leads their season points with one event left. Colin Reffner will have to do some work to make the 27-point jump, but he has proven fast at the facility in the past.
Another possible factor in Monday’s race will be the length of the event. Due to TUNDRA’s tire program and the loss of the Jefferson race, teams will be allowed four new tires instead of three. The race will be lengthened from 75 laps to 108 trips around the third-mile. The drivers that are able to adjust and endure may be the ones moving up the point standings when the checkered flag falls.
TUNDRA will be joined by the WIR 1/4-Mile and 602 Late Models, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, and Bandit Shootout. Fan gates open at noon, qualifying is at 12:30, and racing begins at 2.
Golden Sands Speedway is located on Highway 54 between Plover and Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. For more information visit www.gssraces.com