John Beale kicked off the 2020 season at Golden Sands Speedway by winning the Trickle 99 on Sunday afternoon. The defending Wisconsin Challenge Series champion took a Pro Late Model to the 1/3-mile and was able to beat the Super Late Models to start racing season in Central Wisconsin with a victory.
Beale ran in the top three for much of the race after first inheriting the lead on lap eight of the 99-lap event. After a restart stacked up the field with 24 laps to go, he passed reigning ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year Gabe Sommers, then race-long leader Chad Butz with around 20 laps to go to score the win.
“Early on, two guys were running side-by-side and took each other out and I inherited the lead. We have a Crate car and on the restarts a couple guys got me. After that, we had a long green flag run and I was barely holding on,” Beale told Speed51.
“I was on the guy’s bumper for so long, I was pushing water at 270 and the whole right side of my body was burning. They were working each other and I finally had enough and went for it and I got the lead and win.”
Golden Sands Speedway’s Trickle 99 is one of several versions of the race throughout the state of Wisconsin to honor the late Dick Trickle. To win a race with the legend’s name tied to it and to do it just miles from Trickle’s hometown of Rudolph, WI, Beale says it is special.
“Anything related to Dick Trickle, he’s the best in the whole world since man was created. To have my name tied to him at all and be in the record books on Memorial Day weekend, it literally doesn’t get any better. A hundred lapper on a Monday afternoon in Central Wisconsin, life doesn’t get any better.”
Plover’s own Gabe Sommers turned a strong run into a runner-up finish at his home track. The 2019 ARCA Midwest Tour and TUNDRA Super Late Model Series winner was satisfied with his run on Sunday, but acknowledged he may have given the win away on the final restart.
“It was a really good run, I just ran out of time. That last caution there I made a bad decision to take the outside, I probably should’ve taken the inside” Sommers said. “It’s really cool to get back out here, I’ve been waiting for a really long time and it feels really good to be back on the track.”
Former Kulwicki Driver Development Program competitor Justin Mondeik had a long road to finish third. He had to work his way back through the field after tapping out and taking responsibility for an incident in the opening laps while racing for the lead.
“We were definitely a lot faster than the No. 51 (Dennis Schmidt) on the inside and he was really free on exit so I pulled up to his rear and as he got free his right rear just clipped my right front. I hate that I had got into him and spun him and I feel bad for him and [Mike] Litchfield,” Mondeik said of the incident. “We rebounded pretty good so it was a good day.”
“We showed up today and we had a pretty fast car. We didn’t qualify as fast as we should’ve. We had a good roll of the dice and started on the outside front row.”
Chad Butz and Ryan Farrell rounded out the top five.