Every racer loves a good challenge. That’s why, when the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series heads to Jefferson Speedway each season, drivers seem to come out of the woodwork ready to rise to the occasion.
This year’s event – taking place this Saturday – promises to be no different. Entries for Round Two at Wiscsonsin’s Action Track include Champions, challengers and some very intriguing competitors who could play the dark horse. In all, it’s the perfect mix for a wildly entertaining 75-lap affair.
Perhaps the most eyes will be on a pair of three-time TUNDRA Champions, Casey Johnson and Dalton Zehr. Johnson is a product of Jefferson Speedway and is always sure to be heard from when TUNDRA rolls into town. He made his TUNDRA debut at Jefferson in 2013 and has since won two of the next five events. Zehr is fresh off a win in the series’ season opener at Dells Raceway Park on July 4. He capped off his second TUNDRA Championship with a win at Jefferson in 2015. His teammate John Beale was the most recent winner at Jefferson in 2018.
While those two may have a dispute between themselves to settle, there are plenty of other hungry competitors from the ranks of TUNDRA. Mike Lichtfeld enters with a slim one-point lead over Zehr courtesy of his fast time and Second Place run at DRP. He has found success at Jefferson in the past with three Top Five finishes in his first three appearances at the quarter-mile.
In hot pursuit of Lichtfeld will be two of Wisconsin’s up-and-coming stars in Gabe Sommers and Justin Mondeik. Sommers comes off a Third Place finish at DRP, and recorded a solid Top Five in his first ever TUNDRA race at Jefferson two seasons ago. Mondeik enters as one of the hottest drivers in the Midwest. He’s already recorded wins at Golden Sands Speedway, State Park Speedway (Flip Merwin Memorial), and Norway Speedway’s Stateline Challenge.
Plenty of other TUNDRA regulars could be in the mix to shake things up, as well. Wyatt Brooks recorded his first TUNDRA win at Jefferson in 2017. For much of that race he battled his teammate Jordan Thiel, who retired with mechanical issues. Darek Gress and Jordan Devoy have also enjoyed strong runs at Jefferson, including leading late in races only to have bad luck creep up on them.
Although plenty of TUNDRA Travelers will be in the mix, there will be some heavy hitters with local ties to keep an eye on. Five-time track Champion Dale Nottestad was poised to join this event last season before a rainout spoiled the fun. This year he is prepared to make his TUNDRA debut, hoping to join an elite group of racers to win in their debut.
Along with Nottestad, former Jefferson Late Model racer turned TUNDRA EPYK Media Rookie contender Kody Hubred could be ready to park in Victory Lane again. Hubred scored four wins at Jefferson last season, and expects a large turnout of his family and friends to root him on. Riley Stenjem will be in a similar position, although Stenjem has grabbed a checkered in Late Model action more recently. Stenjem won the season opener at Jefferson and held the point lead for the first few weeks of action. He hopes his Super Late Model debut will be a memorable one.
As for other Late Model turned Super Late Model competitors, two could pose very interesting threats. Max Kahler will make his first TUNDRA start after scoring a win and a Fourth Place finish in the first two Big 8 Late Model Series races this season, giving him an early point lead. Braison Bennett is a former TUNDRA Rookie of the Year who has been running up front each week at Wisconsin International Raceway hoping to defend his Late Model Championship from a season ago. With a Super Late Model to run from time to time, he wants to take another crack at the Action Track.
Plenty more storylines are sure to develop throughout the afternoon. Brock Heinrich will look to claim another $100 for being the EPYK Media Top Rookie of the Race. Chad Butz makes his return to TUNDRA action after a much improved 2019 season. Dennis Schmidt and Jake Zellmer continue to show good pace, as well. Colin Reffner and Minnesota’s Michael Ostdiek hope to bounce back after a hard-luck day in the Dells.
All of this and more will play out right in front of a fun and hearty fan base at Jefferson this Saturday. TUNDRA will be joined by the Bandits, Bandoleros, Legends, and the Sportsman-Hobby Stock Shootout. Qualifying is scheduled for 5 pm with racing at 7 pm.
Jefferson Speedway is located at W8135 US Hwy 18 just outside of Jefferson, Wis. For more information visit jeffersonspeedway.com
Round Two – Jefferson Speedway Saturday, July 18 Expected Entry List (28 as of 7/14/20) 00 – Darek Gress, Neillsville, Wis. [TT] 2 – Jordan Thiel, Darboy, Wis. [TT] 2 – Dale Nottestad, Cambridge, Wis. 5 – Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis. [TT] 8 – Chad Butz, Green Bay, Wis. [TT] 9 – Braison Bennett, Neenah, Wis. 15 – Gabe Sommers, Plover, Wis. [TT] 17 – Max Kahler, Caledonia, Ill. 18 – Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn. [TT] 20 – Kody Hubred, Utica, Wis. [TT][R] 25 – Wyatt Brooks, Amherst, Wis. [TT] 32 – Steve Lichtfeld, Portage, Wis. [TT] 33 – Kevin Knuese, Waukesha, Wis. [TT] 34 – Brandon Hill, Lake Geneva, Wis. 38 – Jordan DeVoy, Lake Geneva, Wis. [TT] 40 – Curt Tillman, Rockford, Ill. 44 – Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville, Wis. [TT] 44 – Justin Mondeik, Gleason, Wis. [TT] 51 – Dennis Schmidt, Juneau, Wis. [TT] 52 – Brock Heinrich, Wausau, Wis. [TT][R] 54 – Chad Devine, Mackville, Wis. [TT] 77 – Riley Stenjem, Stoughton, Wis. 79 – Craig Phillips, Verona, Wis. 87 – Colin Reffner, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. [TT] 87 – Josh Wallace, Genoa City, Wis. [TT] 89 – Mike Egan, Slinger, Wis. [TT] 99 – Jake Zellmer, Burlington, Wis. [TT] 119 – Dalton Zehr, Verona, Wis. [TT]