ZEHR TOPS BATTLE OF CHAMPS IN TUNDRA SERIES
Saturday, August 29th, 2020
Just when it looked like Dalton Zehr had a leg up, Casey Johnson battled back. When it looked like Johnson was poised to break away, Zehr evened the score. Saturday’s Tundra Super Late Models Series race at Marshfield Motor Speedway was a true tussle between the three-time Champions.
Ultimately, it was Zehr who came out on top for his second Tundra series win of the 2020 season and 12th of his Tundra career.
Zehr and Johnson battled through a series of restarts that saw the past three-time Champions swapping lanes in hopes for the best path to victory. Johnson selected the outside line for the final restart with oil having been laid down on the bottom of the track during the previous caution. After a side-by-side battle for a couple of circuits, Zehr was able to pull ahead using the inside.
“It was impossible to figure out which line was better for the restart,” Zehr said of the duels with Johnson. “I’d get away on the high line one time, he’d get away on the low line the next, then on the final restart I got away on the inside line.”
At the drop of the green flag Zehr jumped away from fellow front-row starter Jeff Holmgren Jr. In short order he was joined in the top Five by the likes of Brock Heinrich, Holmgren, Justin Mondeik, and Johnson. The first caution of the race fell when Michael Ostdeik lost power on lap 14, which caused some major plot twists in the event.
Both Zehr and Heinrich selected the inside line for the restart, allowing Mondeik to join Zehr in the front row. Just as the field came back to the one to green, Mondeik lost power. A fuel pump issue dashed his chances for a second straight Tundra win.
Mondeik’s misfortune brought Johnson to the outside of Zehr. He would capitalize and secure the lead off the restart. It would be short-lived, however, as Corey Jankowski lost power, bringing out another caution just two laps later. The caution came just as Zehr was posing a challenge to Johnson for the lead.
Johnson took the inside line for the subsequent restart with Zehr flanking him to the outside. This time Zehr got the jump on Johnson and began to cruise away. As the top two settled in, Heinrich slid to third, Mike Lichtfeld grabbed fourth and the likes of fast qualifier Colin Reffner and Jordan Thiel were battling for fifth.
Another caution fell on lap 37 when Darren Jackson suffered a broken ball joint coming off of turn two. Once again Johnson and Zehr found themselves together in the front row. Again the fortunes would swing as Johnson wrestled the lead away from Zehr, only to see the yellow fall again with a melee that collected Brock Heinrich, James Swan, Mark Mackesy, and Kyle Gennett in turn one.
A lengthy clean up left Johnson and Zehr in one final showdown. With a cleanup being needed on the inside line, Johnson chose to restart on the outside. Zehr joined him, and was able to slip away using the inside line after the drop of the green.
Race car drivers John Beale & Dalton Zehr are sponsored by Gildan, American Apparel, Comfort Colors, Prim + Preux, Sugar River Pizza Company Verona, AMS Mobile Electronics, Best Cleaners, TJ Harron Photography & Make-A-Wish Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: TJ Harron