PORTAGE, Wis. – One of the major plot lines from TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Round One of the 2014 season was how the series travelers would stack up against the best of Wisconsin International Raceway. From top to bottom the results were mixed, even the winning team was a combination of traveler and local.
As TUNDRA begins its fifth season this Saturday, May 9, once again the best of TUNDRA will be have to face drivers who know the D-shaped half-mile very well.
Leading the charge for TUNDRA is defending series Champion Dalton Zehr. Zehr won the season-opening event last season in the Appleton-based Chase Motorsports entry. This season Zehr will be behind the wheel of his familiar red number 119. With wins last year at WIR and two season ago at Golden Sands, Zehr will be looking to win his third straight TUNDRA lid lifter.
Another strong contender carrying the TUNDRA colors will be Ty Majeski. Majeski became the youngest TUNDRA winner last season when he captured the checkered flag at Dells Raceway Park in August. He has had success at WIR, as well. Last season Majeski won the Red Race and nearly captured the overall Red, White and Blue Championship, if not for mechanical issues during the Blue Race.
Majeski’s loss was another TUNDRA Traveler’s gain. WIR local turned TUNDRA Traveler Maxwell Schultz picked up a share of the RW&B Championship last season. His last-lap pass for third-place forced a tie with Brett Piontek. Schultz has finished second and third in weekly Fox River Racing Club standings, and should be viewed as a top contender for Saturday.
Countering a tough field of TUNDRA Travelers will be many tough competitors from WIR, including 4-time Champion Jeff Van Oudenhoven. He, along with Andy Monday have multiple feature wins to boast at the facility. They have also captured many fast times on Thursday nights, and will hope to make it look routine this weekend.
In mention of fast times, last year’s Round One fast qualifier Bobby Kendall will be a part of the event. Kendall will compete in select TUNDRA races this season, but will compete regularly at WIR on Thursday nights as he did two seasons ago.
Former WIR Late Model Champions Jim Duchow, Cory Kemkes and Brent Strelka will also test their meddle against the TUNDRA Travelers. Both Kemkes and Strelka competed in Round One last season. Strelka placed 12th, Kemkes 14th.
Although the Chase Motorsports machine will not be piloted by Zehr this season, an able new driver will step in. Last year’s TUNDRA Round Two winner and former Big 8 Series Champion Casey Johnson will be carrying the banner for the locals at Round One. He will compete regularly on Thursday nights and run for Rookie of the Year. Fellow WIR Super Late Model rookie Alex Stumpf has also filed an entry for Round One.
Several other outside forces could worry the WIR regulars. Top Dean’s Satellite Rookie contenders from one year ago Regan May, Mike Lichtfeld and Wyatt Blashe are hungry to bounce back from missing the cut in qualifying last season.
Illinois drivers Austin Nason and Dan Lensing have already made noise early this season. Nason picked up a Pro Late Model win at Speedweeks in February and Lensing set fast time in a stout field for the Ice Breaker 100 at Dells Raceway Park. Jeremy Lepak and Steve Rubeck have had mixed success at WIR, and could also be seen up front.
Two other past Champions may find themselves toward the front on Saturday, as well. Former Marshfield and Golden Sands Champion Jim Sauter Jr. has filed an entry. He last competed at the WIR Midwest Tour race in August and scored a tenth-place finish. The field will also hope to contain 2-time Slinger Champion Steve Apel. Apel struggled last year in TUNDRA Round One at WIR, but is off to a fast start at Slinger once again this season.
Several TUNDRA Rookies will look to make their names known, as well. Greg Pawelski and Wyatt Brooks will make their TUNDRA debuts Saturday. They will join a rookie class with two Minnesota drivers. Kyle Hansen of Lesueur, Minn., and Cole Anderson of Northfield, Minn., were both Elko Speedway Rookies of the Year last season.
Round One for the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes is set for Saturday, May 9 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, Wis. Qualifying is set for 12:30 P.M. with racing to begin at 2. Area Street Stocks, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, Vintage and Figure 8s will complete the card for the event. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up. Kids 12 and under receive free admission.
Wisconsin International Raceway is located at W1460 County Road KK, just past the roundabout at Hwy 55 and KK outside of Kaukauna, Wis. For more information visit www.wirmotorsports.com
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park. TUNDRA’s business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and the final 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).
TUNDRA Round One Expected Entries
31 as of 5/5/15
07 – Cory Kemkes, Appleton, Wis.
1 – Jesse Oudenhoven, Kaukauna, Wis.
7 – Kelsey Dassow [TT], West Bend, Wis.
10 – Andy Monday, Appleton, Wis.
11 – Bobby Kendall, Montello, Wis.
12 – Jim Duchow, Appleton, Wis.
14 – Austin Nason, Roscoe, Ill.
17 – Scott Hoffman [TT], Menominee, Mich.
17 – Greg Pawelski [TT][R], West Allis, Wis.
18 – Frank Nitzke, Berlin, Wis.
19 – Dan Lensing [TT], Roscoe, Ill.
22 – Kyle Hansen [TT][R], Lesueur, Minn.
31W – Wyatt Brooks [TT][R], Amherst, Wis.
31 – Corey Jankowski [TT], Tomah, Wis.
32 – Steve Lichtfeld [TT], Portage, Wis.
33 – Reagan May [TT], West De Pere, Wis.
34 – Maxwell Schultz [TT], Reedsville, Wis.
40 – Jeremy Lepak [TT], Ringle, Wis.
44 – Mike Lichtfeld [TT], Pardeeville, Wis.
45 – Jim Sauter Jr., Necedah, Wis.
45 – Jeff Van Oudenhoven, Kimberly, Wis.
47 – Casey Johnson, Stoughton, Wis.
51 – Steve Apel, Slinger, Wis.
52 – Brent Strelka, Freedom, Wis.
60 – Alex Stumpf, Brillion, Wis.
61 – Steve Rubeck [TT], Cherry Valley, Ill.
72 – Randy Schuler, Mukwanago, Wis.
78 – Wyatt Blashe [TT], Clintonville, Wis.
91 – Ty Majeski [TT], Seymour, Wis.
97 – Cole Anderson [TT][R],Northfield, Minn.
119 – Dalton Zehr [TT], Middleton, Idaho
-TUNDRA Press Release