PORTAGE, Wis. - In 2013 Jefferson Speedway was the great unknown for many TUNDRA Travelers, leaving the likes of drivers like Casey Johnson ready to greet those coming to his home territory. This season, the story line has changed slightly.
Seasoned TUNDRA Travelers from the 2013 campaign are not only accept the challenge of going back to Wisconsin's Action Track, but are embracing a return trip to the tricky quarter-mile this Saturday, June 21.
After leading all 37 laps of action last year Nick Panitzke commented in Victory Lane that Jefferson was his new favorite track. Dalton Zehr posted to social media that he is looking forward to the three-wide racing the TUNDRA Travelers engaged in last season. He also referred to the two-time track champion Johnson, who was battling Zehr in the top five.
Johnson and fellow home-track competitors Trent Erdman and Tyler James will be hoping once again to turn away the TUNDRA Travelers - a feat that Johnson could not accomplish in a rain-shortened event one season ago.
Had the rains not come, an epic finish may have been in store. Panitzke was being chased down and was nearly passed by Frank Kreyer as the duo hit lapped traffic. As the leaders battled, Zehr Johnson and Eugene Gregorich Jr. were reeling in the top pair. This year could stack up in a similar fashion, but could see some new faces up front.
Gregorich has proven strong so far in 2014, resulting in a six-point lead over Bobby Kendall. While Gregorich will have notes from last year's strong showing, Saturday's event will be Kendall's first visit in a Super Late Model to Jefferson. So far 2014 has been a good year for Kendall with fast times at Madison, Dells and in the TUNDRA event at WIR. To go with his second and third-place TUNDRA feature finishes Kendall has also found victory lane at DRP.
Other drivers with recent weekly feature wins will hope to carry some of that momentum to Jefferson. Ty Majeski and Brent Strelka were victorious in their respective Red Race features at WIR on Saturday - races that typically bring tougher competition than a weekly event. Mike Lichtfeld scored his third feature win of the season at DRP on Saturday. In the second feature Corey Jankowski grabbed the checkered. He was also victorious on Friday night at Golden Sands.
With much weekly success to boast, all of the Travelers should have their sights set on the driver who can boast the most recent TUNDRA win - Michael Bilderback. Unlike many first time TUNDRA Travelers and rookies Bilderback does have some experience in Jefferson-style Late Models at the venue. In an interview on the Mississippi Thunder Race Report on 580 WKTY Bilderback mentioned how much he's looking forward to the challenge of Jefferson.
Top 10 in TUNDRA points entering Round Three:
|1||14||Eugene Gregorich, Jr. [TT]||239|
|2||11||Bobby Kendall [TT]||233|
|3||119||Dalton Zehr [TT]||220|
|4||40||Jeremy Lepak [TT]||215|
|5||22||Nick Panitzke [TT]||209|
|6||36||Tom Gee Jr. [TT][R]||207|
|7||98||Brandon Selle [TT]||205|
|8||52||Brent Strelka [TT]||204|
|9||2||Michael Bilderback [TT]||203|
Round Three Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes begins with qualifying at 5 p.m. at Jefferson Speedway. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Fan gates will open at 3 p.m. The Mid-American Stock Car Series, IMCA Vintage Cars and Jefferson Road Warriors will also be competing.
Jefferson Speedway is located on Highway 18 just outside of Jefferson, Wis. For more information visit www.jeffersonspeedway.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 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).
Round Three Expected Entries
26 as of 6-16-14[TT] - TUNDRA Traveler [R] - Dean's Satellite Rookie
01 - Claire Decker. Eagle River, Wis. [TT]
2 - Michael Bilderback, South Beloit, Ill. [TT]
5 - Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis.
7 - Kelsey Bauer, West Bend, Wis. [TT]
8 - Billy Mohn, Lakeville, Minn. [TT]
11K - Bobby Kendall, Montello, Wis. [TT]
11E - Trent Erdman, Fort Atkinson, Wis.
14 - Eugene Gregorich Jr., Amherst, Wis. [TT]
18N - Frank Nitzke, Berlin, Wis. [TT]
18I - Jordan Ives, Gladstone, Mich. [TT]
22 - Nick Panitzke, Lakeville, Minn. [TT]
27 - Tyler James, Oconomowoc, Wis.
31 - Corey Jankowski, Tomah, Wis. [TT]
32 - Steve Lichtfeld, Portage, Wis. [TT]
33 - Reagan May, West De Pere, Wis. [R]
35 - Travis Dassow, West Bend, Wis. [TT]
36 - Tom Gee Jr., Sobieski, Wis. [R]
40 - Jeremy Lepak, Ringle, Wis. [TT]
44 - Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville, Wis. [R]
52 - Brent Strelka, Freedom, Wis. [TT]
54 - Rich Schumann Jr., Portage, Wis. [R]
78 - Wyatt Blashe, Clintonville, Wis. [R]
79 - Morgan Rassmussen, Twin Falls, Idaho [R]
91 - Ty Majeski, Seymour, Wis. [TT]
98 - Brandon Selle, Dale, Wis. [TT]
119 - Dalton Zehr, Daytona Beach, Fla. [TT]