Two weeks ago, Justin Mondeik stood in victory lane after winning his first-career ARCA Midwest Tour race at his home track. Saturday night, the State Park Speedway points leader was accomplishing a similar feat once again, this time getting his maiden victory in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series.
Mondeik used the choose cone to his advantage, choosing the outside lane during the only caution with 30 laps remaining, moving from fourth to the outside front row. He would wrestle the lead away from race-long leader Jordan Thiel on the ensuing restart, checking out from the field for his 12th win of 2020.
“We had a good car, we were kind of getting boxed in right away. I felt like we would be the car to beat and it worked out great for us with the lane choice there,” Mondeik told Speed51. “I felt like we were the better car on the top, nobody wanted to go to the outside so I went to the outside and got clear in two or three laps. We won the Detjens Memorial with the ARCA Midwest Tour and now we’ve got our first TUNDRA win here, too.”
The win gave him number three for the weekend after sweeping twin features at Norway Speedway the night before. Mondeik now has a winning percentage of .500 on the year, with 12 wins in 24 starts.
He hopes to keep his breakout year going as he chases titles with TUNDRA and the ARCA Midwest Tour, in addition to going after a track title at State Park.
“We got the FK Rod Ends Driver of the Month in July and we’re now off to a good start here in August. We’ve got three feature wins already. We’re going to keep it going here hopefully and get this TUNDRA championship wrapped up hopefully.”
Jordan Thiel started on the pole after Mondeik rolled an 11 for the invert. He led the first 40 laps while holding State Park Speedway shoe Mark Mackesy at bay during lapped traffic. After losing the lead on the restart, he held off charges from Mackesy and two-time defending series champion Casey Johnson to score his best finish with the series since he won the TUNDRA finale at Dells Raceway Park back in 2017.
“I started on the pole, which helped out a ton. Track position is huge. We normally don’t do too well here, so when I got out to the lead it was great just to keep hearing that my lead was extending,” Thiel said. “That caution was the last thing I wanted to hear but I’m just happy to get a top-three and keep the car in one piece.”
Having competed in every race the series has ran since the 2016 season, Thiel preached about the importance of performing well with the short season TUNDRA has.
“Only having six races, you’ve got to be on top of your game for all six races. If you have one bad night it can ruin your whole points series. You want to try to finish top-five, top-ten in everything. You obviously want to win every night but with only six races you’ve got to be on your A-game every race.”
Johnson and Macksey followed Thiel across the line in third and fourth, while Brock Heinrich backed up his first-career Super Late Model win last Thursday with a fifth-place run.
Click here to watch a replay of Saturday night’s TUNDRA Super Late Model Series race at State Park Speedway.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
TUNDRA SLM – State Park Speedway Results:
- Justin Mondeik
- Jordan Thiel
- Casey Johnson
- Mark Mackesy
- Brock Heinrich
- John Beale
- Gabe Sommers
- James Swan
- Jake Zellmer
- Michael Ostdiek
- Mike Lichtfield
- Riley Stenjem
- Travis Volm
- Wyatt Brooks
- Darek Gress
- Kody Hubred
- Nick Roehl
- Dillon Mackesy
- Parker Retzlaff
- Jeremy Lepak
- Josh Wallace
- Dennis Schmidt