Kaukauna, WI — It is rare to be in the position Casey Johnson finds himself in heading into Tuesday Night’s (August 6, 2019) Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway. Johnson, the defending Fox River Racing Club Champion, is atop both the FRRC and Midwest Tour Championship point standings. Having won the annual long-distance event at the D-shaped oval in 2017 and with two tour wins and two FRRC wins this season to add to his list of accomplishments, Johnson is at or near the top of the list of contenders when the Stars and Cars of the Midwest Tour roll into Kaukauna for the $10,000 to win, $1,200 to start, 250 lap event. Drivers from seven states have filed entries for ‘Wisconsin’s Richest One Day Race’ with over $70,000 in prize money being awarded.
Two former Midwest Tour Champions will make their return to Tour action Tuesday night as both 2011 Champion Andrew Morrissey and two-time Champ Dan Fredrickson (2008, 2013) have filed their entries for the traditional first Tuesday in August event. Morrissey celebrated two Tour wins in 2018 Midwest Tour action, including the season ending Oktoberfest Race Weekend 200 in LaCrosse. Meanwhile Fredrickson, the second leading Midwest Tour feature winner looks to improve upon his 2018 Dixieland performance. Fredrickson saw victory slip away on a late race restart when Mississippi’s Chase Purdy shot past the Minnesota driver, relegating Fredrickson to second place. After an extremely strong showing at Milwaukee in which he wound up third, Fredrickson is coming into Tuesday night with one goal in mind.
He has three Red, White and Blue State Championships and five Fox River Racing Club Championships to his credit, but Jeff Van Oudenhoven has yet to taste victory in the Dixieland 250 at WIR. The veteran driver and former MARS Super Late Model Champion has contended in his past Dixieland efforts. Another former Fox River Champ and 2019 Thursday night winner that plans to battle for the win is Andy Monday. Monday, the popular 2017 FRRC Champion has one of the dominant cars at WIR year in and year out. Another Red, White and Blue State Champion that should be considered a threat is Bobby Kendall. The two-time and defending RWB Champion wowed the Kaukauna faithful last Thursday night by charging past Johnson in the late stages of the Bruce Mueller Memorial to record the victory after ‘The Montello Missile’ set fast time earlier in the evening. He finished third in the 2016 edition of the Dixieland.
In addition to Johnson, both Rich Bickle, Jr and Dennis Prunty are in search of Dixieland win number two. It has been thirty years since Bickle took home the Dixieland top-prize. The former NASCAR driver has been oh-so-close to victory this season at a multitude of tracks only to have it slip away. Known for his successes in longer distance races such as this, the five time Snowball Derby Champ has the Dixieland checkered flag in his sights three years ago, before mechanical gremlins ended his charge to the front. Like Bickle, Dennis Prunty has also found success on some of the biggest stages. The former Slinger Super Speedway Track Champion won the 2015 Slinger Nationals and backed that up by winning the 2016 Dixieland 250. He will be making his first tour start of the 2019 campaign.
A trio of drivers performing on national television are also expecting big things at WIR this Tuesday. Making his first ever ARCA Midwest Tour start, NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Driver Daniel Hemric will trade the seat of his RCR #8 Chevrolet for his Wimmer Motorsports prepared #54 Super Late Model to attempt to add his name to the Dixieland winner’s list. The North Carolina native will have the Tour’s all-time winningest driver and four time Tour Champion Ty Majeski as well as the current NASCAR K&N West Point Leader and youngest Tour feature winner Derek Kraus sharing the spotlight. Majeski, clicked off three wins and nearly pulled off four in a row in ARCA Menards Series action, winning at Charlotte, Pocono and Chicagoland this season. The Seymour, WI native started the season off on the right foot winning the Winter Showdown at Kern County Speedway in California and recovered late to finish second at Milwaukee in June. Meanwhile, heading into last week’s action, Kraus, from Stratford, WI was atop both the K&N East and West point standings, attempting to make NASCAR history by winning two touring series Championships in the same season. Kraus now sits second in the East and is still out front in the West and has posted a season leading five wins through the end of July.
With big ARCA Midwest Tour victories to their credit, both Austin Nason and Gabe Sommers are expected to flex their muscle in the Dixieland 250 Tuesday night. A two time winner on Tour in 2018, Nason captured the biggest win of his career on Father’s Day at the Milwaukee Mile a month and a half ago, charging to the front with just 6 miles remaining in the contest. Nason recorded the Joe Shear Classic and All-Star 100 win last season in his runner-up effort in the final Tour point standings and had previously won at the World Series of Asphalt during Speedweeks in New Smyrna, FL during February Speedweeks. Sommers, the newest winner in ARCA Midwest Tour history, collected the hardware after the Larry Detjens Memorial last Saturday night in Wausau. He too found success in Florida, putting together a solid performance which netted the 16 year old driver runner-up honors in the final World Series standings this year at New Smyrna Speedway.
2018 Kulwicki Cup Champion Brett Yackey will once again make the trip from Greeley, CO to try his hand at the Dixieland 250. After a lackluster showing in last year’s event in which he failed to make the starting grid of 30, Yackey returned west and put a string of wins together both at his home track, Colorado National Speedway and at Tucson Speedway’s annual Turkey Shootout. Yackey is determined to show what makes him a threat in the west each time he gets behind the wheel. He may have finished ninth at Milwaukee in June, but Maine’s Eddie MacDonald was at the front of the field mixing it up during his first trip to ‘America’s Legendary Oval’. Now MacDonald will make his first start at WIR. The veteran east coast driver was in attendance last week following a practice session in Kaukauna, studying anything and everything he could. This coming just a month after his 11th career win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. MacDonald only trails former Dixieland winner Kyle Busch (2007) in career wins by one, at the ‘Magic Mile’ and is teamed with the Pathfinder Chassis crew which joined Matt Kenseth in victory lane at the Slinger Nationals this year.
The Kulwicki Driver Development Program will be well represented at the track where the 1992 NASCAR Champion and recent Hall of Fame inductee cut his teeth. Paul Shafer, Jr, the 2013 Illiana Motor Speedway Champion was in prime position to capture the Dixieland title two seasons ago before a restart found his ride bouncing off the dogleg wall coming to green. One of the most popular Midwest Tour drivers, Shafer finally broke through last May at Jefferson to record his first Midwest Tour win and was the hard charger of the race last week in Wausau. Carson Kvapil, a decorated outlaw go-kart driver who has made the transition to Super Late Model racing scored a Midwest Tour win last season and posted a runner-up effort at Rockford in June during his Rookie campaign. The son of former NASCAR Truck Champion Travis Kvapil, will make the voyage from North Carolina to compete Tuesday night. The third driver with Midwest ties in the KDDP class of 2019 is Luke Fenhaus. Hot off his best career Midwest Tour finish, fifth in the Larry Detjens Memorial, Fenhaus continues to turn heads in what has been a limited schedule. The Midwest Truck standout captured the 2018 State Park Speedway Championship, led at Oktoberfest and has been at or near the top of the speed-charts wherever he has gone this season.
Another Fox River regular that secured the third spot on the Dixieland podium was Brent Strelka following last August’s 250 lap event. Strelka, a former Late Model Champ at WIR has 31 career feature wins at the oval and currently sits fifth in FRRC weekly points. Kyle Calmes is another FRRC regular that has led laps in the Dixieland but has been unable to take the $10,000 check to the bank. Calmes, fourth in FRRC points will be joined on track by FRRC opening night winner and second place points man Maxwell Schultz. Schultz made the Touring Stars and visitors take notice when he posted the third quickest lap in qualifying one year ago. Veteran Dixieland and FRRC driver Pete Vandermolen, Grant Griesbach and Tim Springstroh will all look to protect their home turf.
Race fans will want to arrive early to see racing legends Dick Trickle and Joe Shear as well as ARTGO Challenge Series promoter John McKarns inducted into the Wisconsin International Circle of Fame on Tuesday night. Spectator gates open at 4pm, with qualifying at 5pm, fan autographs with the top 16 qualifiers at 6pm and racing action is slated to begin at 7pm with an ARCA Midwest Tour last chance event and the Big 8 Late Model Series Dixieland Delight 38 prior to the start of the Dixieland 250. Adult admission is just $20 with ages 12 and under admitted free. Wisconsin International Raceway is located just south of Highway 55 on County KK in Kaukauna, WI. For additional information including advanced tickets visit www.midwesttour.racing or call the Speedway at 920-766-5577.
ARCA Midwest Tour
Tuesday August 6, 2019
Wisconsin International Raceway, Kaukauna, WI
30 as of 7/31/19
Kulwicki DDP/Accu-Mix Concrete & Trucking/Ave Mtspts
John DeAngelis, Jr
DeAngelis Construction/D+H Demolition
Paul Shafer, Jr
Paul’s Auto Yards/ClassyChassisTrucks.com
B&K Trucking/Fanetti, Inc
Brew Pub Pizza/Ken’s Sports/Calmes Verkuilen Builders
Monday & Assoc/B&B Engines/Darboy Corner Store
Interstate Sealant & Concrete/American Family Insurance
American State Equipment
Montgomery Ward/Haase Builders/JRS Shocks
Tasteful Selections Potatoes/Kwik Trip/Wysocki Farms
Grimm Construction/Pathfinder Chassis
Schaefer Power Systems/Cobblestone Hotels/Racersites
Stockbridge Engineering/The Dude Design/Don’s Autobody
KDDP/Rice’s Honey/Champion Auto Parts/Port City Racecars
Bob’s Classic Restoration & Auto Body/SSS Mini Warehouses
Corvetteparts.net/Wehrs Machine/B&B Race Engines
Herman’s Landscape Supply/Justman Freight
Cut In Stone, LLC/Cambria/Tom’s Cabinets/Pirsch Law Offices
Club LaMark/B&B Racing Engines/MRI, Inc
Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup/Pathfinder
Agra Industries/Aqua Finance/Schaeffer’s Oil/A&A Lock Service
VanDenHeuvel Electric/Badgerland Demo/Bay Area Granite
Rich Bickle, Jr
B&B Lawncare and Snow Removal
Valley Gasket/Lake Park Pub/VanZeeland Collision & Paint
Valley Gasket/Lake Park Pub/Pathfinder Chassis/Tesar Engines
High Point Paint Services/Crazy Monkey Baking
Breber Music/Walter & Sons Waste Hauling/Wehrs Machine
Lingford Construction & Transport/Able Plumbing
iRacing.com/LeJeune Bolt/Black Diamond/Ken’s Sports
-ARCA Midwest Tour Press Release
-Photo Credit: ARCA Midwest Tour/Bruce Nuttleman