PORTAGE, Wis. – A field full of contenders will convene at Central Wisconsin’s Power Playground this Monday when the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series makes its traditional Labor Day stop at Golden Sands Speedway.
The race will be the second-to-last stop of the 2021 season and could prove to be critical in a tight Championship battle. Four-time series titlist Casey Johnson currently leads second-year racer Riley Stenjem by 14 points. The lead duo have the next five competitors looking to make up ground at the third-mile.
Wisconsin’s winningest driver Justin Mondeik may be tagged as a favorite for Monday’s event, but his road to a second straight series victory at GSS won’t be an easy one. The defending track Champion and current point leader has score double digits in the win column this season and knows what it takes to get around the sweeping circuit in a swift fashion. Some of his nearest competitors have found ways to be fast as well.
Hot on his heels will be two-time Trickle Memorial 99 winner John Beale. Beale has proven to find success at Golden Sands this season. The last time the series visited Central Wisconsin in June at Marshfield Motor Speedway, Beale recorded a season-best Third Place finish. He’ll be looking for more Central Wisconsin magic come Monday.
Also in the title hunt are top EPYK Media rookie Grant Thompson and Jordan Thiel. Those drivers are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to experience at Golden Sands. Thompson, the teenage sensation from Alabama will be making his first visit to Plover. Thiel has raced multiple seasons at the track and has recorded many victories along the way. A win for either would go a long way toward making up ground in the point standings.
Sitting behind the leaders is a driver looking to break through for his first TUNDRA win, and a visit back to his home area might bring it. Last year’s EPYK Media Rookie of the Year Brock Heinrich is creeping closer and closer toward his first visit to Victory Lane. Coming off a successful Third Place run at Jefferson in July, he and his team continue to make strides that are making other competitors take notice.
The leaders of the pack shouldn’t be overshadowed, however. Johnson, now considered one of the top racers in the country, always seems to find ways to improve down the stretch run. While Golden Sands has been a challenge for him in the past, he can look back to last year’s Fourth Place finish to build upon. Stenjem, much like Johson’s understudy Thompson, has no Supe Late Model experience at Plover. Lack of experience hasn’t proven to been much of a hurdle for Stenjem in the past, and fans can expect to see the 77 in contention.
Aside from the title contenders, the field will be littered with point standing spoilers looking to grab the trophy. Among those drivers are the Lichtfeld brothers. Mike is a past TUNDRA winner at Golden Sands, outdueling Thiel to grab his first series win in 2017. Steve has shown excellent speed and performance in weekly racing at Golden Sands. His program is gaining momentum too, coming off a win in last week’s CWRA race at Dells Raceway Park.
The EPYK Media rookies may be ones to watch. Kulwicki Driver Development finalist Max Kahler has been chasing bad luck in his TUNDRA program this season, but has found success racing at Rockford. With some wins under his belt, Kahler could find some swagger come Monday. Luke Westenberg is coming off a Rookie of the Race performance with TUNDRA at Jefferson, and also grabbed a weekly Late Model win in a stout field at Jefferson last week.
In addition, Brady Bill will certainly be one who could be heard from. Bill ran the Late Model triple crown at Golden Sands this season and hopes to put those laps to use. Dorchester’s Mike Olson hasn’t visited Golden Sands in a few years, but experienced success last time he joined TUNDRA at the facility. He made the dash and recorded a Top Ten finish.
Other drivers to watch will be Marshfield Speedway point leader Darren Jackson, WIR invaders Braison Bennett and Brian Henry, former GSS Champion Wyatt Brooks, and a trio of TUNDRA Travelers who have found success at Golden Sands in Jeremy Lepak, Jordan DeVoy, and Jake Zellmer.
TUNDRA Round Five takes place this Monday, September 6 at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wis. TUNDRA will be joined by the WIR Quarter-Mile Late Models, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, and 4 Cylinder Stocks. Fan gates open at noon, qualifying is at 12:15, and racing begins at 2 pm.
Golden Sands Speedway is located at 11000 Hwy. 54 between Wisconsin Rapids and Plover. For more information visit http://www.gssraces.com
Golden Sands Speedway
Monday, September 6, 2021
Expected Entries (29) as of 9/3/21
# – Driver, Hometown
1W – Wyatt Blashe, Pella, Wis.
2 – Jordan Thiel, Darboy, Wis.
2 – Darren Jackson, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5 – Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis.
5B – John Beale, Verona, Wis.
7 – Brian Henry, Omro, Wis.
9 – Braison Bennett, Neenah, Wis.
16 – Luke Westenberg, Jefferson, Wis.
17 – Max Kahler, Caledonia, Ill.
25 – Wyatt Brooks, Amherst, Wis.
31 – Corey Jankowsi, Tomah, Wis.
32 – Steve Lichtfeld, Portage, Wis.
33 – Kevin Kneuse, Waukesha, Wis.
38 – Jordan DeVoy, Lake Geneva, Wis.
40 – Curt Tillman, Rockford, Ill.
40 – Jeremy Lepak, Wausau, Wis.
44 – Justin Mondeik, Gleason, Wis.
44 – Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville, Wis.
52 – Brock Heinrich, Wausau, Wis.
54 – Grant Thompson, Mobile, Ala.
58 – Joe Scholze, Holmen, Wis.
64 – Mike Olson, Dorchester, Wis.
70 – Brady Bill, Reedsburg, Wis.
77 – Riley Stenjem, Utica, Wis.
87 – Brent Edmunds, Monticello, Wis.
89 – Mike Egan, Slinger, Wis.
99 – Jake Zellmer, Muskego, Wis.
107.5 – Darek Gress, Neillsville, Wis.
711 – Driver TBA, Rangeline, Wis.