Wausau, WI – Tim Sauter continues his State Park Speedway dominance Thursday night and became the first driver to sweep the tracks ‘Big Three’ races. The Flip Merwin Memorial, Larry Detjens Memorial and Lodi Memorial stand as State Park Speedway’s biggest events of the year and now one driver has won them all in the same year. “Coming into this week I felt a little more pressure towards that, but everything stayed together and it’s pretty cool,” said Tim Sauter, “I wouldn’t have expected it earlier this year, but after the Midwest Tour race I thought my car was good enough and we might be able to do this.”
Jesse Haase took the early lead in the Lodi Memorial 100 presented by Bartelt Insurance. He held it for the first seven laps, until Tucker Miller, who had slipped back to third, got a good run on the outside and moved past Haase and into the lead.
Miller’s huge lead was erased with the caution flew on lap 39 when Jeff Nowak spun in turn four. Natalie Decker had worked her way into second and was now on the front row with Sauter. Current point leader MG Gajewski was up to third and Sauter was already into fourth from his 11th starting position.
Miller and Decker raced side by side for the lead. Decker got a good run on the outside and was able to take the top spot on lap 42.
Miller, Gajewski and Sauter battled for positions two through four. Gajewski tried the high side around Miller, the two made contact and Gajewski moved into second. Sauter followed and worked his way around Miller and into third.
It took Sauter five laps to chase down Gajewski and make his way into second. Decker had pulled away a bit, but Sauter was chasing her down rapidly. On lap 61, Sauter looked to the inside of Decker. The two raced side by side for the lead for two laps, when Sauter completed the pass and took the lead.
A competition caution flew on lap 66 to honor the late Wayne ‘Lodi’ Lodholz. On the restart Sauter wasted no time clearing Decker and keeping the lead. Sauter stretched his lead over the next 37 laps to win the Lodi Memorial 100 presented by Bartelt Insurance.
Decker held off pressure from Gajewski to finish second. Cole Yach worked his way towards the front and finished third, while Miller came on strong at the end to get around Gajewski and finish fourth, with Gajewski fifth.
MG Gajewski reclaimed the point lead and holds a 10 point lead over Mark Mackesy heading into the final race of the year.
Story by: Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Correspondent
Photo Credit: Tom Loos