Last year’s TUNDRA Super Late Model Series points runner-up Gabe Sommers quickly put a win up on the board Saturday night in the series’ second race of the season. The Plover, Wisconsin native started on the front row and led all 75 laps for his third-career win with TUNDRA at Jefferson Speedway.
Sommers had to battle through several restarts throughout the main event with home track favorites Casey Johnson and Riley Stenjem behind him. Although the car flipped the switch on him repeatedly throughout the race, the final restart with 15 to go saw him pull away in the closing laps.
“It was really good there at the beginning. That first caution kind of threw me for a loop, the car changed a lot. The car came around there depending on which caution it was, I don’t know if the tires were shrinking a little bit or what,” Sommers told Speed51. “That last caution, the car was pretty good and it got better and better on the long runs, so that’s all what mattered.”
The win came after a battle with his biggest points competitor from one season ago, three-time series champion Casey Johnson.
“It means a lot to be at his home track to come out on top. This place is really tough and it shows a lot about our group and our car to come and race against the locals here and go home with a win.”
Following a win Saturday night and a third at Dells to start the season two weeks ago, Sommers is all systems go as he chases after his first TUNDRA title.
“I feel pretty good about it. We run pretty good at the tracks we’ve been doing good at, we struggle at some other ones. Hopefully we can come out on top at some other ones.”
It appeared that Johnson and fast qualifier Jordan DeVoy had the two fastest cars early as they picked their way through the field. However, a lap 31 incident changed the outcome of both their races.
While Johnson was able to finish second compared to DeVoy’s seventh, that incident stalled his progress forward.
“We had a pretty good car. Me and Jordan DeVoy started picking them off in traffic in that early run, I think we had the two best cars early,” Johnson said. “The caution came out there and we were running hard, I think Jordan said he had a tire going down and he got into me. I think it knocked a little toe out or something, it got a little tight and we were just hanging on after that.”
Jefferson Speedway Late Model regular Riley Stenjem turned heads in what was his first-ever Super Late Model start. He started on the pole after the luck of the invert and remained in the top-five all race before finishing third.
“Started on the pole there for the first Super Late Model start of my career. Luckily it was at my home track but we still didn’t know what our tires would do after heat cycles and that,” Stenjem said. “Gabe and Casey have so much experience in the Supers, to run third and be on the podium with them is a win in itself for us. We’re a small family team and we can’t thank everybody that helps me enough.”
Justin Mondeik and Dells Raceway Park winner Dalton Zehr rounded out the top-five. Speed51 will have video highlights from Saturday night’s race available soon.
The TUNDRA Super Late Model Series returns to action on August 8 at the State Park Speedway in Central Wisconsin.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
TUNDRA SLM – Jefferson Speedway Results:
- Gabe Sommers
- Casey Johnson
- Riley Stenjem
- Justin Mondeik
- Dalton Zehr
- Brock Heinrich
- Jordan DeVoy
- Kody Hubred
- Mike Lichtfield
- Max Kahler
- Wyatt Brooks
- Kevin Knuese
- Josh “JJ” Wallace
- Jordan Thiel
- Craig Phillips
- Michael Ostdiek
- Jake Zellmer
- Dennis Schmidt
- Braison Bennett
- Dale Nottestad
- Colin Reffner
- Mike Egan