PORTAGE, Wis. – Since the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes became a traveling campaign in 2013, there has not been a closer point battle than the one this season. With three drivers still mathematically in the hunt, the Championship will be decided this Sunday at Jefferson Speedway.
Ty Majeski leads Dalton Zehr by just 24 points heading into TUNDRA’s visit to Wisconsin’s Action Track. Dan Lensing sits third, 47 points out of the title chase. Although Lensing needs some luck, he is not at all out of the conversation.
Majeski can clinch his first TUNDRA title if he finishes seventh or better in the feature field, provided he does not lose points to Zehr in qualifying or the heat race. Lensing will need some more help, however. Both Zehr and Majeski will have to finish outside the top 20 if Lensing does not make up points in qualifying or the heat – making time trials all the more critical for TUNDRA’s title contenders on Sunday.
Each competitor has had his own share of success at Jefferson. Zehr set fast time and finished third when the series visited the quarter-mile in 2013. Last season he climbed from behind the invert to finish fourth. Majeski piloted his machine to a second-place finish behind Casey Johnson in his only TUNDRA stop last season. Lensing hasn’t competed in Super Late Model competition in several years at Jefferson, but set the track record at a Midwest Tour event in 2007.
The top spot won’t be the only one in dispute as several battles inside the top five are close, including that for the Dean’s Satellite and Security Rookie of the Year title. The team of Bryan Keske and Cole Anderson sit fourth in overall TUNDRA points, and are the top rookie team. It will be Keske’s first time at Jefferson. Ryan Farrell is 51 points behind Keske/Anderson for the rookie battle. However, Farrell proved last season he could be a threat at Jefferson by running in the top five for most of the race until he was sidelined with mechanical issues.
The point battle looks somewhat similar to that of 2012 when TUNDRA was still a five-race series at Dells Raceway Park. Zehr took the point lead into the final event at Dells Raceway Park and had the likes of Rich Bickle, Dennis Prunty, Bobby Kendall and Corey Jankowski in the hunt. Zehr, Bickle and Jankowski were involved in incidents, which dashed their title chances. Prunty went on to win the feature and capture the title that season.
This season, a new venue and some new challengers will keep the battle just as intriguing as the one in 2012 – especially with defending race winner Casey Johnson in the field. Johnson did well to defend his home turf last season. He set fast time, dodged chaos at the start of the race, then took the lead early in the race, never to look back. Johnson will be driving the Chase Motorsports #47, a machine he drove to third in points in his rookie season at Wisconsin International Raceway on Thursday nights. He will also be riding the momentum of his third Jefferson Speedway title.
Another driver very familiar to Jefferson Speedway will be joining TUNDRA for the second time in his storied career. Celebrating 50 years of racing, Jerry Eckhardt will try his hand with the Orange Blossom Special. Eckhardt finished 11th in Jefferson points this season while also fielding a full-time Super Late Model campaign at Slinger Speedway.
TUNDRA Travelers expected to be in the mix include 2015 State Park Speedway Champion Jeremy Lepak, who had competed in Wisconsin Challenge Series races at Jefferson in the past, Wyatt Blashe, coming off a TUNDRA career-best eighth-place finish at Golden Sands, and Steve Rubeck who tags in for teammate Brandon Selle.
Several drivers familiar to TUNDRA will be trying their hand for the first time at Jefferson. Fresh of his Yellow River Racing Series Championship at Marshfield Motor Speedway, Travis Volm will be trying out his Super Late Model for the first time at Wisconsin’s Action Track. Rich Schumann Jr. coming off his third Dells Raceway Park title and Curt Tillman who makes a return to TUNDRA.
There will be several TUNDRA drivers making a debut on Sunday including Golden Sands Speedway regular Michele Kreyer and Slinger Speedway regular Duke Long.
The TUNDRA Super Late Model Series rounds out its 2015 season on Sunday, September 20 at Jefferson Speedway with the Championship Round. The Sunday portion of the event was added to the 35th Annual Wisconsin State Championships which take place Friday and Saturday, as well as a rain date from the June 20 postponement. TUNDRA will be joined on Sunday by the Upper Midwest Vintage Series, American Ethanol Super Trucks and Legends and Bandaleros. Racing will begin at 2 P.M.
Jefferson Speedway is located on state highway 18 between Cambridge and Jefferson, Wis. For more information, including a full schedule of events for the Wisconsin State Championships, visit www.jeffersonspeedway.com.
TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Championship Round
Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes
September 20, 2015
Pre-Entry List (25)
# – Driver, Hometown
00 – Darek Gress, Neillsville, Wis.
7 – Travis Dassow, West Bend, Wis.
15 – Jordan Thiel, Darboy, Wis.
17 – Gregg Pawelski, West Allis, Wis.
18 – Frank Nitzke, Berlin, Wis.
18 – Jordan Ives, Gladstone, Mich.
19 – Dan Lensing, Roscoe, Ill.
31W – Wisz Racing, TBA
31 – Corey Jankowski, Tomah, Wis.
32 – Steve Lichtfeld, Portage, Wis.
40 – Jeremy Lepak, Ringle, Wis.
44 – Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville, Wis.
47 – Casey Johnson, Edgerton, Wis.
51 – Michele Kreyer, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
54 – Rich Schumann Jr., Portage, Wis.
61 – Steve Rubeck, Cherry Valley, Ill.
61 – Jerry Eckhardt, Johnson Creek, Wis.
78 – Wyatt Blashe, Clintonville, Wis.
81 – Bryan Syer-Keske, Lakeville, Minn.
89 – Ryan Farrell, East Troy, Wis
90 – Duke Long, West Bend, Wis.
91 – Ty Majeski, Seymour, Wis.
101 – Curt Tillman, Rockford, Ill.
119 – Dalton Zehr, Middleton, Idaho
711 – Travis Volm, Mosinee, Wis.
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park. TUNDRA’s business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and the point standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).
-TUNDRA Press Release & Photo