A Second Crack at the Action Track
Many TUNDRA drivers last season were visiting Jefferson as first-time Super Late Model competitors. Although many were new to the tricky quarter-mile, the TUNDRA Travelers put on a show that appeared as though they had done it before. First-timer Nick Panitzke had paced all 37 circuits before the rains came and grabbed the win in his TUNDRA debut. Dalton Zehr and Eugene Gregorich Jr. also picked up top six finishes in their first trip to Jefferson.
A First Crack at the Action Track
A new year, however, brings a new crop of drivers to see Jefferson for the first time. Bobby Kendall, who sits second in TUNDRA standings, will lead the field of those making their first Super Late Model appearance at Jefferson. No fewer than 10 drivers will be piloting a Super Late for the first time at the facility.
No Rookie Advantage This Time
Tom Gee Jr. had an edge at WIR. Reagan May had an edge at Golden Sands. This time around no rookie will have a leg up in the Dean’s Satellite Rookie Chase at Jefferson. For the first time this season every TUNDRA rookie will be completely new to Super Late Model racing at the venue. New surroundings may end up shaking up the standings that see Tommy Gee at the top with Reagan May, Mike Lichtfeld and Wyatt Blashe still in the conversation.
Be Ready for Mayhem
The new drivers of TUNDRA may be in for a shock when they see how things play out on the track. TUNDRA drivers were not shy about going three wide in the sweeping turns of three and four last season. Somehow drivers were able to sort out and get back into single and double file formation in the very tight turns of one and two. Many drivers admitted last year that they held their breath through most of the feature event.
We Know This Place
Last year Casey Johnson was the lone Jefferson “regular” on hand to attempt to teach the TUNDRA Travelers a few lessons. Johnson won the dash and secured a fourth-place finish in the shortened feature. This year the two-time Champion is bringing some company in Fort Atkinson’s Trent Erdman and Oconomowoc’s Tyler James.
So far this season Johnson has fared the best of the three with a feature win, a third-place finish and a sixth-place finish over the past three weeks. James’ most recent appearance was on May 24 when he finished fourth, just behind Johnson. Erdman’s best feature finish of the season was on May 10 when he finished sixth.
We (Sort of) Know this Place
Just because some TUNDRA drivers will be making their Jefferson Super Late Model debut doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced the facility before. Brent Strelka has some experience in Late Model action in the past and claims Jefferson as one of his favorite facilities. Ty Majeski and TUNDRA’s most recent winner Michael Bilderback have competed in Big 8 Late Model races there, as well. Bilderback recorded a top five at Jefferson in 2008.
The Right Time for Fast Time?
Both TUNDRA events in 2014 have seen the fast qualifier race from deep in the field to the runner-up spot. Bobby Kendall moved from 13th to second at WIR. Eugene Gregorich moved from 14th to second at Golden Sands. Should a driver be able to better that feat at Jefferson, he or she will make TUNDRA history picking up the maximum amount of points that can be gained in a single event.
Right on Point
Early this season TUNDRA is seeing one of its tightest point battles in series history. The top 13 teams are separated by only 46 points. The largest advantage any one driver has over another in the standings is the 13-point edge Kendall has between himself and third-place Zehr. Most positions in the top 13 are separated by three points or less.
Selle, Nitzke Looking for Luck this Time
Last season Brandon Selle entered the Jefferson TUNDRA event with the point lead. Coming off a podium finish Frank Nitzke was not far behind. However, luck turned sour for the two former Golden Sands Speedway Champions. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to recover in the standings. Very much in the thick of the title race, Selle and Nitzke will be looking to keep pace and find success at Jefferson to stay in the championship conversation.
Unfamiliar territory may just be an afterthought to some drivers who come into Round Three riding hot streaks. Much has been said this season about Dalton Zehr and his success. He posted another strong run by finishing third to Matt Kenseth and Travis Sauter in only his second ever appearance at Madison on Tuesday. However, other drivers have experienced some recent success too.
Corey Jankowski picked up two feature wins at two different tracks last weekend. He visited Victory Lane at Golden Sands on Friday and backed it up with a win in one of the 30-lap features at Dells Raceway Park on Saturday. Mike Lichtfeld won the first 30-lap feature there on Saturday evening. He has now won three of six at his home track.
WIR also saw a TUNDRA sweep in the Red Race last Thursday. Ty Majeski patiently picked his way through the field and broke away from current WIR point leader Lowell Bennett in the final laps of the 75-lap feature. In the Late Model main Brent Strelka made a late powerful pass to grab the lead and secure a win in the 30 lapper.
Although they didn’t grab feature wins Bobby Kendall (Madison and DRP) and Travis Dassow (Slinger) picked up fast times.
About the Event:
- Date: Saturday, June 21
- Official Event Name: Round Three Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes
- Times: 1 p.m. – Pits Open, 3 p.m. – Stands, 5 p.m. – Qualifying, 7 p.m. – Racing
- Other Divisions – Mid-American Stock Car Series, IMCA Vintage, Road Warriors
- TUNDRA Format – Qualifying, Gong Show, Last Chance Race, Feature, Country Plumber Shootout B Feature
- Ticket Prices: Adults $15, Youths ages 12-15 $10, Seniors (Over 65) $10, Kids ages 8-11 $5, 7 & Under Free
TUNDRA will race outside of the state of Wisconsin for the first time on July 5 at Norway Speedway. TUNDRA joins Norway for the historic Stateline Challenge. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point leader Johnny Sauter is scheduled to compete in the event.
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 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).