WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – Ty Majeski picked up his first TUNDRA Super Late Model Series win in Round Seven Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes last Saturday night at Dells Raceway Park. Although he picked up the win, his title combatant, Dalton Zehr, was able to maintain his point lead.
The Young Guns of TUNDRA Continue to Win
The 2014 season continues to be one for the youthful drivers of TUNDRA. With his win in Round Seven, Majeski became the youngest driver to win a TUNDRA feature. The average age of TUNDRA winners is 21.8 years of age.
Dalton Zehr, 23, Michael Bilderback, 23, Casey Johnson, 23, Reagan May, 20, and Majeski, 20, have visited victory lane.
Majeski and Team Beat the Clock
There is an adage that races aren’t always won on the track; they are won in the shop. This proved true for several reasons last Saturday with Majeski and his crew. Not only did the team come with a perfectly prepared car, they also beat the race against time on Friday night. Majeski commented in Victory Lane that he and his crew chief Toby Nuttleman put the motor back in the car and replaced the rear end before Round Seven.
Zehr Escapes Danger
On lap four it appeared the title race had a chance of opening up. After a chain reaction of cars stacked up through the field, Billy Mohn and Dalton Zehr came together. Zehr had heavy damage to his left rear quarter panel. He went into the pits, got his repairs and got back out on the lead lap.
From the back, after the only restart of the race, Zehr was able to pick through traffic. His movement through the field began slowly, but picked up steam in the final ten laps. Zehr was able to get up to fifth, securing a 36-point lead going into Slinger.
Panitzke Stays in the Hunt
The defending TUNDRA Champion can’t be counted out just yet. Although Majeski lost a point in the title race, Nick Panitzke, sitting third, gained two. He is still mathematically eligible to win the Title, but will need some help.
Just hours after ending his wedding reception, Panitzke and his team loaded up and made the trip to DRP. Panitzke turned the second fastest lap of the day and finished sixth in the feature. His last-lap pass on Austin Nason measured as the two points Panitzke gained on Zehr.
Lichtfeld Gains Ground
Where one point battle stayed on par, another was shaken up – or at least tightened up. Reagan May had a 23-point lead in the Dean’s Satellite Rookie of the Year standings entering Dells Raceway Park. Upon exit, her advantage shrunk to four.
The new look in the rookie battle is courtesy of a third-place finish by Mike Lichtfeld. The former DRP Late Model Rookie of the Year proved strong at his home track. Lichtfeld may have had one of the swiftest machines in the race, but did not have enough time to make up the deficit on the top two once he slid to third.
Lichtfeld and May both have some familiarity with Slinger. May raced at the facility on a part time basis in a Late Model three years ago. Lichtfeld finished second in Late Model points and was ROY last season.
The Prunty/Strelka Combo
A tandem that formed this offseason may have had the most intriguing season thus far. Brent Strelka had bad luck dash some potential top five finishes. Former TUNDRA Champ Dennis Prunty, acting as a sub, has seemed to find some better luck.
Prunty was able to grab second last Saturday, vaulting the team back into the top ten in standings. Although they are back in ninth, the team sits only 14 points out of a top five spot.
Jankowski Keeps Passing
Once again Corey Jankowski passed the most cars in the TUNDRA feature. The three-time DRP Late Model Champion struggled in qualifying, and was not able to transfer through the Gong Show. After dominating the last chance race, Jankowski started 19th on the grid. He raced his way to 11th. Thanks to his passing prowess, Jankowski is tied with May for fifth in TUNDRA standings.
Nick Panitzke must have felt like the odd man out in the Fast Five Dash. In fact, he was. The other four drivers not only had recent Super Late Model experience at DRP, but were also recently top Late Model drivers in weekly action. Lichtfeld, Rich Schumann, Dan Lensing and Bobby Kendall have stacked up dozens of Late Model feature wins amongst themselves, and all either have held titles or finished toward the top of the standings. Experience proved key in qualifying.
Conditions Wreak Havoc on Qualifying Time
Qualifying times were nearly 0.2 seconds slower than the last time TUNDRA visited. Although cloud cover is preferable for grip, the humidity in the air slowed the cars down.
In the nine races that hosted qualifying through the first two years of TUNDRA at DRP, Bobby Kendall’s 13.454 was the slowest quick time. Lensing set fast time last Saturday at 13.650. Corey Jankowski’s TUNDRA track record stands at 13.273 seconds.
Fighting the Weather
As the series has many times before, TUNDRA was able to escape a poor forecast and less-than-ideal conditions on race day. Although rain was looming in the area, there were no pauses in the schedule of events throughout the day.
TUNDRA will round out the 2014 season at Slinger Speedway on Sunday afternoon, September 7 in Round Eight Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes. The Slinger Late Models, Midwest Sportsmen, Area Sportsmen, Slinger Bees and Figure 8s will crown their Champions, as well. Gates open at noon, qualifying is at 12:30, racing is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Slinger Speedway is located off of Hwy 41 and Highway 144 at 280 Cedar Creek Road, Slinger Wisconsin 53086. For more information visit www.slingersuperspeedway.com.
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).