West Salem, WI - On paper Skylar Holzhausen's win in the Johnny's Hobbies 40 as part of TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Round Three Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes came from the outside pole. In actuality is was an uphill climb for the Bangor, Wis., pilot to grab his first series win at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway Friday night.
Holzhausen surrendered the lead to defending race winner Reagan May, fell back out of the top five and climbed his way to third before inheriting the lead due to an incident involving the top two. He then had to fight off Performance Diesel Fast Qualifier Jim Sauter Jr. to grab checkers in his TUNDRA debut.
"The car wasn't as good on the starts," Holzhausen said. "It got a little tight for some reason, but it would come in on the long runs. The car is usually set up for longer races and it was here tonight, but we had just long enough greens to keep us going."
Holzhausen and May required two attempts to get the feature started. After a called-off start, May was able to fight off Holzhausen and secure the lead exiting turn two. As she began to pull away in the opening laps, Holzhausen fell back on the outside line.
Mike Licthfeld and Michael Sauter were next to challenge Holzhausen, with Austin Nason soon to follow. Sauter, also making his TUNDRA debut, moved to second while Lichtfeld was left to deal with Nason for third. Meanwhile fast qualifier Jim Sauter Jr. and TUNDRA point leader Ty Majeski were closing in on the top five.
On lap eight Sauter began to challenge Lichtfeld for fourth, however, he was unable to make the pass. Three laps later Majeski took the fifth spot from Sauter and made a quick challenge of Lichtfeld pay off. At this point the top three of May, Michael Sauter and Nason were nearly a straightaway ahead of the rest of the field.
Their advantage was washed away on lap 17 when Lichtfeld cut a left front tire and spun to the infield, bringing out the caution.
The restart pit May against Michael Satuer. Once again a second restart was necessary as May and Sauter engaged in a chess match coming back to green.
On the second restart Sauter benefitted from a huge run on the outside to take the lead entering turns one and two. May tried to take the lead back in turns three and four as she charged to the inside and slid off the bottom groove. Although May attempted to save the machine, the gamble did not pay off and she spun toward the grass. Drivers were sent scrambling throughout the field, with several receiving damage. Everyone was able to continue.
The following restart gave Sauter the option to choose the inside. Nason chose the outside of the front row without hesitation. At the drop of the green Nason surged away from Sauter and began to build up a healthy advantage.
Just past the halfway point Majeski, who restarted third, began to find some jump. He moved to the inside of Sauter on lap 21 and had second by lap 22. Three laps later Holzhausen took the third spot back from Sauter.
Over the next three laps Majeski steadily caught up to Nason. He had several challenges after lap 26, but could not get to the inside line. Entering turns three and four on lap 28, Majeski's challenge was a bit overzealous. Trying to find the inside, Majeski made contact with the left rear of Nason's machine, sending him spinning into the outside retaining wall. Nason's car was badly damaged, and although very displeased, he was unharmed. Majeski was sent to the tail of the field.
While the two were trying to sort out the lead before the incident, Holzhausen was closing, and felt as though it would have been more than a two-car showdown for the win.
"I got to have a first-hand seat for that ordeal, but we were catching them and I felt like we had a really strong piece. It ended up perfect for us."
A strong challenge was awaiting Holzhausen on the restart in the form of Jim Sauter Jr. Sauter fought hard on the outside line, but for the first time since the initial start, the inside line held the advantage and Holzhausen seized the lead on lap 29.
"The restart was good," Sauter said. "I thought we might have had him cleared off of two. We were just a tick tight off the corner and I couldn't squeeze the throttle." By the next circuit Holzhausen was clear and built up a cushion over Sauter, who would finish second. Michael Sauter finished third, just ahead of a hard-charging Dan Lensing and Joel Theisen rounded out the top five.
For Holzhausen the win was some redemption for a tough start to 2015. A little home cooking can go a long way to helping jump start a season.
"I really want to thank the good Lord for helping us get through a rocky season so far," Holzhausen said." To come away with a win in front of our home crowd like this is really special."
The event caused a change at the top of the TUNDRA point standings. With his late run through the top ten to fourth, Dan Lensing took a one-point lead over Majeski. Casey Johnson sits just ten points out of the lead, defending TUNDRA Champion Dalton Zehr only 13 out and Jim Sauter Jr. (with teammate Cory Kemkes from WIR) sits just 15 points out of the lead thanks to a stellar day.
Even better news for the new point leader is the next stop for the series on July 18. It's his home track Dells Raceway Park. Lensing set fast time and recorded a top five in the event last season. However, Majeski picked up the feature win.
Round Four Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes at Dells Raceway Park will include the DRP Sportsman, Bandits, Outlaw Bandits and Central States Region Super Cups. Qualifying is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road just off highway 12/16 outside of Wisconsin Dells. For more information visit www.dellsracewaypark.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 point standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/
Story: TUNDRA PR - Photo: Bruce Nuttleman