Luke Fenhaus’ first laps of practice at The Milwaukee Mile (WI) Saturday nearly ended in disaster.
“I went down into turn one, pressed the brake pedal for the corner, and the gas pedal didn’t come back up,” Fenhaus told Speed51 following the first round of practice. “I was able to hit the brakes as hard as I could, shut it off, and fortunately the throttle came back.”
Fenhaus narrowly avoided contact with the outside wall and safely brought his car back to the attention of his team, where they diagnosed the cause of the issue. At day’s end, Fenhaus was quickest in the final practice for ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Models, with a time of 28.546 seconds around the famed mile.
“Today was up and down,” Fenhaus said. “It’s been alright. We had a little issue the first practice, but we got that figured out, learned the track.”
Fenhaus was particularly excited to be able to race at the historic racing venue at Wisconsin State Fair Park, as Super Late Models are returning to the track for the first time since 2014.
“It’s awesome to be here,” said Fenhaus. “I love this place. It’s by far one of my favorite tracks. We didn’t start off too good, but we’re working at it and this place is a blast.”
While Fenhaus set quick time in the final practice of the day, fellow Wisconsin native Ty Majeski was quickest during the first three practice sessions of the afternoon. Despite being fast throughout the day, Majeski still sought more from his car’s handling at day’s end.
“The car’s okay, we’re just working on balance issues,” Majeski said. “I think everyone is just fighting tight here. We’re trying to get a little bit of that out of it. The car has really good speed. That’s obviously one plus. We’ll keep working on the balance and hopefully we should be fine.”
The one-mile track produced incredible speeds for the Super Late Models, with average lap speeds reaching more than 126 miles per hour by the end of practice. Majeski believes his experience racing speedways with the ARCA Menards Series contributed to his pace on practice day.
“This place is fast, one of the biggest places we go with these cars,” he stated. “They’re a lot of fun to drive here. I’ve had quite a bit of big-track experience relative to the rest of these guys in the last year, and that’s helping me too.”
One driver entered for Sunday’s Father’s Day 100 unable to practice on Saturday was Lawrenceville, Georgia’s Casey Roderick. Roderick raced Friday night at Five Flags Speedway (FL) in the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series, and went to Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) Saturday for the Show Me the Money Pro Late Models race.
With Roderick competing on the Gulf Coast, another Southeastern racer, Durham, North Carolina’s Tate Fogleman, filled Roderick’s seat in the Donnie Wilson Racing No. 22 on practice day.
“I got a call late this week from Cody [Glick] of Rowdy Manufacturing, looking for a driver,” Fogleman explainied. “Casey raced last night, he’s racing tonight and he’s racing here on Sunday. He’s pretty busy. I thought it was a good opportunity to come here, drive these cars a little bit, and see if we can’t get it dialed in for him on Sunday.”
While Fogleman does not boast the same speedway resume as Majeski, an ARCA winner at Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC) and Pocono Raceway (PA), Fogleman has competed in Super Late Models at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NH) as well as a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (IL).
“New Hampshire is similar, but every track has its little differences,” he explained. “It took a few laps to get used to, but we’re up to speed. We’re just working on it, making little changes, but it’s pretty close. I think it should be good for the race.”
Race fans can visit Speed51’s Trackside Now coverage, presented by Hyperco, for updates and results from Saturday’s practice session. Click here to view the Trackside Now coverage.
Sunday, the ARCA Midwest Tour competes in the Father’s Day 100 at The Milwaukee Mile. Fans can watch all of the action via Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast of the event. Click here to order your video ticket now.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo