WAUSAU, WI –The memory of a longtime State Park Speedway racer will be remembered once again Thursday with the 10th annual Wayne ‘Lodi’ Lodholz Memorial Race held Thursday night at the quarter-mile track in Rib Mountain.
A 66-lap feature for the Auto Select Super Late Models presented by C-Tech will highlight the racing program. The Budweiser Fabiano Brothers Limited Late Models, Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks, Snap-on Mini Mods and Motors Service & Supply Mini Stocks will also be on hand, and it will also be season championship night for the Mighty Bandoleros.
Lodholz was a longtime racer and strong competitor at State Park Speedway and also at tracks such as Golden Sands Speedway and Tomahawk Speedway, racing first in hobby stocks and later in late models and carrying what became his familiar No. 66. A Wausau native, he won the 1989 Larry Detjens Memorial title as well as a total of 19 late model features at the track and finished as high as second in the late model points in 1989.
In his later years, Lodholz was best known for driving a red car sponsored by Budweiser, and that car has been restored and continues to be shown at the track during the memorial race every year.
Lodholz passed away in 2007 at the still-young age of 55, and the memorial race was established in his name in 2009. Since then, it has joined events in the memory of Larry Detjens and Flip Merwin to become among the biggest on the calendar at State Park Speedway.
Mark Mackesy is the defending champion of the race and also won the first Lodi Memorial held in 2009. Tim Sauter also won it three consecutive years from 2014-16, and other past winners include Chris Wimmer (twice), Steve Holzhausen and Jesse Haase.
“Lodi was a good friend of my family,” said Mackesy. “To win it is very special to me. It’s one of the big races at State Park Speedway.
“To win it last year was great! We came back from a wreck at Marshfield Motor Speedway to win. We really needed that. We’ll need some luck and to keep the car from not getting tight in the 75 laps.”
The Lodi Memorial also takes on added importance and urgency for drivers as it is the second-to-last race of the season at State Park for most classes.
Points battles in most classes are tight, including in the super late models, where Justin Mondeik of Gleason leads Wausau’s Luke Fenhaus by 20 points and Mackesy by 40. The closest battle is in the mini mods, where Greg Blount of Marathon leads two-time defending class champion George Seliger of Wausau by 14 points with Edgar’s Mike Heidmann just 31 points out of the lead.
Racing begins Thursday night with Fred Mueller Qualifying at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. Pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. and fan gates open at 4:30 p.m.
-State Park Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: State Park Speedway