Brandl and Laessig Take First Wins of 2004!
By Mary Langreck
April 17, 2004; Marshfield, WI: – An excellent night for racing and a fantastic crowd for the 2004 season opener at Marshfield Super Speedway. Over 2,200 fans attended the first race with proceeds donated for Cancer Research. 2003 Super Late Model Track Champion Judd Brandl earned fast time honors and won the feature putting him in command of the 2004 point standings. Cale Laessig came back very strong in the Super Stocks with a clean sweep for the night, after he took some time off from racing. Laessig has an eight point lead over Shawn Stelzer in the 2004 point standings. Kevin Eckes Sr. set fast time and won the feature in the 4-Cylinder division. Pat Dickman had a clean sweep in the 1-Man Cruiser division.
Eugene Gregorich Jr. took the early lead of the CARQUEST Super Late Model feature. Eric Wisz and Rory Melbinger were racing second and third. Melbinger quickly passed Wisz for second and grabbed the lead from Gregorich on lap eight. The first caution flew right after that for the spun car of Josh Bell. Contact between Bell and Weinfurter sent both cars to the back.
Melbinger held the lead for the restart with Gregorich, Wisz, Dean LaPointe and Judd Brandl all in pursuit of the lead. LaPointe, Brandl and Brian Back passed Wisz over the next few laps. Lap 13, LaPointe passed Gregorich for second and four laps later passed Melbinger for the lead. Brandl and Back were right behind quickly moving into second and third. Lap 20 Brandl took the lead and drove on for the win. LaPointe held onto second and at the checkered Jeff Weinfurter inched ahead of Back for third. Back finished fourth and Melbinger fifth.
Rick Hetzel led the first seven laps of the CARQUEST CWSSA Super Stock feature. Cautions flew twice, once on lap two for a spin involving Randy Meyer and Matt Raykowski and on lap seven for the spun car of Chad Scholl. During that second caution, leader Rick Hetzel pitted and was unable to return.
Tim Hintz then assumed the lead, but not for long as two other hard-chargers, Shawn Stelzer and Cale Laessig were looking for that spot. On lap 13 both drivers went for the lead, one high and one low both passing Hintz and pushing him back to third. Laessig led lap 13, Stelzer lap 14 and then it was Laessig again. Laessig was able to hold off Stelzer for the win. Matt Raykowski made an awesome comeback to finish third, Hintz fourth and Scott Havlicek fifth.
Nineteen 4-Cylinder drivers brought their cars out for the first race. Paul Berg led the field for lap on and then Kevin Eckes took the lead. A spin on lap six brought out the only caution, but anti-freeze that leaked from a car made the clean-up process long.
When the race resumed, Eckes led, but two-time track champion Keith Wirtz was on his way to the front to challenge Eckes for that lead. By lap seven Wirtz was in second, but was never able to get in front of Eckes. Eckes went on to win, Wirtz second, Steve Hauser third, Berg fourth and Don Elmhorst fifth.
Mike Denny led the first lap of the 1-Man Cruiser feature. Justin Moore led lap two and Pat Dickman led the rest. The caution flew on lap four for Matt Curnoyer who lost a tire and drove off the track into the back-stretch embankment. Curnoyer had been running second. Sam Sudduth moved up to the second position on lap seven with Troy Engman third, Moore fourth and Dave Knauf fifth. Cody Meyer moved into the fifth spot on lap eight. Dickman won, Sudduth second, Engman third, Moore fourth and Meyer fifth.
“Hot Rod” Rodney Feltz made his 2004 debut tonight. He brought out his Ford Ranger pickup truck and after many doughnuts and jumps off of a ramp, “Hot Rod” Rodney did a crowd pleasing rollover.
Next Saturday’s races are sponsored by Weber’s Farm Store, Nasonville Dairy and WCCN “The Rock” 107.5FM. Racing includes CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST Super Stocks, Limited Late Models and 2-Man Cruisers. Pit Gate opens at 3:30, Grandstand Gates 5 p.m., Time Trials 6 p.m. and Racing 7:30. Saturday’s race is raindated for Sunday Same Times with the CARQUEST Super Stocks, Limited Late Models and 2-Man Cruisers racing.