Charlie Menard Claims First Career Marshfield Late Model Feature Win
August 10, 2002; Marshfield, WI: – A very large crowd gathered at Marshfield Super Speedway and were treated to another exciting night of racing, for the Marshfield Herald, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Stevens Point Journal, WGLX 103.3 FM/WFHR 1320 AM, and Innovative Machine Specialists, night at the races on the 1/2 mile paved oval. Managing to elude mother nature once again, fans were treated to the last “free” night. For a minimum donation of one dollar to the United Way, fans were admitted free to the races.
In CARQUEST Super Late Model action, Kirby Kurth jumped out to an early lead. Kurth’s lead was brief, however, as heat winner Ben Pettis took over the lead on lap two. With Kurth riding second and DuWayne Vetrone in third, Pettis stretched his lead to five car lengths by lap six. It was at that time Merrill’s Jay VanDerGeest took the third position away from Vetrone. As Pettis continued his strong hold on the field, Jim Sauter, Jr. worked his way to the third position by lap 10. Two laps later Sauter, Jr. moved his high-powered Dodge into second place as he moved by Kirby Kurth in corners three and four. Sauter, Jr. now had his sights on running down Ben Pettis, who enjoyed a six car length lead.
Just past the midway point of the race, with 12 laps to go, the 25-lap main was slowed as Paul Menard turned Jay VanDerGeest around coming out of turn four. VanDerGeest hit the wall hard and was collected by Eugene Gregorich, Jr. Gregorich went to the pits for repairs and returned to the track as he is currently sitting in the runner-up spot for the points championship. VanDerGeest, however, was finished for the evening as his Chevy was shortened up significantly. Menard was sent to the rear of the field due to the contact rule. On the restart, Sauter, Jr. moved past Pettis and new track record holder, Charlie Menard followed suit. With nine laps to go, it was Sauter, Charlie Menard, and point leader, Rory Melbinger, filling the top three positions.
Ben Pettis, who earlier enjoyed a comfortable lead, apparently cut down a right rear tire and was forced to the pit area to make repairs. With eight laps remaining, Charlie Menard made the pass on Sauter for the race lead. Menard, who was making is first feature appearance of the year at MSS, went on and earned the win from his 14th starting position. Sauter, Jr. placed second followed by Melbinger, Kurth, and Paul Menard.
Ken Soyka paced the field early in the 20-lap caution-free CARQUEST Super Stock feature. On the third lap, Larry Schultz slung shot his way into the lead passing Soyka entering the third turn. By lap seven, Schultz stretched his lead from the rest of the field to seven car lengths. As Schultz paced the field, Soyka, Marv Flick, Tim Plowman, and Andy Simonis traded spots for the second position.
Once the field settled in, it was Simonis chasing Schultz for the race lead. By lap 12, Simonis closed the gap significantly on Larry Schultz. One lap later, Simonis made the pass on Schultz taking over the lead with seven laps remaining. With Simonis in control of the race, there was a four-way battle for the second position between Schultz, Merle Weinfurter, Tim Plowman and Cale Laessig. With Andy Simonis cruising to the feature win, it was Plowman earning runner-up honors. Finishing a strong third was Merle Weinfurter. Rounding out the top five were Cale Laessig and Tim Hintz.
Making another appearance at Marshfield Super Speedway were the exciting legend cars. Dan McGiveron jumped out to the early lead with Eric Lokemoen riding second and Elliott Weiler in third. For the next 10 laps, McGiveron and Lokemoen took turns leading the race with Josh Schoenick running third. On lap 11, Schoenick took over the point as he got by McGiveron going down the backstretch. As Schoenick held the top spot down, Dave Keays was working his way masterfully through the field taking over second with six laps remaining. With Schoenick and Keays battling for the top spot, Dean Fisher moved his way into contention for the win.
On the race’s final lap, Fisher was looking to pass Schoenick in turn three when he made contact with Schoenick sending nearly half the field into the turn three sand bank. Keays, who was running third at the time, was rewarded the win. He was followed by Elliott Weiler, McGiveron, Larry Will, and Bryan Cataldi respectively.
In the always exciting Cruiser division feature Neillsville driver, Brendan Klueckman made a three-wide pass stick on the first lap and held the early lead. On the second lap, caution flew as Bryan Wendt made hard contact with the turn one wall. On the restart, it was all Klueckman as he stretched his lead over Rodnely Feltz to six car lengths. Klueckman, who also won his heat and paced the field in qualifying, cruised to a seven car length win over Feltz. Rounding out the top five were point leader Josh Elmhorst, Wayne Meyer and Darrell Paschel.
Winner of the bicycle donated by Marshfield’s Wal-Mart was Courtney Krall of Stratford.
Next Saturday’s events are sponsored by Schalow’s Nursery, Marshfield’s Small Business of the Year. Joining the CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST Super Stocks and Cruisers will be the 4-Cylinders and Powder Puff racing.
Pick up $1.00 admission coupons at all CARQUEST Stores and local Kwik Trips. For each coupon redeemed, Marshfield Super Speedway will donate $2.00 towards Special Olympics. Marshfield Super Speedway is located three miles west of Marshfield on County Trunk H. Miller time trials begin at 6 p.m., and the exciting racing action begins at 7:30. Please join us for another action-packed night of racing.