Eswein Collects Another Race of Champions Crown at Marshfield
September 22, 2002; Marshfield, WI: – Fans and cars were plentiful at the season ending Fall Spectacular at Marshfield Super Speedway. Many fans braved the very chilly evening of racing action. The pits were overloaded and many cars had to pit outside the pit gates, as over 100 cars were here Saturday night to compete, for the Second Annual Fall Spectacular.
In the Super Late Model 75-lap Race of Champions, Jeff Weinfurter darted out from his pole position to take the early lead, followed by John Frazier and Jim Sauter, Jr. Weinfurter continued to hold the lead and started getting early pressure from Frazier, who had passed Sauter, Jr. for the second position. By the fourth lap Jeremy Lepak took over the third position and had his sights set on Frazier for the second spot. Two laps later Lepak made the inside move on Frazier going into turn three. With Weinfurter leading by three car lengths, Lepak now had his sights set on Weinfurter for the race lead. Weinfurter, however, was able to hold off the challenges that Lepak made.
On the race’s 25th lap, after Weinfurter, Lepak and Frazier had pulled away from the pack, Gary Back caught Frazier and took over the third position. On lap 32, Mark Eswein had caught Gary Back and took the third position away with an outside pass in turn three. With Weinfurter and Lepak continuing to hold the front two positions, Eswein was starting to reel in the race leaders. Three laps later Eswein completed the pass on Lepak to take over the runner-up position.
On lap 37 of the 75-lap Race of Champions, Eswein made the pass on Weinfurter and started stretching his lead out. Two laps later, Eswein enjoyed a five car length lead over Weinfurter. With Eswein leading the field of 25 cars, Keith Bohmsach had moved into the third position, taking it away from Lepak. Two laps later, Bohmsach passed Weinfurter for the runner-up position and was looking to close in on Eswein. The race stayed that way with Eswein, Bohmsach, and Weinfurter holding down the top three positions.
On lap 59, Rocky Breezer spun backwards off the back stretch bringing out the race’s first caution. Once the race resumed, Eswein continued to stretch his lead out while Bohmsach and Weinfurter continued to battle for the runner-up position. Caution flew for a second and final time, with six laps to go, as Greg Back got turned around in turn four. Jay VanDerGeest was unable to avoid the spinning car of Back, and was collected by another car.
VanDerGeest was unable to continue as he sustained heavy front-end damage. Once the race restarted, Eswein pulled out to another comfortable lead and went on to score another impressive victory. Keith Bohmsach fended off the challenges of Weinfurter to take home the second position. Rounding out the top five in the very competitive Race of Champions race were, Jeff Weinfurter, Jeremy Lepak and Gary Back.
In the Super Late Model Race of Champions last chance feature, Chris Bires darted out to the early lead with Ken Reiser hot on his heels. As Bires brought the field out of turn two, caution flew as John Meidam got into the back end of Pete Kempf entering turn one. On the restart, Bires continued to hold the lead followed by Reiser and Clint Sillars. Reiser continually looked low on Bires and was able to make the pass in turn two as Bires pushed up the track. Sillers followed Reiser past Bires to take over the second position.
Once the field settled in, it appeared to be a four-way battle for the lead as Ben Pettis joined the lead group. Caution would fly for a second and final time as Chris Bires was penalized two positions for using too much of the track. Once the race resumed, it was all Ken Reiser as he went on to win the 25-lap qualifying feature. Finishing second was Clint Sillars with John Meidam, Pettis, and Bires rounding out the top five.
In other qualifying races, M. G. Gajewski was able to fend off the challenges of Clint Sillars to advance to the 75-lap Race of Champions, winning heat #1. In heat #2, Monte Gress of Neillsville also advanced to the Race of Champions, as he won the qualifying event. Finishing second in the quailfying event was Ken Reiser. The other driver that qualified into the Race of Champions through a preliminary event was Judd Brandl, who earlier in the evening set fast time.
In the 30-lap Limited Late Model feature, Rocky Carlson set the early pace, followed by Mike Schneider and Darin Seubert. On lap three, Dan Friske took over the third position passing Seubert going into turn three.
With Carlson continuing to lead, caution flew for the first time as Steve Gress broke a shock mount sending his car spinning in turns three and four. Gress’ car was collected by several cars. However, Gress was the only one unable to continue. On the restart, Friske made the pass on Carlson to take over the race lead. With Friske holding a two-car advantage over Bo Bennish, Neil Knoblock moved into the third position with an outside pass of Seubert. Four laps later, Knoblock made the pass on Friske to take over the runner-up position. Bennish continued to hold a three-car length lead over Knoblock, with Jeremy Switlick moving into the third position.
Bennish, who enjoyed a three-car length lead throughout the second half of the race, went on to win the 30-lap late model feature event. Knoblock wound up second, with Switlick coming home third. Rounding out the top five were Dan Friske and Darin Seubert.
In a very exciting CARQUEST super stock feature, heat winner Marv Flick pulled out to a three-car length lead, early in the 20-lap feature event. On lap four, Don Tieman, Jr. was looking to take the second spot away from Brian Schmutzer.
With Flick enjoying a five-car length lead, caution flew as three lead lap cars got caught up in lap traffic entering turn one. Tieman, Chris Brooks, and track champion Tim Hintz, all were involved in the turn one crash.
Once the race resumed with 12 laps to go, Flick was still your race leader, with Larry Schultz running a strong second. Two laps later, Schultz made the pass on Flick going into turn three. DuWayne Davis followed suit and took the second position away from Flick.
Caution flew for a second time, with eight laps remaining, as Tristan Huebsch spun in turn two. Once the race resumed, Schultz was still your race leader, followed by Davis and Cale Laessig, who moved into the third position. As Davis was looking to take over the race lead, he made contact with race leader Larry Schultz sending him spinning off the back stretch. Davis took the blame for the incident; thus, giving Schultz his position back.
On the restart with four laps to go, Laessig made the inside pass work going down the back stretch, as he passed Schultz to take over the race lead. At the same time Laessig made his move, Andy Simonis made the pass on Flick to move into the third position. Laessig stretched his lead out to two car lengths to earn the feature win. Schultz wound up an impressive second, with Simonis, Matt Raykowski, and Marv Flick rounding out the top five.
In the 15-lap four cylinder feature event, 22 cars took the green in hopes of bringing home the feature win.
Kyle Davis darted out to the early lead with Jason Bell and Paul Berg running second and third. Three laps later, Jason Bell took the lead away from Davis with an outside pass going down the back stretch. At the same time Bell made his pass for the race lead, Paul Berg moved into second, with Johnny Bell taking over the third position. The race stayed that way until lap eight; that was when Paul Berg made the inside pass of Bell to take over the race lead. Berg stretched his lead to three car lengths, and went on to earn a hard fought feature event. Jason Bell fought off a late challenge by Johnny Bell to earn the runner-up spot. Rounding out the top five were Johnny Bell, Robert Dalsky and heat winner, Scotty Hoeft.
Adding excitement to the Fall Spectacular evening, were the Mini Cups.
Taking the early lead in the eight-lap feature event was Mark Krueger, followed by Joel Schultz and Floyd Firkus. Krueger stretched his lead to three car lengths after the completion of the third lap. By lap five, Schultz had cut into Krueger’s lead significantly, and made the inside pass one lap later entering turn three. Schultz went on to win by an impressive eight car lengths. Heat winner Firkus, made a last lap pass on Krueger to earn the runner-up spot. Krueger came home third with Chet Olds winding up fourth.
The Bumper-To-Bumper Cruisers topped off what was a very exciting day of racing here at the Marshfield Super Speedway. Being consistent all season, Travis Zvolena stayed that way tonight as he grabbed the early lead from his 10th starting position. Zvolena led the first four laps, being closely followed by Mike Dodson and Rodney Feltz.
With eight laps to go in the 14-lap feature event, Feltz made his move on Zvolena as he made the pass for the race lead going in to turn three. Feltz, who has been very strong all season, stretched his lead to four car lengths with four laps remaining. Zvolena closed the gap slightly as the race leader took the white flag. However, Feltz proved to be too strong for the field of 15 cars, as he went on to score the feature win. Travis Zvolena finished a strong second with Brendan Klueckman coming home in the third position. Rounding out the top five were Darrell Paschel and Sam Sudduth.