Fall Spectacular Thrills Fans at Marshfield as Season Concludes
September 21, 2003; Marshfield, WI: – For this first time in the history of the two-day Fall Spectacular, all the events were completed as scheduled. Friday night’s action included Last Chance events for the Super Late Model to qualify into the 7th Annual Race of Champions (held Saturday), plus a 40 lap feature for the drivers that did not qualify. The Super Stocks were also on hand Friday night with a special 24 lap feature starting 24 cars in memory of Merle Weinfurter #24. The Legends, 1-Man Cruisers and IMCA Oldtimers concluded Friday’s racing. Saturday’s big race was the 100 lap Super Late Model Race of Champions.
Driver’s qualified for this race either by setting fast time or winning the feature at Marshfield, Golden Sands and Dells speedways, plus three cars from the Friday last chance events. The Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, 4-Cylinders, Mini-Cups, IMCA Oldtimers and 2-Man Cruisers made up the rest of Saturday night’s program.
Charlie Menard was fast timer of the Super Lates Saturday night and rolled a five with the dice, determining that there would be a 15-car invert for the start of the 7th Annual 100 lap Race of Champions. Terry Baldry started on the pole with Erik Darnell outside. Darnell quickly took the lead with Baldry running second. Kirby Kurth, Dean LaPointe and Todd Stapleman rounded out the top five for several laps. Steve Holzhausen, starting from sixth, began passing cars and was in fourth by lap five. Darnell, having some mechanical troubles with his car, was forced to give up the lead and pit on lap six.
Darnell never returned. Baldry then assumed the lead with Holzhausen right behind in second. LaPointe was racing third, Chris Weinkauf fourth and Kurth fifth. The first caution flew on lap nine when contact between Joe Krzykowski and Travis Sauter caused a spin. Neither driver returned to the race. Baldry continued to lead, but Kurth lost the fifth spot to Todd Stapleman when the race resumed. Holzhausen passed Baldry for the lead on lap 15, and began to stretch out the lead.
Stapleman had passed Weinkauf for fourth and then LaPointe for third on lap 19. Rory Melbinger also making a move on lap 19, to take fifth from Weinkauf. Lap 26, defending champion, Mark Eswein passed Melbinger for fifth. Lap 27 contact between Eswein and LaPointe caused a spin on the backstretch, both drivers’ made awesome recoveries and the caution didn’t come out. LaPointe did lose several spots on the track, placing him in seventh.
Lap 39, Baldry began having car problems which would force him to pit on lap 48. With Baldry’s car slowing, Stapleman took second, Eswein third, Baldry held fourth for a few laps until Melbinger and Weinkauf went by him. The next caution came out on lap 45 for the spun car of Keith Bohmsach. When the race restarted, Holzhausen led, Stapleman second, Eswein third, Melbinger fourth, Weinkauf fifth. Charlie Menard had worked his way to the front and into fifth for lap 51. The caution flew again for the spun car of Dean LaPointe on lap 56.
The decision was then made to allow the cars to refuel on pit road under caution. All drivers retained their running position on the track. Weinkauf refueled, but was forced to pit for mechanical problems and had to restart in the rear. 2003 Marshfield Super Speedway Track Champion Judd Brandl passed Menard for the fifth spot on the restart. Lap 64, Menard came back to take fifth from Brandl and then proceeded to take fourth from Melbinger. Brandl also moved up behind Menard forcing Melbinger to sixth. Menard passed Eswein for third on lap 77, and then passed Stapleman for second on lap 79. Eswein passed Stapleman for third the next lap. Melbinger with some troubles had dropped back and retired from the race on lap 83.
The final caution flew with only seven laps remaining when LaPointe and Mackesy had contact causing a spin. With Holzhausen losing the lead he had stretched out after each caution, Menard was right there to challenge him for the top spot. As the two raced door-to-door around the 1/2 mile, Menard edged out front for the lead with only three to go. Menard was able to stay in the front spot for the win, Holzhausen second, Eswein third, Stapleman fourth and Brandl fifth.
Friday night, Steve Holzhausen set fast time, qualifying him for Saturday’s Race of Champions. Todd Stapleman won the first Last Chance race and Keith Bohmsach won the second, qualifying both of them for Saturday.
The 40 lap Super Late Model feature was led by Cale Laessig for the first four laps, until Frank Nitzke passed him for the lead. Greg Weinfurter quickly raced to the front from his seventh place start for second. Laessig raced third until lap nine when Mark Kraus overtook him. Laessig fell to fourth with Eugene Gregorich Jr. fifth who started last since he missed qualifying. Gregorich’s run seemed strong until lap 11 when he was forced to pit and didn’t return. Jay VanDerGeest then moved up to fifth. Brian Back was right behind VanDerGeest and both of them passed Laessig on lap 14.
Lap 15, Weinfurter also seeming to have a strong run was forced to pit. Kraus moved up to second behind Nitzke, Back moved up to third, VanDerGeest fourth and Rick Grunden fifth. Grunden passed VanDerGeest for fourth on lap 20. Lap 37, Kraus lost the second spot to Back. A spin on the white flag lap ended the race with Nitzke winning, Back second, Kraus third, Grunden fourth and VanDerGeest fifth.
The 25 lap Limited Late Model feature had three caution flags before a lap was ever completed. Officials were forced to start the race single file just to get it started. Rocky Carlson led the first two laps. The yellow was out again on lap two for the spun car of Brandon Feit. When the race resumed, Paul Block took over the lead. Block, Blake Horstman, and Derek Dombeck all passed Carlson pushing him back to fourth. Lap four, Mark Sherfinski took fourth from Carlson. The next lap Sherfinski passed Dombeck for third. Horstman passed Block for the lead on lap seven. The caution flew again on lap eight for the spun car of Bo Bennish.
Officials then shortened the race by five laps. Neil Knoblock, who was scheduled to start 12th as he was the fast timer, was forced to pit during one of the early caution flags and had to start in the back, was running strong and into fourth on lap nine. Knoblock passed Sherfinski and Block for second on lap 12, but was unable to obtain the lead from Horstman. Horstman won, Knoblock second, Justin Woller also having to restart from the back third, Block fourth and Sherfinski fifth.
The Merle Weinfurter Memorial 24 lap Super Stock feature was led by Scott Havlicek for the first three laps. Contact between Kyle Davis and Brendan Klueckman brought out the first caution on lap two sending both of them to rear. Andy Simonis took the lead on lap four from Havlicek, but contact between those two brought out the second yellow. Josh Oleson led lap five until Cale Laessig took the lead for four laps. Oleson raced second, Keith Bohmsach third, Tim Plowman fourth and Larry Schultz fifth. Bohmsach passed Oleson for second and then took the lead from Laessig.
Plowman moved up to the third spot as Brian Weinfurter raced into the fifth spot. Weinfurter and Schultz battle over the fifth spot, with Schultz taking it and then fourth from Oleson. Larry Devito’s car blew the engine in turns three and four dropping oil onto the track and causing a major pile up. Schultz’s car and Tim Hintz’s car were both done for the night. Weinfurter passed Oleson for fourth and Jason Kirsling took fifth from Oleson the next lap. Jim Cormack worked his way through the field and into fourth, passing Weinfurter and Kirsling. Weinfurter was able to gain a position back at the finish. Bohmsach won, Laessig second, Plowman third, Weinfurter fourth and Cormack fifth.
Elliott Weiler grabbed the lead of the Legends feature, and looked for the win. Dan McGiveron came from the back to the front in quick hurry and was second on lap two. The first caution flew on lap two for the spun car of Eric Lokemoen. Lap four the yellow was out again this time for contact between Phil Bickley and John Burgess. On the restart Weiler continued to lead, McGiveron second, Curt Gnatzig third, Josh Schoenick fourth and Russ Weiler fifth. Schoenick and Russ Weiler both passed Gnatzig for third and fourth. McGiveron began challenging Elliott Weiler for the lead and took it from him with only two laps to go. McGiveron held on for his first feature win, Elliott Weiler second, Lokemoen third, Russ Weiler fourth and Schoenick fifth.
One lap of the 4-Cylinder feature was completed before the first caution flew for contact between Barry LeBlanc and Erin Schlough. Kevin Teske led for three laps until Donald Dunow took the lead. Car troubles on lap nine forced Dunow to relinquish the lead and pit leaving Derek Bettenhausen as the leader. 2002 and 2003 Marshfield Track Champion Keith Wirtz was running second and took the lead from Bettenhausen on lap ten. Jason Bell was running third, Chad Dietsche fourth and Dale Louze fifth. Dietsche passed Bell for third for one lap with Bell coming back to reclaim the spot. A couple of cautions flew on lap 15, but Wirtz kept the lead. Louze and Kevin Eckes moved up into the fourth and fifth positions. As the cars came around to get the checkered, Bettenhausen tried too hard to get the lead from Wirtz and spun himself coming out of turn four. Wirtz won, Bell second, Eckes third, Louze fourth and Dietsche fifth.
The Mini-Cup feature lap one was led by Chris Hoen. Kyle Kluetz led the rest of the 15 lap contest. Trevor Raski took second, Nick Krueger third, Mark Krueger fourth and Randy Braun fifth.
CJ Hedges led the first four laps of the caution free Street Stock feature. Brendan Klueckman then took the lead until lap15 when Doug Herbst took over for the win. Klueckman took second, Brian Bartelt third, Duane Myszka fourth and Joe Monti fifth.
The IMCA Oldtimers were here to race both nights. Friday night’s heat winners were Jerry Sullivan and Gary Stein. George Shields won the open wheeled feature and Chris Loberg won the full bodied feature. Saturday’s heat winners were Lou Fegers, Mark Peine and Gary Stein. Jerry Sullivan won the first feature, Skip Pollack won the second, and Bob Barfknecht won the third.
The 1-Man Cruiser feature was won by Mike Dodson, Rodney Feltz second, Travis Zvolena third, Sam Sudduth fourth and Matt Curnoyer fifth. Rodney Feltz won the three race championship, Mike Dodson second and Travis Zvolena third.
The team of Boyer and Clark won the 2-Man Cruiser feature, Hasenohrl and Bauer second, Sankey and Pionek third. The three race championship was won by Hasenohrl and Bauer. Second went to Boyer and Clark and third was Sankey and Pionek.
The 4-Cylinder semi-feature advanced the top four to the feature. Kevin Eckes won, Rob Barthen second, Adam Krzykowski third and Keith Kemnetz fourth.
The Super Stock semi-feature transferred four cars to the feature. Kevin Charles was the winner, Mark Brunner second, Harry Myer third, Larry Devito fourth.
The winners of the Wal-Mart bicycles were Marshall Mueller of Marshfield on Friday and Heather Doring of Marshfield on Saturday.
Thanks to all the drivers, pit crews, fans and sponsors for all their support during the 2003 season. Join us next season for more Saturday night racing. Marshfield Super Speedway is located 3.5 miles West of Marshfield on County Trunk H.