Gregorich Jr. Cashes in at Marshfield
July 27, 2002; Marshfield, WI: – As the weather threatened the racing action, it didn’t dampen the many fans that were in attendance at Marshfield Super Speedway. It was Dental Clinic of Marshfield night at the races, and the children were treated to kids’ rides around the track by the drivers.
Eighteen cars were looking to take home the checkers in the 25-lap Super Late Model feature. Mark Mackesy jumped out to an early lead and was closely followed by Jay VanDerGeest and John Frazier. On the fourth lap, VanDerGeest looked to the inside of Mackesy as the two drivers fought side by side for the next two laps.
On the sixth lap, VanDerGeest slipped up the track opening the door for John Frazier. Frazier made the three-wide pass stick coming out of turn two and took over the lead. Frazier’s lead would be brief, however, as he too was fighting a loose race car. Pete Kempf took advantage of the situation and moved his Ford to the front on lap eight followed by Frazier and Mackesy. As Kempf was leading, Eugene Gregorich,Jr. and Rory Melbinger, the top two point leaders, were making their way through the field.
On lap 12 of the 25-lap feature event, Gregorich, Jr. got by Kempf for the race lead with Melbinger running third. The race’s first caution would fly on lap 13 for debris on the race track. On the restart, Gregorich, Jr. held the point followed by Melbinger and Sauter, Jr. Caution flew for the second time on lap14 as Pete Kempf lost the handle of his machine going into turn one. It appeared that everyone was going to clear Kempf’s car; however, Frazier, who got slowed up for the incident, was tagged from behind by Ben Pettis sending Frazier into Kempf. Also getting caught up in the incident was VanDerGeest. VanDerGeest, Frazier and Kempf were through for the evening with heavy damage to their race cars.
When the race got restarted, it was Gregorich Jr. at the point. Melbinger and Sauter, who continued to swap places for the second position, were on the back bumper of Gregorich. The feature event would be slowed for a third and final time as Mark Mackesy looped his ill-handling machine in turn two. Once the race continued with eight laps to go, Gregorich, Jr. shot out to a four car length lead over Sauter and Melbinger. On the final lap, Sauter was able to cut into Gregorich’s lead, but it was Gregorich coming out on top by two car lengths at the finish line. Sauter finished second followed by point leader, Rory Melbinger in third. Rounding out the top five were Jeff Weinfurter and fast qualifier, Dean LaPointe.
Gregorich, Jr., who cut Melbinger’s point championship lead to 15 points with five point events remaining, also won the fast dash and fast heat. The other heat winner was his father, Eugene Gregorich, Sr.
In the always competitive Carquest Super Stock feature, it was rookie driver Donald Tieman, Jr. setting the early pace. Tieman, who earlier won his heat race, would lead the first six laps before Wisconsin Rapid’s driver Shawn Stelzer made the inside pass in turn two. Stelzer held the top spot until lap nine. That was when point leader, Tim Hintz, passed him on the backstretch to take over the helm. At the same time Hintz made his pass on Stelzer, Andy Simonis took over the third spot with an outside pass on Tieman. Hintz, who would take over the point lead from Stelzer, stretched his advantage over Stelzer to five car lengths.
As Hintz was stretching his lead on Stelzer, Simonis was closing in on Stelzer for the second position. With two laps remaining, Simonis made the outside pass stick on Stelzer. However, Simonis would have to settle for second as Hintz, who also won the fast heat and set the pace in qualifying, cruised to the caution-free feature win. Stelzer settled for third followed by Tieman and Tim Plowman, fourth and fifth respectively.
Hintz will take a three-point advantage over Stelzer in the chase for the championship going into next week’s racing action. Simonis is 31 points behind Hintz as it appears these three drivers will be vying for the point championship.
The four cylinders were back in action on MSS once again this week. Just 13 points separate point leader Keith Wirtz and Doug Adams.
In the 12-lap main, Brad DuPee darted out to the early lead followed by Kyle Davis and Robert Dalsky. DuPee held the top spot until Jason Bell got by him with nine laps remaining. Caution flew as Steve Hauser tagged the front stretch wall with seven laps remaining. On the restart, it was Bell, Wirtz, and Dalsky, first, second, and third respectively. With five laps remaining, Wirtz, who proved to have the fastest car, passed Bell going down the backstretch to take over the top spot. As Wirtz was stretching his margin over Bell, Doug Adams was moving towards the front. Wirtz stretched his lead to six car lengths and went on to score the victory ahead of Jason Bell. Doug Adams passed Dalsky in the final turn to take third. Following Adams and Dalsky was John Froelich coming home in fifth.
In Cruiser feature action, Justin Kummer and Dan Szymkowiak led the field of 11 cars. The race was quickly taken over by Josh Bell, Josh Elmhorst and Rodney Feltz, all of which started in the last three positions. By the midway point of the race, it was all Rodney Feltz, who earlier in the evening posted fast time and heat wins. The always exciting Feltz, went on to earn the win. He was followed by Josh Bell in second, point leader Josh Elmhorst in third, Mike Dodson fourth, and Steve Bores rounded out the top five.
The winner of the bicycle from Marshfield’s Wal-Mart SuperCenter was Evan Wirtz of Rudolph.
Next week at Marshfield Super Speedway it will be CARQUEST week of racing. Fans can pick up $1.00 off the price of admission coupons at the many CARQUEST Auto Parts stores throughout Central Wisconsin. Joining the CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST Super Stocks, and Cruisers, will be the 4-Cylinders and the IROC Saturns. Miller time trials start at 6 pm., and the exciting racing action begins at 7:30 pm. Marshfield Super Speedway is located 3 miles West of Marshfield on County Trunk H. Please join us for another action-packed night of racing at the all new MSS.