Marshfield Main to Chris Weinkauf
August 3, 2002; Marshfield, WI: – Many people were in attendance for CARQUEST night at the races at Marshfield Super Speedway here Saturday night. As inclement weather threatened the night’s festivities, track officials did a great job getting the program in before the heavy rain would fall.
In CARQUEST Super Late Model action, 17 cars took the green flag for the 25 lap feature event. In his second appearance at the speedway this year, Baraboo’s Dave Lawrence set the early pace from his front row starting position. Caution flew on the second lap as Eric Wisz looped his car in turn one. Everyone was able to avoid the spinning car of Wisz except for Dean LaPointe. The veteran driver from Marshfield had no place to go as his machine was boxed in. LaPointe suffered extensive damage to the left front of his race car and was finished for the evening.
On the restart, Lawrence held his strong hold on the rest of the field as he continued to lead the way. Once Eau Claire driver Ben Pettis cleared the pack, the third year driver started to cut into the five car length lead that Lawrence enjoyed.
Pettis, who carries the Menard colors, closed the gap to a car length as he appeared to have a very fast machine. With eight laps in, Pettis made an inside attempt to get by the Lawrence’s machine, but Lawrence quickly slammed the door on his attempted pass in turn three. Pettis continued to show patience, waiting for Lawrence to make a mistake. By this time, Jay VanDerGeest joined the top two drivers for a three-way battle for the top spot.
On lap 16 of the 25 lap main, things changed in a hurry. As it appeared Ben Pettis might get his first win of the year, his drive shaft broke coming out of turn two bringing out the second caution. When the race resumed, the race leaders were Lawrence, Jim Sauter Jr., and VanDerGeest. With one lap in on the restart, Sauter made an attempted pass on Lawrence; the two drivers made contact with each other causing Lawrence to loop his car in turn one. The two drivers had to go to the back of the pack due to the contact rule. Jay VanDerGeest briefly inherited the lead under the caution period but had to leave the track for transmission problems.
Once the race restarted, it was Jeff Weinfurter, Chris Weinkauf, and John Frazier, the top three drivers. As Weinfurter and Weinkauf were in a side-by-side battle for the top spot, point leader Rory Melbinger and John Frazier had their own battle going on for the next two positions.
Melbinger pushed up the track making contact with Frazier, thus, giving Melbinger the third spot. Weinkauf, who was on four new tires, made the pass on Weinfurter with two laps remaining and went on for the feature win. Weinfurter finished second, followed by Melbinger, Gregorich, and Pete Kempf.
In the 20 lap CARQUEST Super Stock feature event, Ken Soyka jumped out to the early lead. Soyka held the top spot until lap five. That was when Scott Hamel took over the top spot. Hamel, Brian Schmutzer, and Matt Raykowski battled it out for the top spot. At the midway point of the race, Schmutzer finally cleared the Hamel machine to take over the point. Raykowski followed suit getting by Hamel for the second position.
With seven laps remaining, caution flew for the first time as Keith Bohmsach’s car pushed up the track sending Shawn Stelzer nearly head on into the turn one wall. Track officials quickly rushed to Stelzer’s aid and found the driver to be okay after the very scary impact. In a sportsmanship manner, fellow driver Larry Schultz pulled his machine up next to Stelzer to see if his friend was okay.
On the restart, Schmutzer continued to lead the way as Raykowski and Hamel fought for the second position. Caution flew once again as Andy Simonis and Hamel made contact causing Hamel to spin in the first turn.
Once the race resumed, it was Schmutzer in first, followed by Tim Plowman, and Cale Laessig. With two laps to go, Tim Hintz fought his way from his 14th starting position into the third spot. At the same time Hintz made his move to third, Plowman took over the top spot from Schmutzer. As the white flag came out, Hintz was looking to make the pass on Plowman. The two drivers battled side by side with Hintz getting by Plowman on the backstretch and going on to take the hard earned victory. Tim Plowman held on to second, followed by Laessig, Schmutzer, and Marshfield’s Larry Schultz.
In 4-Cylinder action, Deven Adams held the early lead in his Dodge. The Wausau driver held the top spot for the first five laps. On lap six, Rodney Feltz took over the top spot from his 12th place starting spot. As Feltz was stretching his lead over Adams, Keith Wirtz moved his way to the third position by the seventh lap. One lap later, Wirtz moved into second passing Adams in turn three. By the time Wirtz made his way to second, Feltz stretched his lead to ten car lengths as he went on to score the feature win. Point leader Wirtz finished second, followed by John Froelich, Steve Hauser, and Robert Dalsky.
In the always exciting Cruiser Division feature, Mike Dodson & Jim Dodson held the early lead with Wayne Meyer closing in on them. By the race’s fifth lap, Rodney Feltz moved into second followed by Meyer. With four laps remaining, Feltz took over the top spot from the Dodson team. Meyer followed suit and moved into second as Scott Havlicek was putting heavy pressure on Meyer for third. However, it was all Rodney Feltz as he cruised to the feature win. He was followed by Meyer, Havlicek, Dodsons, and point leader Josh Elmhorst.
The winner of the bicycle from Marshfield’s Wal-Mart was Robby Gascoigne of Chippewa Falls.
Next Saturday it’s the last FREE Admission night. Grandstand admission to the races is FREE with a minimum $1.00 donation towards United Way. Saturday’s events are sponsored by the Marshfield Herald, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, St. Point Journal, and WGLX 103.3 FM/WFHR 1320 AM and Innovative Machine Specialists.
The CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST Super Stocks, Legends, and Cruisers will be the action on the 1/2 mile paved oval. Marshfield Super Speedway is located 3 miles West of Marshfield on County Trunk H. Miller time trials begin at 6pm with the exciting racing action starting at 7:30.