Zimmerman Zips to WCS Dairy Days 75 Victory
June 7, 2003; Marshfield, WI: – John Zimmerman of Markesan, scored perhaps the biggest win of his career as he fended off a late race challenge for Jeff Watters on his way to winning the Dairy Days 75 at Marshfield Super Speedway. The fourth event of the 2003 Wisconsin Challenge Series has seen four different winners take to victory lane. Zimmerman became the fifth and final driver to pace the contest having taken the lead from Watters with 29 laps remaining in the race. Watters would hound Zimmerman to the checkered with Zimmerman taking the win by a couple car lengths.
The day had began with a field of 39 cars appearing in spite of threatening weather conditions. Qualifying concluded with Krzykowski turning a lap of 17.914 seconds topping the time trial session. Darnell, who had already turned in a fat time effort this season sat second with a lap of 17.994 seconds, and third quick went to Eswein with a run of 17.998 seconds. The trio were the only drivers to eclipse the 18 second mark.
Run under cool and cloudy conditions, a field of 22 cars hustled to the opening green flag with 2000 Marshfield Super Speedway track champion Judd Brandl going to the lead from his pole starting position, with fellow front row starter M.G. Gajewski slipping back on the outside lane. Multi-time Golden Sands Super Stock champion Keith Bohmsach was making a rare Late Model start, wheeling a car owned by Mark Eswein quickly moved into the runner-up slot and he began to pressure Brandl for the lead position.
Bohmsach running hard in the outside lane drove deep into turn the corners in the outside lane was able to power past Brandl for the lead position of lap five. Brandl would fade quickly, as Jason Weinkauf would nab second on the next lap, and Watters would drop Brandl back another spot on before the conclusion of the lap. Royle was next to steal a spot from Brandl on lap eight to run in the fourth position.
Bohmsach was able to hold the lead over Weinkauf by a car length over the next ten laps as Weinkauf, Watters and Royle gave chase. Weinkauf was able to work the outside line and he became the third different leader of the event when he annexed the position from Bohmsach on lap 16. On lap 18, Bohmsach slipped up the track just a bit, allowing Watters and Royle to slip by.
The first of three cautions appeared on lap 25, with Weinkauf setting the pace over Watters, Royle and Bohmsach. Zimmerman, by this point had been working traffic and slowly moving forward, running in the seventh position.
When action resumed the battle for the lead heated up. Watters and Weinkauf would run side by side around the half-mile paved oval. After slight contact Watters would nose ahead on lap 28, with Royal taking advantage of the situation to gain second, as Weinkauf slipped to the third spot. Further back Zimmerman was continuing his march forward using the outside lane. He reached the third position on lap 33 and began to reel in the lead duo of Watters and Royle who were contesting the lead position. Royle searched high and low for a way past Watters.
The lead trio were nose to tail at the halfway point of the contest, while Eswein had quietly worked his way into contention securing the fourth spot. Royle was able to get a good run on Watters using the outside lane on lap 45. He made his pass in the outside groove stick and he slowly began to pull away from Watters. However two laps later, while extending his lead, Royle slipped off the backstretch and spun heading into turn three forcing the second caution of the event and relegating the former leader to the tail of the field.
This left Watters back in the lead with Zimmerman, Eswein and Jeff Weinfurter the winner of the most recent WCS event which was held at Golden Sands Speedway on Memorial Day in the top four spots. Ryan Mathews making his second career WCS start had worked his way into the fifth spot after starting deep in the field.
With 30 laps remaining all-time WCS point leader Ken Reiser who was running inside the top ten, looped his car in turn three, sliding up an embankment resulting in the third caution of the event.
Underway again Watters set the pace with Zimmerman hot on his heels. Watters would slide up the track one lap after the green appeared and Zimmerman was quick to capitalize on the situation slipping past underneath for the lead. Watters, quickly regained his momentum and attempted to retake the lead sticking to the low line of the track. Zimmerman was up to the challenge and held fast to the top spot as Watters, Eswein, Weinfurter and Mathews gave chase.
While the positions at the front began to stabilize as each driver sought to make a move for a better spot, attention was focused a bit further back in the field as Jeff Kendall was making a brilliant charge through the pack. Kendall, has started the race in the 17th spot after winning one of the qualifying races. He had moved to seventh when the fourth caution appeared as fast qualifier Joe Krzykowski spun with 15 laps remaining in the race. Kendall had reached fifth at Mathews expense when the final caution appeared with seven laps remaining.
Erik Darnell, the current WCS point leader had come to a halt with mechanical difficulties in turn three necessitating that caution and negating a top ten finish. The end result was an official placing of 19th on the scoring chart. However, that was enough for him to maintain the point lead by a 444 to 422 point margin over Kendall.
With the green flag returning, Zimmerman assumed his role as the race leader and he pulled away as Watters and Eswein engaged in a battle for second. Kendall again went to work, powering past Weinfurter for fourth with only a handful of laps remaining.
With two laps to go Eswein attempted to nose under Watters for the second position but with Watters able to hold fast to the spot. This allowed Zimmerman to stretch out to a six car length lead which he would hold to the finish. Watters would maintain second ahead of Eswein, Kendall and Weinfurter who made up the top five runners. Mathews, Bohmsach, Dean LaPointe, Gajewski and Jason Weinkauf completed the top ten runners. Royle, who set the pace fore his spin rebounded to take eleventh.
In the qualifying races Kendall and defending track champion Rory Melbinger were able to secure victories. The first contest saw Kendall work from the sixth spot to the lead, sweeping pass Chris Weinkauf for the top spot in the closing laps of the race. Kendall would comfortable take the win with Weinkauf and Ken Reiser reaching the main event. Rocky Breezer and Mark Mackesy finished fourth and fifth.
The second race was marred by a severe accident with five laps remaining in the race. Veteran racer Mike Langsdorf became tangled with Dave Lawrence and Allen Check and impacted the outside wall in turn two. The race was halted due to the crash. Langsdorf was in need of medical assistance and transported to a nearby hospital for assessment and treatment. The cars was considered complete. Melbinger who was in the lead at the time was awarded the win, with transfer spots going to Jim Carlson and Kyle Kinder. As of Monday morning Langsdorf remained in the hospital continuing to receive treatment. Updates will be made available shortly.
The next event on the Wisconsin Challenge Series schedule will be the 23rd Annual Larry Detjens Memorial race held at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin. The quarter-mile semi-banked paved oval will host the show on Thursday evening, June 26th. Time trials are set to begin at 6:15 p.m., with racing planned to begin at 7:15 p.m.
The highlight of the program will be a 100 lap feature contest featuring the Wisconsin Challenge Series Super Late Models. Twin 30 lap qualifying races will also be on the agenda for the Super Late Models. Mini-Stocks and Street Stocks will be on hand as support classes for the event.
State Park Speedway is located in Wausau, Wisconsin at the foot of Rib Mountain. The track is just west of town on County Road NN. The easiest route to the track is to take U.S. 51 to exit 190 and head west on County NN. The track is about 2 miles from the exchange. For additional information on State Park Speedway call (715) 842-4777 or consult the track website at www.racingonline.com/wausau or the official Wisconsin Challenge Series website located at www.wisconsinchallenge.com
Wayne Elmhorst led lap one of the 4-Cylinder feature. Lap two Robert Dalsky led and then Stephen Stewart took the lead for the win. Paul Berg tried to chase down Stewart but the 12 lap contest didn’t give him enough time. Stewart won, Berg second, fast timer Keith Wirtz third, Jason Bell fourth and Dalsky fifth.
The Cruiser feature was led and won by Randy Meyer. Pat Dickman held second throughout the race. Sam Sudduth held third for a few laps before relinquishing the position to Nick Klimpke. Travis Zvolena came up to take fourth and Matt Gurnoyer grabbed fifth.
Join us again next Saturday for another night of exciting racing action on the new asphalt. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m., Miller Time Trials at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30. Next Saturday’s racing is sponsored by Mid-States Equipment, Inc. Hydraulics, Meyer’s Equipment Mfg. Corp., Nelson-Jameson and WDLB/WOSQ featuring CARQUEST Super Late Models, CARQUEST Super Stocks, Motorcycles and 1-Man Cruisers. Marshfield Super Speedway is located 3.5 miles West of Marshfield on County Trunk H.