by Andrew Schaller
JEFFERSON, WI (Saturday, August 18, 2012) Madison's Luke Hoffman captured his first career Late Model feature at Wisconsin's Action Track after holding off a late race charge from Alex Papini. Hoffman led every lap of the Miller Lite 50 en route to becoming the tenth different pilot to taste victory this season in Jefferson Speedway's premier division.
Hoffman and Stephen Scheel led the pack to green with Hoffman holding the advantage as they crossed the stripe to complete lap one. Hoffman cleared for sole possession of the top spot on lap two as Scheel fell to second. Stephen's brother, Shaun, moved into third on lap four as Stephen moved up to challenge Hoffman again for the lead. But Hoffman maintained control on the point as the Scheel brothers began to fight for second. The first of four cautions waved on lap 17, closing the leaders up for the restart. As racing resumed, Stephen Scheel took another look under Hoffman while Shaun Scheel watched from third. The second and third cautions appeared consecutively for two separate multi car incidents, the second of which included point leader Casey Johnson and his closest rival in the standings Jason Erickson. Both were forced to restart at the back of the field while Hoffman continued to show the way followed by Scheel and Scheel. Once racing resumed, Shaun fired under Stephen to grab second with Papini in tow for third. While Shaun Scheel tried to close the gap on Hoffman, Papini moved up to challenge Scheel for second. ON lap 32, Papini dove under Scheel as they entered turn three. After drawing even, Papini cleared for the runner up position a lap later and set his sights on Hoffman out front. Papini reeled in Hoffman as the laps ticked away, finally catching him on lap 45 just before the final caution waved. The yellow flag set up a five lap shootout to the finish with Hoffman in the lead and Papini on his rear bumper. But Hoffman stayed strong on the point as Papini was unable to mount a serious threat. At the stripe, it was Hoffman for the win followed by Papini, Shaun Scheel, Dylan Schuler and Jerry Eckhardt.