September 19, 1998; Jefferson, WI. - It was a near perfect race weekend, with a huge crowd, 166 race cars and near perfect weather. It was the 18th annual running of the Pepsi-Cola Wisconsin State Championships at Jefferson Speedway, with top racers from all over the state on hand to challenge Wisconsins Action Track.
Andy Wendt tops Pepsi Wisconsin State Championships!
Newly crowned Jefferson Speedway Late Model champion (#18) Andy Wendt, was not through with winning this season at Jefferson Speedway. The tracks biggest event of the year the annual Wisconsin State Championships proved for the final time this year that Andy Wendt is the main to beat in the Late Model class. Wendy finished second to Jason Erickson in the first 50 lap feature and came from the back of the field in the second event to take the checkered flag. Wendt is shown here passing Dan Chesmore (#27) who had two solid finishies taking a fourth and a fifth in the feature.
Highlighting the weekend were the twin 50, Late Model Feature events, where Andy Wendt of Watertown, the 1998 Jefferson Speedway Late Model track champion, combined a second place finish and a win to claim the overall championship. As Wendt began his drive toward the front, Jason Erickson of Cambridge grabbed the early lead and never looked back, leading flag to flag, to notch victory in the first of the twin 50s. Wendt had found his way to the 4th spot by lap 27, when a spin between turns 1 and 2 brought out the only caution of the race.
As Erickson led the field back to green, Wendt continued his battle toward the front. Wendt Motored around Denny Stair of Sullivan for 3rd, on lap 32, closing with Edgertons Robert Cusick to challenge for 2nd. Cusick dropped to third by lap 47 as Wendt began to work on Erickson. With lapped traffic coming into play, Wendt was never able to find his way around Erickson. Wendts last ditch effort, to the inside of a lapped car on the with flag lap, came up a fender short as Erickson guided the field past the checkered flag. Rounding out the top 5 were Cusick, Dan Chesmore of Janesville and Scott Null of Lake Mills.
Following the first 50 lapper, the drivers made a 15 minute pit stop, for fuel and adjustments. No tire changes were allowed, except for flat or damaged tires, and there were none. The top 10, from the first race were inverted, to start the second as the cars lined up to start the second half of the twin 50s. Wendt and Erickson started side by side, in row 5 as Roger Behlke of Jefferson grabbed the early lead. As Behlke guided the field, Wendt wound his way through traffic, claiming 5th by lap 12, while Erickson had more trouble finding his way to the front. Caution came on lap 30, for a spin in turn 1.
|Dan Chesmore (#27) slips in Jefferson Speedway top 1998 Late Model rookie Luke Westenberg (#16) en route to his second consecutive top five feature finish of the weekend.|
On the restart it was Behlke leading the way to the green flag, with Wendt up to 4th, behind Scott Null of Lake Mills. George Urban of Merrimac made several bids for the lead over the next several laps, but with no success. The final caution of the race came on lap 36, for a spin in turn 4, closing the field up for a final restart. As the green flag flew, Null moved to the outside of Urban, looking for 2nd, as Behlke pulled ahead to guide the way. Null claimed second on lap 38, with Wendt close behind to claim the third spot. Null closed with Behlke, looking for a way to the point, while Wendt stayed close, looking for an opening. On lap 46, as they rounded the 2nd turn, Null made contact with Behlke, loosening up both cars. Behlke and Null both recovered, but not before Wendt moved to the bottom, passing both drivers for the lead. Null stayed on the attack, managing to slip under Behlke for second on lap 47. As they charged to the checkered flag it was Wendt for the win followed by Null, Behlke, Charlie Mierendorf of Lake Mills and Dan Chesmore of Janesville.
Wendts showing, in both features, earned him top honors overall.
Transferring to the feature lineup via the first 25 lap Last Chance race were Russ Goodwin of Beloit and Randy Breunig of Columbus, while Scott McGettigan of Madison and Gene Olson Jr. of Whitewater transferred from the 2nd.
In Friday night racing action Null set the fast pace in qualifying with a 14.787 second circuit of the quarter mile speed plant.
Mierendorf claimed victory in the 25 lap "Preview Feature", followed by Roy Aitchison of Deerfield, Urban, Erickson and Denny Stair of Sullivan.
The 25 lap "Race of Champions" victory was claimed by Wendt.
John Sherman of Madison and Mark Miller of Mazomanie claimed victories in 25 lap qualifying races.
The Midwest Truck Series made their debut appearance on Wisconsins Action Track Friday evening, treating fans to 20 action packed laps of racing. Charlie Cottam of Janesville claimed top honors in the 20 lapper, followed by Jim Dunn of Sun Prairie, Adam Shackelford of Verona, Scott Nelson of Sun Prairie and Scott Ollerman of Deforest.
Cottam set the fast pace in qualifying with a 14.708 second tour of the quarter mile.
In International (mini-stock) action Justin "Jaws" Nottestad, the Jefferson Speedway 1998 track champion, claimed top honors in the 50 lap main event. As the green flag flew, Mike Cusick of Edgerton charged out to the early lead as Nottestad worked his way toward the front. A spin on the back stretch brought the first caution of the race on lap 3.
On the restart it was Cusick at the point with Dale Nottestad of Cambridge running 2nd and Justin Nottestad up to 3rd. Justin moved to the inside of Ft. Atkinsons Pete Weston and Dale Nottestad on lap 4, claiming the 2nd spot and closing with Cusick. After a, side by side 2 lap battle, Cusick succumbed to Nottestads charge and found himself in a battle for 2nd with Darnell Mepham of Ft. Atkinson. As Justin Nottestad opened up a healthy lead, Mepham claimed the second spot and Cusick was battling with Scott Nottestad of Cambridge for 3rd.
The final caution of the race came on lap 47, for a one care crash in the 2nd turn. On the restart it was Justin Nottestad at the point followed by Mepham. Nottestad fought to hold off Mepham as he guided the field to the checkered flag. At the stripe it was Justin Nottestad for the win, followed by Mepham, Scott Nottestad, Weston and Cusick.
Justin Nottestad claimed top honors in Friday Nights 20 lap "Preview Feature", followed by Mepham, Weston, Mark English of Edgerton and Cusick.
Setting the fast pace in qualifying was Mepham, with a 15.926 second orbit of the quarter mile.
Rick Neerland of Ft. Atkinson claimed victory in the 12 lap qualifying race.
In Super-Stock action, Brady Liddle of Oregon claimed top honors in the 50 lap main event, Saturday night. As Liddle started his drive to the point, Ron Schmidt of Jackson moved out to the early lead. Schmidt held the point for 7 laps as Liddle moved through the field, claiming second by lap 5. Liddle closed with Schmidt by lap 6, moving to the inside, and past for the lead by lap 7.
Caution came on lap 9, for a single car spin. On the restart it was Liddle at the point guiding the way toward the checkered flag. A car parked on the front stretch sand pile, brought the second caution on lap 35, closing the field behind Liddle for the restart. Spins brought cautions on laps 36 and 38 setting up the final caution of the race when the field came down the front stretch to the green flag, Curt Clapper of Dane and Scott Broughton of Edgerton tangled, winding up in the front stretch wall and collecting Dean Hackl of Spring Green on their way. On the final restart it was still Liddle at the point, holding off a determined Rick Coppernoll of Monona. Coppernoll never found the opportunity he needed, as he followed Liddle to the checkered flag. At the stripe it was Liddle for the win followed by Coppernoll, Chris Earhart of Deerfield, Bill Shavlik of West Bend and Jason Dunn of Sun Prairie.
Transferring to the feature via the 20 lap Last Chance race were Ken Olson of Ft. Atkinson, Roger Schmid of Oconomowoc, Gary Kasperek of Tigerton and Robert Kravik of Cambridge.
Making the Last Chance race via the 12 lap "Pre-Last Chance" were Josh Jackson of Edgerton and Ken Morris of Madison.
In Friday night action Ron Schmitt of Jackson claimed top honors in the 20 lap "Preview Feature", followed by Coppernoll, Scott "Chico" Riedner of Waunakee, Liddle and Gene Gryttenholm of Stoughton.
Riedner set the fast pace in qualifying with a 15.423 second loop of the quarter mile.
Claiming victory in the 20 lap qualifier was Clapper while Bobby Stough Jr. of Waunakee won the 15 lap pre-qualifier.
In Sportsman division action, Dave Oswald of Cottage Grove, the 1998 track champion, claimed top honors in the 50 lap feature. At the green flag Brian Paszek of Wausau pulled out to the early lead, as Oswald worked his way up through traffic. Paszek found himself in a battle for the lead, immediately, as Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson challenging for the position.
|There was plenty of action in the Sportsman division. Here eventual winner Dave Oswald (#31) shoots out front of Bob Selsing (#42), Tony Koepke (#32) and Dave Quale (#67).|
Selsing claimed the lead on lap 5, while Oswald moved up to 7th. As Selsing guided the field, Oswald continued his methodical march to the front, claiming fifth by lap 7, fourth by lap 18, third by lap 28 and second by lap 39. Oswald closed with Selsing by lap 42, looking for an opening, and a path to the front. Selsing held tough until lap 45, when he slipped enough to give Oswald an opening on the inside. As Oswald moved to the front, Chris Purdy of Milton moved to the inside of Selsing looking for second. As they charged down on the checkered flag it was Oswald for the win followed by Purdy, Selsing, Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc and Paszek.
Moving into the feature lineup via the 20 lap Last Chance race were Brett Carson of Ft. Atkinson, Joe Wendorf of Jefferson and Scott Welch of Tomahawk.
In Friday night action Purdy claimed top honors in the 20 lap "Preview Feature" followed by Kalbus, Selsing, Oswald and Rich Titus of Jefferson.
Oswald set the fast qualifying pace with a 15.767 second drive around Wisconsins Action Track.
Bob Gereau of Schofield claimed top honors in the 20 lap qualifying race.
In Hobby Stock Action, Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown, the 1998 Track Champion, claimed top honors in the 50 lap Main event. As Kohlhoff started his trek to the point, Dan Schmidt of Farmington grabbed the early lead. Schmidt held the point for 2 laps, before being overcome by Pete Elgas of Janesville. Elgas still held the point when a spin in turn 4 brought the first caution of the race on lap 6.
|Justin Nottestad (#15) was another track champion who had his way with the field as he topped the International class feature. Here he powers past (#28) Bobby Moore and (#53) Pete Weston driving a Saab.|
|The Hobby Stocks really put on a show for the fans. Going three wide during many of thier events. Here Dan Schmidt (#19) uses the high line to get around (#52) Pete Elgas and (#68) John Hibner.|
On the restart Elgas pulled ahead, with Kohlhoff up to 6th. Kohlhoff had found his way to 4th by the time a pair of cars tangled on the back stretch to bring the final caution of the race. On the restart it was Elgas at the point as Kohlhoff moved to the inside of Bob Hibner of Pardeville for third closing with Brian Jensen of Lake Mills for 2nd. Jensen fell before the charge on lap 17 as Kohlhoff closed with Elgas. Kohlhoff gained the lead on lap 20, only to see Elgas reclaim the position on lap 21. Kohlhoff kept the pressure on, managing the winning pass on lap 23, as he pulled ahead to guide the field to the checkered flag. As Kohlhoff guided the way, former track champion, Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson closed with Elgas, claiming second, after a hard fought battle, on lap 42. At the stripe it was Kohlhoff for the win followed by Pfeifer, Elgas, former track champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon and Jensen.
Moving into the feature lineup via the 20 lap Last Change race were Jeff Weber of Janesville, Trent Erdman of Ft. Atkinson and Hibner.
In Friday night action Gaserude claimed victory in the 20 lap "Preview Feature" followed by Elgas, Pfeifer, Kohlhoff and Hibner.
Kohlhoff set the pace in qualifying with a 16.783 second tour of the quarter mile.
Claiming victory, in 15 lap qualifying races, were Dave Gigl of lake Mills and Cal Greening of Berlin.
Rounding out Friday nights activities were the One on One spectator drags where Robert Tweed of Madison claimed top honors in the 4 cylinder class, Jason Thom of Ft. Atkinson claimed victory in the 6 cylinder class and Chris Rowley of Cottage Grove won the 8 cylinder class.
After the races the end of the season was celebrated, and mourned, in the campground behind the track till the wee hour of the morning.
This concludes the 1998 racing season at Jefferson Speedway. The management and staff at Jefferson Speedway wish to take this opportunity to thank the fans, drivers and crews for a successful season and hope to see everyone in the spring, when we kick off the 1999 season.
Race Results: Saturday Night, September 19th:
|Late Model Division
First 25 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Russ Goodwin;
2.) Randy Breunig
Second 25 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Scott McGettigan; 2.) Gene Olson Jr.
12 Lap Pre-Last Chance: 1.) Josh Jackson;
2.) Ken Morris
20 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Ken Olson; 2.) Roger Schmid; 3.) Gary Kasperak; 4.) Robert Kravik
20 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Brett Carson; 2.) Joe Wendorf; 3.) Scott Welch
20 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Jeff Weber; 2.) Trent Erdman; 3.) Jason Hibner
Race Results: Friday Night, September 18th:
|Late Model Division
12 Lap Race of Champions: 1.) Andy Wendt
First 25 Lap Qualifying Race: 1.) John Sherman
Second 25 Lap Qualifying Race: 1.) Mark Miller
Fast Qualifier: #62 Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI,.........14.787 Seconds
|Midwest Truck Series
Fast Qualifier: #71 Charlie Cottam, Janesville, WI,..........14.708 Seconds
12 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Rick Neerland
Fast Qualifier: #12 Darnell Mepham, Fort Atkinson, WI,.........15.926 Seconds
15 Lap Pre-Qualifier: 1.) Bobby Stough Jr.
20 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Kurt Clapper
Fast Qualifier: #26 Scott Riedner, Waunakee,..........15.423 Seconds
20 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Bob Gereau
Fast Qualifier: #31 Dave Oswald, Cottage Grove,.......15.767 Seconds
First 15 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Dave Gigl
Second 15 Lap Qualifier: 1.) Cal Greening
Fast Qualifier: #98 Jeff Kohloff, Watertown, WI,...........16783 Seconds
One on One Spectator Drags
4 Cylinder: 1.) Robert Tweed
6 Cylinder: 1.) Jason Thom
8 Cylinder: 1.) Chris Rowley