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Nick Wendt and Rick Neerland Score Career Firsts at Jefferson Speedway!!

By Jeanne & Larry Starr

August 29, 1998; Jefferson, WI. – Rookie driver Nick Wendt of Watertown, scored his first career feature win, in the Jon Green Automotive Group 50 lapper on Wisconsin’s Action Track. Starting from the outside of row one, Wendt spent the first lap trying to move past Rex Weston of Lake Mills for the lead. Wendt moved by Weston on lap two and never looked back as he guided the field over the remaining 48 laps to the checkered flag. With Wendt at the point Weston found himself fighting for second with Mike Taylor of Stoughton. Taylor moved to the inside of Weston making, claiming the spot by lap six, with Tom Dorn of Ft. Atkinson and Denny Stair of Sullivan following for the 3rd and 4th spot.

A pair of spinning cars brought out the first caution, on lap nine, closing the field behind Wendt for the restart. On the restart Wendt pulled ahead of Taylor as Stair moved to the inside, claiming third from Dorn. Stair closed with Taylor by lap 11, moving to the inside to claim the 2nd spot. Once in second, Stair closed with Wendt, looking for the point. Stair caught Wendt by lap 13, moving to the inside on lap 14, launching his bid for the lead. Wendt fought hard on the outside working to hold the position. Stair’s bid for the lead ended as he lost the handle, in turn 2, spinning the car and bringing out the second caution of the race on lap 16.

On the restart it Wendt still held the point with Taylor back in second and Scott Null of Lake Mills up to third. The restart saw Wendt pull ahead as Taylor fought to hold off Null’s challenge. A spin, on lap 18, brought out the third caution of the race closing the field for the restart. On the restart Wendt continued to lead as former track champion Andy Wendt challenged Charlie Mierendorf of Lake Mills for the 4th spot. Andy Wendt claimed 4th on lap 24, closing with Null in the battle for third. Null held off Andy Wendt until lap 32, before surrendering the 3rd spot. Nick Wendt stretched out a good lead as Andy Wendt closed with Taylor, battling for the second spot. Taylor held on until lap 40, when Andy Wendt, moved to the inside in his successful bid for second, a half straight away behind Nick Wendt.

The gap closed by lap 45 with Andy Wendt, Taylor and Mierendorf moving up on Nick Wendt in a 4 way battle for the lead. Taylor and Mierendorf tangled, on lap 48, spinning out of harms way, and throwing the elder Wendt off his rhythm enough to allow Nick a small lead. The small lead proved to be enough as the rookie driver took the white flag, charging the final lap to the checkered. At the stripe it was Nick Wendt, scoring his first career feature, followed by Andy Wendt, Null, Roger Behlke of Jefferson and Dan Chesmore of Janesville.

Jason Erickson of Cambridge set the fast pace in qualifying with a 14.930 second tour of the quarter mile Speed Plant.

Stair claimed the money in the 8 lap Jon Green Automotive Group Dash for Cash.

Mark English of Edgerton, Taylor and Andy Wendt each claimed a win, in 10 lap heat races.

Transferring to the feature lineup via the 20 lap Last Chance race were John Ovadal of Johnson Creek, Duane Deppe of Waterloo, John Hornby of Sun Prairie and Butch Mierendorf of Waterloo.

In International class action Rick Neerland of Ft. Atkinson notched the first feature win of his career in the 20 lap main event. Starting from the inside of row three, Neerland began his drive to the front, as D. R. Moore of Madison moved out in the early lead. Moore’s lead was short lived as Scott Uttech of Beaver Dam moved up to claim the top spot on lap two. Just settling into his position at the point, Uttech found himself locked in a battle with Earl Kauffman of Edgerton.

Kauffman moved to the outside of Uttech to claim the lead on lap four, as Neerland followed for the second spot. As Neerland closed with Kauffman, Pete Weston of Ft. Atkinson moved around Uttech into the third spot, on lap 7, closing with Neerland. Weston motored under Neerland on lap 9, moving to the inside of Kauffman on lap 10. As Weston pulled into the lead, on lap 11, Kauffman caught him, coming out of the second turn. Weston spun to the infield, with Kauffman receiving the black flag for his part in the incident. Neerland was the winner in the exchange, coming out in the top spot, with 9 laps between him and the checkered flag.

As Neerland guided the field toward the checkered flag, Darnell Mepham of Ft. Atkinson, and the current point leader Justin Nottestad of Cambridge battled for the second spot. The battle for second may have provided the edge Neerland needed, as he charged toward his first feature win. At the stripe it was Neerland for the win, followed by Mepham, Nottestad, Matt Frey of Cambridge and Mike Cusick of Edgerton.

Brent Nottestad of Cambridge paced the field in qualifying with a 16.048 second circuit of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory in 10 lap heat races were D. R. Moore and Brent Nottestad.

Transferring to the feature lineup, from the 10 lap Last Chance race, were D. R. Moore, Matt Nickel of Madison, Jason Uttech of Watertown and Mike Drays of Milton.

In Sportsman Division action Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson made it three in a row, in the 25 lap feature. Starting from the outside of row 7, Selsing started the long drive to the front, as Tony Koepke of Ft. Atkinson pulled out to the early lead. Koepke soon found himself fighting off Rich Titus of Jefferson. Titus moved to the inside of Koepke on lap two, claiming the top spot before three cars tangled in turn 4, bringing out the first caution of the race on lap three. On the restart it was Titus in the lead with Koepke still running second with Selsing up to the 9th spot.

Chad Stevens of Beloit moved to the inside of Tod Goldade of Stoughton into third, on lap four, closing with Koepke to make a bid for second. Koepke held of Stevens until lap 13, before dropping to the third spot, as Stevens set his sights on Titus while Selsing moved around Dave Quale of Ft. Atkinson into the third spot. Stevens moved to the inside of Titus on lap 11, claiming the lead by lap 12, with Selsing following into second.

Selsing moved to the inside of Stevens on lap 14, but Stevens fought hard on the outside, holding onto the top spot until lap 16, when Selsing made his successful run to the inside. Stevens held on, making another bid to the inside, but came up short, as Selsing guided the field toward the checkered flag. As they flew past the checkered flag it was Selsing for the win, followed by Stevens, Quale, Titus and Curt Thompson of Palmyra.

Dave Oswald of Cottage Grove set the fast qualifying pace with a 15.901 second orbit of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory, in 10 lap heat races, were Brett Carson of Hebron, Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc and Selsing.

Completing the feature lineup, through the 10 lap Last Chance race, were Kalbus, Josh Courtney of Janesville, Noel Ramge of Hellenville and Alan McBride of Janesville.

In Hobby Stock action Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson stretched his lead, in the quest for the championship, with victory in the 20 lap feature. Starting from the inside of row 7, Pfeifer began his drive to the front as Bill Bush of Johnson Creek drove out to the early lead. Pfeifer found all the right holes, in his way to the front, claiming 4th by lap 2 as he moved up on Jason Ayers to battle for third.

By lap five, Pfeifer had passed Ayers, and was moving to the inside of Bush to make his bid for the lead. Pfeifer pulled ahead of Bush, making the winning pass on lap six, as Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown moved on Bush, making a bid for second. Kohlhoff motored under Bush on lap eight, closing with Pfeifer, but was never able to make a serious bid for the top spot. At the stripe it was Pfeifer for the win, followed by Kohlhoff, Pete Elgas of Janesville, Bush and Nick Golich of Hebron.

Kohlhoff set the fast pace in qualifying, with a 17.020 drive around Wisconsin’s Action Track.

Claiming victory in 10 lap heat races were Scott Carson of Whitewater, Ayers and Lincoln Keeser of Johnson Creek.

Transferring to the feature via the 8 lap Last Chance race were Chris Jackson of Edgerton, Billy Gay, Trent Erdman of Ft. Atkinson and Carson.

Rounding out the night’s entertainment was the rollover contest, where Jody Mepham of Ft. Atkinson aced the field with 3 perfect 4-point rolls.

Next week Jefferson Speedway hosts the Watertown Bowl 50 lap Late Model feature along with a full racing program in the Late Model, International, Sportsman and Hobby Stock divisions. Rounding out the nights’ activities will be the second running of the “Bubble Gauntlet”.

In this event the track is soaked with soap and water in preparation for the full size Buick Century piloted by track promoter Terry Tucker and copiloted by chief score keeper John Kamenick. The goal of this pair is to complete 6 laps on the slick surface. They will be joined by up to 12 sub-compacts, driven by experienced race driver, whose goal is to stop the “Gauntlet” car before it can complete 6 laps. Tucker has been goading the challenging drivers, with glowing accounts of his accomplishments to date, in this event.

Gates open at 4:00, qualifying at 5:30 and racing to begin at 7:30 sharp. Jefferson Speedway is located on highway 18 half way between Jefferson and Cambridge.

Late Model Division
“Jon Green Automotive Group 50” – 50 Lap Feature Event
1. #46 Nick Wendt (Watertown)
2. #18 Andy Wendt (Watertown)
3. #62 Scott Null (Lake Mills)
4. #44 Roger Behlke (Jefferson)
5. #27 Dan Chesmore (Janesville)
6. # 2 Tom Dorn (Fort Atkinson)
7. #76 Roy Aitchison (Deerfield)
8. #96 Jason Erickson (Cambridge)
9. #55 Eric Gerlach (Palmyra)
10. #41 Mark Taylor (Stoughton)
11. # 1 Charlie Mierendorf (Lake Mills)
12. #93 John Hornby (Sun Prairie)
13. #71 John Ovadal (Johnson Creek)
14. #16 Luke Westenberg (Palmyra)
15. #17 Daune Deppe (Waterloo)
16. #12 Butch Mierendorf (Waterloo)
17. #36 Rex Weston (Lake Mills)
18. #43 Denny Stair (Sullivan)

20 Lap Last Chance:
1.) Ovadahl
2.) Deppe
3.) Hornby
4.) B. Mierendorf

First 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Mark English

Second 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Mike Taylor

Third 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Andy Wendt

Jon Green Automotive Group Dash for Cash:
1.) Denny Stair

Fast Qualifier:
#96 Jason Erickson, Cambridge,……….14.930 Seconds

20 Lap Feature Event
1. #24 Rick Neerland (Fort Atkinson)
2. #12 Darrell Mepham (Fort Atkinson)
3. #15 Justin Nottestad (Cambridge)
4. # 2 Matt Frey (Cambridge)
5. #18 Mike Cusick (Edgerton)
6. #25 Brent Nottestad (Cambridge)

10 Lap Last Chance:
1.) D.R. Moore
2.) Matt Nickel
3.) Jason Uttech
4.) Mike Drays

First 10 Lap Heat:
1.) D.R. Moore

Second 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Brent Nottestad

Fast Qualifier:
#25 Brent Nottestad, Cambridge, WI,……..16.048 Seconds

25 Lap Feature Event
1. #42 Bob Selsing (Ft. Atkinson)
2. #82 Chad Stevens (Beloit)
3. #67 Dave Quale (Fort Atkinson)
4. #21 Richard Titus (Jefferson)
5. # 6 Curt Thompson (Palmyra)
6. # 7 Chris Purdy (Milton)

10 Lap Last Chance:
1.) Jay Kalbus
2.) Josh Courtney
3.) Noel Ramge
4.) Alan McBride

First 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Brett Carson

Second 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Jay Kalbus

Third 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Bob Selsing

Fast Qualifier:
#31 Dave Oswald, Cottage Grove,………15.910 Seconds

Hobby Stocks
20 Lap Feature Event
1. #58 Jim Pfiefer (Fort Atkinson)
2. #98 Jeff Kohloff (Watertown)
3. #52 Pete Elgas (Janesville)
4. #17 Bill Bush (Johnson Creek)
5. #66 Nick Golich (Hebron)
6. #19 Dan Schmidt (Farmington)

Last Chance:
1.) Chris Jackson
2.) Billy Gay
3.) Trent Erdman
4.) Jason Ayers

First 8 Lap Heat:
1.) Scott Carson

Second 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Jason Ayers

Third 10 Lap Heat:
1.) Lincoln Keeser

Fast Qualifier:
#98 Jeff Kohloff, Watertown, WI,…….17.020 Seconds

Roll-Over Contest:
1.) Jody Mepham, Fort Atkinson

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