9.15, 9.16, 9.17
CAMBRIDGE- Jefferson Speedway hosted not one, not two, but three stunning days of state championship racing at Wisconsin’s action track this weekend. Jason Erickson, Jefferson, fittingly won the 2023 state championship in the Late Model division after a track championship last Saturday. After a 22nd place finish in the track championship Chris Weber, West Salem, earned the state championship in the Sportsman, and Jim Tate Jr., Doylestown, added to his third place finish in the season standings with a first place finish in the Hobby Stock state championship.
The other state champions of the weekend included Nick Schneider, Rockton, Illinois, in the Internationals division, Chris Gottschalk, Fort Atkinson, for the Bandits, Jacob Tiegen, Marion, Iowa, in the Legends division, and Penn Sauter, Deforest, for the Bandoleros.
Erickson dominated the racing season all summer at Jefferson Speedway as he posted five feature wins early in the season and cruised to a 2023 track championship. This past weekend he added to his track championship with a state title. Erickson finished fifth in Friday night’s Late Model feature, and third in the first feature on Sunday with an impressive pass on the outside of Karter Stark, Marshall, with three laps to go. Erickson finished the weekend strong with a second place in the final Late Model state championship feature as he nearly caught Stephen Scheel, Lake Mills, at the line.
On Friday night, Kody Hubred, Utica, earned the first feature win of the weekend for the Late Models after a jailbreak collision around turn four with 10 laps to go sent the leader to the back and put Hubred on the inside of the first row at the restart. In the first feature of the day on Sunday afternoon it was Riley Stenjem, Stoughton, who was able to cross barely an inch across the finish line before Shaun Scheel, Lake Mills. Stephen Scheel added a state championship feature win to his regular season feature win in the second Late Model main event on Sunday.
After just two nights of racing at Jefferson Speedway this season Chris Weber showed his racing skills in the Sportsman division to bring home the 2023 state championship. Weber started the weekend with a second place finish in the Friday night feature followed by two fourth place finishes in Sunday’s feature events. It was an eventful weekend for John Ovadal Jr., Watertown, who took home a win in the first feature of the weekend, but suffered a collision that rolled his vehicle over twice and tore down a section of the safety fence on the front stretch in Sunday’s second Sportsman feature. 2023 track champion Mark Deporter, Fort Atkinson, and third place in the track championship standings Kurt Kleven, Jefferson, each recorded a feature win throughout the weekend.
Jim Tate Jr. added to a third place finish in the track championship and two feature wins with a Hobby Stock state championship title. The Doylestown native started the weekend modestly with a fifth place finish in the Friday night feature. On Sunday afternoon Tate followed 2023 Hobby Stock track champion Robbie Rucks, Deerfield, into a second place finish in the first feature of the day. With Seven to go Rucks and Tate lined up door to door after a restart, but Tate was unable to make a move inside the talented driver settling for a second place finish. Tate rounded out his weekend with a fourth place finish in the final feature of the weekend, in an impressive effort he was able to beat out Scott Riedner, Waunakee, and Rucks in a battle for fourth. In addition to Rucks, Bud Riedner, Waunakee, and Shane Strothman, South Beloit, earned wins in the Hobby Stock state championship features.
Sauter, who finished second in the 2023 Bandolero track championship posted an impressive weekend that included a sweep of the Bandolero 15-lap state championship feature races. In the first feature Sauter claimed the lead about halfway through the race with seven laps to go before Teegan Wangsness, Jefferson, and Bentley Thompson, West Salem, flanked either side to put Sauter in third. With four to go Sauter reclaimed the lead and finished the race in first. In the second feature Sauter survived several cautions caused by the number four car of Wesley Baumeister, Beloit, who was eventually disqualified for not meeting the weight requirements on his car. Sauter became the leader with five to go and finished first to lock down the 2023 title for Bandolero State Champion.
The International and Bandit divisions named their state champions early in the weekend on Friday night after two state championship features in each division. For the Bandits Austin Barnes, Sullivan, earned the win in the first feature and Jordan Lamb, Fort Atkinson, added on to a lone season feature win with a first place finish in the second state championship feature. Chris Gottschalk tied with Nick Newton in points for the Bandits, but Gottschalk’s quicker qualifying time earned him the title of 2023 Bandit state champion. Nick Schneider came into the Wisconsin state championships after earning his sixth track championship at Rockford in the 2023 season, and he set the tone with a win in the first feature of the night. Kyle Stark, Marshall, also added a state championship feature win as he held off 2023 track champion Weston Strese, Jefferson, and Tyler Deschaine, Loves Park, Illinois. Schneider was able to claim the 2023 state championship in the International division.
After two feature wins on just four nights of racing during the regular season at Jefferson Speedway, Jacob Tiegen earned the 2023 state championship in a clean sweep of the feature races. Tiegen started off hot on Sunday with a win in the first Legends state championship feature, skillfully holding off track champion Dillon Schwanbeck, Poynette, who finished second. The Marion, Iowa, native skillfully earned a win in the second feature of the day as well. Jefferson Speedway rookie of the year Lincoln Cain, Slinger, came out blazing and got out to an early lead. With about 18 laps to go Tiegen ran inside of Schwanbeck in a battle for second. Tiegen broke away and got ahead of Cain with seven laps to go and didn’t look back on his way to his second feature win of the night.
Jefferson Speedway closed out their regular racing season with the Wisconsin State Championships, but there will still be a number of specialty racing events at the track before it is closed down for the winter. For information on Track Attack, Slide Society, Madison Sports Car Club, Tournament of Destruction, and Blackjack Brackets head to the Jefferson Speedway Website. Jefferson Speedway extends a big thank you to all the drivers, fans, and sponsors that made the 2023 racing season possible.