Volm bests Weinkauf in battle of No. 76s in Dave Lashua Memorial
WAUSAU, Wis. (July 14) – The Dave Lashua Memorial at State Park Speedway was another highlight in what is turning into another pretty stellar year for Travis Volm, as well as a bitter-but-sweet night for Jason Weinkauf.
Volm held off Weinkauf on a restart with four laps left and won the 50-lap Auto Select Super Late Models feature as part of the sixth-annual Lashua Memorial. The Mosinee native now living in Wausau won his second feature of the season at State Park, joining Justin Mondeik as the only winners of multiple features in the class this season.
The win also was the third super late model win of the season in Central Wisconsin for Volm, a five-time pure stock champion at State Park who also won at Golden Sands Speedway last Friday and has established himself as a super late model contender to win every week whether driving his car or the Wayne Brevik-owned No. 7-11 car at Golden Sands.
Volm took the lead inside M.G. Gajewski on lap 12 and led the final 39 laps. It was far from a stress-free drive, though, as much of that came with Weinkauf lurking close behind, and even closer after a caution came out with four laps left.
The two No. 76 cars were lined up side-by-side coming back to the green for a four-lap dash to the finish, and Weinkauf on the outside got a half car length jump as the flag flew. Trouble developed behind the leaders in turns one and two, though, as Dillon Mackesy and Rayce Haase got together and Jerry Brickner’s car also sustained damage, resulting in a brief red flag and Haase being towed off.
Volm and Weinkauf were lined up side-by-side again for the second attempt at a restart, and this time Volm got a jump coming to the flag and cleared Weinkauf with three laps left. The race wasn’t over, as Weinkauf first took a look coming off turn two on lap 48 and then got into the back of Volm in turn three on lap 49, getting both cars loose briefly. Volm held on to keep the inside lane, though, and edged Weinkauf by a car length at the finish.
The win in the Lashua Memorial marks the third different class Volm has won a feature in the six years of the memorial race honoring the popular former racer who passed away in 2016. Volm also won the first two runnings of the Lashua Memorial in a pure stock and added a feature win in the limited late model class in 2018.
The second-place finish continued the runner-up blues this year for Weinkauf, who has finished second in six of the seven features in the class this season. Dating back to last year the Merrill driver has finished second in seven of the last eight super late model features at State Park.
The silver lining to the evening for Weinkauf was his moving into the points lead for the first time this season, nine points ahead of Mondeik with three races left. A four-time feature winner this year and the two-time defending super late model champion, Mondeik had a tough go from the start of the feature, stuck on the outside most of the race and then spinning and receiving damage with four laps left. He finished seventh, his first time outside the top four in a feature this season.
M.G. Gajewski finished third in the feature for his best finish of the season. Noah Gajewski of Marathon posted his best-ever SPS super late model feature finish coming in fourth with Brickner rounding out the top five.
Auto Select Super Late Models pres. by C-Tech
Fast Qualifier: Jason Weinkauf, Merrill, 13.914 sec.
First Heat: 1. M.G. Gajewski, Wausau; 2. Travis Volm, Wausau; 3. Tyler Sauter, Necedah; 4. Noah Gajewski, Marathon; 5. James Swanson, Pembine
Second Heat: 1. Justin Mondeik, Gleason; 2. Jerry Brickner, Wausau; 3. Weinkauf; 4. Dillon Mackesy, Athens; 5. Rayce Haase, Wausau
Feature: 1. T. Volm; 2. Weinkauf; 3. M.G. Gajewski; 4. N. Gajewski; 5. Brickner; 6. Sauter; 7. Mondeik; 8. Haase; 9. Mackesy; 10. Swanson
Schramm wins four-wide finish for first Lashua Memorial, Willhite, Sischo add feature victories
WAUSAU, Wis. (July 14) – The Dave Lashua Memorial has become the signature event for the Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks at State Park Speedway, and the class rose to the occasion yet again Thursday night.
With cars fanned four-wide coming to the finish line of the 25-lap feature and several spinning and collecting just after the checkers, Brian Schramm surged on the outside out of the final corner to edge Jeff Spatz to win the 6th annual Lashua Memorial and one of the biggest paydays of the veteran’s career.
Schramm took home more than $700 for his win as a number of fans, fellow racers and spectators stepped up to contribute to a big payday throughout the field in the class. The six-time track champion, who has announced this will be his last year of racing, also won his second feature of the season.
Schramm’s pass at the end concluded 13 laps of work trying to get past Spatz. He took to the outside of the leader at the halfway point but seemed locked there as Spatz got a strong run on the straightaways to hold an advantage every lap.
Four-time feature winner Mitch Stankowski also was hounding the leaders in third right behind Spatz, but never could find an opening as the top two were locked side-by-side. Schramm was nearly a car length back at one point but made a final attempt on the outside in the closing laps and held a lead briefly on the backstretch on the white flag lap before Spatz made a run out of turn four to lead again at the stripe.
Spatz held a half car length lead on the final lap going down the backstretch and looked in position to win coming through the final two turns. His car got loose and slid up the track coming out of the fourth turn, though, and Schramm had enough opening to take the win by a wheel, with Stankowski and Jevin Guralski also inside the top two at the finish line. Spatz spun just after crossing the finish and Stankowski and Guralski were both collected, though all cars would drive away after the incident.
The finish was a disappointing near miss for Spatz, who led all but the final few feet of the 25-lap race. He finished second one night after a blown engine in practice ended his night June 30, this time taking the lead from the inside pole and staying strong on the inside in the caution-free race.
Schramm’s win marked the first time in six years that a Volm hadn’t won in the pure stocks in the Lashua Memorial, which honors a popular former driver in the class who passed away at the age of 47 in 2016.
Alex Volm of Mosinee had won the last three runnings of the race, but his night went south on lap 3 of the second heat race when his steering locked up going into the first turn. and his car went straight into a tire barrier, getting airborne before landing on tires. Two wreckers were needed to tow his car to the pits, but incredibly pit members got his car back out for the feature, and he completed all 25 laps and finished sixth.
Wausau’s Josh Willhite rebounded from big trouble last time out to win his second feature of the season in the Snap-on Mini Mods.
Willhite took the lead on lap 5 when Hunter Landwehr slipped high in turn one, and he went on to open up a 10-car length lead. He would receive a challenge late, though, as car owner, fellow No. 31 and points leader Joe Kuehn closed in. Kuehn got to Willhite’s bumper on the white flag lap but never got closer. Willhite held on to win in his first night out since blowing an engine June 23, with Kuehn second and Chad Ferge third.
Branden Sischo of Stratford crossed the finish line first in a feature for the second time this season in the Rockstar Energy Drinks Mini Stocks, and this time he was able to enjoy the full spoils of victory and take his first official career feature win.
Sischo was the apparent feature winner four weeks ago but was disqualified after his car failed post-race inspection due to an unapproved tire. He had no such issues after this week, capping a big night that also included his first-ever fast qualifying effort and a run from the 10th starting spot to the front in the feature.
Sischo used the outside to get to the lead, including a three-wide pass of Amanda Rowe and Eric Breitenfeldt on the outside for third halfway through the 20-lap feature. He would then pass Garret Strachota also on the outside and went to work on leader Ashley Schoone of Gleason on lap 13, finally taking the lead two laps later and from there sailing away to win by a straightaway over Schoone, who had Strachota on her bumper the final six laps but held on for second. Breitenfeldt finished fourth and Rowe came in fifth.
Next week is State Park Speedway’s biggest event of the year with the two-day Larry Detjens Memorial. Racing begins next Friday with the Big 8 late model series highlighting a schedule that also includes mini stocks, Bandoleros and Legends cars. Saturday’s show includes the ARCA Midwest Tour super late models, pure stocks, mini mods, mini stocks and Bandoleros.
Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Brian Schramm, Wausau, 15.363 sec.
First Heat: 1. Jeff Spatz, Wausau; 2. Steve Dobbratz, Rio; 3. Todd Kuehl, Wisconsin Rapids; 4. Kyle Check, Shantytown; 5. Billy Kuehl, Wisconsin Rapids
Second Heat: 1. Jevin Guralski, Wausau; 2. Mitch Stankowski, Wausau; 3. Schramm; 4. Brett Breitenfeldt, Wausau; 5. Brian Plisch, Athens; 6. Alex Volm, Mosinee
Feature: 1. Schramm; 2. Spatz; 3. Stankowski; 4. Guralski; 5. B. Breitenfeldt; 6. A. Volm; 7. Plisch; 8. Dobbratz; 9. T. Kuehl; 10. B. Kuehl; 11. Check
Snap-on Mini Mods
Fast Qualifier: Chad Ferge, Wausau, 15.761 sec.
First Heat: 1. Hunter Landwehr, Stratford; 2. Gary Garand, Weston; 3. Dale Louze, Mosinee; 4. Brian Marquardt, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Josh Willhite, Wausau; 2. Joe Kuehn, Wausau; 3. Ferge; 4. John Lietz, Mosinee
Feature: 1. Willhite; 2. Kuehn; 3. Ferge; 4. Garand; 5. Landwehr; 6. Louze; 7. Lietz; 8. Marquardt
Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Branden Sischo, Stratford, 16.721 sec.
First Heat: 1. Amanda Rowe, Mosinee; 2. Joey Blaschka, Wausau; 3. Luke Mikula, Wausau; 4. Tyler Muller, Sun Prairie; 5. Brian Duranceau, Tomahawk; 6. Willie Watts, Amherst
Second Heat: 1. Eric Breitenfeldt, Wausau; 2. Ashley Schoone, Gleason; 3. Garret Strachota, Wausau; 4. Tom Lecher, Wausau; 5. Zach Budleski, Wausau; 6. Sischo
Feature: 1. Sischo; 2. Schoone; 3. Strachota; 4. E. Breitenfeldt; 5. Rowe; 6. Blaschka; 7. Budleski; 8. Lecher; 9. Muller; 10. Duranceau; 11. Watts; 12. Mikula