After Claiming First DRP Championship Kreyer Will Return With Reinforcements In 2012
Frank Kreyer (Wisconsin Dells) – Alive For Five Super Late Model Champion (Jeff Blaser Photography)
First in a series of five highlighting the 2011 Dells Raceway Park Champions
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (December 13, 2011) – To say Frank Kreyer was busy when the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series presented by Advanced Engine Concepts was on the tablet at Dells Raceway Park would be a grave injustice to how many angles he had to play.
Kreyer acted as a driver, car owner, crew member, and crew chief for himself and several other teams competing in the five-race series at DRP. Through it all Kreyer was able to take a win and four fourth-places finishes en route to his first championship at his home track. In 2012 he plans to return with a few more additions to the team.
“Having these other drivers aboard, we’re building a great team,” Kreyer said, deflecting praise from his championship run. “We figured out some technology that’s way outside the box and it works for us.”
In addition to his own work load planned at Dells Raceway Park this season Kreyer and his partner Wes Coon will help field super late teams for Kelsey Bauer, Corey Jankowski, Amanda Ferguson, Tanner Whitten, and perhaps another driver or two. While the work load may seem astounding, Kreyer said it does have its built-in perks.
Kreyer and his team build their cars in an identical fashion. What works on one car, works on all of them, he said. Unfortunately, that may have cost him a win in the final race of the season when he was bested by teammate and former DRP Late Model champ Corey Jankowski.
“It’s funny because I came in after practice and I told him to make an adjustment on something I had seen running behind him,” Kreyer recalled. “I laugh because I didn’t make the adjustment myself and it cost us the win to Corey.”
Although he tends to take more pride in his team than his personal accomplishments this season, much can be said about Kreyer’s impressive run to the front in each of the five races.
“It’s about winning races and running up front,” Kreyer said of his championship. “What a consistent year we had with one win and four second place finishes in second place races, and coming from the back to do it. We had really good consistent cars.”
The championship comes one season after Kreyer raced a full slate of events at Wisconsin International Raceway where he had a top five finish in points and was named rookie of the year in the competitive Super Late Model field. That confidence has been building over several years and erupted this season.
“I’ve always been a second, third or fourth place car in something where we stuck to it. You need consistency and to be on your game,” Kreyer said. “(A championship) comes with test time, focus and going to different tracks. The Dells is my test track. It’s seven miles from my house. I better be fast there.”
Lap after lap Kreyer and the Super Star Motorsports cars continued to rise over the competition. Dalton Zehr and Jeff Storm were able to break into victory lane as well, but not without Kreyer in close pursuit.
Kreyer said he was happy to play the role of standout.
“The competition has had to step up and I love it. It’s only making the competitors better,” he said. “They’re keeping an eye on us and they all have to step up to our program, which they are, and that’s only making their programs better. We’ve been there too.”
However, Kreyer said he would have enjoyed visiting victory lane a few more times more than taking the title. He also said a championship may have been more meaningful a little earlier in his career.
“For the younger generation it might be more meaningful because they can add that up and put it on their résumé, but a guy my age, maybe I should be winning a championship now. Now we show up to a track and we’re a force to be reckoned with. It’s fun.”
While the competition was fierce on the track, it was those same competitors who teamed up with Kreyer under the leadership of Tom Lichtfeld to bring the Super Late Models back to Dells Raceway Park. Their hard work, persistence and creativity helped breathe life back into the class which sat on the sidelines in 2010.
“It meant a lot. Super Late Model racing is where my love is,” Kreyer said. “When they went away, that bothered me so much. It was a little bit like when your first girlfriend breaks up with you. It was heartbreak. To have them come back was exciting.”
Kreyer joked that it took him less than ten seconds to decide that he would be racing at DRP in 2011. “There was no question in my mind,” he said.
He also remains one of the biggest proponents of the business model put together by the staff and DRP and the Super Late Model racers.
“What the (Dells Super Late Model program) has done is what, in reality, we need to happen in this economy,” he said. “We need to put it back in the racers hands a little bit. If we take care of ourselves and are thankful to the promoter for letting us have a place to race, let us help each other that way.”
“We’re racing for our own money, and that’s how we have to do it. We have to be creative. When you had these race tracks paying us what they used to, it’s just not there any more. Most racers understand that now.”
As do all the racers who ran the Alive For Five in 2011, Kreyer hopes the Super Late Model program at Dells Raceway Park starts to turn some heads in the motorsports industry. With names like Zehr, Storm, Reiser, Prunty, Zimmerman and others in the field, Kreyer can get a sense of accomplishment in coming out on top over some of the best Super Late Model racing has to offer.
“I hope the (Dells Super Late program) is getting recognition as far as local super late model stars,” Kreyer said. “We’ve had some good names come in and that whole group was great. Guys who you wondered ‘are you ever going to see these racers again?’ Now they come out and run that. That excites me. These are the guys that made the ‘Matt Kenseths’ and the ‘Kelly Bires’.”
From that recognition, Kreyer hopes to see more top drivers come to tangle at DRP in 2012.
“I hope we have 30 race cars at every event. I hope everyone is doing their homework because I would love the Dells to be a place where you show up and say ‘this is the toughest racing.'”
Supporting Kreyer to his 2011 championship run were his sponsors Waterfurnace, Coleman Racing Products, Culvers, and TD Graphics and his crew consisting of his father Ray Kreyer, wife Michelle Kreyer, son Kendrick Kreyer, Russ Schmidt, Ben Laviolette, and team co-owner Wes Coon.
Dells Raceway Park’s 2012 opening date is set for Saturday, May 19. The tentative starting date for the Super Late Model’s five-race series is the following week, Saturday, May 26. A full 2012 schedule will be released when details are finalized after the first of the year.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road, five minutes north of downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., off highway 12-16. For more information including the latest news, the 2011 schedule and more visit www.dellsracewaypark.com.