TUNDRA’s Round One Wrap Up
TUNDRA Super Late Models prepare to take the green in the Element Mobile 60 (Jeff Blaser Photo)
PORTAGE, Wis. (May 29, 2013) – Dalton Zehr picked up his fifth TUNDRA Super Late Model Series win in 10 starts over the past three seasons on Monday afternoon at Golden Sands Speedway. As his story developed so did many more from the first race of TUNDRA’s new era.
TUNDRA Sets New Mark in Car Count
After two seasons TUNDRA’s highest car count was 32, set in Round Five at Dells Raceway Park last season. Despite forecasted rain and cool temperatures 40 drivers were in attendance for Round One on Monday. Of those 40, 39 took qualifying laps. Joey Pontbriand was unable to make the call after an accident in practice.
Egan, Steve Lichtfeld, Schoppenhorst Keep Perfect Attendance
Both Mike Egan and Steve Lichtfeld kept their run of perfect attendance alive by hitting the 11th race in Alive For Five/TUNDRA history. Terry Schoppenhorst has had a car entered in every race so far, although he had Tommy Pecaro substitute for him once last season. Zehr and Frank Kreyer are close with 10 of 11 starts. Zehr missed the first Alive For Five race in 2011, Kreyer missed TUNDRA Round Five last season with engine issues.
So Many Debuts!
Of the 40 drivers entered 28 made their TUNDRA Super Late Model Series debuts. Tom Lindquist and Jeff Weinfurter made their second TUNDRA starts. Lindquist arrived for Round 3 of Alive For Five in 2011 while Weinfurter made his debut in Round Four. Ironically enough, those two we involved in an incident that brought out the final caution when Weinfurter’s left front tire gave way and he made contact with Lindquist.
New TUNDRA drivers were bound to make new TUNDRA history. A lot of that history pertained to the female drivers who competed Monday. Rene Scheinoha, Paige Decker and Claire Decker all competed in and completed every lap of the Element Mobile 60. Here is what else they accomplished:
· Most female drivers in a TUNDRA feature (previously one)
· By qualifying second, Paige Decker was the highest qualifying female (Amanda Ferguson qualified 5th in Alive For Five Round Five of 2011)
· Scheinoha was the first female to lead a lap in a TUNDRA feature
· Paige Decker recorded the best finish by a female (10th)
Youngest TUNDRA Driver
Wyatt Blashe of Clintonville made his TUNDRA debut at just 14 years of age. Blashe qualified 33rd of the 40 drivers and officially was scored 12th in the Waterfurnace although he was unable to finish.
Michigan and Minnesota Invade!
Seven drivers made a long trip to Central Wisconsin’s Power Playground to join TUNDRA on Monday. Billy Mohn (Lakeville) was the highest finishing Minnesota driver with a 5th place finish. Nick Murgic (Rosemount) recorded a solid seventh place finish and won the Fast Five Dash. Bryan Roach (Goodhue) was the last car to qualify in on time and came home 17th.
Drivers from the U.P. of Michigan also made some noise. Seven-time Norway (Mich.) Speedway Champion Jamie Iverson (Escanaba) grabbed an eighth-place finish just in front of Bark River’s Tom Lindquist. Fifteen-year-old rookie Jordan Ives (Gladstone) had a solid qualifying run and came home 18th in the main. As mentioned, Joey Pontbriand (Norway) was the fourth Michigan driver to make the trek.
Speaking of Rookies…
Matt Pyburn set a good pace to accomplish his goals of becoming the TUNDRA and Golden Sands Speedway Rookie of the Year. Pyburn made the cut by qualifying 17th and raced his way to 12th in the Element Mobile 60. He sits in a tie for 12th place with Claire Decker.
Jordan Ives kept pace with Pyburn by making the feature field and recording his 18th place finish. Declared rookies Jordan Thiel and Chris Brooks both had to settle for starts in the Waterfurnace Shootout. Paige and Claire Decker are both eligible to run for Rookie of the Year and the $750 bonus from Dean’s Satellite, but have yet to declare.
Speaking of Points…
One would think Dalton Zehr would be at the top of the charts in TUNDRA standings, but not when Brandon Selle had the day he did. Selle picked up five bonus points for being the fastest qualifier and 10 passing points by moving from 14th to fourth. He holds a four point advantage over Zehr in series standings.
More Bonuses For Selle and Lap Leaders from Element
By passing the most cars in the feature Selle picked up an extra $100 from race sponsor Element Mobile. Scheinoha, Cardell Potter, Weinfurter and Zehr also picked up bonus money for each lap they led during the feature.
He Fixed It!
After a rough go at Wisconsin International Raceway on Thursday Night, TJ Smith threw in a couple nights of dirt racing and still managed to fix his Super Late Model racer in time to make his TUNDRA debut. Smith finished 9th in the Waterfurnace Shootout.
Some Attrition over the Weekend
While Smith was able to fix his machine, two others planning to join TUNDRA at Golden Sands were not. Kelsey Bauer was involved in an accident at Dells Raceway Park on Saturday. Ryan Hinner has been chasing gremlins under the hood of his machine since his race at Marshfield on Saturday. Bauer plans to return to TUNDRA action on June 22 at Jefferson and Hinner hopes to make his TUNDRA debut later this season at either Golden Sands or Marshfield.
On to Round Two We Go…
Round Two for the 2013 TUNDRA Super Late Model Series season is scheduled for Saturday, June 22 at Jefferson Speedway just outside Jefferson, Wis. A visit to Wisconsin’s Action Track will be the first time TUNDRA has competed on a quarter-mile. TUNDRA will be joined by the Mid-American Stock Car Series and other support divisions to be named soon.
Top Jefferson weekly drivers including defending champion Casey Johnson are expected to greet the TUNDRA Travelers.
For more information on Jefferson Speedway visit www.jeffersonspeedway.com.
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park.
TUNDRA’s business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and drivers alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, past results and standings, the 2013 schedule and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms)