POINT BATTLE HIGHLIGHTS BEGINNING OF TUNDRA’S SECOND HALF OF 2013
The field is closing in on Round One Winner Dalton Zehr. Can he repeat his Memorial Day win and strengthen his point lead? (Jeff Blaser Photo)
Top 11 separated by 36 points
PORTAGE, Wis. (July 17, 2013) – Don’t look now, Dalton, but the pack is coming.
TUNDRA Super Late Model Series point leader Dalton Zehr had stretched his point advantage out to a seemingly comfortable margin after a third-place finish at Jefferson Speedway in Round Two. However, Round Two winner Nick Panitzke trimmed that lead significantly with a podium finish in Round Three at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
When TUNDRA Super Late Models take to Golden Sands Speedway for the second time this season on Friday night, Zehr’s point lead will sit at one lonely marker over Panitzke.
If history is kind to Zehr, a return trip to Plover will be just what the doctor ordered. Zehr qualified just outside of the dash and stormed to the win on Memorial Day. However, due to passing points, fast qualifier Brandon Selle left Round One with the point lead.
Zehr made up his passing points and grabbed the point lead after setting fast time and securing a podium finish at Jefferson in Round Two. However, the newcomer Panitzke made his mark by capturing the win in his first trip to the tricky quarter-mile.
Via text message, Panitzke confirmed that he has never been to Golden Sands, but wryly said that he likes new tracks, like Jefferson – a clear indicator that he expects to find his way to the front on Friday.
The two point leaders met in Round Three at LaCrosse in a skirmish that sent both to the back on lap six. Panitzke was able to charge back to third, while Zehr had to settle for tenth. Not only did Panitzke close the gap, so did third-place and Round Three winner Frank Kreyer.
Kreyer sits only 13 points behind Zehr. However, The 2011 Alive For Five Champion struggled in his first trip to Golden Sands, punching his ticket to the feature through the Leo’s Upper Dells Bar Gong Show and finishing 14th. This time Kreyer will bring a car he feels is more suitable to Central Wisconsin’s Power Playground, as he was forced to utilize a backup in Round One.
It isn’t just Panitzke and Kreyer who are keeping tabs on Zehr as TUNDRA prepares for Round Four. With three races remaining no less than a dozen cars are still theoretically in the title hunt. The top 11 are separated by a slim 36 tallies, which can be made easily if one driver can ride a hot streak through the next three shows.
Behind Kreyer, Minnesota veteran Bryan Roach is only 20 points back of the point lead, who has held his own with strong runs at Golden Sands and LaCrosse and picked up a nice assist from James Swan in Round Two at Jefferson.
Also within striking distance is Eugene Gregorich Jr. who has two “home games” next on the schedule. Gregorich has won features at both Golden Sands (where he sits second in points) and Marshfield (where he is point leader) this season. He is a mere 21 points out of the lead.
In sixth place is TUNDRA rookie Matt Pyburn. Pyburn is also familiar with Golden Sands and Marshfield, but mostly in his Super Stock. Pyburn has enjoyed two solid 8th place finishes after finishing 12th in Round One at Golden Sands. His rookie lead is also at the slimmest margin.
Paige Decker sits seventh, just one point behind Pyburn in a furious battle for the Dean’s Satellite Rookie of the Year title. Decker made history at Golden Sands in Round One by setting the second fastest time and finishing tenth. She updated her history by grabbing a seventh-place finish at LaCrosse. Decker certainly may be one to watch Friday as she is finding her groove at Golden Sands. She set fast time there last week.
Mike Egan (31 points back), Brandon Selle (34 points back) and Billy Mohn (34 points back) round out the top ten in TUNDRA standings. After getting some help from Chad Selk at LaCrosse, Tom Lindquist is just outside the top ten, two points back of Selle and Mohn.
The TUNDRA point battle resumes this Friday, July 19 with another 60-lap feature scheduled at the third-mile. The event will be a TUNDRA point race, but not a Golden Sands Super Late Model point race. Qualifying is at 6:30 with racing scheduled to begin at 7:45. TUNDRA will be joined by the Golden Sands Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, 4 Cylinders and Cruisers.
Golden Sands Speedway is located at 10992 Hwy. 54 just outside of Plover, Wis. For more information visit www.gssraces.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 race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and standings, archived results and standings, the 2013 schedule and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).