MUCH-IMPROVED MONDEIK A SERIOUS TITLE THREAT
PORTAGE, Wis. (August 23, 2018) – Entering his second season with the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes, Justin Mondeik set his expectations high with an eye on the series Championship. Flash forward to August and Mondeik sits only eight markers out of the point lead with just two races remaining.
“Compared to how we struggled last year, at this point we’re really happy to be in it,” Mondeik said of the Championship chase. “It’s very humbling to be close to guys that have been in Super Late racing for a long time. Just to be in the conversation with them, and to be contending for a TUNDRA Championship with two races to go, we’re pretty happy.”
Mondeik’s improvement has been massive and very noticeable. His best finish of the 2017 season was Ninth after setting fast time at Jefferson. This season he has recorded two Sixth Place finishes and a TUNDRA-best Third Place finish at Marshfield. His run to the podium in the Bev Aschenbrenner Memorial may have been his most impressive TUNDRA event to date. After spinning at the start and having to tag the tail of the starting grid, Mondeik rocketed through the field and looked to be the fastest car on track.
Despite the possibility of a win falling away at Marshfield, there is one other race where Mondeik said he would like to have a mulligan.
“I wish we could have got the win at Wausau, we were just really fighting a set of tires that day,” Mondeik said of the July 7 stop. “We made the most of it and came home Sixth, but I really would have liked to win.”
State Park Speedway has been a friendly facility to Mondeik this season. Away from TUNDRA – and as part of a busy schedule – Mondeik has been competing weekly at Wausau. The SPS opener forced him to tag in Bobby Kendall for Round One at WIR. The decision seems to be paying off as Kendall kept him in the TUNDRA hunt with a Sixth Place finish and Mondeik holds the point lead with two races remaining in the season at State Park.
Another friendly facility for Mondeik just so happens to be the next stop for TUNDRA – Golden Sands Speedway. Mondeik began the year with a solid Third Place finish in The Thaw. He sits Fifth in the weekly standings after an up-and-down season. Although he expects a home-track advantage to be in the mix, Mondeik knows that his competitors are always quick to step up their game.
“I think we’ll be good [at Golden Sands], but with TUNDRA it doesn’t matter if some guys have never been there or only have been there once or twice,” Mondeik said. “Most of the guys are pretty good and it all kind of evens out in the long run. Having the home track advantage helps in having baseline setups and you don’t have to start in left field.”
If Mondeik is to hold serve at Golden Sands, it will leave some intrigue at Dells Raceway Park for the finale on September 23. Mondeik dropped out on lap 51 of the sizzling-hot September event last season, but showed good speed throughout the day. This season that event could have title implications for the young racer.
To couple with the improvement on-track, Mondeik has shown an incredible off-track effort in 2018 with the Kulwicki Driver Development Program. Of all the candidates, Mondeik may be the busiest off the track. There are weekly occurrences of food drives, donations, appearances, and much more. His philanthropy has been second to none.
“We really pride ourselves on doing as much as we can off the track,” Mondeik said. “We’ve raised over $8,300 for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. That sends 16 veterans so far. We’ll keep sending as many as we can. We’ve also got our Mighty Bandos Series and some other off-the-track things just to keep spreading Allen’s legacy as much as we can.”
So far the mission has been more than accomplished for Mondeik off the track. Beginning on Labor Day, he’ll have his chance to accomplish his missions on the track and chase down the TUNDRA title.
TUNDRA swings back into action on Labor Day, Monday, September 3 at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wis. The series will be joined by the Midwest Truck Series and Wisconsin Sport Trucks. Qualifying is at 12:30 p.m. with racing at 2 p.m.
Golden Sands Speedway is located on State Highway 54 between Plover and Wisconsin Rapids. For more information visit www.gssraces.com