By Brandon Aschenbrenner
Special to the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Friday was the final regular season points night at Golden Sands Speedway for the 2017 season.
All of the divisions would include multiple drivers with a mathematical chance to win the championship. Some divisions even started with only a single digit difference. The cruiser class ran their championship with Kuhn and Mancil (126) picking up the feature win with a last corner bump and run. Kuhn and Mancil also picked up the season title.
In Super Stock action, Greg Back (6) took fast time on his birthday. In the heat race, John Zuch (8) took the win. In the feature, Rick Beyer (18) and Brad Schulze (87) raced hard near the front of the field early. Matt Komatz (33) would lead the first four laps until Lucas Betro (1) muscled past Komatz. Zuch would take the lead one lap later and try to get away. With sixteen laps left, Greg Matthews (8) made the move to the lead and brought Brian Weinfurter (24) along with him.
Back was able to catch the top two late in the race, but Matthews would pick up the win and maximum feature points with Weinfurter, Back, Zuch and Travis Volm (76) finishing top five. That finish for Volm would be enough to secure the 2017 track championship by 17 points over Matthews. Back, Weinfurter and Schulze took top 5 in the points. Volm also took the Rookie of the Year title.
In the Back 40 Wraps Super Late Models, Mike Olson (64) took fast time honors for his first time. In two heat races, Jerry Brickner (9) and Jordan Thiel (2) made it to victory lane. In the feature, Justin Mondeik (44) grabbed the early lead. Almost ten laps in and Brickner made the pass for the top spot. Brickner began to set sail. With 24 laps remaining however, caution would fly when contact with Theil and Darren Jackson (2) sent them to the back of the field. On the attempted restart, Jake Capek (81) and Mike Lichtfeld (44) made contact in turn one and both of them would be relegated to the rear. After the next restart, Brickner lost the lead to Mark Eswein (71) and Eswein would start to pull away.
Theil worked his way through the field and soon was to the bumper of Eswein. Theil was able to make the late pass and he would go on to double down winning two features in as many weeks at GSS. Eswein would hang on for second. Olson, Brickner and Lichtfeld rounded out the top five. In the points, Eswein came into the night behind Lichtfeld by 2 and he would end up winning the championship by 5 points. Theil ended up 3rd in points, only 9 points out of first. Jerry Brickner and Wyatt Brooks finished in the top five in points with Brickner crowned Rookie of the Year.
In the Pure Stocks, joined again by the Central Wisconsin Steel Frame Challenge Series, Karl Genett (16K) took quick time. Alex Volm (13) and Kyle Genett (16X) won the heat races. In the feature event, Travis Volm (76) was able to snag the lead on lap one from the front row. Behind him, the racing was furious, as always with 3 wide racing sorting out the field. Karl Genett made his way up to second with 17 laps left and Mitch Stankowski (19) would follow suit moving past Louie Merriam (17) for 3rd. Karl Genett reeled in Volm, but was not able to make a pass for the lead as Volm would pick up the win.
Karl would take second with Stankowski taking third. Merriam and Kyle Genett finished out the top five. In the series points, Karl Genett secured the championship over Volm and Stankowski moved into 3rd over Dillon Mackesy (93). Points were also calculated separately for the normal track standings. Stankowski had a sweep and pulled out the track championship and Rookie of the year honors. Merriam took 2nd in track points and Mark Kalata (75x) took 3rd.
In Four-cylinder Stocks Rayce Haase (02) picked up fast time in his first appearance at Golden Sands. Outlaw fast timer was Scott Ciesielski (21). In the heat races, Tom Elsinger Jr. (33) and Brett Breitenfeldt (7) won in the stocks and outlaws was Ian Arneson (14). In the feature event, early contact to Brandon Polansky (287) would cut his tire, similar to what happened in the heat, and end his feature race. That allowed Rayce Haase to capitalize and win the feature with Elsinger, who led quite a few laps, holding 2nd. Breitenfeldt was third with Kaleb Hurless (13) and Karley Kemnetz (18) taking top fives. In the Outlaws, Arneson led most of the laps until mechanical issues forced him out and the freshly engaged Ciesielski would take the victory. In the point standings, Breitenfeldt held off Polansky for the championship in the stocks and Arneson would hold on to the championship over Ciesielski in the outlaws.
The next event at Golden Sands Speedway is the ever popular Eve of Devastation on Friday September 29th. Eve events start at 7:00. The last event will be the Harvest event on Saturday October 28. Follow along on Facebook and/or www.gssraces.com