Central Wisconsin Racing Association opens Stars to Legends tour
For the City Times
WISCONSIN DELLS – The Central Wisconsin Racing Association opened its Stars to Legends tour on May 30 in Wisconsin Dells, with two familiar drivers taking the win. Jesse Bernhagen, Markesan, and Harley Jankowski, Sparta, each found themselves in victory lane after 35 laps of main event competition.
The first 35-lap affair found defending CWRA Champion, Jeff Weinfurter, Wisconsin Rapids, starting from the pole position, where he immediately assumed the early lead. Up and coming racer, Hunter Stenson, Wisconsin Dells, moved into the second spot and began putting the pressure on veteran Weinfurter. Before things could get settled in, a spin by another new to CWRA racer, Allen Borntreger, Hillsboro, brought a halt to action with the caution flag waving on Lap 3.
With the ensuing double file restart, Weinfurter again paced the field, but Stenson was determined and took the first position on Lap 8. Stenson built a slight cushion while Bernhagen worked his way through the field from his ninth starting spot. Bernhagen was up to fifth by the 13th lap and continued to make his way to the front. Fourth place became his on Lap 18 as he closed on Mark Mackesy, Wausau, who had secured third.
Meanwhile, Borntreger was on the move rocketing into the top five by Lap 12. He wasted no time in getting the next four spots as he motored by Stenson for the lead on Lap 25. Bernhagen moved up to challenge, but Borntreger began to pull away. Unexpectedly, with a six car-length lead, Borntreger spun, all by himself, relinquishing the lead to Bernhagen.
Bernhagen extended his lead, taking the checkered flag by a comfortable margin. Following Bernhagen at the stripe was Paul Paine, Mound, MN; Bentley Trucking Fast Qualifier, Mark Eswein, Wisconsin Rapids; Stenson; Mackesy; and Weinfurter.
The second 35-lap affair found Curt Tillman, Rockton, IL, on the pole. He grabbed the initial lead, but Harley Jankowski was right there, taking the top spot on the third go round.
Weinfurter was looking to win his first ever main event at the Dells track, moving from the fifth starting position into the lead on Lap 9. A caution flag waved, however, negating the lead change, and the double-file restart found he and Jankowski side by side at the drop of the green flag.
Newcomer John Beale, Verona, moved into third position, looking for an opening, with Weinfurter and Jankowski continuing to race side by side. That battle continued for the next 20 laps with it appearing Weinfurter had the edge heading into the last two laps; however, a last lap burst of speed from Jankowski in the outside groove propelled him into the lead by two feet at the checkered flag.
The win got Jankowski off on the right foot for 2020 where the driver is hoping to follow up his 2019 Rookie of the Year honor with a season championship.
Following Jankowski at the finish was Weinfurter, Beale, Bernhagen, Paine, and Eswein.
Next up for the CWRA Stars to Legends Tour, will be racing at State Park Speedway, Wausau, on June 4.