WAUSAU, Wis. (July 3) – One of the most successful drivers at State Park Speedway over the past decade, Travis Volm is reaching new heights in the 2019 season.
And suddenly, the hottest super late model at State Park Speedway at the moment isn’t even a super late model car.
Volm won his second super late model feature at his home track in five days, backing up his victory in the second 30-lap CWRA main on Saturday with a win in the 50-lap Auto Select Super Late Models presented by C-Tech feature Wednesday night on Christmas in July and Fireworks Night. The win on a hot and humid Wednesday was his first ever in weekly super late model racing at the track.
Volm has excelled in a variety of divisions at the Rib Mountain 1/4-mile in recent years, including five track championships in the pure stock class and feature wins also in limited late model and super stock races. He had never won a super late model feature at State Park before this year, though, even while running well in the 7-11 car owned by Wayne Brevik a few years back.
“The car is good,” said Volm afterwards in an interview while joined in Brickner Family Auto Group Victory Lane by a host of family and supporters, just before a fireworks display celebrating the upcoming Independence Day holiday ended the night.
“We were going to run limited late models this year, that’s what this car is,” he said. “I didn’t think we had the car to do it (run with super late models), we skipped the first week, now I wish we would’ve ran the first week.”
Running with the 10-inch super late model tires on, Volm took the lead from Brock Heinrich on lap 26 of the feature and led the rest of the way for the win. In the process, he held off a number of super late model heavy hitters, including points leader Jay Van Der Geest and defending super late champion Luke Fenhaus.
Volm had built a four car length lead over second place running Van Der Geest when a planned competition caution came out with 20 laps to go, bringing the field together for a double-file restart. A feature winner earlier this year, Van Der Geest started on the outside of the front row on restart, but Volm needed less than a lap to clear him.
Fenhaus also got inside Van Der Geest a lap later and muscled his way by to get into second place with 18 laps left. The 15-year old from Wausau gave chase, but Volm kept a steady 3-4 car length lead the rest of the way, keeping his car pinned low in the corners and getting off the corners exceptionally well.
“I just kept running my line,” said Volm. “I knew I had tons of drive off (the corner), I was just backing my entry up a little bit, and just lay the hammer down off the corners.”
Heinrich started on the inside of the front row and led most of the first 25 laps, holding off a bees’ nest of activity behind him. Neil Knoblock took to the outside of Heinrich on lap 11 and even held a slim lead at the line on lap 12, but Heinrich slowly pulled back ahead and fended off the challenge.
Volm soon got inside Knoblock for second and began hounding the leader. Meanwhile, Van Der Geest, Fenhaus and fast timer Gabe Sommers were making their way through the field, with all three inside the top five before the halfway point.
Van Der Geest finished third and maintained the points lead over Justin Mondeik, who finished fourth. Knoblock came home fifth, Mike Olson was sixth, and Heinrich finished seventh while Sommers had to pull off late and finished 11th.
Auto Select Super Late Models pres. by C-Tech
Fast Qualifier: Gabe Sommers, Stevens Point, 13.914 sec.
First Heat: 1. Neil Knoblock, Wausau; 2. Mark Mackesy, Wausau; 3. Brock Heinrich, Wausau; 4. Ryan Hinner, Stevens Point; 5. Mitch Stankowski, Wausau; 6. Nate Steif, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Travis Volm, Mosinee; 2. Jay Van Der Geest, Merrill; 3. Luke Fenhaus, Wausau; 4. Mike Olson, Dorchester; 5. Sommers; 6. Justin Mondeik, Gleason
50-Lap Feature: 1. T. Volm; 2. Fenhaus; 3. Van Der Geest; 4. Mondeik; 5. Knoblock; 6. Olson; 7. Heinrich; 8. Hinner; 9. Mackesy; 10. Steif; 11. Sommers; 12. Stankowski