WAUSAU, Wis. (Aug. 19) – Longtime Wausau racer Wayne Lodholz will be remembered once again and Justin Mondeik will aim for a 2020 sweep of State Park Speedway’s biggest races when the track hosts the 12th annual Wayne ‘Lodi’ Lodholz Memorial Thursday night.
The ‘Lodi’ race will be highlighted by a 75-lap feature for the Auto Select Super Late Models presented by C-Tech. The Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks, Snap-on Mini Mods and Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks will also be on hand, and it will also be season championship night for the Ropa’s Pizza Bandoleros.
Drivers and fans will gather in memory of Lodholz, a popular driver at State Park Speedway and in central Wisconsin who passed away in 2007 at the still-young age of 55. The Wausau native won the 1989 Larry Detjens Memorial title and a total of 19 late model features at the track and finished as high as second in the late model points in 1989.
The memorial race in his honor was established in his name in 2009. Since then, it has joined events in the memory of Larry Detjens and Flip Merwin to become among the biggest on the calendar at State Park Speedway.
Mondeik certainly will come in as a favorite, as he has been on a tear all season. The Gleason native has won 13 features at tracks in Wisconsin and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and has come up especially big in SPS’s biggest super late model races. He already has collected Flip Merwin and Larry Detjens memorial feature wins, and also won the TUNDRA traveling super late model series’ trip to the track earlier this month.
Mondeik accomplished firsts with all three victories-first Flip Merwin Memorial wins, first Detjens Memorial and ARCA Midwest Tour win, and first TUNDRA win. He now takes aim at his first-ever victory in the Lodi race and possession of a grand slam of SPS’s four biggest super late model races.
“It would mean a lot to my race team to sweep all the biggest events at State Park Speedway this season,” said Mondeik. “We have had an outstanding year thus far and it would be great to check another ‘first’ off our list.
“Lodi was a great competitor and has a lot of respect from everyone in the area. We are going after it Thursday.”
Luke Fenhaus of Wausau is a two-time defending winner of the Lodi Memorial. The 2018 State Park super late model champion is still looking for his first feature win of the season. Fenhaus and fellow two-time Lodi Memorial winner Mark Mackesy are expected to be part of the field competing Thursday night, as well as most recent SPS feature winner Dillon Mackesy and Brock Heinrich, who like Dillon Mackesy is a recent winner of his first-ever super late model feature at the track.
Two divisions also have very close points races heading into Thursday’s second-to-last night of weekly racing at the track.
The Rockstar Mini Stock class has Wausau’s Garret Strachota leading Kyle Check of Shantytown by just nine points, with Stratford’s Tyler Custer in third just 16 points behind the leader. Strachota is aiming for his second track championship in the class, while both Check and Custer are chasing their first points title.
The Ropa’s Pizza Bandoleros also have a close points battle despite Alex Hartwig of Portage having won all four previous features in the class this year. That’s because Wausau’s Jevin Guralski has finished second to Hartwig all four times, and thus is just 17 points behind him heading into their final race of the season at State Park.
Among other divisions, Mondeik is nearing his first-ever Auto Select Super Late Model points crown at SPS as he leads Heinrich by 47 points with two races left. Brian Schramm of Wausau is in search of his third straight title in the Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks and leads Kolton Guralski of Wausau by 61 points, and Marathon’s Greg Blount hopes to repeat in the Snap-on Mini Mods, where he holds a 49-point lead over George Seliger of Wausau.
Racing begins Thursday night with Fred Mueller Qualifying at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. Pit gates open at 3 p.m. and fan gates open at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for youth age 6-12, with ages 5 and under free.