WAUSAU, Wis. (June 8) – Driving a former State Park Speedway track champion’s car continues to suit Dave Cabelka perfectly, to the point where he may just make a run at his own championship in the car himself this year.
Cabelka won his second straight Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks feature to start the season at State Park. He got by Wausau’s Jeff Spatz late in the 20-lap race, capping another big night for the veteran racer from Wausau.
Cabelka set fast time in Fred Mueller Qualifying, finished second in his heat race and eventually won a six-lap battle with Spatz for first. Cabelka took to the outside of Spatz on lap 11 and stayed on his rear quarter panel until finally getting the lead on lap 16, shortly after Spatz drifted high out of turn 4 coming to the start-finish line.
The Wausau airline pilot continued his success in the car he purchased from Brian (Butchie) Schramm, a six-time track champion at State Park who retired from racing after last season. A part-time racer for many years due to his flying schedule, Cabelka indicated earlier in the night that he may be clearing his schedule to make a run at the class’s points championship.
Spatz stayed in second and finished there after leading seven laps in the middle of the race, taking first from early leader Kyle Check of Shantytown. Check led the first eight laps and finished third in his best night in a pure stock that included his highest feature finish in the class at SPS as well as his first heat win.
Legends cars made the first of four appearances at State Park this year and Ayrton Brockhouse emerged after a series of yellow and red flags to win the 20-lap feature. The Shakopee, Minn., driver inherited the lead after an incident among the leaders with nine laps left and led the rest of the way for his second-ever feature win in the class at State Park.
Brockhouse moved up to first after a good battle for first between Rose Borntreger of Elroy and Marshfield’s Elliot Weiler ended on a sour note, when the two got together in turn 1, sending Weiler up the track and into the outside wall. Borntreger took the lead on the opening lap and held the lead even as Weiler challenged starting on lap 7, including racing side-by-side for three laps until their tangle, the fourth of five stoppages in the race.
Fast qualifier Tyler Ledbetter of Stillwater, Minn., finished second. Weiler returned after a brief stop in the pits and rallied to finish third, with Rose Borntreger fourth and her brother Andrew Borntreger fifth.
Josh Willhite of Wausau won his first Snap-on Mini Mods feature of the season in a caution-free 20-lap race.
Willhite started on the inside of the second row and worked inside Stratford’s Branden Sischo for the top spot on lap 3. He led the rest of the way, first pulling away after a mid-race challenge by Mosinee’s Jim Lietz and then holding off a charging Mike Meharg of Auburndale, the night’s fast qualifier who closed to within a couple car lengths by the finish.
Meharg finished second with Lietz third. Defending mini mods champion Joe Kuehn of Wausau was fourth with opening night feature winner Tim Anderson of Auburndale fifth.
Garret Strachota earned his first Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks feature of the season, making the final pass in a race that included plenty of jockeying for position at the front.
Strachota was the final of four leaders, nudging inside Ashley Schoone of Gleason on lap 16 in turn 2 for the top spot. The Wausau native finally got to the lead after first tailing leader Joey Blaschka of Wausau early, then chasing Schoone for first including when the leaders had to split lapped traffic coming out of turn 4 on lap 14, with Schoone coming out of that adventure still leading with Eric Breitenfeldt of Wausau taking advantage of the traffic to close in on the top two.
Strachota would win with Breitenfeldt also getting by Schoone for second late. Fast timer Tyler Custer of Stratford was fourth and Tom Lecher of Wausau came in fifth after running as high as second.
Penn Sauter of DeForest has been the hottest driver in the state in Bandolero racing early this year, and he continued his prowess with a dominating win in the class’s debut feature of the season at State Park.
Sauter needed just four laps to go from the 10th starting spot to the lead, getting by Michigan driver Ben Meyer for first. Former State Park track champion Cohen Henze followed Sauter to the front shortly after, but Sauter easily drove away to the win. Derek Meyer finished third with Ben Meyer fourth and Mason Oleson of Mosinee notching his best-ever SPS feature finish of fifth.
Sauter just missed a clean sweep of the night, setting fast time and finishing just inches behind Henze in the second heat. He picked up the feature win driving with the No. 101 taped on the side of his car instead of the traditional No. 5 made famous by his grandfather Jim Sauter and still run also by his father Johnny. The 101 was in memory of Curt Tillman, former veteran super late model driver from Rockton, Ill., who raced that number and No. 40 in his career but passed away in his sleep last Saturday.
Racing continues at State Park Speedway next Thursday with the Flip Merwin Memorial, with five divisions racing including super late models, pure stocks, mini mods, mini stocks and Bandoleros. Fred Mueller Qualifying starts at 6 p.m. with racing to follow at 7 p.m.
Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks
Fast Qualifer: Dave Cabelka, Wausau, 15.232 sec.
First Heat: 1. Kyle Check, Shantytown; 2. Kyle Kluetz, Schofield; 3. Dustin Ochodnicky, Ogema; 4. Steve Schilling, Ringle
Second Heat: 1. Jeff Spatz, Wausau; 2. Cabelka; 3. Brett Breitenfeldt, Wausau; 4. Alex Volm, Mosinee; 5. Brian Plisch, Athens
Feature: 1. Cabelka; 2. Spatz; 3. Check; 4. Plisch; 5. A. Volm; 6. B. Breitenfeldt; 7. Ochodnicky; 8. Kluetz; 9. Schilling
Snap-on Mini Mods
Fast Qualifier: Mike Meharg, Auburndale, 15.858 sec.
First Heat: 1. Branden Sischo, Stratford; 2. Brian Marquardt, Wausau; 3. Keagen Benz, Wausau; 4. Travis Hill, Marshfield; 5. Brad Abt, Schofield
Second Heat: 1. Josh Willhite, Wausau; 2. Tim Anderson, Auburndale; 3. Jim Lietz, Mosinee; 4. John Lietz, Mosinee; 5. Meharg; 6. Joe Kuehn, Wausau
Feature: 1. Willhite; 2. Meharg; 3. Jim Lietz; 4. Kuehn; 5. Anderson; 6. John Lietz; 7. Sischo; 8. Hill; 9. Marquardt; 10. K. Benz; 11. Abt
Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Tyler Custer, Stratford, 16.304 sec.
First Heat: 1. Joey Blaschka, Wausau; 2. Luke Mikula, Wausau; 3. Zach Budleski, Wausau; 4. Mark Schoone, Gleason; 5. Hunter Landwehr, Stratford; 6. Kendra Baumann, Wausau; 7. Abby Kohn, Wausau; 8. Daniel Lashua, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Ashley Schoone, Gleason; 2. Tom Lecher, Wausau; 3. Eric Breitenfeldt, Wausau; 4. Garret Strachota, Wausau; 5. Amanda Rowe, Mosinee; 6. Brad Lecher, Wausau; 7. Heidi Cuff, Endeavor; 8. Custer
Feature: 1. Strachota; 2. E. Breitenfeldt; 3. A. Schoone; 4. Custer; 5. T. Lecher; 6. Blaschka; 7. Rowe; 8. Mikula; 9. Cuff; 10. B. Lecher; 11. M. Schoone; 12. Baumann; 13. Lashua; 14. Kohn; 15. Landwehr; 16. Budleski
Fast Qualifier: Tyler Ledbetter, Stillwater, Minn., 15.647 sec.
First Heat: 1. Russ Weiler, Marshfield; 2. Travis Paul, Wausau; 3. Baxton Paul, Wausau; 4. Matt Scheckelman, Marshfield; 5. Daden Barclay, Marshfield
Second Heat: 1. Ledbetter; 2. Ayrton Brockhouse, Shakopee, Minn.; 3. Elliot Weiler, Marshfield; 4. Andrew Borntreger, Elroy; 5. Rose Borntreger, Elroy; 6. Ayden Brockhouse, Shakopee, Minn.
Feature: 1. Ayrton Brockhouse; 2. Ledbetter; 3. E. Weiler; 4. R. Borntreger; 5. A. Borntreger; 6. Ayden Brockhouse; 7. R. Weiler; 8. B. Paul; 9. Barclay; 10. Scheklman; 11. T. Paul
Fast Qualifier: Penn Sauter, DeForest, 15.941 sec.
First Heat: 1. Paxton Benz, Wausau; 2. Ben Meyer, Michigamme, Mich.; 3. Axel Oldenhoff, Lake Mills; 4. William Carpenter, Marshfield; 5. Jaxon Berndt, Wausau; 6. Cole Kurth, Wisconsin Rapids
Second Heat: 1. Cohen Henze, Juda; 2. Sauter; 3. Bentley Thompson, West Salem; 4. Derek Meyer, Michigamme, Mich.; 5. Mason Oleson, Mosinee; 6. Oliver Weinkauf, Merrill
Feature: 1. Sauter; 2. Henze; 3. D. Meyer; 4. B. Meyer; 5. Oleson; 6. P. Benz; 7. Kurth; 8. Oldenhoff; 9. Carpenter; 10. O. Weinkauf; 11. Thompson