WAUSAU (Aug. 17) – A season-long battle between Dave Cabelka and Brett Breitenfeldt might’ve been summed up by their race Thursday night in the Wayne (Lodi) Lodholz Memorial at State Park Speedway.
Two nearly equal cars battled at the front of the field once again in the feature, but once again Cabelka got to the front a little bit earlier. As a result, the Wausau pilot’s season-long quest for a first-ever track championship is looking good after his fifth feature win of the season.
Cabelka started fourth in the field, one row ahead of Breitenfeldt, and he overtook Kyle Kluetz of Schofield for first on lap 5 of the 25-lap race. Breitenfeldt followed right behind a lap later, and the top two sailed away from the rest of the field.
Breitenfeldt then chased Cabelka for the remainder of the caution-free event, never more than a couple car lengths back, but also never able to get alongside the leader. Cabelka drift a bit wide out of the final turn coming to the checkered flag but still held off Breitenfeldt by a car length at the finish.
The win gives Cabelka a 27-point lead over Breitenfeldt entering the final race of the season next Thursday. Both drivers have eight top-5 feature finishes and Breitenfeldt holds a 5-to-3 advantage in fast qualifying efforts, but Cabelka’s five feature wins are three more than Breitenfeldt.
Jeff Spatz finished third in the feature, while last week’s feature winner Steve Schilling finished seventh after a battle with Kyle Check in the final laps. Schilling also won the heat race and also pocketed $100 from Brian Schramm Racing in the season-long weekly pure stocks bonus for a position picked by drawing before every feature race.
Zach Degner of Merrill brought the former George Seliger No. 06 car back for another triumphant run, winning the 20-lap Snap-on Mini Mods feature.
Racing for just the third time this season, Degner lost an early side-by-side battle with points leader Tim Anderson of Pittsville, but regrouped and made another run at Anderson on the outside on lap 16. He would complete the pass a lap later for his first feature win this season and first since winning the George Seliger Memorial Race last September.
Mike Meharg of Auburndale also slipped by Anderson for second, with Joe Kuehn of Wausau finishing fourth after a strong run that was slowed when he briefly spun into the infield in turn 2 while challenging the leaders. The race also had the night’s most spectacular accident on the second lap, as Pat Dickman of Marshfield got loose on the backstretch, spun and hit the outside retaining wall and rolled once, landing on the driver’s side. Dickman was uninjured.
Gleason’s Ashley Schoone has been in contention all season in the Rockstar Mini Stocks, and she cashed in for her second feature win of the season.
Schoone knifed through a tough pack at the front of the field and got by Joey Blaschka of Wausau on the outside on lap 11. She drove away from there for her second feature win at State Park.
Blaschka wound up with a career-best second-place finish after leading the first 10 laps from the inside pole. He was awarded the runner-up spot after Clayton Phillips was moved to the back of the lead lap after coming his car failed post-race inspection. Schoone and Hunter Landwehr also both picked up heat wins.
Elliott Weiler of Marshfield notched his first Legends car feature win at State Park, capping a big night that also included fast time honors and a heat win.
Weiler got away from his father Russ Weiler on a restart with 6 laps left, and he went on to win the 15-lap race. Weiler finished second with Travis Paul of Hewitt in third.
Not even an early race accident resulting in a heavily compromised rear bumper could keep Penn Sauter of DeForest from another Bandolero feature win, as well as the season championship in the class.
The son of former NASCAR Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter won his fifth feature in his five appearances at State Park this year. He did so after sustaining considerable damage after the rear end of his car slapped the tires guarding the outside wall in turn 2 after he spun while trying to avoid a spin by Paxton Benz.
Sauter made up some ground after a pair of spins by cars ahead of him, and he passed Cole Kurth of Wisconsin Rapids on the inside in turn 4 for the lead on lap 8. Sauter would go on to win and complete a clean sweep after also setting fast time and winning the heat race.
State Park Speedway closes out the 2023 season of weekly racing next Thursday with Fighting Cancer Full Throttle Season Championship Night. Super late models, pure stocks, mini mods and mini stocks all will crown season champions. Qualifying starts at 6 p.m. with racing to follow at 7 p.m.
Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Brett Breitenfeldt, Wausau, 15.309 sec.
Heat: 1. Steve Schilling, Ringle; 2. Dave Cabelka, Wausau; 3. B. Breitenfeldt; 4. Kyle Check, Shantytown; 5. Kyle Kluetz, Schofield; 6. Alex Volm, Mosinee; 7. Jeff Spatz, Wausau
Feature: 1. Cabelka; 2. B. Breitenfeldt; 3. Spatz; 4. A. Volm; 5. Kluetz; 6. Check; 7. Schilling
Snap-on Mini Mods
Fast Qualifier: Joe Kuehn, Wausau, 15.787 sec.
First Heat: 1. Jim Lietz, Mosinee; 2. Pat Dickman, Marshfield; 3. Zach Onson, Weston; 4. Brian Marquardt, Weston
Second Heat: 1. Zach Degner, Merrill; 2. Kuehn; 3. Mike Meharg, Auburndale; 4. Tim Anderson, Pittsville; 5. Dale Louze, Mosinee; 6. John Lietz, Mosinee
Feature: 1. Degner; 2. Meharg; 3. Anderson; 4. Kuehn; 5. Jim Lietz; 6. Louze; 7. Marquardt; 8. Onson; 9. Dickman; 10. John Lietz
Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Tyler Custer, Stratford, 16.569 sec.
First Heat: 1. Hunter Landwehr, Stratford; 2. Mark Schoone, Gleason; 3. Clayton Phillips, Marathon; 4. Amanda Rowe, Mosinee; 5. Kendra Baumann, Wausau; 6. Joey Blaschka, Wausau; 7. Luke Mikula, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Ashley Schoone, Gleason; 2. Heidi Cuff, Endeavor; 3. Garret Strachota, Wausau; 4. Eric Breitenfeldt, Wausau; 5. Nick Kurth, Wausau; 6. Tom Lecher, Wausau; 7. Custer
Feature: 1. A. Schoone; 2. Blaschka; 3. Strachota; 4. Custer; 5. E. Breitenfeldt; 6. N. Kurth; 7. Mikula; 8. Landwehr; 9. Cuff; 10. Rowe; 11. Phillips; 12. M. Schoone; 13. Baumann; 14. Lecher
Fast Qualifier: Elliott Weiler, Marshfield, 15.626 sec.
Heat: 1. E. Weiler; 2. Braxton Paul, Hewitt; 3. Russ Weiler, Marshfield; 4. Ernie Duerr, Hewitt; 5. Travis Paul, Hewitt; 6. Jamie Cliver, Dorchester; 7. Daden Barclay, Marshfield
Feature: 1. E. Weiler; 2. R. Weiler; 3. T. Paul; 4. B. Paul; 5. Barclay; 6. Duerr; 7. Cliver
Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Penn Sauter, DeForest, 15.996 sec.
Heat: 1. Sauter; 2. Cole Kurth, Wisconsin Rapids; 3. Oliver Weinkauf, Merrill; 4. Paxton Benz, Wausau; 5. Mason Oleson, Mosinee; 6. William Carpenter, Marshfield
Feature: 1. Sauter; 2. C. Kurth; 3. O. Weinkauf; 4. Oleson; 5. Carpenter; 6. Benz