For the third straight year, Jefferson Speedway, Slinger Super Speedway and Madison International Speedway will host the Badgerland Challenge, featuring their top weekly Late Model and Sportsman teams in a three race challenge, crowning an individual Champion as well as a Team Champion. For two years running, ‘Wisconsin’s Action Track’ Jefferson Speedway has captured the Team Championship, as each driver competes to earn points for their Home Track Team in order to claim ‘George the Badger’, the traveling trophy displayed annually at the winning track.
Unlike the past two seasons, the 2017 Badgerland Challenge will kick off at Jefferson Speedway on Saturday night June 24 before heading to Slinger Super Speedway on Sunday night July 16 for the running of the ‘King of the Highbanks’. The Championships will be determined on Friday Night August 4 at Madison International Speedway, marking the first time the finale will play out at the half mile paved oval. Casey Johnson narrowly topped Dale Nottestad for the title in 2015, with Nottestad laying claim last season. Sportsman competition was topped by Terry Wangsness during the inaugural campaign, Jason Thoma was crowned Champion in 2016.
A new tire procedure will also debut for this year’s Badgerland, allowing teams to compete at all three events without negatively impacting their home track tire bank. All Late Model teams will be allowed up to two new tires for each event, additionally they must run two used tires from within their home track tire bank. Those teams competing at the Badgerland events will then be allowed one additional opening in the tire bank at their home track following each Badgerland event. That bonus opening can then be filled with one of their existing Badgerland tires or a new tire. Sportsman teams will be allowed up to one new tire per event, utilizing three used tires from their home track tire bank, but will also receive the one bonus opening as outlined above. Teams without an established tire bank will still be allowed to compete, but will be required to utilize used tires out of an existing bank or have their qualifying time disallowed, having to race their way into the feature field through preliminary and/or last chance events. All races will again be contested on the ‘racer friendly’ American Racer 870 compound.
Race procedures will again remain the same, with 14 drivers qualifying into the field based on time trials, with the remainder of the field set by heat races, last chance events and a provisional based on each track’s top 15 points. The Late Model feature events will pay $200 to start and $750 to win with the Sportsman main events paying $400 to win and $100 to start. Additionally a $1500 point fund for the Late Models and $750 point fund for the Sportsman has been established. For additional information visit any of the tracks’ websites: www.jeffersonspeedway.com, www.slingersuperspeedway.com or www.misracing.com.
2017 Event Dates
Saturday June 24, Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, WI
Sunday July 16, Slinger Super Speedway, Slinger, WI
Friday August 4, Madison International Speedway, Oregon, WI
Past Badgerland Challenge Champions
Late Models: Dale Nottestad
Sportsman: Jason Thoma
Team Champion: Jefferson Speedway
Late Models: Casey Johnson
Sportsman: Terry Wangsness
Team Champion: Jefferson Speedway