Photos Courtesy Jess Riedner / Website
Round one of the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge was won tonight by Johnny Sauter while Todd Kluever took home top honors in the Midwest Truck Series. Other winners were Jim Ronspiez (Roto Rooter 6Shooters) and Alex Ertmann (Central States Super Cups).
Sauter Holds Off Austin Nason for Triple Crown Challenge Win
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter returned to Madison International Speedway and won Round One of the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge leading wire to wire holding off a hard-charging Austin Nason in the 50 lap event.
A talented seventeen car field came to the green flag paced by Rich Bickle Jr. and Johnny Sauter. Sauter vaulted to the lead from the outside with Chris Weinkauf up to second and his brother, Jason to third. Travis Dassow moved past Bickle Jr. for fourth on lap 4 before the first caution came out one lap later when Casey Johnson spun coming out of turn one.
Sauter kept the lead after lining up on the outside for the restart followed by Chris Weinkauf, Jason Weinkauf, Paul Shafer Jr., and Austin Nason. Sauter opened up a four car length lead out front until the caution flag waved on lap 10 when Ryan Farrell experienced mechanical issues.
The outside groove was working well tonight so both Sauter and Chris Weinkauf chose to line up there while Jason Weinkauf and Paul Shafer Jr. to the inside of the first two rows.
Sauter was able to win the restart and keep the point as the Weinkauf brothers raced side by side for second. Chris Weinkauf took the second spot, but Nason was up to challenge him on the inside. As the two battled side by side for second it allowed Sauter to open up a five car length lead. On lap 19 Nason would finally win the battle over Chris Weinkauf while Shafer Jr. would move into third one lap later.
At the half-way mark Nason was closing the gap between himself and the lead was down to less than a second. By lap 35 Sauter’s lead over Nason was increasing.
With ten laps to go, lapped traffic came into play again which allowed Nason to close to within a single car length. But Sauter adeptly worked his way around the cars of Mike Meyerhofer and Dean LaPointe and was able to increase his lead over Nason.
Nason did everything he could do to catch the leader, but Sauter was not to be denied tonight as he rolled his way into victory lane just ahead of Nason. Paul Shafer Jr. finished in third followed by Chris Weinkauf and Jason Weinkauf.
“Everything was good tonight. Today would have been my dad’s seventy-fifth birthday so this one’s for him,” said Sauter from victory lane. “We had a good time tonight and it feels good to get one.”
Runner-up Austin Nason added, “I definitely think we had something for him at the end. Lapped cars played a factor tonight.”
“Third place is nothing to be ashamed of,” said Paul Shafer Jr. “We’ll be back for the next two races.”
Casey Johnson set fast time with a lap of 17.602 (102.261 mph). Heat races were won by Jake Carpenter, Jason Weinkauf, and Johnny Sauter.
Todd Kluever Back in Victory Lane at Madison
The 2001 Madison International Speedway Super Late Model track champion Todd Kluever was back in victory lane tonight as he held off Chester Ace to win the 30 lap feature for the Midwest Truck Series.
Parker Retzlaff and Levon Van Der Geest paced the field of eighteen Midwest Trucks to the green flag. Van Der Geest jumped out to the early advantage with Rick Corso, Todd Kluever, and Chester Ace in the top four.
On lap 4 Corso worked to the inside of Van Der Geest to take the lead. On lap 7 Kluever moved past Van Der Geest for second while Corso was building up a three truck length lead. On lap 10 Luke Fenhaus and Chester Ace were racing side by side for fifth behind Van Der Geest. Ace claimed fourth on lap 12 and focused his vision on Van Der Geest.
Out front Corso and Kluever were checking away from the field as Ace moved into third on lap 15. On lap 18 Kluever looked to the inside of Corso coming out of turn four and took the lead one lap later with Ace passing Corso as well.
Kluever continued his lead with Ace in hot pursuit and closing quickly. With four laps to go, Kluever’s lead was down to a single truck length. But things were about to get interesting very quickly as they approached slower traffic. With two to go the leaders were forced to work their way around lapped traffic with Kluever getting the best of it coming out with a three truck length lead and was able to hold off Ace the rest of the way to pick up the win. Rounding out the top five were Corso, Fenhaus, and Van Der Geest.
“This was a lot of fun. It’s been awhile since we won a race here,” said Kluever.
Chester Ace set quick time with a lap of 19.027 (94.602 mph). Heat wins went to Daniel Calhoun, Dave Edwards, and Mike Corvo.
Jim Ronspiez Heats Up the Ring of Fire
Jim Ronspiez took the lead on final lap to pick up the win in the 15 lap feature for the Roto Rooter 6Shooters.
Vanessa Morales took the early lead before Randy Grancorvitz took the top spot on the second lap. Grancorvitz opened up a sizeable lead for the next three laps before a spin brought out the caution flag.
Grancorvitz maintained his lead with Brandon Riedner and Jim Ronspiez up to second and third. With three laps to go Riedner was on the rear bumper of the leader with Ronspiez in tow. On the final lap Riedner moved his way to the inside of Grancorvitz going into turn one and made contact allowing Ronspiez to work his way to the front and pick up the win.
“I didn’t leave anything out there. It’s an absolute blast out there,” said Ronspiez from victory lane It was no understatement as he raced the final few laps with flames visible from his front right wheel forcing the safety crew to extinguish the fire during his interview.
Jim Ronspiez and Brandon Riedner won the six lap heat races.
Alex Ertmann Wins Super Cup Feature
Recent high school graduate Alex Ertmann of Winnetka, Illinois, won the 20 lap feature for the Central States Region Super Cups.
Payton Glodowski and Connor Kosowski brought the eight car field to the green flag. Glodowski took the early advantage with Alex Ertmann moving into second on lap two just before the caution flag waved for a spin.
Glodowski retained his lead following the waving of the green flag followed by Ertmann and Jamie Domski. Things were looking good for Glodowski until he spun coming out of turn four on lap 5 bringing out the race’s second caution.
Ertmann inherited the lead before briefly relinquishing it on lap 7 to Jamie Domski only to take it back a lap later. By the half-way mark Ertmann had a solid lead over Cayden Fretwell before another caution came out for a backstretch spin.
Despite another caution, Ertmann was able to keep the lead and hold off Glodowski and Domski to pick up the victory.
“I just graduated from high school and now I picked up my first win of the season,” said a very jubilant Ertmann from victory lane.
Jamie Domski was quick qualifier with a lap of 14.854 and won the heat race.
Next Friday night is Pellitteri Waste Systems Kids’ Night at Madison featuring free admission for kids 11 and under plus the Oregon Community Bank $1000 Coin Scramble during intermission. Racing action includes the NASCAR Late Models, Dave’s White Rock Sportsman, Pellitteri Waste Systems Bandits, and the Bandoleros.
Super Late Model Triple Crown
50 Lap Feature
1-5JS-Johnny Sauter, ; 2. 14N-Austin Nason, ; 3. 7S-Paul Shafer Jr, ; 4. 75W-Chris Weinkauf, ; 5. 76W-Jason Weinkauf, ; 6. 5J-Casey Johnson, ; 7. 5B-John Beale, ; 8. 35D-Travis Dassow, ; 9. 45O-Jeff Van Oudenhoven, ; 10. 15L-Dean LaPointe, ; 11. 37M-Mike Meyerhofer, ; 12. 40T-Curt Tillman, ; 13. 53C-Jake Carpenter, ; 14. 48K-Brad Keith, ; 15. 45B-Rich Bickle Jr., ; 16. 89F-Ryan Farrell, ; 17. 28F-Jake Finney, [1
1. 53C-Jake Carpenter, ; 2. 37M-Mike Meyerhofer, ; 3. 28F-Jake Finney, ; 4. 40T-Curt Tillman, ; (DNS) 15L-Dean LaPointe,
1. 76W-Jason Weinkauf, ; 2. 5J-Casey Johnson, ; 3. 14N-Austin Nason, ; 4. 45O-Jeff Van Oudenhoven, ; 5. 89F-Ryan Farrell, ; 6. 45B-Rich Bickle Jr.,  Heat 3
1. 5JS-Johnny Sauter, ; 2. 35D-Travis Dassow, ; 3. 5B-John Beale, ; 4. 75W-Chris Weinkauf, ; 5. 48K-Brad Keith, ; 6. 7S-Paul Shafer Jr,  Qualifying 1
5J-Casey Johnson, ; 2. 7S-Paul Shafer Jr, ; 3. 45O-Jeff Van Oudenhoven, ; 4. 35D-Travis Dassow, ; 5. 14N-Austin Nason, ; 6. 75W-Chris Weinkauf, ; 7. 76W-Jason Weinkauf, ; 8. 5JS-Johnny Sauter, ; 9. 45B-Rich Bickle Jr., ; 10. 5B-John Beale, ; 11. 89F-Ryan Farrell, ; 12. 48K-Brad Keith, ; 13. 53C-Jake Carpenter, ; 14. 37M-Mike Meyerhofer, ; 15. 15L-Dean LaPointe, ; 16. 28F-Jake Finney, ; 17. 40T-Curt Tillman, 
30 Lap Feature: (1-10) Todd Kluever, Chester Ace, Rick Corso, Luke Fenhaus, Levon Van Der Geest, James Swan, Parker Retzlaff, Kevin Knuese, Jeff Holtz, Mike Corvo
(11-18) Dave Edwards, Kyle Chwala, Jerry Wood, Danielle Behn, Reagan May, Dan Calhoun, Danny Darnell, Kyle Lockington
Heat One: Dan Calhoun, Jerry Wood, Kyle Chwala, Danielle Behn, Danny Darnell, Kyle Lockington
Heat Two: Dave Edwards, Parker Retzlaff, Luke Fenhaus, Jeff Holtz, Reagan May, Levon Van Der Geest
Heat Three: Mike Corvo, James Swan, Rick Corso, Todd Kluever, Kevin Knuese, Chester Ace
Qualifying: (1-10) Chester Ace, Kevin Knuese, James Swan, Todd Kluever, Mike Corvo, Rick Corso, Luke Fenhaus, Levon Van Der Geest, Parker Retzlaff, Jeff Holtz
(11-18) Dave Edwards, Reagan May, Kyle Chwala, Danielle Behn, Jerry Wood, Danny Darnell, Dan Calhoun, Kyle Lockington
Roto Rooter 6Shooters
15 Lap Feature
1. 99R-Jim Ronspiez, ; 2. 7G-Randy Grancorvitz, ; 3. 4D-Brandon Riedner, ; 4. 55N-Chad Niday, ; 5. 5M-Ken Morris, ; 6. 4W-Kevin Whitford, ; 7. 19O-Ronnie Osborne, ; 8. 3B-Steve Buna, ; 9. 151C-Todd Carteron, ; 10. 28M-Vanessa Morales, ; 11. 66P-Jamie Prado, ; 12. 101C-Trevor Chilson,  Heat 1
1. 99R-Jim Ronspiez, ; 2. 55N-Chad Niday, ; 3. 101C-Trevor Chilson, ; 4. 7G-Randy Grancorvitz, ; 5. 28M-Vanessa Morales, ; 6. 19O-Ronnie Osborne, ; 7. 4W-Kevin Whitford,  Heat 2
1. 4D-Brandon Riedner, ; 2. 5M-Ken Morris, ; 3. 3B-Steve Buna, ; 4. 151C-Todd Carteron, ; 5. 66P-Jamie Prado, ; 6. 9M-Lucas Minerath, ; 7. 57S-Ashley Seitz, 
Central States Region Super Cups
20 Lap Feature: (1-8) Alex Ertmann, Connor Kosowski, Jamie Domski, Landon Hocking, Steve Naples, Mike Mucha, Cayden Fentwell, Payton Glodowski
Heat One: (1-8) Jamie Domski, Connor Kosowski, Alex Ertmann, Payton Glodowski, Cayden Fretwell, Michael Mucha, Steve Naples, Landon Hocking-DNS
Qualifying: (1-8) Jamie Domski, Alex Ertmann, Connor Kosowski, Payton Glodowski, Cayden Fretwell, Steve Naples, Michael Mucha, Landon Hocking