Short but Sweet…A Look Back at the 2013 Racing Season
By John Wells
Even though the racing season at Madison International Speedway was scaled back in 2013 there was certainly no shortage of excitement on both Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile and the Ring of Fire. Here’s a look back at the 2013 season at MIS.
Casey Johnson Wins Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge
Casey Johnson of Stoughton, Wisconsin, has quickly become one of the top drivers in the Midwest and he proved it by winning the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge.
Johnson got his season off to a great start by setting fast time during the first round of the Triple Crown Challenge on June 16th and went on to win his first ever super late model feature at Madison later that day. From that point on he never relinquished the points lead as he completed the season with a total of 388 points that included three top 5 finishes.
Finishing second to Johnson in the standings was Rich Bickle Jr. of Janesville, Wisconsin, who had announced his retirement from the sport earlier in the year after racing for over thirty years. Bickle Jr. ended his career at MIS in exciting fashion as he won the final leg of the “Challenge” on September 8th. Bickle Jr. finished with 365 points and was in the top five on three occasions.
Nick Murgic of Rosemount, Minnesota, capped off a very solid year at MIS by finishing in third place with 350 points which included three top fives.
Rounding out the top five were Bobby Kendall of Montello, Wisconsin, with 297 points and one top five finish and Gary Lamonte of West Allis, Wisconsin, with 290 points that included two top five finishes.
Completing the top ten were Steve Rubeck of Monroe Center, Illinois, Jeremy Spoonmore of Somanauk, Illinois, Bobby Wilberg of Beloit, Wisconsin, Landry Potter of Genoa City, Wisconsin, and Honey Creek, Wisconsin, driver Jeff Way.
Although he was only able to compete in two events, Travis Sauter of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, kept his win streak alive by taking home top honors on July 14th and 28th and with his two victories in the ARCA Midwest tour he now has won nine straight at MIS.
Jerry Wood Captures Club La Mark Midwest Trucks Title
Jerry Wood of Madison, Wisconsin, won his first ever track championship at MIS in the Midwest Trucks.
In a battle between brothers, Jerry was able to hold off his brother John on the final day to secure the championship. Jerry finished with a total of 742 points edging his younger brother John by just ten points.
Enroute to his title, Jerry Wood picked up feature wins on May 5th and July 14th, notched a pair of heat wins, and finished in the top five all seven of his starts. John Wood won the feature on July 28th and added three heats wins and finished in the top five six out of seven times.
Competing in her first full season at Madison, sixteen year old Natalie Decker of Eagle River, Wisconsin, finished in third place and also was awarded Rookie of the Year honors. Decker finished her season with 622 points that included a feature win on September 8th, a heat win, and three top five finishes.
Andy Jones of Gurnee, Illinois, won a feature on August 2nd in his first season in the division and finished in fourth place with 579 points including one heat win and four top fives.
Itasca, Illinois, driver Camden Murphy completed the top five with two heat wins, one fast time, three top fives and a total of 543 points.
Chester Ace of Oregon, Wisconsin, added two feature wins on June 16th and August 11th.
Cory Talaska Takes Home the Legends Track Championship
Cory Talaska of Campbellsport, Wisconsin, has been close the past two years, but this year he was not to be denied as he won the track championship in the Pellitteri Waste Systems Legends.
Talaska finished the season with 676 points fueled by two feature wins on August 11th and September 8th, two heat wins, and three fast times. He also had six top fives in six starts.
A close friend of Talaska’s, Aaron Moyer of Malone, Wisconsin, finished a close second with 655 points that included feature wins on May 5th, June 16th, and July 28th, two heat wins, and a pair of fast times. He also had six top five finishes. Moyer’s two feature wins give him a total of 12 for his career at MIS.
The team of Andy Jones and Max McNamara finished in third place with 611 points. The team had five top five finishes and Jones notched his fourteenth ever feature win on July 14th.
Kevin Griffin of Green Oaks, Illinois, and Rookie of the Year Austin Kunert of Batavia, Illinois, rounded out the top five. Griffin won two heat races while Kunert added five top ten finishes.
Completing the top ten were Todd Schmitz of Verona, Wisconsin, Shelby Berlin of Mequon, Wisconsin, Matt Berlin of Mequon, Wisconsin, Kyle Vergata of New Berlin, Wisconsin, and
Travis Sauter Sweeps ARCA Midwest Tour Events at Madison
Travis Sauter kept his hot streak at Madison and in the ARCA Midwest Tour events by winning both the May 5th and August 11th events.
At the May 5th event Johnny Sauter set fast time with qualifying races going to Bobby Wilberg, Skylar Holzhausen, and Chris Wimmer.
Jeremy Miller was the fastest qualifier on August 11th with qualifying race wins going to Dennis Prunty and Jacob Goede.
Kyle Benjamin Victorious in ARCA Racing Series Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200
Fifteen year old driver Kyle Benjamin made his first-ever appearance at Madison a good one as he took the checkered flag in the Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on August 25th. Benjamin became the youngest driver to ever win an ARCA Racing Series event.
Despite setting fast time, Ross Kenseth had to settle for sixth place after leading the early portion of the race.
This year’s event was broadcast tape delayed on NBC Sports.
Dale Nottestad Back in Victory Lane with Big 8 Win
Dale Nottestad of Cambridge, Wisconsin, continued his good fortune at MIS by winning the Big 8 Late Model race at Salute to America Night on August 2nd. Nottestad was the 2012 Late Model Champion at Madison.
Dan Lensing set fast time with qualifying race victories going to Shane Morrissey, Steve Dobratz, Rich Schuman Jr., and John DeAngelis Jr.
The Vintage cars were also on add with Gary Mitidiero taking the checkered flag.
Tractor / Truck Pulling Action Returned in 2013
The Badger State Tractor Pullers and Tri County Mini-Rods paid a visit to Madison and competed on a great pulling surface inside the Ring of Fire. Alan Paulsen won the 466 Hot Farm division with a pull of 305.17 feet.
Even though the racing schedule was shorter in 2013 with most of the racing on Sunday afternoons, there was no shortage of excitement.