Tomah Sparta Speedway Logo


By: Paul Reichert
June 2, 2023

Last year the high powered Late Models returned to action at Tomah-Sparta Speedway for the first time in five years, and they put on great shows all year long.  Jesse Bernhagen was the top gun last year as he captured the inaugural Late Model Triple Crown championship, as well as the inaugural running of the Big 8 Late Model Series Firecracker 58.  Brother Drew was looking to duplicate Jesse’s performance, but another prominent family showed why they have had great success at ‘Daytomah’.  The Borntragers have enjoyed competing here for years, with David claiming the 2019 Sportsmen championship and even winning the Tim Myer Memorial Shootout in 2021.  Allen Borntrager was out to prove their family’s success was no fluke as he powered by Tom Luethe just before halfway to win the opening round of this year’s Late Model Triple Crown.

Last year’s LaCrosse Late Model Rookie of the Year Tom Luethe shot past Drew Bernhagen to lead the opening nine circuits of the 30 lap feature that kicked off Round 1 of the Late Model Triple Crown series.  Tyler Sauter tried to dive low on Devin Schmidt in turn three on lap eight, but instead spun him out and fast qualifier Mahlon Borntrager had nowhere to go.  Borntrager ran into the rear of Schmidt’s car and brought both of their nights to an early end.  Allen Borntrager would line up alongside of Luethe for the restart, and both would fight hard for the race lead for several laps.  They would go back and forth over the lead position before Borntrager powered around Luethe to take full control of the race on lap 13.  Just past halfway of the race Bernhagen would get around Luethe to take over second spot and set his sights on Borntrager.  Bernhagen looked to the high side several times for the lead but could not complete the move around Borntrager for the lead.  Bernhagen was doing everything he could to follow brother Jesse’s tire tracks and become this year’s Late Model Triple Crown champion.  Borntrager had a strong car coming out of the turns, which allowed him to keep Bernhagen in his rear view and drive away with the 1st Round victory. 

In the Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stock feature, Shelby Lockington drove past cousin Landon to take the early race lead.  Andy Moore began to motor through the field before catching and passing Lockington on the outside to become the new race leader on lap three.  Two laps later Charles Vian, Jr. would power his way into second ahead of Lockington and began another pursuit of Moore for the lead and the victory.  The battles for the win are always exciting between Moore and Vian, Jr.  Vian, Jr. tried several times to look for a way around Moore, but was not able to get close enough to the rear bumper of the 19.  Moore began to slowly pull away from Vian, Jr. over the last few laps to claim another checkered flag

Matthew Heim was able to slice and dice his way through the front of the field to assume command of the Command Post Saloon Hornet feature.  Coming from the back of the field, Samantha Linnehan and fast qualifier Paul Finch were slowly cutting through traffic to look for their first checkered flag this season.  Their progress would be halted by a hard crash between Hunter Sarver and Devon Zuniga-Swenson in turn four on lap six.  Both cars suffered major damage, but both drivers were able to walk away from their badly beaten race cars.  Linnehan and Finch lined up on the outside on the restart, and they once again were powering their way to the front.  Heim began to open up his lead again but soon would have challengers.  Linnehan and Finch moved into second and third at the halfway mark and began to slowly began to reel in Heim.  With four laps to go the pair was on Heim’s tail as Linnehan tired to look for a way by.  Heim held the inside groove over those last laps to claim the win and celebrate in Tomah Area Credit Union Victory Lane.

The High School Racing Association made its 2023 season debut as Logan Backus quickly got to the front of their first feature of the season.  Braydon Lockington was hot on Backus’ trail as he wasted little time to get around Trinity Aasen for second, then quickly drove by Backus to move into first place on lap two.  A couple young up and coming Tomah racers were on the move through the field in pursuit of a win.  Trenton Frye and Curtis Hellickson were on a mission to be the first driver to score an HSRA win on their home turf.  Both drivers motored their way around Charlie Thompson to claim the number two and three spots on lap six.  Frye and Hellickson were doing everything they could to shrink the advantage that Lockington had on them, but they were barely making a dent in that deficit.  They ended up having their own fight over the runner-up spot, which went to Frye in the end.  No one had anything for Lockington as he dominated the feature and saw the checkered flag first.

Action continues next Friday, June 9 as we travel to the past for some ‘memory lane’ racing with the Vintage Stock Car Club of Milwaukee and their vintage dirt modifieds.  The Modifieds, Hobby Stock and Six Shooters will be in action, along with the INEX Legends and Bandoleros.  The Chaos action returns as the drivers team up for the Tag Team race.  Gates open at 5:00, qualifying goes green at 6:00 and the close quarters racing begins at 7:30.

Call the track office at 608-461-1920, visit our web site at or check out the track’s Facebook page for more information about Tomah-Sparta Speedway and the 2023 schedule of events.

Late Model Triple Crown Series (Round 1)
Feature (30 laps):  1. Allen Borntrager, 2. Drew Bernhagen, 3. Tyler Sauter, 4. Tom Luethe, 5. Devin Schmidt, 6. Mahlon Borntrager
Heat #1 (10 laps):  1. Allen Borntrager, 2. Tom Luethe, 3. Mahlon Borntrager, 4. Devin Schmidt, 5. Tyler Sauter, 6. Drew Bernhagen
Qualifying:  1. Mahlon Borntrager 15.643, 2. Devin Schmidt 15.820, 3. Allan Borntrager 16.018, 4. Tyler Sauter 16.046, 5. Drew Bernhagen 16.085, 6. Tom Luethe 16.195

Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stocks
Feature (15 laps):  1. Andy Moore, 2. Charles Vian, Jr., 3. Shelby Lockington, 4. Landon Lockington, 5. Seth Gnewikow, 6. Grant Witcraft
Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Shelby Lockington, 2. Andy Moore, 3. Charles Vian, Jr., 4. Landon Lockington, 5. Seth Gnewikow, 6. Grant Witcraft
Qualifying:  1. Andy Moore 17.693, 2. Charles Vian, Jr. 17.834, 3. Shelby Lockington 18.634, 4. Seth Gnewikow 18.794, 5. Landon Lockington 19.346, 6. Grant Witcraft 19.739

Command Post Saloon Hornets
Feature (15 laps):  1. Matthew Heim, 2. Samantha Linnehan, 3. Paul Finch, 4. Tristan Drazkowski, 5. Jamie Pearson, 6. Jordan Finch, 7. Matthew Drazkowski, 8. Blake Von Ruden, 9. Josh Schwartz, 10. Devon Zuniga-Swenson, 11. Hunter Sarver, 12. Tristan Finnigan, 13. Ron Pearson
Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Matthew Heim, 2. Jordan Finch, 3. Devon Zuniga-Swenson, 4. Matthew Drazkowski, 5. Blake Von Ruden, 6. Ron Pearson 
Heat #2 (8 laps):  1. Tristan Drazkowski, 2. Samantha Linnehan, 3. Jamie Pearson, 4. Tristan Finnigan, 5. Hunter Sarver, 6. Josh Schwartz, 7. Paul Finch
Qualifying:  1. Paul Finch 18.455, 2. Jamie Pearson 81.716, 3. Samantha Linnehan 18.832, 4. Tristan Drazkowski 19.549, 5. Tristan Finnigan 19.611, 6. Josh Schwartz 20.006, 7. Jordan Finch 20.031, 8. Devon Zuniga-Swenson 20.973, 9. Matthew Heim 20.163, 10. Matthew Drazkowski 20.165, 11. Ron Pearson 20.926, 12. Blake Von Ruden 21.133

High School Racing Association
Feature (15 laps):  1. Braydon Lockington, 2. Trenton Frye, 3. Curtis Hellickson, 4. Charlie Thompson, 5. Ryatt Dobbratz, 6. Logan Backus, 7. Monty Odegard, 8. Trinity Aasen, 9. Caleb Arneson, 10. James Gratz, 11. Ghage Moore, 12. Mitchell Berg
Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Logan Backus, 2. Ghage Moore, 3. Trinity Aasen, 4. Caleb Arneson, 5. Mitchell Berg, 6. Charlie Thompson
Heat #2 (8 laps):  1. Braydon Lockington, 2. Trenton Frye, 3. Ryatt Dobbratz, 4. Curtis Hellickson, 5. James Gratz, 6. Monty Odegard
Qualifying:  1. Monty Odegard 19.649, 2. Curtis Hellickson 20.004, 3. James Gratz 20.120, 4. Trenton Frye 20.124, 5. Braydon Lockington 20.321, 6. Charlie Thompson 20.436, 7. Logan Backus 20.454, 8. Ghage Moore 20.776, 9. Caleb Arneson 21.093, 10. Trinity Aasen 22.929, 11. Mitchell Berg 27.209