By:  Paul Reichert

May 17, 2024


Back in the heyday of Wisconsin’s Golden Era of short track racing, the Central Wisconsin Racing Association (CWRA) was the series you wanted to race.  Racing four nights a week at tracks like Griffith Park, Golden Sands, LaCrosse, WIsconsin Dells, Madison and other well-known speed palaces.  The CWRA not only produced big names like Trickle, Reffner and Marcis, they gave us other great racers like Back, Marzofka, Miller and Fox.  Everett Fox was the first CWRA champion during the first season of racing at Tomah-Sparta Speedway, and we recognized him with the CWRA’s first appearance in six years.  Defending champion Corey Jankowski dominated both feature races and scored a clean sweep of the Everett Fox Classic.


The first 30 lap CWRA Late Model feature saw Sam Niles power by Andrew Buhrow to take the early race lead.  Last year’s Rookie of the Year built up a sizable lead, but he would soon have challengers on his tail.  Darek Gress was the first driver to battle Niles for the race lead.  Gress dove to the inside of Niles down the back straight to advance into the lead position on lap eight.  Corey Jankowski followed right behind Gress and wrestled the runner-up spot away from Niles at the end of lap eight.  Jankowski only needed two more laps to power around Gress to take charge of the race.  Two caution periods would slow down Jankowski’s progress, but only for a little bit.  Rob Christen went for a spin in turn four just past the halfway mark.  Jeff Weinfurter and Dan Linnehan were battling over fifth when they made contact coming out of turn two with five laps to go.  Linnehan spun out on the back straight, but got his spot back thanks to the four-time CWRA champion tapping his car’s roof.  Jankowski would drive away from Mahlon Borntreger over the final six laps to start his title defense on the right foot with the victory on his home turf.


The second 30 lap CWRA Late Model Feature had a very hard time getting started.  Monte Gress and Rob Christen tangled coming to the green and ended up in the front straight wall.  Chris Christen held off Larry Schotten to lead lap one, his first ever lap led in the CWRA.  The yellow flag returned on lap two thanks to separate solo spins first by Andrew Buhrow, and then by Shelby Lockington.  Schotten powered around Christen to move into the number one position on lap two, but Jeff Weinfurter quickly shot past Schotten to become the new leader on lap three.  As Weinfurter began to pull away from his competition, Corey Jankowski was on the move as he got all the way to second before the yellow returned on lap 12.  Sam Niles tagged and spun Tyler Sauter on the front straight, but Niles tapped out and Sauter got his position back.  The restart only lasted two laps before Dan Linnehan’s engine said ‘good night’ down the back straight.  The restarts would be single file the rest of the way, and Jankowski would have his work cut out for him battling Weinfurter.   A final caution flew on lap 19 when Tyler Sauter got turned again, this time by Mahlon Borntreger.  Borntreger also tapped out and that gave Sauter third spot back.  Jankowski bided his time and finally made his move on the outside of Weinfurter with six laps left to sweep the twin features and score a clean sweep on the night thanks to him being the fast qualifier.


Last year’s Rookie champion Seth Gnewikow outran current Rookie of the Year leader Mike Gratz for the lead at the start of the Hobby Stock feature.  Gnewikow began to open up a lead on the field, but that lead would quickly shrink as Matthew Cleveland was reeling in Gnewikow.  Going to the outside groove, Cleveland would charge by Gnewikow to take over the lead on lap five.  Andy Moore also worked the outside lane to steal second away from Gnewikow a lap later.  Now the fight was on for the lead and the win between current point leader Cleveland and multi-time champion Moore.  Moore looked low to get under Cleveland without any success.  Moore tried to go the high side and got alongside Cleveland in the turns.  However, Cleveland would power away from Moore down the straights.  Cleveland was firmly in control as he drove off with his first feature win of the year and rang the Victory Bell in TACU Credit Union Victory Lane.   


In the Hornet feature, Tristan Finnigan powered past Jordan Finch as the green flag waved to take the early race lead.  Finnigan opened a rather large lead on the field as the rest of the field tried to sort themselves out.  Tirk Tiggler from Minnesota needed just five laps to drive around Finch to settle into the runner-up spot.  Tiggler proved he had a fast car during practice and qualifying, but he had to be mindful of the new Breakout Rule for the Hornets.  Tiggler would slowly whittle away at Finnigan’s lead over the remaining ten laps.  On the final lap Tiggler swooshed past Finnigan for the lead and the win.  Things would change during post-race inspection when Tiggler was nabbed for a mechanical infraction.  Because of Tiggler’s disqualification it would be Finnigan making his first ever trip to TACU Credit Union Victory Lane.


In the TACU Credit Union Six Shooter feature, Jay Raines drove around rookie challenger Christopher Neal to take the race lead entering turn one.  Tim Murphy, Sr. also zoomed past Neal in turn two on lap two for second spot, and was ready to challenge Rained for the lead.  Murphy, Sr. would get as close as a couple car lengths but still had time to catch a golden opportunity to go after Raines and the lead.  Just past the halfway mark of the race, Greg Brown and Ryatt Dobbartz caught Murphy, Sr. to give him. Yellow flew with three laps left for a problem with Devin Glass’ car.  Raines pulled away from Murphy, Sr. on the restart, but would have to contend with Dobbartz and Brown the rest of the way.  Raines kept them a safe distance away to hit the finish line first.


The early season run of traveling series to Tomah-Sparta Speedway continues next Friday, May 24 as the Midwest Dash Series makes their annual visit for the running of the Godfather 30.  Our weekly Sportsmen, Hobby Stock and Six Shooters divisions will join the Midwest Dash Series in their salute to series founder Greg Oliver.  There will also be a lot of late hours preparing the kid’s race cars this week leading up to the first Kids’ Box Car Races of the year following qualifying.  Gates open at 6, group qualifying roars to life at 6:15 and 7:30 is when the heart pounding on-track racing action commences.


Call the track office at 608-461-1920, visit our website at or check out our Facebook page to learn more about Tomah-Sparta Speedway and the 2024 schedule of events.



Central Wisconsin Racing Association Late Models

Feature #1 (30 laps):  1. Corey Jankowski, 2. Mahlon Borntreger, 3. Tyler Sauter, 4. Mark Mackesy, 5. Dan Linnehan, 6. Gregory Borchardt, 7. Sam Niles, 8. Jeff Weinfurter, 9. Larry Schotten, 10.  Chris Christen, 11. Shelby Lockington, 12. Rob Christen, 13. Darek Gress, 14. Andrew Buhrow

Feature #2 (30 laps):  1. Corey Jankowski, 2. Jeff Weinfurter, 3. Tyler Sauter, 4. Mark Mackesy, 5. Darek Gress, 6. Gregory Borchardt, 7. Sam Niles, 8. Chris Christen, 9. Shelby Lockington, 10. Mahlon Borntreger, 11. Larry Schotten, 12. Monte Gress, 13. Dan Linnehan, 14. Andrew Buhrow, 15. Rob Christen

Qualifying:  1. Corey Jankowski 16.110, 2. Mark Mackesy 16.231, 3. Tyler Sauter 16.305, 4. Dan Linnehan 16.326, 5. Jeff Weinfurter 16.437, 6. Mahlon Borntreger 16.439, 7. Darek Gress 16.473, 8. Gregory Borchardt 16.803, 9. Sam Niles 16.970, 10. Andrew Buhrow 17.098, 11. Larry Schotten 17.245, 12. Monte Gress 17.414, 13. Chris Christen 17.434, 14. Shelby Lockington 17.574


Hobby Stocks

Feature (15 laps):  1. Matthew Cleveland, 2. Andy Moore, 3. Seth Gnewikow, 4. Mike Gratz, 5. Grant Witcraft, 6. Landon Lockington, 7. Bryan Schott, 8. Shelby Lockington, 9. Scott Mahlum

Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Scott Mahlum, 2. Grant Witcraft, 3. Shelby Lockington, 4. Bryan Schott

Heat #2 (8 laps):  1. Matthew Cleveland, 2. Andy Moore, 3. Seth Gnewikow, 4. Mike Gratz

Qualifying:  1. Andy Moore 17.614, 2. Matthew Cleveland 18.011, 3. Mike Gratz 18.473, 4. Seth Gnewikow 18.511, 5. Grant Witcraft 18.569, 6. Shelby Lockington 18.778, 7. Scott Mahlum 18.783, 8. Landon Lockington 19.017, 9. Bryan Schott 19.972



Feature (15 laps):  1. Tristan Finnigan, 2. Glen Bush, Jr., 3. Jordan Finch, 4. Ashtin Quinnell, 5. Aubrie Leis, 6. Tirk Tiggler (DQ)

Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Jordan Finch, 2. Tirk Tiggler, 3. Glen Bush, Jr., 4. Aubrie Leis, 5. Ashtin Quinnell

Qualifying:  1. Tirk Tiggler 19.119, 2. Glen Bush, Jr. 19.268, 3. Jordan Finch 19.447, 4. Tristan Finnigan 19.476, 5. Ashtin Quinnell 19.715, 6. Aubrie Leis 21.540


TACU Credit Union Six Shooters

Feature (15 laps):  1. Jay Raines, 2. Ryatt Dobbratz, 3. Greg Brown, 4. Tim Murphy, Sr., 5. Christopher Neal, 6. Chris Brown, 7. A.J. Finnigan, 8. Devin Glass

Heat #1 (8 laps):  1. Chris Brown, 2. Devin Glass, 3. A.J. Finnigan, 4.Christopher Neal

Heat #2 (8 laps):  1. Jay Raines, 2. Tim Murphy, Sr., 3. Ryatt Dobbratz, 4. Greg Brown

Qualifying:  1. Tim Murphy, Sr. 19.430, 2. Greg Brown 19.558, 3. Ryatt Dobbratz 19.611, 4. Jay Raines 19.629, 5. Christopher Neal 19.767, 6. Chris Brown 19.927, 7. A.J. Finnigan 20.245, 8. Devin Glass 20.389