By: Paul Reichert
September 2, 2022
The return of the Late Models to Tomah-Sparta Speedway after a five year absence was well worth the wait as the drivers put on a very impressive showing. The first ever appearance of the Big 8 Late Model Series over the 4th of July holiday weekend brought out a big crowd to witness a very competitive race. The first two rounds of the Late Model Triple Crown saw the fields grow bigger with each round and showed that Late Models can handle racing on the tricky track that is ‘Daytomah’. Jesse Bernhagen has been the man to beat as he won all the races and had a $500 bounty on him going into the final round. Dells Late Model regular Mike Litchfeld had an answer for Bernhagen’s dominance as he claimed the final feature win and the bounty money.
In the 30 lap Late Model Triple Crown feature Scott Patrick outdrove Steve Litchfeld to take control of the race at the start. Rookie racer Kendrick Kreyer powered around Mahlon Borntreger to settle into third on lap two. Braison Bennett and Kreyer stuck right behind Patrick in hopes ot getting a chance to advance to the front of the field. The yellow flag flew just before halfway when Litchfeld and Brent Edmonds tangled in turn four. Kreyer would rebound and drive underneath Bennett after taking the crossed flags to move into second. Jesse Bernhagen and Mike Litchfeld began to inch closer to the front as they both sent Bennett packing from third on lap 18 and dropped Kreyer from second on lap 19. Bernhagen got loose in turn two on lap 23 as he gave up second to Litchfeld and third to Kreyer. After a couple more yellow flags for solo spins by Brady Liddle and Ken Donais, Litchfeld zoomed around Patrick to move into the top spot on the restart. Bernhagen worked his way back up to second as he charged past both Kreyer and Patrick with three laps left. Patrick and Kreyer’s battle over third resulted in them spinning in turn four, resulting in a two lap shootout. Litchfeld kept Bernhagen in his rear view mirror and scored his first Tomah victory, while the runner-up finish would give the Late Model Triple Crown Championship to Bernhagen.
Andy Muller took the lead at the start of the final Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stock feature of the season. Grant Witcraft stuck right behind Muller in the hopes of getting a chance to claim his first career feature win. Those hopes would be dashed when Andy Moore began to loom larger in their rear view mirrors. Sticking to his traditional outside groove, Moore powered around Muller to take over the race lead on lap nine. Muller dropped out of the top three as Charles Vian, Jr. and Robby Robinson took over and would have an interesting finish to their battle. Grant Witcraft spun out on the back straight and hit the wall hard with two laps to go. Despite that incident, Witcraft would overtake the absent Landon Lockington to claim the Rookie of the Year title. Moore pulled away to score feature win number five and wrap up yet another division title. Vian, Jr. and Robinson did a lot of rubbing as they battled hard over second, which ended up going to Robinson.
In the last Command Post Saloon Hornet feature of 2022, Mike Hennessy, Jr. got the better of Bryan Wallace to lead the early going. Action was slowed on lap three for a report of debris on the front straight. Dan Rozek, racing for the first time in quite a while, and Josh Schaller broke into the top three on the restart as they put a lot of pressure on Hennessy, Jr. for the lead. As the field reached the halfway mark Schaller went to the high line to wrestle second away from Rozek. While that battle happened Hennessy, Jr. began to pull away from the field. Schaller only got within four car lengths of Hennessy, Jr. as the veteran Baraboo racer made a second trip to TACU Credit Union Victory Lane. Wallace fell all the way back to 11th at the finish, but had enough of a lead in the points to capture his first track championship in Wallace’s 20 plus year racing career.
Jon Beanken powered around Tristan Finnegan to take the lead at the start of the grand finale feature for the TACU Credit Union Six Shooters. Matt Moore wasted little time in his quest for the lead as he leap frogged both Mike Gratz and Finnegan on lap two. Two laps later Moore zoomed by Beanken on the outside to settle into the top spot. As the field reached the midway mark Gratz found a way around Beanken to become the new runner-up. Gratz was in heat of a championship battle but soon he would have to contend with tthe man he was fighting for that title with. Chuck Muller dove low down the back straight on Beanken to move into third with five laps remaining. Moore maintained the lead all the way to the finish line to earn his sixth feature win this year. Muller stuck right behind Gratz in the race and would go from having back surgery a few years to claiming his first ever track crown.
After deciding the state championship for the High School Racing Association at HobbyFest, the young lions of racing ran a special feature race to decide a Regional Champion. Dawsynn Frye powered around Kennedy Krueger to take the lead at the start of the race. Landin Frye and Curtis Hellickson drove under first time visitor Jackson Martindale to settle into second and third. They would get into their own battle over the runner-up spot as Dawsynn was driving away from the field. Landin and Hellickson were hoping for a yellow flag to give them some sort of chance to battle Dawsynn for the win, but it never came as the race ran caution free. Dawsynn had a full straight lead on the pack as he would capture the Regional Championship feature.
Anita Reinhart would show Shelley White the way in the final Soccer Moms feature this season. White would remain within a couple car lengths, but tried over and over again to find a way past Reinhart to take over the lead. Reinhart would become the first driver not named Carina Hellickson to win a Soccer Moms feature in 2022.
As the weather changes from summer to fall, the racing action also turns to good clean fun on Saturday, October 1 with the first ever Fall Brawl Demolition Derby. This event will be a smashing good time with compact cars, mid-sized cars, full-sized cars and even full-sized pickup trucks looking to make some big hits that could lead to some big money. Before the crash fest starts, another Power Wheels Demo Derby will take place. Pit gates open at 9:30 with the inspection of cars starting at 10, gates will open at 2 and the good clean hard hitting action begins at 4. For more information about this event, go to the Tomah-Sparta Speedway web site to see the rules for the Fall Brawl Demolition Derby or contact Ultimate Impact Derby Promotions.
Call the track office at 608-461-1920, visit our web site at tomahspartaspeeway.com or check out the track’s Facebook page for more information about Tomah-Sparta Speedway and the 2022 schedule of events.
Late Model Triple Crown Series Round 3
Feature (30 laps): 1. Mike Litchfeld, 2. Jesse Bernhagen, 3. Bretn Edmonds, 4. Brady Liddle, 5. Braison Bennett, 6. Mahlon Borntreger, 7. Michael Guderski, 8. Kendrick Kreyer, 9. Scott Patrick, 10. Ken Donais, 11. Steve LItchfeld, 12. Thayrin Rezin, 13. Greg Hentrich
Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. Steve Litchfeld, 2. Brady Liddle, 3. Mahlon Borntreger, 4. Jesse Bernhagen, 5. Ken Donais, 6. Brent Edmonds, 7. Greg Hentrich
Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. Thayrin Rezin, 2. Kendrick Kreyer, 3. Braison Bennett, 4. Mike Litchfeld, 5. Michael Guderski, 6. Scott Patrick
Qualifying: 1. Jesse Bernhagen 15.551, 2. Mike Litchfeld 15.645, 3. Mahlon Borntreger 15.745, 4. Kendrick Kreyer 15.789, 5. Brady Liddle 15.909, 6. Braison Bennett 15.944, 7. Brent Edmonds 16.147, 8. Scott Patrick 16.173, 9. Steve Litchfeld 16.299, 10. Michael Guderski, 16.420, 11. Ken Donais 16.621, 12. Thayrin Rezin 16.800, 13. Greg Hentrich 17.064
Clark Powersport of Hillsboro Hobby Stocks
Feature (15 laps): 1. Andy Moore, 2. Robby Robinson, 3. Charles Vian, Jr., 4. Jake Schiller, 5. Chad Leis, 6. Shelby Lockington, 7. Aaron Hendricks, 8. Grant Witcraft, 9. Andy Muller
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Andy Moore, 2. Andy Muller, 3. Chad Leis, 4. Jake Schiller, 5. Grant Witcraft, 6. Charles Vian, Jr., 7. Robby Robinson, 8. Shelby Lockington, 9. Aaron Hendricks
Qualifying: 1. Andy Moore 17.727, 2. Robby Robinson 17.882, 3. Jake Schiller 18.058, 4. Charles Vian, Jr. 18.359, 5. Chad Leis 18.610, 6. Shelby Lockington 18.722, 7. Grant Witcraft 18.735, 8. Aaron Hendricks 18.844, 9. Andy Muller 18.916
Command Post Saloon Hornets
Feature (15 laps): 1. Mike Hennessy, Jr., 2. Josh Schaller, 3. Dan Rozek, 4. Ben Thurk, 5. Paul Finch, 6. Andrew Gardner, 7. Tom Spierowski, Jr., 8. Matthew Heim, 9. Shawn Breese, 10. Mike Carlson, 11. Bryan Wallace, 12. Nick Hadler, 13. Andrew Lamb, 14. Amelia Marshall, 15. Bentley Knaack, 16. J.D. Rudser, 17. Mike Hennessy, Sr., 18. Tristan Finnegan, 19. Justin Marshall, 20. Chuck Lofquist, 21. Jamie Pearson, 22. Mason Morphey
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Andrew Lamb, 2. J.D. Rudser, 3. Chuck Lofquist, 4. Amelia Marshall, 5. Nick Hadler, 6. Bentley Knaack, 7. Mike Hennessy, Sr., 8. Andrew Gardner
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Jamie Pearson, 2. Mason Morphey, 3. Mike Hennessy, Jr., 4. Paul Finch, 5. Dan Rozek, 6. Shawn Breese, 7. Justin Marshall
Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Ben Thurk, 2. Mike Carlson, 3. Matthew Heim, 4. Josh Schaller, 5. Tom Spierowski, Jr., 6. Bryan Wallace, 7. Tristan Finnegan
Qualifying: 1. Mike Carlson 18.502, 2. Mason Morphey 18.508, 3. Ben Thurk 18.620, 4. Paul Finch 18.668, 5. Josh Schaller 18.727, 6. Jamie Pearson 18.928, 7. Dan Rozek 19.008, 8. Tom Spierowski, Jr. 19.204, 9. Shawn Breese 19.209, 10. Bryan Wallace 19.371, 11. Mike Hennessy, Jr. 19.411, 12. Tristan Finnegan 19.464, 13. Justin Marshall 19.517, 14. Matthew Heim 19.536, 15. Amelia Marshall 19.660, 16. Chuck Lofquist 19.886, 17. Nick Hadler 19.976, 18. J.D. Rudser 20.109, 19. Andrew Lamb 20.313, 20. Mike Hennessy, Sr. 20.874, 21. Bentley Knaack 20.886, 22. Andrew Gardner NO TIME
TACU Credit Union Six Shooters
Feature (15 laps): 1. Matt Moore, 2. Mike Gratz, 3. Chuck Muller, 4. Dustin McCracken, 5. Jay Raines, 6. Seth Gnewikow, 7. Chris Brown, 8. Jon Beanken, 9. Tim Murphy, Jr., 10. Tristan Finnegan, 11. Zachary Morgan, 12. Austyn Blank, 13. Devin Glass, 14. Brayden Bernhagen
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Mike Gratz, 2. Dustin McCracken, 3. Jay Raines, 4. Jon Beanken, 5. Chris Brown, 6. Austyn Blank, 7. Ashley Tauscher, 8. Feather King, 9. Matthew Heim
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Zachary Morgan, 2. Matt Moore, 3 Chuck Muller, 4. Seth Gnewikow, 5. Tristan Finnegan, 6. Tim Murphy, Jr., 7. Devin Glass, 8. Bryaden Bernhagen
Qualifying: 1. Dustin McCracken 18.970, 2. Chuck Muller 19.180, 3. Jay Raines 19.352, 4. Seth Gnewikow 19.363, 5. Mike Gratz 19.523, 6. Matt Moore 19.594, 7. Chris Brown 19.750, 8. Tim Murphy, Jr. 19.995, 9. Jon Beanken 20.078, 10. Tristan Finnegan 20.121, 11. Austyn Blank 20.342, 12. Zachary Morgan 20.406, 13. Matthew Heim 20.561, 14. Devin Glass 20.715, 15. Ashley Tauscher 21.043, 16. Brayden Bernhagen 22.523, 17. Feather King 22.555
High School Racing Association
Feature (15 laps): 1. Dawsynn Frye, 2. Landin Frye, 3. Curtis Hellickson, 4. Ashton Kinsey, 5. Jackson Martindale, 6. Trenton Frye, 7. Elliott Hawkins, 8. Kennedy Krueger, 9. Anne Green, 10. Logan Backus, 11. Jacob Mathsion, 12. Ryatt Dobbratz
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Landin Frye, 2. Elliott Hawkins, 3. Curtis Hellickson, 4. Dawsynn Frye, 5. Anne Green, 6. Logan Backus
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Jackson Martindale, 2. Jacob Mathison, 3. Ryatt Dobbratz, 4. Trenton Frye, 5. Ashton Kinsey, 6. Kennedy Krueger
Qualifying: 1. Curtis Hellickson 19.833, 2. Ryatt Dobbratz 19.860, 3. Landin Frye 19.955, 4. Jacob Mathison 20.260, 5. Elliott Hawkins 20.360, 6. Trenton Frye 20.460, 7. Logan Backus 20.629, 8. Jackson Martindale 20.734, 9. Dawsynn Frye 20.815, 10. Kennedy Krueger 22.037, 11. Anne Green 22.563
Feature (10 laps): 1. Anita Reinhart, 2. Shelley White