By Jeanne & Larry Starr
May 16, 1998; JEFFERSON WI. – On Saturday night and the place to be was Jefferson Speedway where nearly 100 cars thrilled a large crowd of fans on Wisconsin’s Action Track.
Dan Chesmore of Janesville battled to the front of the 35 lap Late Model feature. Starting from the outside of row six Chesmore was up to the 8th spot when the first caution of the race came on lap 3, for a car crashed in the first turn. Rookie driver Luke Westenberg of Palmyra lead the field back to green. As Chesmore battled his way through the field, Andy Wendt of Watertown moved up to challenge Westenberg for the lead. Wendt found his way to the inside, but Westenberg was far from giving up, fighting side-by-side, on the outside for many laps, before succumbing to the experience of Wendt.
As Wendt assumed the lead Chesmore moved from 5th to third, entering the battle with Westenberg. The final caution of the race on lap 16, for a spin in the fourth turn, found Chesmore on Wendt’s back bumper for the restart. On the restart Chesmore began the attack, moving to the inside of Wendt, but it was not going to be quite that easy. Wendt fought back hard, holding Chesmore in second for 5 laps.
On lap 21 Chesmore drove to the bottom of turn 1, the two touched a bit, and Chesmore powered out of the second turn in the lead. From there Chesmore guided the field to the checkered, without a serious challenge. At the stripe it was Chesmore, for his second career feature victory, followed by Wendt, Bill Leindecker of Janesville, Charlie Mierendorf of Lake Mills and Jason Erickson of Cambridge.
Chesmore set the fast in qualifying with a 14.893 second circuit of the quarter mile.
Claiming victory, in 10 lap heat races, were Russ Goodwin of Beloit, Bitch Mierendorf of Waterloo and Eric Gerlach of Palmyra.
Transferring to the feature via the 20 lap Last Chance race were Goodwin, Bret Carson of Ft. Atkinson, Dave Cresca of Palmyra and John Ovadal of Johnson Creek.
In the International class, defending track champion Justin Nottestad of Cambridge flew to the front in the 20 lap main event. Starting from the outside of row 5 Nottestad gained two positions before a 3 car tangle, going down the front stretch, brought out the first caution on lap 2. On the restart Justin Nottestad continued his drive to the front, with rookie driver Brent Nottestad of Cambridge close behind, as D. R. Moore of Madison held the point. The final caution came on lap 16, for what appeared to be a blown engine and fluid on the track. The restart found Justin Nottestad up to the third spot, behind Dave Pankow of Oregon, with Brent Nottestad in fourth. On the restart Justin Nottestad took the low line, flying past Pankow and making his move on Moore. As Moore watched Justin move past for the lead, he found Brent Nottestad coming strong on the inside. Moore held on for one more lap before giving up the 2nd spot. At the stripe it was Justin Nottestad for the win with Brent Nottestad holding second. Rounding out the top 5 were Pankow, Moore and Darnell Mepham of Ft. Atkinson.
Mepham set the pace in qualifying with a 16.007 second tour of the quarter mile.
Victory in the ten lap heat races went to Bob Moore of Madison, Brent Nottestad and D. R. Moore.
Transferring to the feature from the 10 lap Last Chance race were Bob Moore, Mike Bingham of Jefferson, Ken Edmundson of Lima Center, and Jeremy Uttech of Watertown.
In the Sportsman Division, Matt Jesse of Milton claimed the first feature win of his career in the 25 lap main event. At the start Jesse quickly moved to the front, moving past Josh Courtney of Janesville for the lead on lap 4. From there Jessie stretched out a big lead, as Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson and former track champion Dave Oswald of Cottage grove battled through the field. As the first caution of the race came, on lap 14, Jesse held the point with a number of lapped cars between him and the second place car of Selsing.
On the start, Oswald moved around Selsing for the second spot and picked his way through the lapped traffic before the final caution came on lap 18, for a broken axle on the back straight. The restart saw Jesse at the front, with Oswald on his back bumper and seven laps remaining to the checkered flag! At this point many thought that Jesse’s chance at a win was suddenly very small. Jesse was not among those that felt that way, as the green flag flew, Oswald launched the attack with Jesse matching him lap for lap. At the stripe it was Jesse, by a car length over Oswald, followed by Selsing, Kale Peterman of Juneau and Dave Quale of Ft. Atkinson.
Oswald set the qualifying pace with a 16.058 second orbit of the quarter mile.
Ten lap heat race victories went to Noel Ramge of Hellenville, Jesse and Ryan Ley of Sullivan.
Moving to the feature via the 12 lap Last chance race were Ramge, Dylan Skyler of Dousman, Kyle Munro of Ft. Atkinson and Bill Kettle of Janesville.
In Hobby Stock action Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc notched the win in the 20 lap feature. Starting from the outside of row 7 Kalbus claimed the 5th spot by lap 3, with Roger Stephenson of Cambridge at the point battling with Lincoln Keeser of Johnson Creek. Kalbus worked through the field, picking off one position at a time to claim the second spot by lap 11, with Keeser in the lead.
The battle lasted two laps, with Kalbus making the winning pass on lap 14. Kalbus guided the field from there to the Checkered flag, where he was followed by Pete Elgas of Janesville, Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown, defending track champion Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson, Keeser and former track champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon. Keeser subsequently failed the post race technical inspection, awarding Gaserude fifth in the official finish.
Kohlhoff set the pace in qualifying with a 16.980 second loop of the quarter mile.
Dave Gigle of Johnson Creek and Trent Erdman of Ft. Atkinson each won an 8 lap heat race.
Making the feature lineup via the 12 lap Last Chance race were Dan Schmidt of Farmington, Ken Stillman of Madison, Jason Ayers of Edgerton and Chris Jackson of Edgerton.
Rounding out the evening’s activities were the One-on-One Spectator Drags. Victors were B. J. Schumacher of Cambridge 4 Cylinder class, Jason Thom of Watertown the 6 Cylinder class, Derek Rehm of Westfield the 8 Cyl cars and Brendon Gustafson of Madison the 8 Cyl. trucks.
Next week at Jefferson Speedway it’s WJJO Night at the races, with Johnny Danger on had to blow up old unwanted music. Fans can bring tapes, CD’s or records that you want to be rid of! Jefferson and Palmyra AMOCO will present the 50 lap Late Model feature.
Gates open at 4:00, qualifying at 5:30 and racing to begin at 7:30 sharp. Jefferson Speedway is located on highway 18 half way between Jefferson and Cambridge.