By Jeanne & Larry Starr
June 20, 1998; JEFFERSON WI. – Charlie Mierendorf of Lake Mills battled all the way to the checkered flag, notching victory in the 35 lap WJVL Night at the Races feature.
Starting from the outside of row 4, Mierendorf was just ahead of the first lap incident that brought out the first caution. On the restart Mierendorf flew through the field, claiming fourth by lap 2, as rookie driver Nathan Oppliger of Belleville grabbed the early lead, with Eric Gerlach of Palmyra running a close second. Mierendorf inherited the third spot, on lap 5, as Denny Stair of Sullivan lost the handle spinning out of harms way. Mike Taylor of Stoughton had his car burst into flames going into turn 3, on lap 11, bringing out the second caution.
Taylor was unhurt but finished for the evening. Oppliger spun on the front stretch, after the yellow, landing in the sand pile. On the restart Oppliger still held the point, but pulled off at the green flag, leaving Gerlach in the lead with Mierendorf running second. Mierendorf moved under Gerlach making the winning pass on lap 12. As Mierendorf guided the field to the checkered flag, Gerlach fought to regain the lead. Keeping the pressure high, Gerlach moved to the inside of Mierendorf many times, but couldn’t quite get past. At the stripe it was Mierendorf for the win by a car length over Gerlach followed by Kenny Olson of Ft. Atkinson, Bill Leindecker of Janesville and Dan Chesmore of Janesville.
Scott Null of Lake Mills set the fast qualifying pace with a 14.929 second tour of the quarter mile.
Claiming victory, in 10 lap heat races, were Bruce Clark of Watertown, Leindecker and Roger Behlke of Jefferson.
Transferring to the feature via the 20 lap Last Chance race were Clark, Butch Mierendorf of Waterloo, Russ Goodwin of Beloit and Mike Taylor of Stoughton.
In International Class action defending Track Champion Justin Nottestad of Cambridge edged to victory in the 20 lap feature. Starting from the inside of row 6 Nottestad began his drive to the front as Edgerton’s Earl Kauffman took the early lead. A spin, near the rear of the field, brought the first caution on lap 4. On the restart, Kauffman held the point until Dale Nottestad of Cambridge pulled up, on lap 7, to claim the lead.
A pair of cars tangled in turn three, triggering several spins behind them bringing the second caution on lap 9. On the restart it was Dale Nottestad at the point with Justin Nottestad up to the 7th spot. Justin Nottestad moved around Aaron Rude of Cambridge for second on lap 15, closing on the leader. A spin in turn 1 brought out the final caution on lap 17, setting up a 3 lap shoot-out for the win. As the green flag flew, Justin moved to the inside of Dale making a strong bid for the lead.
Dale held him off for one lap before slipping back to second, on lap 18. Not satisfied with second Dale moved back to the inside, as the white flag flew. Charging down the back stretch Dale pulled to even with Justin in the third and fourth turns, as they charged to the checkered flag it was Justin by a bumper width over Dale, followed by Rude, Darnell Mepham of Ft. Atkinson, and Mike Drays of Milton.
Justin Nottestad set the fast qualifying pace with a 16.093 second circuit of the quarter mile.
Claiming victory in 10 lap heat races were Tory Adams of Madison and Mepham.
In Sportsman division action Dave Oswald stretched his point lead, scoring his 7th feature victory of the season in the 25 lap main event. Starting from the outside of row 6 Oswald started his drive to the front, with Tony Koepke of Ft. Atkinson taking the early lead.
Behind Koepke, Oswald was streaking toward the front, moving under traffic Oswald was up to second by lap 7. Koepke held on for 2 more laps, before Oswald moved under and past, pulling out ahead on lap 9. From there it was Oswald guiding the way to the checkered flag, in the caution free race, with Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson battling his way up to second by lap 16. At the stripe it was Oswald by a straight away over Selsing followed by Curt Thompson of Palmyra, Chad Stevens of Beloit and Koepke.
Oswald set the fast qualifying pace with a 15.898 second orbit of Wisconsin’s Action Track.
Rookie driver John Ovadal Jr. of Johnson Creek scored his first career win in one, of 2, 10 lap heat races, while Chad “Squirt” Stevens of Beloit claimed victory in the second.
In Hobby Stock action defending Track Champion Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson scored the win in the 20 lap feature. Starting from the outside of row 6 Pfeifer was running 5th by lap 3 when a multi-car spin, in the 4th turn, brought out the first caution. On the restart Bill Bush of Johnson Creek held onto his early lead as Pfeifer picked his way through the field.
Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc moved up to challenge Bush, by lap 4, claiming the position on lap 5, as Pfeifer moved up to third. Pfeifer claimed the second spot from Bush on lap 7, setting his sights on Kalbus, while former Track Champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon followed into the third spot. By lap 15 Gaserude had moved ahead of Pfeifer as they challenged Kalbus in a three way battle for the lead, this battle ended with Pfeifer out front by lap 17, guiding the path to the checkered flag. At the stripe it was Pfeifer followed by Gaserude, Kalbus, Bush and Dan Schmidt of Farmington.
Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown set the fast qualifying pace with a 16.916 second lap on the quarter mile. Kohlhoff’s feature run was cut short by a flat tire early in the race.
Claiming victory in 8 lap heat races were Jason Ayers of Edgerton, Roger Stephenson of Cambridge and Pete Elgas of Janesville.
Transferring to the feature via the 12 lap Last Chance race were Brian Jenson of Lake Mills, Randy Strasburg of Jefferson, Trent Erdman of Ft. Atkinson and Jason Ayers.
Next week it’s WIBA night at Wisconsin’s Action Track, with a 50 Lap Late Model Feature and a full racing program, in the Late Model, International, Sportsman and Hobby Stock divisions.
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