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Null Claims Second of Season – Drays Notches Career First in Independence Day Special at Jefferson Speedway

By Jeanne & Larry Starr

July 4, 1998; Jefferson, WI – Scott Null of Lake Mills claimed his second, of the season, in the 35 lap Independence Day 35 lap Late Model Feature.

Starting from the outside of row 3, Null began his trip to the checkered flag. With Butch Mierendorf of Waterloo out in the early lead Null battled his way to the front of the field, claiming the third spot, behind Luke Westenberg of Palmyra, on lap 7. As Null moved under Westenberg, grabbing the second spot on lap 8, Mierendorf had opened up a healthy lead. Two cars tangled, rounding the 1st and 2nd turns on lap 9, bringing out the only caution of the race, and lining Null up on Mierendorf’’s back bumper for the restart.

As the green flag returned, Null launched his bid for the lead, pulling to the inside of Mierendorf on lap 10 and battling side-by-side for another lap before pulling ahead on lap 11. From there it was Null guiding the way to the checkered flag, as Ken Olson of Ft. Atkinson followed him under Mierendorf for the second spot. The battle for second headed up on lap 13, as former track champion, Andy Wendt of Watertown, motored past Mierendorf and set his sights on Olson.

As Null pulled away in the lead, Olson and Wendt battled for the second spot all the way to the checkered flag. Olson seemed to have found the perfect line, around the outside, with Wendt trying to find the bite he needed to move to the bottom. Many times Wendt was able to pull to the inside, but Olson always seemed to win the race out of the fourth turn. As Null took the checkered, Wendt made one last attempt, charging to the bottom out of the fourth turn, Wendt edged by Olson for the second spot. Olson finished third followed by Denny Stair of Sullivan and Roger Behlke of Jefferson.

Wendt started his night off right, taking home the money, in the Duck Inn of Jefferson sponsored Dash For Cash. This event pitted the top 5 qualifiers, in an 8 lap dash. Starting from the outside of the front row Wendt pulled ahead of Roger Behlke of Jefferson to grab the cash.

Stair set the fast pace in qualifying with a 14.947 second circuit of the quarter mile at Wisconsin’s Action Track.

Victors, in 10 lap heat races, were Russ Goodwin of Beloit, John Ovadal of Johnson Creek and Charlie Mierendorf of Lake Mills.

Transferring to the feature, via the 20 lap Last Chance Race, were Ovadal, Nathan Oppliger of Belleville, Bruce Clark of Watertown and Goodwin.

In the International division Mike Drays of Milton notched his first career feature win in the 20 lap main event. Starting from the outside of row 2 Drays grabbed the early lead, but he still had a long drive to the finish. By lap 3, Mike Cusick of Edgerton moved up to challenge Drays, claiming the top spot by lap 6.

As Cusick pulled ahead, Drays found himself doing battle with defending track champion Justin Nottestad of Cambridge. Nottestad claimed the second spot by lap 9, as Brent Nottestad of Cambridge moved on Drays for the second spot. Drays dropped to fifth as Brent Nottestad moved past on lap 10 and Darnell Mepham, made his way around on lap 11. As the battle for the lead, between Cusick and Justin Nottestad was shaping up, a car stalled on the front stretch, bringing out the only caution of the race, on lap 16.

An altercation, on the track, while under caution earned the black flag for Mepham and Brent Nottestad, moving Drays back to the third spot for the restart. On the restart the battle resumed between Cusick and Justin Nottestad, for the lead, with Drays running a close third. The battle for the lead concluded, coming off the 2nd turn on lap 18, when Nottestad tangled with Cusick, resulting in a violent spin to the infield for Cusick and a black flag for Nottestad.

Drays lead the charge to the checkered flag, followed by Matt Nickel of Madison, D. R. Moore of Madison, Aaron Rude of Cambridge, Jim Pankow of Oregon and Charles Dixon of Waukesha. Nickel subsequently failed the post race technical inspection moving those behind him up one position in the official finish.

Mepham set the fast pace in qualifying with a 16.009 second tour of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory in 10 lap heat races were Moore and Cusick.

Transferring to the feature via the 10 lap Last Chance race were Moore, Charles Dixon of Waukesha, Tory Adams of Madison and Ken Edmundson of Lima Center.

In Sportsman Division action Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson made it two in a row, claiming top honors in the 25 lap feature. Starting from the outside of row 7, Selsing began the long drive to the front, as Josh Courtney claimed the early lead. As Selsing battled his way through the field, with current point leader Dave Oswald of Cottage Grove close behind, Courtney began to open up a good lead over second place.

Courtney’s lead vaporized on lap 12 as a car lost its wheel in the first turn, bringing out the first caution. On the restart it was still Courtney at the point with Chad “Squirt” Stevens running second and Selsing up to the third spot. As they took the green flag, Selsing started his move on Stevens, but was interrupted as the caution came out, one lap later, for fire in a car. On the restart, Oswald moved to the outside of Selsing making a bid for third as the they closed with Stevens, leading to a 3 wide battle for the second spot.

Selsing came out on top of this battle, moving past Stevens and Courtney on lap 17 to claim the top spot, with Oswald moving around Stevens for third, challenging Courtney. Caution returned one last time, again for fire in a car, on lap 18. As they took the final green, Oswald moved to the inside of Courtney, claiming the second spot on lap 19 and began to close with Selsing.

The two battled over the remaining laps, with Oswald moving to the inside, looking for the front and Selsing using everything at his disposal to hold him off. As the charged to the checkered flag Oswald made his final run. Selsing fought off this last charge, holding Oswald in second, by a mere 18 inches. Rounding out the top five were Stevens, Curt Thompson of Palmyra and Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc.

Oswald paced the field in qualifying with a 15.916 orbit of the quarter mile speed plant.

Racing to victory, in 10 lap heat races, were Joe Wendorf of Jefferson, Noel Ramge of Hellenville and Ryan Ley of Rome.

Transferring to the feature lineup, via the 12 lap Last Chance Race were Randy Padfield of Stoughton, Bo Sanden of Newville, Allen McBride of Newville and Noel Ramge of Hellenville.

In Hobby Stock action Dave Lawrence of Wisconsin Dells claimed top honors in the 20 lap feature. Starting from the inside of row 5, Lawrence began his drive to the checkered as Brian Jensen moved out to the early lead. Lawrence was up to the second spot by lap 5, closing with Jensen and claiming the lead before the first caution of the race, on lap 8.

On the restart Lawrence pulled ahead of the field as Pete Elgas of Janesville moved to the inside of Jensen to claim second. Elgas appeared to be gaining ground on Lawrence, but was never able to catch him. At the stripe it was Lawrence for the win followed by Elgas, defending track champion Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson, last week’s feature winner Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown and former track champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon.

Kohlhoff set the fast qualifying pace, with a 17.031 second loop of the quarter mile.

Cruising to victory in 10 lap heat races were Roger Stephenson of Cambridge, Elgas and Gaserude.

Transferring to the main event via the 10 lap Last Chance race were Ron Coppernoll of Madison, Scott Carson of Whitewater, Ben Hallock of Ft. Atkinson and Stephenson.

The evening started with Race Car Rides for kids. All kids who came out had the opportunity to meet their favorite race car drivers and take a short ride around the track in a race car.

Matt Kenseth, the NASCAR – Busch Grand National point leader, was on hand for much of the evening signing autographs and meeting the fans.

Rounding out the evening’s entertainment was the Independence Day fireworks display, treating fans to a brilliant pyrotechnic display.

Next week at Jefferson Speedway it’s Mid-Season Championships, with extended features in all 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 and Cambridge.

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