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Olson Ices First Late Model Feature at Jefferson Speedway

By Jeanne & Larry Starr

May 30, 1998; JEFFERSON WI. – Kenny Olson of Ft. Atkinson flew flag to flag in the 35 lap Late Model Feature, at Jefferson Speedway, logging the first Late Model main event of his career. Starting from the outside of the front row Olson took the point at the green flag and never looked back, holding off all challengers on his trip to the checkers. Behind Olson the battle for second and third kept everyone’s attention. Gary Krueger of Edgerton claimed second on the first lap running strong in that position for 21 laps before he appeared to lose power, surrendering the spot to John Hornby of Sun Prairie.

Behind Krueger, the third spot was hotly contested with Nathan Oppliger of Belleville, Hornby and Jason Erickson of Cambridge all vying for the position. The third caution of the race came on lap 15, with Erickson working the inside of Hornby and Oppliger. Oppliger spun coming out of the 2nd turn, collecting Erickson, as Hornby moved to the outside into the second spot. The restart saw Hornby in the third spot with Olson still in the lead. Scott Null of Lake Mills and Roy Aitchison of Deerfield lined up behind Hornby looking toward the front. As the green flag flew, Null pulled to the inside of Hornby, making his bid for the third position, with Hornby holding tough on the outside.

A spin, in the back of the field, brought the final caution of the race, on lap 19, dropping Null in line behind Hornby for the restart. As the green returned, Olson pulled ahead as Null moved to the outside of Hornby, continuing his assault. On lap 22 Hornby moved under Krueger, claiming the second spot, as Null had to pull in behind Hornby to follow into the third spot. Hornby moved up on Olson making his bid for the lead. Olson proved up to the challenge, holding Hornby in the second spot as he flew toward the checkered flag. At the stripe it was Olson with the win, by a narrow margin over Hornby, followed by Null, Charlie Mierendorf of Lake Mills and Roger Behlke of Jefferson.

Behlke set the fast pace in qualifying with a 15.001 orbit of the quarter mile.

Ten lap heat race victories went to Scott Bleeker of Ft. Atkinson, Russ Goodwin of Beloit and Tom Dorn of Ft. Atkinson.

Transferring to the feature via the 20 lap Last Chance race were Bart Reinen of Jefferson, Mark English of Edgerton, Butch Mierendorf of Waterloo and Dorn.

In the International class, defending track champion Justin Nottestad of Cambridge made one more trip to Victory Lane, logging the win in the 20 lap feature. Starting from the inside of row 6 Nottestad began his move toward the front, with Matt Nickel of Machesney PK. IL. at the point. Avoiding problems through the first two caution periods on laps 3 and 9, Nottestad moved up to the second spot on lap 14 and launched his bid for the lead. Nickel succumbed to Nottestad’s charge on lap 15, and found himself locked in a battle for second, with rookie driver Brent Nottestad of Cambridge.

Caution slowed the field on lap 16, for two cars spinning in the 2nd turn. The restart was short lived as last weeks feature winner, Darnell Mepham moved up to challenge for the third spot, Mepham and Brent Nottestad tangled, bringing out the final caution of the race on lap 17 and setting up a three lap shoot out to the checkered flag. The final restart saw Justin Nottestad pull away with the lead, guiding the field to the checkered flag. At the stripe it was Nottestad for the win, followed by Nickel, Jim Pankow of Oregon, Chris Quam of Stoughton, D. R. Moore of Madison and Matt Frey of Cambridge. Nickel subsequently failed the post race technical inspection, moving Pankow up to the second spot.

Nottestad set the fast qualifying pace with a 16.074 second circuit of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory in 8 lap heat races were Charles Dixon of Waukesha and Frey.

Making the feature lineup via the 10 lap Last chance race were Dixon, Mike Drays of Milton, Mike Bingham of Jefferson and Bob Moore of Madison.

In Sportsman division action former track champion Dave Oswald turned in a stellar performance, piloting the #31 “Cow Car” on another tour of Victory Lane. Starting from the outside of row 7, Oswald was well behind the melee, in the third turn that brought out the only caution of the race. Entering turn three, on the first lap, Tim Orton suffered a mechanical failure that carried him to the wall, with Kale Peterman of Juneau caught on the outside.

The momentum carried Peterman up the wall where he came to on the driver’s side. Both drivers were uninjured but things came to a stop while the track crew work to clean the racing surface of fluids. On the restart, Oswald began his journey to the front, running that low line that seems to be his trademark. Oswald moved up to the 4th spot, by lap 2, with Josh Courtney of Janesville holding early lead. As Oswald moved up to third, Curt Thompson of Palmyra relieved Courtney of the lead.

Oswald moved around Courtney on lap 6, and closed on Thompson. Thompson worked hard to hold off Oswald’s challenge, staying at the point for 5 more laps, before Oswald moved to the inside to make the winning pass on lap 11. Once at the point Oswald guided the way to the checkered flag, leaving the battle for second behind. Oswald took the checkered with Thompson holding second, followed by Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson, Rich Titus of Jefferson and Kyle Munro of Ft. Atkinson.

Oswald set the fast qualifying pace with a 15.880 second orbit of the quarter mile.

Victors in 10 lap heat races were Chris Matz of Sullivan, Ryan Ley of Rome and Chad Stevens of Beloit.

Moving to the feature lineup from the 10 lap Last Chance race were Mark Deporter of Ft. Atkinson, Joe Wendorf of Jefferson, Noel Ramge of Hellenville and Dave Pankow of Oregon.

In Hobby Stock action defending Track Champion Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson claimed top honors in the 20 lap main event. Starting from the outside of row 5 Pfeifer sliced through the field, in the caution free race. Moving around Lincoln Keeser of Johnson Creek for the second spot on lap 12, Pfeifer went to work on the early leader, Trent Erdman of Ft. Atkinson. Erdman held the point for 2 more laps before Pfeifer move under him for the winning pass on lap 13.

Erdman slipped back several positions as Keeser, Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown and former track champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon, move up in their battle for position. As Pfeifer showing the field the way to the checkered flag Gaserude of Oregon challenge Keeser for the second spot. At the stripe it was Pfeifer for the win with Gaserude edging past Keeser for second, followed by Pete Elgas of Janesville and Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc.

Kohlhoff set the fast qualifying pace with a 16.998 second tour of the quarter mile.

Logging victories in 8 lap heat races were Jon Minor of Madison and Elgas.

Moving to the feature lineup via the 8 lap Last Chance race were Scott Bush of Ft. Atkinson, Nick Golich of Hebron, Ken Stillman of Madison and Randy Strasburg of Ft. Atkinson.

Rounding out the evening’s entertainment was the roll-over contest, with Roy Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson besting runner up Roger “Mister Excitement” Stephenson in the roll-off.

Next week Jefferson Speedway presents the Gauntlet Race, with the Flagman and head scorekeeper trying to complete laps in a full size hunk of Detroit Iron, while under attack by a swarm of sub-compacts. This will round out 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 and Cambridge.

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