Kohloff Notches First Championship by 1 position!
Wendt, Nottestad and Oswald Crowned Jefferson champs!

By Jeanne & Larry Starr


September 12, 1998; Jefferson, WI. - Andy Wendt of Watertown iced the season championship with his victory in the Havill-Spoerl Automotive Family 75 lap feature. Starting from the inside of row 8 Wendt began his drive to the front as John Ovadal of Johnson Creek moved out to the early lead with Butch Mierendorf of Waterloo close behind.

1998- Jefferson Speedway Champions Gather!!

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Champions in three of the four divisions posed at the tracks finish line after the final checkered flag of the 1998 point season fell.   From the left are:  Late Model Champion - #18 Andy Wendt, Sportsman Champion  - #31 Dave Oswald and Hobby Stock Champion - #98 Jeff Kohloff.  Not shown was Justin Nottestad who won the title in the International class. Nottestad had wrapped up the title a couple weeks ago and was attending a wedding this eveing.

Mierendorf moved to the inside of Ovadal on lap 5, starting a side by side battle for the lead that lasted until lap 9. Mierendorf claimed the point on lap 9, as Wendt moved up to the 4th spot. Caution slowed the field, on lap 12 when 2 cars tangled in the 4th turn. On the restart it was Mierendorf at the point, with Wendt still back in 4th. The second caution came on lap 17 as the 2nd and 3rd place cars, both rookies, driven by Luke Westenberg of Palmyra and Nick Wendt of Watertown made contact and spun on the back stretch, moving Andy Wendt up to second for the restart.

Wendt moved to the inside of Mierendorf on lap 18, spending 3 more laps in his bid for the lead. Claiming the lead on lap 21, Wendt guided the field to the checkered flag as Roger Behlke of Jefferson moved up to second, closing with Wendt to bid for the lead. Behlke made several good runs as Wendt, but was never able to find his way around as they closed with the checkered flag. At the finish it was Wendt for the win, followed by Behlke, Scott Null of Lake Mills, Denny Stair of Sullivan and Bart Reinen of Jefferson.

The championship for Wendt is his second at Jefferson Speedway the first one occurring in 1983.

Stair set the fast qualifying pace with a 14.895 second tour of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory, in 10 lap heat races, were John Sherman of Madison, Nick Wendt of Watertown and Mike Taylor of Stoughton.

Transferring to the 75 lapper, via the 20 lap Last Chance race, were Taylor, Bart Reinen of Jefferson, Bruce Clark of Watertown and Gene Olson Jr. of Whitewater.

In International class action Darnell Mepham claimed top honors in the 30 lap main event. Starting from the outside of row 6 Mepham began his drive to the front as Jim Pankow of Oregon moved out to the early lead. The race was slowed by 2 caution periods, on laps 5 and 8, with Pankow still holding the point, for both restarts with Mepham up to 11th. On the final restart D. R. Moore of Madison moved to the inside of Pankow, claiming the lead by lap 9, with Matt Frey of Cambridge following for the second spot.

Frey moved to the inside of Moore by lap 11, making his bid for the lead as Pete Weston of Ft. Atkinson moved up to third. Weston moved to the inside of Moore and Frey on lap 13. Frey suffered a flat tire on lap 15 ending his bid for the top spot, as Weston motored ahead of Moore for the lead on lap 16. Mepham followed Weston toward the front, launching his bid for the lead by lap 20. Mepham made several attempts to move past Weston before a flat tire ended Weston’s turn at the point giving the spot to Mepham. Once out in front Mepham guided the field to the checkered flag. A the stripe it was Mepham for the win followed by Mike Cusick of Edgerton, Pankow, Rick Neerland of Ft. Atkinson and Charles Dixon of Waukesha.

Justin Nottestad, who held a commanding lead in the points, coming into the evening, was absent to celebrate his wedding.

Mepham set the fast pace in qualifying with a 15.907 second orbit of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory, in 8 lap heat races, were Tory Adams of Madison, Matt Nickel of Madison and Chris Quam of Stoughton.

Transferring to the feature lineup, via the 12 lap Last Chance race, were Weston, Mike Bingham of Jefferson, Dixon and Scott Uttech of Beaver Dam.

In Sportsman division action Kyle Munro of Ft. Atkinson claimed top honors in the 35 lap championship feature. Starting from the outside of row 4 Munro started his trek to the point as Tony Koepke of Ft. Atkinson grabbed the early lead. Three cars tangled, in turn 1, on the 3rd lap to bring out the only caution of the race. On the restart it was Koepke at the point with Munro up to fourth. Munro claimed 3rd by lap 9 working to close with Koepke, who had built a substantial lead. Munro caught Koepke by lap 17 working the inside in his bid for the lead. Koepke held on until lap 19 before surrendering the point to Munro. Once at the point Munro guided the way to the checkered. As they took the checkered it was Munro for the win, followed by Curt Thompson of Palmyra, Bob Selsing of Ft. Atkinson, Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc and Kale Peterman of Juneau.

Dave Oswald of Cottage Grove claimed the season championship, having come into the night with a commanding lead.

Oswald set the fast qualifying pace with a 15.982 second lap on Wisconsin’s Action Track.

Claiming victory, in 10 lap heat races were, Chris Matz of Sullivan, Jay Kalbus of Oconomowoc and Munro.

In Hobby Stock action Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown claimed top honors in the 30 lap main event, notching the narrowest victory, for the season championship, in speedway history. Starting from the outside of row 7, beside defending track champion and point leader, Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson, Kohlhoff began his drive to the front, as Randy Strasburg of Jefferson claimed the early lead.

Kohlhoff moved up to the 3rd spot by lap 4, closing with Nick Golich of Hebron for the 2nd spot. Kohlhoff motored under Golich on lap 6 claiming second, as Pfeifer worked his way up to 6th. Closing with Strasburg on lap 8, Kohlhoff claimed the lead on lap 9 and never looked back as Pfeifer worked his way up from 5th. Pfeifer moved into the third spot by lap by lap 17, behind Pete Elgas of Janesville launching his bid for second. Elgas fought hard, holding off Pfeifer over the remaining laps. At the stripe it was Kohlhoff heading for victory lane and the championship crown, followed by Elgas, Pfeifer, former track champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon and Strasburg.

Kohlhoff started the night with a 17 point disadvantage, behind Pfeifer who suffered trouble early, when his car was wrecked in practice. Pfeifer’s crew loaded, what appeared to be a badly damaged race car, and left the track for repairs. An amazing effort, on the part of his crew, delivered the car back to the track in time for Pfeifer to take one lap of qualifying, setting the second fast time of the evening, behind Kohlhoff. Pfeifer held a 13 point lead at the start of the feature, having to finish within 1 position of Kohlhoff to hold on to the championship. Pfeifer came up just 1 position short, with Kohlhoff claiming the championship by a mere 7 points.

It should be added that, when Pfeifer’s car was damaged early in the evening, Kohlhoff and his crew were among the first to offer any help they could provide. Former track champion Dennis Gaserude offered his car to Pfeifer, if Pfeifer’s proved to be unrepairable. This division has provided a glowing example of sportsmanship, among its competitors.

Kohlhoff set the fast qualifying pace with a 16.797 second drive around the quarter mile.

Claiming victory, in 8 lap heat races, were Ron Coppernoll of Dane, Gaserude and Ernie Witte of Johnson Creek.

Transferring to the feature lineup via the 8 lap Last Chance race were Bill Bush of Johnson Creek, Chris Jackson of Edgerton, Ben Hallock of Ft. Atkinson and Jim Williams of Milton.

Next week Jefferson Speedway closes the 1998 racing season with the 2 day Pepsi Wisconsin State Championships. Running Friday and Saturday nights, September 18th and 19th. The Midwest Truck series well make its debut Fri. night of the two day spectacular. One on one street drags well end the nights festivities.

Gates open at 2:00 pm., with qualifying at 5:00 p.m. and racing to begin at 8:00 p.m. on the opening day which is Friday evening.  A full program of qualifying races, last chance events, a race of champions and preview features will be held.

On Saturday evening gates will open at 3:00 p.m. and racing will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. with several last chance and consolation races prior to the Wisconsin State Championship feature races.

Overnight camping is allowed both nights, for more information you can e-mail the raceway from the front page of this website or call (920) 648-2085.

Jefferson Speedway is located on highway 18 half way between Jefferson and Cambridge, and the track phone is (920) 648-2705  in the event of bad weather Sunday is being used as a raindate.

Late Model Division
"Havill-Spoerl Automotive Family 75" Season Championship- 75 Lap Feature
1. #18 Andy Wendt Watertown 11. #11 Russ Goodwin Beloit
2. #44 Roger Behlke Jefferson 12. #37 Gene Olson Jr. Whitewater
3. #62 Scott Null Lake Mills 13. #96 Jason Erickson Cambridge
4. #43 Denny Stair Sullivan 14. #41 Mike Taylor Stoughton
5. # 6 Bart Reinen Jefferson 15. #12 Butch Mierendorf Waterloo
6. # 7 Bill Leindecker Janesville 16. #55 Eric Gerlach Palmyra
7. #27 Dan Chesmore Janesville 17. #16 Luke Westenberg Palmyra
8. #46 Nick Wendt Watertown 18. # 7 Bruce Clark Watertown
9. # 2 Tom Dorn Fort Atkinson 19. # 1 Charlie Mierendorf Lake Mills
10. #71 John Ovadahl Johnson Creek 20. #68 Ken Olson Fort Atkinson

20 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Taylor; 2.) Reinen; 3.) Clark; 4.) Olson
First 10 Lap Heat: 1.) John Sherman
Second 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Nick Wendt
Third 10 Lap Heat
1.) Taylor
Dash: 1.) Erickson
Fast Qualifier:  #43 Denny Stair, Sullivan,..........14.895 Seconds

Internationals
30 Lap "Championship"  Feature Event
1. #12 Darnell Mepham Fort Atkinson
2. #18 Mike Cusick Edgerton
3. #23 Jim Pankow Oregon
4. #24 Rick Neerland Cambridge
5. #71 Charles Dixon Waukesha
6. #74 Scott Uttech Beaver Dam

12 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Weston; 2.) Mike Bingham; 3.) Dixon; 4.) Scott Uttech
First 10 Lap Heat: 
1.) Tory Adams
Second 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Matt Nickel
Third 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Chris Quam
Fast Qualifier:
#12 Darnell Mepham, Fort Atkinson,........15.907 Seconds

Sportsman
25 Lap Feature Event
1. #30 Kyle Munro Fort Atkinson
2. # 6 Curt Thompson Palmyra
3. #42 Bob Selsing Fort Atkinson
4. #27 Jay Kalbus Oconomowoc
5. #08 Cale Peterman Juneau
6. #82 Chad Stevens Beloit

10 Lap Last Chance:  1.) Chris Purdy
First 10 Lap Heat: 
1.) Chris Matz
Second 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Kalbus
Third 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Munro
Fast Qualifier:
#31 Dave Oswald, Cottage Grove,.........15.982 Seconds

Hobby Stocks
20 Lap Feature Event
1. #98 Jeff Kohloff Watertown
2. #52 Pete Elgas Janesville
3. #58 Jim Pfeifer Fort Atkinson
4. #18 Dennis Gaserude Oregon
5. #56 Randy Strasburg Jefferson
6. #66 Nick Golich Hebron

Last Chance: 1.) Bill Bush; 2.) Chris Jackson; 3.) Ben Hallock; 4.) Jim Williams
First 8 Lap Heat:  1.) Ron Coppernoll
Second 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Ernie Witte
Third 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Gaserude
Fast Qualifier:
#98 Jeff Kohloff, Watertown, WI,.......16.797 Seconds