Bishofberger Claims Spring Sizzler
at Jefferson Speedway!

By Jeanne & Larry Starr


May 1, 1999; Jefferson, WI. - Race fans packed the stands at Wisconsin’s Action Track to witness former track champion Ron Bishofberger of Ft. Atkinson claim victory in the -- Towel City Race Tire -- Spring Sizzler 50.

Feature race action! Bill Leindecker (7) tries a move on the outside of Ron Bishofberger (76) during feature race action.   Bishofberger was the winner of the Towel City Race Tire - Spring Sizzler 50, while Leindecker slid back to fifth.

Starting from the inside of row 4 Bishofberger started working his way to the front as John Ovadal of Johnson Creek pulled ahead of Tom Dorn of Ft. Atkinson, claiming the early lead. Russ Goodwin of Beloit moved up to challenge Ovadal as Randy Cusick of Ft. Atkinson moved under Dorn into the third spot.  Cusick motored under Goodwin, grabbing second on lap 7, and closed with Ovadal, while Bishofberger moved up to fourth.  Ovadal held off Cusick for 2 laps before slipping back to second on lap 10. 

Ron Bishofberger (76) passes early leader Randy Cusick (25) and Andy Wendt (18) on lap 35 and eventually captured the Towel City Spring Sizzler 50 at Jefferson Speedway Saturday.  Cusick Placed Third.

As Cusick claimed the lead, Bill Leindecker of Janesville drove into the second spot, trying to close with the leader.  Leindecker made several attempts, to the inside of Cusick but was never able to find the opening he needed. Bishofberger moved into third, followed by Dan Chesmore of Janesville and defending track champion Andy Wendt of Watertown. 

A single car crash brought out the first caution of the race on lap 18, closing the field up nose-to-tail, for the restart.  On the restart Cusick pulled several car lengths ahead, as Bishofberger moved to the inside of Leindecker, making his bid for second.  Bishofberger claimed second on lap 18 heading toward the front, as Leindecker found himself battling Wendt, trying to hang on to the third spot.  Cusick held off Bishofberger’s charge for 15 laps, as Bishofberger continued to look to the inside for an opening. 

On lap 32, Cusick slipped, just enough for Bishofberger to get a run on the inside line.  After a lap of side by side racing, Bishofberger pulled ahead, dropping Cusick to second.  Chesmore and Wendt made it under Cusick dropping him back to 4th as the laps ticked away.  Coming out of turn 2, on lap 41, Wendt suddenly slowed, dropping back to 4th before managing to get back up to speed.  As they flew past the checkered flag it was Bishofberger for the win, followed by Chesmore, Cusick, Wendt and Leindecker.

Luke Westenberg (16) after winning the "Best Looking Race Car" contest.  The contest was determined by crowd applause, measured with a decibel meter.

Jason Erickson of Cambridge turned in the quick qualifying time with a 14.854 second circuit of the quarter mile speed plant.

Wendt took home the honors in the 8 lap fast dash.

Claiming victory, in 10 lap heat races, were Butch Mierendorf of Waterloo, Rex Weston of Lake Mills and Nick Wendt of Watertown.

Transferring to the main event via the 20 lap Last Chance race were Bart Reinen of Jefferson, Scott Bleeker of Jefferson, Gene Olson Jr. of Jefferson and Terry Morgan of Delafield.

In International Class action, Aaron Rude of Cambridge claimed the first feature win of his career, in the 20 lap main event.  Starting from the inside of row 4, Rude moved up to the third spot by lap 2, as Mike Bingham of Jefferson pulled into the early lead.  Rude moved to the inside of Rick Neerland of Ft. Atkinson, claiming second on lap 3 and closing with Bingham.

Aaron Rude opened his season in winning fashion as he scored his first career feature win in the International class. Rude was able to hold back the challenges of Darnell Mepham and Justin Nottestad for the win.

Pulling to the inside of Bingham on lap 6, Rude motored to the front and never looked back, guiding the field to the checkered flag.  As Rude moved to the point, Darnell Mepham of Ft. Atkinson claimed the second spot and launched a bid for the lead.  Rude held off Mepham for a couple of laps, before Mepham found himself locked in a battle for second, with defending track champion Justin Nottestad of Cambridge. 

The battle for second raged all the way to the checkered flag as Rude pulled ahead on his way to his first win.  At the stripe it was Rude making his debut appearance in Victory Lane, followed by Nottestad, Mepham, Brent Nottestad of Cambridge and Neerland.

Justin Nottestad set the fast qualifying pace with a 15.955 second tour of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory in 8 lap heat races were Neerland and Mike Drays of Milton.

In Sportsman division action, defending track champion Dave Oswald of Cottage Grove opened the new season with victory in the 25 lap feature event.  Starting from the outside of row 7, Oswald started his trek to the point, as Tom Collins of Lake Mills moved out to the early lead. Collins lost a wheel coming around the 4th turn, losing the lead and bringing out the first caution of the race on lap 3.  

On the restart it was Chris Purdy of Milton leading the field back to green, with Bret Carson of Hebron running second and Oswald up to the seventh spot.  Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown moved up to challenge Carson by lap 4 moving to the inside on lap 5 and claiming the spot by lap 6.  A spin, in turn 2 brought, the second caution on lap 8, closing the field for another restart, with Purdy still at the point and Oswald up to 4th. 

Dave Oswald (31) passes Jeff Kohlhoff (98), and Kyle Munro (30) on his way to the Sportsman Division feature win.

On the restart Kyle Munro of Ft. Atkinson moved to the inside of Kohlhoff, making a bid for second, while Oswald started looking low, for an opening past the pair.  On lap 14 the bottom opened up enough for Oswald to make his way under Munro and Kohlhoff, to claim the second spot.  Purdy held off Oswald for several laps before succumbing to the veterans attack on lap 17.  A blown engine, on the front stretch, oiled the track bringing out another caution on lap 18 closing the field for another restart. 

Oswald led the field back to green with Purdy trying to fight his way back.  A spin on lap 22, brought the final caution of the race, setting up the dash to the checkered flag.  As they charged to the checkered flag it was Oswald for the win, followed by Purdy, Kohlhoff, Chad Stevens of Beloit and Munro.

Oswald set the pace in qualifying, turning in a new track record time of 15..761 seconds.

Claiming victory in 10 lap heat races were Scott Bush of Ft. Atkinson, Chris Ehrhart of Deerfield and Jeff Kohlhoff of Watertown.

Transferring to the main event, via the 15 lap Last Chance race, were Kale Peterman of Juneau, Ehrhart, and Kohlhoff.

Pete Elgas (52) poses in Victory Lane after the Hobby Stock feature. Elgas battled up from a sixth row starting spot to take the win.

In Hobby Stock action Pete Elgas of Janesville notched top honors in the 20 lap main event.   Starting from the inside of row 6, Elgas battled his way toward the front as Jim Williams of Milton claimed the early lead.  Elgas worked his way through traffic, with Jim Pfeifer of Ft. Atkinson close behind.  Elgas closed with Williams on lap 7, claiming the lead by lap 10, with Pfeifer moving up to third.  Pfeifer moved to the inside of Williams to claim second, as a spin brought out the only caution of the race, on lap 17. 

On the restart it was Elgas at the point and Williams back in second, the lineup reverting to the last complete lap.  At the green flag, Elgas pulled ahead as Pfeifer moved to the inside of Williams making his bid for second.   The pair raced side by side all the way to the stripe.  As the charged the checkered flag it was Elgas for the win, with Pfeifer edging past Williams for 2nd followed by former track champion Dennis Gaserude of Oregon and Trent Erdman of Ft. Atkinson.  

Pfeifer set the fast qualifying pace with a 17.185 second orbit of the quarter mile.

Claiming victory in 10 lap heat races were Jason Ayers of Stoughton and Bill Bush of Lake Mills.

Next week at Jefferson Speedway it’s the Mothers Day Special, featuring the Women’s Challenge Race, along with action packed racing in the Late Model, International, Sportsman and Hobby Stock divisions.

Gates open at 3:30, with qualifying at 5:30 and racing at 7:30 sharp. Jefferson Speedway is located on highway 18 half way between Jefferson and Cambridge.

Late Model Division
"Spring Sizzler 50" Season Championship- 50 Lap Feature
1. #76 Ron Bishofberger Fort Atkinson 11. #55 Eric Gerlach Palmyra
2. #27 Dan Chesmore Janesville 12. #76 Randy Breunig Columbus
3. #25 Randy Cusick Fort Atkinson 13. # 2 Tom Dorn Fort Atkinson
4. #18 Andy Wendt Watertown 14. #37 Gene Olson Jr. Jefferson
5. # 7 Bill Leindecker Janesville 15. #71 John Ovadahl Johnson Creek
6. #11 Russ Goodwin Beloit 16. # 5 Terry Morgan Delafield
7. #44 Roger Behlke Jefferson 17. #62 Scott Null Lake Mills
8. # 6 Bart Reinen Jefferson 18. #98 Scott Bleeker Jefferson
9. #43 Denny Stair Sullivan
10. #96 Jason Erickson Cambridge

20 Lap Last Chance: 1.) Reinen; 2.) Bleeker; 3.) Olson Jr. 4.) Morgan
First 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Butch Mierendorf
Second 10 Lap Heat: 1.) Rex Weston
Third 10 Lap Heat
1.) Nick Wendt
Dash: 1.) Andy Wendt
Fast Qualifier:  #96 Jason Erickson, Cambridge,..........14.854 Seconds

Internationals
20 Lap   Feature Event
1. # 9 Aaron Rude Cambridge
2. #15 Justin Nottestad Cambridge
3. #12 Danrell Mepham Fort Atkinson
4. #35 Brent Nottestad Cambridge
5. #24 Rick Neerland Fort Atkinson
6. #48 Mike Drays Milton

First 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Rick Neerland
Second 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Mike Drays
Fast Qualifier:
#15 Justin Nottestad, Cambridge,........15.955 Seconds

Sportsman
25 Lap Feature Event
1. #31 Dave Oswald Cottage Grove
2. # 7 Chris Purdy Milton
3. #98 Jeff Kohloff Watertown
4. #82 Chad Stevens Beloit
5. #30 Kyle Munro Fort Atkinson
6. # 9 Brett Carson Fort Atkinson

10 Lap Last Chance:  1.) Kale Peterman; 2.) Chris Ehrhart; 3.) Rick Rothwell; 4.) Rick Stenli
First 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Scott Bush
Second 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Chris Ehrhart
Third 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Jeff Kohloff
Fast Qualifier:
#31 Dave Oswald, Cottage Grove,.........15.761 Seconds (new track record)

Hobby Stocks
20 Lap Feature Event
1. #52 Pete Elgas Janesville
2. #58 Jim Pfeifer Fort Atkinson
3. #J10 Jim Williams Milton
4. #18 Dennis Gaserude Oregon
5. #11 Trent Erdman Fort Atkinson
6. #19 Dan Schmidt Watertown

Last Chance: 1.) Bill Bush; 2.) Chris Jackson; 3.) Ben Hallock; 4.) Jim Williams
First 8 Lap Heat:  1.) Jason Ayers
Second 10 Lap Heat:  1.) Bill Bush
Fast Qualifier:
#58 Jim Pfiefer, Fort Atkinson,.......17.185 Seconds