FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(KAUKAUNA, WI) June 13 – Kaukauna’s Jesse Oudenhoven snatched the lead on lap six and kept a fast-closing Ty Majeski at bay in the waning laps to win the opening leg of the 47th annual Red, White & Blue state championship series presented by Ken’s Sports Thursday night at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna.
The race went caution free without a yellow.
Oudenhoven, who started fifth on the grid followed two time Red, White & Blue champion Bobby Kendall through early traffic to slide into second by lap five and ducked underneath polesitter Taylor Vandermoss for the lead on the next circuit.
“Rowdy Oudy” stretched his lead to six car lengths over Brent Strelka by lap 15. Meanwhile Majeski, who started 12th in the field after scoring fast time earlier in the evening, began methodically picking off cars every few laps – working his way up to 4th by the events halfway point.
Oudenhoven skillfully threaded his way through lapped cars keeping Strelka, Majeski and company at bay. Majeski slipped up to third by lap 36 and began pressuring Maxwell Schultz, eventually passing Schultz with nine laps to go.
Majeski began chiseling away at Oudenhoven’s lead but without a yellow the cards were stacked in Oudenhoven’s favor as the hometown driver crossed the line five car lengths ahead of Majeski to capture the win. Strelka settled for third place money, followed by Schultz and Kendall.
“This is like my kryptonite here,” Oudenhoven exclaimed before a loud chorus of cheers. “Every single year we got caught up in something here during the Red, White & Blue shows. Having no yellows helped tonight because Ty was coming fast. This is the biggest win of my career. Look at the size of this trophy!”
Oudenhoven added “Last year we did some traveling and took some time off. We worked on tires, bump stops, everything. We built up to this year. I’m super impressed here this year. We’re running weekly on Thursday nights and we’ve got to do our homework because guys like (Casey Johnson) and (Maxwell Schultz) will tough weekly. It’s gonna be a long season yet.”
The 20 lap late model feature got off to a rough start when on lap three when Brett Wenzel and defending track champion Jesse Bernhagen of Stevens Point tangled with a third car on the third lap. Both drivers were sidelined from the event.
On the restart Nate Van Wychen, who wrecked his rear end in qualifying, assumed the lead. The team has raced back to their shop in Kaukauna to get the necessary parts to fix their machine and the team answered the bell for the event. Bryan Monday and Braison Bennett gave chase to Van Wychen.
A lap ten caution tightened the field again and when racing resumed Bennett began applying pressure, going toe-to-toe with Van Wychen for the next several circuits. Van Wychen held off Bennett to hang on for the hard fought victory.
“My pit crew literally ran back to our shop in Kimberly and pulled a car out of the barn and yanked the rear end out of it and brought it back,” Van Wychen said. “After we broke the rear end I thought we were done. I was ready to head up in the stands and drink beer. My pit crew is awesome. I ran Braison a little hard there at the end.”
Menasha’s Peter Wilz’ commitment to the outside line paid dividends in the super stock feature. Wilz snatched the lead on the final lap from race-long leader Larry Raygo to capture his first feature flag of the year. Raygo hung on for second and Andrew Meyerhofer placed third as you could have thrown a blanket across the top three finishers.
Former track champion Kyle Quella of Appleton fought off the 2018 champion Jason Plutz to capture the sport truck main event.
The Figure 8 race was red flagged at the halfway point when the cars of Chuck Gilbertson and Jake Smet collided at the X. Both drivers emerged unhurt but both cars were destroyed. When racing resumed “The Showstopper” Mike Meyerhofer scored the win over veteran Terry Van Roy.
Next Thursday night June 20 will be Werner Electric Supply night. The WIR ¼ mile late models will also be in action. Racing gets underway at 6:30 p.m. You can check frrc.us for more information or follow the club’s Facebook page.
SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE – Jesse Oudenhoven, Kaukauna; Ty Majeski, Seymour; Brent Strelka, Freedom; Maxwell Schultz, Reedsville; Bobby Kendall, Montello; Casey Johnson, Edgerton; Jeff Van Oudenhoven, Appleton; Taylor Vandermoss, Appleton; Andy Monday, Appleton; Grant Griesbach, Pewaukee; Lowell Bennett, Neenah; Kyle Calmes, Freedom; Alex Stumpf, Woodville; Tim Springstroh, Freedom; Corey Manders, Hilbert; Alex Seidel, Appleton; Pete Vandermolen Jr., Oshkosh; Randy Schuler, Mequon; Robby Iverson, Escanaba, MI; Taylor Haufschildt, De Pere; Corey Kemkes, Appleton; Michael Anthony, Appleton
SEMI-FEATURE- Manders; Seidel; Kemkes; Haufschildt; Trevor Vandermolen, Oshkosh; Robby Yuenger, De Pere
HEATS 1) Stumpf; Manders 2) Van Oudenhoven; Bennett
DASH – Johnson
FAST TIME – Majeski, 19.006
LATE MODEL FEATURE- Nathan Van Wychen, Kaukauna; Braison Bennett, Neenah; Bryan Monday, Appleton; Chase Randerson, Appleton; Eddie Muenster, Green Bay; Mike King, Appleton; Matt Wittman, Appleton; Regan May, De Pere; Randy Yaeger, Appleton; Will Timmers, Kaukauna; Tarra Springstroh, Waupun; Nathan Brantmeier, Neenah; Brett Wenzel, Two Rivers; Jesse Bernhagen, Stevens Point
HEAT – RD Yaeger, Appleton; Brett Wenzel
FAST TIME- Bernhagen, 20.249
SUPER STOCK FEATURE – Peter Wilz, Menasha; Larry Raygo, Omro; Andrew Meyerhofer, Kaukauna; Dave Meyerhofer, Kaukauna; Jeff Treml, Greenleaf
HEAT – Wilz; Treml
FAST TIME – Trevor Howard, Kaukauna 15.737
SIZZLIN’ 4 FEATURE 1 – Emery Beattie, Little Chute; Steve Van Oudenhoven, Two Rivers; Shaun Bangart, Chilton; Mitchell Opsahl, Freedom; Mike Klein, Appleton
SIZZLIN’ 4 FEATURE 2 -Larry Gintner, Neenah; Elliot Reid, Faithorn, MI; Evan Beattie, Little Chute; Logan Verhagen, Freedom; Tom Schweitzer, Menasha
FAST TIME – Bangart, 18.053
SPORT TRUCKS FEATURE – Kyle Quella, Appleton; Jason Plutz, Menasha; Cody Vander Loop, Freedom; Bobby Wautier, Denmark; Dom Sokolik, Fond Du Lac
HEATS 1) Sokolik; Jeff Ludwig, Freedom 2) Kylee Vandermoss, Appleton; Quella
FAST TIME – Kyle Quella, Appleton 16.283
FIGURE 8 – Mike Meyerhofer, Hilbert