WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (August 31, 2011) - The biggest single-race prize for weekly Late Models in the Midwest will be on the line Saturday at Dells Raceway Park. With support from Wegner Automotive Research of Markesan, Wis., a $2,000 prize awaits the winner of the Fast Dash Clash for the Budweiser Late Models.
While most big money prizes are up for grabs in a feature race, the Wegner Automotive Research Fast Dash Clash will go 20 laps and pit 12 of the best Late Models DRP has to offer against one another. The normal feature event will be run earlier in the evening.
Drivers have been positioning themselves to run for the prize all season long. In order to qualify for the FDC drivers have accumulated points by timing into the dash each week. Eight drivers have mathematically secured their spots. Two drivers are in position to secure spots and two wild cards will be awarded to fill out the 12-car field.
Among those drivers locked in is 18-year-old Jesse Bernhagen, who was victorious in the Assembly Products Shootout on the final night of 2010. Although it wasn't a main event, Bernhagen claims the win as one of the biggest of his young career.
"It was almost two years between wins, and it was the last race of the year for $1,000," Bernhagen reflected. "Not only did it help the check book, but it helped my confidence as well."
With winning experience in the same format, Bernhagen is confident in his chances, but knows the importance of the luck of the draw. All drivers will draw for their starting spot in the event.
"I started the last race up in front. It was pretty easy for me because all I had to do was run away from the field," Bernhagen said. "This year, with the possibility of starting in the back, it's going to require time management and figuring out which lane is going to go."
Bernhagen also said he knows the typically frantic pace the Late Models put forth on Saturday will be magnified with the larger prize.
"I expect quite a few cautions to be honest," Bernhagen said. "I think with no points in this race and all that money on the line it's going to be very exciting."
Some extra incentive also awaits Bernhagen as he and his team already holds a strong relationship with Wegner Automotive Research. Also from Markesan, Bernhagen sets up shop just five miles down the road from Wegner.
"I've been going to Wegner all four years of my Late Model career," Bernhagen said. "They've been building us great motors through all these years and we've kept going back to them."
Joining Bernhagen as the drivers locked in for the Wegner Automotive Research Fast Dash Clash are: Rich Schumann Jr., Dan Lensing, Davey Pennel, Mike Lichtfeld, Derek Childs, Shayne Poehnelt and Bobby Kendall. Brian Johnson Jr. plans a return to DRP to compete as he and Kelsey Bauer are on the cusp of locking up a spot. The two wild cards will be announced on race day.
Along with the major $2,000 top prize Wegner donated a certificate for $250 of labor to be given away to another competitor in the Fast Dash Clash.
Other contingency prizes (as of August 31) to be split through the field include: $200 cash and certificates from Tiry's Race Engines, Stock Car Stats Pro Advanced Asphalt edition (a $189 value), a $100 certificate from Quartermaster for each driver in the FDC, a $100 certificate from Howard Cams and Competition Products, two $100 certificates from TD Graphics, two tires from Hoosier Racing Tire, a complete radio set from RaceComm (over $400 value), a scanner set from RaceComm (over $200 value) and two $25 certificates from Lefthander Chassis.
The Wegner Automotive Research Fast Dash Clash takes place this Saturday, Sept. 3 as part of the Penultimate Labor Day Event presented by Beagle's Bar and Grill. Fans will have a chance to get involved with a pre-dash autograph session with those drivers and a post-race celebration in victory lane.
The RacingOnline.Com Sportsman, Schultz Small Engine Pure Stocks and Fire Rescue Supply Bandits will also be on hand. Qualifying is at 4:45. Racing is at 6:30.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road, five minutes north of downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., off highway 12-16. For more information including the latest news, the 2011 schedule and more visit www.dellsracewaypark.com.