NASCAR Finalist Support Division Drivers Excel
By Paul Schaefer, NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A veteran driver continues his quest for the Sportsmen division championship at one of Wisconsin’s most prestigious tracks.
Greg Scheck, 49, of LaCrosse, Wis., is a veteran in the Exhaust Plus Sportsmen division at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. He has plenty of LaCrosse race wins and runner-up point finishes in Sportsmen cars. He won the track’s Thunderstox division championship in 1993.
“I’d like to finally win a Sportsmen championship,” Scheck said. “I missed it by six points one year.”
He also placed second in points last year, 26 behind Randy Humfeld. He is presently second in division standings, 38 behind leader Jake Arneson.
The Sportsmen division at LaCrosse is designated as NASCAR Finalist Division II. In this week’s Division II national asphalt standings, Scheck is ranked 70th. His racing record in seven starts this year is two wins, four top fives and seven top 10s.
The NASCAR Finalist Division program recognizes drivers who compete in support divisions at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks. With “Division I” being each track’s top division, the NASCAR Finalist Division line-up at each track highlights drivers competing in their second, third, fourth and fifth tier divisions. Through Sept. 15 a NASCAR-licensed driver’s best 14 finishes are counted toward their final point total for the year. Points are kept separately for dirt and asphalt tracks.
ASPHALT STANDINGS | DIRT STANDINGS
The top three asphalt track NASCAR Finalist Division leaders in each division this week include Division II Mack Little III, Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.;, Bowman Gray; Shane Lee, Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Division III John Ketron, Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway; Jason Ketron, Kingsport; Pete Meyer, The Bullring At Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Division IV Jeff Watkins II, Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway; Jeremy Menninger, Columbus; Ryan Tamburro, Columbus; Division V Buck Simmons, Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway; Charlie Hooper, Greenville; Ray Mullinax, Greenville.
The top three dirt track NASCAR Finalist Division leaders in each division this week include Division II Chuck Schutz Jr., Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.; Mike Kellner, Grandview; Jason Miller, Grandview. Division III Jared Umbenhauer, Grandview; Craig Whitmoyer, Grandview; Kenny Gilmore, Grandview. Division IV Vince Corbin, Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis.; Alex Heimer, Salina (Okla.) Highbanks Speedway; Joe Watt, Salina. Division V Art Reed, Salina; Dylan Cantwell, Salina; Jim Walker Jr., Salina.
Scheck has a wide range of experience at LaCrosse. He began his racing career there 25 seasons ago in the Thunderstox division. After winning the 1993 Thunderstox championship he moved up to the Sportsmen division. He drove Sportsmen cars for about eight years then moved on to a four-year stint in Late Models. Then he took a few seasons off before rejoining the Sportsmen division five seasons ago.
“I wasn’t winning too much and it wasn’t as much fun,” he said of the break after his run in Late Models.
Scheck is known for a couple of unique Sportsmen cars he drove. For a time in the 1990s he drove a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.
Later car owner Mike Niles bought a 1939 Dodge he found in a field and turned it into a race car. Scheck and Niles knew each other from when Scheck was driving the old Chevy. The body was placed on an old Chevrolet chassis and Scheck returned to Sportsmen racing.
“That car didn’t work out real good,” Scheck said. “We tried to get it going for a year and a half. After we got a new car, we started getting back into the point races again.”
Their current car is a 1994 Chevy Monte Carlo body on a 1984 Monte Carlo chassis. The LaCrosse Sportsman division is generally for eight-cylinder stock chassis cars from the 1980s and 1990s. Their black car with a yellow No. 2 is reminiscent of the Miller Genuine Draft paint scheme on NASCAR race cars Rusty Wallace drove in the 1990s.
“We have a good set-up,” Scheck said. “We’ve been fast every week and have two wins, but we had one bad night. We can make one little change and get faster. Give us a couple of more weeks.”
Drivers in the division are working through a transition from Goodyear tires last year to Hoosier tires this year.
“We started out this year with last year’s set up and just making a couple of changes in the suspension made a night and day difference,” Scheck said of adapting the tires to the car.
Scheck said the top three drivers in points start behind the night’s inversion of the field, so generally he’s been starting in the fifth row. The Sportsman division feature events are 15 laps on the big .625-mile paved oval.
Chad Goldbeck is the crew chief. Sponsors include Scientific Recycling, Affordable Water Conditioning, Coney Island Station, Interstate Roofing, Runde Metal Recycling, and Back Road Furniture.
Scheck works at LaCrosse Glass and Overhead Doors. He and his wife Kathy have three kids: Monica, Cole and Leah.