By Matt Panure
PORTAGE, Wis. (June 27, 2013) – With six events on the 2013 TUNDRA Super Late Model Series schedule, each comes with its own high level of anticipation for drivers and fans. Because both only get a small taste of Super Late Model racing during Oktoberfest Race Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, Round Three on July 3 is generating a large amount of buzz.
As of a week before the event, over 35 Super Late Model drivers have committed to taking part in a rare mid-summer appearance at the five-eighths mile.
“The challenge that the LaCrosse track brings to Super Late Models as a competitor is always exciting and that comes out at ‘Fest,” said LFS General Manager Chuck Deery. “Having a 40 lapper in the middle of summer gives the guys a little taste of that event. Ultimately we’re in the fun business and we want the fans to be able to see something new and different.”
One of the most intriguing points of Super Late Model racing at Oktoberfest is the diversity of drivers who attend. Drivers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and other states all flock to be a part of the historic weekend. TUNDRA’s upcoming event will be no different as those states and Florida will be represented.
TUNDRA’s support from drivers has been stout early in the 2013 season. A total of 40 drivers attended Round One at Golden Sands Speedway on Memorial Day. The most recent race at Jefferson saw 29 competitors – many who had never even seen the quarter-mile.
Unlike the uncertainty of Round Two at Jefferson, many TUNDRA Travelers have experience at LaCrosse in the Oktoberfest events. Drivers who finished fourth through ninth in last year’s Future’s race are expected to attend Round Three – including Future’s fast qualifier Casey Johnson. The TUNDRA field contains many young up-and-coming drivers to go with a solid mix of veterans.
Included in the pack of veterans will be Frank Kreyer, a former Trickle 99 segment winner, Golden Sands Speedway point leader Frank Nitzke, former Dells Raceway Park Champion Kenny Reiser, 2010 Golden Sands Champion Brandon Selle and Oktoberfest legend Don “Thunder” Turner. Younger veterans such as Nick Murgic, Billy Mohn and Nick Panitzke are also ready to take on the field.
Panitzke is the most recent winner in TUNDRA action, swiping the trophy in his first ever visit to Jefferson Speedway last Saturday. Just before the rains came Panitzke held off a hard-charging Kreyer and the combo of Dalton Zehr and Casey Johnson.
Not to be outdone with his third place finish, Zehr seized the point lead due to his fast time earlier in the evening. His advantage over Panitzke (who teamed up with Cardell Potter) is 16 points heading into Round Three.
Fans will notice several changes from the norm in TUNDRA action. Most notable will be the Leo’s Upper Dells Bar Gong Show – a six-car race that runs from 6-11 laps (depending on invert) with only the top two transferring to the feature event. Those four cars that do not transfer and the remaining who did not make the cut from qualifying into the feature will run a 15-lap last chance race with two transferring from that. A 20-lap race for non-qualified cars will make up the Waterfurnace Shootout. The main event will be a 40-lap feature.
TUNDRA runs shorter features, which puts a heavier emphasis on each lap, as the faster machines have less time and less room for error to get to the front. This concept keeps it exciting for the fans and gives the racers a greater challenge towards winning races.
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park. TUNDRA’s business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and standings, archived results and standings, the 2013 schedule and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).