Brown takes care of unfinished business, cops first Big 8 win in Detjens Memorial
WAUSAU, Wis. (July 21) – Finally it was Grant Brown’s turn at State Park Speedway.
Brown was runner-up the last two years in the annual Big 8 Series visit for the Larry Detjens Memorial, but he did one better Friday, winning the 58-lap feature event highlighting the first night of the 43rd running of the Detjens Memorial.
The win was the first-ever on the late model series for the Minnesota native, and comes after eight previous top-5 finishes in Big 8 races. It also came after near-misses the previous two years at State Park, including a year ago when he led 30 laps but was passed by Casey Johnson with five laps left and had to settle for second.
“Finished second the last two years in a row definitely stung,” said Brown in a trackside post-race interview. “This is definitely the cherry on top of the ice cream.”
This time Brown was able to get to the front and stay there. He overtook Tyler Hromodka of Colgate for the lead on lap 25 and held the point the rest of the way, winning by more than a full straightaway over previous three-time SPS Big 8 winner Jon Reynolds Jr.
Brown had to come from the back of the pack after his race almost never got started. His car stalled on the backstretch in staging for the race, and had to be pushed back to the pits. Furious work and a number of caution laps allowed Brown’s crew and several others assisting to finally get his car started and onto the track in time for the start.
“The car just kind of sputtered and died, we couldn’t get it to go,” said Brown. “My dad and the Weinkauf crew (the pit crew for regular SPS competitors Oliver and Jason Weinkauf of Van Der Geest Racing), big thank you to them, they got me back out there. We would’ve been parked on the trailer by now if it wasn’t for them.”
Once on track, Brown steadily made up ground through a tough, competitive field. He was up to seventh by lap 4 and went inside Kody King of Clear Lake, Iowa for fifth on lap 9.
While Brown worked through the field, the leaders were staging several good side-by-side battles. Hromodka and Jerry Mueller of Richfield started on the front row and ran side-by-side for the first five laps before Hromodka took over the point. Reynolds then also got inside Mueller, and the two battled for second for the next 15 laps until Reynolds finally got free for second on lap 20.
Reynolds then reeled in Hromodka and had slipped inside him for the lead on lap 25 when the race’s lone caution came out when Greg Borchardt and Hanna Raley spun in tandem on the frontstretch. The caution put Hromodka back in the lead from the last completed lap, and he held the point alone for the restart, with Reynolds and third-place Randy Sargent of South Beloit,, Ill., also choosing to start on the inside.
The lane choice allowed fourth-place running Brown to move up to the outside of the first row behind the leader, and he took advantage quickly on the restart. Brown drove to the outside of Hromodka on lap 25, edged ahead to lead lap 26 and cleared for first a lap later. He drove away from there and built a nearly full straightaway lead by lap 40.
Hromodka continued to hold off Reynolds for second until lap 44, and Sargent would get by Hromodka for third with nine laps left. Jake Gille of Winnebago, Ill., also chased Sargent for most of the final 18 laps, finally getting inside him with three to go to finish second.
Sargent finished fourth with Mueller coming in fifth and Hromodka sixth. Mueller and Brown also posted heat wins on the evening and Sargent was the night’s quick qualifier with a lap of 14.434 seconds.
Big 8 Late Models
Fast Qualifier: Randy Sargent, South Beloit, Ill., 14.434 sec.
First Heat: 1. Jerry Mueller, Richfield; 2. Jon Reynolds Jr., Loves Park, Ill.; 3. Tyler Hromadka, Colgate; 4. McKayla Adams, Sun Prairie; 5. Paul Dygon, Wind Lake
Second Heat: 1. Grant Brown, Savage, Minn.; 2. Greg Borchardt, Prior Lake, Minn.; 3. Jake Gille, Winnebago, Ill.; 4. Kody King, Clear Lake, Iowa; 5. Sargent; 6. Hanna Raley, Fall River
Feature: 1. Brown; 2. Reynolds; 3. Gille; 4. Sargent; 5. Mueller; 6. Hromadka; 7. King; 8. Borchardt; 9. Dygon; 10. Adams; 11. Raley
Anderson rallies on late restart again, Custer, Brockhouse and Sauter also win on Detjens Friday
WAUSAU, Wis. (July 21) – It felt like Groundhog Day all over again in the Snap-on Mini Mods at State Park Speedway on the opening night of the 2023 Larry Detjens Memorial. For Tim Anderson, it’s a movie that he was happy to play again.
For the second straight week, Anderson was running second as the laps wound down, seemingly making up little ground on the leader. And for the second straight week, a caution came out-for the same reason and in the same part of the track, no less-and allowed Anderson a second chance at a side-by-side restart, which he took full advantage of for his fifth victory this season overall at State Park, and fourth in the Snap-on Mini Mods.
The Pittsville driver continued a golden year that also has included feature wins at Marshfield Motor Speedway and on the Midwest Dash Series tour. Anderson also ran his feature winning streak to four at State Park to four, including a Dash Series win in June.
Anderson appeared to have maxed out his advancement Friday night, moving into second behind Phil Malouf of Manitowish Waters on the second lap. Polesitter Malouf ran off to a big lead on the first lap and continued to pull Anderson around the track by at least six car lengths as the laps ran down.
Anderson also was running second to Joe Kuehn last week Thursday when a caution came out with four laps left after a car ran through caution cones on the inside of the track on turn 4, knocking a cone into the racing groove. Incredibly, the same thing happened again Friday, this time with three laps remaining, giving Anderson a shot at a restart on the outside of Malouf.
Anderson pulled away from Malouf immediately on the first two restart attempts that were both called off, but a third even restart also went to Anderson quickly. He needed less than a full lap to clear Malouf for the lead, and held on in the final laps as Malouf challenged but while smoking badly in the corners with a transmission going bad.
Malouf would hold on to finish second with Jim Lietz of Mosinee third. Shawn Kemnetz of Hancock came home fourth after a long mid-race battle with Tyler Muller of Sun Prairie for fifth, and John Lietz of Mosinee finished fifth.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks feature showcased a fierce battle for the top spot between Wausau natives Joey Blaschka and Luke Mikula. The two staged a nearly racelong battle for the top spot, but in the end it was Tyler Custer of Stratford taking the show with a late pass on his way to victory.
The night’s fast qualifier, Custer came from the 11th starting spot and was among a number of drivers who bided their time, waiting for the stalemate between the top two to break. Custer took the lead on lap 17, getting inside Mikula on the backstretch and pulling away for his first win of the season.
Blaschka and Mikula started on the front row and raced side-by-side for 15 laps. Blaschka held a slim lead of less than a car length on the inside for the first 11 laps before Mikula began to edge forward, taking a slim lead on lap 12.
The two remained alongside each other for three more laps with a hungry pack waiting for an opening before Mikula finally took sole possession of first on lap 15. Custer followed right behind Mikula into second and took over the top spot two laps later. Mikula would finish a career-best second with Garret Strachota of Wausau third, Eric Breitenfeldt fourth and Blaschka taking fifth.
The mini stocks also had a semi-feature for the first time this year and Mark Schoone of Gleason drove away from the pole to the win. First-time SPS visitor Trevor Salber of Wausau finished second, holding off Kendra Baumann for the second transfer spot to the feature.
The second visit of the Legends cars at State Park this year yielded a familiar result as Ayrton Brockhouse of Shakopee, Minn., won the feature, his second win at the track this year.
Brockhouse received a battle from Marshfield’s Elliott Weiler, with the two racing side-by-side for nearly 10 laps. Weiler, who took the lead from Rose Borntreger of Elroy on lap 3, had briefly cleared Brockhouse on lap 10 with the help of a lapped car, but Brockhouse came right back on the outside and finally got by Weiler for good on lap 13. He would pull away in the final laps of the 20-lap event with Weiler coming home second and Borntreger finishing third.
Penn Sauter continued to dominate the Bandolero class with ease. Sauter won his third feature of the season at State Park in three Bando races, and finished off a clean sweep of the night after also setting fast time and winning the second heat race.
The son of former NASCAR Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter, Penn Sauter took the lead on lap 5 of the 15-lap feature, going inside both Paxton Benz of Wausau and Merrill’s Oliver Weinkauf for a three-wide pass for first. He cruised to the win with Benz finishing an SPS career-best second, Derek Meyer of Michigamme, Mich., in third, Weinkauf fourth and Markus Obermeyer of Union Grove in fifth.
The Larry Detjens Memorial continues Saturday with five divisions of racing, highlighted by the ASA Midwest Tour super late model series, which will include the Detjens Memorial 125 presented by Dun-Rite Exteriors. State Park’s regular pure stocks, mini mods, mini stocks and Bandoleros also all are in action.
Snap-on Mini Mods
Fast Qualifier: Joe Kuehn, Wausau, 15.845 sec.
First Heat: 1. Phil Malouf, Manitowish Waters; 2. Anna Malouf, Rhinelander; 3. Zach Onson, Weston; 4. Brian Marquardt, Weston; 5. Brad Abt, Schofield; 6. Kamren Hill, Marshfield; 7. Gary Garand, Weston
Second Heat: 1. Tim Anderson, Auburndale; 2. Jim Lietz, Mosinee; 3. Zach Degner, Merrill; 4. Kuehn; 5. Tyler Muller, Sun Prairie; 6. John Lietz, Mosinee; 7. Mike Meharg, Auburndale; 8. Shawn Kemnetz, Hancock
Feature: 1. Anderson; 2. P. Malouf; 3. Jim Lietz; 4. Kemnetz; 5. John Lietz; 6. Degner; 7. Kuehn; 8. Meharg; 9. Muller; 10. Hill; 11. A. Malouf; 12. Marquardt; 13. Garand; 14. Abt; 15. Onson
Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks
Fast Qualifier: Tyler Custer, Stratford, 16.531 sec.
First Heat: 1. Kendra Baumann, Wausau; 2. Pat Dickman, Marshfield; 3. Makayla Last, Wausau; 4. Daniel Lashua, Wausau; 5. Joe Schoener, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Mark Schoone, Gleason; 2. Brad Lecher, Wausau; 3. Amanda Rowe, Mosinee; 4. Luke Mikula, Wausau; 5. Hunter Landwehr, Stratford; 6. Joey Blaschka, Wausau; 7. Trevor Salber, Wausau
Third Heat: 1. Zach Budleski, Wausau; 2. Ashley Schoone, Gleason; 3. Tom Lecher, Wausau; 4. Eric Breitenfeldt, Wausau; 5. Garret Strachota, Wausau; 6. Nick Kurth, Wausau; 7. Custer
Semi-Feature: 1. M. Schoone; 2. Salber; 3. Baumann; 4. Dickman; 5. Schoener; 6. Last; 7. Lashua
Feature: 1. Custer; 2. Mikula; 3. Strachota; 4. Breitenfeldt; 5. Blaschka; 6. Budleski; 7. N. Kurth; 8. M. Schoone; 9. A. Schoone; 10. Rowe; 11. Salber; 12. B. Lecher; 13. T. Lecher; 14. Landwehr
Fast Qualifier: Ayden Brockhouse, Shakopee, Minn., 15.497 sec.
First Heat: 1. Rose Borntreger, Elroy; 2. Russ Weiler, Marshfield; 3. Matt Schecklman, Marshfield; 4. Daden Barclay, Marshfield
Second Heat: 1. Elliott Weiler, Marshfield; 2. Ayrton Brockhouse, Shakopee, Minn.; 3. Eric Niemi, Belleville; 4. Ayden Brockhouse
Feature: 1. Ayrton Brockhouse; 2. E. Weiler; 3. Borntreger; 4. R. Weiler; 5. Niemi; 6. Ayden Brockhouse; 7. Barclay; 8. Schecklman
Fast Qualifier: Penn Sauter, DeForest, 16.072 sec.
First Heat: 1. Wesley Baumeister, Beloit; 2. Mason Obermeyer, Union Grove; 3. Markus Obermeyer, Union Grove; 4. McKenna Turner, Pewaukee; 5. Mason Oleson, Mosinee; 6. William Carpenter, Marshfield; 7. Jaxon Berndt, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Sauter; 2. Bentley Thompson, West Salem; 3. Derek Meyer, Michigamme, Mich.; 4. Paxton Benz, Wausau; 5. Ben Meyer, Michigamme, Mich.; 6. Oliver Weinkauf, Merrill; 7. Cole Kurth, Wisconsin Rapids
Feature: 1. Sauter; 2. Benz; 3. D. Meyer; 4. Weinkauf; 5. Mason Obermeyer; 6. Oleson; 7. B. Meyer; 8. Thompson; 9. Carpenter; 10. Turner; 11. Baumeister; 12. Markus Obermeyer; 13. Berndt; 14. Kurth