Typically, when someone plays a word association game and the word “Rookie” is used, one may associate the word “Inexperience.” But when you include the names of Justin Mondeik and Michael Ostdiek into this game, the associated word is “experience.”
The two ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment rookies both will head to State Park Speedway in Wausau, WI this Saturday for the Cabin Fever 100, the second race of the 2017 season, hoping their experience will lead to a successful night. Both drivers are coming with past success at the Wimmer family owned facility, along with competing for the ARCAMT Rookie of the Year title and in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program.
For Mondeik, State Park Speedway is his home track and where he started his racing career.
“I won my first feature there in Mini Mod division and won the Late Model championship in 2015,” Mondeik explained. “Last year, I won the Rookie of the Year in the Super Late Models and finished fourth in points.”
Mondeik said the transition from Late Models to Super Late Models was an easy at SPS.
“There was a learning curve adjustment, but it was very similar. The speed is a lot faster along with the amped up competition.”
Ostdiek comes to SPS hoping to continue a winning streak.
“I’m really looking forward to running at State Park Speedway this weekend with the Midwest Tour,” Ostdiek exclaimed. “Last year were two for two with the Big 8 car there, so I’m really looking forward to being on a 10-inch tire with our Zerex lookalike car in honor of Alan Kulwicki and the Kulwicki Driver Development Program.”
If there was one thing that Ostdiek learned from his two victories at SPS, it was a simple understanding.
“I would say that I have an understanding that sometimes you need to slow down to go faster.”
Both Mondeik and Ostdiek realize that the track’s old surface will come into play on Saturday night. A track that is well known to provide great side-by-side battles during the entire race, causing a true edge of your seat fan experience.
“I love to do cross over moves to the inside,” Mondeik said. “The outside is always interesting. Sometimes, that is the best way to get around if people are blocking.”
Ostdiek feels that tire management will be a key to victory.
“With 100 laps, it’ll be important to save to a certain degree while also making moves when people slip up,” Ostdiek explained. “As far as which groove is better, I guess I’ll have to see how the car is rolling in practice, and from there I’ll be working towards a balanced set up for the race.”
While both see the Cabin Fever 100 as a golden opportunity to pick up their first ARCA Midwest Tour victory this Saturday night, both have realistic goals.
“First, is to make the race,” Mondiek stressed. “This will be a tough field of cars and it would be great to get a top-ten finish in the race.”
Ostdiek would like to continue his win streak, but sees this as an opportunity to gain more knowledge in a Super Late Model.
“I’m hoping to place somewhere in the top five,” Ostdiek expressed. “Since I will be in my second Tour race, I’m going to try to learn as much as I can.”
The pits will open at 10am with practice at 12:15pm. Qualifying starts at 4pm with the autograph session at 5pm. Racing begins at 6pm.
Visit midwesttour.racing for the full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment on Facebook (/midwestour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).