Touring Stars Look for National Recognition Tues at WIR
Kaukauna, WI- The short track racing industry will be watching the action unfold at Wisconsin International Raceway tomorrow (Tues August 4) night during the ARCA Midwest Tour Gandrud Auto Group 250. An ultra-competitive field of nearly 40 Super Late Model drivers from the valley, region and nation have entered the prestigious event which will have fans in attendance and will be shown live on Speed51.com pay-per-view. For these seven Touring Stars, it is a chance for them to shine in the National spotlight, close to home.
Paul Shafer, Jr has had two top five finishes coming in the form of two 3rd place finishes in the traditional event, in 2015 and 2017. The 2013 Illiana (IN) Motor Speedway Champion finished 7th in last year’s 250 lap contest. Shafer has one Tour win, coming at Jefferson (WI) Speedway in 2018. Of the Touring Stars looking for that break-through moment, the Portage, IN driver may be the best positioned to do just that of anyone in the field.
Steady improvement has greeted John DeAngelis, Jr after each of the last two Gandrud Auto Group 250, a fifth place in 2018 was followed by a second place finish to winner Ty Majeski last season. DeAngelis has made numerous trips to Five Flags (FL) Speedway for the Snowball Derby and was one of the fastest cars at the Show Me Showdown at Lebanon (MO) I-44 Speedway in May. He has shown speed, now he looks to show the nation that he can get the win in his home state.
One driver that has won big in ARCA Midwest Tour competition is Austin Nason from Roscoe, IL. Nason, the 2015 Rookie of the Year had two wins in 2018, his first coming in the Joe Shear Classic 200 at Madison (WI) International Speedway and the second coming at his home track Rockford (IL) Speedway in the All-Star 100. Nason was not finished, on Father’s Day of last year, the then new Dad put his family prepared #14 in victory lane at ‘America’s Legendary Oval’ as racing returned to The Milwaukee Mile. Nason has twice finished 4th in the Gandrud Auto Group 250, his Rookie campaign of 2015 and again last year.
Unofficially, the fastest man in testing two weeks ago, for Tuesday night’s event was 2019 Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year Gabe Sommers. Sommers narrowly missed winning the World Series of Asphalt Championship at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway in February of last year to eventual Champ Bubba Pollard who has also filed his entry for Tuesday night. Sommers recorded his first Tour win last July in the Detjens Memorial at State Park (WI) Speedway and also led wire to wire last month in a Tundra Series event at Jefferson.
Another driver that picked up his first career Tour win at the Detjens Memorial is Justin Mondeik. He now has nine feature wins on the season, including last weekend’s Tour win. The former Touring Star is concentrating on winning weekly Championships and so far has feature wins at Golden Sands (WI) Speedway, Norway (MI) Speedway and State Park Speedway where he is the current point leader.
Former State Park Champion Luke Fenhaus is quickly getting noticed around the Midwest. Last month he had race fans on the edge of their seats as he reeled in eventual Slinger Nationals winner Ty Majeski in the closing stages, before finishing in the third position. Another Wisconsin driver that is gaining popularity with the fans is former Wisconsin Challenge Series Champion and June Dells Raceway Park feature winner Ryan Farrell with ‘the best unpaid crew in the nation.’ All seven drivers have had success behind the wheel of their Super Late Models, now they are looking for that moment to shine under the National spotlight.
Advance discount tickets for the Gandrud Auto Group 250 are $20 and can be purchased online at www.midwesttour.racing through August 3. Tickets will also be available on race day at the gate for $25. Spectator gates open at 4pm, qualifying will begin at 5pm with the first race at 7pm during the Tuesday Night August 4 Special Event at Wisconsin International Raceway. As a reminder, masks are recommended but not required for outdoor events in the state of Wisconsin.
A 28 car field is scheduled to start ‘Wisconsin’s Richest One Day Race’ which pays $10,000 to the winner of the 250 lap event and $1,200 to start. Drivers from ten states and Canada are expected to attempt to make the starting grid including defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch. The Midwest Truck Series will join the ARCA Midwest Tour with the trucks contesting a 35 lap feature event.