Larry Detjens Memorial to Showcase Touring Stars versus Local Heroes
Wausau, WI- Five former Larry Detjens winners have filed entries for this Saturday (July 23, 2022) Night’s Dun-Rite Exteriors Detjens Memorial 125 at State Park Speedway. The traveling ARCA Midwest Tour ‘Stars and Cars’ will have their hands full with Central Wisconsin’s finest Super Late Model Drivers including six former Track Champions. Racing begins at 6pm on Saturday. Here is a breakdown of those drivers:
Expected Entries for Saturday July 23, 2022 (22 as of 7/18/22)
SPS CHAMPION 4 Luke Fenhaus Wausau WI Soda Sense/Dun-Rite Exteriors/Zilisch Asphalt/Pioneer/Central WI Vending Chevrolet -The 2018 State Park Speedway returns home this weekend in search of his first Detjens Memorial triumph. The 2021 Slinger Nationals winner and Slinger Super Speedway Track Champion posted his first career Midwest Tour win this April and is primed for his second Tour win on Saturday night. Running the CARS Tour in the Southeast this season has limited the starts for the 2021 Alive for 5 Champion who finished fifth in last year’s Detjens 125.
DETJENS WINNER 5 Casey Johnson Edgerton WI Hougan Farms/Encompass Construction/Dixon Drywall/Wise Guys Auto Chevrolet -Johnson is coming off his worst Tour finish of the season, a fourth at Grundy, a race he challenged for the win at before an ignition wire again caused his car to sputter. He had the same issue at Milwaukee but he overcame the jolts of pushing the wire back in multiple times to win there. Johnson’s Tour season has been tough on his fellow competitors, second at Slinger, winning the Joe Shear Classic at Madison, third at Jefferson and winning at Milwaukee. Last season he won his second Red, White and Blue State Championship by winning the White and Blue races at WIR. In addition to three Jefferson titles, Johnson has amassed two championships at Wisconsin International, two in Big 8, two Tundra titles, six Wisconsin State Championships, the 2013 and 2016 MIS Triple Crowns and two National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway. Johnson won the 2018 Larry Detjens Memorial.
SLM CHAMPION 5 John Beale Verona WI Gildan/First Business Bank/American Apparel/Comfort Colors/Make-A-Wish Chevrolet -John Beale may be a sleeper in this field. Beale, fresh off a win at Marshfield Super Speedway two weeks ago has 2018 Tour Champion Dalton Zehr wrenching on his car. The same combo had Beale sixth and Zehr fourth in the 2021 Detjens Memorial. Now with their concentration on one car Saturday night, the former CWRA, WCS and Marshfield Super Late Model Champion will be one to watch.
LM WINNER 8 Billy Mohn New Market MN Airgas/Print Lab Wraps Chevrolet -Billy Mohn will be making his first ARCA Midwest Tour appearance of the season. The 2018 Tour Rookie of the Year has turned his attention towards weekly racing the past few seasons, posting a tough weekly win at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. At his home track, Elko Speedway, Mohn recorded four Late Model wins last year.
DETJENS WINNER 12 Mark Mackesy Wausau WI Bull Falls Brewery/Northwest Tool & Mfg/Joe Rader Towing Ford -Always a fan favorite at State Park Speedway, Mark Mackesy seeks his record setting fourth Larry Detjens Memorial win. Mackesy, a four time State Park Speedway Champion knows the quarter mile oval as well as anyone and outpaced the Midwest Tour Stars and Cars to claim victory when the Tour visited his home track in 2011.
DETJENS WINNER 15 Gabe Sommers Plover WI WI Potato & Veg Growers Assoc/DeKalb/Kwik Trip/Rowdy Energy Toyota -Sommers recorded his breakthrough win at the Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway in 2019, to date his only Tour win. He went on to become the 2019 Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year and backed up that effort with a runner-up points finish in 2020 and fifth a season ago. During the Tour’s most recent event, Sommers charged from his seventeenth starting position to finish second. It has become commonplace to find the 15 car running up front. He currently sits second in Tour points on the strength of a fifth at Slinger, seventh at Madison, second at Jefferson, sixth at Milwaukee and his second place effort at Grundy two weeks ago.
BIG 8 CHAMPION 17 Max Kahler Caledonia IL Windsor Auto Sales/Retool/B&K Concrete Ford – Max Kahler had the car to beat at Rockford’s Spring Classic and he delivered for his family operated team, dominating the 88 lap contest to start the Big 8 Season. Since then he has added a pair of weekly wins at the Northern Illinois quarter mile oval. The young pilot had quite the week in October of 2020, charging at the end and making a late race pass to win the National Short Track Championship at Rockford and then having trailed in the Big 8 point standings he put together an impressive run at Oktoberfest to claim the Big 8 Series title.
SPS CHAMPION 22 MG Gajewski Wausau WI Tiffin Motorhomes/King’s Campers/KZ Towables Chevrolet -This former State Park Speedway Champion had a rough outing last weekend and his crew is working hard to get the car back together. MG is a three time Flip Merwin Winner at State Park and is still seeking that elusive Detjens Memorial victory. A mainstay on the Super Late Model Touring trail since the mid-1990’s, Gajewski has become a staple at State Park over the last decade.
TRUCK CHAMPION 23 Levon VanDerGeest Merrill WI Central Sawdust of WI/Breber Music/Culver’s Chevrolet -Levon VanDerGeest recorded his first VDL Fast Time Award two weeks ago when the ARCA Midwest Tour visited Grundy County Speedway. Levon became the youngest winner in Milwaukee Mile history when he rolled to the Midwest Truck Series victory on Father’s Day 2019. Levon went on to become the 2019 Truck Champion and finished second in the 2021 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year standings. Current SPS Point Leader Jason Weinkauf will be crew chief for this effort Saturday Night.
SLM CHAMPION 26 Dean Cornelius Bloomington MN CVF/Refinishers Supply/Stop Tech Brakes/Phil Russell Trucking Chevrolet -Nearly twenty years ago Cornelius was an up and comer on the asphalt. The 2003 Raceway Park Champion ventured out of Minnesota and claimed the Midwest Allstar Racing Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2005 on the strength of a win at Madison. Cornelius continued to be ultra successful by racking up wins with his dirt stock car around the country and is now back concentrating on asphalt racing, teamed with longtime Minnesota Champion Mark Lamoreaux. With a new power plant under the hood, State Park Speedway is the closest track to Raceway Park the Tour visits.
SPS CHAMPION 40 Jeremy Lepak Plover WI Soper Companies/R&J Auto 23hr Towing/GFI Enviromental/Furro Headers Ford -A former Slinger Super Speedway Champion (2011) and two-time Rockford Speedway National Short Track Championship winner (2006, 2007); Jeremy Lepak will be making a rare ARCA Midwest Tour start during Saturday’s Detjens Memorial 125, a race in which he finished sixth in 2019. Lepak is the 2015 SPS Track Champion.
LM WINNER 40 Curt Tillman Roscoe IL AllTrucksUSA.com Chevrolet -Curt Tillman is a former weekly front runner at Rockford Speedway, and was named the Speedway’s most popular driver in 1986 where he picked up multiple feature wins. Now back at it with a new found enthusiasm and the help of former Midwest Tour Champion Andrew Morrissey.
DETJENS WINNER 44 Justin Mondeik Gleason WI Powerhouse Lawn & Leisure/Metsa Machines/Merrill Manufacturing/Agra Chevrolet – He is the two time and defending State Park Speedway Track Champion and is currently second in SPS points on the strength of four wins. Mondeik’s lone Tour win was recorded during the 2020 Larry Detjens Memorial, he placed second a year ago. In addition to his Wausau success, Mondeik has posted back to back Stateline Challenge wins at Norway Speedway in the UP of Michigan and collected the Champion’s Hardware the past two seasons at Golden Sands Speedway. Mondeik finds himself fifth in the Tour point standings as the ‘Stars and Cars’ near the halfway mark of their season.
SPS BANDO CHAMP 56 Kolton Guralski Wausau WI Advantage Enterprises/Acoustech Supply/Truck Country/Lyon Heating AC Chevrolet -The 2017 State Park Speedway Bandolero Champion moved into Late Models last year. The transition for the former SPS Pure Stock Point Runner-up proved to the masses what many had known, Kolton can drive. Taking his talents to Jefferson Speedway last season, Kolton showed he belong, not only by winning the track’s Rookie of the Year accolades, but finishing second in the point standings and winning on Championship night. Now Guralski will make his first Midwest Tour start in his Super Late Model on Saturday night.
DETJENS WINNER 75 Chris Weinkauf Merrill WI Breber Music/Walter & Sons Waste Hauling/Wehrs Machine Chevrolet -Three times a Detjens Winner, Chris Weinkauf will make his first Tour start since a year ago when he finished tenth, now looking to win his record fourth Detjens trophy on Saturday night. Weinkauf is the 2010 State Park Speedway Track Champion and won the track’s Flip Merwin Memorial that season. He sits third all-time on the fast qualifier chart with twelve fast times in Tour action and recorded his Midwest Tour victory at Grundy County Speedway in 2014, hoping to add a second Tour win this weekend closer to home.
SLM WINNER 76 Travis Volm Kronenwetter WI New Life Ink/Bob’s Electric Chevrolet -Travis Volm has worked his way through the ranks at State Park Speedway and has established himself as ‘one to beat’ in the Super Late Model division on Thursday nights at the base of Rib Mountain. Volm is currently third in weekly SPS points and has two wins thus far, including last Thursday Night. Volm will be making his fourth Tour appearance Saturday night.
TOUR CHAMPION 77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN Eilen & Sons Trucking & Landscape/Graber Auto Body Ford – The 2012 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion and 2007 Tour Rookie of the Year has a total of five career feature victories including the first ever Tour event in 2007 held at his home track, Elko Speedway. Eilen, who is seventh on the all-time wins list will make his 148th Tour start on Saturday Night. While some on-track incidents have hindered a few of his solid runs this season, Jonathan sits fourth in the Tour Point Standings.
SLM CHAMPION 80 Ryan Farrell Big Bend WI Tiry’s Race Engines/Adams Heavy Duty Tow/Jacoby Waterproof Chevrolet -The Midwest Tour season started with a Pop or was it a Bang for Ryan Farrell? After getting involved in an incident not of his own doing in the qualifying feature at Slinger, a borrowed radiator let go near the end of the Finale, doubling down on a tough day for the 2018 Wisconsin Challenge Series Champion. After limited practice at Madison for the Joe Shear Classic, he put it into the show on qualifying speed, only to have various mechanical gremlins slow his process. The script read the same at Jefferson and Milwaukee. Now with a few weeks to sort through the car, Farrell and his team of short track racing veterans look to turn their luck around at Wausau.
LM WINNER 95 Harley Jankowski Sparta WI Hableman Brothers Cranberrys/Kurts Shop/Modern Disposal Sys Chevrolet -The former LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway competitor has made the move to Super Late Models and has found victory during Central Wisconsin Racing Association action. Having recently acquired the former Skylar Holzhausen mount, Jankowski sits second in the 2022 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year standings.
TOUR WINNER 97 Jacob Nottestad Cambridge WI Kearns Motor Car Co/Hougan Farms/Wagner Const/Quality Harvesting Chevrolet -He pulled it off. It wasn’t without challenges from the likes of Gabe Sommers, John DeAngelis and Casey Johnson. But he indeed did it, Jacob Nottestad landed the biggest win of his career during Memorial Day Weekend at Jefferson Speedway when he won the Midwest Tour Salute the Troops 100. Nottestad won his first Super Late Model Race at Oktoberfest in 2020 during the Futures on Thursday Night, then won a Tundra feature at Jefferson last year and has a weekly win at Slinger where he is a two-time Late Model Champion. The current Kulwicki Development Driver lead the majority of the first half of the Slinger Nationals last week and brings the hot hand to State Park on Saturday night.
TRUCK CHAMPION 100 Tristian Swanson New Market MN Marthaler.com/Country Joe Homes/Gumm Farms/Hamke Toyota -A second generation driver, Tristian has his sights set on the Tour Rookie of the Year Award and is the current Rookie point leader. Last season, a win at Madison’s Joe Shear Classic put him on everyone’s radar in the Midwest Trucks. Swanson went on to win four features and was crowned Midwest Truck Champion and Rookie of the Year at season’s end. Tristian is a former Legends Track Champion at Dells Raceway Park and started his Super Late Model season by competing in the Chilly Willy at Tucson Speedway in AZ. He posted back to back tenth place finishes in Tour action at Jefferson and Milwaukee.
O2 Rayce Haase Wausau WI Rain Auto Wash/Aftershock Bar/Omni/KRH/Badgerland Doors Chevrolet -His Grandfather Rick was a State Park Speedway Champion and his father Jesse was crowned Champion at SPS as well, now Rayce Haase looks to become a third generation Champion at the Wausau Speedplant. Saturday night will mark the 2021 State Park Rookie of the Year’s second appearance in Midwest Tour action, and it comes in a race that his father won in 1998. Rayce has won during Detjens weekend, with that win coming in four cylinder competition.
About Larry Detjens: The Larry Detjens Memorial was started in 1981 after the former short track racing star and 1977 SPS Track Champion lost his life in a racing accident earlier that season. Saturday night we will pay tribute to one of the greatest short track racers of his time. Larry tallied ten ARTGO wins, three ASA wins including the Minnesota State Fair, was the 1977 Capital Speedway Champion, won the Slinger Nationals in 1980, was a two time Oktoberfest winner, won in Florida during New Symrna’s World Series of Asphalt, and won three times in California at Mesa Marin and All-American Speedways. When asked about beating and banging to pass, Detjens noted, “Most of the racers that we race with, the faster man goes around without bumping or banging.”
Saturday Racing Divisions: The ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Models will be joined Saturday night by the Bandoleros, Mini-Stocks, Mini-Mods and Pure Stocks.
Schedule of Events for Saturday:
11am ARCAMT Pit Gate Opens
2pm Practice Begins
3:30pm Front Gates Open
4:30pm Qualifying Begins
6:00pm Racing Begins
General Admission Pricing Saturday: Adults $20, Kids (ages 6-12) $10 with children ages 5 and under admitted free.
Friday Night: The two day Detjens Memorial Weekend will feature the Big 8 Late Model Series on Friday night along with the Bandoleros, Mini-Stocks and Legends.
Location: State Park Speedway is located at 14771 North Mountain Road in Wausau. For camping and other information visit www.stateparkspeedway.com or call 715-212-9006.
Past Detjens Memorial Winners
2021 Ty Majeski
2020 Justin Mondeik
2019 Gabe Sommers
2018 Casey Johnson
2017 Chris Wimmer (2)
2016 Derek Kraus
2015 Johnny Sauter
2014 Tim Sauter (2)
2013 Tim Sauter
2012 Mark Mackesy (3)
2011 Chris Weinkauf (3)
2010 Chris Weinkauf (2)
2009 Andrew Morrissey (Golden Sands)
2008 Not Run
2007 Not Run
2006 Mark Mackesy (2)
2005 Allen Check
2004 Charlie Menard
2003 Chris Weinkauf
2002 Scott Wimmer (2)
2001 Scott Wimmer
2000 Chris Wimmer
1999 Mark Mackesy
1998 Jesse Hasse
1997 Donnie Woller (3)
1996 Wayne Breitenfeldt (2)
1995 Kirby Kurth (2)
1994 Donnie Woller (2)
1993 Joe Krzykowski
1992 Kirby Kurth
1991 Donnie Woller
1990 Bryan Reffner
1989 Wayne Breitenfeldt
1987 Tom Reffner (2)
1986 Kevin Cywinski
1985 Dick Trickle (3)
1984 Tom Reffner
1983 Kevin Stepan
1982 Dick Trickle (2)
1981 Dick Trickle