NASCAR Champs and Super Late Model Champions Headline Star Studded Gandrud 250 Field at WIR
Kaukauna, WI- The first Tuesday in August at Wisconsin International Raceway has long prided itself on bringing the best competition from the South and North together at the one-half mile paved D-shaped oval. This Tuesday night lives up to that tradition. With three former NASCAR Champions in Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones and Johnny Sauter, the accolades do not end there when it comes to the Gandrud Auto Group 250. Former winners Casey Johnson, Ty Majeski and Sauter will add to a field that includes twenty-seven drivers with a Super Late Model feature win and an unprecedented fifteen drivers that have a Super Late Model Championship. The ARCA Midwest Tour ‘Stars and Cars’ will have their hands full with some of the Nation’s finest Super Late Model Drivers as drivers from seven states invade Kaukauna. Racing begins at 6:30pm on Tuesday Night August 2, 2022. Here is a breakdown of those drivers:
Expected Entries for Tuesday August 2, 2022 (36 as of 7/27/22)
LM CHAMPION 2 Sawyer Effertz Kimberly WI Hipke Electric/Brat Wave/4M Machine/Prestige Auto/Monday & Assoc Ford -Sawyer is a former Fox River Racing Club Late Model Champiion on Thursday nights at WIR and has adapted well to the Super Late Model, placing second in the point standings in 2020. He is a former winner in a Bandolero at the Orlando (FL) Speed World Nationals, besting current NASCAR Cup driver Bubba Wallace.
SLM CHAMPION 4 Luke Fenhaus Wausau WI Soda Sense/Dun-Rite Exteriors/Zilisch Asphalt/Pioneer/Central WI Vending Chevrolet -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 Tuesday Night. Running the CARS Tour in the Southeast this season has limited the starts for the 2021 Alive for 5 and 2018 State Park Speedway Champion who finished third in last year’s Gandrud 250 as well as third at State Park last Sunday.
NASCAR CHAMPION 4 Erik Jones Byron MI Erik Jones Foundation Chevrolet -Making his second start of the ARCA Midwest Tour season, Erik Jones looks to improve upon his ninth place effort at Milwaukee behind the wheel of the Wimmer Motorsports Entry. The 2015 NASCAR Truck Champion is a two-time Snowball Derby Winner, a former CRA All-Star Champion, has won the Winchester 400, Rockford’s All-Star 100, The Howie Lettow Classic as well as Saturday Night of LaCrosse’s Oktobefest Race Weekend.
250 WINNER 5 Casey Johnson Edgerton WI Hougan Farms/Encompass Construction/Dixon Drywall/Wise Guys Auto Chevrolet -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 2017 Gandrud Auto Group 250.
250 WINNER 5 Johnny Sauter Necedah WI Deppe Enterprises/Sal’s Towing/Pathfinder Chassis/Don’s Auto Chevrolet -Johnny Sauter is back behind the wheel of his own Super Late Model on Tuesday Night. The 2016 NASCAR Truck Champion is seeking his third Gandrud Auto Group 250 victory at WIR. Forty years ago his father was the second winner of this event. Johnny is currently sixth on the all-time Midwest Tour win list with 7 triumphs.
SLM WINNER 7 John DeAngelis, Jr Hubertus WI DeAngelis Construction/JD7 Trucking Ford -He set a torrid pace in last year’s 250 lap contest before fading to a sixth place finish. In 2019 he charged late only to come up just short of a win, settling for second. John DeAngelis is still seeking that elusive first Tour win, some thought it would come at Milwaukee this past June as he was again setting the pace during the middle stages of that event. The Midwest Tour 2019 third place points man won the Dells Falloween last October and shows no signs of slowing down heading into Tuesday night.
NASCAR HOF 8 Matt Kenseth Cambridge WI Paul’s Auto Yards Ford -Returning to WIR for the first time in 15 years is Matt Kenseth. Kenseth will pilot the same car Paul Shafer, Jr scored last year’s Gandurd Auto Group 250 in. The 2003 NASCAR Cup Champion was recently announced as a class of 2023 NASCAR Hall of Famer. In his Super Late Model prime, Kenseth recorded back to back Championships on Thursday nights at WIR in 1994 and 1995 as well as the 1994 title at Madison International Speedway and Red, White and Blue State Championship at Kaukauna. Last weekend, Kenseth drove to a third place finish in SRX action at Sharon Speedway.
SLM WINNER 9 Braison Bennett Neenah WI PMF Landscape Supply/John J Mayer Ins/Fox Cities Towing Ford -This third generation racer has recorded two Fox River Racing Club victories and two win’s at Norway Speedway so far in 2022. Bennett is bringing his family owned Super Late Model to WIR in search of a fifth win this season. Braison won the Dixieland Delight undercard at this event in 2019 and is a three-time FRRC LM Champion at Kaukauna. 3x WIR LM Champ, Dixieland Delight Winner 2019, 2 weekly wins FRRC 2022 so far
TOUR WINNER 9 Derek Kraus Stratford WI B&K Trucking/Fanetti, Inc Chevrolet -Making his first ARCA Midwest Tour appearance since a strong third place showing at Madison in May, Derek Kraus who ran out of gas while leading last year’s 250 at WIR returns to settle some unfinished business. He is the youngest Midwest Tour winner and went to California to claim the K&N West Series Championship. A contender in the NASCAR Trucks, he currently is eleventh in those point standings.
SLM CHAMPION 10 Andy Monday Appleton WI Monday & Assoc/B&B Engines/Darboy Corner Store Toyota -Last year, Andy Monday was the top finishing Fox River Racing Club finisher at this event, twelfth on the lead lap. Now the 2017 Fox River Racing Club Champion looks to improve upon that. He warmed up during last Sunday’s Midwest Tour Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway, besting his fellow competitors in an impromptu Pit Stop Challenge event.
SLM CHAMPION 11 Bobby Kendall Montello WI Lecker Septic Systems/Hinz Farms/Eagle Homes II/Am Family Insurance Chevrolet -With three wins in weekly competition at WIR in 2022, this may be the year for Bobby Kendall to shine in the Gandrud 250. He has won three out of eight on the season and sits second in FRRC points. The 2020 Champion finishes well in this event when he finishes. Bobby is also a two-time Red, White and Blue State Champion at WIR.
TOUR WINNER 14 Austin Nason Roscoe IL Montgomery Ward/Haase Builders/JRS Shocks/Kar Korner Ford -The past three Gandrud 250 events have seen the same driver finish fourth. Austin Nason is that driver. Fresh off a win earlier this month at Grundy County Speedway in the Wayne Carter Classic, Nason now has four career Midwest Tour wins. The 2015 Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year wins the big races including the Joe Shear Classic at Madison, Father’s Day at Milwaukee and the former All-Star 100 at his hometrack, Rockford Speedway.
SLM WINNER 14 Carson Hocevar Portage MI GM Parts Now/Precision Fleet Image/Berger Chevrolet Chevrolet -His only start in this event came in 2020, Hocevar finished eighth, respectable for his first visit to the tricky KK oval. After that event he went on to win Anderson (IN) Speedway’s Red Bud and the Winchester (IN) 400. He nearly won the All-American 400 at Nashville (TN) Fairgrounds until contact while leading sent him into the wall. The two-time Money in the Bank winner at Berlin (MI) has two second place efforts in the NASCAR Trucks this season.
TOUR WINNER 15 Gabe Sommers Plover WI Kwik Trip/Allied Coop/Wisc Potatoes/Ziegler Equip/Rowdy Energy Ford -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. 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 a second place effort at Grundy two weeks ago. He placed fifth in this event in 2021.
SLM WINNER 17 Grant Griesbach Pewaukee WI Cobblestone Hotels/Keeney Home Service/Gardan Mfg/JT Schmidt Plumb Ford -Just last season, this 21 year old UW Whitewater student had a season to remember at WIR. On the strength of two feature wins, he missed out on the Championship by just three points to Casey Johnson. Grant will be making just his second Tour appearance of the season and sixth overall.
18 Cameron Clifford Charlotte NC J+J Insulation/Burcar Trucking/Port City Racecars/Burcar Towing Chevrolet -Making the trek back towards home, this 2016 Norway (MI) Speedway Rookie of the Year will make his second appearance in the ARCA Midwest Tour, his first coming a year ago during the Gandrud Auto Group 250. Cameron works for Port City Racecars when he is not wheeling his Super Late Model.
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 earlier this July 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.
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, Cornelius returns to a former stop on the Midwest Allstar Racing Series.
TA2 WINNER 28 Connor Mosack Conover NC Toyota -Fresh off a sixth place showing at Pocono (PA) Raceway in his ARCA Menards Series car, Connor Mosack will attempt to make the field for the Gandrud 250 in his first ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Model appearance. The former JR Motorsports driver capture the 2020 CARS Tour Rookie of the Year honors, counts a TA2 win at Watkins Glen in 2021 amongst his racing accomplishments and will now get behind the wheel of a Toby Nuttleman prepared Toyota.
LM WINNER 28 Corey Manders Hilbert WI Northern Chill America’s Water/Bang Energy Drink Chevrolet -Corey is a former front runner and winner in the Late Model division at WIR and has made the move up to Super Late Models. A crash three weeks ago on Thursday night has scrubbed some speed from this effort but driver and crew have indicated that they will be ready for Tuesday night’s Gandrud Auto Group 250.
30 Pete Vandermolen Oshkosh WI Stockbridge Engineering/The Dude Design/Don’s Autobody Chevrolet -In his 42nd year of racing, Pete Vandermolen looks to again start a Gandrud 250. He last started in the event in 2019, but has numerous starts throughout the ARTGO era in the traditional first Tuesday in August event at Wisconsin International Raceway. Pete was a top-ten competitor during the Midwest Allstar Racing Series years on 1999-2005. His first start in this event came in 1990 and his best finish was 16th in 1991, a race won by Dick Trickle.
33 Trevor Vandermolen Oshkosh WI Don’s Auto Body/Joriges Bar and Grill/Jaspers Bar/Stockbridge Engineering Chevrolet -A regular on Thursday nights in the Fox River Racing Club at Wisconsin International Raceway, Trevor will make his third attempt at making the Gandrud Auto Group 250.
TOUR CHAMPION 39 Andrew Morrissey DeForest WI AllTrucksUSA.com Chevrolet -The 2011 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion looks to make his second start of 2022. The Gandrudd 250 plays into his mindset well and Tuesday night has been on his radar since last winter. He is a two-time Joe Shear Classic winner, won Oktoberfest in 2018 and seeks his sixth career tour win on Tuesday at WIR.
SLM CHAMPION 40 Jeremy Lepak Plover WI Soper Companies/R&J Auto 23hr Towing/GFI Enviromental/Furro Headers Ford -Jeremy Lepak has a newfound enthusiasm for short track racing, and it shows. The former Slinger Super Speedway and State Park Speedway Champion pressed for the win at Wausau last Sunday, finishing second in the Midwest Tour contest. Now the two-time Rockford Speedway National Short Track Championship winner has some momentum and confidence behind him headed into WIR.
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 the help of former Midwest Tour Champion Andrew Morrissey.
SLM CHAMPION 44 Justin Mondeik Gleason WI Powerhouse Lawn & Leisure/Metsa Machines/Merrill Manufacturing/Agra Chevrolet -No driver has more Super Late Model wins than Justin Mondeik in the Midwest this year, his current tally sets at nine. Mondeik’s lone Tour win was recorded during the 2020 Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway. 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 and State Park. Mondeik finds himself fifth in the Tour point standings as the ‘Stars and Cars’ reach the halfway mark of their season. He has two consecutive top tens in the Gandrud 250.
SLM CHAMPION 45 Jeff VanOudenhoven Appleton WI VanDenHeuvel Electric/Hurckman Mech/Bay Area Granite and Marble Ford -He came oh so close to winning this event in 2017, leading 89 laps but eventually settling for a fifth place finish in the final rundown. J-V-O is a five-time Fox River Racing Club Champion and has three Red, White and Blue State Championship titles on his hero card. When he did travel, he did quite well, winning three Midwest Allstar Racing Series titles.
SLM CHAMPION 51 Stephen Nasse Pinellas Park FL -The Bad Boy of the South is coming to WIR with experience on his side. While many southern drivers bring their own rides, Nasse may have an upper hand as he has teamed with 2015 Red, White and Blue State Champion Steve Apel, piloting Apel’s potent #51 Super Late Model in Tuesday Night’s 250 lap contest. Nasse, while sometimes at the center of controversy, has proven that he knows how to win. The two-time Southern Super Series Champion also counts a World Series of Asphalt Title at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway, a US Nationals win at Bristol and the Winchester 400 amongst his accolades. This marks Nasse’s first ARCA Midwest Tour appearance.
SLM CHAMPION 71 Blake Brown Twin Lakes WI McCloskey Farms/Terry’s Auto Group/Olson’s Iron & Disposal Ford -Unlike many of the up and coming drivers who talk about how iracing got them into racing, iracing during the pandemic got this driver turned fisherman back into the sport in which he found much success. Brown was the 2011 Illiana Super Late Model Track Champion and then went traveling with the Midwest Trucks, becoming their Champion in 2014 alongside a Championship in the Trucks at Madison. Brown is the 2021 Grundy Sportsman Champion and won a weekly SLM feature last month.
TOUR CHAMPION 77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN Eilen & Sons Trucking & Landscape/Graber Auto Body Ford – The most recent winner on the ARCA Midwest Tour trail, Johnathan Eilen returned to Tour Victory Lane for the first time in over nine years, 86 events had passed. The 2012 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion and 2007 Tour Rookie of the Year has a total of six 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 149th Tour start on Tuesday Night. Jonathan sits third in the Tour Point Standings.
79 Barrett Polhemus Wimberly TX Baja/Alverson Motorsports Chevrolet -This seventeen-year-old Texan is teamed with current Tour Point Leader Casey Johnson. The duo competed earlier this season at WIR in the Tundra season opener with Johnson claiming the win and Polhemus finishing ninth. Running a full-time schedule in a Pro Late Model at California’s Madera Speedway as well as various SRL events on the West Coast, Tuesday night marks Barrett’s initial appearance in the ARCA Midwest Tour.
SLM CHAMPION 80 Ryan Farrell Big Bend WI Tiry’s Race Engines/Adams Heavy Duty Tow/Jacoby Waterproof Chevrolet -2022 has been a tough season for 2018 Wisconsin Challenge Series Champion Ryan Farrell. Incidents and mechanical failures have plagued what have been strong early showings for Farrell. Last Sunday, after taking Grundy off to regroup, Farrell wowed those in attendance by hustling the high side and finishing seventh.
250 WINNER 91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI Incredible Bank/Compass Insurance Ford -The all-time winningest driver in ARCA Midwest Tour history returns to Wisconsin International Speedway looking for career Tour win number thirty. The five-time Tour Champion hustled back from Pocono (PA) Raceway after a seventh place finish in the NASCAR Truck event to make it to State Park Speedway in time for Sunday’s rain delayed Detjens Memorial. A late race mishap sent the two-time Gandrud 250 winner spinning out of the lead with three laps remaining. Majeski, a two-time Slinger Nationals winner, won the 2020 Snowball Derby at Five Flags (FL) Speedway and is in the Championship Ten in the NASCAR Truck Series.
SLM WINNER 92 RJ Braun Wales WI Morris Midwest/Okuma/Tsugami/PD Peterka & Associates Ford -RJ Braun is the current Super Late Model points leader at Slinger Super Speedway with one feature win so far in 2022. The former Rookie of the Year at Slinger as well in Big 8 Series action returned to WIR after a strong qualifying effort in the 2020 Gandrud 250 to record his first career Super Late Model victory just weeks after the traditional event. RJ also honed his craft by competing in Florida’s World Series of Asphalt.
SLM 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 and eighth in the season standings.
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.
Tuesday Racing Divisions: The ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Models will be joined Tuesday Night by the Midwest Truck Series
Schedule of Events for Tuesday:
10am ARCAMT Pit Gate Opens
2:15pm Practice Begins
4pm Front Gates Open
5pm Qualifying Begins
6:30pm Racing Begins
General Admission Pricing Tuesday: Adults $25, Children ages 12 and under admitted free.
Location: Wisconsin International Raceway is located at W1460 County Rd KK in Kaukauna, WI. For camping and other information visit www.wirmotorsports.com or call 920-766-5577.
Complete List of Past Gandrud Auto Group 250 Winners
1981 Mark Martin
1982 Jim Sauter
1983 Dick Trickle
1984 Mark Martin
1985 Butch Miller
1986 Butch Miller
1987 Dick Trickle
1988 Butch Miller
1989 Rich Bickle Jr.
1990 Dick Trickle
1991 Dick Trickle
1992 Steve Holzhausen
1993 Scott Hansen
1994 Joe Shear
1995 Bryan Reffner
1996 Joe Shear
1997 Steve Carlson
1998 Steve Carlson
1999 Scott Hansen
2000 Brian Hoppe
2001 Steve Carlson
2002 Brian Hoppe
2003 Steve Carlson
2004 Steve Carlson
2005 Stephen Leicht
2007 Kyle Busch
2008 Steve Carlson
2009 Steve Carlson
2010 Johnny Sauter
2014 Johnny Sauter
2015 Nick Murgic
2016 Dennis Prunty
2017 Casey Johnson
2018 Chase Purdy
2019 Ty Majeski
2020 Ty Majeski
2021 Paul Shafer, Jr