Champions Set to Battle in Howie Lettow Classic 100 this Friday Night at MIS
Oregon, WI- The Howie Lettow Classic 100 presented by First Business Bank will feature an astounding fourteen drivers with Late Model Championships when the ‘Stars and Cars’ of the ARCA Midwest Tour visit Madison International Speedway this Friday Night (August 26, 2022) at 7:30pm. Capturing the $5,000 to win event has proven to be a tough task, if Casey Johnson is able to complete the feat, he will pick up an additional $5,000 making it a $10,000 night for the current Tour point leader. A host of former winners and challengers have their sights set on winning The Howie, some for the first time, another for a third time. Here is a breakdown of those drivers:
Expected Entries for Friday August 26, 2022
Howie Lettow Classic 100 presented by First Business Bank
Madison International Speedway
BIG 8 CHAMPION 2 Michael Bilderback South Beloit IL Jim Olson Collision/Crazy Times Pub & Grub/Mastermold/Fabiano Law Chevrolet -He is a three time Rockford Speedway Track Champion and is best known for his successes at the famed quarter-mile facility, but Michael Bilderback has plenty of success outside of Rockford. The 59th Bettenhausen Memorial 100 winner at Grundy County Speedway has four Big 8 Series titles to his credit, was the Big 8 fast qualifier at Milwaukee last August and recorded his third career weekly win at Madison International Speedway this May.
TOUR CHAMPION 5 Casey Johnson Edgerton WI Hougan Farms/Encompass Construction/Dixon Drywall/Wise Guys Auto Chevrolet -Casey Johnson has won his last two Super Late Model starts at MIS and now seeks a $5,000 bonus on top of the $5,000 winner’s share Friday Night if he can sweep the Super Late Model season at MIS. Johnson’s Tour season has been tough on his fellow competitors, second at Slinger, winning the Joe Shear Classic at Madison, third at Jefferson, winning at Milwaukee and a second earlier this month at WIR. In addition to three Jefferson titles, Johnson has amassed two track championships and two Red, White and Blue State Championships at Wisconsin International, two in Big 8, two Tundra titles, six Wisconsin State Championships at Jefferson, the 2013 and 2016 MIS Triple Crowns and two National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway.
NASCAR CHAMP 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 Friday Night, the same car that dominated the early going of the Gandrud Auto Group 250 just weeks ago at WIR before a mechanical failure ended the night for the 2016 NASCAR Truck Champion. Sauter, a former winner of the Joe Shear Classic at Madison has big shoes to fill. Earlier this month his son Penn roared from the back of a 19 car Bandolero feature to claim the MIS checkered flag, becoming a third generation winner at the Oregon, WI speedplant. Johnny is currently sixth on the all-time Midwest Tour win list with 7 triumphs and led at the race’s midpoint, eventually finishing second in last year’s event.
SLM WINNER 7 John DeAngelis, Jr Hubertus WI DeAngelis Construction/JD7 Trucking Ford -John DeAngelis is still seeking that elusive first Tour win, it looked as if last August’s Howie Lettow Classic was going to be that moment as he shot to the lead following a restart in the early stages, battling to a third place finish at race end. Again, 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 Friday Night.
LM CHAMPION 8 Shaun Scheel Lake Mills WI Griffin Ford/Tiry’s Race Engines/Wagner Const/Ryan’s Auto Care Ford -Shaun Scheel won back to back Championships at Jefferson Speedway in 2019 and 2020 after claiming the Late Model title at Slinger in 2018. Scheel is looking to make just his fifth Super Late Model start, this one coming at his weekly Friday night home where he finished third in the final 2022 standings.
TOUR WINNER 14 Austin Nason Roscoe IL Montgomery Ward/Haase Builders/JRS Shocks/Kar Korner Ford -His most recent Tour start netted Austin Nason the win 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 where he won the 2021 National Short Track Championships. Engine troubles sidelined him earlier this month at WIR and now Nason returns to MIS where he is a former SLM Triple Crown Champion and Big 8 winner.
TOUR 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. It has become commonplace to find the 15 car running up front, finishing second at Jefferson and Grundy while finishing third in the Gandrud Auto Group 250 earlier this month.. He currently sits second in Tour points.
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.
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 last month 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. He went on to become the 2019 Truck Champion and finished second in the 2021 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year standings. Levon is fresh off an impressive fifth place run at WIR.
MID-AM CHAMPION 25 Jeff Storm East Troy WI Great Lakes Components/3D Ranch/Oak Creek Automotive/River City Lanes Chevrolet -The two time Mid-American Stock Car Series Champion is still finding success, now in a Super Late Model, Stormy qualified third at Slinger and second at Madison to start the Tour season, finishing the day in ninth at Madison. Earlier in April he was the runner-up at Dells Raceway Park and led the first seven miles on Father’s Day at The Milwaukee Mile. Storm has one career SLM win at MIS.
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 the sight of his MARS success.
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 newfound enthusiasm and the help of former Midwest Tour Champion Andrew Morrissey. Curt has been fast on Thursday nights at Wisconsin International Raceway this season, leading multiple times and recording multiple preliminary wins.
SLM CHAMPION 40 Jeremy Lepak Plover WI Soper Companies/R&J Auto 23hr Towing/GFI Enviromental/Furro Headers Ford -Jeremy Lepak, a former Slinger Super Speedway and State Park Speedway Champion pressed for the win at Wausau last month, 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 Madison after a seventh place showing at WIR.
TOUR WINNER 44 Justin Mondeik Gleason WI Powerhouse Lawn & Leisure/Metsa Machines/Merrill Manufacturing/Agra Chevrolet – Mondeik’s lone Tour win was recorded during the 2020 Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway where he is a two-time and defending Track Champion. With a sixth win at State Park just last week, Mondeik is again leading the point standings at his home track. 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 and has tallied a total of thirteen weekly wins on the season.
SLM CHAMPION 51 Steve Apel West Bend WI Brake and Equip/Western Snow Plows/Zeller Transportation/HMB Landscape Toyota -Making a rare Midwest Tour start on Friday Night is Steve Apel. A five-time Slinger Super Speedway Super Late Model Track Champion, Apel was runner-up in the inaugural Kulwicki Driver Development Program Championship standings. Apel will pilot the same Super Late Model that Stephen Nasse drove to a sixth place finish earlier this month at Wisconsin International Raceway where Apel is a former Red, White and Blue State Champion. Friday will mark Apel’s first start at MIS since 2016.
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 County Speedway Sportsman Champion and won a weekly SLM feature at Grundy in June.
TOUR CHAMPION 77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN Eilen & Sons Trucking & Landscape/Graber Auto Body Ford -Eilen returned to Tour Victory Lane for the first time in over nine years at State Park Speedway in July, 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 Tour Record 150th start on Friday Night. Jonathan sits third in the Tour Point Standings and won at MIS in Super Late Model action in June of 2019.
SLM CHAMPION 77 Riley Stenjem Utica WI Sreamin’ Norwegian/Hausz Contractors/Hougan Farms/Direct Networks Chevrolet -Stenjem has adopted quickly to Late Models, the three-time Legend Wisconsin State Champion won the Jefferson Speedway Late Model Rookie of the Year Award along with winning two out of the three Wisconsin State Championship feature events in 2019. With limited Tour starts, he has posted five top ten finishes, with top tens coming during last year’s Howie Lettow Classic and Oktoberfest 200. The 2021 Tundra Series Champion and 2022 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Driver posted top ten finishes in his last three tour starts, fifth at Madison, sixth at Jefferson and fifth at Grundy.
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. Farrell wowed those in attendance at Wausau by hustling the high side and finishing seventh. Always a fan favorite due to his friendly demeanor, many in the Busch Light Tailgate Zone will be cheering on the #80 from the infield on Friday Night.
TOUR CHAMPION 91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI Incredible Bank/Compass Insurance Ford -The all-time winningest driver in ARCA Midwest Tour history returns to Madison International Speedway looking for career Tour win number thirty-one. Majeski won the most recent Tour event, the Gandrud Auto Group 250 and nearly won the Detjens Memorial at Wausau until he and Casey Johnson were sent to the rear of the field following a late race caution. The two-time Lettow Classic winner (2015, 2019) has his sights set on another big payday Friday. 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.
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 which won at MIS in 2019, Jankowski currently sits second in the 2022 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year 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 earlier this season.
TOUR CHAMPION 119 Dalton Zehr Verona WI Gildan/First Business Bank/American Apparel/Comfort Colors/Make-A-Wish Chevrolet -The 2018 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion has a long list of accolades when it comes to racing. Zehr was the 2013 ASA Member Track National Champion, having won the track title at Michigan’s Norway Speedway that season. In 2007 he finished second the Pro Late Model standings during the World Series at New Smyrna, recording one win. The three time Tundra Series Champion also won the 2019 Alive for 5 Series title at Dells Raceway Park. His three Midwest Tour wins have come at Elko, Grundy and Golden Sands. Zehr nearly picked off his fourth career Midwest Tour triumph in May at MIS, chasing Johnson across the stripe less than half of a second from the win. Zehr is the current point leader at WIR and won the Red, White and Blue State Championship earlier this month.
About Howie Lettow: Howie Lettow passed away in 2010 at the age of 62 after battling cancer. He was a highly respected crew chief who led eight different drivers to rookie of the year honors in the American Speed Association. Best known of that group is seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. Other drivers included Scott Hansen, Ken Lund, David Stremme, Ted Musgrave, Steve Holzhausen, Steve Carlson, and Ricky Johnson. Lettow won an ASA championship in 1996 as crew chief for Tony Raines.
He also won three straight championships from 2005-2007 in the ASA Late Model Challenge Series with Stephen Leicht, Kelly Bires, and Travis Dassow behind the wheel.
Schedule of Events for Howie Lettow Classic 100 presented by First Business Bank
Friday August 26, 2022:
1pm Pit Gate Opens
4pm Practice Begins
4pm Front Gates Open
6:05pm Qualifying Begins
7:30pm Racing Begins
Adults: $20 in advance, $25 on race day
Heroes/Seniors: $18 in advance, $22 on race day
Students (12-17) $15
Kids (6-11) $5
Children ages 5 and under Free
Family Price: Up to 2 adults and up to 4 youth (ages 17 and under) $50
Busch Light Tailgate Zone (Infield Parking): $20 per vehicle plus ticket per person
Divisions: The ARCA Midwest Tour will be joined by the Midwest Truck Series and 602 Outlaw Late Model Tour..
Location: Madison International Speedway is located at 1122 Sunrise Rd in Oregon, WI. For additional information visit www.misracing.com or call 608-835-9700.
Past Winners Howie Lettow Classic
2021- Casey Johnson
2019- Ty Majeski
2018- Rained Out
2017- Paul Shafer Jr.
2016 Rained Out
2015 Ty Majeski
2014 Erik Jones*
2013 Kyle Busch*
2012 Travis Sauter*
*Event held at The Milwaukee Mile