The Incredible Racing Show Shifts to Dells for Sauter Classic this Saturday Night
Wisconsin Dells, WI- The ‘Stars and Cars’ of the ARCA Midwest Tour head to Dells Raceway Park this Saturday Night (September 3, 2022) for the $15,555 to Win Jim Sauter Classic presented by Habelman Brothers Cranberries and Don’s Auto Truck Center. Both Tour Point Leader Casey Johnson and five-time Midwest Tour Champion Ty Majeski seek their second $15,000 plus Tour win of the year. The two which have found themselves battling for the win in the past three events, much to the delight of the Wisconsin short track fanbase, will have their hands full again as Johnny Sauter, Gabe Sommers, Luke Fenhaus, Jonathan Eilen and Justin Mondeik as well as a host of other top Super Late Model drivers seek their time in the spotlight. The Midwest Truck Series and 602 Outlaw Late Models will join the racing program which starts at 6pm. Here is a breakdown of the drivers entered for Saturday night’s Jim Sauter Classic, Wisconsin’s Richest One Day Race which pays $1,005 to start in the 25 car field:
Expected Entries for Saturday September 3, 2022
Jim Sauter Classic presented by Habelman Brothers Cranberries and Don’s Auto Truck Center
Dells Raceway Park
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 fourth at Milwaukee last weekend, won earlier this season in weekly action at Madison after posting two wins at DRP last season on his way to a third place points finish.
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 Saturday 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 looked solid in front of last year’s Jim Sauter Classic field before being involved in an incident battling for the $15,555 payday, eventually finishing eighth. His two most recent tour starts resulted in a third at Wausau and a fourth at Kaukauna.
TOUR CHAMPION 5 Casey Johnson Edgerton WI Hougan Farms/Encompass Construction/Dixon Drywall/Wise Guys Auto Chevrolet -Fresh off a $10,000 win last Friday night, Johnson the current Tour point leader is again on a hot streak, winning both features at Jefferson Speedway is weekly action last Saturday. 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 before his Madison triumph last week. 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. Not to be overlooked, he won the most recent Alive for 5 event at Dells.
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 this weekend, the same car that dominated the early going of the Gandrud Auto Group 250 just weeks ago at WIR before a mechanical failures spoiled the night. Sauter again found himself in the mix for the win, running a highly spirited third in the late stages of the Howie Lettow Classic Friday night, only to fall victim to transmission issues as the field looked to restart. Sauter, who won the Joe Shear Classic when it was held at DRP in 2020 also won when the Tour visited Dells Labor Day Weekend of 2018. Now the 2016 NASCAR Truck Champion looks to add a race named after his late father to his many accolades. 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. Some thought it would come at Milwaukee this past June as he was again setting the pace during the middle stages of that event, just as victory eluded him at WIR and Madison, it was not in the cards at Milwaukee. The Midwest Tour 2019 third place points man now returns to Dells Raceway Park where he was victorious at Falloween last October.
7 Tyler Sauter New Lisbon WI BOHICAS Pub and Grub/Don’s Auto and Truck Center/R and R Roofing Chevrolet -Moving into the Super Late Model ranks is Tyler Sauter, a former Sportsman standout with the Great Northern Sportsman Series and in weekly action across the state, Tyler is the latest Sauter to enter Saturday night’s Jim Sauter Classic at DRP. Tyler was runner-up in the CWRA point standings a season ago.
SLM CHAMPION 11 Bobby Kendall Montello WI Lecker Septic Systems/Hinz Farms/Eagle Homes II/Am Family Insurance Chevrolet -Bobby Kendall, the 2020 Fox River Racing Club Champion has three wins in weekly competition at WIR in 2022. He has been fast and now will bring that fast hot rod to DRP where his father Jeff is a multi-time Super Late Model Track Champion. 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 -His two most recent Tour starts netted Austin Nason the win at Grundy County Speedway in the Wayne Carter Classic and a runner-up in the Howie Lettow Classic last Friday night at Madison. Nason now has four career Midwest Tour wins. The 2015 Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year knows how to win 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.
TOUR WINNER 15 Gabe Sommers Plover WI WI Potato & Veg Growers Assoc/DeKalb/Kwik Trip/Rowdy Energy Toyota -While he currently sits second in the Midwest Tour standings, Gabe Sommers is atop the Alive for 5 Super Late Model standings at Dells Raceway Park. 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 before being sidelined with a valve stem issue while holding a commanding lead last week at Madison.
LM WINNER 16 Luke Westenberg Jefferson WI CCS Complete Cont. Services/WL Miller Trucking/Lakeland Farms Chevrolet -This former Jefferson Speedway Late Model standout has progressed to Super Late Models and this will mark just his second start with his new chassis. A former Wisconsin State Championship feature winner at his home track in Big 8 Series action, Westenberg joins the ‘Stars and Cars’ of the ARCA Midwest Tour for just the second time in his career this Saturday night.
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 posted his career best finish at WIR, finishing fifth in the 250 lap contest.
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 battled hard to an eighth place finish last Friday 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. Last Friday night saw Cornelius post his first top ten of the season.
LM WINNER 33 Mathew Henderson Coon Valley WI Altra Federal Credit Union/Drivealtra.org/Limitless Graphics & Design Chevrolet -Finally getting his Super Late Model program back up and running, Matthew Henderson has entered this Saturday night’s Jim Sauter Classic at Dells Raceway Park. The multi-time Late Model winner at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway has one career top ten finish in Midwest Tour competition and looks to make his fourth appearance with the Tour this weekend.
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 fifth career Midwest Tour appearance and second with the Tour at DRP.
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.
LM WINNER 44 Mike Lichtfeld Pardeeville WI The Country Plumber/Assembly Prod/Portesi Frozen Pizza & Cheese Fries Toyota -Currently second in Pro Late Model points at DRP, Lichtfeld has five wins on the season and has amassed 16 wins over the past three seasons at his home track where he was second in the point standings a season ago. Lichtfeld finished just outside the top ten in last year’s Sauter Classic, in eleventh.
TOUR WINNER 44 Justin Mondeik Gleason WI Powerhouse Lawn & Leisure/Metsa Machines/Merrill Manufacturing/Agra Chevrolet – Last Thursday Night, on the strength of six wins on the season, Justin Mondiek was crowned as the State Park Speedway Champion for the third year in a row. In addition to his Wausau success, the track where he posted his lone tour win during the 2020 Larry Detjens Memorial, 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 fourth in the Tour point standings after a fourth place finish at Madison 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 second consecutive Midwest Tour appearance 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.
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 151st start on Saturday Night. Jonathan sits third in the Tour Point Standings and most recently won at DRP in Super Late Model action in July of 2018.
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 and returned from the pits last Friday to rally to another seventh place effort. Always a fan favorite due to his friendly demeanor, many remember his popular Super Late Model win at Dells in 2020.
TOUR CHAMPION 91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI Incredible Bank/Compass Insurance Ford -The all-time winningest driver in ARCA Midwest Tour history returns to Dells Raceway Park looking for career Tour win number thirty-one at a track that he has twice won at in Tour action. Majeski won August’s Gandrud Auto Group 250 and dominated the middle stages of last week’s Lettow Classic before both Casey Johnson and Austin Nason worked past Majeski in the closing laps. 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. He seeks his second $15,000 plus Midwest Tour payday in a month’s time on Saturday night at DRP.
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. A promising run last week went up in smoke when his engine dropped a valve. With a new powerplant ready to go, Harley returns to familiar territory which has been hard to find this season. Jankowski currently leads the 2022 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year standings and has positioned himself as the front runner for next January’s ARCA Menards Series test at Daytona International Speedway which goes to the Rookie of the Year annually.
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 now trails by 23 points with two races remaining, following a broken camshaft at Madison. 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 and won in CWRA competition at Dells a season ago.
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 is a former Detjens winner and was crowned Champion at SPS as well. Saturday night will mark the 2021 State Park Rookie of the Year’s third appearance in Midwest Tour action and first outside of Wausau where he finished fourth in the final standings this season with five top ten finishes.
OO Chris Pulera Burlington WI AJ Electric/JK Tools Ford -Jumping into a Super Late Model with the help of past Lake Geneva Raceway friends, the 1992 Lake Geneva Raceway Street Stock Champion climbs back behind the wheel Saturday night at the track the majority of his SLM starts have come at.
About Jim Sauter: Jim Sauter won back-to-back ARTGO Challenge Series Championships in 1981 and 1982. Over the course of his career he recorded twenty ARTGO feature wins and seven ASA National Series wins before heading south where he made seventy-six NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts, recording four top-tens in the process. Over the course of his career, he won some of the biggest short track races of the day including the North Star 500 at the Minnesota State Fair, Rockford’s National Short Track Championship and the All-American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds.
Schedule of Events for Jim Sauter Classic, Saturday September 3, 2022:
12pm Pit Gate Opens
2pm Spectator Gates Open
2pm Practice Begins
4:30pm Qualifying Begins
6pm Racing Begins
Senior (65+), Students (13-17) and Military $20
Children ages 12 and under Free
Family Pack (2 adults and up to four youth ages 17 and under) $60
Divisions: The ARCA Midwest Tour will be joined by the Midwest Truck Series and 602 Outlaw Late Model Tour.
Location: Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road in Wisconsin Dells, WI. For additional information visit www.dellsracewaypark.com or call 608-253-7223
Past Winners Jim Sauter Classic
2021- Rich Bickle, Jr