CAMBRIDGE — Shaun Scheel continued his strong start to the 2019 on Saturday night at Wisconsin’s Action Track. The Lake Mills pilot asserted himself as one of the favorites to capture the 2019 Late Model championship after charging to the front of the 18-car field to win the Benninger Concrete and Construction 50-lap main event. The win gives Scheel three feature victories this season, including back to back wins, while no other driver has claimed more than one thus far.
Jerry Eckhardt and Kyle Smith led the way as the green waved over the field. Smith took command of the top spot on lap one as Eckhardt fell back to second and Don Gaserude battled with Seth Reamer for third. Dale Nottestad joined the fight at the front in the opening laps as well. On lap five, heavy contact between Nottestad and Gaserude resulted in damage to both machines. This forced Gaserude to the infield, ending his evening. On lap 11, Reamer moved up to challenge Eckhardt for second while Michael Grueneberg joined the fray behind them. Reamer couldn’t stick alongside Eckhardt, allowing Grueneberg to slide up looking to grab third. Grueneberg made the pass and continued forward next to Eckhardt. While battling for second on lap 20, after slight contact with Eckhardt, Grueneberg slid sideways into turn one. Grueneberg was able to save it, but a lap later, Eckhardt spun in the same area to force the first of four cautions. Smith led the pack back to green with Grueneberg behind him and Nottestad now up to third. On the restart, Grueneberg dove under Smith to launch a fight for the lead. At the halfway point of the race, Grueneberg completed the pass with Nottestad moving up to challenge Smith for second. After a second caution on lap 26, Grueneberg paced the field back to green. As they raced off turn two, contact between Smith and Nottestad sent Smith around to force another yellow. Both drivers were forced to the rear on the restart with Reamer up to third and Shaun Scheel in his rearview mirror. Scheel wasted no time in third, making his move for second on the restart. After getting by Reamer, Scheel flew up to the rear bumper of the leader and began to pressure Grueneberg. With 15 laps to go, Scheel dove under the leader, drawing even. After a brief encounter, Scheel stuck his ride out front alone and began to stretch his lead. With four laps remaining, the leader’s brother, Stephen Scheel, spun in turn four making hard contact with the outside wall and forcing the final caution period of the event. But Shaun Scheel had the field covered in the final circuits as he drove off to collect the trophy. Grueneberg settled for second followed by Reamer, Jason Erickson and Dylan Schuyler.
Stoughton’s Jim Taylor led every lap of the 30-lap Sportsman feature to earn the win. Taylor grabbed the lead on lap one from fellow front row starter Dan Silberhorn. Chris Jones followed Taylor into second on lap two with Chris Chenoweth in tow for third. Jason Thoma entered the top five along with Dan Harris in the early laps as they battled for fourth. Thoma made the pass and continued to look towards the front of the field. On lap 11, Thoma drove to the outside of Chenoweth, stealing the third position three laps later. Taylor continued to show the way as the top three tightened up while the laps ticked away. On lap 27, Thoma tried to dive under Jones as they raced into turn three. Contact between the two resulted in Jones spinning to force the sole caution of the race. Both drivers were forced to the rear for their involvement in the yellow, moving Bobby Selsing Jr. up to second behind Taylor for the final 3 laps. As racing resumed, Selsing applied heavy pressure to Taylor, trying to get alongside the leader by diving hard into turn three each lap. But Taylor held him off each time, crossing under the checkers to grab the big win. Selsing was second with Chenoweth, Mark Deporter and Tim Coley rounding out the top five.
Kyle Stark of Marshall got the front of the 20-lap International feature and stayed strong to claim the win. Tim Higgins and Chris Gottschalk led the field to green as the fought for control on the opening lap. Gottschalk claimed the position until a caution on lap three slowed the pace. Gottschalk and Josh Rusch led the field back to green with Higgins and Stark right behind them. As they raced out of turn four on the next laps, Stark motored up the middle of Gottschalk and Rusch, looking to lead. Stark cleared for the top spot on lap six with Rusch into second. Stark immediately began to pull away from the pack while Rusch tried to hold off Keith Bell for second. Mark English joined the fight for the runner up spot on lap ten. Just as English made his move to get up to second, the caution waved again, erasing the large lead that Stark was enjoying. Stark and Rusch sat on the front row as they headed back to green. Stark once again moved out front and began to stretch his lead while English battled his way up to second. But Stark cruised to the checkers from there to pick up the win with English, Scott Hoeft, Bell and Rusch completing the top five.
Nick Bruley of Watertown picked up his first career win in the Hobby Stock division after claiming the 25-lap feature event. Starting on the pole, Bruley took the early lead on lap one while Dan Snyder, Lucas Buckingham and Kenny Storkson battled for second. Snyder and Buckingham emerged side by side with Buckingham eventually claiming the position on lap seven. While the top two began to separate themselves from the pack, the battle for third raged behind them. Snyder, along with Scott Riedner and Jim Tate Jr put on a show as each competitor looked to move forward. Riedner eventually took control of the third spot, but Bruley was already well out front on his way to the checkers. Buckingham was second followed by Scott Riedner, Tate and Brandon Riedner.
Bill Sweeney of Lake Mills captured the 15-lap Road Warrior feature event. Rodger Stephenson took the initial lead when fellow front row starter, Kevin Zimmerman, dove off the racing surface on lap one. After an early caution on lap two, Stephenson and Leroy Gronert Jr led the pack back to green with Stephenson once again moving to the front. AJ Accardi stole the lead from Stephenson on lap four, bringing Sweeney along for second with Chris Gottschalk in tow. Sweeney went right to work on the new leader, moving to his inside on lap five while Gottschalk watched from third. Sweeney completed the pass for the lead a lap later as Gottschalk moved up to work over Accardi for second. Sweeney drove away while Gottschalk threw everything he had at Accardi. At the checkers, it was Sweeney for the convincing win with Accardi holding off Gottschalk for second. Mark Dewey was fourth with Jordan Lamb completing the top five.
Gaven Smothers of Watertown picked up his first-career feature win after capturing the 12-lap Bandit main event. Josh Frank led lap one with Smothers quickly up to challenge. Smothers moved to the inside of the early leader on lap two, grabbing control of the point a lap later. Meanwhile, Justin Kumbier was slicing his way toward the front bringing Bryan Gottschalk along with him. By lap five, they were in second and third respectively. They tried to close the gap on Smothers all while battling eachother for position. This allowed Smother to retain his lead through the checkered flag to score the win. Kumbier finished second followed by Josh Lenz, Gottschalk and Frank.
This Saturday, June 29, is a full program of racing presented by Triana’s Trophy Case. The evening features six divisions of racing plus kids stock car rides, a coin scramble and big wheel races. Fireworks cap the evening the begins with time trials at 4 p.m., kids rides at 6 p.m. and racing at 7.
Jefferson Speedway is located halfway between Jefferson and Cambridge on Hwy 18. Please visit jeffersonspeedway.com for more information.