CAMBRIDGE — Four Late Model pilots entered Season Championship Night with hopes of claiming the 2019 track championship. The Griffin Ford Lincoln of Fort Atkinson 60 lap main event would be the setting to determine which of those four drivers would achieve their season long goal of championship glory. When the dust settled, the man who entered as the point leader would leave with the spoils as the 2019 Late Model champ. After years of trying, and coming very close, Shaun Scheel of Lake Mills finally attained that elusive title at Wisconsin’s Action Track. While Scheel was putting the finishing touches on his championship, it was fellow Lake Mills driver, Kyle Smith, picking up the feature victory by holding off yet another Lake Mills product for the win.
Don Gaserude and Smith led the stout field of competitors to the green flag with Smith grabbing control of the top spot on lap one. Gaserude fell back to second with Will Rece charging up alongside him on lap five. Rece completed the pass for second on lap six, bringing Stephen Scheel along for third. Jason Erickson got by Gaserude for fourth while Smith continued to lead. The first of two cautions slowed the action on lap 15 when Rece made contact with a lapped machine. Rece was forced to restart from the rear after his involvement in the yellow flag, moving Stephen Scheel up to second. Meanwhile, Shaun Scheel and his closest rival in the standings, Riley Stenjem, were making their way through the pack. The second caution period came on lap 19 with Smith still out front and Stephen Scheel in his rear view mirror. Once racing resumed, the leaders ran nose to tail for several laps while Shaun Scheel and Stenjem continued to make their way toward the top five. On lap 31, Stephen Scheel began to apply heavy pressure to Smith at the front while Erickson and Michael Grueneberg watched closely from third and fourth. Stephen Scheel drew even with Smith on lap 35, allowing Erickson to close in closely behind them. Grueneberg joined Erickson behind the battle for the lead as they began to fight for third. Smith moved back out front alone on lap 41, but not for long as Shaun Scheel continued to apply heavy pressure on the leader. The top four jockeyed for positions throughout the final 20 lap of the race. Each time, Smith would keep Shaun Scheel at bay while Erickson and Grueneberg searched for an opening to take advantage of. With five laps to go, the top four raced under a blanket with none of them ready to give an inch. On lap 58, Smith got out front alone once again with Grueneberg firing up alongside Shaun Scheel for second. Smith held the advantage to the stripe to claim the win with Grueneberg overtaking Scheel for second. Erickson was fourth with Dale Nottestad rounding out the top five. With his sixth place feature finish, Shaun Scheel sealed the deal as the 2019 Late Model track champion by a 28-point margin over Stenjem.
Fort Atkinson’s Mark Deporter entered the 35 lap Sportsman feature event holding a 44-point margin in the standings over Bobby Selsing Jr. But it was Robert Hansberry Jr. of Beloit running down the feature win in the closing laps of the race.
Deporter claimed his third career Sportsman championship at Jefferson Speedway.
Marshall driver Kyle Stark dominated the 25 lap International feature to get the win.
Edgerton’s Mark English had already sewn up the championship, his sixth title in the International division.
Waunakee’s Brandon Riedner put a bow on his Hobby Stock championship as he laid claim to the 30 lap feature event on the evening.
Riedner cruised to the checkers from there to secure the win and his first Hobby Stock track championship. Jim Tate Jr. raced up to finish second followed by Chester Williams, Kolton Guralski and Scott Riedner.
Janesville’s Mark Dewey claimed the 20 lap Road Warrior feature while Jordan Lamb tried to hang on to a nine-point lead in the standings entering the race.
But with his second-place finish, Fort Atkinson’s Lamb secured the Road Warrior title, his first such championship.
With the Bandit championship already in his grasp, Milton’s Bryan Gottschalk also captured the 20 lap feature event on the evening.
WISCONSIN STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
This Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14 is the 39th annual Wisconsin State Championships. Two days of intense racing action get started on Friday with time trials at 5 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. Racing on Saturday begins at 6 p.m. Jefferson Speedway is located halfway between Jefferson and Cambridge on Highway 18.