WAUSAU, Wis. (June 22) – After being seemingly haunted by the number two for more than a year, Jason Weinkauf has found a two that fits him much better at State Park Speedway.
The Merrill native now is a two-time feature winner this year in the Auto Select Super Late Models, after winning his second straight main event at the Rib Mountain quarter mile. Weinkauf overtook Gleason’s Justin Mondeik on a late restart and won the 60-lap race to become the first two-time feature winner in the class this year.
Weinkauf took advantage of opportunity and a little bit of good fortune for the second straight week. He was trailing the leader Mondeik by just over a car length with less than 10 laps left when caution came out on lap 52 due to a piece of debris in the middle of the track coming out of turn 4.
The yellow gave Weinkauf a chance to restart outside Mondeik with nine laps left, and the veteran made good use of a racy outside groove on this evening. The two raced side-by-side for 2 1/2 laps with Weinkauf holding a slim lead coming to the start-finish line on laps 52 and 53, and he cleared Mondeik for good on lap 54.
Weinkauf would be in the clear from there, with Mondeik having to deal with Wausau’s Brock Heinrich in the final laps. Mondeik would hold off Heinrich for second, with M.G. Gajewski of Wausau coming in fourth and Travis Volm of Wausau holding off John Beale of Verona for fifth.
A hot summer night for the first time in four nights of racing this season at the track brought another hotly contested super late model feature, with six lead changes and five different drivers holding the top spot at one point.
Gajewski took off from the outside pole early before Jevin Guralski, Mondeik and Heinrich settled in single-file behind him after 10 laps. Heinrich appeared to have the strongest machine after going to the outside to pick off first Mondeik, next Guralski and then Gajewski in a five-lap span to take the lead by lap 15.
Heinrich pulled away to a big lead while Mondeik moved into second on lap 21, and fast qualifier Beale also moved into third before a competition caution halfway through. Mondeik chose to start behind Heinrich on the restart, allowing Beale a chance to take on Heinrich for the lead.
Heinrich would initially clear for the lead on the restart, but Beale came back and got inside for the lead on lap 34. Heinrich would then make contact with Beale entering turn 3, causing the leader to spin and sending both to the back of the field.
That gave the lead back to Mondeik for a lap 35 restart with Gajewski lining up to the outside, and the two waged a furious side-by-side battle for seven laps, with Gajewski even inching ahead on laps 37 and 38 before Mondeik came back and finally cleared for the lead on lap 41. Weinkauf would take advantage of the opening and also get inside Gajewski, but also would receive a battle before finally taking over second on lap 45.
Volm and Beale also raced side-by-side for fourth behind the top three, and Heinrich also was making his way through the field, up to sixth behind those two and getting back by Beale before the final yellow came out with nine laps left.
Auto Select Super Late Models pres. by C-Tech
Fast Qualifier: John Beale, Verona, 13.604 sec.
First Heat: 1. Mark Mackesy, Wausau; 2. M.G. Gajewski, Wausau; 3. Jerry Brickner, Wausau; 4. Travis Volm, Wausau; 5. James Swanson, Pembine; 6. Rayce Haase, Wausau
Second Heat: 1. Brock Heinrich, Wausau; 2. Jevin Guralski, Wausau; 3. Justin Mondeik, Gleason; 4. Jason Weinkauf, Merrill; 5. Beale; 6. Ty Fredrickson, Webster, Minn.
Feature: 1. J. Weinkauf; 2. Mondeik; 3. Heinrich; 4. Gajewski; 5. Volm; 6. Beale; 7. Guralski; 8. Fredrickson; 9. Mackesy; 10. Brickner; 11. Swanson; 12. Haase
-State Park Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: State Park Speedway/QCWilly