WHAT TO KNOW ON CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT AT DELLS RACEWAY PARK
A dramatic point battle in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series will highlight the night this Saturday, Sept. 8 at Dells Raceway Park. Four drivers have a mathematical shot at taking home the first ever TUNDRA title.
In the Driver's Seat: Dalton Zehr. The only repeat winner this season in Super Late Model action at Dells Raceway Park set himself in prime position to capture his first career title with stellar runs in TUNDRA Rounds Three and Four.
In TUNDRA Round Three Zehr turned back Rich Bickle in heavy lapped traffic. The win turned out to be key as it placed Zehr behind the invert in TUNDRA Round Four. Zehr gained maximum passing points by surviving a tumultuous 80-lap feature and grabbing the win. In Round Five Zehr will be in the same position provided he qualifies for the main.
A run to the top of the standings should be no surprise as the 21 year old from Daytona Beach, Fla. won two of four Alive For Five Super Late Model Series features last season. His absence in AFF Round One cost him a chance to contend for the title.
Fun Fact: Zehr has won the dash in three of his four feature wins over the past two seasons. In the other, he set fast time.
Round One: No Qualifying, Sixth in Feature
Round Two: Sixth in Qualifying, Fourth in Feature
Round Three: Fifth in Qualifying, Dash Win, Feature Win
Round Four: Third in Qualifying, Dash Win, Feature Win
On the Hunt: Dennis Prunty. After a self-proclaimed disappointing season in 2011 when he celebrated his 20th year behind the wheel, Dennis Prunty has enjoyed a huge resurgence in 2012. Prunty sits just three points behind Dalton Zehr for the title.
Prunty set fast time for TUNDRA Round Four and seemed in prime position to contend for the win and perhaps take the championship lead until a tangle with Rich Bickle. Racing in close quarters the two got together in front of the entire field. They were able to continue and Prunty raced his way back to fourth behind Bickle.
To claim the title Prunty will need to enjoy another strong qualifying effort and start deep in the field. He will need to hope for a little luck to keep Zehr behind and hope that he does not accumulate extra passing points to keep the gap in the standings open.
Fun Fact: Prunty is in a rare spot. Trailing Zehr by three, he is also tied for the point lead at Slinger Speedway. Slinger hosts its final regular season race Sunday afternoon with double points on the line. Prunty has stated he has backup cars available, just in case.
Round One: No Qualifying, Second in Feature
Round Two: Seventh in Qualifying, Feature Win
Round Three: 13th in Qualifying, Sixth in Feature
Round Four: Fast Time, Fifth in the Dash, Fourth in Feature
Poised to Strike: Rich Bickle. Of all the drivers in TUNDRA Super Late Model action, only the cagey veteran Bickle has finished on the podium in all four attempts. Bickle started off the 2012 season by winning his 14th straight race at DRP by holding off Prunty in the 80-lap main.
Having a veteran presence with a strong racing résumé has, admittedly for some drivers, forced them to step up their game in 2012. In TUNDRA Round Three Bickle proved his veteran prowess by fading early in the race to conserve his equipment, then made a late-race run to challenge Zehr.
To claim the title, like Prunty, Bickle will need some help from lady luck. A strong qualifying effort will aid Bickle in gaining passing points, but he must chew up an eight-point margin to catch up to Zehr. Should Zehr gain points by qualifying in the top six, it would make the feature points that much more critical.
Fun Fact: Although Bickle has etched his name into the DRP record books on many occasions, should he claim the title, it would be his first at the facility.
Round One: No Qualifying, Feature Win
Round Two: Fifth in Qualifying, Second in Dash, Third in Feature
Round Three: Ninth in Qualifying, Second in Feature
Round Four: Seventh in Qualifying, Third in Feature
Needs Some Help: Frank Kreyer. The 2011 Champion of the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series (TUNDRA's predecessor) at DRP is still mathematically in the hunt for the title should all four contenders qualify for the 80-lap feature. Fielding up to five cars per race, Kreyer has concentrated more on his race team's efforts than his own.
However, with several strong runs through the field, Kreyer has kept himself in contention on the strength of passing points. Kreyer's best qualifying effort came in Round Four where he qualified fifth. The night was rough for Kreyer as he was battling illness and Dennis Prunty in the dash.
To win the Championship Kreyer will have to hope for a lot of help from lady luck. At 16 points back Kreyer will need a strong run and may need early exits from the other three contenders.
Fun Fact: Kreyer claimed the title because of a win and four second place finishes last season. His passing points padded his lead. This season Kreyer has claimed 18 passing points to keep him in contention.
Round One: No Qualifying, Fourth in Feature
Round Two: 13th in Qualifying, Fifth in Feature
Round Three: 17th in Qualifying, Seventh in Feature
Round Four: Fifth in Qualifying, Fourth in Dash, Ninth in Feature
What to Watch Outside the Top Four: Bobby Kendall and Corey Jankowski are tied for 5th just nine points behind Kreyer for fourth. Kenny Reiser sits just six points behind them. In the final battle for a top ten spot, eight through 12th is separated by only 13 points.
TUNDRA Round Five Expected Entries (as of 8/6)
2 - Ken Reiser, Waukan, Iowa
2 - Michael Bilderback, South Beloit, Ill.
7 - Kelsey Bauer, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
7 - Mark Kissinger, West Bend, Wis.
8 - Josh Wallace, Lake Geneva, Wis.
9 - Tim Lampman, Oak Creek, Wis.
11 - Bobby Kendall, Montello, Wis.
12 - Terry Schoppenhorst, Berlin, Wis.
17 - Mark Simonsen, Crystal Lake, Ill.
17 - Scott Hoffman, Menominee, Mich.
17 - Dale Prunty, Allenton, Wis.
18 - Robert Maynor, Colgate, Wis.
18 - Frank Nitzke, Berlin, Wis.
21 - Jesse Pokszyk, Friendship, Wis.
24 - Jim Olson, Harvard, Ill.
31 - Corey Jankowski, Tomah, Wis.
32 - Steve Lichtfeld, Portage, Wis.
42 - Dennis Prunty, Knowles, Wis.
44 - John Zimmerman, Markesan, Wis.
45 - Rich Bickle, Edgerton, Wis.
47 - Pete Carlson, La Crosse, Wis.
52 - Kyle Brinkman, Elkhorn, Wis.
57 - Landry Potter, Lake Geneva, Wis.
61 - Steve Rubeck, Cherry Valley, Ill.
75 - Tom Lichtfeld, Portage, Wis.
77 - Amanda Ferguson, Montverde, Fla.
89 - Mike Egan, Slinger, Wis.
89 - Ross Zumbach, Racine, Minn.
97 - James Swan, Genoa City, Wis.
99 - Frank Kreyer, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
119 - Dalton Zehr, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Special ticket pricing applies this Saturday: $15 for adults (16 and up), $13 for seniors (62 and up), $10 for youth age 10-15, $5 for kids age 6-9 and kids 5 and under receive free admission. Qualifying is scheduled for 5:15 with racing beginning at 7 p.m.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road, five minutes north of downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., off highway 12-16. For more information including the latest news, the 2012 schedule and more visit www.dellsracewaypark.com.