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Justin Mondeik’s Roll Continues With TUNDRA Agra 75 Win

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Justin Mondeik

Justin Mondeik’s Roll Continues With TUNDRA Agra 75 Win

WAUSAU, Wis. (Aug. 8) – When you’re hot, you’re hot, and this summer Justin Mondeik is as hot as it gets.

After several years of success but also some near misses and paying dues, just about everything is coming up aces for the Gleason driver this year, especially at his home track. Mondeik added another big win at State Park Speedway to an impressive resume in 2020, winning the TUNDRA Agra Industries 75 on a rain-slowed but eventually completed night at the track.

Mondeik scored his first win in the traveling super late model series at SPS and his fifth feature win of the year at the track. It also was the 12th feature win this summer in 24 races for Mondeik, who has dominated big races at State Park. He also won the Flip Merwin Memorial and Larry Detjens Memorial, the latter marking his first win on the ARCA Midwest Tour just two weeks earlier.

Mondeik holds the points lead at State Park and Golden Sands Speedway, and his latest victory also puts him in the thick of contention for a possible first-ever TUNDRA championship. He also delivered the victory on a night when one of his chief sponsors throughout his racing career stepped up to sponsor the event and added a $550 bonus to the winner.

“It was really cool to finally get a Larry Detjens Memorial win here (and) we’re excited that TUNDRA came, we thought we would have a good car,” said Mondeik after the race in Brickner Family Auto Group Victory Lane. “We’re definitely gunning for this TUNDRA championship, we were so close the last two years, and we’re coming for it.

“To win in front of our home crowd, especially since one of my primary sponsors stepped up and sponsored the event tonight, can’t thank them enough for all the support they gave me for seven years now. They’re the reason we are where we are today.”

There’s no denying Mondeik has had a dominant car at State Park this year, including Saturday night when he set the fastest time among 28 TUNDRA super lates on hand. This time, a little bit of good fortune didn’t hurt, either.

The 75-lap feature went green save for one caution flag on lap 46, when Wyatt Brooks spun on the front stretch coming out of turn four. Jordan Thiel of Darboy was in control up until that point, taking the lead from the inside pole and holding the point the first 45 laps.

Mondeik was running fourth at the time, having spent the previous 10 laps trying to get around Verona’s John Beale. He was just setting up his third attempt on the outside of Beale when the caution came out.

The barrel was brought onto the track giving drivers their choice of restarting on the inside or outside lane, and Thiel chose the inside of the front row as expected. Both Mackesy and Beale also chose to start on the inside lane, though, the seas parting and allowing Mondeik to zoom up to the outside of the front row for the restart. When the green flag was thrown, it took him less than a lap to clear Thiel, and from there he cruised, never threatened again as he won by six car lengths over runner-up Thiel.

“Yeah, that was definitely a gift for us, we were hoping for that,” said Mondeik after the race. “We thought maybe Beale would go to the outside. I wasn’t sure if he would be able to get it done on the top, so we were contemplating starting fifth, which would put Casey (Johnson) to our outside. So it definitely worked out for us.”

The yellow flag was definitely not what Thiel wanted in pursuit of his first-ever TUNDRA win. It was déjà vu to a degree for the driver from the Kaukauna area, who also led the series’ 2018 race at SPS for the first 32 laps from the pole.

“Not one bit,” said Thiel after the race when asked by TUNDRA series announcer Matt Panure if he wanted to see Mondeik’s No. 44 on the outside on the restart. “I was worried about him the whole time, and as soon as I saw him pull up there, I knew it was trouble.

“I definitely could’ve done without that first caution, but happy to finish podium. To bring it home in one piece and top three and with this crowd, can’t complain.”

Thiel led the way through the first 45 laps with two-time SPS regular and Wausau favorite Mark Mackesy running behind him. He worked his way through lapped traffic smoothly starting on lap 23, and after Mackesy briefly closed to his bumper in traffic he pulled back out to a five car length lead before the caution.

Defending TUNDRA champion Casey Johnson of Edgerton passed Mackesy with six laps left on his way to finishing third, following up his win in the TUNDRA race at State Park last year and finishing in the top three of the track’s TUNDRA date for the third straight year. Mackesy finished fourth with Wausau’s Brock Heinrich coming in fifth.

Beale outlasted Gabe Sommers for sixth, with James Swan, Jake Zellmer and Michael Ostdiek rounding out the top 10. Sixteen of the 22 cars starting the feature finished on the lead lap and all 22 cars were running at the finish.

The show was hustled through but eventually delayed when looming rain showers arrived at the track just before the completion of the Wisconsin Sport Trucks feature. Racing was delayed for nearly two hours, but the track was eventually dried just before 10 pm and the mini stock, pure stock and TUNDRA features were completed.

TUNDRA Super Late Models

Fast Qualifier: Justin Mondeik, Gleason, 13.735 sec.

Fast Dash: 1. Brock Heinrich, Wausau; 2. Gabe Sommers, Plover; 3. Mondeik; 4. Travis Volm, Mosinee; 5. Jake Zellmer, Burlington

First Qualifying Race: 1. Michael Ostdiek, Lakeville, Minn.; 2. Riley Stenjem, Stoughton; 3. Jeremy Lepak, Wausau; 4. Parker Retzlaff, Rhinelander; 5. Nick Egan, Slinger; 6. Dennis Schmidt, Juneau; 7. Kolton Guralski, Wausau

Second Qualifying Race: 1. Darek Gress, Neillsville; 2. Kody Hubred, Utica; 3. Colin Reffner, Wisconsin Rapids; 4. Adam Oxborough, New Prague, Minn.; 5. Steve Lichtfeld, Portage; 6. Dillon Mackesy, Athens; 7. Brett Breitenfeldt, Wausau

Last Chance Race: 1. Stenjem; 2. Hubred; 3. Lepak; 4. Retzlaff; 5. Reffner; 6. Egan; 7. Oxborough; 8. Guralski; 9. S. Lichtfeld; 10. B. Breitenfeldt

Feature: 1. Mondeik; 2. Jordan Thiel, Darboy; 3. Casey Johnson, Edgerton; 4. Mark Mackesy, Wausau; 5. Heinrich; 6. John Beale, Verona; 7. Sommers; 8. James Swan, Genoa City; 9. Zellmer; 10. Ostdiek; 11. Mike Lichtfeld, Pardeeville; 12. Stenjem; 13. T. Volm; 14. Wyatt Brooks, Amherst; 15. Gress; 16. Hubred; 17. Nick Roehl, Fond du Lac; 18. D. Mackesy; 19. Retzlaff; 20. Lepak; 21. Josh Wallace, Pell Lake; 22. Schmidt

Breitenfeldt, Vander Loop add features as part of TUNDRA show

Rain slowed but couldn’t stop the racing at State Park Speedway Thursday night, and that included support divisions for the TUNDRA super late model special.

The speedway’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks and Advance Auto Parts Pure Stocks joined late models as part of the night’s program, though it was designated as a non-points night for both classes. The Wisconsin Sport Trucks also visited the track for the second straight year and the second time ever.

The trucks were near completing their 20-lap feature when rains led to the stop of the feature with three laps remaining. The yellow and checkered flags came out at the same time and Cody Vander Loop of Freedom finished as winner in the rain-shortened event.

Taking the high line around the track preferred by the trucks, Vander Loop won at State Park for the second time in two trips, as he also won feature in the series’ first-ever visit last year. He led all 20 laps of the feature, taking the lead from J.J. Vander Loop out of the fourth turn on the first lap and quickly checking out from the rest of the field.

Cody Vander Loop needed just five laps to build a full straightaway lead on his nearest competition. He led a Vander Loop sweep of the top four spots, with fast qualifier Kasey second, J.J. third and Jerry fourth. Cody Vander Loop and Andrew Ross also added heat wins in the sport trucks.

Eric Breitenfeldt has continued to improve in his first full season racing weekly at State Park Speedway and elsewhere, to the point where he is regularly as fast as anyone in the mini stocks wherever he goes.

The Wausau driver won his second feature of the season at the track, taking the win on a non-points night for the mini stocks. He also won for the second straight night after taking the feature at Norway Speedway in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the night before.

Breitenfeldt made the outside work to pass Kole Ferge for the lead on lap 13, getting by the two-time defending mini stocks champion who returned to the class for one night driving Tyler Custer’s car. Breitenfeldt held off Ferge in the closing laps and would pull away late.

Ferge came in second with fast qualifier Tom Lecher third. Chris Boykins and Garret Strachota rounded out the top five, with Boykins coming in fourth after leading the first four laps.

The pure stocks also had two cars come out, and Alex Volm of Mosinee and Wausau’s Jeff Spatz raced in a series of five-lap sprints against each other. Volm won three of them, including the deciding fifth race where he drew the preferred inside line and held off Spatz to cap an entertaining set of one-on-one races.

Racing at State Park Speedway returns to its regular Thursday night for the final three races of the season at the track. The next race will be Corn Night at the track, with all-you-can-eat-and-drink corn and beer for $12 on top of regular admission prices. Auto Select Super Late Models pres. by C-Tech, pure stocks, Snap-on Mini Mods and mini stocks all will be on hand, with Fred Mueller Qualifying at 6 p.m. and racing to follow at 7 p.m.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mini Stocks
Fast Qualifier:
 Tom Lecher, Wausau, 16.571 sec.

First Heat: 1. David Westrich; 2. Makayla Last, Wausau; 3. Kendra Baumann, Wausau; 4. Max Manowski, Wausau; 5. Hunter Landwehr, Marshfield

Second Heat: 1. Garret Strachota, Wausau; 2. Chris Boykins, Wausau; 3. Lecher; 4. Kole Ferge, Edgar; 5. Eric Breitenfeldt, Wausau

Feature: 1. E. Breitenfeldt; 2. Ferge; 3. Lecher; 4. Boykins; 5. Strachota; 6. Westrich; 7. Baumann; 8. Last; 9. Manowski; 10. Landwehr

Wisconsin Sport Trucks
Fast Qualifier:
 Kasey Vander Loop, Freedom, 15.614 sec.

First Heat: 1. Andrew Ross, Appleton, 2. Jamison MacDonald, Suamico; 3. Beth Craig, Menasha; 4. Ted Ulman, Greenville; 5. Pete Zarnoth, Brillion

Second Heat: 1. Cody Vander Loop, Freedom; 2. K. Vander Loop; 3. J.J. Vander Loop, Freedom; 4. Jerry Vander Loop, Freedom

Feature: 1. C. Vander Loop; 2. K. Vander Loop; 3. J.J. Vander Loop; 4. Jerry Vander Loop; 5. Ross; 6. MacDonald; 7. Craig; 8. Ulman; 9. Zarnoth

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