OREGON, Wis. (May 26, 2000) Defending RE/MAX Challenge Series, NASCAR Touring champion Brian Hoppe returns to the scene of his first touring series win Friday night, when the tour moves to Madison International Speedway for the $42,850 Miller...
OREGON, Wis. (May 26, 2000) Defending RE/MAX Challenge Series, NASCAR Touring champion Brian Hoppe returns to the scene of his first touring series win Friday night, when the tour moves to Madison International Speedway for the $42,850 Miller Lite 200.
On Memorial Day Monday, an impressive list of visiting drivers are slated to take on the RE/MAX Challenge Series regulars as the series heads to Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna for the $53,850 Game Day 200. A 30-car field will take the green flag at 3 p.m. ET in the 200-lap event on the D-shaped half-mile oval.
"At that time that win was the biggest of my career," said Hoppe of his breakthrough win, which took place in the spring 1998 RE/MAX Challenge Series event. Since then Hoppe has totaled five more series wins -- including the most recent event on May 7 at Gateway International Raceway -- and the regional touring series title in 1999.
Twenty-eight drivers will take the green flag at 10 p.m. ET in the 200-lap event on the high-banked half-mile oval. The Miller Lite 200 will feature live pit stops and will mark the first race for the track's newly installed front stretch pit lane.
The RE/MAX Challenge Series visited the Madison International Speedway twice in 1999, and while Hoppe was a factor, current series point leader Steve Carlson took both wins. Hoppe trails Carlson by 15 points in the standings.
"We felt like we had a real good car at both events last year, but just had a couple tough breaks," said Hoppe, who holds the series one-lap qualifying record at Madison International Speedway of 17.565 seconds, an average speed of 102.477 mph, which he set in 1998. Bud Pole Qualifying is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by a 20-lap qualifying race.
Hoppe has a formidable task to overcome to win at Madison. Six drivers that are currently in the top-20 of the RE/MAX Challenge Series championship point standings at one time in their careers called Madison their home track.
The RE/MAX Challenge Series has a storied history at Madison International Speedway. Over the years, the series has contested 53 feature events at the track. The late Joe Shear won the first series event at Madison on May 30, 1977. The series returns to Madison on July 11.
On Monday, the Kaukauna event will mark the RE/MAX Challenge Series return of Jason Schuler. It will be Schuler's first race back in the Midwest since signing with Reiser Enterprises last fall to compete on the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. Wisconsin International Raceway was the site of Schuler's first RE/MAX Challenge Series win on May 26, 1997.
Also scheduled to compete in the Game Day 200 is defending race winner and 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year runner-up Scott Hansen. Hansen entered just three RE/MAX Challenge Series races in 1999, but managed two wins, both coming at Wisconsin International Raceway. He has also already won twice this season in the Slim Jim All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring.
Scott Wimmer is entered in the Game Day 200, marking his return to the RE/MAX Challenge Series. The 24-year-old Wimmer -- who has won this season in the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series -- has competed in just a handful of series events in his young career, including a top-10 run in this year's opening event.
Bud Pole Qualifying for the Game Day 200 is set for noon ET on Monday, followed by a 20-lap qualifying race. Butch Miller set the series one-lap qualifying record at WIR on Aug. 4, 1987 at 19.238 seconds, an average speed of 93.565 mph.
The RE/MAX Challenge Series' recent history at Kaukauna is scintillating. In the last 4 RE/MAX Challenge events held at WIR the average margin of victory has been .88 seconds.
Dick Trickle won the first RE/MAX Challenge Series event at WIR, on June 24, 1979. Since then the series has visited WIR at least once a year for a total of 57 feature events. The series returns to WIR on Aug. 8. -nascar.com-