Late Model: Oregon MIS race notes

OREGON, Wis. (September 11, 2004) - It was "Tribute to America Night" at Madison International Speedway as the ASA Late Model Series came to town to take on "Wisconsin's Fastest Half-Mile" track. In a caution-filled event that came down to a ...

OREGON, Wis. (September 11, 2004) - It was "Tribute to America Night" at Madison International Speedway as the ASA Late Model Series came to town to take on "Wisconsin's Fastest Half-Mile" track. In a caution-filled event that came down to a thrilling finish, Todd Kluever of Sun Prairie, Wis., was able to hold off Dan Lensing of Rockford, Ill., to win the Trackside Charities 100.

It was an all-Wisconsin front row that paced the field to the green flag in the ASA Late Model Trackside Charities 100 with Kluever and Travis Dassow of West Bend leading the way. A multi-car incident on the backstretch on the first lap brought out the red flag and sent Troy Hintzsche of Malta, Ill., and Shawn Whitney of Saginaw, Mich., to the pits and finished early in the night.

After a complete restart it was Dassow grabbing the early advantage over Kluever, followed by Doug Mahlik of Green Bay, Wis., and Bobby Stremme of South Bend, Ind. Two laps later Bobby Wilberg of Orfordville, Wis., was the car on the move as he took over the fifth position. On lap six, Kluever pulled to the inside of Dassow and made the pass for the lead. The caution flag waved again on lap seven for debris on the backstretch.

On the restart Kluever was able to increase his advantage over Dassow to three car lengths until the caution flag came out for a spin on lap 13. On this restart, Wilberg got by Stremme for fourth and one lap later picked off Mahlik for third. On lap 17 fast qualifier Dan Lensing passed Mahlik for fifth with the caution coming out one lap later for a backstretch spin.

Madison, Wisconsin's, Chad Wood moved into the sixth position on lap 19 when he passed Mahlik on the backstretch. The race stayed green for one more lap when the fifth caution of the evening came out on lap 20 for a spin in Turn 1.

Kluever extended his advantage over the field to seven car lengths while Wilberg and Dassow battled for second. On lap 24 the caution flag came out once again for a spin deep in the field.

On lap 25 a major incident occurred on the front stretch which caused the No. 00 car of Waterloo, Iowa's Brad Osborn to roll over and slide down the front stretch on its roof and hit the wall in Turn 1 and catch fire. Osborn was able to safely get out of his car, but he was transported to a local hospital for observation. The race was red flagged a second time for the clean-up efforts.

Once again, Kluever continued to distance himself from the field after the restart. On lap 29 Wilberg overtook Dassow for second with Stremme able to do the same one lap later. Andrew Morrisey of DeForest, Wis., moved up to battle Wood for the sixth position and eventually passed him on lap 36. Meanwhile Kluever continued to build his lead to ten car lengths. On lap 39 Lensing was able to pass Stremme for third and started to hunt down Wilberg. On lap 43 Lensing was able to get by Wilberg on the inside and move to second.

The race remained caution free until lap 58 when Dan True of Dowagiac, Mich., made contact with the Turn 3 wall and rolled over, bringing out the third red flag of the night. True was uninjured, but the caution took away the sizeable lead Kluever had built up over Lensing and the rest of the field.

Kluever continued to lead after the green flag waved again, but Lensing was not about to let him get away. Lensing kept right on Kluever's bumper until another caution came out on lap 63 for a car that had slowed. Another restart was quickly followed by another caution one lap later for debris on the track. The field was not even able to get back to the green on the next restart when several cars collected in Turn 4.

On lap 66 Lensing started to look to the inside to get by Kluever, but the Sun Prairie driver was able to hold him off. Morrisey was able to break into the top five on lap 68 when he passed Dassow.

Meanwhile Stremme was able to pass Wilberg for third on lap 78 while Kluever gradually increased his lead over Lensing. By lap 83 Kluever had increased his advantage over Lensing to three car lengths.

However, Lensing was not about to be denied as he pulled right up on Kluever's bumper on lap 88. Using lapped traffic to his advantage, Kluever was able to increase his lead ever so slightly until lap 96 when Lensing once again challenged for the top spot.

With one lap to go Lensing pulled to the inside with Kluever holding a slight advantage when the white flag flew and was able to hold off Lensing by .02-seconds and come home winner of the Trackside Charities 100. Finishing third was ASA Late Model Series point leader Bobby Stremme, with Wilberg and Morrisey rounding out the Top-5. Completing the Top-10 were Wood, Jason Setser of Columbus, Ind., Scott Baker of Tallmadge, Ohio, Travis Sauter of Necedah, Wis., and Tony Rosebrugh of West Branch, Mich.

Two eight lap qualifying races were held for the ASA Late Models with Tony Rosebrugh of West Branch, Mich., and Bob Varney of Richmond, Mich., picking up victories. Fast qualifier was Rockford, Ill., driver Dan Lensing with a lap of 18.362 (98.03 mph). Thirty-nine cars attempted to qualify for the 32 car Trackside Charities 100 field.

The Rockweiler Insulation Midwest Truck Series was also in action with a 30-lap feature event. Gary Cerny captured the event with a .18-second margin of victory over Fred Oswald. Todd Schmitz finished third.

Besides exciting racing action the fans were also treated to live music, skydivers, and a spectacular fireworks show all in honor of our military personnel, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and police officers. The evening was dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.

The next event for the ASA Late Model Series is the season-finale where the inaugural champion will be crowned at Rockford (Ill.) Speedway on the weekend of September 25 and 26. Tickets are available by calling the track at (815) 633-0735.

The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.

- www.asaracing.com -

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Series Stock car
Drivers Todd Kluever