Kaukauna II: Race preview

Steve Carlson Brings Winning NASCAR Autozone Elite Division, Midwest Series Form to Wisconsin International Raceway Veteran has won 5 of the last 6 at tricky oval DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2004) 0x2022 Wisconsin International Raceway has...

Steve Carlson Brings Winning NASCAR Autozone Elite Division, Midwest Series Form to Wisconsin International Raceway

Veteran has won 5 of the last 6 at tricky oval

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2004) 0x2022 Wisconsin International Raceway has long been known as one of the toughest tracks in the Midwest. The unique D-shaped oval has gotten the better of its fair share of racers. But NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series driver Steve Carlson (XP Performance Lubricants Chevrolet) has very quietly begun to dominate at the Kaukauna, Wisconsin track, winning five of the last six series races held there.

"It wasn't always like that," says Carlson. "I raced there, of and on, for years before it just clicked."

The NASCAR Midwest Series returns to Wisconsin International Raceway, Tuesday night, August 3 for the annual running of the Oneida Bingo & Casino 300. Qualifying is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. (CT) with the 300-lap main event slated to take the green flag at 8:00 p.m.

The historic event dates back over 20 years, traditionally being contested on the first Tuesday night in August. Equally as traditional is the fact that the event carries with it one of the richest purses of the season.

"The event has always paid well," said Carlson. "That has given me extra incentive to figure Kaukauna out and find a way to get to victory lane."

As an added feature, Tuesday night, 1988 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Bill Elliott will be on hand. He'll compete in a special grudge race against fellow NASCAR Nextel Cup star Sterling Marlin. Wisconsin International Raceway is located on county road KK, 1 mile east of Highway 55. For further information, contact the track at (920) 766-5577 or 5575.


* 2004 marks the 30th year of racing for the Midwest Series and seventh under the NASCAR banner. The series was most recently known as the International Truck and Engine Corporation, Midwest Series and previously the RE/MAX Challenge Series. Prior to that it was known throughout the Midwest as the ARTGO Challenge Series.

* The Midwest Series has contested 65 feature races at Wisconsin Int'l Raceway. Dick Trickle leads all WIR series race winners with 12.

* The most recent Midwest Series event was held July 31 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, in Fountain, Colorado. Eddie Hoffman (Lisa Thomas Salon Chevrolet) led 134 of the 150 laps that made up the race. Hoffman held off a fast closing Auggie Vidovich (Ransom Bros. Lumber), of Lakeside, California. Justin Diercks (Iowa-Illinois-Taylor Insulation Chevrolet), Steve Carlson and Kevin Clark (Kenwood Car Audio Chevrolet) rounded out the top five. Joey Miller (Country Joe Homes Chevrolet) was the Bud Pole fast qualifier.

* In this event last year, Steve Carlson took the lead with 21 laps remaining in the 300-lap affair when leader Eddie Hoffman ran out of fuel. Nathan Haseleu (Victor Ford Ford) chased Carlson to the checkers. Tim Schendel (Mathews Archery Chevrolet), Brian Hoppe (Gildan Activewear Chevrolet) and Ron Breese, Jr rounded out the top five. Carlson was also the Bud Pole fast qualifier.

* Erik Darnell (AMI Trailer Leasing Chevrolet) (7th), Bryan Roach (Big D's Take and Bake Pizza Chevrolet) (8th), A.J. Rhoads (U.S. Marines Chevrolet) (9th), and Dave Finney (Rockford ReTool Chevrolet) (10th) are all poised to score their best career Midwest Series point finishes. A top-10 placing in the points would earn them an invitation to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, November 11-13 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.

* Justin Diercks has been a regular on the Midwest Series since April 4, 1998 (the day he turned 18 years of age). He has seven series wins to his credit, but five have come this season. He currently leads the championship standings by 35 points over Steve Carlson.

* Hoosier Tire returns as the tire of choice for the Midwest Series in 2004. The Indiana based company will provide over $4300 worth of their rubber at every series event. Other contingency sponsors include AutoZone, Anheuser-Busch, Auto Meter Gauges, Competition Cams, CV Products, Edelbrock, Featherlite, Five Star, G-Force, Holley, JE Pistons, Mac Tools, Mechanix Wear, Mobil 1 Oil, Moroso, POWERade, Quarter Master, Raybestos Brakes, and Timken.


* August 7, 1984 -- 25-year-old Batesville, Arkansas driver Mark Martin started ninth in the 25 car field and moved into the lead on lap 47 in fourth annual running of the race then known as the Dixieland Challenge, at Wisconsin International Raceway. Martin, driving a Ford Thunderbird, held off Jim Sauter at the stripe. Dick Trickle, Alan Kulwicki and Dave Watson rounded out the top five. The win was Martin's 13th career series win.

Fast Facts

What: Oneida Bingo & Casino 300 (NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series, Race 9 of 13).

Where: Wisconsin International Raceway.

When: 8:00 p.m. CT, Tuesday, August 3.

Track layout: .5-mile D-shaped, paved oval.

Race length: 300 laps, 150 miles.

Schedule: , 8:00 am (CT), Garage opens; 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Practice; 5:00 pm, Qualifying; 7:00 pm, 20-lap last chance qualifier; 8:00 pm, Oneida Bingo & Casino 300.

Current championship standings: 1) Justin Diercks 1385; 2) Steve Carlson 1350; 3) Tim Schendel 1249; 4) Brian Hoppe 1229; 5) Eddie Hoffman 1185; 6) Ryan Hanson 1032; 7) Erik Darnell 1023; 8) Bryan Roach 1003; 9) A.J. Rhoads 1001; 10) Dave Finney 969.


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Drivers Dick Trickle , Sterling Marlin , Jim Sauter , Auggie Vidovich , Tim Schendel , Joey Miller , Erik Darnell , Justin Diercks , Kevin Clark , Steve Carlson , Mark Martin , Alan Kulwicki