MWT: Jefferson preview

Jefferson's Rich History Ideal to ASA Midwest Tour Organizers Every Saturday night, from April through September, the serene Southern Wisconsin countryside thunders with the racing action at Jefferson Speedway. Nestled in the rolling farm...

Jefferson's Rich History Ideal to ASA Midwest Tour Organizers

Every Saturday night, from April through September, the serene Southern Wisconsin countryside thunders with the racing action at Jefferson Speedway. Nestled in the rolling farm land of Jefferson County, Wisconsin's Action Track boasts a long history of close, fast-paced racing action.

The track has been the home of Saturday night racers and fans since starting life as a quarter mile dirt track in 1952 with little but cornfields for boundaries. Over the years, there have been many improvements. The track was paved as a small quarter mile with 6 degree banking at both ends in 1964. The walls have progressed from cornfields, to guardrails to back-filled reinforced concrete by 1981. The tall yellow scoring tower was erected in 1983 and served through the 1989 season.

In 1990, turns 3 and 4 were extended, making the track a true quarter mile around the centerline. The extended turns were graced with progressive 6, 9 and 12 degree banking, while turns 1 and 2 remained unchanged, at the original 6 degrees. This unique configuration added a challenging element to the track, which continues to treat fans to close racing action. This reconfiguration also had the effect of moving the start/finish line, making the yellow tower obsolete.

After one season of scoring from the infield, a new scoring tower was constructed, aligned with the new start/finish line, in 1991. The old yellow tower now serves as an observation area for VIP, and other groups.

During the 2000 racing season, turn 3 was adorned with a new electronic scoreboard and message board. During the off-season in 2001 a new pavilion was erected, behind the turn 1 grandstands, to provide a shaded area for sponsored picnics, etc. Every Saturday night a full field of Late Model, Sportsman, International (4 cylinder), Hobby Stocks, and 4 cylinder Bandits compete for bragging rights, season points and weekly prize money.

In addition to the racing program, Jefferson Speedway hosts the Jefferson Bargain Fair every Sunday during the racing season. Over 100 vendors come out weekly, to peddle their wares. Attention to detail, fairness and hard work has proved to be a winning combination at Wisconsin's Action Track.

Local hero Rich Bickle has also registered for the Jefferson 100. Bickle has competed in the top-tier of NASCAR on and off since 1989 and was runner up to the Craftsman Truck Series championship in 1997. "It's just kind of neat to get back to Jefferson where I started out 30 years ago. I led the first six laps of my first feature there and Denny Bandt (present owner of FasTrax Racing Magazine) t-boned me and I flew off into the cornfield. It's changed quite a bit since then," Bickle laughed.

Adult grandstand general admission tickets for the ASA Midwest Tour Super Late Model Jefferson 100 presented by Lancaster Toyota of Madison on May 19 are $17 and are available at the track the day of the show. Fans may redeem a ticket stub from a previous 2007 Jefferson Speedway weekly program for $2 off admission. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:00PM, followed by a 45-minute autograph session under the picnic pavilion at 6:00PM. Local division heats and dashes will also begin at 6:00 prior to opening ceremonies at 6:45. The program is slated to conclude by 11:00. Posted awards top $35,000.

The rain date for the Jefferson 100 is Sunday, May 20, at 2:00PM.

Jefferson Speedway history courtesy of www.jeffersonspeedway.com.

-credit: asa

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Series Stock car
Drivers Rich Bickle