(As many as six new drivers expected to be in the weekly mix in “Thursday Night Thunder” action)
(KAUKAUNA, WISCONSIN) – As many as six new late model drivers are expected to compete in “Thursday Night Thunder” weekly action when the season opener kicks off at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna May 18.
Among the familiar faces who will compete for the division crown are a pair of local dirt trackers – Green Bay veteran Eddie Muenster and Two Rivers Brett Wenzel. However both are far from rookies when it comes to racing on the D-shaped, half mile paved oval.
In 2015 Muenster won the Red, White and Blue state championship in the late model class wheeling a car owned by his son-in-law Brad Anthony. That after several seasons in the super late model division. This winter Muenster purchased a car from Oconto’s Scott Stewart that he’ll compete with weekly at WIR. Muenster will be one of the busiest racers in northeast Wisconsin as he still has plans to wheel his IMCA modified on the dirt Friday nights at Luxemburg Speedway and Saturdays at Shawano Speedway.
“With Brad getting me into that car it gave me the excitement to try racing at WIR again,” said Muenster. “Plus having Ken’s Sports as a sponsor, and they are a track sponsor, it just seemed like a real good fit to come back.”
Wenzel has been a feature winner and consistent front runner in the division in the past. “I like the fact that the Big 8 rules cars can run weekly and I do like the direction the (Fox River Racing Club) is headed in,” said Wenzel, a second-generation driver. Like Muenster, Wenzel still plans on slinging some dirt as well with another car in 2017.
Former Mid American series driver Travis Rodewald of Manitowoc will make the trek west from the Lakeshore weekly. Other newcomers include Randy Yaeger of Appleton who purchased a car from Jim Duchow. Mike King Jr. of Appleton will be a weekly competitor as will be Ripon’s Jesse Bernhagen.
In all, most of the top 20 drivers in the 2016 point standings plan on returning weekly – most of them racing on a full time basis.
Third generation driver Braison Bennett from Neenah will defend his division crown. Last year Bennett beat out Freedom’s Tim Springstroh by a mere nine points to collect the title. Both are expected to be frontrunners again in 2017.
Hilbert drivers Mike Meyerhofer Jr. and Corey “Rainman” Manders are also expected to give a run for the crown, along with Kaukauna drivers Todd Verhagen and Nathan Van Wychen. 2016 division rookie-of-the-year Evan Beattie of Little Chute will be back as will Appleton drivers Bryan Monday and Scott Baker and Neenah’s Terry Miller. Others expected to see at least part time action on Thursday nights include Reedsville’s Kyle Bauknecht, Green Bay’s Louis Goss and Manitowoc’s Jake Fuller.
The season opening race for “Thursday Night Thunder” will be May 18, with racing getting underway at 6:45 p.m.
The annual FRRC Tech and Practice day will be held Saturday May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spectator admission is free that day.
For more information please check the club’s website at frrcracing.net. You can also follow the FRRC on its Facebook page.
GENERAL MEETING NOTES
DATE: Monday, January 23, 2017 TIME: 7 pm
PLACE: The 5th Quarter
President Jim Duchow called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm
Greg Hauser is in St Vincent. He can have visitors now…Bring Sour patch kids
Clint Smith gave the Secretary’s report.
Motion to accept made by Mike Clancy , seconded by Mike Butz .
Majority of members said “agree”. Nobody said “oppose.” Motion Carried.
Jim Duchow had an update to the Coleman transmission. Those are not drop down transmissions, so they WILL be allowed, despite what was said last meeting.
Pat Roeser gave the Treasurer’s report.
We updated the scales with leftover money from last year, updated the radios for next year. We do have a nice surplus to start the season with. Radio advertising and other items we couldn’t spend, as all businesses have their year to year budgets that they have to adhere to. We have roughly $7,600 in the checkbook after all is said and done.
Motion to accept made by George Korth, seconded by Dennis Chase.
Majority of members said “agree” Nobody was “opposed”. Motion carried.
Andy Monday suggested maybe we consider not charging competitor fee, as that money was typically used as a start-up fee.
Motion was made by Andy Monday to waive the $20 competitor fee ONLY for 2017 and seconded by Hank Calmes. A verbal vote was taken and all were in favor and nobody opposed.
• Jason Shultz will be taking care of our website
• Preview of the upcoming schedule and season. All the races are sponsored, but we can add a main sponsor to partner with Valley Liquor. 2 new ones are Kens Sports and McMahon and Associates. Duke FM gave us a $750 reduction from last year to stay on with us and give us the same amount of exposure and will stay on for the Red, White and Blue series. Jim is meeting with Budweiser next week.
• 3 x Throwback Thursdays with $10 admission this year for the weeks right after the Red, White and Blue races. The first one should be June 15th
• Badgerland Vintage racers will be there June 15th on the ¼ mile. July 20th the Legends Series will be coming for $60 per car and have 3-4 pit guys per car at the $25 each. The week after the Blue race we don’t have any special series yet.
• W.I.R. ¼ mile late models (formerly Outlaw Series) will have the same schedule as last year. R, W, B, fireworks, Bruce Mueller and the last week. We are hoping we have close to 10 cars this year.
• Bruce Mueller Race this year will be 50 laps and it will be $2,000 to win and a 4 tire race with $500 to start. We have had a hard time finding a scholarship candidate who actually followed through with everything asked of them. The Memorial Fund was discussed with Mary Mueller and she is perfectly fine with putting it into the Bruce Memorial Race and wants it to go to the SLM division in hopes that other drivers attend this race. It is the week before the Dixieland Race.
• We are still considering a B payout plan, but we will base it on how the season starts.
• July 6th Salvation Army Food Drive
• Joe Verdeghan gave a speech about his new role working PR for the Fox River Racing Club. He will be writing articles and promoting on Facebook and other media outlets. Joe is hoping Gannett Newspaper might give him a small weekly blurb. He also has Merve Griffin doing a small spot on Channel 5 on opening night for 5pm and 6pm.
• Hank Calmes asked if we ever thought about adding in a student rate again at the gate. This was taken under advisement.
• Car Shows: We could consider doing one at Bay Park Square….this is a good idea or to cross promote with the Timber Rattlers.
• Motorama: FRRC should try to get a booth this year for sure per Joe. It gets a LARGE crowd. It is at the end of March.
• Dreher Collision: They will do the fast time for the SLM and the fan giveaway
• Ken’s Sports will do the Polaris giveaway again. Please promote our sponsors like Kens and Drehers, as well as our nightly sponsors and divisional sponsors.
• Jim Duchow wants to bring up to the Insurance Company the fact that they are saying we can’t do ride-alongs, yet other tracks still continue to do this. Drones ae also a problem with the insurance company, so we want to ask about that, as well.
• Red, White Blue ideas… We want to consider a competition caution instead of split features and keep them each 50 lap features. odd/even heat races ??
• Tire cards: New tire program…travelers will have 4 new ones, or 2 truly used tires…
• We will bring up a lot of the procedural discussions (3 wide, etc.) next month.
• Considering winner from previous week start right behind the fast qualifier.
• We are hoping to sign a contract with the truck series next month. Jordan Fischer is the new president of that club. Jordan wants the truck drivers to bring any complaints up to their officers, not directly to the officials.
• Audit Committee will be doing their audit soon. This will reflect the ways in which the club lost money last year. (B payout, rain out on best night of the season, sales tax audit, etc)
TOPICS FROM THE FLOOR
• It sounds like Roger will be retiring from the dragstrip soon and Roger is considering retirement in the next year or two. His son Dan will eventually be taking things over.
• Jack Effertz said Roger still has concerns about people sneaking in with fake wristbands or sneaking in without one. Security will be policing this better this year. Rob Thomson said they are coming in by the pit stop. Ron Kohl said Sharon could put something in the windshield of the vehicle. We might have to put a staff down there collecting money by the dragstrip. No one on the hill by the spotters without a ticket or wristband. Try to help police it check your own crew guys.
• Mike Anthony will help with parking again this year.
• Sizzlin 4 meeting right after this meeting
The motion to adjourn was made by Mike Anthony, seconded by Terry Korth
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.
Next Meeting is on February 27th, 2017 at 7pm at the 5th Quarter
(Kaukauna, WI) – It’s been more than three decades since a member of the Sauter racing family competed weekly at Wisconsin International Raceway’s “Thursday Night Thunder” program. But that’s about to change in 2017.
Necedah’s Travis Sauter – son of former NASCAR truck driver Tim Sauter and the grandson of former WIR standout Jim Sauter – will be the hired gun of the Chase Motorsports number 47 super late model entry on Thursday nights. Sauter will take over for Edgerton’s Casey Johnson, who won not only the Red, White and Blue state championship at WIR in the 47 car, but also the T.U.N.D.R.A. super late model series title, the Madison International Speedway triple crown and earned rookie-of-the-year in the ARCA Midwest tour where they placed fourth in points. Johnson finished second in the Thursday night championship chase to Appleton’s Jeff Van Oudenhoven on the final night of racing.
According to both parties the split was mutual and Johnson still has a pair of super late models and two limited late models and says while his plans aren’t yet firmed up he’ll be working with another team out of Madison. “I’m pretty sure I’ll get something put together for the Red, White and Blue series,” said Johnson.
In 2013 Travis Sauter made his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and also the ARCA Racing Series. He’s won six ARCA Midwest Tour events and can also boast winning the Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at the Milwaukee Mile atop his resume.
According to team owner Dennis Chase the car will continue to utilize a Racetech chassis and will also sport number 47. The ride has drawn some top wheelmen at WIR in recent years, including 12 time track champion Terry Baldry of Omro, Gladstone, Michigan’s Mike Gardner, Menominee, Michigan’s Dalton Zehr and Appleton’s Andy Monday.
Supporting the Chase Motorsports 2017 racing program will be Valley Gasket, Hableman Bros. Company, Van Zeeland Collision and Paint, Lake Park Pub and Weld Specialty Gas.
The season opener for “Thursday Night Thunder” will be Thursday, May 18 at 6:45 p.m. for the A.D.I./Time-Villager season opener. For further information please check out the club’s website frrcracing.net. The annual practice and tech day is slated for Saturday May 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
GENERAL MEETING NOTES
DATE: Monday, September 26, 2016 TIME: 7 pm
PLACE: The Darboy Club
President Jim Duchow called the meeting to order at 7.08pm
Update on Bill Fischer’s health. He had a MAJOR health issue. He is at AMC right now and was in an induced coma and the hope is that he comes out fully soon and then he will have heart surgery. Please keep Bill and his family in your prayers.
Clint Smith gave the Secretary’s report.
Motion to accept made by Mitch Heimlich, seconded by Kyle Calmes .
Majority of members said “agree”. Nobody said “oppose.” Motion Carried.
Pat Roeser gave the Treasurer’s report.
As of last week, we have $8,000 but we still have $13,000 outstanding coming to us. But, we also have the sales tax audit which will take a large chunk of this, plus some other outstanding bills. All in all, we have about $7,500 left after everything if we carry over $2,500 for next year. So, it will be a smaller banquet due to what funds we have available to us. Pat has many other things. Please feel free to ask for additional details if you have them. Rainouts cost us money, especially if we open the track, especially when it is for a special event like last year on fireworks night.
BRENT STRELKA RUNS DOUBLE DUTY AND CAPTURES FIRST CAREER SUPER LATE MODEL WIN IN THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER ACTION. VAN OUDENHOVEN NAILS DOWN FIFTH FRRC TITLE WITH THIRD PLACE FINISH.
Manders edges Strelka in Late Model contest, Braison Bennett claims crown by nine points over Tim Springstroh.
Kaukauna, WI; September 1, 2016 – The battles have been fought, the wars have been waged and those who were most successful during the evening celebrated after the final checkered flag fell on the 2016 Fox River Racing Club season at Wisconsin International Raceway.
Valley Liquor sponsored the Fan Appreciation Season Championship program that gave away free beer and corn to those in attendance who went to the pit area after the program.
Jeff Van Oudenhoven came out on top of a torrid three-way battle for the championship in the Super Late Model division. He crossed the line in the third spot to finish ahead of a hard charging Casey Johnson to earn the FRRC Super Late Model title by eight points.
Corey Manders paced the entire distance in a non-stop Late Model feature fending off Brent Strelka who was performing double-duty tonight. Strelka the 2015 division champ had moved into Super Late Models this year and he would claim top honors in that class this evening.
Bennett quietly paced himself during the feature staying out of harms way taking 10th position to clinch the championship by nine points over Tim Springstroh.
JOHNSON AND VAN OUDENHOVEN BATTLE FOR RICH SOMERS MEMORIAL AND CHAMPIONSHIP. JOHNSON TAKES VICTORY, VAN OUDENHOVEN LEADS POINTS WITH ONE NIGHT TO GO.
Nate Van Wychen collects Late Model feature checkered.
Kaukauna, WI; August 25, 2016 – The point battles on the half-mile will head to the final week, while the champions on the quarter-mile were all but decided this evening during Thursday Night Thunder action at Wisconsin International Raceway.
The 2nd Annual Rich Somers Memorial 50 was presented this evening under nearly ideal weather conditions. The Appleton Breakfast Rotary Club sponsored the show.
Casey Johnson kept the pressure on Jeff Van Oudenhoven in the Super Late Model point chase. The pair were the class of the field charging to the front, and then doing battle for the top spot for much of the event. In the end, Johnson earned top honors in the 2nd Annual Rich Somers Memorial race by less than a car length. Van Oudenhoven remains the point leader by a slim 3 markers over Johnson in one of the closest point battles in series history. Maxwell Schultz holds down the third spot just 17 markers back and is in the thick of the chase should either of the lead duo falter.
Braison Bennett scores the victory and narrowly misses sweep in Late Model action.
Kaukauna, WI; August 18, 2016 – The season is winding down, the point battles heating up and the action was intense at Wisconsin International Raceway.
The weekly Thursday Night Thunder program presented Werner Electric featured all six weekly divisions of racing action plus Kid’s Big Wheel races prior to the race program.
Andy Monday spent the middle stages of the Super Late Model feature running wheel to wheel with title contender Casey Johnson for the top spot and then fended off a final lap passing attempt to end his feature dry spell in thrilling fashion.
Braison Bennett’s second place finish in the dash was all that kept the hard-charging third-generation racer from a clean sweep in Late Model action. Bennett, the division point leader earned the win by several car lengths over Tim Springstroh.
Craig Vandewettering was back in victory lane in Super Stock action while Brett Van Horn was back to his winning ways in the Wisconsin Sport Trucks. Mike Klein dominated the Sizzlin 4 action and the final checkered flag of the night fell on the Figure Eight feature with Ryan Kohl celebrating in victory lane just before 9:30pm.
TY MAJESKI MASTERS FIELD, DOMINATES BLUE RACE. CASEY JOHNSON CROWNED 45TH ANNUAL RED, WHITE AND BLUE STATE CHAMPION.
Dylan Wenzel Collects 3rd Annual Stan Gracyalny Memorial Race Victory in Super Stocks!
Kaukauna, WI; August 11, 2016 – Weather which had challenged the past several events at Wisconsin International Raceway threatened early in the day, but skies gave way to a nice summer event.
The weekly Thursday Night Thunder program presented the final leg of the 45th annual Red, White and Blue State Championship series with the running of the Blue Race. The show also presented the 3rd Annual Stan Gracyalny Memorial race for the Super Stocks.
Roush development driver Ty Majeski dominated the final leg of the series handily winning the Blue Race. The victory was one of the most dominant performances in recent history at the track.
By virtue of his sixth place finish Casey Johnson wrapped up the 45th Annual Red, White and Blue series state championship. He finished with 250 points to runner-up Jeff Van Oudenhoven’s 235. Bobby Kendall earned the third spot with 226 markers.