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SKSpeedway Clash caps 2020 racing season this weekend

SKSpeedway Clash caps 2020 racing season this weekend SKSpeedway Clash caps 2020 racing season this weekend

The staff at SKSpeedway is proud to host the annual SKSpeedway Clash Sept. 11-12 and will feature eight classes of cars Friday night, and nine classes of cars Saturday night.

Track owner Steve Kasten and track director Travis Paul are excited to welcome back the 300cc mini sprints and the 600cc sprints both nights and the IMCA/ Unified Stock Cars on Saturday, along with the six regularly-featured classes at the Unity dirt track.

“It’s been a tough year for not just us, but for the entire racing community with all that has been going on nationwide, but we are very thankful to be able to host this event, bring in new classes for the weekend, and just celebrate this sport we all love.” Kasten said.

“As our team has been building up for the Clash, it has taken on sort of an east vs. west feel,” Paul said. “Unified street stocks racing with WISSOTA Street Stocks, USRA, IMCA and WISSOTA A and B mods have all been invited to compete. Using their own rule packages really should make for a great weekend of racing. Our payout, which increases based on car count, is something that other tracks have done, but none offering $1,000 to win for four classes all season, plus the IMCA stock cars for the Clash. We are proud to offer that.”

SKSpeedway saw continued growth in car count and fan count in 2020.

“The car count was more gradual growth than the fan count, but we noticed an increase in both throughout this year,” Kasten said. “During our off times, we worked to reshape parts of the racing surface, continued to develop our food menu and made sure to take into account what our drivers wanted from us as best as we could. Friday, Aug. 21st saw a season-high car count of 62 teams for a regular night, and fan attendance reflected those numbers. Averaging a 10:30 p.m. end time, fans were able to get home at a reasonable hour, and at $10 admission, there was a lot of value packed in their dollar. We wanted to provide quality entertainment at an economical price this season, all things considered.”

“Eighty-five percent of our staff was brand new this season, and I am very proud of all of them,” Paul said. “I, for one, am thankful that John Bell (tech), Bill Stumpner (front straightaway lineup), Ben Brost (announcer) and Gene Folyer (track prep) teamed back up with us. They have worked at SKSpeedway every year since it was first opened, so they have seen what works and what doesn’t. It’s a big deal to have had them back.”

Aug. 21 was the last night for points battles, but the rain came at 9:50 p.m. and never let up. The Hornets, B Modified, and A Modified features will be made up at the beginning of the program Friday. All teams that were able to make the call for their race on Aug. 21 are eligible to participate in those three races. A few teams were involved in bad accidents in their heat races forcing them to scratch for the feature, those teams again will not be allowed to race in those features.

In the Hornet division, No. 715 Sam Sheehan put together a spectacular season, collecting three wins and several top-five finishes for 274 points. He is atop the leaderboard heading into the season championship makeup feature in night one. Longtime hornet racer Jenny Wegner is in second, as she collected a feature win and two seconds, posting a total of 258 points heading into the final event.

The B Modified division saw Chili standout Chad Selk add five wins to his career total, earning him 276 points heading into the season championship event. Selk has been a strong contender in recent years at SKSpeedway and has a significant lead over Andy Karl. Karl, a longtime B Modified standout and former track champion, got one feature win, two runner-up finishes and one third-place finish in 2020, earning him 262 points.

The A Modified division points battle is a four-way grudge match. Secondgeneration driver Tyler Stargardt is the current leader. However, a crash in hot laps Aug. 21 left his car damaged beyond repair, so he will be ineligible to compete in the makeup feature event. Longtime veteran Kevin Rogers and 18-year-old Cole Varsho are tied for second with 245 points each. Varsho is coming up through the ranks quickly and proving to be a threat anywhere he goes. He had three feature wins at SKSpeedway and several heat wins to his credit. Rogers, a Unity native and a true crowd favorite, collected one feature win on the year. Chris Oertel of Marshfield sits in fourth place and is another Modified Standout. Oertel, another second-generation racer calling SKSpeedway his Friday home, earned one win, three seconds and one third place finish thiis season, amassing 240 points heading into the clash. Seven points separates the top four in the Modifi ed division, which will make for an action-packed 20 lap main event Friday.

Of the six classes featured every week at the Unity speed plant, three of the six points battles were finalized on Aug. 21 before the rains came.

The Super Stock division brought back a lot of memories for fans, showcasing the talent of longtime veteran Randy Spacek of Phillips and the up-and-coming drivers from the Leu family. Spacek added another SKSpeedway track championship to his illustrious career. He parked his No. 22 in victory lane four times over the course of the season, accompanied by two second-place and two third-place finishes, earning him a total of 312 points. Third-generation racer Leslie Leu competed full time in his No. 14x, collecting one third-place finish. Because he attended every event and consistently finished in the top five, he earned himself a second-place finish in the standings at 255 points. David Elliot, piloting his blue No. 4x, earned third place in the points standings with 220 points.

The Leu family has been a staple at SKSpeedway since the track was built in the late 1990s. The current Leu family racers represent the third generation of that family to wheel race cars. They include brothers Leslie and Lonnie Jr., their cousin Dylan who all wheeled their respective 14s full time in the Super Stock division. Another cousin, John, also No. 14, competed in the Pure Stock division on a limited basis this season.

Leslie, who drove No. 14x, raced alongside his brother, Lonnie Jr, who raced the No. 14, which is the very same car his late father, Lonnie Leu Sr. last drove in 2002. Remnants of the color scheme of the late Lonnie Leu Sr. are still very noticeable on that car, as fans were treated to see that car back out on its home track this season. Debuting in 2020, Super Stock rookie 14L Dylan Leu, started his racing career sporting a color scheme as reminiscent of his father, former Super Stock standout Lance Leu. Lance today serves as a mentor to his son and his nephews. Another unique statistic about the Leu stable is that all three generations have used the No. 14.

Patriarch Duane “Butch” Leu, although he never raced at SKSpeedway, Speedway hosts season finale

piloted his No. 14 race car throughout central Wisconsin for years, and served as the scale operator at the track in the early years. Nine members of the Leu family have raced the No. 14, with eight calling SKSpeedway their home track.

The Street Stock division, although light in car count at times, provided some of the best action for the loyal SKSpeedway fans. Side-by-side action from Kyle Gennett and Jared “BJ” Lindner kept the fans entertained as the competitive action roared every Friday. Gennett, an Auburndale native, won six features. His brother Karl came out of retirement for one race, collecting a win, making that No. 16 undefeated every time it was unloaded at SKSpeedway. As a result of his consistent attendance and collecting one feature win, Merrill native Bruce Stanley collected his first track championship at SKSpeedway, and his first title since 1977 with 290 points. Stanley, known for his soft-spoken nature, has been racing every year in various classes since 1974, and was a crowd favorite in the division.

Early in the season another pair of third-generation racers, brothers Parker (white No. 27) and Hunter Anderson (red No. 27), trailered their street stocks to SKSpeedway. Their father, Scott Anderson, raced his red No. 27 to several wins and track titles in the Midwest Modifieds at SKSpeedway and serves as crew chief for his sons today as they travel throughout the upper Midwest. Their grandfather, Bob, raced at tracks in the northern part of the state. Bob and his wife Barb can be seen in the grandstands at local tracks cheering on their grandsons.

The 2020 Pure Stock division was action packed each week. Jeremy Dahl of Knapp piloted his No. 85 to victory lane three times, collected three runner-up finishes, the same amount of third place finishes and earned 305 points. That earned him the right to be called the 2020 track champion. Warren Bartelt drove his No. 16 to four second-place finishes. He was the runner-up spot in the points battle with 292 points. Medford driver Todd Heier matched Bartelt’s feature win total at three, but mechanical and suspension issues throughout the season dropped him to sixth place.

The SKSpeedway Clash will kick off Friday with pit gates opening at 4 p.m., grandstand gates opening at 5 p.m., driver entry cutoff at 6:30 p.m., the drivers’ meeting at 6:35 p.m., hot laps at 6:50 p.m., opening ceremonies including a 9/11 tribute at 7 p.m. and racing to immediately follow. The 300cc and 600cc sprint cars will be racing on Friday, along with the six regular classes –– Hornets, Pure Stocks, Street Stocks, Super Stocks, B Modifieds and A Modifieds. USRA B Modifi eds will run with IMCA Sport Modifi eds and WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. A Modifieds will also feature competition from IMCA/USRA/WISSOTA as well.

The IMCA/Unified Stock Cars will make a rare appearance on Saturday. SKSpeedway has had a unique payout all season. If 16 or more cars appear in each of the Street Stocks, Super Stocks and both Modified divisions, those classes will compete for a $1,000 payday on both nights. IMCA Stock Cars will be offered the same payout on Saturday.

On Saturday, the staff will be conducting the “pit sweep” at 2 p.m. to get everyone checked in for that night’s program, which kicks off at 5 p.m.

Any additional information will be conveyed through SKSpeedway’s Facebook page, as well as on the website, For more information, call Kasten at 715-571-4555.