Five former Laureates of the Larry Detjens Memorial will be in the field. (Photo by ARCA Midwest Tour)
WAUSAU, Wis. – Five former Larry Detjens winners have dropped off entries for this Saturday night’s Dun-Rite Exteriors Detjens Memorial 125 at State Park Speedway.
The ARCA Midwest “Stars and Cars” road tour will have its hands full with top Super Late model drivers from central Wisconsin, including six former track champions.
The race will be broadcast live by MidwestTour.TV, a subsidiary of SPEED SPORT.
Here’s a look at some of the drivers to watch out for.
Luke Fenhaus, SPS Champion
The 2018 State Park Speedway returns home this weekend in search of its first triumph at the Detjens Memorial. The 2021 Slinger Nationals winner and Slinger Super Speedway Track Champion picked up his first career win on the Midwest Tour in April and is set for his second victory on the circuit on Saturday night. Running the CARS Tour in the South East this season has limited starts for the 2021 Alive for 5 champion who finished fifth in last year’s Detjens 125.
Casey Johnson, former Detjens winner
Johnson has just completed his worst tour of the season, a fourth at Grundy, a race he challenged for victory before an ignition wire sputtered his car again. He had the same problem in Milwaukee but overcame the jolts of fending off the wire multiple times to win there. Johnson’s touring season was a tough one for fellow contestants, second to Slinger, winning the Joe Shear Classic in Madison, third to Jefferson and winning in Milwaukee. Last season he earned his second red, white and blue state championship by winning the white and blue races at WIR. In addition to three Jefferson titles, Johnson has amassed two Wisconsin International championships, two Big 8 championships, two Tundra titles, six Wisconsin State championships, the 2013 and 2016 MIS triple crowns, and two Short Track National championships at Rockford Speedway. Johnson won the 2018 Larry Detjens Memorial.
John Beale SLM Champion
Beale may be a sleeper in this area. Beale, fresh off a victory at Marshfield Super Speedway two weeks ago, has 2018 circuit champion Dalton Zehr snatching his car. The same combo had Beale sixth and Zehr fourth at the 2021 Detjens Memorial. Now, with their focus on one car on Saturday night, the former CWRA, WCS and Marshfield Super Late Model champion will be one to watch.
Mark Mackesy, former Detjens winner
Always a fan favorite at State Park Speedway, Mackesy is aiming for his record fourth victory at the Larry Detjens Memorial. Mackesy, a four-time State Park Speedway champion, knows the quarter-mile oval as well as anyone and edged out the Stars and Cars of the Midwest Tour to win when the circuit visited its home track in 2011.
Gabe Sommers, former Detjens winner
Sommers recorded his decision win at the Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway in 2019, his only Tour win to date. He went on to become the 2019 Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year and backed that effort with a second-place finish in points in 2020 and fifth a season ago. In the most recent event of the tour, Sommers charged from his seventeenth starting position to finish second. It became common to find the 15th car in front. He currently sits second in points on the circuit with fifth at Slinger, seventh at Madison, second at Jefferson, sixth at Milwaukee and second at Grundy two weeks ago.
Former Detjens winner Justin Mondeik
He is the two-time defending State Park Speedway Track champion and is currently second in SPS points with four wins. Mondeik’s only win on tour was at the 2020 Larry Detjens Memorial, he placed second a year ago. In addition to his success at Wausau, Mondeik has back-to-back Stateline Challenge victories at Norway Speedway in Michigan’s UP and won the Champion’s Hardware for the past two seasons at Golden Sands Speedway. Mondeik finds himself fifth in the tour points standings as the ‘Stars and Cars’ approach halfway through their season.
Chris Weinkauf, former Detjens winner
Three-time Detjens winner Chris Weinkauf will make his first tour start since a year ago when he finished tenth, now looking to claim his record-breaking fourth Detjens Trophy on Saturday night. Weinkauf is the 2010 State Park Speedway Track Champion and won the track’s Flip Merwin Memorial that season. He ranks third all-time on the fastest qualifying chart with twelve tour fastest times and recorded his Midwest Tour win at Grundy County Speedway in 2014, hoping to add a second tour win. closer to home this weekend.
Tour Champion Jonathan Eilen
The 2012 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion and 2007 Rookie of the Year has a total of five career wins, including the first-ever tour event in 2007 held at his home track, Elko (Minn.) Speedway. Eilen, who is seventh on the all-time winning list, will kick off his 148th tour on Saturday night. While some on-track mishaps have hampered a few of his strong runs this season, Jonathan sits fourth in the lap points standings.
Champion SPS Bando Kolton Guralski
The 2017 champion State Park Speedway Bandolero switched to late models last year. The transition from former SPS Pure Stock Point finalist proved to the masses what many knew, Kolton can drive. Taking his talents to Jefferson (Wis.) Speedway last season, Kolton showed he belonged, not only winning the track Rookie of the Year, but finishing second in the points standings and earning the championship night. Now, Guralski will make his first start on the Midwest Tour in his Super Late Model on Saturday night.
SPS Champion Jeremy Lepak
A former Slinger Super Speedway champion (2011) and two-time Rockford Speedway National Short Track Championship winner (2006, 2007); Lepak will make a rare ARCA Midwest Tour start in Saturday’s Detjens Memorial 125, a race in which he finished sixth in 2019. Lepak is the 2015 SPS track champion.