This Thursday marks the final regular season race of the year at State Park Speedway. The Fighting Cancer Full Throttle Championship Night will crown this year’s division champions as well as raise funds for breast cancer awareness and research.
“It’s hard to believe this is the final regular season race of the season,” said State Park Speedway Owner Ron Wimmer. “Championship night is always exciting and this year a few of our divisions will come down to that final night. It’s special to see all the hard work these drivers put in all year pay off. We also continue the Fighting Cancer Full Throttle event, which is a cause close to our hearts.”
The Auto Select Super Late Model presented by C-Tech division boasts the closest point battle of all the divisions. Luke Fenhaus and Justin Mondeik have been going head to head all season and even swapped the point lead a few times. Heading into the final event of the year Mondeik leads Fenhaus by just 12 points.
“I think we are in good shape, we just need to be consistent like we have been all year and stay out of trouble,” said Mondeik. “We plan to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
“I think we just need to stay out of trouble and try to be our best in qualifying and the heat races and the feature and we will see where we end up,” said Fenhaus. “We just have to be on top of our game all day long and focus on getting fast time and winning the feature.”
For both drivers it would be their first Super Late Model championship. While both drivers intend to approach Thursday as any other race, they also admit that racing for a championship is in the back of their minds.
We are thinking about it some, but we are approaching it the same as any other race,” said Mondeik. “Just need to race good and stay out of trouble and I think we’ll be ok.”
“Right now I have it in the back of my mind,” said Fenhaus. “But I’m focused on going out there and getting another win.”
Brock Heinrich looks to defend his Fabiano Brothers Limited Late Model championship. He currently owns a 42-point lead in the divisions standings over Travis Volm. Both drivers have been stout over the final few weeks and while it appears Heinrich may have the title locked up, it will still take a solid run Thursday to nail down the championship.
“We’re in a different situation than last year. Last year, coming from behind, we had to attack to make up the points going into the championship race,” said Heinrich. “This season we are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Trying to maintain a solid point lead all year has ben the challenge, but because of the consistency we’ve achieved this year, we are basically going into Thursday looking for a clean and solid finish to cap off the season.”
“We’re just hoping to go and put on a good show and to finish off the year at State Park on a good note,” said Volm. “I’d definitely have to win and Brock would, I believe, have to not start the feature. It’s a pretty tough task and I’m sure he’ll finish the season strong. They know what they gotta do.”
For Heinrich a second straight title would be the product of hard work and preparation, not just at the track but during the off-season as well.
“A lot more work has gone into out program in order to step it up to the next level and spent a lot more time working on our equipment,” said Heinrich. “We battled some adversity throughout the season, but I feel quite satisfied with where we are at. As much as I don’t like thinking about points, it’s the number one thing on my mind. The pressure created by running for points bring out the best in me and my team. It’s something you have to work hard for and we are doing just that.”
Brian Schramm has all but wrapped-up the Advance Auto Parts Pure Stock title. He enters the final race of the year with a 56-point lead over second place Chad Dietsche.
The Snap-On Mini-Mod division will provide some excitement as a champion is crowned. Only 17 points separate leader Greg Blount and second place George Seliger. Mike Heidmann sits in third 23 points back. All three contenders drivers have had stand-out seasons and the championship will come down to this final race.
“I’m hoping for the best, but reality tells me not to get my hopes up,” said Blount. “I have a lot going on right now so it’s in the back of my mind, but come Wednesday night I won’t be able to sleep thinking of all the different ways it can work out. I’m just going to approach it as I always do and give it my all.”
Fan gates open at 4:30pm on Thursday with qualifying at 6:00pm and racing starting at 7:00pm. There will be raffle prizes throughout the night to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and research.