Wausau, WI – Mark Mackesy found his way back to River Valley Bank Victory Lane Thursday night and the C-Tech Super Late Model point battle became as tight as it can be.
“It feels great to be back in Victory Lane again,” said Mark Mackesy, “The competition at State Park is tough, so you definitely can’t take wins for granted.”
Kyle Genett jumped out to the early lead of the 75-lap feature event, but was faced with an early challenge from Burton Brown. The two battled side by side for the top spot until Burton finally cleared to take the lead.
The battle for that spot wasn’t over yet though. Mark Mackesy was right there in third sizing up the top two as Genett looked outside of Burton to reclaim the lead. With 65 laps to go Genett and his 7-11 machine found themselves back in the lead as Mackesy made the move on Burton for second.
The caution flew with 60 laps to go as the 23 car of Jay Van Der Geest and the 23 car of Ryan Hinner made contact, sending both cars to the back.
Genett started outside of Mackesy on the restart and was able to hold off the 12 car until the caution flew again.
On the second restart Genett held off Mackesy again, but not for very long. Mackesy got along side Genett and the two battled side by side in front of a whole field of cars that were racing side by side for a few laps. Mackesy finally cleared for the lead with 50 laps to go.
As Mackesy put some distance on the rest of the field a few cars made their way to the front. Jesse Haase raced solidly in the top five all night and behind him Mack Eswein, Chris Weinkauf, and Nail Knoblock worked their way towards the front of the field.
With 25 laps to go Eswein and Lepak battled for the final podium spot and eswein used the inside lane to make the spot his own.
Mackesy led the final 50 laps to take home the checkers in the Pepsi All American 75 followed by Genett, Eswein, Lepak, and Knoblock.
It was Knoblock who set fast time earlier in the night and he continues to hold the C-Tech Super Late Model point lead by just one point over Mark Eswein. Mack Mackesy sits in third, just one point back from Eswein and two points back from Knoblock. There’s no doubt this may be the tightest championship battle ever at State Park Speedway.
In the Motors Service and Supply Super Stock feature Cole Yach pulled in to River Valley Bank Victory Lane for the third time this season.
23 and Wayne Mackesy put on a show up front for the first 13 laps. The two raced side by side, neither able to completely clear for the lead.
A caution with two laps to go changed everything. Mackesy, who was the leader at the line picked the inside with Yach right behind him. Mackesy took the lead on the restart and Yach followed him inside 23 and in to second. As the white flag flew Yach looked inside for the lead. The two raced side by side the final lap and Yach edged out Mackesy at the line for his third win of the year.
The NAPA of Schofield Pure Stock feature saw a lot of action too. Alan Hall led early in the 20-lap feature until Mitch Stankowski grabbed the spot just a handful of laps in. Current point leader, Travis Volm, worked his way through the field and pressured Stankowski for the lead.
Volm and Stankowski raced side by side around State Park Speedway for many laps until Volm finally cleared the #5 machine for the top spot.
As Volm put distance on the field the race for the second through fourth spots heated up. Stankowski, Bo Benish, and Kurt Guralski all battled hard for the second position. Stankowski got loose out of two with just a few laps left opening the door for Guralski to claim second. Benish worked his way in to third with Stankowski finishing fourth and Nicholas Grish fifth.
The Snap-On Mini-Mod feature was also full of excitement up front. Kevin Eckes made his way to the front very quickly to take the lead, however Phil Malouf was hot in his tracks. Malouf made the move inside on Eckes for the lead and took it.
But Eckes wasn’t giving up that easily. Eckes and his #40 battled back a handful of times throughout the final 10 laps, but Malouf was able to hold off his charges.
The caution flew with six laps to go, bunching up the field. Malouf held on to the lead on the restart and now Eckes was in trouble. Charlie Nickel worked his way around Eckes and John Lietz followed right by, taking the second and third spots respectively.
Malouf held on to win his first Snap-On Mini-Mod feature of the year at SPS followed by Nickel, Lietz, and Eckes.
Mariah Gajewski earned her first feature win Thursday in the Mini-Stock division. It was Josh Klopotek who grabbed the early lead and held on to it for more than the first ten laps.
A caution with 16 laps to go found Gajewski in the third position. She quickly moved up in to second and then battled with Klopotek for the lead. Gajewski took the spot and Klopotek battled back, but in the end Gajewski pulled away to take the checkered flag. Klopotek finished second, BJ Lipke third, Kasey Gross fourth, and Rocky Spencer fifth.