Jimmy Mars
Jimmy Mars

Jimmy Mars
Menomonie, WI



Gondik Law Speedway


By Jerry O'Brien 7-31-20 (superior, WI)
Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, WI returned to the track where he captured his first ever Late Model victory to compete in the annual Twin Ports Twin 25's. The event, the brainchild of Dr. Troy Powers a local Optometrist, features a pair of 25 lap features for the WISSOTA Late Models. Qualifying is done in the usual manner, heat races and B Features using Passing Points to set the lineup for the first of the two races. The kicker comes when whomever is the winner of the first race draws a number, and that number tells him (or her) where the inversion of the participants in the second 25 lap feature will start. For example: if the winner picks, say, a five, that means he starts fifth on the grid for the second race.
This edition of the TPT25's drew a great field of 41 Late Models. Also in competition were the WISSOTA Super Stocks (17) and Hornets (19), but the focus was on the Late Models.
The Late Models were divided into five qualifying heats. Darrell Nelson, James Giossi, Derek Vesel Pat Doar and Jesse Glenz were the winners. There as a pair of Semi-Features won by Tim McMann and Gunnar Frank.
In the first 25 lap Late Model feature, James Giossi started from the pole alongside Derek Vesel. At the green Giossi surged to the lead as Pat Doar jumped from inside row two into second. Vesel, Darrell Nelson and Mike Prochnow were the top five early. With four laps in the books, a caution flag flew involving Kevin Eder who was sent to the back. The slowdown allowed Doar to close up on Giossi, and a lap later, Doar moved around Giossi to the lead with Vesel third. As the laps rolled by, Nelson worked on Vesel and got by into third. Meanwhile, ninth starting Jimmy Mars was on the move surging toward the front. Not much changed in the front four for several more laps but Mars had gotten by Prochnow into fifth. With six laps remaining, the second caution flag flew for the spun Number 55 of Greg Nippolldt in the second turn. The caution flag was hung on the leader Doar elevating Giossi back to the lead. Giossi led off in the lead with Nelson, Mars, Jeff Massingill and Vesel in the top five. Giossi went on to take the win and Mars got past Nelson to second. Massingill and Vesel finished in the top five. Veteran Steve Laursen had a strong run from 14th to seventh and Kyle Peterlin also advanced from 13th to ninth.
In victory circle Giossi received the accolades and the big check, but the redraw, as it has been over the years, was unkind to the youngster when he made the draw for position in the second TPT25 and learned he would start the second go ‘round in the 15th starting spot on the inversion.
The second 25 lap feature was, in effect, for "all the marbles" as the highest finisher in the first event and the second event would be awarded a hefty bonus.
A pair of veterans of the WISSOTA Late Model wars led the 25 car field to the green. On the pole was the number 90 of long time racer Lance Matthees flanked by the number 85 of another long time competitor John Kaanta. Matthees led the first lap over Kaanta who was followed by defending track champion Deven VanHouse and Rick Hanestad. Also in the early mix were Mike Prochnow, Sam Mars and Steve Laursen. Kaanta took over the point on lap two and VanHouse moved to second as Hanestad surged into fourth. Kaanta was the top dog for several laps ahead of VanHouse, but Hanestad was on the charge and zipped past both VanHouse and Kaanta to the lead. Starting ninth and also charging forward was Jimmy Mars who soon disposed of those in front of him and arrived at Hanestad's bumper as the first and only caution flag of the event flew for a spin out by the number 54 of Rick Niemi in turn two. The restart saw Mars dogging Hanestad and overtaking him for the lead and the win. His second place finish in the first race and win in the second made him the driver with the highest finishes and another big check for the win. Prochnow finished third, VanHouse fourth and Jeff Massingill fifth. Pat Doar finished in eighth after staring 19th.
In other action, Dave Flynn of Superior outran defending track and National WISSOTA champion Kevin Burdick and Scott Lawrence for the win in the 20 lap WISSOTA Super Stock main event. Flynn and Lawrence shared the front row in the caution filled event. Flynn grabbed the lead on the first try but the first caution flag appeared when Thomas Karaba spun his number three in turn two. The restart came as a complete one as no laps were scored. Flynn again grabbed the point but Lawrence got by the next time by. Dexton Koch was third, Burdick fourth and Kyle Copp fifth. The second caution flag flew for a Jase Lien spin at the top of turn four. Lawrence held onto the lead over Flynn for a lap but the caution lights blinked on for Ronnie Malecki who spun at the bottom of turn four. The restart came with 17 laps remaining and the order was Lawrence, Flynn, Burdick, Koch and Shane Sabraski who was driving the Number Win 1 car in fifth place. The top four pulled away from Sabraski who, in turn had distanced himself from the rest of the field. The front four runaway lasted for three laps before caution period number
four flew for Andrew Mackey in turn two. The restart came with a dozen circuits to go. Flynn used the restart to get past Lawrence to the lead and Burdick followed. From there on the two waged a fierce battle which was interrupted by Thomas Karaba's second caution flag, the fifth of the event. Flynn and Burdick
resumed their battle with eleven laps remaining. Flynn was able to hold off Burdick the rest of the way to capture his second win of the season at the speedway. Lawrence finished third and Sabraski got by Koch who finished fifth. Flynn and Lawrence were division heat winners.
For the first time ever the USRA Limited Late Models were on the card. Lance Hofer was the top dog of the 15 cars in attendance as he bested Marcus Dunbar in the 7x for the feature win from the pole in the 20 lap main event. He also won the second heat over Dunbar. Michael Bruggeman won the first heat over Gavin Tarras.
There were four caution flags during the feature but Hofer was equal to the task as he raced away from Dunbar and Bruggeman to win by a straight away. Nick Panitzke from 13th and Tarras finished in the top five.
It was the usual dozen feature laps for the WISSOTA Hornets as Dejay Jarecki raced off from the outside pole to his second main event checkered flag of the season at the speedway. He fended off AJ House in a side by side battle lasting several laps to take the hard fought win. The ever present Kristy Marken was third, rookie driver Carson Gotelaere finished fourth and 2019 track champion Tyler
Schramm was fifth.
There will be no racing at Gondik Law Speedway next Friday the seventh of

Article Credit: Jerry O'Brien

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