WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (July 23, 2011) – Although he calls Daytona Beach, Fla. home, Dalton Zehr soon may want to set up residence in Wisconsin Dells. For the second consecutive event Zehr looked at home while cruising to victory in Super Late Model action at Dells Raceway Park.
Zehr dashed to the top side and survived what seemed to be an endless string of cautions and restarts in the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series presented by Advanced Engine Concepts Round Three.
As storms brewed to the north and east, and lightning lit up the sky around Wisconsin’s Showcase Short Track, Zehr said a raindrop or two may have helped him in the 55-lap feature event.
“The track was slick from the heat and a little bit of rain made for a tough-to-pass track,” he said. “It really narrowed the track up and sort of made for a single groove track tonight. It didn’t affect us that much because we weren’t being pressured the whole time, except those restarts – they were killers.”
After three tries to start the event the field was led to green by Don Turner and Jeff Storm. Turner claimed the early lead, which lasted only one lap before a caution came out involving fast qualifier Bobby Kendall.
Just one lap after the restart AFF Round One winner Frank Kreyer dived to the bottom for positioning in the top three, but made contact with Kenny Reiser in the process. Reiser spun bringing out the yellow, but via the Gentleman’s Rule, Kreyer took blame awarding Reiser his spot in the top three.
On both restarts Zehr jumped to the outside and gained spots, just as he did in Round Two on his way to victory. Zehr was up to second by lap four and, cruising to the top, he stole the lead from Kenny Reiser just six laps in.
After three more cautions for spins the top five consisted of Zehr, Dennis Prunty, Reiser, Storm and John Zimmerman. The five raced furiously, exchanging paint and positions at the front of the field. On lap 21 the battles were brought to a halt as another yellow was displayed for an incident involving Terry Schoppenhorst, Terry Patnode and Turner.
Zehr continued to hold the field at bay on the restart with Prunty choosing the outside and sliding into second over Reiser. As the laps started to click off, Steve Holzhausen worked his way into the top five and secured the fourth spot by lap 23.
With 26 circuits remaining, Reiser started to regain momentum and worked past Prunty into second. Prunty attempted to shut the door, but Holzhausen had slid in. Prunty was sent spinning, bringing out another yellow.
On the ensuing restarts Reiser pressed hard to take the lead away from Zehr. Although Reiser was able to get to the door, Zehr’s machine was prepared to utilize the outside line, and ultimately he retained the lead.
“I thought I had a handle on those restarts, but Kenny taught me a few things on those two,” Zehr joked.
After another pair of cautions Frank Kreyer had moved from the back and into contention. With 20 laps remaining Kreyer had moved to third, and then worked past Reiser into second with 18 laps left.
Another pair of cautions set up a final restart with Kreyer and fast qualifier Bobby Kendall in the top three. The final ten laps went off without incident and without a challenge to a stout Zehr.
Kreyer finished runner-up to Zehr for a second time, Kendall was third, Holzhausen fourth and Frank Nitzke rounded out the top five. (Results are unofficial as of time of publication).