Teammate May Wins Wild Rookie of the Year Battle
SLINGER, Wis. (September 8, 2014) – Dalton Zehr has had the distinction of being the winningest driver in TUNDRA Super Late Model Series action since he burst on the scene in 2011.
That season, Zehr won two of the four Alive For Five Super Late Model Series races at Dells Raceway Park he attended. Had he not missed the first event, he may have knocked Frank Kreyer off the top of the standings. It was not to be.
In 2012 Zehr was engaged in the tightest point battle TUNDRA has yet to see. In prime position heading into the feature, Zehr was involved in an early incident that forced him to nurse his machine to the finish. Dennis Prunty won and took the title. Although Zehr again took two wins, it was not to be.
Last season Zehr burst into Victory Lane in the season opener at Golden Sands Speedway. He had strong runs all throughout the season, until he was bit by bad luck at Marshfield Motor Speedway. Zehr finished second again. It was not to be.
In 2014 – it was meant to be.
A complete eight-race body of work left Zehr in cruise control heading into Sunday’s finale at Slinger. Zehr needed only to start the feature event. With his two closest competitors sidelined for the event by engine issues, Zehr appeared loose the entire event. The pressure of three seasons lifted off his shoulders.
“We lost one two years ago on the last night. We had it pretty much wrapped coming into tonight, so it was nice to not have as much pressure and we could just chase the feature win,” Zehr explained.
The afternoon did not go as Zehr planned. Mired in traffic throughout the feature, Zehr eventually succumbed to some front end damage with less than 20 laps remaining in the final feature. It was Zehr’s only DNF of the season. It was the first time he finished outside the top ten.
“I watched the final laps from up top, which is nowhere a driver wants to see it, but we have to be happy with the end result,” Zehr said.
He also recognized the team effort it took to secure his first touring title.
“I couldn’t ask for a better crew. They’re extremely faithful guys and I have to thank them for coming to all of the races.”
Zehr tallied three wins, five top fives and seven top tens in the eight-race season.
MAY TAKES ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
It may have been a frantic day in the Coleman camp, but it ended on a high note. Zehr’s teammate Reagan May survived a wild race which allowed her to hang on to the Dean’s Satellite Rookie of the Year title.
May was involved in an incident on lap 32 with last year’s Rookie of the Year Paige Decker. The two cars made contact down the front stretch and were hooked in turn one. Once the cars were untangled May went to the pit area where the crew was able to fix her machine.
“Both times I got rookie of the year I had a smashed race car on the last night of the run. I guess it’s going to have to be tradition,” May joked afterward.
She was able to work her way back through the field patiently. May needed to stay within four spots of fellow rookie Mike Lichtfeld late in the race to secure the honors. With 17 laps remaining, bad luck bit Lichtfeld. The leaders came together, sending Brad Mueller spinning. As James Swan checked up to avoid Mueller’s machine, Lichtfeld ran out of room and sustained heavy front-end damage when he came together with Swan.
From there, May cruised to a seventh-place finish and the title. She was also the SuperPro Late Model Rookie of the Year in 2010.
“We started right next to Mike, so I knew it was going to be interesting,” May said. “We had a lot of ups and downs, a lot of downs. My crew did an amazing job of getting me back out. We were able to ride around and stay out of trouble again. I still can’t believe we ended it the way that we did.”
TUNDRA has awarded two Dean’s Satellite Rookie of the Year titles – both were claimed by 20-year-old female drivers.
The TUNDRA Super Late Model Series would like to thank its 2014 partners: The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Advanced Engine Concepts, Bear Creek Cranberries, Best Western Derby Inn (Eagle River, Wis.), Bonafide Security Solutions, Coleman Racing Products, Country Plumber, Draco Springs, Eagle River Derby Track, Five Star Race Car Bodies, Habelman Brothers Company Cranberries, Howard’s Cams, Leo’s Upper Dells Bar, QA1 Shocks, Radiographic Services, TD Graphics, Tiry’s Race Engines, and Wegner Automotive Research.
TUNDRA would also like to thank the staff and management of its partner tracks for the 2014 season: Wisconsin International Raceway, Golden Sands Speedway, Jefferson Speedway, Norway Speedway, LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, Marshfield Motor Speedway, Dells Raceway Park and Slinger Super Speedway.
The 2014 Championship Banquet will be held this offseason. A date and location are to be determined.
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park. TUNDRA’s business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and the 2014 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit http://www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).