PORTAGE, Wis. (September 3, 2021) – Some events give racers an extra bit of jump in their step. For TUNDRA Super Late Model Series veteran Jordan Thiel, that event is the series’ annual Labor Day stop at Golden Sands Speedway.
Thiel is hoping to score his second ever series win this Monday at what has become his home track. With strong runs in the last four series stops at the third-mile, he should be considered one to watch.
“Of course, getting any win is important for any racer, however, getting the TUNDRA win at GSS would be huge,” Thiel said. “I’ve only been able to get one TUNDRA feature win and been hungry for more ever since. To do it at a place I considered my home track for a few years and in front of that “home-town” crowd would be awesome. It would also be our first victory for the season so it would hold even more importance to me.”
Since 2016 Thiel has scored nothing but Top Ten finishes in TUNDRA races at Golden Sands. Perhaps the most memorable event was in 2017 when Thiel engaged in a breathtaking battle with Mike Lichtfeld. Lichtfeld hung on for the victory, but momentum clearly fell to Thiel’s side as he went on to win the season finale that year at Dells Raceway Park. In the years since Thiel has recorded finishes of 6th in 2019 and Second last year.
Golden Sands holds a special place in the heart of Thiel. Although he began racing at Super Late Models at Wisconsin International Raceway, GSS become his home.
“I made the venture over to Plover in 2008/2009. I couldn’t believe how welcoming everyone was to a new kid trying to learn,” Thiel recalled. “It was a nice feeling compared to other places I had visited early in my career. I was fortunate to capture Rookie of the Year also.”
Since that time Thiel has become a threat to win whenever he arrives. He’s made plenty of memories as his career progressed at the track.
“I have a few extremely fond memories of GSS – number one is of course scoring my first ever feature win in a Super Late,” Thiel said. “To go along with that we were able to win back-to-back races, we had to start in the back of the feature the following week. Lastly, winning the Wisconsin Challenge Series race at GSS a few years ago was a huge accomplishment given the quality of competition at that race.”
For Thiel, part of the fun of finding success at Golden Sands is knowing how hard it can be to get a handle on the place. Many drivers are left scratching their heads and looking for answers when they visit.
“I like how challenging the track can be’ it’s not all about horsepower and muscling your way around,” Thiel said. “It’s more about car control and being smooth, not spinning the tires down the straightaway. You’re much better off keeping up your momentum and being as gentle as possible.”
A win would go a long way to helping the steady rise of confidence Thiel and his team are looking to capture late in the year.
“[This season] hasn’t been the greatest season so far, but also not the worst,” he said. “I still have a hard time qualifying well and every year it seems like the already stout competition gets stronger. You really need to stay on top of your game week in and week out to stay competitive. We are still holding onto our Top Five spot in points, which has seemed to be the benchmark for us to at least get to each year. Solid finishes and no DNF’s are important to even make it into the top 10 of TUNDRA competitors.”
While Thiel is a perennial Top Five point finisher in TUNDRA, he’s hoping that there is still something more brewing. He knows Monday could help change the complexion of the title race.
“If we can manage a podium finish on Monday and a strong qualifying effort it will help put us in position to strike for the championship at DRP,” Thiel said. “We have run a handful of races at DRP this year, so we have a little more in the notebook for that race.”
“I hope we can qualify in the top 10 and have a strong run throughout the day to help boost our points situation and keep the positive momentum going into the last TUNDRA race at DRP. I expect the competition to be as strong as ever and know we will need to bring our A-game to compete with the top dogs of TUNDRA.”
Ultimately, however, not much would be sweeter for Thiel than celebrating a win at his home track and getting back to Victory Lane once again.
TUNDRA Round Five takes place this Monday, September 6 at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wis. TUNDRA will be joined by the WIR Quarter-Mile Late Models, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, and 4 Cylinder Stocks. Fan gates open at noon, qualifying is at 12:15, and racing begins at 2 pm.
Golden Sands Speedway is located at 11000 Hwy. 54 between Wisconsin Rapids and Plover. For more information visit http://www.gssraces.com