Travis Sauter celbrates in victory lane at the Milwaukee Mile following his win in the Howie Lettow 150, [Russ Lake Photo]
Travis Sauter Wins Howie Lettow Memorial
by John Wiedemann
West Allis, WI - It was a fitting finish for a race dedicated to one of Wisconsin's racing legends. Travis Sauter won ASA Midwest Tour The Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 Presented by RaceTeamGear.com. The young Wisconsin racer from a legendary racing family took home the victory at the historic Milwaukee Mile with a team comprised of crewmen that worked with the late Howie Letow.
"It's the Milwaukee Mile and it's honoring Howie," explained Sauter about the importance of this win. "He was a great guy, a lot of guys on my team worked with him throughout the years and it means a ton to them. I'm just so happy for them. This is a huge deal, it's the biggest race that's been in Wisconsin in quite a while. "
Drawing drivers from sixteen states and Canada, the Howie Lettow Memorial featured Late Model stars mixed in with NASCAR drivers and up and coming young guns. The race was run in two 75 lap segments with a ten minute break at the halfway point where teams were allowed to refuel, make changes to the setup and change up to two tires.
Travis Sauter was the star of the first half, racing from his fifth place starting position to take the lead away from Jeremy Lepak with 41 laps in the books. Racing behind the leaders featured lots of three-wide racing as drivers jockeyed for position. Travis led the rest of the first half which culminated in a multi-car crash heading into turn one prior to the halfway break. Rusty Wallace, John Hunter Nemechek, Michael Bilderback, Skylar Holzhausen, Matt Tift and Ty Majeski were among the cars involved and receiving damage.
After the midway break, Travis Sauter continued where he left off, in the lead. Followed by Dillon Oliver and a hard charging Chase Elliott, the three leaders paced the field for the next forty laps.
With 115 laps in the books, Oliver drove high in turn one while racing with Elliott and spun in turn two. While he didn't make contact with the wall, he was forced to pit, ruining what could a great finish for the Kentucky racer.
Once again on the restart Travis Sauter took off and led the next fifteen laps until his father, Tim Sauter, got turned into the front straight wall lighting the caution lights once again.
On this restart Travis Sauter chose the outside which put Jonathan Eilen on the inside. Eilen led heading into turn one, but that was short lived. By the time they returned to the start finish line, Sauter was back in the lead. Johnny Sauter moved into second a lap later trying to chase down his nephew, with Elliott in fourth and Matt Kenseth in fifth.
With ten laps remaining, Elliott made a charge to the front. The young Dawsonville driver, son of Bill Elliott, raced side by side with Eilen until he was able to clear him three laps later. Then with two laps remaining in the race, he drove underneath Johnny Sauter and then passed him for second as the white flag flew.
Time ran out for Elliott and Travis Sauter streaked to the checkers to take the win.
"I think we could have had him there at the end, it was just a matter of a couple more laps," said Elliott. "We had an awesome, awesome car there at the end. On the last stop there after the caution came out I thought I would fall in behind them and just get a good restart. I didn't get the tires cleaned up good enough and I went into [turn] one and she went straight. I feel like it cost us the race. Travis had an awesome car all night long, he was definitely the car to beat. I feel our car was a touch better at the end though. I wish this [race]would have been 155 laps."
Johnny Sauter held on to third, a great finish after starting the race back in the twenty-ninth position.
Finishing fourth allowed Eilen to take over the points lead by eight points ahead of Andrew Morrisey who finished eleventh. Morrisey, the point leader coming into the race, survived the night with a number of early pitstops and drove up through the field from his provisional 35th place starting spot.
Next up on the ASAMT schedule is the Marshfield 100 at the half-mile oval of Marshfield Motor Speedway in Marshfield, WI on June 30th.
ASAMT Unofficial Results-Howie Lettow 150
# Driver Name Hometown
1 - 5S - Travis Sauter - Necedah, WI
2 - 9E - Chase Elliott - Dawsonville, GA
3 - 5JS - Johnny Sauter - Necedah, WI
4 - 77 - Jonathan Eilen (TS) - Hampton, MN
5 - 8K - Brent Kirchner - LaCrosse, WI
6 - 17 - Matt Kenseth - Cambridge, WI
7 - 75 - Chris Weinkauf (TS) - Merrill, WI
8 - 5A - Aric Almirola - Concord, NC
9 - 51 - Becca Kasten - Mecquon, WI
10 - 29 - Jeff Choquette - South Beach, FL
11 - 39 - Andrew Morrissey (TS) - DeForest, WI
12 - 43 - Matt Kocourek - Franklin, WI
13 - 71KB - Kyle Benjamin - Easley, SC
14 - 36 - Dan Fredrickson (TS) - Lakeville, MN
15 - 52 - Chris Wimmer (TS) - Wausau, WI
16 - 26 - Bubba Pollard - Senoia, GA
17 - 77R - David Ragan - Unadilla, GA
18 - 29T - Austin Theriault - Fort Kent, ME
19 - 34 - Brandon Hill - Genoa City, WI
20 - 40 - Jeremy Lepak - Ringle, WI
21 - 91 - Ty Majeski (R) - Seymour, WI
22 - 63 - Gary LaMonte - West Allis, WI
23 - 8N - John H. Nemecheck - Moorseville, NC
24 - 89 - Matt Tifft (R) - Hinckley, OH
25 - 99 - Tim Sauter - Necedah, WI
26 - 25 - Jeff Storm (TS) - Waterford, WI
27 - 89O - Dillon Oliver - Bowling Green, KY
28 - 76 - Jason Weinkauf (R) - Merrill, WI
29 - 47 - Trey Mitchell - Wimberly, TX
30 - 35S - David Stremme - Moorseville, NC
31 - 66 - Rusty Wallace - St. Louis, MO
32 - 22 - Nick Panitzke (TS) - Lakeville, MN
33 - 96K - Ben Kennedy - Daytona, FL
34 - 64 - Griffin McGrath - Cedar Rapids, IA
35 - 4 - Thor Anderson - Bondurant, IA
36 - 2 - Michael Bilderback - South Beloit, IL
37 - 8H - Eddie Hoffman - Wheaton, IL
38 - 87 - Nathan Haseleu (TS) - Marshall, Wi
39 - 58 - Cardell Potter (R) - Camp Douglas, WI
40 - 78 - Skylar Holzhausen (TS) - Bangor, WI
41 - 72 - Jacob Goede (TS) - Carver, MN
42 - 53S - Jerry Sharp - Orland Park, IL
ECHO Quick Cut Qualifier: 8N John Hunter Nemecheck (1st Career ASAMT Fast Time)
Hedman Husler Hedders Husler Zone (Winners Circle): 1) 5S Travis Sauter; 2) 9E Chase Elliott; 3) 5JS Johnny Sauter
Hedman Husler Hedders Hard Charger: 39 Andrew Morrissey (+27)
Rookie of the Year Points: 1) 89 Matt Tifft (R) 497; 2) 91 Ty Majeski (R) 494; 3) 76 Jason Weinkauf (R) 488; 4) 58 Cardell Potter (R) 454; 5) 6 Austin Luedtke (R) 312
Championship Points: 1) 77 Jonathan Eilen (TS) 550; 2) 39 Andrew Morrissey (TS) 542; 3 75 Chris Weinkauf (TS) 537; 4) 52 Chris Wimmer (TS) 525; 5) 78 Skylar Holzhausen (TS) 506; 6) 22 Nick Panitzke (TS) 501; 7) 87 Nathan Haseleu (TS) 499; 8) 89 Matt Tifft (R) 497; 9) 91 Ty Majeski (R) 494; 10) 72 Jacob Goede (TS) 491
Qualifier Races - Following qualifying, drivers not in the top 26 fastest times raced in two Qualifier races. The top three from each race transfer to the feature. Austin Theriault won the first Qualifying Race. Johnny Sauter and Matt Tifft transferred into the final finishing second and third.
ASAMT Qualifier 1 Results
1 Austin Theriault, 2 Johnny Sauter, 3 Matt Tifft, 4 Jerry Sharp, 5 Dennis Schoenfeld, 6 Kenzie Ruston, 7 Jeff Storm, 8 Steve Apel, 9 Jerick Johnson, 10 Andrew Morrissey, 11 Brandon Hill, 12 Mark Kraus, 13 Ty Majeski, 14 Ryan Destafano, 15 Zach Less, 16 Spencer Wautters, 17 Ed Szelagowski Jr, 18 Curt Tillman, 19 Tommy Pecaro, 20 Travis Dassow, 21 Kyle Brinkmann, 22 Kevin Eggert
In the second race Jeff Choquette took the win with Cardell Potter and Gary LaMonte rounding out the top three. Matt Kocourek moved up through the race from his sixth place starting spot and challenged LaMonte in the final turns for the last transfer spot but couldn't out power the West Allis, WI native to the checkers.
ASAMT Qualifier 2 Results
1 Jeff Choquette, 2 Cardell Potter, 3 Gary Lamonte, 4 Matt Kocourek, 5 Aric Almoriola, 6 Joey Gase, 7 Kelly Bires, 8 Tim Schendel, 9 Austin Luedtke, 10 Tanner Whitten, 11 Blake Brown, 12 Damon Ecoff, 13 David Stremme, 14 Mason Mitchell, 15 Ross Kenseth, 16 Gregg VanGool, 17 Skylar Holzhousen, 18 Scott Wimmer, 19 Jim Olson, 20 Matt Pyburn, 21 Erik Pierce, 22 Jimmy Dragich
Last Chance Race - Three more drivers filled the feature field from the Last Chance race. Jerry Sharp led the field green to checkers holding off Matt Kocourek for the win. Aric Almirola passed Dennis Schoenfeld on the first lap for third place and held on to take the final transfer into the feature.
ASA MIDWEST TOUR LAST CHANCE RACE FINISH
1 Jerry Sharp, 2 Matt Kocourek, 3 Aric Almoriola, 4 Dennis Schoenfeld, 5 Kenzie Ruston, 6 Joey Gase, 7 Jerick Johnson, 8 Jeff Storm, 9 Austin Luedtke, 10 Tim Schendel, 11 Tanner Whitten, 12 Steve Apel, 13 Ty Majeski, 14 Mason Mitchell, 15 Blake Brown, 16 Brandon Hill, 17 Zach Less, 18 Kelly Bires, 19 Damon Ecoff, 20 Skylar Holzhousen, 21 Tommy Pecaro, 22 Ross Kenseth, 23 Spencer Wautters, 24 Scott Wimmer, 25 Gregg VanGool, 26 Ed Szelagowski Jr, 27 Jim Olson, 28 Kevin Eggert, 29 Matt Pyburn, 30 Erik Pierce, 31 Curt Tillman, 32 Mark Kraus, 33 Ryan Destafano, 34 Kyle Brinkmann, 35 Andrew Morrissey, 36 Travis Dassow, 37 Erik Long
ASAMT Points Provisional race entries went to Andrew Morrissey, Skylar Holzhausen, Ty Majeski, Jeff Storm and Brandon Hill. Two other provisionals went to Rusty Wallace and David Stremme.
Big 8 Series
Starting in seventeenth in the forty car Big 8 Series field, Jeremy Miller raced his way to the front to win at the Milwaukee Mile.
Mike Ehde led the field to the green for the fourty-eight lap Big 8 Series feature race. Miller had set fast time but was relegated back to the seventeenth position following the invert.
As Ehde led the first half of the race, Miller picked his way forward patiently through the pack. When the first caution flag flew prior to halfway, Miller had moved up into sixth place.
Miller wasted no time when the race went green by quickly picking off competitors and racing to the outside of leader Ehde. Miller raced past Ehde to the lead and never looked back, stretching out his lead.
One final caution period brought the field back to Miller. Once the green waved again, Miller charged to ahead and separated himself from the field for the final eight laps, taking the win. Casey Johnson, who followed Miller to the front, finished second. Jesse Oudenhoven finished third followed by Ehde and
ASAMT SCAG Truck Series
With ten laps remaining in the ASA Midwest Tour SCAG Truck Series race, Dan Barber drove inside of Chad Knaus in turn four and took the lead for good. Leading the final ten laps, Barber held on for the victory at the Milwaukee Mile.
ASA MIDWEST TOUR SCAG TRUCK SERIES
1 Dan Barber, 2 Chad Knaus, 3 John Wood, 4 Jeff Watters, 5 James Swan, 6 Rick Corso, 7 Jerry Wood, 8 Andy Jurik, 9 Jacob Louis VanWazer, 10 Camden Murphy, 11 Vinnie Wilkinson, 12 Joel Willman, 13 Steve Schultz, 14 Bill Collins, 15 Taz Becker, 16 Darrell Peterson, 17 Ted Minor, 18 Jerry Suderland, 19 Ralph Cottone, 20 Jim Cowhey