ARCA Midwest Tour Stars and Cars Set for Battle Against Chicagoland’s Best during Saturday Night Special Event

Morris, IL- The ‘Stars and Cars’ of the ARCA Midwest Tour will roll into Grundy County Speedway this Saturday night July 10 for the Wayne Carter Classic presented by Rod Baker Ford and Illinois Truck and Equipment. Racing begins at 7pm on Saturday. Sitting between them and a $5,000 payday are a host of Chicagoland’s best Super Late Model drivers. Here is a breakdown of those drivers:

0 Austin Kunert Batavia IL Blue Demon Welding Products/Custom Companies/Global Bldrs Chevrolet -Aviation school in Kansas has slowed down his racing career a bit, but Austin Kunert returns to Grundy County on Saturday to pilot Josh Nelms’ 0 machine. He was the 2018 ARCA CRA Super Series Rookie of the Year on the strength of one win at Kil-Kare Raceway (OH) which also led to a points runner-up that season.

5 Casey Johnson Edgerton WI Montgomery Ward/Hougan Farms/UAW Region 4 Chevrolet -Johnson is the two-time and defending Midwest Tour Champion, but seeks his first Grundy County Speedway triumph this Saturday Night. A fourth place showing in last year’s Wayne Carter Classic gives him a solid base to build upon. Johnson has amassed two championships at Wisconsin International, three at Jefferson, two in Big 8, two Tundra titles, six Wisconsin State Championships, one Red White and Blue Championship and two National Short Track Championships

7 Paul Shafer, Jr Portage IN Paul’s Auto Yards Chevrolet -Paul Shafer started his season by winning three in a row at Grundy County Speedway. The 2020 track champion and two time Bettenhausen Classic winner won last year’s Wayne Carter Classic, his second career Midwest Tour win (Jefferson 2018). Shafer was fourth in 2018 and finished runner-up in the 2017 Carter Classic. Quickly becoming one of the fan favorites on the Tour, the 2013 Illiana Motor Speedway Champ has finished no worse than sixth in the last six years in MT points.

8 Eddie Hoffman Wheaton IL Feece Oil/Advanced Generator Chevrolet -Hoffman rolls into Saturday night’s Special Event as the current Grundy County Speedway point leader, no real surprise to many as he is the winningest driver in track history. The 1997 ARTGO Challenge Series Champion is also a six-time Grundy Champion (1997, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019) and the 2012 Illiana Motor Speedway Champion. His most recent Wayne Carter Classic win came in 2015, he also recorded wins in the 2012 and 1998 editions.

8 Josh Wallace Genoa City WI Spectrum Coatings/Powersource Race Engines Chevrolet -Josh Wallace made some noise in his only Midwest Tour start of 2021, eventually hustling his new Super Late Model to a tenth place effort at Jefferson on Memorial Day weekend. The 2005 Lake Geneva Raceway Track Champion looks to improve upon that on Saturday night.

13 Andrew Brocker Jefferson WI American State Equipment Chevrolet -This father son duo is unlike most in the pit area these days as it is Andrew, the dad racing the car while his son wrenches in the pits. The family owned team has been a loyal supporter of the Midwest Tour and finished 12th in the 2019 Point Standings.

14 Austin Nason Roscoe IL Montgomery Ward/Haase Builders/JRS Shocks/Kar Korner Ford -A former winner at New Smyrna Speedway’s (FL) World Series of Asphalt, Austin Nason is fresh off a third place showing at The Milwaukee Mile. Nason is a two-time Tour runner-up and has big wins including the Joe Shear Classic at Madison, the 2019 Father’s Day 100 at The Milwaukee Mile and Rockford’s All-Star 100 to go along with a 2018 Madison Triple Crown Championship and 2015 Tour Rookie of the Year title.

15 Gabe Sommers Plover WI Rowdy Energy/Kwik Trip/Tasteful Selection Potatoes/DeKalb Toyota -A winner last month at California’s Irwindale Speedway, Gabe Sommers nearly doubled his win column, finishing second at Milwaukee on Father’s Day. The 2019 Tour Rookie of the Year scored his first Tour win at Wausau’s State Park Speedway during the 2019 Larry Detjens Memorial Race and was the Tour runner-up a season ago.

16 DJ Weltmeyer Dyer IN Engine Masters/DeNovi Heating & Cooling Chevrolet -His first Tour start came in during the 2017 Wayne Carter Classic. That night, DJ Weltmeyer wheeled his family’s #16 Late Model to a sixth place showing. Now with more experience and multiple weekly wins at his home track Grundy County Speedway, DJ looks to add his name alongside his Dad David’s in the Wayne Carter history books. The elder Weltmeyer was victorious in 1996.

17 Max Kahler Caledonia IL Windsor Auto Sales/Retool/B&K Concrete Ford -The 2020 Big 8 Series Champion has made the jump into the Super Late Model ranks this season full time, albeit with some bad breaks due to….bad brakes, Max has shown enough speed, qualifying into the Tour event at Jefferson after racing his way in through the last chance race at Madison. The Kulwicki Development Driver won the 2020 National Short Track Championships at Rockford.

23 Levon VanDerGeest Merrill WI Central Sawdust of WI/Breber Music/Culver’s Chevrolet -The last time the Midwest Tour visited The Milwaukee Mile, Levon VanDerGeest became the youngest winner in Milwaukee Mile history when he rolled to the Midwest Truck Series victory. Levon went on to become the 2019 Truck Champion and is now running for the 2021 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year.

25 Jeff Storm East Troy WI 3-D Ranch/Duramax Trucking/Breber Music/River City Lanes Toyota -Anyone that was at Madison for the Joe Shear Classic last month now knows that Jeff Storm once again has a fast race car. The two-time Mid-American Stock Car Series Champion will now bring that fast race car to Grundy County Speedway where he won in Mid-Am competition in 1997.

28 Nathan Kelly Wilmington IL Elite Tradeshow/Greg and Sons Const/Whip FX Graphic Wraps Chevrolet -His father Pat is a former Grundy County Speedway Champion and now Nathan is proving to be a quick student in the Super Late Model world, posting a weekly win at his home track. Making just his second career Midwest Tour start, he was the last car on the lead lap in 14th a season ago.

30 Larry Schuler Minooka IL Rod Baker Ford/Illinois Truck and Equipment Ford -It has been three years since Larry Schuler started a Midwest Tour event, but the winningest driver in America in 1976 is back in action this season, having already posted a pair of runner-up finishes in weekly competition and sits third in the Grundy point standings. Schuler won track Championships at three tracks in three states in 1976, Thursday’s at Wisconsin International, Friday’s at Grundy and Saturday’s at Illiana Motor Speedway where he was also the 1975 titlist. Schuler is a former winner of the Wayne Carter Classic (1981).

40 Curt Tillman Roscoe IL Chevrolet -Curt Tillman is a former weekly front runner at Rockford Speedway, and was named the Speedway’s most popular driver in 1986 where he picked up multiple feature wins. Now back at it with a new found enthusiasm and the help of former Midwest Tour Champion Andrew Morrissey, Tillman scored the last chance win last month at Jefferson.

44 Justin Mondeik Gleason WI AGRA Industries/Aqua Finance/Industrial Accessories Company Chevrolet -Justin Mondeik crossed the finishline first more than any other driver in the Midwest last season, 14 wins in all. One of those wins was the Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway, his first Midwest Tour triumph. Just last weekend, Mondeik was victorious at Norway Speedway for the second time in 2021, winning the Stateline Challenge. The 2020 State Park and Golden Sands Champion has two top-tens in his last two visits to Morris., finishing third place in the 2020 Midwest Tour points.

45 Rich Bickle, Jr Edgerton WI T1 Racing/Wegner Automotive/Barnyard to Brickyard Chevrolet -The Wayne Carter Classic has eluded him thus far and Saturday night will be his last chance to add his name alongside his racing heroes. He was runner-up to Steve Carlson in 1990 and has finished fifth and sixth the last two times he was on track at race end. He has done plenty of winning elsewhere including May’s Joe Shear Classic at Madison where he is a two time track Champion. He also won at Slinger last month where he has four Slinger Nationals victories. The five time Snowball Derby Champion and two time National Short Track Champion is set to retire at year’s end.

52 Keith Tolf Union Grove WI KBR Performance/Evolve Concepts/Pomp’s Tire Service Ford -With Late Model feature wins at both Lake Geneva Raceway and Dells Raceway Park, Tolf, the 2003 Allison Legacy Champion made the jump into Super Late Models and now calls Grundy County Speedway home. Tolf scored a career first Super Late feature victory last season at Morris.

52 Ricky Baker Plainfield IL Rod Baker Ford/Illinois Truck and Equipment Ford -Ricky Baker has two career Midwest Tour wins, one coming at Illiana in 2015 during the Chicagoland Showdown, the other came following the 2017 Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy County. Baker is a two-time Grundy Champion (2016-2017) and has a pair of Bettenhausen Classic wins at Grundy as well. A former Touring Star, Baker has returned home and has already found victory lane in 2021.

65 Steve Seligman Aurora IL SMB Auto Wrecking Ford -With a shorthanded crew, longtime Chicagoland driver Steve Seligman finished as the last car on the lead lap (23rd) last month at The Milwaukee Mile during his first Midwest Tour start of 2021. Seligman is getting back into the Super Late Model scene, a former competitor around Chicago’s short tracks as well as in ARCA, ASA and ARTGO. Seligman twice attempted to make the Daytona 500 as well as the Brickyard 400.

75 Dillon Hammond Grand Marsh WI Hammond Auto Mauston, WI Chevrolet -Dillon has been ultra-fast this season but has yet to have a finish to show it. The family effort has qualified seventh, fifth and fourth in the threeTour events thus far. Back on the Midwest Tour in 2021 as a Touring Star, Hammond has two career top five efforts on the Tour.

77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN Eilen & Sons Trucking & Landscape/Graber Auto Body Ford -After running an abbreviated schedule the past couple of seasons, Jonathan Eilen the 2012 Midwest Tour Champ is back on the Tour and contending for wins again. The #77 sits seventh all-time in tour wins with five, including the first ever Tour in 2007 event which was held at Elko Speedway. In the last four Wayne Carter Classics, Eilen has finished fifth, second, tenth and eighth in the event he won in 2013.

91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI’s Sports/Lucas Oil/CRC Industries/PFC Brakes Ford -Hot off his Tour wins at Jefferson Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend and at The Milwaukee Mile on Father’s Day, the 2020 Snowball Derby Champion now has 27 Midwest Tour wins on his resume to go along with his four Championships. In between all of his short track racing, Majeski has made the best of two NASCAR Truck starts, posting top ten finishes in both. Majeski won the Wayne Carter Classic in 2016.

119 Dalton Zehr Daytona Beach FL Gildan/American Apparel/Comfort Colors/Prim + Preux/AMS Chevrolet -The 2018 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion has visited victory lane quite a bit as a crew chief as of late, including on Memorial Day at Golden Sands. Dalton Zehr would like to add to his three Tour wins and get back to winning from the driver’s seat. Grundy County Speedway could be just the place for that, his last visit to the Morris speed plant resulted in Zehr winning the Wayne Carter Classic in 2018.

Past Wayne Carter Classic Winners
1976 Dave Watson
1977 Larry Phillips
1978 Mike Miller
1979 Mike Miller
1980 Mark Malcuit
1981 Larry Schuler
1982 Jim Sauter
1983 Tom Reffner
1984 Dick Trickle
1985 Butch Miller
1986 Joe Shear
1987 Dick Trickle
1988 Joe Shear
1989 Ted Musgrave
1990 Steve Carlson
1991 Kevin Cywinski
1992 Steve Holzhausen
1993 Joe Shear
1994 Joe Shear
1995 Joe Shear
1996 Dave Weltmeyer
1997 Joe Shear
1998 Eddie Hoffman
1999 Steve Carlson
2011 Ross Kenseth
2012 Eddie Hoffman
2013 Johathan Eilen
2014 Chris Weinkauf
2015 Eddie Hoffman
2016 Ty Majeski
2017 Ricky Baker
2018 Dalton Zehr
2020 Paul Shafer Jr.

Expected Entries
Wayne Carter Classic
ARCA Midwest Tour
Saturday Night July 10, 2021
Grundy County Speedway

24 as of 7/5/21

0 Austin Kunert Batavia IL
5 Casey Johnson Edgerton WI
7 Paul Shafer, Jr Portage IN
8 Eddie Hoffman Wheaton IL
8 Josh Wallace Genoa City WI
13 Andrew Brocker Jefferson WI
14 Austin Nason Roscoe IL
15 Gabe Sommers Plover WI
16 DJ Weltmeyer Dyer IN
17 Max Kahler Caledonia IL
23 Levon VanDerGeest Merrill WI
25 Jeff Storm East Troy WI
28 Nathan Kelly Wilmington IL
30 Larry Schuler Minooka IL
40 Curt Tillman Roscoe IL
44 Justin Mondeik Gleason WI
45 Rich Bickle, Jr Edgerton WI
52 Keith Tolf Union Grove WI
52 Ricky Baker Plainfield IL
65 Steve Seligman Aurora IL
75 Dillon Hammond Grand Marsh WI
77 Jonathan Eilen Hampton MN
91 Ty Majeski Seymour WI
119 Dalton Zehr Daytona Beach FL

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