A family affair: Family action highlights July 2 racing at State Park Speedway
By Adam Glatczak
WAUSAU – Mark Mackesy won another super late model feature at State Park Speedway on July 2, but not before facing a stiff challenge from someone he knows especially well.
Mackesy continued to add to his late model feature total at his home track, winning his 58th career feature by claiming the 40-lap Auto Select Super Late Models presented by C-Tech. He did so by holding off his nephew Dillon Mackesy, denying Dillon his first-ever super late model feature win.
Mark Mackesy led all but one lap in the shortened feature, the length cut from an originally scheduled 60 laps after rain showers delayed racing for more than an hour midway through the program. The Wausau driver took the lead from Mosinee’s Travis Volm on the second lap and led the rest of the way to win his second straight feature.
Dillon Mackesy ran behind his uncle, Mark for the final 36 laps, never more than a couple car lengths back. The son of former late model racer Wayne Mackesy got as close as Mark’s back bumper with 12 laps to go, then made a final run in the closing laps, taking a look on the outside but remaining behind and coming home as runner-up for the second time this season. He also bounced back after two rough weeks that included a blown engine two weeks earlier and an accident in his back-up car running with the CWRA late models last week.
Mark Mackesy won his first feature in weekly racing at the track since August 2018. The four-time track champion just last week broke a tie with Tom Reffner for second on SPS’s all-time list for late model feature wins, and he trails only Dick Trickle for career late model feature wins on the Rib Mountain quarter-mile.
Current points leader Justin Mondeik of Gleason finished third in the feature, with Brock Heinrich fourth and Luke Fenhaus fifth. Heinrich and Mondeik raced for third for 14 laps before Mondeik finally got inside Heinrich to move into the top three.
It was a great night for families at the front of features at State Park Speedway.
The super late model feature wasn’t the only family affair Thursday night, as another of the track’s most respected racing families battled it out for first in the Snap-on Mini Mods. Mosinee’s John Lietz and his son Jim Lietz ran side-by-side for the final eight laps of the 15-lap feature race, but father bested son as John ran first at the checkers by less than a car length to capture his first feature win since 2017.
John Lietz led all 15 laps of the feature from the outside pole but had to ward off both his son and fast qualifier and defending mini mods champion Greg Blount. Hungry for his first win of the season, Blount was right behind John Lietz the final eight laps, but could not get around the front two racing door-to-door.
Jim Lietz closed in over the final laps, and the two were virtually even at the white flag. John Lietz got a strong run on the backstretch, though, and held on to win by less than a car length with Blount third.