Paine, Mackesy take top spots at State Park Speedway
WAUSAU – One first time winner and a veteran of the short track racing wars were the victors June 25 at State Park Speedway in CWRA Stars to Legends Tour action, with Paul Paine, Mound, MN, and Mark Mackesy, Wausau, capturing 35-lap Feature wins.
For Paine, it was his first ever main event win in CWRA competition and it came after two years of trying.
“I’ve been trying to get one of these big trophies for over 20 races now, I finally got one,” he stated.
For Mackesy, it was another win at his home track, which vaulted him past Tom Reffner for second on the all time win list.
“I thought the car would get tight as we got going there, but it really took off and was fast the whole race. It’s really cool to pass Tom Reffner in all time wins here. He was my idol growing up in racing,” he recalled.
The first 35-lap Feature found Putch Bentley, Iron River, MI, and Darren Jackson, Wisconsin Rapids, on the front row. It was Bentley, immediately grabbing the top spot, but John Beale, Verona, the current Tour point leader quickly moved into second spot.
It didn’t take long for drivers to get a bit antsy, as top rookie contender, Dave Satorius, Appleton, got into the back of Jackson, sending both spinning, and causing the caution to wave. A double-file restart found Bentley and Beale ready from the front to do battle, and Beale shot into the top spot passing Bentley with an outside move. Beale began to stretch his lead while the field sorted itself out.
Jeff Weinfurter, Wisconsin Rapids, from his seventh starting position, moved into second by the fifth lap. He had all he could handle to maintain that spot, as Paine, Bentley Trucking; Travis Volm, Mosinee; and Mackesy were right on his tail. Paine and Weinfurter made contact, which vaulted the Minnesota traveler securely into second with Weinfurter losing several spots getting his car back up to speed. Paine drew to Beale’s rear bumper and in a blink of an eye was past the Tour points leader.
With 10 laps left in the race, Paine did his version of social distancing, stretching his lead to 10 car lengths at the checkered flag. Following Paine across the stripe was Beale; Weinfurter; Mike Sievers, Wisconsin Rapids; Bentley; and Tyler Wusterbarth, Oconto, the top six.
The second 35-lap Main found Adam Oxborough, Montgomery, MN, and Dakota Blakeslee, Rudolph, in their tour debuts on the front row. With the green flag waving, the engine in Blakeslee’s car suddenly expired, coating the front stretch with oil and sending half the starting field sliding into the turn one wall.
With the crash, only 10 of the 16 car starting field were able to answer the bell for the restart. That put Oxborough and Volm on the front row, with Volm grabbing the first position.
Mark Mackesy didn’t waste time getting to the front, as he was already in third by the fourth go-around. With his car appearing to be running on rails, Mackesy moved by Volm for the lead by Lap 8. Oxborough maintained the third position, but Paine, who suffered severe damage in the early race wreck, remained competitive racing into third position by Lap 15. With green flag racing continuing, Mackesy stretched his lead to a dozen car lengths before the checkered flag waved. Paine motored into second, where he remained to the finish with Volm, Oxborough, Beale, and Dave Satorius rounding out the top six finishers.
CWRA action heads to Marshfield Motor Speedway, Marshfield, on July 11, where the John Brevik Memorial race will take place. On July 15, the tour heads to a race honoring Larry Wehrs, at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem.