Mike White #4b 7 21 23
Mike White after his late model victory at Illinois’ Grundy County Speedway Friday night. (Chris Goodaker photo)

White Survives Wreckfest At Grundy County

MORRIS, Ill. — Veteran racer Mike White won the 30-lap late model stock car feature race at Grundy County Speedway Friday night.

Racing out of Schererville, Ind., White, who is a former three-time track champion at the third-mile paved oval, wheeled his Ray Wroblewski-owned No. 4B Chevrolet to victory. White — who won his Grundy titles in 1993, 1995 and 1996 — hadn’t won a feature race at Grundy since 2019 and has recently struggled to finish races.

“I was thinking on the way to the track we probably have a 50/50 chance of finishing tonight,” said White. “I didn’t have a winning car but wound up winning.”  

The 30-lap feature, which saw 16 cars take the green flag, was a “survival of the fittest” or more like a “survival of the luckiest” as spins and tangles seemed to take race leaders out of the picture.

Jim Weber started on the pole of the evening’s headliner with the field getting tangled up in turn one lap of the initial lap with White, Stan Zolodz and D.J. Weltmeyer involved. White went to the pits to check front-end damage but came back before the restart.

Weber set the pace but found Eddie Hoffman right there to challenge after a yellow flag-caused restart. Weber and Hoffman raced side by side for several laps but got together battling for the lead with Hoffman’s car getting banged up as a result of a spin, bringing out another yellow flag. 

Later, with eight laps to go, Hoffman’s car caught fire, bringing out the red flag and causing an extended stop in the action. Running one through four, James Lynch, Weltmeyer, Ricky Baker and White waited for the restart.

Weltmeyer pressured Lynch for the lead with Lynch and Weltmeyer getting crossed up, sending Weltmeyer spinning and Lynch “tapping out” — indicating he was the cause of Weltmeyer’s spin. Weltmeyer got his position back with Baker now looking to get the lead as the green flag flew with seven laps to go.  

Taking the white flag, Baker got into Weltmeyer going into turn one, sending the leader spinning.  

White’s car received more front-end body damage in the skirmish.

With Weltmeyer and Baker in the pits, White “survived” the last lap and took starter Greg Kuntz’s checkered flag ahead of Tony Brutti, who recovered from an earlier race spin. Scott Dunning, Lynch, James Gregait and Steve Seligman rounded out the “top six.”

“We were struggling all night with a terrible push,” said White. “The car wouldn’t turn. We were a sixth-car place at best. I figured I would hang there. Everybody was fighting for the bottom and being real aggressive. I didn’t know how the front-end was (looking) but the car was steering decent. 

“I was going to ride it out. During the red flag, I was fourth and thinking this is all I’ve got and then I go from fourth to winning.”

Travis Mahoney raced to victory in the 20-lap Klaus Wever Memorial race for the “Midwest Mayhem Midgets.”  

Battling with six-time series champion Scott Koerner for the lead, Mahoney took the top spot and finished ahead of Koerner, Tom Schnabel, Basil Hicks and C.J. Macaluso. Mahoney, the second-generation speedster from Madison, Wis., scored his third consecutive midget main event, having won at Grundy and also at Rockford Speedway.  

Mahoney’s winning Liberty Village-sponsored mount was among a half-dozen or so cars that were damaged in a crash during earlier practice after the track was oiled down by one of the cars. Led by Mahoney’s dad, Jim, the crew was able to make repairs for the winning effort.

Points leader Matt Chester won the 25-lap street stock feature. Chester captured his sixth win of the season ahead of Randy Weese and Jonathan Stevens.

Scott Ingram bested Trevor Tichy and Zach Legner in the 20-lap pure stock (four-cylinder division) main event.