Driver: Derek Kraus
Car: No. 9 Seubert Calf Ranches Inc. Super Late Model
Race: Larry Detjens Memorial
Track: State Park Speedway
Track Description: .25-mile asphalt oval
Date/Time: Saturday, July 30, 2016 / 6:00pm
Race Length: 125 Laps
In his first race since being announced as one of seven drivers in the 2016 Ganassi Racing Gen G program, 14-year-old Derek Kraus will attempt to add his name to the prestigious list of previous winners of the annual late-July Larry Detjens Memorial Race at State Park Speedway. Derek already has four top ten finishes at the Wausau, Wisconsin track this year, including a win in the Flip Merwin Memorial on June 16 and a 5th place finish in the ARCA Midwest Tour event at the track in May.
Held since 1981, the Larry Detjens Memorial race pays tribute to the 1977 State Park track champion, a short track racing star who lost his life in a racing accident in 1981. The list of drivers that have entered and won the event includes many local legends, as well as several native Wisconsin drivers who have made their way to NASCAR’s top levels. Dick Trickle was a three-time winner of the event, while both Tim Sauter and Scott Wimmer, State Park Speedway co-owner and nephew of the late Detjens, have gone to victory lane twice. Chris Wimmer, Bryan Reffner and most recently, Johnny Sauter have also won the race that is a staple on the schedule of many area racers.
“The Detjens Memorial Race Weekend is more than a race, it is a weekend full of shared memories for a lot of great racers, fans and families involved in racing around the area,” Derek stated. “It is an honor to be racing in the event not only for the heritage, but to honor the Wimmer family and all that they have done for the racing community. After racing at Grundy on July 15th, I spent a week strapping on a football helmet for football camp. I’m looking forward to strapping back into the racecar where I am truly comfortable!”
The Gen G program is Chip Ganassi Racing’s method of both identifying and assisting North America’s top up and coming race car drivers. This is the first full year for the program, which includes drivers from a wide array of racing backgrounds.
At State Park Speedway on Saturday, July 30th, Super Late Model drivers will have three practice sessions on the ¼-mile oval in the afternoon, followed by qualifying at 5:00pm. The 125-lap Larry Detjens Memorial, which will have a 10-minute break at lap 75, will be the final race after a full schedule of support races which begin at 6:00pm.
Credit: Richard Slifkin