Wisconsin International Raceway

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Coordinates: 44°14′44″N 88°15′37″W / 44.2455°N 88.2603°W / 44.2455; -88.2603

Wisconsin International Raceway
WIROvals.jpg
1/4 mile oval and Figure 8 tracks, plus most of the 1/2 mile oval]
LocationKaukauna, Wisconsin (town of Buchanan)
Major eventsDixieland 250
Red, White and Blue State Championship Series
1/2 mile
Surfaceasphalt
Length.50 mi
Turns4 plus dogleg on frontstretch
Race lap record18.880 (Casey Johnson, , 2019, Super late model[1])
1/4 mile
Surfaceasphalt
Length0.25 mi
Figure 8
Surfaceasphalt
Drag strip
Surfaceasphalt
Bankingflat

The Wisconsin International Raceway (WIR) is an asphalt stock car racing oval and dragstrip in the Town of Buchanan, in Outagamie County, just outside Kaukauna, Wisconsin, USA.

Oval track[edit]

WIR originally opened as KK Sports Arena, a nod to its location on County Trunk KK.[2] The main track is a half-mile D-shaped paved oval.[3] Inside the half mile track is a smaller quarter-mile oval. Originally a dirt track, the quarter mile was paved in 1968.[2] The half mile track was added around the existing quarter mile the following year.[4]

There are six divisions at the track.[3] The Super Late Model and Late Model divisions race on the half-mile track.[3] The Super Stocks, Sport 4's (stock four cylinders modified for racing), and Wisconsin Sport Trucks[3][5] divisions race on the quarter-mile track. The Figure 8 cars end programs on the Figure 8 track inside of the quarter-mile.[3] An automated timing and scoring system was set up for the 2007 season, and each race car carries a transponder.

The Fox River Racing Club began helping promote the weekly events in 1975.

Special events[edit]

The track had an annual American Speed Association event when the sanctioning body was in existence. The track resumed hosting ASA events after the series was reorganized, and it held an event in 2007 for the ASA Midwest Tour. That event, the Dixieland 250, is now part of the ARCA Midwest Tour schedule and is one of the most prestigious events on the calendar,[6] attracting NASCAR champions Kevin Harvick and Ron Hornaday Jr. in 2009 and Kyle Busch in 2017. Earlier the USAC Stock Car series had raced at the track.[7]

The track has hosted an annual Red, White, and Blue State Championship Series for super late models since 1972.[8] The series consist of three races in June (red), July (white), and August (blue).[8] The series changed from Saturday nights to Thursday nights to combine with the weekly series in 2009.[8] The series was part of the Midwest Challenge Series (formerly ARTGO) and later part of the Wisconsin Challenge Series. 7,832 people watched Dick Trickle win the first red race.[8]

Notable drivers[edit]

Dick Trickle pavilion in Turn 2

All drivers listed later competed in NASCAR nationally-sanctioned events

Trickle carved enough of a legacy that the track dedicated the Dick Trickle Pavilion in Turn 2. Joe Shear won the Red, White, and Blue series 1979, 1987, and 1988.[10]

Track champions[edit]

Year Super late model Super Stock Sizzlin' 4s Figure 8
1975 Rich Somers
1976 Larry Schuler
1977 Jerry "Medina" Smith Kenny Van Wychen
1978 Rich Somers Rick Zieler
1979 Alan Kulwicki Tom Munes
1980 Alan Kulwicki Tom Munes
1981 Jim Sauter Randy Rahn
1982 Terry Baldry Dave Uttech
1983 Terry Baldry Randy Rahn
1984 Terry Baldry Randy Rahn
1985 Scott Hansen Dan Gracyalny
1986 Scott Hansen Jeff Beschta
1987 Scott Hansen Dan Gracyalny
1988 Scott Hansen Dan Gracyalny
1989 Scott Hansen Terry Van Roy
1990 J. J. Smith Terry Van Roy Dan Gracyalny
1991 Lowell Bennett Terry Van Roy Dan Gracyalny
1992 Jim Weber Terry Van Roy Terry Van Roy
1993 Terry Baldry Terry Van Roy Rick Kaufert
1994 Matt Kenseth Terry Van Roy Terry Van Roy
1995 Matt Kenseth Chris LaRocque Terry Van Roy
1996 Mark Schroeder Chris LaRocque Dan Gracyalny
1997 Terry Baldry Mike Rahn Terry Van Roy
1998 Lowell Bennett Randy Van Roy Dan Gracyalny
1999 Terry Baldry Terry Van Roy Randy Thiemer
2000 Terry Baldry Chris LaRocque Terry Van Roy
2001 Terry Baldry Terry Van Roy Terry Van Roy
2002 Terry Baldry Terry Van Roy Terry Van Roy
2003 Terry Baldry Andy Casavant Jeff Beschta
2004 Terry Baldry Andy Casavant Bryan Monday Terry Van Roy
2005 Rod Wheeler[11] Andy Casavant Phil Verboomen Donald Van Camp
2006 Tim Rothe Randy Van Roy Nick Boldt Donald Van Camp
2007 Tim Rothe Greg Hauser Scott Verboomen Terry Van Roy
2008 Jeff Van Oudenhoven[8] Greg Hauser
Andy Casavant
Tom Schweitzer Jeff Wohlrabe
2009 Jeff Van Oudenhoven Todd Bauman Tim Richter Terry Van Roy
2010 Terry Baldry Greg Hauser
Andy Casavant
Wayne Sonkowsky Dan Gracyalny
2011 Jeff Van Oudenhoven Greg Hauser
Andy Casavant
Cody Kippenhan Dan Gracyanly
2012 Lowell Bennett Dylan Wenzel Cory Romenesko Craig Vandewettering
2013 Jeff Van Oudenhoven Dylan Wenzel Ethan Beattie Jared Baughman
2014 Lowell Bennett Greg Hauser Wayne Sonkowsky Craig Vandewettering
2015 Lowell Bennett Schwalback/Van Roy Mike Klein Craig Vandewettering
2016 Jeff Van Oudenhoven Dyaln Wenzel Mike Klein Craig Vandewettering
2017 Andy Monday Dylan Wenzel Dan Thomson Craig Vandewettering
Terry Van Roy
2018 Casey Johnson Rachel Meyerhofer Andy Miller Craig Vandewettering
2019 Casey Johnson Wayne Sonkowsky
Greg Hauser
Emery Beattie
Evan Beattie
Mike Meyerhofer Jr

Dragstrip[edit]

Looking down the drag strip

The dragstrip is a 1/4 mile paved track. It is one of three operating dragstrips in Wisconsin.

Weekly divisions[edit]

There are six weekly divisions that compete on Saturday nights: Top Eliminator Class, Hot Rod Eliminator, Street Eliminator, Pro-Bike and Snowmobile, Street Bike, and Junior Dragsters.

Eve of Destruction[edit]

The track has hosted an annual "Eve of Destruction" each September since 1993 and it is the track's annual season finale for the oval track. The Eve of Destruction is one of the biggest events hosted at track, as the 10,000 seat raceway is generally packed.[12] Drivers compete in a variety of unusual events such as chain races (two cars are chained together), spin to win (race backwards and then spin around forward for the finish), trailer races (part of the trailer must remain intact to continue racing), etc. In between races, fans are entertained by stunt car drivers. Ten school buses compete in a survival-of-the-fittest competition, where the last bus standing wins. Track owner Roger Van Daalwyk described the Eve of Destruction: "We kind of wreck everything."[13] During the 2017 Eve of Destruction, a local driver died from injuries sustained in a figure-eight race.[14]

Media[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Wisconsin International Raceway: Where the Big Ones Run!, Joe Verdegan. M&B Global Solutions, November 30, 2016, ISBN 1942731248.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Apel wins TUNDRA opener at WIR". The Post-Crescent. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b Verdegan, Joe (2015). Life in the Past Lane: A History of Stock Car Racing in Northeast Wisconsin from 1950 - 1980 (1st ed.). Green Bay, Wisconsin: M&B Global Solutions Inc. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-942731-15-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e Goff, Tom (2009-05-26). "Get Your Motor Running". The Post Crescent.
  4. ^ Grubba, Dale (2000). The Golden Age of Wisconsin Auto Racing. Oregon, Wisconsin: Badger Books. p. 45. ISBN 1-878569-67-8.
  5. ^ Wisporttrucks.com
  6. ^ Eberly, Brian. "Stacked entry list highlights Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International". Short Track Scene. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Bay Darnell race results". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e Goff, Tom (2009-05-28). "Thunder and Lightning". The Post Crescent. pp. B-1, B-5.
  9. ^ Grubba, Dale (2000). The Golden Age of Wisconsin Auto Racing. Oregon, Wisconsin: Badger Books. p. 201. ISBN 1-878569-67-8.
  10. ^ Grubba, Dale (2000). The Golden Age of Wisconsin Auto Racing. Badger Books Inc. p. 205. ISBN 1-878569-67-8. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  11. ^ Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper, May 21, 2006, Racing Report (page B-8)
  12. ^ The Post-Crescent, September 16, 2006, "Crash fans covet Eve of Destruction" (page A1)
  13. ^ The Post-Crescent, September 16, 2006, "Crash fans covet Eve of Destruction" (page A3)
  14. ^ Behr, Madeline. "Driver killed at Wisconsin International Raceway remembered as 'all-around good guy'". The Post-Crescent. Retrieved 6 November 2018.

External links[edit]