By Bert Lehman
When Dalton Zehr was living in Florida his neighbor was Gene Coleman, of Coleman Racing Products located in Upper Michigan. It was Coleman who first told Zehr of the stiff racing competition in Wisconsin.
“He was talking about how the racing in the Midwest is some of the strongest and toughest racing you will ever do,” Zehr said. “That brought us up here and I never left.”
When asked if he believed Coleman about how tough the competition is in the Midwest, Zehr said, “We had to come see for ourselves. I tell you what it’s some of the toughest racing in the country.”
In addition to driving a Super Late Model owned by Wayne Brevik, Zehr also has is own racing equipment. (Jason Shultz photo)
Zehr, who was 14 years old when he first came to Wisconsin, has raced asphalt Super Late Models his entire time in Wisconsin.
“I was young when I was doing it and now they’re starting even younger,” he said.
His first Wisconsin race was at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, he then raced at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, followed by a trip to Norway Speedway in Michigan.
Zehr, 25, won the TUNDRA championship in 2014 and 2015. He said he also won the 2013 ASA National Championship.
A recent big race win for Zehr was winning the feature at Golden Sands Speedway on Memorial Day in the Battle of the Legends Part 2 event. In that feature, Zehr passed Ty Majeski with two laps remaining to take the win.
Dalton Zehr (No.7-11) passes Ty Majeski (No. 91) with two laps remaining in the feature at Golden Sands Speedway on Memorial Day to win the feature. The racing competition in Wisconsin is what keeps Zehr in the state. (Jeff Blaser photo)
“That was a big win for us,” Zehr said. “Ty is the guy to beat. Ty Majeski and the 91 is a fast combination but we were able to get it done. We had the faster car at the end of the race and with two to go I made the pass. That was a big win for both me and Wayne [Brevik], and a big boost to the team.”
In that race Zehr was driving a Super Late Model owned by Wayne Brevik.
“It was an opportunity to drive for Wayne and get some extra races on the schedule,” Zehr said. “Me, as a racer, I’m not going to say no to any chance to get behind the wheel.”
Zehr also has his own racing operation for other races.
The season has also had its valleys.
“The first scheduled race of the year we blew up a motor, a fault of our own,” Zehr said. “We had clutch issues here (State Park Speedway) opening night so it’s been a little rough. We’ve had good speed, we just haven’t been able to swing it all together.”
Zehr pointed out that the win on Memorial Day marked his 50th career Super Late Model win.
“That was a little bit of a milestone, and that would have been my 97th professional win,” Zehr said.
He said he plans on racing for points at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Golden Sands Speedway and Marshfield Superspeedway. Specials he plans to attend include the Slinger Nationals and Oktoberfest in La Crosse at the end of the season.
Looking back, Zehr is glad he checked out the racing competition in Wisconsin.
“The racing up here is great. That’s my driving passion, is racing,” Zehr said. “That’s what keeps me here.”
(This article appeared in the July 2016 issue of Full Throttle magazine.)