Plover, WI – Gabe Sommers Racing (GSR) faced an adrenaline-fueled weekend as they embarked on a doubleheader event in June, signaling the start of a busy summer schedule. The team kicked off Saturday night by heading to Jefferson Speedway for the highly anticipated “Salute the Troops 100,” the third round of the ASA Midwest Tour.
GSR wasted no time making their mark as Gabe Sommers quickly rose to the top of the time charts during practice, showcasing exceptional speed and skill. With expert guidance from Travis Sauter and the dedicated crew, the No. 15 car maintained its dominance throughout the second practice and qualifying sessions. Sommers strategically secured the lowest possible invert position, setting the stage for an exhilarating feature race.
Starting in eighth position, Gabe seized the opportunity to advance through the field while the cars were tightly packed. Taking advantage of an early caution, he swiftly maneuvered his way into the top five by lap 9 out of 100. Adopting a defensive approach, Gabe focused on chasing down competitors who were grappling with tire wear, all the while skillfully fending off challenges from drivers trailing behind the No. 15. By lap 40, he settled into third place, withstanding relentless advances from Paul Shafer, Jr. while keeping a watchful eye on Kahler and Nottestad battling for the lead.
Strategically preserving his resources, Gabe gradually closed the gap between himself and the front-runners, reducing it to just a couple of car lengths with under fifteen laps remaining. Determined to secure the lead, he intensified his efforts, ultimately passing Kahler on lap 90. As the gap closed to less than a car length in a matter of five laps, the race took an unexpected turn on lap 94 when contact occurred while entering turn one. Regardless of fault or differing opinions on the incident, Gabe was sent to the back of the field. However, he demonstrated resilience, rebounding to secure a ninth-place finish within the final few laps, minimizing the impact of the unfortunate incident.
Rather than allowing the setback at Jefferson Speedway to dampen their spirits, the GSR crew channeled their determination into the upcoming Dick Trickle 99 at Golden Sands Speedway. Utilizing the same car from Saturday’s race, the team continued to exhibit impressive speed, securing top-five positions in both practice sessions and an outstanding second-place qualifying effort. With race time approaching, Gabe was in his element.
Starting in eighth position once again, the No. 15 car adeptly navigated its way into the top five by lap 12 out of 99. Gabe’s relentless pursuit continued as he seized the lead on lap 35, leaving much of the field in his wake. Only John Beale managed to keep pace, resulting in an astonishing six-second gap over the rest of the competitors. However, on lap 96, an exchange of bumpers dashed Gabe’s hopes for a comeback victory. Despite a sideways moment, Sommers quickly regained control and settled for second place as time expired, showcasing an impressive recovery run.
While this weekend showcased strong performances mixed with bouts of misfortune, Gabe Sommers Racing remains undeterred. The team is eager to tackle the Alive For Five Series’ Capitol 100 at Madison International Speedway on Friday, June 2. This event will feature a pair of 50-lap feature races, offering Gabe the opportunity to build on his incredible podium finish during his last visit with the ASA STARS National Tour. With a fast driver at the helm and a strong car, GSR aims to overcome challenges and secure a well-deserved victory. Racing will commence at 7:30pm CST.