The 2024 edition of Dells Raceway Park’s “Icebreaker 100” was one for the books. A packed grandstand, record car count, and a sunny spring day combined for what looked to be a promising beginning for GSR’s Midwestern portion of their 2024 schedule.

Friday saw many teams take to the track to shake down their machines in preparation for the opening event of the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series, with over 30 drivers recording laps throughout the day. Plover, Wisconsin’s own Gabe Sommers unloaded with a bucketload of speed in his No. 15, never outside the top ten in speed. Crawling up into podium spots in the final trip of practice sessions, Gabe would end the day on a high note by timing in at the top of the standings, almost a tenth better than the next closest competitor. The driver and mechanic of the No. 15 Ford claimed the car was “decent”, and refused to settle, looking for even more speed.

Saturday morning saw a picturesque forecast on hand, with many race fans and teams welcoming the warm weather and clear skies for the opening event on Dells Raceway Park’s calendar. Quick practice and scuff sessions showed that GSR had in fact carried their speed over to raceday, with Gabe slotting in at the third spot in the lone practice of the day, followed by a P1 effort in the scuff. Qualifying was now next on the docket, with a 35 car field ready to go to battle for the honor of “Fast Time”. Many drivers held the pole position throughout the session, with teams constantly topping their predecessors in the lineup, creating a fantastic atmosphere for the fans. Gabe would roll out onto the track and immediately set the tone for the crowd by ripping off a 13.319 second lap, good enough to secure #KwikTime by a .074 second margin. 

Now locked into the show, Gabe and the crew watched on as odd/even heats and the last chance qualifier set the back rows of the starting lineup, and prepared a game plan to attack the short 100 lap feature. Rolling off from 6th after the invert, it wouldn’t be easy work for Sommers, with a fast group of racecars sitting between him and the Icebreaker 100 trophy. Not one to waste time, Gabe stayed glued to the back bumpers of those in his windshield, waiting for any opportunity to slip by and make his move. 

Cracking the top five on Lap 11/100, the No. 15 was officially on the move and looking to climb up the order. After a hotly contested battle for 4th, Gabe settled into the position on Lap 36, and set his sights on a podium spot. Unfortunately, disaster struck just five laps later when the No. 15 began blowing plumes of smoke out of the exhaust pipe down the front straightaway, and fluid immediately doused the racing surface. One driver was unlucky in avoiding the spillage, but Gabe hustled his machine off the track as quickly as he could, cutting a potentially rewarding run short before even reaching the halfway point. Officially, GSR would end their day in the 22nd position.

As the weekend ends, we look forward to what’s next for GSR and our No. 15. We will be back in action on April 21 at Slinger Super Speedway for the ASA Midwest Tour opener, the “Jerry “Bear” Priesgen Memorial”. The race will be streamed live on MidwestTour.TV at 2 PM CST for those that can’t make it to the track.