April 20, 2019

Wisconsin racer Luke Fenhaus part of Kulwicki development program

With one true Wisconsinite, a young driver who missed being born a Badger by a couple of years and another who has raced extensively on this side of the Cheddar Curtain, the list of Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalists again has a distinctly Wisconsin flavor. 

Fifteen-year-old Luke Fenhaus of Wausau is the one true Wisconsin driver among the seven finalists announced Monday. Also in the group are Carson Kvapil, whose father, 2003 NASCAR truck champion Travis Kvapil, is from Janesville; and Paul Shafer Jr., who has competed with the ARCA Midwest Tour around Wisconsin.

The KDDP provides financial assistance and mentoring for seven promising young drivers annually while honoring the legacy of Alan Kulwicki, the late 1992 NASCAR champion from Greenfield, who was recently enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Fenhaus burst onto the super-late model scene in central Wisconsin last year as a high school freshman, winning five races and the championship at State Park Speedway in his hometown. He also was rookie of the year in the Midwest Truck Series, winning four times. Fenhaus plans to defend his track title while also competing in some Midwest Tour and Wisconsin Challenge Series events.

Kvapil, 16, of Mooresville, N.C., made his super-late model debut last season and won on the ARCA Midwest Tour and TUNDRA series. A 58-race winner in outlaw karts, he is a two-time champion at Millbridge Speedway. Kvapil will race super-late models for the powerhouse team that brought Ty Majeski to national prominence with owner Brad Mannstedt and crew chief Toby Nuttleman. 

Shafer, 22, of Portage, Ind., won a Midwest Tour race at Jefferson Speedway and plans to compete for the championship as well as race in the Triple Crown Series at Madison International Speedway. 

Listed alphabetically, the remaining finalists are: 

Danny Benedict, 22, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Provincial Champion in Ontario.

Justin Carroll, 23, Concord, N.C., the fourth-place KDDP finisher last year, who will compete for the CARS Tour championship while also racing at various tracks in North Carolina and Virginia.

Jeremy Doss, 22, Upper Lake, Calif., the fifth-place finisher in 2016, champion of the Spears SRL Southwest Tour and a 40-time super-late model race winner.

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Derek Griffith, 22, Hudson, N.H., sixth-place finisher last year, the Pro All Star Series national champion and a winner in the 100-lap finale to Speedweek at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway. 

The seven finalists receive $7,777 – a nod to Kulwicki’s car No. 7 – as well as assistance in such aspect of the business as marketing and sponsor development.

“Kulwicki Cup” competition will run from April 1 through Oct. 31. On-track performance and subjective factors such as their representation of the KDDP will be taken into consideration in determining the champion, who will receive more than $54,000.

Two of the four KDDP champions have been from Wisconsin: Majeski, a Seymour native, in 2015 and Alex Prunty of Lomira in 2016.

 

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