Luke Fenhaus was perhaps Wisconsin Super Late Model racing’s best kept secret since he won the State Park Speedway track championship in 2018 before winning the Slinger Nationals and nearly winning the SRX race at Slinger Super Speedway just days later.
Just a few months after setting the short track racing world on fire, the 17 year old will head to Five Flags Speedway for his first attempt at the Snowball Derby. Not only will it be his first appearance at the race, it’ll also be his first appearance outside of the Midwest, with his only Super Late Model start outside of Wisconsin has been an ARCA Midwest Tour race at Iowa’s Hawkeye Down Speedway.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to get down there and realize what that whole race is a part of. It’s a big thing for my career to get all the publicity out of it, it’s a big deal for me,” Fenhaus told Speed51. “I’m stoked to go down there and put on a good show, my whole team is super excited for it and we’re really proud we can make it down this year.”
2021 has been a breakout year for Fenhaus in the Super Late Model ranks. He became the youngest winner in Slinger Nationals history, earning a ride in the SRX race held at the quarter-mile. Then, with the eyes of race fans around the country tuned into CBS, he nearly won that event against racing’s best from multiple disciplines before finishing second.
The accomplishments don’t end there. He clinched the Slinger Super Late Model track championship last month over Rich Bickle. He also currently leads the Alive For Five series points at Dells Raceway Park with one race left, and sits second in ARCA Midwest Tour points going into next weekend’s finale at Oktoberfest.
“Those two were the biggest things of my career. Winning the Nationals was a huge deal and we won a couple races here and there and ran really well. It’s been a really good season overall. To go down to the Snowball Derby, the whole team is excited for it and wants to go and do it, and have fun doing it.”
Being able to compete in that SRX race has allowed him to make new connections with people from the series, but other factors are keeping him from making potential moves up the ladder in the near future. He hopes he can jumpstart said moves with a strong run at the Snowball Derby.
“I’m in contact with a few people from SRX and I made a lot of good connections that could lead to something. With the finances, it’s hard to make something happen for the rest of this year or even next year just because it’s such a hassle to grab those sponsors and go racing.
“I’ll try to do everything I can, the Snowball would be huge to run and put on a good showing to prove we can run with some of the top guys in America. That’s the goal, to keep running good and hope something comes up later this winter or next year. For something to happen and to get some financial backing to help with it.”
While it will be his first time at the Snowball Derby, Fenhaus has some major help enlisted as it gets closer to race week. Defending race winner Ty Majeski has been helping Fenhaus across Wisconsin for the past few years, and it looks to continue down in Florida.
While picking the brain of Majeski as it gets closer, he has also been watching previous races to get ready for this year’s event.
“I’ve watched pretty much all of the past three Snowball Derbies and I’m going to contact (Ty) Majeski about the Snowball. He’s helped me a little bit with figuring out the racetrack from how iRacing has it and how real life has it. It’s really just videos right now, we’ll go test the week before the Derby and hopefully get a good feel for it.
“He’s the man around here and pretty much anywhere. He’s been really good to me in past years and helping me racetrack-wise and Super Late-wise.”
The Snowball Derby provides a chance for Fenhaus to get his name out there on a more national level. His team will make the trip from Wausau, WI to Pensacola hoping to get everything they can get out of it, from success on-track to possibly more opportunities up the ladder later on down the road.
“That’s the main thing, to get everything we can get out of the trip, it’s a huge race. My main goal is to make the race and put on a good performance for everyone that’s watched me and supported me, and try to put on a good show for my team.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo