KAUKAUNA, Wis. – Standing on the front straight of Wisconsin Int’l Raceway, Maxwell Schultz proudly proclaimed, “This one is mine.”
Schultz withstood a challenge from Casey Johnson in the waning laps and got a bit of luck to hold on and win the 48th Red-White-Blue State Championship series at Wisconsin Int’l Raceway.
Going into the finale, which was a pair of 35-lap features that were swept by Ty Majeski, Schultz led Johnson by eight points.
Schultz finished sixth and second in the features, while Johnson was second and fourth, only making up one point in the standings.
“It means a lot,” Schultz said about winning the title. “There’s a lot of good drivers that come along here from the years of (Dick) Trickle, (Matt) Kenseth, (Joe) Shear, (Mark) Martin. You walk in here and see all the names. It’s really cool.”
The thing is his name is already on the Red-White-Blue champions board near the main entrance gate at Wisconsin Int’l Raceway. But not in the way he’d like it to be.
Five years ago, Schultz had to share the Red-White-Blue championship with Brett Piontek. In a bit of irony, Piontek is now on Schultz’s pit crew. So, in a sense, they’ll still share this title, but it’ll be Schultz’s name that will go on the champions board, alone.
“To have it up there by myself is a little more special,” Schultz said.
Now with the Red-White-Blue series finished, Johnson and Schultz are locked in another tight championship fight – the weekly track championship.
Johnson, the defending champion, led Schultz by six points heading into Thursday night and after the Red-White-Blue, there are four races remaining. Schultz is chasing his first weekly track championship.
“We just got to bunker down and go get both,” Schultz said. “It’s cool to win one, but not many people win both in the same year. It’ll be pretty special to do it.”