WAUSAU, Wis. – Mark Eswein has won many championships in his career by competing at some famous tracks in central Wisconsin.
This past season he won his first championship at State Park Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Wausau, Wis., a championship that he dedicated to his car owners Ben and Katie Martinson, who brought back the word “fun” for him at the track.
Many fans have become familiar seeing Eswein in his famous No. 71. But now they are becoming more familiar seeing him in the #36 Martinson owned car.
“About three years ago, I ran a limited schedule for Ben and Katie Martinson where we had some success running locally around central Wisconsin,” Eswein recalled. “In 2011, we started out by running at State Park Speedway on Thursday night and were having a good time. Our partnership brought the fun back into racing. We had so much fun in 2011 that we decided to do it again in 2012 and go for the championship. We won the Flip Merwin race halfway through the summer, and got some good momentum to carry us to the championship.”
It was a banner year for them as Eswein gave them their first feature victory and the Super Late Model Championship at the quarter-mile asphalt oval located west of downtown Wausau.
Eswein is also proud to have his name on the list of champions at State Park Speedway.
“It feels great. State Park Speedway has always been known as a track this is dominated by the Wausau guys,” Eswein said. “We are looked at as an outsider because we come from 60 miles away and come up to run with the locals. We appeared to fit in well and won the championship.”
He is also pleased to see how well the track is doing under the watchful eye of Ron & Scott Wimmer.
“I have been there for the ups and downs of State Park Speedway. I started there in 1990, saw it go downhill and now I am helping to bring it back up to the top,” Eswein said.
The 2012 Champion has a good list of reasons why the track is successful.
“One thing is that we put on some great side-by-side racing. The fans come back and keep the stands full because they see a good show,” Eswein said. “The tech keeps everything fair which is a big plus for me. But the big thing is racing in front of a large crowd.”
In 2012, State Park Speedway had more than 16,000 fans come through the gate to watch over 155 different drivers compete on the quarter-mile oval. They paid out over $172,800 to their drivers.
Eswein started racing hobby stocks in high school and would go to the area tracks with his father. Later he pitted for central Wisconsin standout Kirby Kirth and then for Bryan Reffner in the ASA National Tour and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Eswein is proud to have a championship at an ASA Member Track.
“It’s special. I never thought that I would run for a championship at State Park Speedway,” Eswin admitted. “Most of my championships have been at Golden Sands Speedway and the Wisconsin Challenge Series. It is great to race under the ASA name and carry the banner. Even the car is red and white, so it was a perfect match.”
If anyone competes against Eswein on the track or has seen him race from the stands, you will see one constant thing, “I have been around for a while and won a number of track championships and races. You can love me or hate me but I am a hard nose competitor who got some good results out of the 36 car this year. We had a lot of fun doing it.”
“We congratulate Mark Eswein and the other division champions at State Park Speedway,” said Dennis Huth, ASA Racing President. “We are very proud of the progress the Wimmer family has made at State Park Speedway and grateful to have them as part of our ASA Racing family. They have provided a great positive story to a resurrection of a famous short track.”