The latest winter storm to pass through our area affected Day 2 of racing at the Wausau 525.
It was the race that everyone was looking forward to at the Rib Mountain track. But with all the storylines heading into the TLR Cup final, it was Mother Nature that stole the headlines.
The snow made racing difficult for competitors, especially on the backstretch of the track, where the precipitation fell into the racers' faces.
"Now with the snow falling like it is, visibility is going to be a factor too," Wausau-native Matt Schulz said. "Definitely a lot of changes throughout the day."
Schulz finished in second in his qualifying heat prior to the final. But from the semifinals to the championship, conditions deteriorated, from bad to worse.
A red flag was issued due to an accident after two laps of racing. But then drivers gathered and ultimately decided it was best to call off the race.
"I was hoping that maybe they could resweep the track and maybe get something going here and we could finish the race but then again obviously safety first," Schulz said.
Wausau 525 track announcer Dave Marg said that race organizers tried to give it another go.
"We cleaned the track and stuff but the visibility was too low plus it's getting dark that on top of the heavy snow, it's just too dangerous to continue," Marg said.
Current world champion Malcolm Chartier was in the lead after two laps and agreed that stopping the race was the right decision.
"There's always disappointment, the whole team traveled from Michigan to get here, for this final, the 525 and there's disappointment," Chartier said. "But there's also relief because we'll go home in one piece and all my competitors are as well."
Schulz was gunning for his first-ever Sunday TLR Cup victory after winning the Champ 440 race four times, including this year.
The race will resume where it left off next weekend at the TLR Cup's next stop in Ogilvy, Minn.
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