10 Questions with…Luke Fenhaus

Driver of the #4 Super Late Model
2021 Super Late Model Champion
2021 Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) Finalist

How did you get into racing?
I got into racing from my family. My cousin raced snowmobiles on ice oval when I was young. My dad raced before him and my grandpa raced before both of them. I was also involved around the racetrack with my cousin and I grew up at the racetrack. I pretty much just lived at the racetrack with my family when I was younger. All my younger years were always spent at the snowmobile track in the winter. Then once I started, it was every week with myself and my family.

You decided to take a different path, though…why?
At the time when I was really young and was racing snowmobiles, I went to State Park Speedway and watched Tim Sauter and a lot of other guys race Late Models. At that time Tim Sauter won a lot of races and he was a big deal to me, I really looked up to him. When I was racing in winter, all the attention was on my cousin and his racing until I grew more interested in racing and got better and did my own thing. So I decided to go in the summer and do Go-Karts and Bandoleros to have my dad’s connection and my family’s connection in a different season.

What do you like about Slinger Super Speedway?
Pretty much everything. I think the intense racing is probably overall the best in Wisconsin. The racetrack has so much character in it that you had to adapt to and learn. That’s what the tricky part is – that it’s not an easy racetrack. It’s very difficult and you have to be focused, especially for long races you get really tired. The banking is super intense and it makes for really good racing.

Who do you need to thank?
Crew: Tom Ress (Crew Chief), Al Fenhaus (Dad/Car Chief), Mary Sherman, Matt Schulz, Harvey Delisle, Logan Urban, Clay Phillips, Craig Schulz, Gary Kawleski, Elaine Kawleski, Grandpa Fenhaus, Taylor Fenhaus (helps with PR/marketing), Lori Fenhaus (mom/ PR/ marketing/ meals), Greg Mielke. Sponsors: Dun-Rite Exteriors/Justin Schulz/Car Owner, PGA Inc., Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP), Central Wisconsin Vending, Pioneer, Custom Meats, Amsoil, Chris Wimmer Motorsports, Truck Country, Northern Trail, Crystal Finishing, K-Tech Kleening, CastleX, Performance Parts Supply, Flipside Graphics, Earnest Performance, Stepan Enterprises, Slowey Farms, WI Auto & Truck Sales, Ritchie Propane, Schulz Masonry, Aunt Lisa & Uncle Ron, Urban & Sons, LK Enterprises, Prehn Dental, 365 Powersports, Behling, Loading Zone, Mississippi Welders Supply, Londerville Steel, Green Bay Packaging, Coca Cola. Anyone else: Wegner Automotive for all of their help and support, FURY Race cars, SRX (Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham) for the whole experience and all of the publicity that I got out of that. That was huge, making all those connections! Also thanks to those that have helped us with marketing throughout the year: SHIFT Marketing, Cale Guin, Heidi Miller, Dakota Urban. All of the awesome track photographers! Thank you, Todd and the wonderful staff at Slinger! We appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you to Stacy Stubbe Photography for the awesome shots at the SRX race (was totally unexpected to have my own personal photographer).

What is your real job?
I don’t have a real job…school. I’m a senior at Wausau East High School. After that, it’s hard to say right now. I’m in a weird situation with all of the connections I’ve made and everything that happened at SRX has been a huge deal for me. Going forward, I don’t know. We are planning on a full year of racing next year in the Super Late Model. We’ll just see where everything kind of lands…hoping something does and we get connected with a team. That’s the goal and that’s the dream, but right now I don’t really know.

What is your favorite racing memory at Slinger?
I made a lot of memories this year. Mainly the memories that I always have in the back of my brain are with Rich Bickle, the Slinger Nationals, and SRX. Those are the top three. But it’s hard to pick a favorite memory out of this whole year; it’s been such a really good year and so many times and moments that I will always remember.

How did you get your car number (#4)?
When I was younger and I raced snowmobiles, I looked up to Kevin Harvick in NASCAR. That’s where I got the number four, and the black and red. The more I grew up and got more experience in racing, I look back and think it’s kind of cool that my dad ran #4 as well. It’s kind of cool that it runs in the family.

If you could have dinner with any two people (alive or dead, real or fictional), who would they be?
Conor McGregor – I think he’s very motivational, he‘s done a lot of things and his interviews are unique to say the least. I think he drives a lot of people to go forward and do better things.
Alan Kulwicki – I think it would be cool to share some moments with him and realize everything he’s done and soak in all of the memories he’s had, and just the knowledge that he has. It would be really cool to have a conversation with him or go to eat with him just to share some moments and reflect on some things.

Run us through a typical week for Team Fenhaus this past summer:
Monday: unload everything, settle back down in the shop, scale, go through the car – measurements, shocks, suspension – just to know what we had. It was a long Monday because we got home late…it was tough to get rolling Monday morning.
Tuesday: cleaning the car, getting everything apart, if something went wrong, getting right on top of that. If nothing went wrong, we were cleaning our stuff and figuring out ways to get better. Slowly prepping for that next week..
Wednesday: if we had to go through our hubs or ball joints or brake pads or calipers or stuff like that – we would do that. Just a full day of looking things over.
Thursday: get wheels and tires and gas – things ready to go so we could load up and be ready to go. Just look forward to going to Slinger!
Friday: scaled again to make sure everything is in line and shocks are prepped. Make sure everything is ready to go on the car, and it’s ready to race.
Saturday: load up everything and make sure we are well prepared.
Sunday: 11am head to slinger, return home usually around 1am.

Which Slinger driver (past or present) do you respect the most?
Rich Bickle. Our friendship has grown so much over this year. I didn’t even know the guy at the beginning of the season! To build such a big connection, to talk to him and share memories, and build our respect level was huge for me and the team. One of the best connections I’ve had is with Rich. It is something that I will always remember for sure – it will always be in my memory bank.