& Morgan Repeat Wins
April 25, 1999; Slinger, WI - Veteran drivers Conrad Morgan (Wales) and Tony Strupp (West Bend) drove to victories in the Miller Genuine Draft Twin 75's Spring Opener at the Slinger Super Speedway Sunday afternoon, April 25th. The duo also opened the last season by splitting the Miller Genuine Draft Opening event but the 99 version was under much better weather, resulting in a huge, sun drenched opening day crowd.
Morgan and Brian Hoppe (Verona) broke away from the pack in the second of the two 75 lap late model features just prior to the half way mark. Morgan took over the lead from John Zimmerman (Markesan) on lap 33, while Hoppe moved into the second position one lap later. The two raced nose to tail the remaining 31 circuits with Hoppe pulling along side of the defending track champion on a couple of occasion, but was never able to make the pass. Following Morgan and Hoppe were Jeff Kendall (Montello) in third, Al Schill (Franklin) fourth and Cindy Peterson (Butler) fifth.
Morgan, who started outside row seven for the second of the two 75 lap late model features, masterfully used lap traffic each time the visiting Verona driver would make a run on him. Morgan crossed the finish line one car length ahead of Hoppe as Hoppes car bobbled slightly after he pulled to the inside of Morgan as the two entered turns 3 & 4 for the final time. Kendall was closing the gap on the tandem as the race neared its end but Morgan and Hoppe clearly were the two dominant drivers of the afternoon.
Strupp held off late challenges by three drivers on his way to the checkered flag in the opening 75 lap feature. The final of the three challengers was defending track champion Morgan who pulled up on Strupp just four laps from the finish. He too was unable to maneuver his way around the wide rear end of the Strupp car before time ran out and would settle for second place. Rounding out the top five were Hoppe, Mueller and Wallace. Morgan made his way up to the front after getting caught up in an accident early in the race. He would have to pull off to change a tire and repair cosmetic damage to the front and rear quarters, forcing him to fall in line at the rear of the field. He patiently worked his way through traffic and into the top five on lap 63, before mounting his challenge on Strupp. Prior to Morgan taking his turn, Mueller pulled to the outside of Strupp and would take his shot at the top spot. Mueller appeared to have a run on Strupp working the outside until contact was made working lap 70, forcing Mueller to back off and ending his chance for the win. Taking turns in the runner up spot with Mueller for the second half of the race was Hoppe. Hoppe pulled up on the Mueller car on lap 41 and the two swapped the spot 3 times until Morgan moved into second. During his time in second, Hoppe tried both the inside and outside grooves to motor around Strupp, neither proving successful.
Morgan and Hoppe were clearly the class of the competition for the day, finishing second and first and third and second, respectively. Strupp may have been up to challenge the two, but he was caught up in a three car accident while working the first lap of the second 75. He sustained damage to both the front and rear of his car and would retire for the afternoon.
The late model program kicked off with a heart felt tribute to Al Schill Jr., who tragically lost his life in March. In place of the normal trophy dash, owner / promoter Wayne Erickson replaced it with the fastest 7 cars for 7 laps in honor and tribute to Little Als car number 7. With heavy hearts and loud applause from the estimated crowd of 4,700, Al Schill Sr., who qualified with the seventh fastest time in the division, lead the field of seven cars to the green flag. Waiting in the flag stand was Gwen Schill, the mother of Little Al, as the official starter of the event. In a fitting ending, Big Al lead each of the laps and took the checkered flag.
Setting fast time for the late model division was Morgan with an 11.536 second tour of the Worlds Fastest 1/4 Mile Oval. Morgan and Strupp also earned $200.00 bonuses in the Mac Tools Half-Way Challenge by virtue of leading their respective feature wins at the mid way point of the events.
The Sunday afternoon event also hosted two support division races for the Slinger Stinger and Midwest Modified divisions. In the Midwest Modified division it was Florian Wisinski (Greenfield) who took top honors in the thirty lap feature. After starting inside row five, Wisinski had made his way into the top five by the time the first and only caution flew on lap 4. Six circuits later Wisinski was at the point after passing leader Dennis Prunty (Allenton). Prunty would battle back and lead lap 14 but Wisinski proved to have the stronger car and took the lead back on the following lap. Rounding out the top five were Jamie Wallace (Pell Lake), who pulled double duty in the Late Model and Midwest Modified divisions, Prunty, Larry Epright (East Troy) and Larry Reihbrandt (Wauwatosa). In addition to winning the race, Wisinski clocked in fastest with a lap of 12.423 seconds during qualifying.
Bill Shavlik (West Bend) started the 99 season with a victory in the Slinger Stinger feature. Shavlik, who started in the twelfth position, only took three laps to put himself in the top five and would take the lead on lap 12 of the 20 lap event. Following Shavlik across the line was Peter Wiedmeyer (West Bend), Mike Wutschel, Roger Schmid (Oconomowoc), and Michael Flairty (Saukville). Pacing the field during qualifying for the Stingers was Shavlik with a lap of 13.663 seconds.
LATE MODEL FEATURE #1 FINISH - 75 LAPS
LATE MODEL FEATURE #2 FINISH - 75 LAPS
FAST QUALIFIER - Conrad Morgan (Wales) - 11.536 sec
LATE MODEL SEMI FEATURE FINISH 30 LAPS
FAST QUALIFIER - Florian Wisinski (Greenfield) - 12.423 sec
SLINGER STINGER STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH 20 LAPS
FAST QUALIFIER - Bill Shavlik (West Bend) - 13.663 sec