September 16, 2001; Slinger, WI - Eric Fransen nailed down his third late model feature victory of the season in the Post Printing 75 and Lowell Bennett battled Al Schill right down to the wire to claim his second straight and third overall track championship.
"We got lucky as the traffic really broke our way tonight," stated Fransen after holding off both Bennett and Schill to win the 75-lap event. "I was thinking that I might want to watch the championship battle between them (Bennett and Schill) but I had a good chance to win so I figured I should just stay in the car."
Bennett's second place finish over Schill enabled him to capture the late model track championship by just seven points on a night when speedway staff, drivers, race fans, and business owners in attendance raised over $5,000 to donate towards the American Red Cross to aid the many victim's families from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
Ironically, 15 years ago to the day, Schill defeated Bennett for the championship by the same amount of points in a scenario that played out in the same way as Sunday night except the fortunes were reversed as this time Bennett won the title.
Chris Ratajczyk and Florian Wisinski led the field to the green flag and raced side by side for the first three laps until Ratajczyk took command of the event leaving Wisinski to battle with Randy Schuler, Donavan Morgan, and Mike Egan. Egan raced his way around Schuler for third while Morgan and Fransen also passed Schuler and relegated him to sixth.
On lap 16, Charlie Thon Jr. was forced to race on the apron while battling for position with other cars and when he moved back up on the racing surface Fred Winn and Mike Pascavis came together while trying to avoid an anticipated collision. Both Winn and Pascavis hit the front stretch wall and rolled on their side as they slid into turn one. Pascavis' car rolled over onto its roof and slid down the banking as a small fuel fire broke out. Behind the first incident, the cars of Dave Teske and Joe Gross came together with Teske's car resting on top of Gross necessitating a red flag condition. All drivers involved in the spectacular looking crash emerged from their cars uninjured.
Ratajczyk led Wisinski on the restart as Fransen and Morgan pressured Egan for third. Both Fransen and Morgan dispatched Egan to fifth on lap 19 and began to track down the leaders. The lead stayed the same as Ratajczyk was able to hold onto the top spot while Fransen eventually worked his way by Wisinski for second on lap 34. Two laps later Fransen took the lead by dropping Ratajczyk to battle for position with Wisinski and Morgan as Bennett and Schill began to race toward the front. Ratajczyk began to fade in the later stages as Morgan, Bennett, and Schill all moved into the second through fourth positions.
Fransen moved out to a sizeable lead by lap 60 when Bennett passed Morgan for second and brought Schill along with him and into third. Schill's handling began to fade in the final 15 laps and Bennett pulled away but was unable to catch Fransen who charged to his third feature win of the season. Bennett finished second and claimed the track championship while Schill was third. Morgan and David Prunty were fourth and fifth respectively.
Brad Mueller capped off his 2001 season by winning the Behling Racing Equipment Race of Champions presented by Time Warner, a special 30-lap race for feature and fast dash winners during the year.
Mueller started on the pole and immediately jumped into the lead over Conrad Morgan, Dennis Prunty, and Fransen. Fransen passed Prunty for third on lap three as Mueller continued to lead over Morgan. Morgan attemped to make a challenge at the lead but his chances ended when he spun in turn two on lap eight to produce the event's only caution flag. Mueller led on the restart over Fransen who took over second while Donavan Morgan, Schill, and Bennett battled for third. Bennett began his charge through the field on lap ten when he used the outside lane to pass Schill for fourth.
Four laps later, Bennett worked his way around Morgan to take third while
Mueller still held the lead over Fransen. Bennett tracked down Fransen and claimed second
place on lap 27 but Mueller's lead was insurmountable and the veteran from Random Lake
raced to the victory. Bennett crossed the finish line in second ahead of Fransen, D.
Morgan, and Schill.
In addition to winning the championship, Bennett was also named the AAL Driver of the Month for August and Aid Association for Lutheran's donated $1000 in Bennett's name toward the MACC Fund.
After winning the Midwest modified feature on Sept. 2 while driving Ron Weyer's car, Dennis Prunty jumped into his brother Dale's ride and won the exciting 30-lap feature.
Andy Evraets and Ron Weyer made up the front row at the start of the event and neither driver was able to gain a noticeable advantage which kept the field bunched up two by two for the opening laps. As Weyer and Evraets swapped the lead, newly crowned track champion Jeff Holtz raced with Russ Grade and Ed Grober for third. A piece of debris fell off Holtz's car and the caution flag was waved on lap seven with Evraets leading.
Evraets broke away momentarily as the racing resumed and Holtz dove to the inside of Weyer in a bid for second. Holtz then developed mechanical problems and exited the race on lap ten as Evraets led over Weyer, Lenny Gallenberg, Brian Holtz, and Prunty. Weyer drifted high which allowed Gallenberg to overtake him for second on lap 13 and two laps later Weyer lost third to B. Holtz who used the inside groove to make the pass. Prunty also raced around Weyer and claimed the fourth spot.
When the top three of Evraets, Gallenberg, and B. Holtz all bounced off each other on lap 27 and became bottle-necked down the backstretch, Prunty dove to the inside and made the daring pass for the lead. Prunty then staved off the challenges of B. Holtz to claim the victory. Holtz finished a strong second while Dan Miller, Evraets, and Weyer rounded out the top five.
The Midwest modified version of the Behling Racing Equipment Race of Champions presented by Time Warner was captured by Jeff Holtz, the newly crowned Midwest modified track champion.
Holtz took the lead of the 20-lap event at the start as his brother Brian Holtz quickly fell into line behind him in second. Lenny Gallenberg found himself facing the wrong way on the race track on lap one when he was tagged by Dan Miller while racing for position. Gallenberg's incident failed to produce the caution flag and The Holtz brothers extended their lead over the rest of the field.
Dennis Prunty hopped back into the Ron Weyer car he drove to a feature win earlier in the year and sliced his way from deep in the field to claim third place by the final five laps. Prunty was unable to catch the Holtz brothers as Jeff scored the win followed by Brian. Prunty was third while Ed Grober and Kevin Kenealy rounded out the top five.
In other Midwest modified action, Prunty won the fast dash and Larry Reihbrandt was the evening's fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.576 seconds.
Scott Ascher returned to the speedway from a hard wreck a few weeks ago and promptly won the 18-lap Slinger Stinger feature.
Ascher started deep in the field and charged through the pack to claim second place behind early leader Joe DeStefano. Ascher moved alongside DeStefano on lap 11 and completed the pass for the top spot on lap 15. Once out front, Ascher had to fend off challenges from Roger Schmidt and Jason Feyereisen to win the event. Pat McIntee finished fourth while Jay Shambeau was fifth. Paul Wagner was crowned the division's track champion.
In other Slinger Stinger street stock action, Shambeau and DeStefano each won heat races and McIntee was the fastest qualifier at 13.495 seconds.
Willy Van Camp won the 13 car Figure 8 event by edging Chris Price in a wild finish that saw both cars spin across the finish line after making contact with slower cars. Mark Ritger was named the Figure 8 track champion for 2001.
Alan Stippich and Doug Pasbrig won the Team Cruiser event and Mike Wiskowski was the Speedway Guest Car race winner. Dean Olla won the Spectator race in his brand new 2002 Pontiac Firebird. Lisa Gromowski won the AAL Fan Challenge and donated a portion of her winnings to the American Red Cross.
Julia Weiss of Hartford won the children's bike given away courtesy of Behling Race Equipment. Other awards given away included $100.00 towards a Fuel cell to the 10th place finisher of Florian Wisinski and 15th finisher of Charlie Thon while Mike Pascavis was awarded the Hard Luck Award.
For Complete results from the RACESTAT computerCLICK HERE
Special; Slinger, WI - The Spectator 200 Enduro and the New Compact cars/4 Cylinder Enduro Class 100-lap event is set for this Sunday, September 23rd with racing action to start at 2 p. m. Drivers competing in the Compact Car/4 Cylinder event will win an additional $1000 if they take the checkered flag while pulling a boat and trailer. The starting line up for the Enduro is determined by the order in which the entry forms are received at the Speedway. Interested novice drivers may find out more information by stopping in or calling the track office.
Spectator gates open at noon, for this Sunday's event with racing scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. This will conclude the 2001 Racing Season for the Speedway. The Slinger Super Speedway is located ¼ mile West of Highway 41 on Highway 144 in Slinger. For more information, call the track office during normal business hours M-F 9-5 at (262) 644-5921 or check out the newly developed track website at www.slingersuperspeedway.com