Loch Wins Again at
By Weyer / Margetta
2002; Slinger, WI - Rich Loch posted his second victory of the season in
dominating fashion by winning the Pioneer Plaza Mid-Season Championship 65-lap late model
feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
Its something about starting up front here, stated
Loch who began the race from the outside of the front row and led every lap. It
seems like every time we end up having a bad effort in qualifying, we have a really good
Chris Petersen led the field to the green flag, but it was Loch and Dave Teske who shot
into the front two positions, leaving Petersen to race for third with David Prunty and
Chris Ratajczyk. Loch and Teske stretched out their advantage, as the bottom groove was
the preferred line and the top ten drivers all raced nose-to-tail on the inside. Petersen
got caught on the outside and began to fade by lap 20, taking Prunty back a few spots with
him as Ratajczyk and Donavan Morgan took the third and fourth positions. Five laps later,
Morgans car began to sour and he fell out of the event leaving Prunty to retake
fourth and bringing Lowell Bennett into fifth.
Loch led at the halfway point and collected the $100 Mac Tools Halfway Bonus as the top
five drivers remained in line. Bennett passed Prunty to take fourth on lap 35 as Loch
maintained nearly a half lap lead over Teske and Ratajczyk.
As Loch stayed comfortably in front, Bennett chased down Ratajczyk and
took over third on lap 50. Lochs big lead nearly was erased on lap 53 when Prunty
spun in turn four while running in the top five. Prunty kept on going after spinning and
the race remained under green. Bennett was able to pass Teske for second but could not get
anywhere near Loch, who captured the win by a half lap. Teske finished third followed by
Eric Fransen and Conrad Morgan.
John Zimmerman won the 30-lap semi-feature over Scott Schoeni and Randy Schuler and Toby
Rott was the winner of the 12-lap consolation race. Lowell Bennett set fast time at 11.775
seconds while Dave Teske won the Mac Tools Trophy Dash.
Dan Jung won the 30-lap Midwest modified feature and gained points on point leader Dale
Prunty, who experienced mechanical problems and did not finish the event.
Russ Grade led the first eight laps before giving way to Mike Graczkowski as Jeff Holtz,
Wes Biswell, and Jung advanced through traffic and into the top five. Jung took over
second place on lap 15 and Holtz and Biswell followed him to nail down the third and
fourth positions. Greg Legate spun on lap 20 to bring out the caution flag with
Graczkowski leading Jung, Holtz, and Biswell.
It took Jung two laps to get around Graczkowski for the lead as Holtz and
Biswell also made their way by for second and third. Holtz and Biswell remained in
Jungs tire tracks as the laps wound down but any chance they had at challenging Jung
was negated when they got together on the backstretch and jammed up the field. Jung took
the win while Holtz was able to make it around for second ahead of Biswell and
Graczkowski. Grade was fifth.
Dan Jung won the fast dash while Wes Biswell set fast time with a 12.618 second.
Jay Shambeau appeared to win an eventful Slinger stinger feature that had its share of
action and eventually ended up with no official winner.
Joe DeStefano Sr. led the beginning laps and was pressured by Dave Obermeyer while the
rest of the field ran in a tight pack and raced in two by two formation for positions
behind the lead duo. Jay Shambeau bolted out of the pack and took the top spot as
DeStefano faded back a bit. Obermeyer held onto second place and worked the bottom of the
racetrack while Shambeau kept his car wound up on the outside and fended off
Obermeyers many challenges.
Obermeyer nosed to the inside of Shambeau on lap 12 but his car kicked
loose exiting turn two and spun down the backstretch. Obermeyers car came to rest
against traffic entering turn three and was hit three times as the field scattered in
attempt to avoid him. The resulting collision brought out the red flag as Obermeyer was
cut from his car and transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons after he
complained of back pain. Obermeyer was released later in the evening and was sore but
Shambeau held the lead for the restart but had his hands full with Wagner, DeStefano, and
David Pichler. All four drivers raced in a tight bunch for the lead when the race was
slowed again when Franklin Baxter hit the wall in turn two. As the race got back underway
for the final laps, Shambeau led Wagner and Pichler to the white flag. Shambeaus car
slid loose coming out of turn four allowing Wagner to make a move on the inside.
The two cars made contact while racing to the line and Shambeau held on to
cross the finish line first by less than a car length over Wagner. Pichler was third and
DeStefano finished fourth. After the event, Shambeau refused to participate in the
post-race technical inspection, drawing a disqualification and leaving the race with no
David Pichler set fast time at 13.589 seconds while Roger Schmid won the fast dash.
Mark and Ken Fogel won the team cruiser race and Ron Kosciesza won the Slinger Bees event.
Greg Wojcik was the winner in the Speedway Guest cars and the Figure 8 event was cut short
after an incident necessitating a lengthy clean up resulted in the event being cancelled.
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