Fransen Takes Home His
Third Slinger Victory of Season!
By Weyer / Margetta
18, 2002; Slinger, WI - Eric Fransen had things go his way
Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway as he raced to his third late model feature win
of the season in the Johnsonville Foods 65.
The car worked good, weve been fighting a push for about
a month now and we finally decided to loosen it up and it seemed to help, exclaimed
Fransen afterwards describing the handling problems the team had struggled with in recent
weeks. Weve had consistent race cars all year but I think the track may have
changed the last month and a half. We had such good cars early in the year, we were
reluctant to change it.
Dave Teske got the jump at the start from his outside front row starting position and led
the opening laps before relinquishing the lead to Fred Winn. Chris Petersen also passed
Teske to move into second, leaving Teske to fend off Fransen in a battle for third. After
looking to the inside for a number of laps, Petersen took to the outer groove and drove
around Teske for the lead on lap 14. Petersens move came just before the first
caution flag flew when Austin Konetski and Mike Egan spun in turn one.
Petersen led Winn on the restart while Fransen and Conrad Morgan dropped Teske to fifth as
Rich Loch moved up into sixth. By lap 25, Loch had advanced to fourth behind Petersen,
Winn, and Fransen, leaving Teske and Morgan to dispute fifth. Petersen began to pull away
as the event neared the halfway mark while Fransen tried numerous times to get a run on
Winn for second.
On lap 32, Winn spun in turn three as Fransen dove to the inside in an
attempt to pass resulting in both cars stopping on the track as the second caution flag of
the race waved. Track officials determined that Fransen was not involved in the incident
and he was given his spot back in second place for the restart.
Fransen pressured Petersen as the race went back under the green flag and finally drove to
the inside of the first year late model driver to take the lead on lap 40. Loch also made
his way around Petersen for second place three laps later while Morgan maintained fourth
place just ahead of Al Schill and Scott Schoeni.
The front-runners began to get strung out while encountering lapped traffic in the waning
laps as Loch tried to cut into Fransens lead. Loch was able to close to within three
car lengths on the final lap but Fransen proved to be too strong and went on to score his
third feature win of the season. Petersen continued to look impressive and posted another
strong run to finish third. Schill and Schoeni both raced around Morgan in the final laps
to take the checkered flag in fourth and fifth respectively. Morgan finished sixth.
Dan Mills led from start to finish to capture the win in the 30-lap late model
semi-feature. Dennis Prunty finished second and John Mueller was third. Lyle Messinger and
Scott Lindsay rounded out the top five. Race McComb was the winner of the consolation race
and Conrad Morgan won the dash. Al Schill was the fastest qualifier after turning a lap of
Jeff Holtz kept his championship hopes alive as he chalked up his third win of the season
in the 30-lap Midwest modified feature.
The event got off to a slow start as numerous cars spun in turn one to necessitate a
complete restart and once the race got underway, Ron Schmitt charged into the early lead.
Contact in the middle of the field resulted in Larry Reihbrandt and Russ Grade spinning in
turn three, bringing out another caution flag after only one lap was complete.
Back under green, Schmitt remained out front as Holtz advanced into second
place on lap four. Gregg Pawelski, Wes Biswell, and Dale Prunty staged a three-way battle
for fourth place behind Ed Grober as Holtz pressured Schmitt for the lead. Pawelski and
Prunty got caught in the outside lane and Biswell and Dan Miller were able to get by.
Holtz continued to stalk Schmitt for the lead at the halfway mark but could not make a
pass as the two caught the tail end of the field. Schmitt, who was looking for his first
career win, held off Holtz, the defending track champion, until lap 25 when Holtz was able
to use the outside lane to move alongside.
Schmitt held his ground on the inside and put up a valiant effort before
Holtz was able to take sole possession of the lead with three laps to go. Holtz raced to
his third feature win of the season and gained points on Prunty and Dan Jung as both
drivers finished out of the top five. Schmitt took the checkered flag in second, his best
finish of the season, and Biswell was third. Grober and Miller completed the top five.
In other Midwest modified action, Schmitt also won the dash and Reihbrandt set fast time
at 12.568 seconds.
Jason Feyereisen weaved his way through the field to win his fourth Slinger stinger
feature of the season.
Nathan Fick and Dave Obermeyer traded the lead during the opening laps with Joe DeStefano
Sr. and Jay Shambeau close behind. Fick held the inside lane while Obermeyer worked the
outside groove as the lead cars remained in a tight bunch with Feyereisen and Paul Wagner
racing in fourth and fifth, waiting for a lane to open up. Obermeyer became loose off the
corners and began to fall back as Fick took the lead over DeStefano. Shambeau took over
third and Feyereisen and Wagner entered the top five as Obermeyer slipped back to sixth by
the halfway point.
As the leaders approached the lapped car of Bill Ahles, DeStefano was able
to get to the inside of Fick and took the lead on lap 13 as Feyereisen and Wagner closed
in. Two laps later, Feyereisen was in second place and Wagner dropped Fick to third as
DeStefano held onto his lead. With three laps to go Feyereisen charged by DeStefano to
take the lead, bringing Wagner with him into second. Feyereisen held off Wagner to score
the win while DeStefano finished third. Shambeau crossed the finish line in fourth place
and Roger Schmid finished fifth.
DeStefano raced to the win in the dash and Wagner set fast time by circling the speedway
in 13.489 seconds.
Mark Fogel won the Slinger Bees race over Collin Bamke and the team of P.J. and Aaron Cain
took top honors in the team cruiser event. Scott Goetzke raced to the win in the Figure 8
race and Doug Pasbrig drove his taxi cab to victory in the spectator elimination races.
Keri Grazanna won the Port-a-John speedway guest car race.
For Complete results
from the RACESTAT computer CLICK