Loch Back In Victory Lane
By Weyer / Margetta
25, 2002; Slinger, WI - Rich Loch made a late race pass of
rookie Chris Petersen and then held off Lowell Bennett to nail down his third late model
feature win of the year in the Go Wireless/U.S. Cellular 60 Sunday night at the Slinger
Loch started from the inside of the third row and remained firmly in
the top five while Petersen charged into the lead over Toby Rott and John Mueller. Mike
Strupp slapped the wall on the front stretch to bring out the first caution flag on lap
13. Petersen held onto his lead on the restart over Rott as Mueller faded back, allowing
Loch and Bennett to move into third and fourth. The top five fell into single file order
as further back, Conrad Morgan spun off turn two. Morgans car came to rest in the
infield and the race remained under the green flag.
The top four cars ran nose-to-tail at the halfway mark with Petersen still
leading to collect the $100 Mac Tools Halfway Bonus. Al Schill and Eric Fransen began to
reel in the top four as the leaders began to catch lapped traffic. With Petersen still
leading, Loch was able to get to the inside of Rott to take over second on lap 39 and
Bennett capitalized on the opportunity to grab third.
Loch began to gradually reel in Petersen when the first year late model drivers car
started to kick loose exiting the corners but it appeared Loch would run out of time as
the laps wound down. That changed on lap 45 when Rott spun out of fourth place on the
backstretch and then Austin Konetski spun in turn one to bring out the caution flag.
Petersen valiantly tried to hold off Loch on the restart, but he could not keep his car
down on the inside and Loch was able to pull alongside with seven laps to go.
Once he got position using the inside, Loch completed the pass for the
lead as once again Bennett followed him to move Petersen back to third. Bennett was unable
to make a run for the lead over the final laps and Loch raced to his third feature win of
the season. Bennett crossed the finish line in second while Petersen turned in another
impressive performance and finished third. Schill and Fransen rounded out the top five.
It feels good to win when we didnt start up front as we just had things go our
way tonight, Loch said afterwards. Up until this year, we hadnt won more
than one feature. We were happy with two and now weve got three. The cars been
Mike Egan bested Brad Mueller and Cindy Peterson to take the win in the 30-lap
semi-feature and Brad Hartman was the winner of the 15-lap consi. Mike Strupp looked
strong in winning the fast dash and Eric Fransen set fast time with an 11.757 second lap.
Wes Biswell chalked up his third win of the season by claiming top honors in the 30-lap
Midwest modified feature.
Gregg Pawelski led a closely bunched field to the start and held the top spot throughout
much of the first half of the event while Biswell, Ed Grober, Dan Jung, and Ron Schmitt
fought for positions behind him. Dale Prunty and Jeff Holtz soon joined the lead group
after advancing from their row five starting spots.
Pawelski maintained the lead until lap 20 when Biswell was able to race
around on the outside for the top spot. Pawelski became caught up behind lapped cars and
Grober and Jung also passed him to move into second and third place respectively. Schmitt
and Holtz bounced off each other while racing for fifth which momentarily slowed both
drivers. Prunty muscled Pawelski out of the top five on the final lap as Biswell held off
Grober to take the win. Jung crossed the finish line in third ahead of Prunty and Schmitt.
Prunty turned the fastest lap in qualifying with a time of 12.604 seconds and Schmitt won
the fast dash.
Paul Wagner was in the right place at the right time in the 20-lap Slinger stinger feature
as a last lap, last turn wreck involving the leaders found him advancing from third place
to the win at the finish line.
Dave Obermeyer and Nathan Fick paced the field to the green flag with Obermeyer able to
secure the lead from the outside lane. Wagner, Joe DeStefano Sr., and Roger Schmid moved
through traffic to battle for the third spot behind Obermeyer and Fick as the laps began
to wind down. Fick moved alongside of Obermeyer with less than five laps to go and the two
staged a side by side race for the lead as Wagner, DeStefano, and Schmid closed in.
On the final lap, Obermeyer and Fick made contact while exiting turn four,
sending both them spinning into the infield as Wagner threaded his way through to capture
the win. DeStefano finished second just ahead of Schmid and David Pichler. Fick was
credited with fifth place as he crossed the line sideways in the infield and Obermeyer
also finished in the infield in sixth place.
Jason Feyereisen was the fastest qualifier for the second time this season with a 13.405
second lap and Joe DeStefano Sr. won the fast dash.
Bobby Gutknecht turned back a late race challenge by Josh Bauer to win the 25-lap Midwest
Gutknecht and Bill Prietzel advanced to the front of the field by lap five as Gary
LaMonte, Ron Weyer, Shawn Utphall, and Bauer raced side by side behind them. Bauer began
to march toward the front as he was in third place by the halfway point leaving Weyer and
Utphall to race for the fourth spot. James Swan entered the top five a few laps later when
Utphall fell off the pace with mechanical problems. Bauer caught and passed Prietzel for
second on lap 20 and immediately began to close in on Gutknecht for the lead.
On the final lap, Bauer nudged Gutknecht and tried to get alongside while
entering turn one. Gutknecht was able to power ahead exiting turn two and then blocked any
similar move from happening when he slammed the door on Bauer entering turn three.
Gutknecht was able to hang on and scored the win over Bauer who finished a close second.
Weyer closed out a strong run with a third place finish while Prietzel took the checkered
flag in fourth place. Swan, the feature winner the last time the division raced at
Slinger, finished in fifth place.
Swan set fast time with a 12.972 second lap and Prietzel captured his first Slinger
Speedway checkered flag by winning the first heat. Josh Nelms won the second heat race.
Al Stippich and Doug Pasbrig won the team cruiser race to post their third win of the
season and Chris Price was the winner of the Figure 8 event. FM 106 WMIL personality Scott
Dolphin won the Port-A-John Speedway Guest Car race and Rick Schaefer drove his Oldsmobile
Cutlass to victory in the spectator elimination races.
For Complete results
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