Eric Fransen Becomes First Repeat
Winner of Alan Kulwicki Memorial
& Donavan Morgan Edges Dad in the Nightcap at Slinger!
By Weyer / Margetta
2002; Slinger, WI - Eric Fransen became the first repeat winner of the Bob Fish
Pontiac/Buick/GMC Alan Kulwicki Memorial Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and
Donavan Morgan outraced his father Conrad to win the second twin 50-lap late model feature
by less than a car length.
Fransen, the 2000 winner of the 50-lap race named in honor of the
late Alan Kulwicki who was the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, passed Jamie Wallace for
the lead on lap 30 and pulled away to take the checkered flag nearly a half straightaway
ahead of the rest of the field.
Wallace, the 1998 AK Memorial winner, started on the pole and led the opening laps with
Fransen, who started third, close on his bumper ahead of Toby Rott, Mike Egan, and Randy
Schuler. Wallace and Fransen moved out to a sizeable advantage over Rott and Egan as Rich
Loch advanced into the top five by lap 20. Wallace and Fransens advantage was erased
on lap 24 when Todd Thelen rode the turn four wall after having something break on his
car, causing the event to be slowed under the caution flag.
Fransen was ready on the restart and immediately edged to the inside of Wallace to
challenge for the lead entering turn one. The lead cars raced side-by-side for several
laps with Fransen working the inside groove and Wallace hanging tough in the outside lane
of the speedway. Wallace barely led at the half-way point but could not maintain the pace
in the outside lane, allowing Fransen to edge ahead on lap 30.
The race was slowed a second time on lap 31 when Conrad Morgan lost control in turn two
and spun toward the infield. Once out front, Fransen was able to keep the lead and pulled
away over the final laps to become the first repeat winner of the Alan Kulwicki Memorial
in the ten years it has been in existence. Wallace finished second while Rott capped off a
very strong race with a third place finish. Egan also completed one of his best
performances of the season by finishing fourth and Loch crossed the finish line in fifth.
Mike Pascavis started the nightcap from the pole and led the early laps while Donavan
Morgan and Scott Schoeni battled for second. Morgan moved in front to take second on lap
five, dropping Schoeni into a battle for third with Randy Schuler. Schoeni and Schuler
raced alongside each one another, allowing Pascavis and Morgan to pull away to a sizeable
advantage. Morgan used the outside lane to take over the lead on lap 15 as the rest of the
field became bottle-necked behind the side-by-side race for third between Schoeni and
Conrad Morgan, Dan Mills, and David Prunty worked their way up from deep in the field and
occupied the positions behind Schoeni and Schuler. Conrad eventually passed both Schuler
and Schoeni for third and began to track down Pascavis for second.
Rich Loch spun in turn four after contact with Austin Konetski on lap 30
to produce a caution flag and on the restart, Conrad raced around Pascavis on the outside
to take second. Mills, Prunty, and Brad Mueller also made their way by Pascavis as Conrad
closed in on his son for the lead.
A final four lap shootout to the finish was set up when the yellow flag
appeared on lap 46 as Chris Petersen experienced problems in turn one and skidded up the
racetrack toward the retaining wall.
Donavan was ready on the restart and held onto the lead but Conrad remained glued to his
rear bumper in an attempt to pressure his son into making a mistake. With two laps to go,
Conrad nudged the back of Donavans car in turn four, causing it to slide up the
track which opened up the inside lane.
Conrad moved alongside his son but Donavan remained in the throttle on the
outside as they took the white flag in almost a dead heat. Once again, Donavan refused to
give up the outside lane and was able to pull Conrad through turn four and beat him to the
checkered flag by about a half car length. Prunty finished third ahead of Mills and
In other late model action, Al Schill won the 30-lap semi-feature to transfer into the
main event. Chris Petersen finished second to claim the other transfer spot after racing
hard with Dennis Prunty on the final lap. The 12-lap consolation race was won by Robert
Maynor and Rich Loch won the dash. Conrad Morgan was the fastest qualifier with a lap of
Wes Biswell took top honors in the Midwest modified 30-lap feature by holding off Dan
Miller for the win.
Miller led at the start with Biswell, Dan Jung, and Larry Reihbrandt close behind while
Dale Prunty and Jeff Holtz began to pick their way through traffic and move towards the
front. Miller fended off all challenges until Biswell was finally able to get by following
a lap 27 caution for a Mike Graczkowski spin in turn four.
Prunty and Holtz appeared to have strong cars but their campaign for the
win ended with two laps to go when they made contact while racing down the backstretch,
resulting in Prunty spinning to produce a caution and Holtz being placed at the rear of
the field for the restart. Biswell was up to the challenge and maintained the lead over
the final two laps to claim the win. Miller finished second followed by Reihbrandt, Jung,
and Lenny Gallenberg III.
Complete results from the RACESTAT computer CLICK
Jung won the Midwest modified dash and Holtz was the fastest qualifier at 12.422 seconds.
David Pichler won his first career feature by claiming the victory in the 18-lap Slinger
stinger main event.
Pichler took the lead early on and maintained the top spot to hold off Joe DeStefano Sr.
and Jason Feyereisen at the finish while Roger Schmid and Dave Obermeyer rounded out the
Paul Wagner won the Slinger stinger dash and was also the fastest qualifer with a 13.626
second lap around the high-banked ¼ mile oval.
Mike Newlin won the Figure 8 race and Doug Danielson was the winner of the Speedway Guest
Car event. Ben Orth drove his 1994 Camaro to the victory in the Spectator Elimination