Fransen Takes the
13, 2003; Slinger, WI - Eric
Fransen was in the right place at the right time as he capitalized on Lowell
Bennetts engine troubles and then held off Brad Mueller to win the 50-lap late model
feature and the second round of the Coca-Cola Triple Crown Classic presented by McDonalds
Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
Bennett took command of the race on lap 21 as both he and Fransen maneuvered
their way toward the front and the defending track champion appeared to have things in
hand when his engine expired while entering turn one on lap 39, sending him into the wall
and Fransen into the lead. Fransen was quick on the button for the restart and jumped
ahead of the field, leading the final 11 laps to score his second win of the season.
I didnt think I was going to catch him (Bennett), Fransen stated
afterwards. And if I did, I wasnt sure if I had enough time but it worked out
well for us.
Nathan Haseleu paid a visit to the Slinger high banks and led the field to the green flag
but it was Chris Ratajczyk who snagged the early lead from his outside front row starting
spot. Behind the front two, Bennett, David Prunty, and Rich Loch battled for third before
Prunty slipped back on lap six, as Fransen moved into the top five. Ratajczyk, Haseleu,
and Bennett all ran nose-to-tail while Fransen took over fourth, dropping Loch into a
battle for fifth with Mueller. Bennett slipped by Haseleu for second on lap 19 and two
laps later, passed Ratajczyk for the lead.
As Bennett led at the halfway point to claim the Badgerland Motorsports Halfway Challenge,
Fransen and Mueller put the pressure on Ratajczyk and Haseleu and by lap 27 found
themselves in second and third respectively. Fransen began to close when Bennett
encountered lapped traffic and two caution flags for single car spins by Dennis Prunty and
Brad Hartman allowed him to pull up to Bennetts rear bumper for restarts. However,
each time, Bennett was able to pull away before his engine woes ended his night.
Mueller followed Fransen across the finish line in second while Loch turned in a strong
performance with a third place finish. Ratajczyk was fourth and Haseleu was fifth. Mike
Egan and Ryan Mathews were sixth and seventh respectively while Tom Pecaro, Scott Schoeni,
and Joe Gross completed the top ten.
With the victory, Fransen now leads the Coca-Cola Triple Crown point standings over
Mueller and Loch. The final round of the series is slated for Sunday, August 10th.
In other Late Model action, Schoeni won the 30-lap late model semi-feature over Ryan
Hansen as both drivers transferred into the main event. Travis Dassow won the late model
consolation race over Ron Regan and Chris Petersen. Fransen also set fast time with an
11.407 second lap while David Prunty won the 8 lap fast dash.
Jeff Holtz drove to a convincing win in the 30-lap Midwest Modified feature over Wes
Biswell and Larry Reighbrandt.
Paul Wagner and Ron Schmitt battled for the lead at the drop of the green flag before
Wagner took sole possession of the top spot on lap two. Roger Schmid spun in turn four to
bring out the first caution with Wagner leading Schmitt, Steve Schultz, and Holtz. Wagner
maintained his advantage as racing resumed and Holtz and Wes Biswell went to work in an
effort to move forward with Holtz grabbing second place on lap eight while Biswell moved
With Wagner continuing to lead, the second caution of the race flew on lap 12 when Dan
Miller spun while exiting turn two and Holtz took advantage of the situation by drawing
alongside Wagner on the restart. Holtz took the lead a lap later just before the third
caution appeared when Dale Prunty and Schmitt tangled on the backstretch. Holtz pulled
away from the field when the green flag waved, leaving Wagner, Biswell, Reighbrandt, and
Ken Wills all stacked up in a four-car battle for second. While Holtzs lead
continued to grow, Biswell claimed second place on lap 25 over Wagner as Wills and
Reighbrandt disputed third place. Holtz drove off to the win over Biswell as Reighbrandt
took third place at the finish over Wills. Wagner finished fifth.
In other Midwest Modified action, Steven Schultz won the fast dash as Dale Prunty set the
fastest lap with of 12.279 seconds.
Bobby Gutknecht drove to his first victory of the season in the 25-lap Midwest Sportsman
Mike Graczkowski and Todd Gehring started on the front row and Gehring dropped back at the
start, allowing Graczkowski to take the early lead over Gutknecht and Shawn Utphall.
Gutknecht passed Graczkowski for the lead on lap two. The yellow flag flew early as on lap
four, Colin Bamke spun in turn three with Gutknecht leading Graczkowski, Utphall, and Pat
McIntee and Nick Schumacher staged the best battle on the track as they ran side-by-side
in a battle for fourth place on lap eight. A few laps later, both McIntee and Schumacher
were up to third and fourth while Gutknecht led over Graczkowski. Brad Keith spun in turn
four to bring out the caution on lap 15, giving Graczkowski another chance to battle
Gutknecht for the lead. Gutknecht was ready for the challenge and maintained the top spot
as racing resumed. In the late stages, McIntee made his move, taking second place on lap
20 while Josh Bauer moved up to race with Grackczkowski and Schumacher for third.
Gutknecht was in near perfect form in the late stages, and he drove to the victory over
McIntee who held off Bauer for second. Schumacher finished fourth while Graczkowski was
In other Midwest Sportsman action, Gutknecht also won the fast dash and Scott Ascher
turned in a 12.762 second lap to set fast time.
Aaron Cain and Jason Wagner each scored a win in the two Slinger Bee races while the Team
Cruiser races were won by the teams of Jim Wolf & Bill Williams and Mark Fogel &
Eric Schmitz respectively. Scott Goetzke was the winner of the Figure 8 race and the
Spectator Elimination races were won by Carl Trapp in his 1972 Nova.
For Complete results
from the RACESTAT computer CLICK
Meet Chucky from the Rugrats Sunday
Night at Slinger!
Slinger, WI (Spl.) This Sunday night, Boucher Automotive presents a full night
of racing action and a chance for kids to meet Chucky from the Rugrats at the Slinger
Super Speedway. The night will be highlighted by a 60-lap Late Model feature and a special
guest appearance by Chucky, the star of the Rugrats cartoon and recent feature film.
Chucky will be on hand to sign autographs and pose for photographs from 5:00pm until
Boucher Automotive announced this week that through September 1st fans of Slinger Super
Speedway may redeem their ticket stubs for a $300 discount off the lowest price of any
vehicle at Gordie Boucher Ford in Menomonee Falls and at Gordie Boucher Chevrolet
Oldsmobile in Port Washington.
Regular Sunday night racing action at Slinger Super Speedway continues through September
21st. Children 11 & under receive free admission to the track when accompanied by an
adult. In addition to regular Sunday night action, Slinger will host the 24th Annual
Miller Lite Nationals on Tuesday night, July 22nd. The special show will feature NASCAR
Winston Cup Series drivers Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch along with Dick Trickle, Rich
Bickle and Scott Wimmer. In addition, the track announced this week that ASA driver Mike
Garvey will join the impressive list of celebrity drivers in the July 22nd event. Discount
advance tickets are available for purchase by calling the speedways box office at