Slinger Supper Speedway - Race Report

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By Dan Margetta

(Slinger, WI) July 13, 2005 - Nathan Haseleu notched the biggest win of his career Wednesday night at the Slinger Super Speedway as he held off a surprisingly stout Matt Kocourek for the victory in the 26th Annual Miller Lite Nationals 250-lap late model feature.

Photo Highlights

“I remember when Matt (Kenseth) won this event a few years back and I went down to the shop and saw that trophy,” an ecstatic Haseleu told the crowd from victory lane. “I said ‘man I’d like to get me one of those’ and tonight I did. It was exciting.”

Haseleu took advantage of a late restart on lap 215 to grab the lead from Kocourek, diving to the inside to pull off the pass.

“I don’t think I could’ve caught him (without the caution),” Haseleu explained. “He was a little faster than me on the long runs, but the caution came out and they got on me on the radio to go get him after we got the green. I got a good run on the inside off two and he ran me clean, it was a good race. We weren’t very good in the first half and I kind of rode around for a while to save the tires and it worked out.”

Kocourek turned in a stellar performance, running in the top five throughout the whole event and leading 68 laps before coming up a car-length short of the victory at the checkered flag.

“I know it’s not a win,” Kocourek beamed after his second place finish. “But I’ve got to say this is the highlight of my career. I bogged it down a bit (on the restart) and Nate got a good run there and I was tight so I had to hit my lines. I drove in a little too low and I just pushed up. He (Nate) got a good line on me there and I wasn’t going to chop him, that’s not my style.”

2001 Nationals champion David Prunty crossed the stripe for a strong third place finish while defending Nationals champion Lowell Bennett finished in fourth. Dave Feiler rounded out the top five while Dennis Prunty and Nick Schumacher finished in sixth and seventh respectively, the final cars on the lead lap. Jeremy Lepak, visiting NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series driver Todd Kluever, and Austin Konetski completed the top ten while John Mueller was eleventh, one lap behind the leaders.

“We were really good in the first half,” Kluever said afterwards. “We made some adjustments but they weren’t the right ones for the second half. This is my first big race here and I didn’t know what to anticipate what the track would be like. We just didn’t make enough changes but next time I’ll be smarter and we won’t make the same mistake twice.”

Earlier, Schumacher dominated the first half, leading a race-high 79 laps which netted him the Northside Automotive of Appleton Most Laps Led Award before the handling began to go away on his car on lap 147. Schumacher and Ryan Mathews swapped the lead for much of the first half with Mathews leading for 67 laps before he was forced to retire from the event on lap 130 when flames began to shoot from underneath his car.

The fastest car on the speedway during the opening laps belonged to three-time Nationals champion Rich Bickle as he sliced his way forward, passing cars on both the high and low side to crack the top ten by the 50 lap mark. Soon after that however, wisps of smoke began to appear behind his machine and the distinct smell of a burning rear-end gear prompted officials to black flag him, ending his bid for another Nationals title.

“The ratchet unloaded and blew a bunch of grease out on the pipes which caused the car to smoke for ten laps,” a frustrated Bickle stated. “But then it quit and when you look at the rear of the car, there isn’t any oil on it, just dust. There have been times I’ve been fast here before but I could’ve lapped the field tonight. The car was that good.”

Dick Trickle, who founded the Nationals concept with track owner Wayne Erickson, returned to the speedway with a respectable run, completing 205 laps for a twelfth place finish.

“We got the car comfortable after practice and when the race started, it seemed like I had a different car,” Trickle explained. “The track seemed to tighten up a little bit tonight.” “I spun earlier to avoid a wreck and when I did that the rear-end seemed to jump out a little bit which bent the drive shaft. It started to vibrate really bad and I stayed out for a while but had to come in with 50 laps to go. If I could have stayed out there I probably could have gotten a top ten without running very good.”

Kerry Earnhardt made his first appearance at Slinger and came away with a 20th place finish after struggling in qualifying.

“The car ran real good, “Earnhardt stated. “We were real loose to begin with and the motor started to run hot so I backed it down to let it cool off and when it started to run hot again, we just parked it.”

Ron Hornaday and Kenny Wallace raced strong while they were on the track but separate early incidents forced both to retire from the race, winding up with 24th and 25th place finishes respectively.

Early contact between Hornaday and Dave Teske pushed Teske high on the speedway on lap 22 and when Teske’s car came down the track, he collided with Wallace who was directly in his path. Hornaday and Teske were placed at the rear of the field for the restart while Wallace’s car was severely damaged, ending his night early.

“I saw them get into it,” Wallace said. “I saw the #51 car come off the wall and I thought I had him missed and I was turning left but he ricocheted off the wall pretty hard and I ran up over him.” “It’s disappointing because the night was going so good. This is a fast race track and when something happens, there’s no missing it.”

Hornaday’s race lasted a few more laps after the restart as he drifted high off turn four on lap 27 and bounced off the fence, damaging the car enough to take him out of the race.

“The guys gave me an awesome race car and I got sent to the back early on,” Hornaday claimed. “Then I got into something slick on the outside and the car snapped loose and I hit the wall.” Slinger is a blast. It’s a very demanding racetrack on a driver. It’s more fun than Daytona.”

A field of 52 late models vied for the 25 starting positions, led by David Prunty who topped qualifying with a lap of 11.316 seconds. Lowell Bennett held off Kenny Wallace to win the 30-lap late model qualifying race as they both transferred to the main event along with Dave Teske and Josh Bauer who finished third and fourth respectively. Scott Schoeni won the 35-lap late model semi-feature over Travis Dassow and Kelly Bires. Al Schill and Donavan Morgan rounded out the top five. Jerry Eckhardt was the winner of the 15-lap late model consi over Tommy Hromadka and Mike McCabe. Jim Jesowshek finished fourth followed by George Olson who was fifth.

Brad Keith raced to the win in the wild and exciting 40-lap Midwest Sportsman feature, holding off Collin Bamke and James Swan at the checkered flag.

Scott Schambeau and Rob Braun led the field to the green flag and Braun powered his way into the lead from the outside while Schambeau fended off Bamke and Pat McIntee for second place. Braun gradually pulled away while Bamke tried to use the outside lane to get around Schambeau with McIntee, Swan and Gary LaMonte following in his tire tracks. Bamke eventually took over the position by lap ten and over the next ten laps, LaMonte, Swan, and McIntee also managed to push their way by Schambeau while Braun continued to lead. With Braun and Bamke comfortably out front, McIntee was able to shoot the nose of his car to the inside of LaMonte’s fender on lap 23 and the two battled hard for third before McIntee prevailed on the inside. The complexion of the race changed dramatically on lap 27 when Braun suddenly experienced mechanical problems in turn two and his bid for the convincing win ended in a smoky spin, drawing a caution flag.

Bamke took over the top spot for the restart with McIntee, Swan, LaMonte, and Keith in tow. It didn’t take long for things to heat up at the head of the field as Bamke had to protect both the top and the bottom from those behind him. LaMonte charged to the inside on lap 34 to take the lead and Keith advanced all the way to second place when contact between McIntee and Bamke momentarily slowed the outside lane. More fender-banging racing between Swan and Bamke a lap later shuffled the order again as Swan moved into fourth. Debris on the speedway brought out the second caution flag on lap 35 with LaMonte leading Keith, McIntee, Bamke, and Swan. Soon after the restart, LaMonte and Keith edged ahead while McIntee slid sideways and spun in turn three on lap 36 as the race remained under the green flag before a separate spin by Adam Berge drew the yellow flag. LaMonte turned back the challenges on the restart but while entering turn one on lap 38, his car drifted wide on the track as Keith, Bamke, and Swan all passed by. Keith then held off both Bamke and Swan to take the victory. Scott Schambeau finished fourth and Dave Obermeyer rounded out the top five as LaMonte’s machine slowed at the finish.

LaMonte was the fastest qualifier on the night after circling the speedway in 12.510 seconds.


For Complete results from the RACESTAT computer CLICK HERE 



Extreme Wheels on the High Banks of Slinger Speedway


(Slinger, WI) Saturday Night July 16th - EXTREME Wheels on the High Banks presented by MOOSES 4x4 Recreation Center of Hartford and Glenn Curtis Motorsports of West Bend!

Monster Trucks, Extreme Motorcross Freestyle Competition and More! Kevin Harvick’s/Kid Rock, Monster Patrol, Captain USA, OZZ Monster, and 3 time World Champion Bear Foot. These are the big Boys of Monster Trucks and Super Stars of National Television set to battle it out at Slinger Speedway. They will do side by side racing along with a freestyle competition!

In addition you will see direct from the X games and ESPN, the breath taking feats from the East Cost Extreme Motocross Freestyle Team featuring Rudy Waller and Company. Plus The Cody Cavenaugh Extreme Motocross Thrill Show and More! Show begins at 6:30 PM Saturday Night July 16th.

Also: We have added Supermoto racing! SuperBikers2, is going to bring Slinger Speedway some of the most exciting racing action that you will ever see! Born in the USA, bred in the countries of Europe, and now on it's way back to the USA. Supermoto racing is a combination of roadracing, dirt-track racing and maybe a little of motocross racing. Wherever it came from, it is just plain fun!!!

Gates open at 4:30 pm, Racing begins at 6:30 pm.

For more information, contact the speedway’s public relations department at: 262-370-0440, the track office at: 262-644-5921 or our web site at: