Slinger Supper Speedway - Race Report

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By Dan Margetta

(Slinger, WI) July 18, 2006 - Fate did just about everything it could to knock Matt Kenseth out of the Miller Lite Nationals Tuesday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, but strong perseverance by both driver and crew paid off in big dividends as the visiting NASCAR Nextel Cup Series star led the final eight laps to capture his third Nationals title by winning the 250-lap late model feature.

Photo Highlights

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Track owner Wayne Erickson (left) congratulates winner Matt Kenseth (center) after he won his third Miller Lite Slinger Nationals title.  The are joined by Jenna, Miss Slinger Speedway (right).5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Drivers take their wave lap 4 wide prior to the start of the Miller Lite Late Model feature.
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Track owner Wayne Erickson and Miss Slinger (Jenna) pose with Matt Kenseth, Erik Darnell, Todd Kluever, Scott Wimmer, Dick Trickle, and Rich Bickle.
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Matt Kenseth scores his third Miller Lite Nationals crown.
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David Prunty (#1) fends off the challenges of Rich Bickle Jr. (#45) during the main event.

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Wisconsin Short Track legend Dick Trickle (#99) does battle with Rich Bickle Jr. (#45) during the main event.
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Lowell Bennett (#2) bested a star studded field to set fast time during a program where over 50 Super Late Models were in attendance.
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The 35-lap late model semi-feature was captured by Minnesota driver Jake Ryan.5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
The Hartford Energizers put on a fantastic show before the Miller Lite Nationals Tuesday night.
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James Swan goes on to win the Midwest Sportsman feature. Sawn also set fast time during qualifying Tuesday night.
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James Swan (97) passes Rob Braun (98) to take the lead in Tuesday night's Midwest Sportsman feature.

Forced to start the main event deep in the field in the 21st position due to missing the cut in qualifying, Kenseth methodically blazed his way through the field, entering the top ten by lap 60 before mechanical issues arose which sent his car off the speedway twice, nearly terminating his chances for the win. After getting pushed to the pits for ignition problems that surfaced right at the halfway mark, Kenseth’s crew was able to remedy the situation during the ten-minute break and he returned to the track for the second half only to deal with distributor issues on lap 146 which once again sent his car sputtering off the track while under caution. Kenseth and crew caught a break as an aborted restart for a spin by Dave Feiler before a green flag lap could be completed, allowed them extra time to return to the speedway without losing a lap.

“It’s pretty amazing, I mean, right at the (halfway) break the thing died and we cooled down the ignition box and got it running again,” Kenseth explained from victory lane. “Then it died again during that other caution and I just thought we were done. I was ready to get out of the car when they were trying to fix it, so to win this is pretty awesome.”

Once back underway, Kenseth caught then leader David Prunty with eight laps to go and then managed to hold off the current Slinger point leader through two late restarts to secure the victory.

“I thought I might be able to catch him (Prunty) under green but then on the restarts my motor would vapor lock or something because it was getting so hot, but he (Prunty) raced me clean and it was a heck of a race,” Kenseth continued.

By all rights, it was Prunty who probably should have been holding the victory hardware at the conclusion as he literally dominated the race, leading a whopping 224 of the 250 laps before falling just short at the finish.

“All I needed was to get alongside him for just a couple of laps, “ Prunty theorized afterwards. “If I could have done that, my tire pressures would have come up and I would have been gone. But then again, who could complain about losing to Matt Kenseth.”

Dennis Prunty rebounded from an early spin and charged to a respectable third place finish, just ahead of Lowell Bennett who remained in the top five all night, leading 16 laps before finishing in fourth place. Brian Johnson Jr. turned in a strong performance that was capped off with a fifth place finish. Travis Dassow paced the event for two laps early on before turning in one of his best results of the season, taking the checkered flag in sixth place, the final car on the lead lap. Jeremy Lepak and Josh Bauer were a lap down in seventh and eighth place respectively while Chad Barker and Matt Kocourek rounded out the top ten.

NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series driver Erik Darnell fared the best of the remaining visiting stars, completing the event in the eleventh position while 65-year old legend Dick Trickle wowed the crowd by running solidly in the top ten until a jarring crash against the backstretch wall on lap 243 relegated him to a thirteenth place finish. NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Scott Wimmer kept pace with the leaders for most of the night, racing in the top three until a broken sway-bar on lap 183, knocked him back to a fourteenth place result. Rich Bickle also had a car capable of running up front until tire issues late in the race left him with a sixteenth place finish.

“The was really good, “ Bickle stated. “I went into turn three and someone must have lost a bunch of water and I slid up and someone got into me and I didn’t realize it to later, but it peeled all the rubber off the left rear tire and it wouldn’t go anywhere from there.”

NASCAR Busch Series driver Todd Kluever wound up with a nineteenth place result after racing hard with Dick Trickle all evening.

“It was a good night and we were having a lot of fun, “ Kluever said. “We had a pretty strong car in the second half and there was a car outside of me who got in the back of the #99 car (Trickle) and knocked him into the frontstretch wall. When he tried to cut back down to get to the bottom, I was already there. I think it broke the steering rack, but I was having a ball out there.”

Nick Schumacher took top honors in the 30-lap late model qualifying race over Mike Egan and Dave Feiler. Randy Schuler finished fifth. The 35-lap late model semi-feature was captured by Minnesota driver Jake Ryan. Mike Strupp finished in second place ahead of Jake Humphrey, Wayne Freimund, and Race McComb. Mark Bitzan won the 15-lap late model consi over John Nelson and Shawn Roethle. Chris Blawat and Jim Schmittinger rounded out the top five. Lowell Bennett bested a field of 52 late models to become the fastest qualifier after touring the speedway in 11.393 seconds.

James Swan took the lead of the 40-lap Midwest Sportsman feature just past halfway and drove to a convincing win.

Dean Olla led the opening laps before giving way to Mike Graczkowski who paced the field for a few laps before Rob Braun moved to the front on lap 12. Meanwhile, Swan began to slowly edge his way forward, moving into second place just before lap 20. Once into second place, Swan took to the outside groove and used the top side to race around Braun for the lead on lap 20. Swan then began to pull away while Kenny Joosten and Brad Keith began to pressure Braun for second, with Joosten taking the position on lap 25. Keith made his way around Braun to grab third place a few laps later as Swan continued to ease away out front. Swan could not be caught and he drove to the victory while Joosten came home with a second place finish ahead of Keith and Braun. Pat McIntee was fifth. Earlier in the night, Swan set fast time with a lap of 12.547 seconds.

For Complete results from the RACESTAT computer CLICK HERE 

Ritter Technology Parker Store Night 75
Rides for Kids in Race Cars – Free T-shirts fist 750 fans


(Slinger, WI) Sunday Night July 23rd – Parker Store Night at Slinger Speedway. See a 75 lap Late Model Feature along with our regular Sunday program that includes Midwest Modified, Midwest Sportsman, Complete Car Care Slinger Bees, Figure Eights, Port A John Speedway Guest Cars, One on One Spectator Eliminators and Limited Late Models. Plus rides for kids in racecars at intermission, Free T-shirts to first 750 fans and spinal exams from Riegleman Chiropractor of Slinger. Gates open at 4:45, Qualifying at 5:15, and Racing at 7:00.

PARKER STORE - Ritter Technology LLC……… Parkers largest Industrial Distributor in the US is your #1 source for all your Hydraulic and Pneumatic needs, specializing in hose assembly while you wait! Stop by one of their local Store locations in Pewaukee, Madison or their new location in Milwaukee opening August 1st on the corner of Miller Parkway and Greenfield Avenue. Place your orders online and check them out at Parker Store is also a proud sponsor of 6 time Slinger Champ Conrad Morgan.

There are select advertising and sponsorship opportunities as well as company and group outings available for the 2006 season outings available for the 2006 season. For more information, contact the speedway’s public relations department at: 262-370-0440, the track office at: 262-644-5921 or visit our web site at: