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Different Strokes for Joosten to Capture Hankscraft Dells Duel Two

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Ken Joosten

Different Strokes for Joosten to Capture Hankscraft Dells Duel Two

Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
July 26, 2008


(Wisconsin Dells WI) July 26, 2008 – Sometimes things come easily. Sometimes they don’t. In Kenny Joosten’s case, things at the Dells Raceway Park went both ways Saturday night as he picked up the overall win for the Mid-American Stock Car Series Hankscraft Dells Duel Two at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The Wonder Lake, IL veteran smoothly sailed to a win in the first of two 35 lap features. However, he needed every inch of racetrack and an escape from a close call that would make Houdini jealous in the second to claim the overall win. Joosten’s finishes of first and fifth were enough to give him the tiebreaker over Jeremy Spoonmore’s two third-place finishes.

The first 35 lap feature was dominated by Joosten. Spoonmore was at the head of the class for the first four circuits including a restart on lap three. By the time that restart had taken place, Joosten had moved from his third-row-inside starting spot to second. He easily disposed of Spoonmore on lap four with a power move out of turn two. Spoonmore moved up the track slightly as Joosten’s machine clung to the inside line and motored into the lead.

“I watched for him to drift up a bit and stuck my nose where I was sure that he couldn’t come back down,” said Joosten. “The car was awesome. There was nothing I could do wrong,” he commented on the first session.

Joosten had to survive several cautions before he took a stranglehold on the first feature event. The first restart came on lap eight after a spin by Mikie Breiner in turn two. Bill Prietzel restarted second- row-outside with a fresh breath of clean air for his machine in front of him. He was unable to find the grip necessary to make the move on Joosten. Another opportunity arose for Prietzel to take advantage a restart on lap ten, but again Joosten rocketed to a solid advantage as the green flag fell.

After the two strong restarts for Joosten, the race was for the runner-up spot. On lap 14 Prietzel snuck around Spoonmore in turn four. Kyle Shear, who broke his own track record earlier in the evening, mimicked Prietzel and swung to the inside and around Jake Finney for fourth simultaneously. Shear put Spoonmore to the test several times in the closing laps, but was unable to get around him. James Swan slipped past Finney on lap 23 to round out the top five.

With 35 laps already under their belt, the Mid-American feature cars went back to the DRP pits and awaited their second feature event. During the break, a six was rolled on the die, which inverted all fifteen of the cars that finished on the lead lap in the first feature event. However, Mikie Breiner chose to start behind the invert instead of on the pole position.

That twist of fate put Tim Schmitt on the pole. In a twenty-four hour period full of twists and turns, lady luck finally smiled upon Schmitt and his hard-working crew. At midnight on Friday, the team had yet to mount the body on the car. Several crew members put the finishing touches on the Monte Carlo in the trailer as they traveled to DRP.

All of the extra effort was worth while as Schmitt led every lap with a hungry Bobby Gutknecht in his rear view mirror. “The car was perfect. I’ve got three engineers on the crew who are all race car drivers,” said a jubilant Schmitt afterward. “It was too easy [because of the crew]. I was just along for the ride today.”

Although the race at the front was seemingly decided from the drop of the green, the race for the overall win remained heated throughout. It seemed as though Joosten’s bid for the overall had come to an end on lap 20. David McCalla took a look to the inside of Gutknecht entering turn three when the two made contact. McCalla looped his machine and Joosten hit the binders hard in an attempt to avoid. He was unable to keep from making contact and slammed his right front into McCalla’s stopped machine.

Since it was deemed that Joosten spun to avoid, he received his spot back. Joosten dodged another bullet as the damage to his machine was very minimal after the contact. “I’m very fortunate that we built a good car. It can take the abuse, I guess,” said Joosten.

With Spoonmore riding in third, in line for the overall win, fortune stayed with Joosten. Swan took the high line, with less than five laps remaining, in an attempt to pass Scott Null. Swan was unable to move around Null and Joosten slipped to the inside lane. By a matter of inches at the line, Joosten was awarded the fifth spot. He and Spoonmore tied in overall standings, but the win in the first 35 lap feature gave Joosten the tie breaker. Prietzel was awarded third overall, Swan fourth and Kyle Shear rounded out the top five.

Joosten and Schmitt became the eight and ninth different feature winners through nine Mid-American events in 2008.

Mid-American drivers will get a well deserved three-week hiatus until their next event, the Tisler Salvage Blue Race at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, WI on Saturday, August 16th. Wisconsin International Raceway is located just outside of Kaukauna, WI on Highway KK to the east of Highway 55. For more information please visit www.wisconsininternationalraceway.net

For more information about the Mid-American Series including results, current 2008 standings, the remaining 2008 schedule and driver info please visit www.midamericanracing.com

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