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Finney Fends Off Champions to Win Tisler Salvage Red Race at WIR

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Jake Finney, Tisler Salvage 35

Finney Fends Off Champions to Win Tisler Salvage Red Race at WIR

Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
June 14, 2008

(Kaukauna, WI) June 14, 2008 – Six Mid-American Stock Car Series championships were not enough to keep third-year driver Jake Finney from picking up his first Mid-American feature win. Finney took the lead on lap six of the Tisler Salvage 35 and smoothly held his line as a pair of three time series champions in Bill Prietzel and James Swan challenged him on Saturday night. “I hardly looked in my mirror at all. I think I had to calm my dad down more on the radio” said the 2006 Mid-American rookie of the year.

When the green flag fell on the field, Troy Shear Jr. swung into the lead around outside pole sitter Kenny Smart. A long run may have benefitted Shear, but a quick caution for a spin by Jim Thorson stopped his momentum. On the restart Smart started on the outside of Finney and tried to hold onto the outside line as he raced side by side with Shear.

While the two held even around the ½ mile D-shaped oval, Finney stayed patient on the inside line. Smart could not keep the grip on the outside and began to fade. Finney saw his opening on lap six as Shear drifted up the track out of the second turn. “It looked like Troy pushed up the track. My car was really good on the bottom,” Finney explained. Shear continued to fade on the outside as his brother Kyle moved into second and Prietzel slipped into third on the next lap.

At the same time, James Swan was mounting a charge. Swan moved into fourth on lap eight and followed Prietzel into third past Kyle Shear four laps later. Finney had built a healthy lead over the rest of the field and kept his Monte Carlo on cruise control. However, Prietzel and Swan caught him only seven laps later.

Prietzel locked onto the back bumper of Finney and took several looks to the inside. Holding onto the inside, Prietzel left the high line open for Swan. The two were side by side on lap 23 until one lap later when Swan took the position.

Lap 25 provided the last caution of the event when Butch Mierendorf and Shawn Upthall spun in turn three. Swan had stayed with Finney after taking the second spot but would have to worry about Prietzel on the restart. The battle raged for the second spot as Prietzel turned the tables on Swan and took advantage of an open outside line. As the two were shuffling for the second spot Finney opened up his lead.

Prietzel finally nosed ahead of Swan on lap 31 and attempted to reel in Finney. The second-generation driver’s lead proved to be too cumbersome for Prietzel to overcome with four laps of clean air and Finney held on to see the checkered flag. Swan finished third, Kyle Shear held onto fourth and Troy Shear Jr. held on for a top five.

“We were beginning to wonder if this day would ever come. I’m glad it was at Kaukauna. This is one of my favorite tracks,” said Finney.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series will remain in Northeast Wisconsin as it travels to the 141 Speedway in Francis Creek, WI on Saturday, June 28 for the Francis Creek Frenzy. The 141 Speedway is located on Highway R just outside of Maribel. For more information on the 141 Speedway visit their new website www.141speedway.com.

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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