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Joosten Cruises to First NSTC Win

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Ken Joosten, Yellow Book 75

Joosten Cruises to First NSTC Win

Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
September 30, 2007


(Loves Park, IL) September 30 -- An exhausted Kenny Joosten pumped his fists in triumph, thanked almost everyone he ever met and then accepted his trophy as the winner of the Yellow Book 75 at the Rockford Speedway Sunday afternoon. Joosten added his name to the list of fourteen other winners in the Mid-American Stock Car Series portion of the National Short Track Championships. The only challenges Joosten faced after taking the lead from Jeremy Bloomberg on lap 21 were easily dismissed by the Wonder Lake, IL veteran.

A champion-filled field was led to the start by Jeremy Spoonmore and Bloomberg. Bloomberg used the preferred outside line of the high-banked Rockford Speedway to rocket into the lead. Aside for a few isolated side by side battles, drivers began to tuck in line and freight train around the tight quarter-mile patiently waiting for the right times to make their moves in the season’s only race to surpass the fifty lap mark.

The first shake up of the race came on lap eight when Adam Mass spun in turn two. By then, Bill Prietzel had followed Bloomberg around Spoonmore and into third. On the restart, Spoonmore finally got his machine to the outside line where he swept past Prietzel bringing Joosten along for the ride.

As the top three began to sort out and Prietzel settled back in fourth, Bobby Gutknecht suffered a cut left front tire after contact with Lyle Nowak. Gutknecht somehow managed to limp around the speedway for five laps and stayed on the lead lap until the caution flew on lap 16 for debris off of Scott Lawver’s Monte Carlo. Gutknecht went into the pit area, rejoined the field at the tail and recovered for an eight place finish.

The following restart threw the field into a shuffle once again as Joosten was aligned on the outside of Spoonmore. It took Joosten less than a lap to move around Spoonmore and set his sights on Bloomberg. Four laps later, Joosten had caught Bloomberg.

Joosten decided to take a chance and stuck his nose under Bloomberg. “I saw Jeremy kept pushing up and I held off because I didn’t want to lose my spot. Once you get on the bottom it’s hard to get the top (line) back,” said Joosten in victory lane. “I gave it a try and it stuck.”

While Joosten began to pull away from the field, current Mid-American point leader James Swan charged to the front of the field. By the halfway point Swan had moved to seventh and had picked off two more spots by lap 49. Swan’s charge was halted by a caution involving Scott Null and Dave Obermeyer. Null backed into the turn three wall and Obermeyer came to a stop several feet behind him. Both drivers were unharmed.

The caution erased the large advantage that Joosten had built in 28 laps. Yet the battle between Spoonmore and Bloomberg for second on the restart allowed Joosten to escape and rebuild his lead. Spoonmore used the outside line to maneuver his way into second. Ten laps later Senerchia worked his way under Bloomberg and opened up the line for Swan, Prietzel and Kevin Damrow who worked his way to the front from the 17th starting spot.

One final caution due to a fire on Hank Tews’ machine with eight laps remaining provided a last gasp effort for the field to best Joosten. When the green flag flew for the final time, Spoonmore had to be more concerned holding onto second over Senerchia than passing Joosten. Joosten checked out again and sailed to the win.

Spoonmore finished second then immediately prepared to race in the 200 lap National Short Track Super Late Model event. He finished eleventh. Senerchia, the two-time and defending race winner, settled for third and Swan slightly padded his point lead over Prietzel as they finished fourth and fifth.

The next event for the Mid-American Stock Car Series will be next Saturday at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, WI as part of the 38th Annual Okoberfest Race Weekend. Swan, who had the championship sealed going into last year’s Oktoberfest 40 leads Prietzel by 58 tallies. Gutknecht (89 points back) and Spoonmore (91 points back) are still mathematically eligible to win the championship as well. Nowak rounds out the top five 147 points back. For more information about the Mid-American Stock Car Series including results, standings, the remaining 2007 schedule and driver info visit www.midamericanracing.com.

OFFICIAL FINISH

Yellow Book 75
1. Kenny Joosten, Wonder Lake, IL; 2. Jeremy Spoonmore, Somonauk, IL; 3. Johnny Senerchia, New Lenox, IL; 4. James Swan, Genoa City, WI; 5. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, WI; 6. Kevin Damrow, Manitowoc, WI; 7. Jeremy Bloomberg, Hampshire, IL; 8. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI; 9. Lyle Nowak, Wausau, WI; 10. Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL; 11. Andrew Kulka, Deerfield, WI; 12. Troy Shear Jr., Roscoe, IL; 13. Kyle Shear, Roscoe, IL; 14. Hank Tews, Batavia, IL; 15. Adam Mass, Hebron, IL; 16. Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI; 17. Dave Obermeyer, Slinger, WI; 18. Scott Lawver, Roscoe, IL; 19. Shaun Wiltjer, Calumet Township, IN; 20. Maxwell Schultz, Reedsville, WI; 21. Dean Patterson, Bridgeview, IL; 22. Jimmy Becker, Burlington, IL; 23. Eric Pierce, Lake in the Hills, IL; DNS - Danny Powell, Polo, IL; Billy Tuckwell, Peoria, IL

12 Lap Last Chance Race
1. Kulka; 2. Null; 3. Damrow; 4. K. Shear; 5. Schultz; 6. Lawver; 7. Tews; 8. Obermeyer

Fast Time: Swan - 14.189 seconds

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