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MID-AMERICAN MID-SEASON REPORT

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

MID-AMERICAN MID-SEASON REPORT

Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
August 10, 2007


Fort Atkinson, WI), August 10 -- Mid-American Stock Car Series competitors, fans and staff did not see this kind of a season coming. In Mid-American’s fifteen seasons this is perhaps the most competitive. At the halfway point the series has yet to see a repeat winner, has seen two first time winners and four drivers within 38 points of a title.

The season started off with a bang when Dave Obermeyer of Slinger, WI picked up his first career Mid-American win by fending off the charges of defending champion James Swan of Genoa City, WI at the Rockford Speedway. The next event saw another shootout. At the Golden Sands Speedway it was Wausau, WI’s Lyle Nowak holding off a last lap charge by three-time series champion Bill Prietzel of Richfield, WI.

A little more than a month later Prietzel picked up the feature win at the Wisconsin International Raceway in the Tisler Salvage Red Race after a battle with Somonauk, IL’s Jeremy Spoonmore. The pattern continued as a month later Spoonmore turned his runner-up finish into a win at Madison International Speedway.

The series then headed to a new venue at the Dells Raceway Park. Leading rookie contender Kyle Shear of Roscoe, IL was victorious and for the second time this season Swan had to settle for second behind a first time winner. That pattern continued for Swan as he again had to settle for a second place finish after an extraordinary race day at WIR in the Tisler Salvage White Race. However, it was not a first time winner that kept Swan out of victory lane. It was Oak Creek, WI’s Bobby Gutknecht who had not won a series event in more than three years.

Though Swan has had three second place finishes, bad luck has clouded his season. If not for two particular races, Swan may be the point leader and on the fast track to his second straight title. Swan was headed for a solid top five finish in the Red Race until he lost a cylinder and his right rear tire started to go flat. Swan had the field covered at MIS and was headed to a clean sweep until the engine expired on the Berge Racing entry leaving the team only empty handed.

“Lady Luck hasn’t been on my side, I guess,” said Swan. “The engine problems have been the main problem. It isn’t the engine builder or our preparation. For so many years I’ve had such good luck with engines, I guess it is just the law of averages,” he added.

Swan is currently tied for second in points with Prietzel only eleven tallies behind Gutknecht. If not for a 24th place finish at Rockford in the Spring Opener, perhaps it would be Prietzel atop the standings. “We’ll keep racing how we are and just run the best we can,” said Prietzel. The remainder of the schedule may favor Prietzel the most of any driver. Unlike many drivers, Prietzel enjoys the tight quarter-mile 141 Speedway. The series makes its lone stop at 141 on Saturday, September 1st. “It’s a drivers’ track. I have no problem going there,” said Prietzel.

The dark horse in the championship run may be Somonauk, IL’s Jeremy Spoonmore who is currently fourth in points. Adding to his win at MIS, Spoonmore has two top fives and has yet to finish outside of the top ten through six events.

“The point battle is fun. Winning the championship will not be easy. The guys I am competing with have many, many years of experience. All I can say is that I will never give up and at the end we will see who has won,” said Spoonmore.

At the midway point the driver that Spoonmore, Swan and Prietzel are chasing is Gutknecht. Gutknecht and his team decided to step up their efforts this off-season and the extra work has paid off. Through six events Gutknecht has finished in the top five on five occasions, his only finish outside of the top five was a seventh place finish at Rockford. “I’m this close to winning my first championship in 25 years of racing,” said Gutknecht. “I have to keep going.”

The Mid-American Stock Car Series begins the second half of the 2007 season next Saturday, August 18th at the Wisconsin International for the Tisler Salvage Blue Race in conjunction with the Gary Vercauteran Memorial. It will be the series’ third and final stop at WIR in 2007. After the Blue Race, Mid-American will head to the Milwaukee Mile for the Governor’s Cup Weekend on Saturday, August 25th. “This is like a Daytona for us. All my guys love going and it such a great time,” said Spoonmore of the famed Mile. The event will award 25 appearance points to each entrant. No points will be awarded beyond that.

Just to exercise the parity of the Mid-American Stock Car Series, the next week, the series will head to the smallest track on the schedule at the 141 Speedway. Many drivers hold anxious tendencies toward the bullring. Yet, drivers still respect one of the toughest stops on the schedule. “One of these days we’re going to hit it,” said Swan who is not shy about apprehension his toward 141.

To close out the season, the Mid-American Stock Car Series will make a three week swing from Marshfield Super Speedway on Saturday, September 22nd, back to Rockford on Sunday, September 30th and will host the finale on Saturday, October 6th at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway as part of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend. The series will also hold a non-points event at Road America on October 27th in partnership with the annual Cancer Run. Details on Road America are forthcoming.

For more information about the Mid-American Stock Car Series including results, standings, the remaining 2007 schedule and driver info visit www.midamericanracing.com.

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