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YOUTH is the THEME for MID-AMERICAN ROOKIES in 2007

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

YOUTH is the THEME for MID-AMERICAN ROOKIES in 2007

Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
May 2007


Defending Mid-American Stock Car Series champion James Swan, Mid-American ace Bobby Gutknecht and all of the Mid-American veterans will have some new faces to contend with in the 2007 season. Youth will surely be served in 2007 as five drivers aged 17 and under have registered to compete as part of the Series. Two drivers, Andrew Kulka of Deerfield WI and Reedsville WI’s Maxwell Schultz are competing in their second seasons. The other three Becca Kasten, Adam Carlson, and Ross Zumbach will be competing as rookies.

Kasten joins the Mid-American series with go-karting experience and hopes to someday become a professional race driver. Kasten’s business/racing operations manager, Gregg Schaal stated that Kasten does not plan to run the series full time but will make several appearances. “The Mid Am series is one of many different divisions she will be racing in this year. Including Dirt Sprint Car, Dirt Modified, Dirt Grand National, Asphalt Late Model, possibly some ARCA if time and talent permits,” Schaal stated. However, Schaal realizes that the Mid-American Stock Car Series is a great opportunity for Kasten to get her feet wet in racing. “I chose the Mid-American Series for a variety of reasons. It will give her experience at various tracks, learn the travel aspect of racing, how to drive a bigger slower heavy car, and we had an opportunity to partner with Bobby Gutknecht as a mentor. I have been a fan of the series for many years. It is a good series with good competition, and has a family atmosphere,” said Schaal.

Kasten’s mentor, Bobby Gutknecht, expressed confidence in Kasten as a driver, “She’s a go-getter, I think she’s going to do really well,” he said. Kasten has competed in both Mid-American events so far in 2007. An incident during practice made a rough day for Kasten and crew at Rockford as she finished 23rd in her Mid-American Stock Car Series debut. She also finished 7th in the last chance race at the Golden Sands Speedway.

Another of the young guns joining the series in 2007 is Ross Zumbach of Racine, MN. Zumbach began his racing career at age 5 when he turned his first laps in a go-kart and moved to legend cars until the age of 15. Zumbach’s first year in a Mid-American stock car was impressive as he recorded 4 wins in his rookie year at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids Iowa. He was named Rookie of the Year and finished 5th in points only 28 points behind the champion. Zumbach sees the Mid-American Stock Car Series as the next step in his racing development. “Experience (is why I am running the series) and the challenge of running with top drivers every week,” said Zumbach of his decision to run with the Mid-American Stock Car Series in 2007. Zumbach’s goals for his racing career are just like those of any other young driver, “(I hope) to make it as far as possible, when the right opportunities present themselves I will be looking forward to them!” exclaimed Zumbach.

Zumbach made his Mid-American Stock Car Series debut at the Golden Sands Speedway on April 29th. A few problems clouded his practice and qualifying runs. However, Zumbach was impressive in working his way through the field of the last chance race missing a transfer position by only one spot. According to Zumbach’s website he will compete in the remaining events of the 2007 season.

Kasten (who sits 21st in points) and Zumbach (who sits 29th in points) are chasing a large rookie class which is led by Don Wood of Maribel, WI. Wood competed in the maximum five events in 2006 and recorded two top 10s. Wood was the most impressive rookie at Rockford on April 14th as he finished a solid fifth after starting the race in 16th. “I wasn’t planning on running the whole series,” Wood said in a race time interview at Rockford, “but if things keeping going this well I might,” he added. Wood is currently 10th in Mid-American Stock Car Series points.

Two of the other young rookies include brothers Kyle (19) and Troy Shear Jr. (22) both of Roscoe, IL. Kyle Shear has two top 10s on the season and was the top finishing rookie with a 10th place finish at Golden Sands while Troy has struggled after a wild ride on the first lap of the feature at Rockford. Kyle Shear is the second leading rookie sitting 12th in series points. Rounding out the rookie field of 2007 are former Lake Geneva Sportsman driver Jeremy Tess of East Troy, WI, dirt-track Grand National ace Tim Warner of Fond du Lac, WI and Louie Goss of Green Bay, WI.

The next event for the Mid-American Stock Car Series is slated for Saturday, May 26 at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL as part of the Bob Milner Memorial. The following event will be two weeks later as the series competes as part of the Red Race at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, WI, on Saturday June 9th. For more information about the Mid-American Series including results, standings, the 2007 schedule and driver info visit www.midamericanracing.com.

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