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Neering Survives Wild Mid-Am Feature to Win at Grundy on Memorial Day

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Bill Neering

Neering Survives Wild Mid-Am Feature to Win at Grundy on Memorial Day

Keith Vercauteren
Mid American Stock Car Series
May 29, 2006

(Morris, IL) May 29,2006 Chicagoland veteran Bill Neering emerged as the victor in the 50-lap Mid-American Stock Car Series feature Monday evening at Grundy County Speedway. The Cedar Lake, IN charger took the lead from Grundy regular Ray Mooi of New Lenox, IL on lap 39 to take the win. The race, presented by Bailey's Carpet One, was also the scene of a three wild rollovers, which is a record for the Mid-American Stock Car Series.

Wausau, WI driver Lyle Nowak, winner of the season opener at Rockford Speedway, jumped from the outside front row starting position to lead the opening laps. The action was slowed for a caution on lap 3 when Adam Mass, Tony Habeck, John McMahon and Hank Tews got together in turn one. Nowak continued to lead on the restart, with Bobby Gutknecht in second and Jeremy Spoonmore running in third. The yellow flag was dropped again on lap 8 when Allen Randall looped his car in turn three.

The yellow remained out for an extended period as rain hit the track, making it the second race in a row dogged by inclement weather. Nowak held the point on the restart, as Spoonmore began pressuring Gutknecht for second. Spoonmore moved past for the position on lap 20 and began hunting for Nowak as the leaders encountered lapped traffic. Greg Marks spun around in turn three, bringing out another caution on lap 21.

As the race went back to green, Spoonmore began applying the pressure on Nowak for the top spot, while Mooi had moved into third. The complexion of the race took a dramatic turn on lap 26 when Nowak and Spoonmore made contact in turn two, sending both cars into the infield and to the back of the pack. Mooi inherited the lead during the caution with Gutknecht and Tom Knippenberg behind him in second and third. On the restart, Knippenberg dived underneath Gutknecht going into turn one and the two collided. The resulting double spin brought out the yellow, with both drivers put back to the end of the line. When the action resumed it was Mooi on top, with Neering moving into second and Johnny Senerchia running third.

On lap 28, the rollover contest began as Scott Rueschenberg and John McMahon tumbled along the backstretch wall, with McMahon landing on his roof. Both drivers emerged from their cars uninjured, but their cars were done for the night. The crowd had reason to hold their breaths again on lap 29 when Allen Randall's throttle stuck going into turn three, sending the car directly into the wall and onto it's roof. As the car skidded to a halt, fire broke out and safety workers headed immediately to the accident. Randall was able to exit the car unscathed, bringing out cheers from the crowd.

After a red flag period to clean up the track, Mooi continued to lead as Neering and Senerchia followed in close pursuit. Neering was all over the back of Mooi's car on lap 38 and gave him a tap as they entered the backstretch. On the following lap, Neering snuck inside past Mooi going into turn four and took over the lead. Meanwhile, George Schultz had moved into fourth and began looking for a way around Senerchia. Schultz found an opening on lap 43 and moved up to third as Senerchia began to drop back. Neering stretched out his lead to take the win followed by Mooi and Schultz. Josh Higgins, Ryan Finley and James Swan completed the top six.

Heat race wins were claimed by Greg Marks, John McMahon and Jeremy Spoonmore. Jeff Olson was the fast qualifier, touring the third-mile oval with a time of 16.342 seconds. The race, a return after many years of the Mid-American Stock Car Series to the Grundy track, was run in conjunction with the ASA Late Models North Series George Appleton Memorial 125 event.

The next stop for the Mid-American Stock Car Series occurs Saturday, June 10th at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, WI. For more information visit the series website at www.midamericanracing.com

50 Lap Feature: 1st Neering, Cedar Lake, IN; 2nd Mooi, New Lenox, IL; 3rd Schultz, Bristol, WI; 4th Higgins, Morris, IL; 5th Finley, Shabbona, IL; 6th Swan, Lake Geneva, WI; 7th Stacy Kelly, Minooka, IL; 8th Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI; 9th Ron Weyer, Richfield, WI; 10th Lyle Nowak, Wausau, WI; 11th Jeremy Spoonmore, Somonauk, IL;12th Johnny Senerchia, Orland Park, IL; 13th Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL; 14th Danny Powell, Polo, IL;
15th Tom Knippenberg, Channahon, IL; 16th Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek , WI; 17th Darrell Phillips, Esmond, IL; 18th Jim Thorson, Sugar Grove, IL; 19th Tony Habeck, Black Creek, WI; 20th Hank Tews, Batavia, IL; 21st Adam Mass, Woodstock, IL; 22nd Jeff Olson, Seneca, IL;
23rd Josh Nelms, Bartlett, IL; 24th Scott Rueschenberg, Phoenix, AZ; 25th John McMahon, Lockport, IL; 26th Allen Randall, Ottawa, IL; 27th Greg Marks, Maribel, WI; DNS: Jason Hendron, Wilmington, IL; Elliot Marquardt, Merrill, WI.

Heat 1: 1st. Marks, 2nd Scott Rueschenberg, 3rd Habeck, 4th Mass, 5th Tews, 6th Powell, 7th Allen Randall, 8th Thorson, 9th Phillips.

Heat 2: 1st McMahon, 2nd Schultz, 3rd Finley, 4th Null, 5th Finney, 6th Kelly, 7th Knippenberg, 8th Nowak, 9th Gutknecht.

Heat 3: 1st Spoonmore, 2nd Higgins, 3rd Mooi, 4th Swan, 5th Senerchia, 6th Nelms, 7th Weyer, 8th Olson, 9th Neering.

Qualifying: 1st Olson, 2nd Neering, 3rd Swan, 4th Nelms, 5th Senerchia.

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