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SWAN DIVES THROUGH LAPPED TRAFFIC for MID-AM WIN at WIR

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing

SWAN DIVES THROUGH LAPPED TRAFFIC for MID-AM WIN at WIR

Keith Vercauteren
Mid American Stock Car Series
June 10, 2006


(Kaukauna, WI) June 10, 2006 -- James Swan of Lake Geneva, WI squeezed through slower lapped cars in the final laps to edge Bristol, WI pilot George Schultz in the 35-lap Mid-American Stock Car Series feature at Wisconsin International Raceway Saturday night. Swan charged from a ninth place starting spot to earn the win in the first race of the 35th annual Red, White and Blue State Championships.

Pole sitter Scott Ascher of Sussex, WI jumped out front to lead the opening laps with Pat McIntee of West Bend, WI following in second. By lap seven, Ascher managed to stretch his lead to 9 car lengths, while Swan had moved into the fifth position. Two laps later, Swan was up to third when McIntee spun and slapped the wall in turn 3, bringing out the only yellow of the race and placing Swan on Asher's rear bumper for the restart.

When the action resumed, Bill Prietzel of Richfield, WI moved into third as Ascher and Swan began to pull away from the field. The battle for the lead intensified as Swan attempted to pass on the outside on lap 11. Ascher held off the challenge, but Swan continued to pressure for the lead, trying the same move on the next lap. Swan finally took the lead on lap 14 by passing Ascher on the outside as the cars headed down the backstretch.

Fast qualifier Prietzel sped into second past Ascher on lap 16, with Schultz and Bobby Gutknecht of Oak Creek, WI following through while Ascher dropped to fifth. Schultz began looking to the outside of Prietzel on lap 18 and charged into the second position on the backstretch. Swan, meanwhile, had extended his lead to 11 car lengths.

Swan's huge lead began to shrink a bit as he encountered slower traffic on lap 23. Schultz moved to within striking distance on lap 30 as Swan got caught behind the lapped cars of Elliot Marquardt and Ryan Finley. Marquardt and Finley slowed dramatically exiting turn two, nearly collecting Swan in the process. Swan threaded the needle between the two slower cars as they headed three-wide down the backstretch, with Schultz getting through cleanly and filling Swan's rear-view mirror.

Schultz, the series point leader, pressured Swan for the lead as the final laps ticked away. As the white flag flew, the leaders encountered the lapped car of Cedar Rapids, IA driver J.J. Meyer. Heading into turn one, Swan went high while Schultz took the low groove. The high groove proved to be the right choice for Swan as he moved past cleanly to victory while Schultz was trapped behind Meyer. Prietzel, Gutknecht and Ascher rounded out the top 5 at the finish.

"I've always liked this track," a jubilant Swan said after his win. "I knew I wasn't going to run away with it when I saw George coming. I had a great car and had a lot of fun."

Of interest, 16-year-old driver Maxwell Schultz of Reedsville, WI and female driver Crystal Koenig of Mishicot, WI were part of the competitive Mid-American field. A moment of silence was held before the races in memory of Mid-American Stock Car Series founder Gary Vercauteren and racing historian Bob Bergeron.

10-lap heat races were won by Danny Powell of Polo, IL and Gutknecht. Prietzel was the fast qualifier as he circled the ½ mile D-shaped oval with a time of 20.927 seconds.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series will return to WIR for the White and Blue races on July 22nd and August 19th. The next stop on the series schedule is at Lake Geneva Raceway on June 17th. Visit the series website at www.midamericanracing.com for more information.

35-lap feature: 1. James Swan (Lake Geneva, WI) 2. George Schultz (Bristol, WI) 3. Bill Prietzel (Richfield, WI) 4. Bobby Gutknecht (Oak Creek, WI) 5. Scott Ascher (Sussex, WI) 6. Jake Finney (Sycamore, IL) 7. Lyle Nowak (Wausau, WI) 8. Scott Null (Lake Mills, WI) 9. Jim Thorson (Sugar Grove, IL) 10. Ron Weyer (Richfield, WI) 11. Jeff Tisler (Manitowoc, WI) 12. Maxwell Schultz (Reedsville, WI) 13. Danny Powell (Polo, IL) 14. Elliot Marquardt (Merrill, WI) 15. Greg Marks (Maribel, WI) 16. Ryan Finley (Shabbona, IL) 17. J.J. Meyer (Cedar Rapids, IA) 18. Dave Obermeyer (Allenton, WI) 19. Crystal Koenig (Mishicot, WI) 20. Tony Habeck (Black Creek, WI) 21. Brett Bauer (Kimberly, WI) 22. Pat McIntee (West Bend, WI) 23. Mike Oswald (Manitowoc, WI) 24. Don Wood (Mishicot, WI)

First 10-lap heat: 1. Powell 2. Ascher 3. Swan 4. M.Schultz 5. Null 6. McIntee 7. Weyer 8. Oswald 9. G. Schultz 10. Meyer 11. Finney 12. Marquardt

Second 10-lap heat: 1. Gutknecht 2. Prietzel 3. Tisler 4. Bauer 5. Thorson 6. Nowak 7. Obermeyer 8. Marks 9. Koenig 10. Finley 11. Wood

Fast time: Prietzel (20.927)

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