Prietzel Scores Thrilling Victory in Mid-American Feature at MIS
Topics: Bill Prietzel
Mid American Stock Car Series
June 23, 2006
(Oregon, WI) June 23, 2006 -- Defending series champion Bill Prietzel of Richfield, WI survived a late race tangle with current series point leader George Schultz of Bristol, WI and roared to victory in the 40-lap Mid-American Stock Car Series feature at Madison International Speedway Friday night. Prietzel's win on the high-banked, half-mile oval was his first of the year in the series.
Polesitter Scott Null of Lake Mills, WI led the opening lap with Brad Keith of West Bend, WI in close pursuit. Keith took over the top spot on the next lap with an inside pass of Null on the back stretch with Lyle Nowak of Wausau, WI following into second on lap 3. Nowak then moved onto Keith's back bumper and nosed into the lead on lap 5 going into turn four.
With Prietzel moving up to fourth from his ninth-place starting position, Nowak and Keith ran side by side as they slugged it out for the lead. The two leaders made contact in turn two on lap 7, with Keith moving into the lead and Nowak falling back to the fifth position. Prietzel squeezed through to move into second and immediately began to pressure Keith for the lead.
Prietzel made his move on lap 10, shooting by Keith as they headed down the backstretch. With Prietzel pulling away from the field after the pass, Nowak rebounded from the earlier skirmish, moving into fourth on lap 15 and into third on the following lap. Meanwhile, George Schultz had charged from the eleventh starting position towards the front, moving into fourth by lap 18.
By lap 22, Prietzel's lead had grown to the length of a straightaway over Keith. The battle for third began to heat up, as Schultz inched in front of Nowak on lap 29. Nowak battled back on the next lap and the two traded positions until Schultz finally claimed the spot on lap 32. Schultz wasted no time as he zoomed past Keith on the following lap with Nowak following through into third.
Prietzel looked to be headed to an easy win until a spin by Scott Ascher of Sussex, WI brought out the event's only caution on lap 36. The caution put Schultz on Prietzel's rear bumper and the battle for the lead began on the restart. Schultz dived underneath Prietzel on lap 38 as the pair headed into turn one. As they headed out of turn two, Prietzel and Schultz came together, with Prietzel recovering first and retaining the lead.
Schultz kept on the pressure during the final lap when the leaders encountered the lapped car of Maxwell Schultz in turn three. Prietzel took the high side around the slower car while Schultz got pinned behind on the inside. As they came down the front stretch for the checkered flag, G. Schultz and the slower car of M. Schultz made contact and bounced around with cars scattering in all directions. Nowak was able to get by the crossed-up Schultz to finish second with Schultz skidding into third. Keith and James Swan rounded out the top five, while Mark Storlie of Elko, MN spun his way across the finish line to finish sixth.
"I was just kind of cruising for awhile," Prietzel said of his huge lead for most of the race. As for the contact at the end of the race, Prietzel stated, "With two laps to go, that's racing and I'm sure George (Schultz) knows that."
10-lap heats were won by Bobby Gutknecht of Oak Creek, WI and Ron Weyer of Richfield, WI.
James Swan of Lake Geneva broke the track record in qualifying with a time of 19.166 seconds eclipsing the previous mark of 19.184 set by Jeremy Miller last year.
For more information, visit the series website at www.midamericanracing.com
40-lap feature: 1. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, WI 2. Lyle Nowak, Wausau, WI 3. George Schultz, Bristol, WI 4. Brad Keith, West Bend, WI 5. James Swan, Lake Geneva, WI 6. Mark Storlie, Elko, MN 7. Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI 8. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI 9. Justin Neisius, Eagan, MN 10. Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL 11. Ron Weyer, Richfield, WI 12. Dave Obermeyer, Allenton, WI 13. Pat McIntee, West Bend, WI 14. Ryan Finley, Shabbona, IL 15. Danny Powell, Polo, IL 16. Jim Thorson, Sugar Grove, IL 17. Andrew Kulka, Deerfield, WI 18. Maxwell Schultz, Reedsville, WI 19. Scott Ascher, Sussex, WI 20. Rob Braun, Wales, WI 21. Butch Mierendorf, Waterloo, WI 22. Elliot Marquardt, Merrill, WI 23. Tony Habeck, Black Creek, WI
1st 10-lap heat: 1. Gutknecht 2. Keith 3. Braun 4. Finley 5. Storlie 6. Swan 7. M. Schultz 8. Finney 9. Powell 10. Kulka 11. Habeck 12. Obermeyer
2nd 10-lap heat: 1. Weyer 2. Nowak 3. Ascher 4. McIntee 5. Null 6. Prietzel 7. Neisius 8. Thorson 9. G. Schultz 10. Marquardt 11. Mierendorf
Fast qualifier: Swan - 19.166 seconds (new track record)
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