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Schultz Holds Off Swan to Win Feature at WIR White Race

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  George Schultz

Schultz Holds Off Swan to Win Feature at WIR White Race

Keith Vercauteren
Mid American Stock Car Series
July 22, 2006

(Kaukauna, WI) July 22, 2006 -- George Schultz of Bristol, WI fought off a late race charge by points leader James Swan of Lake Geneva, WI to claim the victory in the 35-lap Mid-American Stock Car Series feature at Wisconsin International Raceway Saturday night during the second event of the 35th Annual Red, White and Blue State Championships.

Rookie leader Jake Finney of Sycamore, IL jumped in front of veteran Scott Null of Lake Mills, WI to take the early lead. On lap 7, Ken Smart of Oconomowoc, WI slowed coming out of turn two, causing a bit of a traffic jam and allowing Schultz to steal several spots to sneak into third. Schultz then moved past Null two laps later to advance to the second position.

Finney continued to lead as Schultz moved up to his rear bumper, taking a hard look towards the inside on lap 11. Unable to complete the pass, Schultz took to the tough outer groove on lap 14 and made an outside pass for the lead on the backstretch on lap 15. Bobby Gutknecht of Oak Creek, WI followed through on the outside of Finney to move into second, with Swan and Bill Prietzel of Richfield, WI joining the freight train into third and fourth respectively.

On lap 18, Swan, who had set fast time in qualifying, passed Gutknecht to take over second, setting up the battle between Schultz and Swan for the win. The tables had been turned since the Red Race on June 19th, when Swan held back the challenges of Schultz to take the win. In the White Race, it was to be Shultz on the point with Swan looking for a way around.

As the leaders began encountering lapped traffic on lap 22, Swan pulled within striking distance of Schultz. Swan looked high and low, but Schultz maintained his line and kept the lead. Meanwhile, Prietzel raced past Gutknecht on lap 25 to grab the third position.

The only caution came out on lap 28, when Lyle Nowak of Wausau, WI spun in turn one and collected Jeff Tisler of Reedsville, WI, and Crystal Koenig of Denmark, WI while Jim Thorson of Sugar Grove, IL spun to avoid. Tisler was unable to continue.

On the restart, Schultz continued to set the pace as Swan kept the pressure on. Swan, however, soon had his hands full as three-time and defending series champion Prietzel tried to take away second. As the white flag flew, Prietzel looked to the outside of Swan giving Schultz some breathing room on the final lap. Coming out of turn four, Swan took one last shot at taking the lead from Schultz by charging to the inside, but came a car length short as they took the checkers. Prietzel followed close in third, with Gutknecht and Finney rounding out the top five.

"It was great to finally get one here, " Schultz told announcer Matt Panure after his victory. "James (Swan) and I are good friends. We race each other really hard and clean and that's what it's all about."

10-lap heat races were won by Don Wood of Denmark, WI and Gutknecht. 16-year old driver Maxwell Schultz of Reedsville, WI took perhaps the wildest ride of his young racing career when he flipped and skidded on his roof after hitting the backstretch wall while leading the second heat. He was uninjured in the accident.

Swan zipped around the half-mile, d-shaped oval in 20.973 seconds to become the top qualifier of the evening.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series will return to WIR on August 19th for the conclusion of the three-race Red, White and Blue Series. The Blue race presents the 35-lap feature which awards the Vercauteren Memorial traveling trophy. The next stop for the Mid-Am cars and stars will be at the Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, WI on August 11th. For more information, visit the series website at www.midamericanracing.com.

35-lap feature: 1. George Schultz, Bristol, WI 2. James Swan, Lake Geneva, WI 3. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, WI 4. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI 5. Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL 6. Ken Smart, Oconomowoc, WI 7. Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI 8. Jim Thorson, Sugar Grove, IL 9. Elliot Marquardt, Merrill, WI 10. Don Wood, Denmark, WI 11. Lyle Nowak, Wausau, WI 12. Pat McIntee, West Bend, WI 13. Crystal Koenig, Denmark, WI 14. David Verhagen, Green Bay, WI 15. Andy Casavant, Two Rivers, WI 16. Jimmy Wilson, Appleton, WI 17. Tim Schmitt, Muskego, WI 18. Andrew Kulka, Deerfield, WI 19. Jeff Tisler, Reedsville, WI 20. Brett Bauer, Appleton, WI 21. Jeremy Spoonmore, Somonauk, IL 22. Dave Obermeyer, Allenton, WI 23. Tony Habeck, Black Creek, WI

10 lap heats:

First: 1. Wood 2. Obermeyer 3. Swan 4. Schmitt 5. Bauer 6. Spoonmore 7. Kulka 8. Tisler 9. Finney 10. Casavant 11. Verhagen 12. Wilson

Second: 1. Gutknecht 2. Smart 3. Thorson 4. Marquardt 5. Nowak 6. Koenig 7. McIntee 8.Prietzel 9. Null 10. G. Schultz 11. Maxwell Schultz, Reedsville, WI

Fast time: Swan (20.973 seconds)

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