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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Bobby Gutknecht, Tisler Salvage 35


Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
July 21, 2007

(Kaukauna, WI), July 21 -- It has been better than three years since Bobby Gutknecht had taken snap shots in victory lane after a Mid-American feature win. Saturday night Gutknecht bested a field of 32 Mid-American Stock Cars, a season high car count, at the Wisconsin International Raceway. Gutknecht, the current point leader for Mid-American, wrestled the lead away from Jeremy Spoonmore on lap 23 and held off the advances of Jake Finney and an extraordinary last lap effort from James Swan.

Jeff Tisler and Maxwell Schultz led the feature field to the green flag. The outside line was the line on the move. Schultz jumped to the lead and was followed by Finney who started on the outside of row two. Spoonmore followed Finney on the outside with Gutknecht hooking onto his back bumper on lap four.

White Race Photos

The first caution of the feature came on lap ten when Dave Marshall spun in turn three. The restart saw Schultz alone in the front row with Finney on the inside of row two and Spoonmore to his outside. However, the restart was short lived as the field raced through turns three and four. Ryan Manthei and Kyle Shear made contact coming out of turn four. Manthei’s car became airborne as it launched over Shear’s machine. Manthei’s mount hit the turn four wall shattering the styrofoam soft wall. Both drivers were unharmed.

After the second lap ten restart the field stayed in line until lap 13. Coming out of turn two Finney nudged Schultz who got loose. Finney and Spoonmore took advantage as Finney went low and Spoonmore went high to make a three wide pass on Schultz. Finney and Spoonmore raced side by side and exchanged the lead for the next three laps while Schultz settled back in the third spot.

While Finney and Spoonmore did battle, Gutknecht moved around Schultz and set his sights on the top two. Gutknecht swung to the outside of Finney and moved into the second spot. Spoonmore showed the way for the next set of circuits with Gutknecht poised to make his move. Coming out of turn four Gutknecht finally got under Spoonmore as the two made contact off turn four. With a puff of tire smoke from the two machines, Gutknecht edged Spoonmore for the lead on lap 23. At this point the race had only begun for Gutknecht.

Finney, who spent most of the race in the second spot, followed Gutknecht into second. The 2006 Mid-American rookie of the year sat in line waiting for the long time veteran to make a mistake. On lap 26 Gutknecht got sideways in turn two. The door was open for Finney but he was unable to capitalize as Gutknecht retook the lead down the backstretch.

At this point Swan and Bill Prietzel had moved around Spoonmore for third and fourth and continued their race long battle with Swan working the outside line and Prietzel favoring the inside. The two exchanged the third spot several times until lap 29 when an incident involving Tisler, Troy Shear Jr., and Mark Kissinger brought out the final caution of the event.

With less than ten laps remaining a single file restart was in order. After the green, Swan went back to work on the outside and Prietzel again engaged him in a battle for third. Swan slowly started to creep up on the outside line and had the advantage over Finney by lap 32. Gutknecht who had a mirror full of Finney now had to worry about Swan advancing on the outside.

Earlier in the evening Swan suffered engine problems during practice. One of the drivers who aided Swan in fixing the Berge Racing entry was Gutknecht. “We all travel together and want to race,” reasoned Gutknecht earlier in the evening. “I want to race him and beat him on the track.”

Gutknecht had to be suspicious that Swan would be one of the drivers who would end up at the front of the field at the end of the race. Sure enough, with only two laps to go, Swan pulled even with Gutknecht. Swan was able to stay side by side through the corners but Gutknecht had the grip coming out of the corners and down the straightaway. One last ditch effort by Swan in turns three and four on the final lap saw Gutknecht once again pull away and take the checkered flag. Finney and Prietzel finished right on the bumpers of Swan and Gutknecht for third and fourth and Schultz held on for fifth. Gutknecht was the sixth different feature winner in six Mid-American events in 2007.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series will take a well earned mid-season break. The next event takes place once again at WIR for the Tisler Salvage Blue Race on Saturday, August 18th. The next week the series travels to the Milwaukee Mile as part of the Governor’s Cup Weekend. For more information about the Mid-American Stock Car Series including results, standings, the remaining 2007 schedule and driver info visit www.midamericanracing.com.

Tisler Salvage 35
1. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI; 2. James Swan, Genoa City, WI; 3. Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL; 4. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, WI; 5. Maxwell Schultz, Reedsville, WI; 6. Lyle Nowak, Wausau, WI; 7. Jeremy Spoonmore, Somonauk, IL; 8. Danny Powell, Polo, IL; 9. Dave Obermeyer; 10. Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI; 11. Andrew Kulka, Deerfield, WI; 12. Dave Marshall, Plymouth, WI; 13. Crystal Koenig, Mishicot, WI; 14. Shawn Upthall, Racine, WI; 15. Don Wood, Maribel, WI; 16. Tim Schmitt, New Berlin, WI; 17. Troy Shear Jr., Roscoe, IL; 18. Mark Kissinger, West Bend, WI; 19. Jeff Tisler, Reedsville, WI; 20. Kevin Damrow, Manitowoc, WI; 21. Kyle Shear, Roscoe, IL; 22. Ryan Manthei, Maribel, WI;

15 Lap Semi-Feature (No Transfer)
1. David Verhagen, Green Bay, WI; 2. Tony Habeck, Black Creek, WI; 3. Mike Oswald, Manitowoc, WI; 4. Hank Tews, Batavia, IL; 5. Greg Marks, Maribel, WI; 6. Jimmy Wilson, Appleton, WI; 7. Louie Goss, Green Bay, WI; 8. Becca Kasten, Mequon, WI; 9. Andy Casavant, Two Rivers, WI;

10 Lap Fast Heat
Schultz; Finney; Swan; Manthei; Spoonmore; Nowak; Gutknecht; K. Shear; Prietzel; Upthall; T. Shear;

12 Lap Qualifying Heats
Odd: Obermeyer (transfer); Kulka (provisional); Koenig (transfer); Null (transfer); Oswald; Tews; Kissinger(in on time); Schmitt(in on time); Goss; Ross Zumbach, Racine, MN;

Even: Marshall (transfer); Wood (transfer); Damrow (transfer); Marks; Powell(in on time); Kasten; Verhagen; Tisler(in on time); Habeck; Wilson;

Fast Time: Prietzel - 21.073 seconds

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