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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Bill Prietzel


Keith Vercauteren
Mid American Stock Car Series
August 27, 2006

(West Allis, WI) August 27, 2006 -- Bill Prietzel, from Richfield, WI, the three-time and defending champion of the Mid-American Stock Car Series, did something Sunday afternoon he'd never done before: he won a race at the Milwaukee Mile. The longtime competitor in the series, who is known as the "Franklin Flyer" as he originally hailed from nearby Franklin, WI, took the checkered in the 16-lap invitational "Dash For Cash" event after making a dramatic 2nd lap pass to take the lead.

"I never dreamed I'd win here," Prietzel said excitedly from victory lane. "I've won a lot of Mid-Am races, but this is probably the coolest one I've won!"

The "Dash For Cash", a non-points race which paid $2,000 to win, featured sixteen drivers slugging it out for 16 laps. The drivers invited for the event featured top runners in the Mid-American Stock Car Series, as well as drivers who run the cars weekly at local tracks including Lake Geneva Raceway and the 141 Speedway. Starting spots were determined by a draw, with Prietzel netting the inside second row. Series point leaders James Swan of Lake Geneva, WI and George Schultz of Bristol, WI had to start in the last row while 141 Speedway standouts Jeff Tisler of Reedsville, WI and Kevin Damrow of Manitowoc, WI both ended up on the front row.

As the green flag flew, Cliff Adee of Gilberts, IL made contact, lost control going into turn one and looped his mount. Schultz clipped him as he passed by and suffered front end damage to his car. Both drivers brought their cars to the pits to get them checked out, but returned to the race.

When the green flag was waved again, Damrow managed to lead the first lap. On lap two, as the cars headed into turn one, Prietzel suddenly shot through a hole on the inside underneath Damrow and Tisler to grab the lead. Danny Powell of Polo, IL followed through the hole to take over second on the next lap, bringing Bobby Gutknecht of Oak Creek, WI with him.

"It was the best chance to get there and they gave me room, so I took it," was how Prietzel described his tricky, race-winning move.

Prietzel held a commanding lead by lap 5, with the cars of Powell, Gutknecht, Kenny Joosten of Wonder Lake,IL and Damrow trying to keep up. Meanwhile, Swan and Schultz joined forces in an attempt to get to the front, going three-wide under Kevin Lee of Cedar Rapids, IA on lap 8.

Continuing to set a blistering pace, Prietzel held a straightaway lead over Powell by lap 12. On that lap, Gutknecht began to challenge for the second position and completed the pass on the front straight. Johnny Senerchia of New Lenox, IL and Joosten followed Gutknecht to move into third and fourth respectively.

Prietzel never looked back in the remaining laps and soon found himself in victory lane. Gutknecht, another longtime Mid-American Series regular, was able to hold onto second, followed across the line by Senerchia, Joosten and Powell. Powell failed post-race technical inspection relegating him to 16th place.

16-lap "Dash For Cash": 1. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, WI 2. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI 3. Johnny Senerchia, New Lenox, IL 4. Kenny Joosten, Wonder Lake, IL 5. Ron Weyer, Richfield, WI 6. James Swan, Lake Geneva, WI 7. Kevin Lee, Cedar Rapids, IA 8. Jeremy Spoonmore, Somonauk, IL 9. Kevin Damrow, Manitowoc, WI 10. George Schultz, Bristol, WI 11. Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL 12. Jeff Tisler, Reedsville, WI 13. Darryl Gerke, Whitelaw, WI 14. Adam Mass, Woodstock, IL 15. Cliff Adee, Gilberts, IL 16. Danny Powell, Polo, IL

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