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SWAN CAPTURES GOVENOR’S CUP at the MILWAUKEE MILE

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  James Swan

SWAN CAPTURES GOVENOR’S CUP at the MILWAUKEE MILE

Keith Vercauteren
Mid American Stock Car Series
August 26, 2006


(West Allis, WI) August 26, 2006 -- Former series champion and current point leader James Swan of Lake Geneva, WI scored the biggest win of his career as he sped to victory in the 40-lap Mid American Stock Car Series feature during the Governor's Cup Weekend at the historic Milwaukee Mile on Saturday afternoon. Quickly becoming the driver to beat, Swan now has three straight and four total wins in the Mid-American Stock Car Series this year.

The feature began with veteran driver Lyle Nowak of Wausau, WI leaping in front of the field from his outside front row starting position. Polesitter Andrew Kulka of Deerfield, WI got shuffled back to fourth on the opening lap as Ron Weyer from Richfield, WI and Scott Ascher from Sussex, WI moved up to second and third respectively. By lap 4, Nowak had built a substantial lead over the rest of the field. Meanwhile, the action began to heat up mid-pack as Swan, George Schultz of Bristol, WI, Jeremy Spoonmore of Somonauk, IL and Bobby Gutknecht of Oak Creek, WI all tried to find the quickest way to the front.

On lap 8, Ascher found a way past Weyer to take over the second position. The following lap saw three-time and defending series champion Bill Prietzel of Richfield, WI move up to fifth while Swan escaped the mid-pack cluster to find himself in the seventh position by lap 11.

The first caution of the race occurred on lap 12 when Andy Haver of West Bend, WI looped his mount in turn four and was narrowly avoided by John Fischer of Burlington, WI. On the restart, Nowak continued to set the pace as Ascher followed in close pursuit, with Prietzel sneaking into third.

Ascher went to the high side of Nowak on lap 14 and took over first as they headed through the secondturn. On the very same lap, Swan put the pedal to the metal to streak past Prietzel, then nosed past Nowak into second on the following lap. By lap 20, Ascher began to feel pressure from Swan, with Prietzel, Schultz, and Nowak running behind them.

The battle for the lead see-sawed back and forth, as Ascher appeared to have more power on the straights, while Swan gained back some time in the turns. The battle was put on hold, however, when Fischer blew his engine and spun into the third turn wall, bringing out the yellow flag on lap 24.

Prietzel attempted to take the high side around both Swan and Ascher on the restart, but couldn't make it stick which allowed Schultz to squeeze into third. Schultz, currently second in the series point standings, then applied the pressure to Swan, inching into second on lap 26. Swan battled back, with the two frontrunners in the points chase engaged in a spirited battle, allowing Ascher some breathing room up front.

The battle between Swan and Schultz continued to intensify as the race reached the 30-lap mark, and the two hard-chargers began to gain on Ascher. On lap 33, Ascher slowed slightly in turn two, allowing Swan to shoot to the outside and escape the tough battle with Schultz. As the leaders rocketed along the backstretch, Swan took over the lead while Schultz scooted into second.

In the final laps, Swan and Schultz pulled away from the rest of the field to continue their battle. On lap 38, Schultz pulled his racer right up to the rear bumper of Swan's, but Swan was able to fend off the challenge. As they headed into turn one on the last lap, Shultz dived to the inside, but Swan was able to stay out front as they went through turn two. Swan then protected the inside lane for the rest of the lap and fended off Schultz to claim the victory. Ascher came across the line third, with Prietzel and Spoonmore rounding out the top five. Ascher failed the post-race technical inspection, subsequently putting him in last place.

"I'm speechless. I can't believe I did that," said a jubilant Swan after the win. "This is excellent! I've been wanting to win here for years. This is definitely my biggest win!"

Earlier in the day, Swan gave a preview of what was to come as he toured the mile oval in 32.100 seconds to set fast time during qualifications.

40 lap Feature: 1. James Swan, Lake Geneva, WI 2. George Schultz, Bristol, WI 3. Bill Prietzel, Richfield, WI 4. Jeremy Spoonmore, Somonauk, IL 5. Johnny Senerchia, New Lenox, IL 6. Bobby Gutknecht, Oak Creek, WI 7. Cliff Adee, Gilberts, IL 8. Kevin Lee, Cedar Rapids, IA 9. Jake Finney, Sycamore, IL 10. Rick Tackman Jr., Waukesha, WI 11. Ron Weyer, Richfield, WI 12. Ryan Finley, Shabbona, IL 13. Kevin Moenck, Elwood, IL 14. Ken Smart, Oconomowoc, WI 15. Travis Rodewald, Manitowoc, WI 16. Kenny Joosten, Wonder Lake, IL 17. Lyle Nowak, Wausau, WI 18. Andrew Kulka, Deerfield, WI 19. Pat McIntee, West Bend, WI 20. Jeff Tisler, Reedsville, WI 21. Jeff Holtz, Muskego, WI 22. J.J. Meyer, Cedar Rapids, IA 23. Scott Null, Lake Mills, WI 24. Jim Thorson, Sugar Grove, IL 25. Butch Mierendorf, Waterloo, WI 26. David Verhagen, Green Bay, WI 27. Adam Mass, Woodstock, IL 28. Tim Schmitt, Muskego, WI 29. Dennis Vinohradsky, West Bend, WI 30. Hank Tews, Batavia, IL 31. Andy Haver, West Bend, WI 32. Tony Habeck, Black Creek, WI 33. Wally Morgan, East Troy, WI 34. Danny Powell, Polo, IL 35. John Fischer, Burlington, WI 36. Mike Smart 37. Andy Casavant, Two Rivers, WI 38. Scott Ascher, Sussex, WI

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