SWAN OPENS SEASON WITH A WIN IN MILLER LITE 75

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., April 28—James Swan worked the outside lane off a restart to pass Dave Feiler for the lead on lap 47 en route to victory in the season opening Miller Lite 75 Sunday afternoon at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“I’m surprised a whole heck of a lot,” Swan told the crowd from victory lane, “Dave Feiler was fast yesterday (in practice) and I didn’t think I would get to him.” “But I just kept working, working, and working, “Swan continued, “And then on that restart I just said I’m going to try the outside and see if it works, and it did.”

Once Swan found the lead, he was never headed, but the victory was anything but easy as fast qualifier Rob Braun sliced his way through the field and sat on Swan’s rear bumper as the laps wound down. Braun inched even closer as the pair encountered lapped traffic on the final lap but his last ditch effort at the win fell just short at the checkered flag, leaving him to settle for a strong second place result. Braun’s day off the race track was just as good as he owns the cars Swan and Feiler drove in addition to his own and all three finished in the top five.

“I’m very happy and couldn’t ask for anything better, “ Braun stated afterwards, “I had to make some moves there and it was fun to drive, that’s for sure.”

Michael Bilderback’s intentions to challenge for the track championship this season got off to a good start as he worked his way forward to finish in third at the checkerd flag.

“I think we could have gotten up there and played with those guys, “ Bilderback said, “But they had that long run there at the end and my car didn’t like long runs.”

Brad Mueller battled his way to a fourth place finish while early leader Dave Feiler took the checkered flag in fifth. Lowell Bennett and Randy Schuler finished sixth and seventh respectively while Travis Dassow, Jeff Holtz, and Mike Egan rounded out the top ten finishers. The event was slowed twice under the caution flag, the first occurring on lap six for a tangle involving Dassow and Egan in turn three and then again on lap 45 for a spin by Conrad Morgan off turn four.

Jamie Wallace held off Brad Dahmer to win the 30-lap super late model semi-feature while Jerry Eckhardt and Tommy Hromadka also transferred into the main event by way of their third and fourth place finishes. Brad Dahmer won the first super late model heat race over Casey Johnson and Jamie Wallace while Jake Vanoskey and Curt Tillman rounded out the top five. Dennis Prunty took top honors in the second super late model heat race, taking the checkered flag ahead of Mike Egan and Rich Loch while Randy Schuler and Nick Wagner finished fourth and fifth respectively. Conrad Morgan won the super late model fast dash and Rob Braun was the fastest qualifier as he toured the speedway in 11.501 seconds.

Defending late model track champion Alex Prunty picked up right where he left off last season as he scored the victory after making an impressive nearly three wide pass for the lead on Mike Lichtfeld and Dan Jung on lap 32 of the 40 lap event. Lichtfeld followed Prunty across the line to finish second ahead of Jung who took the checkered flag in third. Dan Church and Ryan DeStefano rounded out the top five finisher after Ryan Farrell and Jesse Bernhagen spun together on the final lap in turn one while battling over the fourth position. The event was slowed under the caution flag three times, the most serious occurring on the opening lap when Justin Poenitsch’s car broke loose off turn two and collected the car of Ryan Miles on the backstretch which scattered the field and also swept up Adam Peschek in the process.

Braison Bennett was the winner of the first late model heat race over Jerry Mueller and Adam Peschek as Brad Dahmer and Tim Sargent completed the top five. Al Stippich drove to the victory in the second late model heat race holding off Jesse Bernhagen and John DeAngelis at the checkered flag. Ryan Miles and Alex Prunty finished in fourth and fifth. Pat McIntee scored the win in the late model fast dash over Mike Lichtfeld and Dan Jung was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.479 seconds.

Brad Keith charged to the lead by passing Bill Prietzel on lap 12 and drove to the win in the 35-lap Midwest Sportsmen feature. Prietzel, who spent much of the opening laps battling for the lead with Chris Story, completed a strong run by finishing second just ahead of Jay Shambeau in third. Kenny Joosten and Brian Holtz rounded out the top five finishers. The event was slowed by a single caution flag which occurred very early on lap two when Ryan Gutknecht and Mike Borchardt spun in turn three.

Brian Holtz was the winner of the Midwest Sportsmen heat race, taking the checkered flag ahead of Chris Ratajczyk and Eric Lingford. Ryan Gutknecht finished fourth and Dustin Krebs was fifth. Chris Story held off Bill Prietzel to capture the victory in the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Brad Keith was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap of 12.747 seconds.

Kenny Richards took top honors in the first Area Sporstman feature event of the season, taking the lead on lap 18 of the 30-lap event and then holding off Joe Shelby for the win. Shelby had to settle for a strong second place result while Aaron Cain crossed the finish line in third. Ken Schraufnagel and Brad Hetzel completed the top five finishers. Ken Schraufnagel won the Area Sportsman fast dash and Kenny Richards was the fastest qualifier at 13.302 seconds.

Steve Dickson won the Slinger Bees feature over Nick Schmidt and Evan Beattie while Jacob Schraufnagel and Brandon Tackes rounded out the top five. Dylan Kiley-Schaefer was the winner of the Slinger Bees semi-feature over Bill Ostovich Jr. and Ryan Lovald. Andrew Meyerhofer finished in fourth and Nicole Mueller finished fifth. Ryan Lovald and Russ Davison scored Slinger Bees heat race victories while Evan Beattie won the Singer Bees fast dash. Steve Dickson was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.034 seconds. Al Roberts drove his pick-up truck to the win in the Spectator Eliminator event and Ryan Lovald was the winner of the intense Figure 8 event that closed out the afternoon.