JEFF HOLTZ TOPS PRELUDE TO THE NATIONALS MIDWEST SPORTSMAN 40!

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 9—Jeff Holtz led flag to flag to capture the Prelude to the Nationals 40-lap Midwest Sportsman feature event Saturday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

Holtz charged to the lead from the outside lane at the drop of the green flag, as Scott Shambeau also used the upper groove to battle with Dale Weyer for second. Tyler Bauknecht occupied the fourth spot just ahead of Chris Storey and Jimmie Evans while Dan Church and James Swan began to slice their way forward from deep in the field. Holtz began to stretch out his lead as Shambeau gained sole possession of second place, dropping Weyer back to battle with Bauknecht over third. Weyer and Bauknecht drove side by side as Brian Holtz, Church and Swan ran directly in their tire tracks, trying to find a way by as Holtz enjoyed a comfortable lead over Shambeau. Bauknecht began to lose ground on the outside as Holtz and Church both raced around while Swan remained behind Bauknecht with Jimmie Evans alongside him. With Holtz continuing to show the way over Shambeau, Weyer held down third but soon found himself being pressured heavily by Church. Church made numerous looks to the inside before finally being able to edge alongside Weyer for the position exiting turn two. With the door open on the inside, Bauknecht filled the gap to the inside of Weyer and Brian Holtz followed suit again working the inside. Weyer settled in behind them from the outside as once again Swan remained trapped in the outer lane with Evans staying alongside him. A spin by Chris Storey in turn two produced the caution flag, erasing Jeff Holtz’s sizeable lead and tightening the field for the restart. Jeff Holtz maintained the lead as racing resumed, using the inside to lead the pack into turn one as Church also ducked to the inside of Shambeau to take over second. Holtz and Church began to scoot away from the field as Brian Holtz moved to the inside of Shambeau for third. Shambeau was hung out to dry on the outside as Swan and Ryan Farrell also raced past in the inside lane. As the laps wound down, Swan and Farrell quickly tracked down Brian Holtz for third as both swept around on the outside for third and fourth respectively as Church closed to Jeff Holtz’s rear bumper out front. Church could not mount a serious challenge and Jeff Holtz drove under the checkered flag to score the victory. James Swan finished a strong third while Brian Holtz and Scott Shambeau rounded out the top five.

Midwest Sportsman heat race wins were recorded by Scott Shambeau and Jack Stern while Brian Holtz took top honors in the Midwest Sportsman fast dash. Ryan Farrell was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 12.723 seconds.

Ken Schraufnagel won a thrilling 20-lap Thunderstock feature after battling with John Daley and Brad Hetzel for most of the event.

Schraufnagel and Daley spent the first half of the race running nearly dead even for the lead with Daley on the inside and Schraufnagel on the high side. Schraufnagel was able to nip Daley at the line to lead one lap only to have the tables turned the following circuit with Daley edging Schraufnagel at the line. Soon after passing by lapped traffic, Schraufnagel was able to clear Daley for lead on lap 16 as Brad Hetzel, Nathan Fick, and Andy Welter began to track down the top two. Daley had his hands full trying to defend second place as Hetzel, Fick, and Welter attacked from both high and low with Hetzel able to sweep by on the outside. As Schraufnagel led Hetzel on the final lap, Daley, Fick, and Welter staged a torrid battle for third. Schraufnagel captured the win over Hetzel as Fick, Daley, and Welter entered the third turn three wide. Daley and Fick came together, kicking Daley’s car sideways and sending Fick’s machine spinning toward the infield as Welter drove by on the outside to claim third place at the stripe. Daley maintained control to finish in fourth while Tyler Schley charged around Fick’s spinning car to secure the fifth spot. Earlier, John Daley won the Thunderstock fast dash and Andy Welter set fast time for the division with a lap of 13.669 seconds.

Braison Bennett used a daring last lap outside pass to edge Marty Tackes for the win in the 20-lap Slinger Bees feature while Nick Wagner advanced from the last starting position to finish third. Daniel Schroeder and Brandon Tackes were fourth and fifth respectively. Dustin Ostberg won the 12-lap Slinger Bees semi-feature over Jim Merkel and Misty Benn. Zack Welter finished fourth and Dylan Kontizer was fifth. Allen Maher Jr. was the winner of the Slinger Bees fast dash and Nick Wagner set fast time once again at 15.214 seconds.

Eric Gehrke won the American Super Cup feature by besting Earl Hoth at the finish line. Gehrke also picked up an American Super Cup heat race win while Ken Jones took top honors in the second heat race. Earl Hoth was the fastest qualifier at 15.364 seconds. Tom Hellness won the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car race and Scott Goetzke was the winner of the Figure 8 race that closed out the evening.