(Hartford, WI) by Fay Hendricks - The blustery winter night was warmed by a racing family reunion during Slinger Speedway’s Awards Banquet Saturday. Capping off Slinger’s 66th year of operation, Todd Thelen and Rodney Erickson celebrated their first season at the helm of the quarter-mile oval. After a wonderful meal and beverages, the awards portion of the program was interspersed with door prizes and finished with the eagerly-awaited drawings for valuable race equipment.
Slinger Bees champion Nick Schmidt was the first to thank Slinger’s new leaders, telling the audience, “I race three nights a week. I look forward to Sunday the most. At most tracks we’re just a show-filler. Todd and Rodney listen to us.” Schmidt thanked fellow teams for their help, adding, “Hopefully I can come back some more. I love four-cylinder racing.” Rookie of the year was young Dale Kiley-Schaefer, who began by thanking his father, claiming, “He got me into it. I learned a lof from other drivers, especially Nick (Schmidt) and Brandon (Tackes). It was a good year.”