2009 Season In Review – Midwest Sportsman

By Gregg Paul
(Slinger, WI) 2009 Season In Review: The Midwest Sportsman has relatively few tracks that the cars run on a weekly basis. The Slinger Super Speedway is one of those tracks, and every week this division puts on an exciting show. A total of thirty five drivers took to the high banks in 2009, and by season’s end there was a first time champion in Mike Borchardt Jr.

It is always a wide open division where many drivers contend for the win. Nine different drivers found their way to Victory Lane with Borchardt Jr. pacing the way with five wins. Dave Thomas took home four checkered flags to go along with his second place in the point standings. Jay Shambeau and Mark “Curly” Kissinger each had two feature wins, with single victories going to Gregg Pawelski, Bobby Giers, Mike Graczkowski, Jeff Holtz, and James Swan.

Qualifying is always at a premium in this division, and Dave Thomas paced the way with six pole awards. 2009 Rookie of the Year Gregg Pawelski scored five poles, while Mike Graczkowski picked up three. Mike Borchardt Jr. captured two poles, and Bobby Giers and Andy Haver each scored a single pole award.

While the final margin of victory for the points championship may have not reflected it, the season long battle for the top spot was in doubt after most every week. Mike Borchardt Jr.’s consistency paved the way to his run to the title.

Here is a closer look at the top five finishers in the Championship:

Mike Borchardt Jr. #29 2009 Track Champion

Mike’s overall consistency is what directly led to his championship. His five feature wins paced the division, but his twelve top five’s and eleven top three finishes were also instrumental to winning the championship. Qualifying points are always a factor and Borchardt Jr. took advantage of that every week. He scored two pole positions, but his fifteen top five and 7 top three qualifying runs, solidified his run to the title.

Dave Thomas #19

Despite missing three weeks throughout the season, including the final two, Dave nearly captured the championship. Thomas won four features and his nine top three finishes were just as consistent as Borchardt Jr. Thomas excelled in qualifying, as his six poles topped the division. Fifteen top five and thirteen top three qualifying runs helped closed the gap, but in the end it was probably the three missed weeks that cost him a better shot at the title.

Jay Shambeau #5

Jay scored two feature wins during the 2009 campaign and was a threat to win each week. Eleven top five and six top three finishes proved that out. Qualifying may not have been his strong suit, as he failed to capture a pole, and had just three top five and two top three qualifying efforts.

Gregg Pawelski #7

The 2009 Rookie of the Year found his way to Victory Lane once during the season, and his six top five and four top three finishes showed his potential. Gregg’s five poles trailed only Dave Thomas for top honors. His twelve top five and nine top three qualifying runs proved he was a fast study.

Jimmie Evans #101

One of only two drivers at Slinger to run a car number of three digits, (Al Schill in the super late models being the other) Jimmie’s familiar number 101 is easily recognized every week. Despite failing to capture a feature win, nor a pole award, Evans managed to claw his way to a top five finish in the final point standings. His six top fives and three top three finishes to go along with two top five and one top three qualifying runs helped solidify his efforts.