By Gregg Paul
(Slinger, WI) 2009 Season In Review: They usually only run a ten lap feature. They do not get any practice time. They do not get to even qualify. There may be only six cars in any given race. Despite all these obstacles, the Figure 8 division at the Slinger Super Speedway is definitely among the fan favorites.
Driving a race car around the high banks of the oval at Slinger is daunting and challenging enough. Now imagine racing through the X and the possibility of a major collision. It can be both exciting and nerve wracking. It can exhilarating yet dangerous. Either way, once you’ve experienced it, you cannot help but wish for more.
The 2009 Figure 8 season saw a total of fourteen drivers compete. There was an average of seven vehicles per night with a high of nine, which happened twice. The low side was on one occasion when there were only four. Yet each and every race was exciting and filled with the kind of action fans come to expect.
Scott Goetzke led the way with six feature wins out of the seventeen events. Willy Van Camp captured five wins while Shane “The Shark” Becker brought home three wins. Justin Poenitsch picked up two wins, with veteran Mark Ritger getting a single win.
Here is a more detailed look at the drivers who finished in the top five in points.
Scott Goetzke #4 2009 Track Champion
Goetzke’s six feature wins paced the division, yet it was division leading thirteen top three finishes that helped cement his championship. One of only two drivers to compete in all seventeen events, Goetzke’s consistency was a major factor in clinching the 2009 championship. Driving his familiar pick up truck, Goetzke was always a factor every week.
Shane “The Shark” Becker #20
Driving a car with his trademark shark fin on the roof and ominous red headlights, Becker was the only other driver to compete in all seventeen events. His three wins and twelve top three finishes coupled with his division leading sixteen top five finishes catapulted him to the runner up position in points.
Willy Van Camp #11
Despite not competing in the first three events of the season, Van Camp’s five wins and twelve top three finishes almost carried him to the track championship. If this were horse racing instead of car racing, Van Camp would’ve been in the money in twelve of his fourteen events. He finished no worse than third in those twelve events, easily pacing the division with best average finish.
Justin Poenitsch #87
Easily one of the most popular of the Figure 8 drivers, Justin’s balls to the wall driving style while teetering on the edge of control makes him a threat every week. His two feature wins and five top three finishes didn’t do anything to dissuade fans from enjoying his efforts. Many of his lower finishes were the result of spins from being so aggressive. Perhaps his most infamous moment of the year came in the first annual Slinger Slam Fest. Poenitsch was involved in a nearly head on collision at the X in the 25 lap Figure 8 feature. Though dazed from the hard impact, Poenitsch never missed a beat.
Rick Bruskiewicz #17
Although he did not capture a feature win in 2009, Rick managed two second place finishes with six in the top three. Throw in a total of ten top five finishes, Rick was just a step below being one of the elite. Always a factor, Rick just couldn't find his way to victory lane.
This article was posted to the website on November 23rd, 2009