By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 12—Casey Johnson won the 50-lap King of the High Banks late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway during the Prelude to the Slinger Nationals presented by Superseal.

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 12—Casey Johnson won the 50-lap King of the High Banks late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway during the Prelude to the Slinger Nationals presented by Superseal.

“I wasn’t sure we had the car to win,” Johnson said from victory lane, “but as the race went on things fell our way.”

Johnson started from the outside of the front row and along with pole-sitter Brandon Pendleton swapped the lead during the opening laps while Alex Papini and Kyle Chwala raced close behind. Following the top four, Al Stippich, Zack Riddle, and Corey Funk battled for position as Pendleton snuck ahead of Johnson for the lead on lap three. A lap later, Funk’s car slid wide off turn two and brushed the wall, caroming it back into traffic where it spun around to the top of the track in turn three to produce the first caution flag. Pendleton chose the inside for the restart and with Johnson alongside, managed to keep the lead as racing resumed. Pendleton used the inside lane to his advantage as Johnson was forced wide off turn four, allowing Papini to shoot underneath for second. A lap later, Papini was able to edge to the inside and take the lead as Pendleton was forced wide while Johnson now moved to the inside and filled the gap for second. Once on the outside, Pendleton lost another spot as Zack Riddle advanced forward from the inside. After a few laps of racing in single file formation, Johnson was able to turn under Papini to retake the top spot and once the hole was created, Riddle, Pendleton, and Dale Nottestad all took advantage and raced by Papini who fell back into line ahead of Alex Prunty. With Johnson out in front of Riddle, Nottestad picked up a position by working his way around Pendleton for third while behind them, Prunty eventually made his way by Papini for fifth. The second caution flag of the race appeared on lap 43 when Kyle Chwala’s car lost power and coasted to a stop in turn three, setting up a seven lap sprint to the finish. Johnson chose the inside for the restart and Nottestad lined up to his outside while Riddle and Prunty made up the second row followed by Pendleton and Al Stippich. Johnson drove to the lead as the green flag waved but behind him, Nottestad and Riddle banged doors entering turn three which upset Riddle’s car to the point that it turned back into Nottestad, spinning him around as the field scattered behind them. Nottestad and Riddle were placed at the back of the field for the restart as Johnson again chose the inside and Prunty advanced to the front row at the cone by taking the outside. Johnson was ready as racing resumed and kept the lead while Prunty’s outside lane choice cost him as Pendleton and Papini both drove by and into second and third respectively. Johnson was on his game in the final laps and he drove to the victory followed by Pendleton and Papini while Prunty finished fourth ahead of Al Stippich in fifth. Brian Holtz finished sixth followed by Ryan DeStefano and Jack Stern while Ricky Heinan and Dale Nottestad rounded out the top ten.

Jack Stern won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Tyler Schley and Brent Edmunds. Joe Bongiorno was fourth and Shaun Scheel was fifth. Grant Griesbach and Ricky Heinan scored late model heat race victories and the two late model dashes were claimed by Dale Nottestad and Ryan DeStefano. Jordan DeVoy was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.207 seconds.

Bill Prietzel held off Jeff Holtz to win the 50-lap Mid-American Stock Car Series feature.

Rick Tackman and Kenny Joosten led the field to the green flag and Tackman paced the opening lap before Joosten charged to the front. Eric Lingford and Ryan Gutknecht began to work their way forward while Joosten continued to lead. A spin by Jack Stern on lap 17 drew the first caution flag with Joosten leading over Lingford, Gutknecht, Tackman, and Prietzel. Joosten maintained the lead on the restart while Gutknecht moved into second just before the caution waved again when Rick Corso and Brian Holtz tangled in turn two on lap 19. Once again Joosten held the lead as racing resumed while Gutknecht and Lingford swapped second and third place while Prietzel and Jeff Holtz continued to advance forward and into the top five. An incident between Jimmie Evans and Scott Dunning in turn one brought out another caution flag on lap 30 with Joosten leading over Lingford, Prietzel, Gutknecht, and Holtz. Prietzel was on the move when racing resumed and he caught both Joosten and Lingford with a single move for the lead on lap 34. Prietzel began to pull ahead slightly once out front as Jeff Holtz began to battle Lingford over second while Gutknecht and Joosten were joined by Jay Shambeau in a battle over third. With four laps to go, Lingford and Holtz tangled in turn one to draw the caution flag with Lingford taking the blame for the incident allowing Holtz to keep his second place position behind Prietzel. Holtz made several attempts at Prietzel for the lead in the closing laps but was unable to unseat the veteran as Prietzel drove under the checkered flag for the victory. Holtz had to settle for second while Gutknecht, Joosten, and Shambeau rounded out the top five.

Kenny Joosten and Rick Corso each won Mid-American Stock Car Series heat races while Brian Holtz set fast time with a lap of 12.709 seconds.

Mike Winters won the 35-lap Area Sportsman feature following a controversial finish.

Winters battled alongside Adam Bleskan in a duel for the lead throughout most of the race while Jason Thoma, Nick Egan, and Bill Prietzel raced close behind just in front of Joe Shelby and Terry Wangsness. The controversy occurred late in the race with Winters and Bleskan continuing to race side by side out front with Thoma right in their tire tracks. Winters and Bleskan exited turn four and together washed up the race track allowing Thoma to fill the opening created on the inside. All three drivers charged into turn one three-wide, a formation they kept for a lap and a half before Thoma emerged in front. The speedway has a rule prohibiting three wide racing in the division and Thoma was given the black flag as having been judged as the driver who accelerated the three wide situation. That meant that Winters was scored the winner despite Thoma’s car crossing the finish line first. Bill Prietzel finished second while Joe Shelby was third while Terry Wangsness and Adam Bleskan rounded out the top five. Understandably Thoma was upset with the ruling and a protest might be forthcoming.

Jason Thoma and Jim Taylor were the winners of the Area Sportsman heat races and Thoma also set fast time at 13.002 seconds.

Heather Stark led from flag to flag as she drove to the 25-lap feature victory in the Slinger Bees main event. Jake Schraufnagel finished second while Tom Berens was third. Jakob Hassler and Isaac Daniel rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.

Dave Lembke won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Travis Scheid and Kyle Sikora. Keegan Bush was fourth and Brandon Mennicke was fifth. Slinger Bee heat races were won by Dave Lembke and Heather Stark and Tom Beren was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.733 seconds.

Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race to close out the evening.