10 Questions With….The Team Cruisers Division

Why is the Team Cruiser division returning to Slinger Super Speedway in 2019?
“There are a couple of reasons to bring back the Team Cruisers. Number one is demand, and if everyone that says they want to build and race in the division does it, we will have a good-sized field of cars right out of the box. The second reason is the need for entry level racing that is affordable. There are a ton of front-wheel drive, 6-cylinder cars on the market that are cheap. Add a few safety devices and go racing…………oh and don’t forget your co-pilot!” ~Todd Thelen, Slinger Speedway Owner/Promoter

How does it work?
“Team cruisers is how Joe, Jr. and I started racing full time. The gas pedal is mounted on the right side, so the passenger operators the gas pedal while the driver steers and operates the brakes. You have to work together and no, the gas pedal is not just floored, like everybody thinks! You have to work as a team to be fast!!!” ~Joe DeStefano, Sr., Slinger Team Cruisers, 1998-2002

How much will it cost to get involved?
“Cost will depend mostly on what you purchase for the car; the building cost can be fairly reasonable. A good 4-point cage with seat mounts will be $400-$500. Race seats can be purchased used from $75-$100 each or new for $200, 5-point belts are $70 a set, window nets are $60 with mounts. So, if you are willing to do the labor to assemble the car and gut it out, it’s very possible to build one for $1200-$1500.” ~Rick Schaefer, Slinger Team Cruisers, 1998-2003

Who has raced this division in the past?
Past winners in this division (which ran from 1998-2003) include: Joe DeStefano, Sr., Joe DeStefano, Jr., Ryan DeStefano, Mark “Kurly” Kissinger, Rick Schaefer, Aaron Cain, PJ Cain, Doug Pasbrig, Al Stippich, Rob Myers, Tanya Krueger, Mark Fogle, Ken Fogle, Jason Steffan, Art Hahn, Craig Grudzinski, Jack Sutherland, Duane Oblinski, Joe Mueller, Dave Berndt, Dan Jung, Mark Jung, Nate Fick, Bruce Wright, Sam Wright, Craig Schattschneider, Daryl Adams, Craig Adams, and many more… (feel free to tag others in the comments below)

The division will run on the B-Track (or “roval”). What is that?
“It’s the track used for SlamFest. Cars use the front stretch and turn one, but make a sharp left off of turn two onto the Figure 8 track then a sharp right onto the Figure 8 track pointing into turn 3 (there will be an obstacle so cars cannot cut the ‘B’ and will be penalized if they do). Cars then return to the regular track in turn 3 and head to the start/finish line.” ~Mark “Kurly” Kissinger, Slinger Team Cruisers, multiple seasons

Why should someone get involved in driving a Team Cruiser?
“It’s just pretty wild racing around a track in a car you only have half of the control over!” ~ Al Stippich, Slinger Team Cruisers, 2000-2003

How would someone find sponsors for their car, to help with the costs of racing?
Finding sponsors is challenging, but Joe Cool Racing is a 100% sponsored team. The hardest thing is getting to the person that controls the advertising, whether it be the owner of a company or the company’s marketing person. You have to be prepared when you meet the person, and have a good game plan (like a background history printed out, what your plans are, and options of locations on the car). The biggest thing is, you have to follow through on doing what you tell them you are going to do!!!!!!!! Sometimes you have to be creative with how they can pay you – sometimes payment plans work, and that way they can also see you are doing what you said you would do before they give you more money. Good luck, be ready for ‘sorry not interested’ (you will get way more of them than you will get ‘yes, I will sponsor you’), but keep your head up high and keep digging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember to take good care of your sponsors, and at the end of the year give them a nice ‘thank you’ picture.” ~Joe DeStefano, Sr., Slinger Team Cruisers, 1998-2002

What does the communication between drivers in the car sound like?
“The two words we mainly said to each other were “lift!” or “go!”…with lots of swearing in between!” ~Tanya Krueger, Slinger Team Cruisers, multiple seasons

When will the Team Cruisers race in 2019?
“The Team Cruisers will run ten times in 2019, making it a great division to dabble in to see if you like racing –or– to add a second division to run in at Slinger!” ~Lynn Wagner, Slinger Speedway Public Relations Manager

If someone is interested in racing the Team Cruisers, how can they get more information?
Join us at the informational meeting on Wednesday, January 30th at 6:30pm, upstairs at Nite Owls in downtown Slinger. There will also be a freshly-built (by Rick Schaefer) Team Cruiser on display at the Southeastern WI Short Track Hall of Fame’s Winter Get-Together ($5 admission) Saturday (Jan. 19) from 10am to 2pm in the Wisconsin Automotive Museum (147 N Rural St, Hartford). There will be people by the car to answer questions.