Johnson wins thriller in first race of season

Slinger Speedway staff writer

Casey Johnson fended off a serious challenge by Slinger Late Model Track Champion Jacob Nottestad in the closing laps to win the season-opening 88-lap Big 8 Late Model Series feature Sunday afternoon at the Slinger Super Speedway.

Nottestad pressured Johnson mightily following a late caution following a hard crash into the turn one wall by Jeff Holtz as he and third running Dale Nottestad battled amidst heavy lapped traffic. Johnson was able to turn back Jacob Nottestad’s challenges win the trophy he promised to his young daughter since November.

“I knew Jake (Nottestad) was going to be really strong, and he ran me super clean,” Johnson said from victory lane. “I always liked running on the high side here as you can keep your momentum up and it didn’t really seem too bad to me.”

“I’m glad we got that last caution. It gave me a shot at least but we just couldn’t capitalize,” Nottestad said.

“This is probably the best car I have had here at Slinger despite finishing second, and the competition here is so good but we’re excited about the quick time and new track record.”

Rockford Speedway Big 8 Late Model Series winner Dale Nottestad finished third and described what he saw in a late-race incident that set up the final run to the checkered flag.

“It was pretty scary in lapped traffic, and I didn’t know where they were going to go,” Dale Nottestad said. “And I hate that (Jeff) Holtz got involved in that. We were good but were just a tick off those two (Johnson and J. Nottestad) but I’ll take it.”

John Reynolds Jr. finished in fourth place ahead of Ryan Gutknecht in fifth. Tom Berens drove to a sixth place finish ahead of Jerry Mueller and Max Kahler. Tyler Hromadka and Randy Sargent rounded out the top 10.

In other races:

• Big 8 Late Model Series heat races were won by Dale Nottestad, Jeff Holtz and Nick Egan while Jacob Nottestad set the fast time by setting a new track record at 11.904 seconds.

• Dale Lecus Jr. won the 35-lap sportsman feature over Paul Wagner and Bobby Gutknecht. Andrew Meyerhofer finished fourth and Dennis Prunty was fifth.

Joey Pontbriand and Bobby Gutknecht were the winners of the sportsman heat races. Paul Wagner topped qualifying with a lap in 12.679 seconds.

• Tyler Schley was the winner of the 30-lap modified main event as he was chased to the checkered flag by Bill Prietzel. Bill Tandetzke was third, followed by Carl Benn and Denny Schott.

Schott won the modified heat race. Prietzel was the fastest qualifier with a lap in 12.427 seconds.

• Todd Buckley topped the 25-lap Super Beez feature ahead of Zach Greer. Dale Kiley-Schaefer was third, followed by Brandon Tackes and Jakob Hassler.

Kiley-Schaefer and Zach Greer each won a Super Beez heat race. Todd Buckley was the fastest qualifier with a lap in 13.627.

• The 25-lap Slinger Bees feature was won by Tom Elsinger Jr. over Brady Held and Misty Benn. Brandon Mennicke finished fourth while Rickey Gebhard was fifth.

The Slinger Bees heat races were won by Elsinger and Benn. Paul Reagles topped qualifying with a lap of 15.33.

• Bill Shavlik won the Figure 8 main event to close out the afternoon over Rick Bruskiewicz and Shane Becker.

The next event, the Small Car Enduro, is at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2. The rain date is May 9.



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