SWAN CASHES OUT
Full Results – http://motorstats.com/series/98/results?season_id=344&event_id=5754&division_id=98
OREGON, Wis. (August 31, 2012) – James Swan took the lead on lap 29 of the 40-lap Mid-American Stock Car Series feature at Madison International Speedway Friday night and pulled away for his third win of 2012. After setting fast time Swan accepted the Tim Schmitt Challenge and started last in the 16-car field. The win scored Swan an extra $800.
“It took a little while. I thought about it for five minutes,” Swan said of his decision to accept the challenge. “I knew the car was good, but I didn’t know it was that good.”
With the likes of Lyle Nowak, Jeremy Spoonmore and Bill Prietzel to pass on his way though, there was some doubt in Swan’s decision. Adding to the curiosity of the situation was the venue. Swan has never had much luck at Madison International Speedway and had only broken through for his first ever win at the venue last season.
“No it hasn’t,” Swan said of whether he felt Madison had treated him well in the past. “We tried a little different set up today and the car wasn’t that good. The brakes were starting to get hot with ten laps to go and I thought, oh no here we go again.”
Swan’s move through the field was impressive and began immediately at the drop of the green when he passed three machines on the first circuit. As he went to work, the field started to sort out behind Denny Norton Jr., who made his return to MASCS action.
Norton fended off fellow front row starter Bill Prietzel, who had his own 40 laps of adventure. After losing several spots in the top five early in the race, Prietzel later made sure his presence was felt before the checkered flag fell.
Early control of the race went to Norton, however, Travis Rodewald took his turn pacing the field when he swung to the inside of Norton and swiped the lead on lap six. Before Rodewald could stretch out his advantage the first and only caution fell for a Chris Storey spin in turn four on lap seven.
The caution proved to be key for Swan who dared to select the outside line when the decision cone was placed. With both Nowak and Spoonmore deciding to stay on the bottom, Swan was able to move past them and restart eighth alongside Brad Keith.
Swan caught his second break just a few laps later when Keith was racing side-by-side with Jack Stern for sixth. Keith’s machine slipped sideways and Swan dived to the bottom going three wide with Keith and Stern. Swan quickly jumped away from the duo and left them to battle as he began his assault on the top five.
As Rodewald continued to pace the field, Prietzel started to move back through the top five. On lap 17 Prietzel moved back around Jake Finney for second then quickly reeled in Rodewald. Just five laps later Prietzel jumped to the inside and grabbed the lead from Rodewald.
Unfortunately for Prietzel, he did not have enough time to spread out his lead before he had to deal with Swan. Swan crept past Finney for third on lap 23 on the outside then did the same to Rodewald for the runner-up spot two laps later.
Deliberately Swan reeled in Prietzel and plotted his move. After surveying for a lap Swan flew to the outside and outlasted Prietzel to take the lead for good on lap 29.
Once Swan began to stretch out his advantage attention turned to the point leaders Nowak and Spoonmore. Nowak struggled with his machine and worked furiously to hold off Ryan Farrell. Spoonmore made a strong late race run to the top five.Prietzel remained unchallenged to hold second, while Spoonmore made his way all the way up to third, Stern finished fourth and Rodewald rounded out the top five.
The night proved to tilt the point battle in favor of Spoonmore who gained points on Nowak in qualifying, the heat race and the feature. His 16 point disadvantage was turned into a 12-point advantage by the end of the night.
Perhaps the biggest statement of the point battle was made by Swan on the evening. Although he has missed two races, Swan does not consider himself out of the running with four events left.
“(Car Owner) Brian (Holtz) and I were talking about that today,” Swan said. “We said we’re just going to win the next five and see what happens.”
SWAN CASHES OUT