Piecko, Jr. Scores First Win, Cooter and Gnatzip Repeat at The Milwaukee Mile MILWAUKEE (May 19, 2005) -- Mike Piecko, Jr waited for the white flag to take the lead on the way to his first feature win at the Milwaukee Mile in round three of...
Piecko, Jr. Scores First Win, Cooter and Gnatzip Repeat at The Milwaukee Mile
MILWAUKEE (May 19, 2005) -- Mike Piecko, Jr waited for the white flag to take the lead on the way to his first feature win at the Milwaukee Mile in round three of the Summer Shootout Series. Michael Cooter and Curt Gnatzig each became three-time winners in their respective divisions Wednesday night.
In the Bandolero heat race Kyle Jusits started off with the lead and would hold on to it for eight of the ten lap distance. Michael Cooter took over second place but spun the car in turn four and allowed Bobby Yonkee to take the spot. While Cooter faded to the back, Yonkee applied pressure to Jusits. With two laps to go Yonkee made the pass for the lead and held on to win his first heat race of the series.
Yonkee's luck would turn as a problem with his starter would force him to miss the feature race. That left it up to Jusits to try to keep Cooter out of victory lane. Jusits pushed as hard as he could to keep up, but Cooter was able to pull away and take the feature win for the third time in as many races.
Davey Cox, the winner of the last two features in the Thunder Roadster division, spun in practice and damaged the car putting it out of commission for the evening. With Cox out, a new driver was going to be in victory lane and the battle was on. In the heat race Mike Piecko and his son Mike, Jr. started on the front row and battled early with Mike, Jr. taking the point and leaving his father to battle with Eddie Mecum, Jr. Piecko and Mecum fought for the second position for the rest of the race until Mecum spun on the last lap.
The Thunder Roadster feature started with Mike Piecko on the pole followed by his son and then Mecum. Piecko, Jr. passed his father on the second lap who would then drop to third when Mecum got by in the fourth turn. Mecum then set his sights on Piecko, Jr. and passed him between turns one and two on the fourth lap. Piecko Jr. and Mecum battled nose to tail until Piecko, Jr. got a run coming off the fourth turn and powered past Mecum as they took the white flag for the final lap. Piecko, Jr. was able to hold on for his first win at the Mile.
The action in the Legends division started immediately in the first turn of the heat race. Ernie Schaal got together with Kyle LaPier and ended up driving over the front of LaPier's car. In the mean time, Curt Gnatzig took off with the lead followed by Ryan Miles and Michael Bilderback. At the halfway point Don Schaal spun his car in between turns three and four forcing newcomer Tom Hendricks and then Miles off the track. Gnatzig kept the lead and went on to win the race followed by Bilderback. LaPier would recover from the first lap mishap and finish in the third position.
The feature race for the Legends division started with Gnatzig and Bilderback on the front row and the two would stay that way for the entire race. While the front two took off, Ernie Schaal worked his way up from the back of the pack. First, Ernie picked off his father, Don Schaal, on the second lap. Then both Schaals worked past Miles on lap six. LaPier was next and Ernie drove by him on the tenth lap. In the mean time, Bilderback gave his all to catch Gnatzig, kicking up dirt on almost every lap coming out of turn four. It was all in vain as once again Gnatzig pulled away for his third win in the series. Bilderback finished in second place followed by Ernie Schaal, LaPier, Don Schaal, Miles and Hendricks.
Feature: Michael Cooter, Kyle Jusits, Bobby Yonkee (dns)
Heat 1: Bobby Yonkee, Kyle Jusits, Michael Cooter
Feature: Mike Piecko, Jr., Eddie Mecum, Mike Piecko, Davey Cox (dns)
Heat 1: Mike Piecko, Jr., Mike Piecko, Eddie Mecum, Davey Cox (dns)
Feature: Curt Gnatzig, Michael Bilderback, Ernie Schaal, Kyle LaPier, Don Schaal, Ryan Miles, Tom Hendricks
Heat 1: Curt Gnatzig, Michael Bilderback, Kyle LaPier, Don Schaal, Ryan Miles, Tom Hendricks, Ernie Schaal
The remaining nights of competition are July 6, July 13, July 20, August 17, August 24, and August 31. Practice starts at 6:00pm, with racing at 7:00pm each night. The series features free admission as race fans are invited to come out and watch the races from bleachers in the infield of the Milwaukee Mile.
Through the 1960's, The Milwaukee Mile was a hotbed of weekly short track racing on the ½-mile and ¼-mile ovals that shared the frontstretch of the historic speedway's one mile oval. Grass roots racing makes a weeknight return to America's Legendary Oval on a modified oval using a portion of the speedway's newly-redone infield road course, set within turn two of the mile track.
For nine Wednesday nights this summer, young and young-at-heart racers competing in Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Thunder Roadsters will chase a points championship in the SUMMER SHOOTOUT Series presented by the Junior Pro Series, at The Milwaukee Mile.
For full coverage of the Summer Shootout, visit www.racingwisconsin.com/summershootout
For ticket information and details on the IRL IndyCarSeries, USAC Racing, NASCAR Midwest Series and Governor's Cup event weekends at The Milwaukee Mile this summer, visit www.milwaukeemile.com.