Feb 23rd, 2018
I guess that I have neglected this for far too long. There have been a few pieces of news that I should have let you know.
In January we went to a banquet for the Mid American Series. It was great to see a few of the drivers again. Winter always gets too long. After the banquet we took a short trip to the Florida Keys for some rest and relaxation. When we returned, Bill and Mark Melchiori drove to Austin, Texas. Bill wanted to try the road race course at The Circuit of the Americas. He had heard what a great facility it was and wanted to try it out. I flew down and met up with him there. Weather was a little on the cool side but of course warmed up the day we left.
Bill managed to race in all the races he was scheduled, but on the last day had some brake issues. He still had a great time.
The trip home was not as pleasant. There was a snow storm in Missouri and he parked the motor home and trailer just short of a large accident along the highway. He drove through the aftermath of it and was glad he didn't see it first hand. He was supposed to be home on Monday but did't make it until Tuesday. I ended up missing a couple of flights and got home on Monday night instead of Sunday.
Still it was a great trip.
This weekend we will be going to The World of Wheels at the fair park on Saturday night. We always enjoy seeing a lot of old friends there.
Our season starts on April 15th with the Mid American Series and May 12th for the Modifieds at The Dells. I'll let you know if and when we will be racing the Legends car of Dan and Ryan Mech.
Oct 18th, 2017
We made it back to US Air Motorsports Raceway Park this past Saturday for a Legends Car race. It was a rain or shine show and again we had some of both. There was a quick practice session in the morning with qualifying around 1 pm. Bill qualified 6th and he started his first heat race in the 4th spot. He finished 3rd in the first heat and started his second heat in the 2nd spot. Now it had started to rain just a little. He took the lead for a couple of laps but the # 140 of Aaron Moyer caught up to Bill and battled back and forth with him for a couple of laps exchanging the lead a few times. It was a fun race to watch although I think the outcome could have been better. With a lap or 2 left in the race Moyer passed Bill and went on to win. Bill settled for 2nd.
They lined Bill up for the feature 6th (all races are single file) and on the first lap a couple of cars in front of him spun in the sixth turn. Bill ran most of the race in second but near the end of the race another car passed him and he had to settle for 3rd. That race was run in the rain. Slower speeds but still good racing.
This Saturday, October 22nd, we will be going back to that same track for the third and last race of the series. It looks like we will be in for a lot of warm weather and sunshine for the day. Qualifying should start around 12:30 with the racing to follow. This will be the last race of the season for us.
Oct 10th, 2017
Bill did get the Mid Am car done in time to take it to LaCrosse this past weekend. He had a lot of help from Jeff and Tom Jasinski and Bill Tandetzke. Without their help, he never would have finished in time.
We left Thursday night for LaCrosse and drove most of the way in the rain. Our show was Friday and we did get some practice in. He thought it was fairly good but really couldn't tell because the track was pretty damp. Then the rains came and didn't stop until they cancelled the show for that night. We did get rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. We decided to leave for Shawano that night and made it most of the way to USA Air Motorsports Raceway Park. What a great facility for the Legends cars to run on. It was a rain or shine show and we got some of everything. We qualified in the rain, ran 1 heat race in some rain, ran the second heat race while the track was drying up and ran the feature in the sun. He qualified 6th and placed 3rd in both heats. Ryan Mech placed 6th in the feature with Bill 7th and Dan Mech 8th.
We packed up and headed back to LaCrosse for the Sunday Mid Am show. They did cancel qualifying and had one practice session at 10:45. They took the fastest times of that session and added the roll of the dice for the line up of the feature. Bill started third row inside for the feature. He did make it up to second but was passed by the #23 of Gilster on the restart and the #3 of Vandemeier a few laps later. On the last lap the #87 of Swan also passed him, so Bill did finish 5th. Since the car was not quite what he thought it should be, he will have all winter to go over the car for next year.
Bill finished 5th in points in the Mid Am Series. Not too bad for missing a few shows after his engine expired in May. Still he had a great year of racing. He ran at least 5 new tracks this year including Bristol with Bill Tandetzke's modified. What a thrill to run at Bristol. Angell park was another new track along with US Air Motorsports Raceway Park both with the Legends car.
We still have 2 more races scheduled with the Legend car. Back to US Air Motorsports Raceway Park for another road course race this Saturday Oct 14th and possibly Saturday Oct. 21st.
We both want to thank Bill Tandetzke for the use of the Modified. Bill had a ball driving it, and to Dan and Ryan Mech for the opportunity to drive a Legend car. Although it was the hardest thing he ever raced he still enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to Jeff and Tom Jasinski for the whole summer of both working to get it ready and at the track when they could. I appreciate all the help they gave us.
Oct 2nd, 2017
Another rough day at Rockford this past Sunday. These end of the year shows are usually fun, but they also bring in drivers from other tracks that don't always show the respect that the travelers have learned.
Bill qualified 3rd after finding a left rear spring that gave up. He didn't have time to change it before qualifying. He got a new one in before the heat and it made a world of difference. Car was back to normal again. Bill started in the 4th row outside for the feature and I don't think they got one lap in when the first of many yellows came out. On the restart of the first caution the 01 of Ryan Gutknecht had a flat tire. He left the track and that pushed Bills row up. Now he was starting in the third row on the outside. (Still on the outside which is the preferred lane at Rockford.) The green flag flew and I thought it was going to prove to be a good race. On lap 4, Jeremy Bloomberg in the #18 go a half a car length in front of Bill and decided he had to have that spot. I'm not sure where his spotter was, maybe eating bon bons at the trailer, but even I could tell he hadn't cleared Bill. That sent Bill crashing into the turn 1 wall hard and that was the end of our race. We didn't see the end of the race because Bill tried to get the car into the trailer. It was an ugly show which is a shame. It was the biggest car count this season.
Our plans for next week end will be LaCrosse on Friday night (IF he can fix it for that) and Shawno on Saturday with Dan Mechs Legend. That will be a road course and we are both looking forward to that.
Sept 25th, 2017
What a great weekend of racing at the Dells last Saturday night. They had their fall special with numerous divisions and twin features for all divisions.
The weather was not conducive to sitting around in a full racing suit including long underwear and extra socks. Temps were in the 90's and very humid. Bill practiced pretty well in the first session but decided not to go out for the second practice. He said the track was too hot and slippery.
Qualifying came and the times were not posted so we didn't know he had fast time until it was time for the anthem. No heats tonight and the modifieds were the first feature. Bill lined up in the last row and started to pass cars. He kept passing and with a few laps left he was fighting for 2nd. Then the car along side of him and Bill got together. Bill wasn't sure what had caused that but the other car tapped out and Bill received his spot back. Now he was running 2nd. (Tapped out means that the other car took responsibility for the yellow.) On the restart he lined up outside of the car that was leading and eventually pulled in front of him and won the first feature. It was going to be a little while before the 2nd feature started. Luckily the sun went down and it cooled off.
After every other divisions had their first feature and a few last chance races finished, it was time for our second feature to start. They lined up the field the way they finished the first race and again Bill had to start in the rear. Bill again pulled past some of the cars and fought to go to the front. Another late race yellow came out and on the restart Bill started behind the leader. The second place car passed the leader and Bill followed him through. That's the best that he could do as the checkered flag waved. He did win the overall championship for the weekend. Couldn't ask for much better. Not bad for a 20 year old dirt car that came to us in pieces a couple of weeks ago.. Bill drove it twice. First time he won the fast dash and 3rd in the feature. Thanks Bill Tandetzke for the chance to drive the car. Thanks also to Gary, Sue and Mike Budzien for helping us out on Saturday night.
Our next adventure will be on Sunday October 1st. We will be at Rockford with the Mid Am car.
Sept 18th, 2017
What a great weekend for car shows. Our first stop was in Hartford for the Southeastern WI Short Track Hall of Fame. We had a lot of visitors for that show. It was great to be back there with The Wedge. On Sunday we took The Wedge to the Hales Corners Reunion in New Berlin. What a great time we had talking with all of our old friends. Even John Kaishian showed up. Just great to see everyone again. I will be posting a picture of all the drivers that were there. Wish I could name everyone.
Sept 11th, 2017
We made the maiden run to the Dells for the modified that Bill put together this summer. He was as surprised as I was at how good the car was. He turned 5th in time and was in the fast dash. He did win that race and the car was pretty good. The starting position for the feature was straight up, so Bill started 3rd row from the back. The initial start was a bad one and Bill Tanketzke's #1 ended up tearing off the left side of his car through no fault of his own. On the restart Bill's #5 just passed a couple of cars and kept going forward. He passed the front car to take the lead. He stayed up there for a number of laps before the #95 car of Jerry Blystone took the lead from him. Another caution came out and Bill restarted the race outside of Blystone and fought back to retake the lead. Bill never did make it back to the front and ended up losing 2nd on the very last corner of the race. He did finish 3rd and was pretty pleased with that.
Sept 16th we will be at the Hall of Fame car show in Hartford with the Wedge and the next day we will also take the Wedge to the Hales Corners reunion at 17980 W Beloit Rd from 10 am to 6 pm. The New Berlin VFW Post. Looking forward to seeing all the old Hales Corners group.
Sept 6th, 2017
This past Saturday we took the Mid Am car to the Dells. It was the first time back with Mid Am series since the engine came apart at IRP in May.
Bill had some chassis issues before qualifying and only managed a 9th spot for qualifying. But as luck would have it, he started front row outside after the roll of the dice. With the start of the race, Bill battled with the inside lane for a few laps. He was able to get to the inside lane and battled most of the race with the eventual winner of Ron Vandemeier. With only two cautions in the race it turned out to be a pretty good show. The first caution came out on lap 30 with 2 cars spinning in turn 3. The second caution came out on the restart.
Bill got challenged by Dan Gilster close to the end of the race and Bill finished up 3rd to Gilster and Vandemeier.
Nineteen cars were present, which was one of our bigger shows. Loved having all those cars show up. I hope the last two events will bring that many.
The next time we will race the Mid Am car will be at Rockford on October 1st.
Sunday, Sept 3rd Bill ran Dan Mechs Legend at 141 Speedway. What a nice facility. As soon as Bill took the car off the trailer he knew he had a problem. The clutch was slipping and he knew he wouldn't be competitive. Still it was a good show with lots of cars in all divisions. Bill did finish the race and he got to run on another new track. That makes at least 3 this year.
Saturday Sept 9th we will be taking Bill Tandetzke's Modified back to the Dells. First time Bill will be driving the second Modified of Tandetzke's. He ran his other car at Bristol and a couple of other places earlier this year.
See you all at the Dells for some Modified racing on Sept 9th.
August 28th, 2017
I have quite the list of places that we have been racing since our engine expired in May. I don't have all the info on them but I will give it a try.
June 11th was Angell Park and I know he finished 10th there.
July 8th and 9th we went to GingerMan with the road race car. On Saturday he was a little more careful driving the car after wrecking it at Gateway last fall. He qualified 21st and not sure where he finished. Sunday at GingerMan he qualified 11th and finished 8th. Another new track that he had never been to.
July 14th was another Legend race at Darlington, WI. (another new track)
July 23rd he raced at Slinger with the Legend
July 29th was the Dells with the Modified. He had fast time, missed winning the dash by inches and finished 4th in the feature. Not allowed to go 3 wide there and he had nowhere to go.
July 30th was another Legend race at Angell Park.
August 20th was a Legend Race at Angell Park. It was a big event with almost a full house there. It was there annual Corn Fest and a really good crowd of spectators were there. Bill is still trying to get a hand on that little devil. It looks like it would be easy to drive but he has said more than once that it is the hardest thing he has tried to drive yet.
This past weekend we went to Road America to relax and watch the Trans Am, Arca and Xfinity races. Dispite the rain on and off it was a great weekend. We even snuck a dirt race in at Oshkosh with Dale and Anita Weyer.
We did get our Mid Am motor back and will be going to The Dells on Sept 2nd for a Mid Am race. I'm looking forward to be getting back to the Mid Am series again. Then on Sunday the 3rd we will be taking the Legend to 141 for one of their shows. Should be a busy weekend.
August 24th, 2017
Well I lied. I won't be able to update today. The shop is really busy and we are headed to Road America this weekend. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in. I will update early next week.
August 23rd, 2017
I bet you were all wondering where billprietzel.com went to. Well I have been having a hard time with my new program but it looks like I am back up and running. Sorry for the interruption. Tomorrow I will try to fill you in on what has been going on with Bill and his racing.
June 12th, 2017
I have neglected to update for a while. Here is the low down on what has been happening with "The Franklin Flyer" in the last couple of weeks.
After our trip to Bristol, we went to Indianapolis Fairgrounds on Thursday, where he was supposed to race on the mile dirt track. We were really looking forward to that. A new track, dirt and a mile long. What an experience. But it was not to be. Mother nature had other plans. It had rained for a couple of days and the track was to wet to even cross to get into the pit area. They waited for sometime before they cancelled the race. So then it was time to change the car back to an asphalt car. He did that in the parking lot of the dirt track along with a couple of other cars that were in the same race. We ended up camping across the street from Lucas Oil Speedway for the night.
Friday we hit the track and Bill qualified 3rd. With no heat races he started the feature in the 4th row and waited for an opening. He finally found that after about 8 laps and headed for the front of the field. He took over the front spot and lead until laps 32. That's when he developed a vibration and decided to pull it in rather than explode something or destroy it. As it turned out he broke the crankshaft and would never had made it even one more lap. It's a good thing he brought it in or there may have been engine pieces all over the track.
We are done with Mid Am until we get the engine rebuilt which may take a little while to do.
We are not sitting around idle. Bill is still playing with horsepower and we were at Angell Park this past Sunday June 11th. Dan and Ryan Mech have an extra car that they asked Bill if he would like to try his hand at a Legend. Although the temps were hitting 90 degrees he decided to try his hand at the car. They don't qualify and since Bill has no points he had to start in the rear of the heat race. He finished the race in 7th place and that allowed him to start in the 7th row on the inside. In the feature he looked a lot more comfortable than the heat race. He even passes a few cars and even at one point passed both Ryan and Dan. Ryan did pass him back but not before there was a perfect picture opportunity of the 3 of them in the middle of turn 3 & 4. Of course I didn't have my camera ready in time but I hear Diane Mech did. If I get that picture I will post it. Ryan finished 7th, Bill 10th and Dan finished 11th. But best of all, Bill had fun.
Since we haven't a motor for the Mid Am car, the rest of this month is a little shy on race days. I will let you know when our adventures continue.
May 24th, 2017
We made it to Bristol last weekend. It was a long tough journey to get there but we did make it on Thursday. We had a couple of practice sessions for our division. Bill lined up for the first practice session and the skies grew darker and darker. Then it poured and he and the car were soaked. That put practice behind almost an hour. He did get on the track later that afternoon. His times were slower than he would have liked. He came back in and made a few adjustments for the next session. The car got faster but so did all the other cars. On our last practice session he got to run under the lights. It was quite an experience.
On Saturday he had one more practice session and he was hoping the car would have been better but that was not to be. He went out for qualifying and missed the show by 20 or so cars. He had one more chance to make it in the consi. He started the race in the 5th row and never got past 6th place. They took the top 4 from the consi and put them in the feature. With about 5 or 6 laps to go the engine started to over heat. Bill decided to pull it in and that was the end of our Bristol trip.
I certainly wish it would have turned out better but we still got to race at Bristol. It was a great time. We even had a couple of friends come from North Carolina. Dave Spitzer and his son Shawn were there and it was great to see them.
I would like to thank all the people that made this trip happen. First of all without Bill Tandentzke none of this would have happened. He is the car owner after all. Thanks Bill, we had a great time and experience. And the list goes on. Jeff and Tom Jasinski for working all those late hours. George from Motor Masters for getting us connected with the engine. Dick Karth for the extra help you did. Justin Grosser for helping deliver that new engine and Mark Silber for helping with all the last minute details. That was a long trip from North Carolina to Kentucky. Another big thank you to Heather Rae and Cathy Sunday for allowing the guys to spend the time and money that was involved.
Now we are headed to Indiana State Fairgrounds for a dirt race with the Mid Am car Thursday night. Another new track for Bill to try. This one should be exciting as it is a 1 mile dirt track. The next day we will be at Lucas Oil Raceway with the same car. That's what the Mid Am division is about. All the new tracks whether dirt, asphalt or road courses that we run on. That's why Bill got into this series. Can't wait to let you all know how it turns out. Or better yet... come watch.
May 8th, 2017
Our long weekend started with leaving early Saturday morning for a race at South Bend Motor Speedway. Bill was going to his second race with the NSTA series with Bill Tandetzke's modified. South Bend is a small track and he had a fighting chance to run well. He qualified 3rd and was really happy with that. Feature time came and he started the race in the 3rd row outside. After the start of the race he was involved in a 4th turn incident and they had a full restart. The second restart wasn't much better. This time they got 2 laps in before Bill got tagged and spun out in turn 2. This time they went to the rear of the field and had to fight back from there. He managed a 13th place finishing spot. We were at that track with the Mid Am cars way back in 1995 or so and Bill didn't remember how tight the track was. It's a hard place to race.
We hurried home for a Mid Am race on Sunday afternoon in Madison. He got a few laps in for practice before qualifying. He earned a 2nd place qualifying spot for the feature. They started the 30 lap feature straight up with the fast cars at the rear of the field. He passed a few cars and sat back and waited for the field to open up. He finally took over the lead and held onto it for the rest of the race. It was a great win. It was the first time that 2 of our grandkids were in the pits with us helping us out. Carson really stepped up helping us out and I think he learned a lot too. Kenzi was a big help too. Thanks kids, you were great.
Our next race for the Modified will be at Bristol, TN on May 20th. At least that's what our plans are for now. I will keep you informed when it gets a little closer. We need a little more horsepower and are working on that. We will see if that happens. If it does then we will go.
Our next race for Mid Am will be the Indianapolis Fairgrounds where we will be running the 1 mile dirt track on Thursday May 25th and on Friday we will run Lucas Oil Raceway 5/8 asphalt. Then our plans will be to run 141 Speedway on Sunday night May 28th with a Legend for Dan and Ryan Mech. I think on Monday we will sleep.
See you all at the races.
April 23rd, 2017
Our first Mid Am race was at Rockford this past weekend. We had a fresh paint job and it looked great. Bill spent all winter stripping and rebuilding the car with the help of Jeff and Tom Jasinski. Without their help he never would have gotten the car done in time for Rockford.
I was worried about taking it to Rockford because they don't seem to come home as pretty as they go there. This time I had to eat my words. Only minor scratches were found when we looked the car over at the end of the race.
Bill qualified in the 2nd position with Dan Gilster taking the top spot in qualifying. Bill started in the 6th row on the inside for the start of the feature. (Inside is not the preferable lane to be in.) He tried to pass and did make a few passes but could not make it to the front. Only 1 caution flag flew throughout our race. Bill ended up finishing 6th but at the end of the day was credited with 5th due to a disqualification of the first place car. As it turned out Lyle Nowak won the feature and Bill was 5th. Special thanks to Jeff and Tom Jasinski for making my day easier. Thanks guys!
Still a great day coming home from Rockford.
Our next Mid Am race will be Madison on May 7th.
March 15th, 2017
Bill has been working on the Mid Am car most of the winter and is slowly getting it done for opening day at Rockford on April 23rd. That's only a month away and there is still a lot to do.
Before the Mid Am race we will be going to Lucas Oil Raceway with a modified. He has a chance to run with the NSTA series. Their race will be on April 2nd. That car has some work to do on it too, but I sent in the entry form today so he will have to get it done. I will keep you posted as to how it is going.
Feb 17th, 2017
I had to rebuild our web site due to an old program that I was using and was not able to use anymore. I have had to relearn and it took me some time to figure this all out. I still have a lot to learn so please be patient. You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks.
A lot has happened since I last wrote.
I will not be able to fill you in on all that happened at the end of last season. Bill did finish 5th in points with the Mid American Stock Car Series. He missed 3 races with the series and was pleased to finish 5th.
Bill raced all of the Slinger races with the Midwest Sportsman Series and finished 4th for the season.
He also raced the TUNDRA Series and had a great time finishing with an overall of third. He did not race all of the races with that series and still finished well at the end of the season. I think my most memorable race was at LaCrosse. There was a small amount of racers that day so instead of having a 30 lap race that would have been strung out, the officials decided to have 2 fifteen lap features. Bill started in the last row for both of the features. He won both of them even though there were a few strong cars in front of him. The second feature proved to be the most exciting of all. He laid back until the last couple of laps before making his move and passed them all on the outside. There is a video on line of these last couple of laps and it has had more the 45,000 hits. Of course I have watched it a few times and still love the outcome.
We also took our Road Race car to Gateway in St Louis at the end of October. Another new track that he has never been to. He had the opportunity to race on the road course and also on the oval. The road course went well but the oval was not so kind to him. He only got a couple of laps in when a rear trailing arm broke. He ended up backing into the wall and luckily he was not hurt. It's a fast track and he estimated to be going about 150 mph. The car on the other hand was done for the day.
The 2017 season is shaping up to be a lot of fun. We will be running a few Mid American races, possibly more Slinger with the Midwest Sportsman Series and a few Modified races with Bill Tandetzke. Bill has also been asked to run a Legend Car which is something he has never done. Looks to be a busy year coming up. I will keep you as informed as I can as the racing season comes closer. Our first date will be April 2nd at Lucas Oil with the Modified. He is looking forward to that.