Coons Tops Firemans National Field

Jerry CoonsBy Bryan Gapinski Sun Prairie, Wis., Sep. 1, 2007---Jerry Coons Jr., scored his third series feature victory in seven days capturing the 26th annual Firemans' Nationals presented by Pepsi, Badger Midget Series event Saturday Night at Angell Park Speedway. Coons became the sixth different driver to win the event, for car owner Wilke-PAK Motorsports, which now has nine victories in the event. 
During the initial start, Michael Pickens car caught fire, causing a complete restart. Once underway Kevin Swindell jumped into the lead, as the top four cars began to pull away from the field. Brad Sweet passed Swindell for the lead exiting Turn 4 on lap 7 to take the lead. The next lap former event winner Davey Ray moved into second place.The leaders used both the high and lower grooves on different corners of the track.
Sweet held off the challenges of Ray who attempted several passes for the lead, with Sweet being scored the official race leader each lap. On lap 19 Sweet drifted high and brushed the Turn 2 wall, falling to third place behind Ray and Brady Bacon. However before the lap could be completed, Nick Lundgreen flipped causing a restart, and the running order reversed to the last completed lap. Fifth place running Darren Hagen hit the wall bringing out the caution two laps later.
Coons restarted in fourth place, behind Sweet, Bacon and Ray. Series champion Brad Kuhn and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made contact battling for fifth position, bringing out the caution on lap 29. Stenhouse retired from the event, while Kuhn restarted from last position.
Coons moved into second place on lap 34 and began cutting into Sweet's lead. Sweet's engine expired on lap 36, bring out the caution and giving Coons the lead. On the restart third place Bacon suffered front-end suspension failure causing him to flip, Kuhn was forced to retire from the event after being involved in the accident.
On the restart Coons and Ray pulled away from the field, with Coons increasing his lead each lap over Ray. Coons driving the Wilke-PAK Motorsports owned Speedway Motors/K & N Filters Spike/Mopar finished 4.36 second ahead of Ray. Brandon Waelti finished third, an additional three-plus seconds behind Ray, after starting in 19th position. Swindell, and Levi Jones completed the top five.
Veteran Badger driver Doug Schenck, who announced his retirement from driving at the start of the evening, finished in seventh position. Earlier in the night Coons captured the 5th annual Dave Schulenberg Memorial Dash, giving him an overall payoff of $10,600 for the evenings events. The field received the checkered flag on lap 49, one short of the scheduled distance, as a tribute to five-time event winner Kevin Doty. 

Feature Lap Leaders: Swindell 1-7, Sweet 8-36, Coons 37-50.
* Durst flipped during third heat. Lundgreen flipped on lap 19 of feature. Bacon flipped on lap 36 of feature. All drivers uninjured.

QUAL       HT 1   B-FT   A-FT  
1 32 HAGEN 14.974 1 SLOTTEN 1 KUHN 1 COONS
2 11 COONS 15.009 2 STENHOUSE 2 BACON 2 D.RAY
3 43NZ KUHN 15.04 3 JONES 3 STANBROUGH 3 WAELTI
4 21X STENHOUSE 15.061 4 D.RAY 4 MOSEN 4 SWINDELL
5 2 PICKENS 15.122 5 WINDOM 5 DESELLE 5 JONES
6 13 MOSEN 15.141 HT 2   6 TAYLOR 6 STANBROUGH
7 99 BACON 15.153 1 WAELTI 7 WINDOM 7 SCHENCK
8 33 D.RAY 15.209 2 DARLAND 8 SHERRILL 8 DESELLE
9 67X SWEET 15.213 3 WAGNER 9 GURNEY 9 MOSEN
10 79 SWINDELL 15.228 4 SCHENCK 10 CRAWFORD 10 DARLAND
11 9 DARLAND 15.259 5 BACON 11 KEELAN 11 FIKE
12 20 JONES 15.27 HT 3   12 RAMSTACK 12 HESS
13 2L STANBROUGH 15.272 1 COONS 13 LUEBKE 13 WAGNER
14 51 DURST 15.29 2 SWINDELL 14 R.RAY 14 TAYLOR
15 19 SCHENCK 15.301 3 HESS 15 WIPPERFURTH 15 BACON
16 17W WINDOM 15.309 4 LUNDGREEN 16 NOBLE 16 KUHN
17 91 GURNEY 15.329 5 DESELLE 17 MAYHEW 17 SWEET
18 81 DESELLE 15.335 HT 4   18 MECUM 18 STENHOUSE
19 99T CRAWFORD 15.403 1 HAGEN 19 SHREFFLER 19 HAGEN
20 57 SLOTTEN 15.408 2 FIKE 20 J.DULL 20 LUNDGREEN
21 69 FIKE 15.429 3 PICKENS 21 WYTTENBACH 21 SLOTTEN
22 35 SHERRELL 15.526 4 SWEET 22 PICKENS
23 3 WAELTI 15.569 5 STANBROUGH
24 98 J.DULL 15.571  
25 17 KEELAN 15.573 DASH SCHULENBURG      
26 44 HESS 15.576 1 COONS    
27 8 MECUM 15.579 2 KUHN    
28 6 NOBLE 15.588 3 D.RAY    
29 99X TAYLOR 15.589 4 HAGEN    
30 41 LUNDGREEN 15.616 5 MOSEN    
31 92 WAGNER 15.632 6 PICKENS    
32 21K MAYHEW 15.65    
33 43 LUEBKE 15.683    
34 4 WIPPERFURTH 15.686    
35 2 RAMSTACK 15.689    
36 15 HATTON 15.781    
37 3R R.RAY 15.802    
38 7 FISCUS 15.808    
39 21S SHREFFLER 15.96    
40 38 WYTTENBACH 16.039    
41 9F McAOON 16.302        
42 56 J.DULL 16.559            
43 12J MOUNCE 16.58            
44 7W WAELTI 16.675            
45 67 ALTIG 16.993            
46 03R GRUENBERG 18.097            
47 31 BUDRES NT            
48 2X STRATTON NT