Take the "Checkers" on Hoosier Tires!Hoosier Racing TireTake the "Checkers" on Hoosier Tires!

    

ERIC FRANSEN WINS WISCONSIN'S M.I.S. OPENER
AS HOOSIER-ERA BEGINS AT THE FAMED 1/2-MILE

4-24-03

Eric Fransen (#16) en route to winning the opener at Madison International Speedway.OREGON, WI (April 19) -- The racing season finally opened at Madison International Speedway last weekend with Eric Fransen (#16) capturing the Miller Lite 100 and pocketing $5,000 on a chilly Wisconsin evening. Hoosier Late Model Asphalt Product Manager Terry Newton traveled from northern Indiana to watch his Hoosier tires in action at the facility now operated under new leadership. The historic facility known as "Wisconsin's fastest half-mile" was recently purchased by Terry Kunes, a Chicago businessman who owns several auto dealerships, as well as, a construction business. Roy Kenseth was selected by Kunes as the track's new promoter/manager. One of the many changes the two have made at the track was to change to USA-made Hoosier tires in their premier late model division.

There were an astounding 56 cars entered in pre-race qualifying on the 1/2-mile M.I.S. oval. Dale Nottestad was the quickest of the group circling the track in 17.682 seconds. Andrew Morissey, Bobby Wilberg, Travis Kvapil and Ron Breese Jr. rounded out the top five in qualifying.

The 100-lap race began with Erik Darnell and Lowell Bennett leading the 30-car field to the starting line. Bennett jumped out to the early race lead with fourth starting Steve Carlson quickly moving into second place. By lap 17, Carlson, who is no stranger to the Hoosier brand having won many times over the years in NASCAR Touring races, made his move for the lead. The middle stages of the race saw Carlson build a 10 car-length lead over Eric Fransen who had charged from ninth to second by lap 28. Despite cautions on lap 71, 77 and on lap 94, Carlson remained the man to beat. 

But a final caution on lap 95 gave track officials a closer look at Carlson's chariot which was leaking fluid from the rear end. This resulted in Carlson having to drop out of the race which handed the lead over to Fransen with less than five laps to go. Fransen held off the challenges of Ron Breese Jr. and last year's track champion Dave Feiler to take his first-ever feature win at Madison International Speedway.

Following Fransen, Breese and Feiler to the finish line were Andrew Morissey and defending track co-champion Bobby Wilberg to round out the list of top five finishers.

Hoosier representative Terry Newton commented after the race, "The 3035 (left side) and 3045 (right side) Hoosier tires worked extremely well tonight and I give the competitors a lot of credit. For many of them, it was their first time racing on our product and they did extremely well on a cold track surface. Newton added on the trip north to Wisconsin, "I was really glad I wore my Hoosier 'puffy coat' (Winston Jacket) tonight, otherwise I might have froze. But seriously, I was very happy to be here and support the opening night of racing and hopefully witness the beginning of a long relationship between Hoosier and Madison International Speedway."

Looking ahead at M.I.S., current Winston Cup points leader and former M.I.S. track champion Matt Kenseth is scheduled to compete on May 9th during the Grand Re-Opening festivities at the track. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and racing will begin at 8:00 p.m.

Hoosier Racing Tire is proud to now include Madison International Speedway, its competitors and fans as part of Team-Hoosier.

      

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