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Rich Bickle Prepares for his Final Slinger Nationals as Storied Short-Track Career Winds Down

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Rich Bickle

Rich Bickle Prepares for his Final Slinger Nationals as Storied Short-Track Career Winds Down

By: Todd Thelen | Slinger Speedway

Photo Credit: Ross Knouse Photo

(Slinger, WI) – As Rich Bickle, Jr works his way through his 45th and final season of racing, he’ll tackle another “last” on July 6, when he competes in his final SupplyZone Slinger Nationals presented by Miller Lite and WABAM. Bickle has competed in nearly every Slinger Nationals since its inception in 1980 and owns four wins in the crown jewel event.

Over his storied career, Bickle has raced at 226 different tracks across America, but few hold a place in his heart like the Slinger Super Speedway.

“I’ve always thought Slinger was a top-10 track, of all the ones I’ve raced at,” said Bickle. “It’s two grooves, it’s so fast and so tight.”

In addition to his spectacular short-track career, Bickle has 218 career starts across NASCAR’s three national touring series. But even as his career took him south, to the heart of NASCAR country, Bickle never forgot his roots.

“I missed a couple of them over the years, but I always tried to make it back for the Nationals,” recalls Bickle. “It’s a special race.” Bickle’s four Slinger Nationals wins came in 1992; 1996; 2003 and 2013.

On July 6 Bickle will not only close the book on his Slinger Nationals career, but he will look to heal a sore that has been festering since the 2020 version of the Nationals.

“I’ve never had a car that good before,” stated Bickle. “If I could not lap the field with that car, I’d have quit. But the starter solenoid shorted out and it drained the battery.” Bickle completed just 54 laps in the 2020 Nationals but had advanced from the 19th starting position to the top five. “I sat in the car, after I knew we were done, and I wanted to cry.”

Bickle’s farewell season has seen plenty of success, winning the Joe Shear Classic for the ARCA Midwest Tour and claiming top honors in the opening event of Slinger Speedway’s 2021 campaign. The wins add to his impressive career total, which by many accounts, stand at over 250.

The Nationals has been a proving ground for the best of the best among super late model racers for the last 41 years. Past winners include NASCAR Hall of Famers Alan Kulwicki (1981) and Mark Martin (1984) and NASCAR Cup Series champions Matt Kenseth (1994, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2019) and Kyle Busch (2011). Regional stars, Ty Majeski (2018 and 2020) and Bubba Pollard (2017) have been recent winners of the prestigious event.

Reserved grandstand seating remains for the Slinger Nationals. Fans can secure their seats, online, by visiting www.slingersuperspeedway.com.

Slinger Speedway is located off of Highways 41 and 144 at 280 Cedar Creek Road in Slinger, WI. For more information on upcoming events visit our web site at www.slingersuperspeedway.com or call the track office at 262-644-5921.

Photo Credit: Ross Knouse Photo

By: Todd Thelen | Slinger Speedway

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