APEL STAYS PERFECT…WINS MOTHER’S DAY 50!

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., May 8—For the second consecutive week, Steve Apel drove to Victory Lane after scoring a convincing win in the 50-lap late model Mother’s Day feature event Sunday evening at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“These guys with this team build an awesome car, “Apel stated after capturing his second feature win in as many weeks, “I have to say ‘Thanks’ and ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to my mom, I forgot to get her something, but I guess I can get something now.”

Pat McIntee and Wayne Freimund forged ahead to the top two positions at the drop of the green flag as the outside lane advanced forward, leaving Dave McCardle to battle Gregg Pawelski, Ryan DeStefano, and Steve Apel for spots from third on back. With McIntee and Freimund out front, Apel’s car was hooked up on the inside and he edged around Pawelski to take fourth with a low groove pass off turn four as the leaders began lap five. With the lead group racing nose to tail, Apel went to work on McCardle’s rear bumper for third, making numerous attempts to take the position until finally securing it with an inside dive into turn three. As Apel began to track down the top two, Pawelski seized the open opportunity on the inside and raced into fourth around McCardle, who lost two more spots before working his way back to the inside lane. Apel’s car turned well to the inside off the corners and a few laps later, he was able to maneuver his way around Freimund for second while McIntee continued to lead. Bill Shavlik looped around on the frontstretch on lap 19 and the caution flag appeared when he was joined by Reagan May, who also spun while trying to pass DeStefano for eighth place.

Apel was able to make a charge from the outside to take the lead as racing resumed while McIntee slotted himself ahead of Freimund in second with Jerry Mueller and Jake Vanoskey racing over fourth. As the top three raced single file, Vanoskey darted to the inside of Mueller off turn two on lap 28, but when Mueller slammed the door entering turn three, contact between the cars severely damaged Vanoskey’s right front and he exited the speedway while Mueller continued for a few laps before having to leave the track as well with handling problems. Apel maintained the lead over McIntee and Freimund while Pawelski, John DeAngelis, and Reagan May moved forward to battle over fourth place. In the closing laps, DeAngelis loosened up Pawelski and drove to the inside to take fourth and May followed suit with a similar move a lap later to grab fifth as Pawelski gathered his car up, allowing McCardle to drive by as well. Apel drove unchallenged to the win while McIntee held off Freimund for second as DeAngelis and May completed the top five finishers. McCardle took the checkered flag in sixth over Parker May and Ryan DeStefano while Alex Prunty and Bill Shavlik finished ninth and tenth respectively.

John DeAngelis was the winner of the ten lap late model heat race over Jake Vanoskey and Parker May while Pat McIntee won the late model fast dash. Steve Apel was the late model fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 12.377 seconds.

James Swan also remained perfect on the season, driving to another victory in the 30-lap Midwest Sportsman feature.

Brian Holtz and Mike Lange swapped the lead in the beginning laps while Swan patiently waited for the inside lane to open up. Once it did, he used it to race to the inside of Lange for second place and then set his sights on Holtz for the lead just before the caution flag waved for a spin by Jack Stern in turn one on lap six. Swan lined up in the outside lane for the restart and as racing resumed, he was able to keep the momentum up and drive around Holtz for the top spot. While Swan and Holtz began to pull away, Lange fell into a spirited battle for third with Dan Church, Andy Haver, and Ryan Farrell. Swan and Holtz distanced themselves from the rest of the field as Lange planted himself in the inside groove in third with Church on his rear bumper and Haver and Farrell beginning to work the outside. Swan charged to the win over Holtz while on the final lap, Haver and Farrell drove around Lange on the outside to finish third and fourth respectively as Lange held off Church for fifth.

Jay Shambeau won the ten lap Midwest Sportsman heat race over Scott Shambeau and Chris Ratajczyk and Mike Lange was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman fast dash. James Swan topped all qualifiers with a lap of 12.599 seconds to set fast time.

Andy Welter turned back the challenges of Ken Schraufnagel and John Daley to capture the win in the 18-lap Thunderstock main event.

Nathan Fick and Carl Benn raced side by side for the top spot in the opening laps as Ken Schraufnagel, John Daley, Al Stippich, and Andy Welter all battled hard for track position behind the leaders. Fick held the inside line while Benn worked the top groove and the pair drove door to door until lap six when Benn slipped wide off turn four, losing positions as Schraufnagel, Welter, Daley, and Stippich drove by. Fick continued to work the low groove and used it to hold off outside challenges by Schraufnagel as Stippich, Daley, and Welter raced close behind in formation. Fick’s car suddenly slowed off turn four on lap 12, allowing Schraufnagel to take command as behind the leaders, Adam Peschek’s car spun off the fourth turn, contacting Fick’s machine in the rear bumper and turning it around. The race remained under green with Schraufnagel showing the way over Welter, Stippich, and Daley. Schraufnagel’s car was loose off the corners and Welter closed in using the top line. As the leaders approached lapped traffic, Welter utilized the top groove to momentarily pin Schraufnagel behind a lapped machine as he charged into the lead. Once out front, Welter was unchallenged and held on for the victory over Schraufnagel while Daley worked his way around Stippich late in the event to finish third, leaving Stippich to settle for the fourth spot. Carl Benn rebounded to finish in the fifth position.

Earlier, Al Stippich won the Thunderstock fast dash and Andy Welter set fast time with a lap of 13.563 seconds.

Nick Wagner captured the victory in the 20-lap Slinger Bee feature, crossing the finish line ahead of Brandon Tackes and Shane Westphal. Erica Knutson finished in fourth place while defending super late model track champion Lowell Bennett made a rare appearance in the Slinger Bee division and edged his son Braison Bennett for the fifth position. Nick Wagner was the fastest Slinger Bee qualifier and turned in a lap of 15.420 seconds. Al Roberts was the winner of the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest car race and David Williams drove his Subaru to the win in the Spectator Eliminator event. Justin Poenitsch won the Figure 8 race that finished under caution when Russ Lorbiecki smacked the turn two wall and lost a wheel on the final circuit.