PRUNTY HOLDS OFF SCHILL TO WIN EWALD AUTOMOTIVE 50!

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., June 3—With the leaders navigating their way through lapped traffic, Dennis Prunty held off Al Schill and Steve Apel to capture the victory in the Ewald Automotive 50 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, scoring his second super late model feature triumph of the season.

“I kept looking in the mirror and then was thinking ‘don’t look in the mirror…don’t look in the mirror’ because Al (Schill) was coming,” Prunty told the crowd from victory lane as a slight mist began to fall, “So far between everywhere I’ve raced this year we’ve got four wins and two seconds. My daughter put on the big carburetor this week and we’re going to go for it.”

“Me and Dennis (Prunty) were really going at it,” Schill said after his second place result, “The rain that began to fall was messing me up a bit and the tires got hot, but a driver always has to have an excuse I guess, so that’s mine.”

“It’s hard to pass twelve cars in fifty laps, “ Apel stated after charging from deep in the field to finish a close third, “I wish the race was longer because the car was really good.”

Rob Braun and Travis Dassow paced the field to the green with Dassow leading the field briefly off turn two on the outside before Braun charged back in the low groove off turn four to lead the opening lap. As Braun edged ahead, Brad Keith filled the opening in the inside line and ran alongside Dassow for second with Mike Egan, Jeff Holtz, Dennis Prunty, Lowell Bennett, and Al Schill all lined up two by two behind them. The inside lane prevailed early and Keith, Egan, Prunty, and Schill all advanced forward while Dassow and Holtz struggled in the high line. With Braun leading, Egan quickly worked to the inside of Keith for second and after several laps of racing door to door, Egan secured the spot, bringing Prunty and Schill along with him as Keith eventually slotted in line behind Schill and back on the inside.

Behind Keith, Bennett went to work on Holtz for sixth, easing the nose of his car to the inside of Holtz’s door to take the position as Chris Blawat and Steve Apel rapidly closed in on the lead cars. Apel had his car wound up on the outside and with the front runners racing single file, began to click off spots using the high line. Braun had difficulty keeping his car down on the speedway which opened the door on the inside for Egan and he pulled alongside for the lead with Prunty and Schill right in his tire tracks. Braun ran the outside well however and built momentum off the corners to remain alongside Egan for several laps as the two swapped the lead at the stripe with lapped traffic approaching. As the lapped machines raced in the lower lane, Prunty moved to the outside and when the leaders encountered the traffic, Braun kept the lead from the high groove as Egan became picked by the slower car with Prunty racing around him for second on the outside.

Egan was able to move to the upper groove to get around the lapped car and keep third as Schill couldn’t fill the gap quickly enough and remained fourth. A lap later however, Schill used a strong run down the backstretch coupled with Egan’s car beginning to drift high in the corners to take the fourth spot as Bennett charged into fifth by also passing Egan on the inside. Back up front, Prunty took his turn at Braun for the lead, again moving to the inside while Braun raced strong in the high lane. Prunty and Braun raced side by side for the lead for several laps as Schill, Bennett, and Apel ran nose to tail behind them. Braun made one slight bobble from the outside exiting turn four and it was all Prunty needed to slip by on the inside for the lead as by the time Braun recovered he found himself in fifth behind Schill, Bennett, and Apel who all took advantage of the miscue. Schill quickly tracked down Prunty for the lead and remained glued to his rear bumper while Apel worked his way around Bennett on the inside for third. Prunty’s back end began to swing loose off the corners as the leaders encountered heavy lapped traffic and with the slower cars occupying the inside lane, Schill and Apel didn’t have an opportunity to dip low and challenge for the top spot. By the time the leaders cleared the lapped cars, the laps had wound down leaving Schill and Apel little time to build up a challenge as Prunty drove to his second super late model feature win of the season. Schill held off a fast closing Apel for second while Bennett and Jeff Holtz rounded out the top five finishers. Early leader Rob Braun took the checkered flag in sixth ahead of Chris Blawat and Mike Egan in seventh and eighth respectively while Brad Keith and Mike Borchardt completed the top ten.

Corey Funk won the ten lap super late model fast heat over Jeff Holtz and Rob Braun while Fred Winn and Travis Dassow finished fourth and fifth. Jake Vanoskey captured the win in the ten lap super late model regular heat over Jerry Eckhardt and Mike Borchardt. Mike Graczkowski and Pete Wiedmeyer were fourth and fifth respectively. Lowell Bennett was the winner of the super late model fast dash while Al Schill set fast time for the first time since May of 2006 with a lap of 11.490 seconds.

Dave McCardle survived an aggressive 35-lap late model feature event to score his first main event victory of the season.

Justin Poenitsch and Jerry Mueller occupied the front row at the start of the race and Poenitsch edged to the lead as the two made contact entering turn one. Everyone sorted things out cleanly up front as Dave McCardle battled John DeAngelis Jr. for third with Ryan DeStefano close behind. Alex Prunty and Braison Bennett soon joined McCardle, DeAngelis, and DeStefano in the battle for third as up front Mueller dogged Poenitsch for the lead. Mueller ran Poenitsch hard into turn three and when Poenitsch’s car washed wide in turn four, Mueller dove to the inside in a bid for the lead. However, Mueller’s car broke loose upon the exit of turn four which resulted in both he and Poenitsch charging nearly even into turn one for the lead. Poenitsch gained a slight advantage off turn two and he held the lead despite both cars touching numerous times in the corner and down the backstretch.

Mueller made another bid for the lead a lap later and with the leaders racing aggressively for the top spot, DeAngelis was able to take third place as McCardle raced with Alex Prunty and DeStefano over fourth. After several laps of fender rubbing action up front, Poenitsch’s car slid wide in turn four, allowing Mueller to take the lead as DeAngelis, Prunty, and DeStefano all charged by. The top four remained in an intense battle until the caution flag appeared on lap 16 for a spin by Brittiny Helmers in turn two with Mueller leading over DeAngelis, Prunty, and DeStefano. As the green flag appeared, Mueller broke away for the lead on the inside as Prunty raced alongside DeAngelis in a battle for second with DeStefano, Poenitsch, and McCardle all following close behind.

With Mueller continuing to lead, Prunty was able to pass DeAngelis on the inside for second and DeStefano took advantage of the move by also moving to the inside of DeAngelis for third. As DeAngelis tried to move back to the inside lane, he was clipped slightly by Poenitsch which caused DeAngelis to spin in turn four and draw the caution flag on lap 18. Mueller and Prunty lined up at the front of the field for the restart with Mueller leading into turn one. Prunty loosened up Mueller in turn four and made a bid for the lead but when Mueller cut to the inside in an attempt to defend the lead, he made contact with Prunty’s car and slid into the infield as behind the leaders, Dan Church hit the turn one wall hard and collected Andy Welter in the attempt to avoid the mishap causing the yellow flag to appear again. This time for the restart, DeStefano lined up on the outside of Mueller at the front of the field and as racing resumed, Mueller maintained the lead while McCardle worked his way into second with an inside pass on DeStefano. The caution flag appeared for another time on lap 31 when DeAngelis and Andy Wendt tangled in turn two and Adam Peschek and Justin Poenitsch became involved in the incident as well. Mueller again led on the restart but this time McCardle lined up alongside and he was able to make the outside work enough to clear Mueller for the lead. Once out front, McCardle maintained the lead and drove to the victory over DeStefano, Mueller, and Prunty. Andy Wendt finished fifth.

Andy Welter won the late model heat over Adam Peschek and Al Stippich. Andy Wendt finished fourth and Braison Bennett finished fifth. Jerry Mueller was the winner of the late model fast dash and Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.449 seconds.

James Swan took the lead on lap seven and went on to take top honors in the 30-lap Midwest Sportsman feature.

Jay Shambeau led the opening laps as the race fell under the caution flag early on lap two for an incident between Dennis Eichhorst and Jack Stern in turn one. Shambeau led on the restart as Jimmie Evans, Kenny Joosten, and James Swan all chased the leader. Shambeau’s lead went away on lap seven as he was tagged briefly by Joosten exiting turn four and as the car broke loose, Evans raced into the lead. Evans, however had his own issues in turn two and his car also broke loose momentarily as both Joosten and Swan closed quickly. Joosten and Swan split Evans in a momentarily three-wide situation from which Swan came out with the lead. Once out front, Swan could not be caught and he charged to the win over Ryan Farrell who gave chase but had to settle for second at the finish. Kenny Joosten finished third while Eric Lingford and Jimmie Evans were fourth and fifth respectively.

Kenny Joosten won the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Brian Holtz won the Midwest Sportsman heat race over Eric Lingford. Ryan Farrell was the fastest qualifier after touring the speedway in 12.758 seconds.

Brad Hetzel took the lead late in the 18-lap Thunderstock main event and went on to capture the win over Carl Benn and Rick Schaefer. John Daley finished fourth and Tyler Schley took the checkered flag in fifth. Ken Schraufnagel was the winner of the Thunderstock fast dash and Brad Hetzel was the fastest qualifier at 13.804 seconds. Nick Schmidt won the 20-lap Slinger Bee feature over C.J. Coralini. Paul Reagles finished third after spinning while leading late in the event and Marty Tackes and Brandon Tackes rounded out the top five. Schmidt and Coralini also each won a Slinger Bee heat while Steve Dickson set fast time at 15.258 seconds. Rick Bruskiewicz was the winner of the Figure 8 race to close the evening. During intermission, Karri Finco was crowned Miss Slinger Speedway for the 2012 season.

Next Sunday June 10th Slinger Speedway will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of racing with a special $6.50 ticket for all adults, seniors, and students. The Vintage Modified Cars and Drivers from back in the day will also be on hand with fans able to see the cars up close before racing starts at 6:00 pm. Gates open at 4:00, qualifying at 4:45 and racing begins at 6:30. For more information go to www.slingersuperspeedway.com