TWO IN A ROW FOR APEL AFTER THROWBACK NIGHT 60

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., June 9—Steve Apel defeated Conrad Morgan to capture the 60-lap super late model feature victory on Throwback Night Sunday at the Slinger Super Speedway for his second consecutive main event triumph.

“I gave Conrad (Morgan) room on the inside and he gave me plenty of room on the outside and we raced,” Apel stated describing his late race battle with Morgan, “He did a heck of a job and I hate to steal one from him because I know he wants it probably as bad as I do.”

Mike Egan and Dave McCardle started from the front row and at the drop of the green flag, the outside lane advanced as McCardle took the lead with James Swan following in second while Egan battled Conrad Morgan, Lowell Bennett, and Steve Apel for third. A few laps later, Swan ducked under McCardle for the lead and with McCardle trapped in the outer groove, Morgan, Egan, and Bennett all passed while Apel and Dennis Prunty lost ground as they were also immobilized in the outside lane. Al Schill and Michael Bilderback took advantage of the situation as well as both advanced forward in the inside lane. Bilderback attempted to duck under Schill exiting turn two on lap 21, but Schill would have none of it and as he made his effort to seal off the inside, the cars came together in turn three, drawing the caution flag as Schill spun around. Both Bilderback and Schill were sent to the rear of the field for the restart with Swan leading over Morgan, Bennett, Apel, and Prunty. Morgan chose the outside lane at the restart cone and as racing resumed, he built up enough momentum on the high side to stay even with Swan for a lap before gradually easing ahead for the lead. Apel also took to the outside along with Rob Braun and when Swan’s car began to struggle with sparks flying out from underneath it in the corners, both Apel and Braun advanced forward. Swan eventually pulled his car into the infield as Morgan led over Apel while Bennett and Braun disputed third place ahead of Prunty. The caution flag waved again on lap 28 for a second incident between Al Schill and Michael Bilderback and during the slow-down, officials sent both drivers to the pit area for the remainder of the event. Morgan held the lead on the restart with Apel taking to the upper groove and the two raced side by side for the top spot for several laps before Apel was able to edge ahead and clear Morgan for the lead. Behind the leaders, Dennis Prunty sliced his way forward to claim third place from Bennett while Jeff Holtz used a late run to enter the top five. While Morgan could keep Apel in his sights, he was never able to make a serious charge for the lead as Apel charged to his second super late model feature victory in as many weeks. Morgan had to settle for second at the finish while Prunty crossed the stripe in third place. Lowell Bennett and Jeff Holtz were fourth and fifth respectively. Rob Braun finished in sixth place ahead of Mike Egan and Fred Winn in seventh and eighth while Mike Graczkowski and Dave McCardle rounded out the top ten.

Tommy Hromadka, Mike Egan, and Rob Braun all claimed victories in the super late model heat races while Michael Bilderback was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.537 seconds.

When late model driver Adam Peschek became ill at the track, the team tabbed Michael Bilderback to drive in relief and he responded by starting at the back and driving through the field to win the 40-lap feature.

“I hadn’t even looked at the car,” Bilderback said after leading the final four laps en route to the victory, “They came to my trailer and said he (Peschek) was sick and I’m not going to turn down a chance to drive a race car.”

John DeAngelis took the lead at the beginning after battling with Al Stippich and held the point until Ryan Farrell took command of the race with an inside pass on lap 12. Bilderback, who started at the tail of the field due to the driver change, methodically sliced his way forward, entering the top five by lap 13 and working his way to second place in the late stages. Once in second, Bilderback began to track down Farrell for the lead and he took the top spot using the outside groove with just four laps remaining. Bilderback was able to maintain the lead in the closing laps, scoring the win over Farrell at the stripe. Stippich finished a strong third while DeAngelis and Braison Bennett rounded out the top five.

Jerry Mueller and Braison Bennett each captured victories in the late model heat races while Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 12.582 seconds.

Kyle Chwala held off Kody Hubred to take top honors in the Area Sportsman 30-lap feature while Jim Tate Jr. crossed the finish line in third place. Mark Fogel completed a strong feature run in fourth place and Tyler Schley took the checkered flag in fifth.

Carl Benn drove the car normally driven by John Daley to the win in the first Area Sportsman heat race over Nick Egan while Mark Fogel edged Kyle Chwala for the win in the second Area Sportsman heat. Jim Tate Jr. set fast time for the division with a lap of 12.273 seconds.

Kenny Joosten bested Ryan Gutknecht in a spirited battle to win the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature. Brad Keith drove to a solid third place finish while Brian Holtz and Jay Shambeau completed the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively. Jimmie Evans won the first Midwest Sportsman heat race by edging rookie Cody Erdmann in a close finish while Brian Holtz helped celebrate his birthday with a win in the second Midwest Sportsman heat race. Ryan Gutknecht was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.829 seconds.

Steve Dickson and Nick Schmidt crossed the finish line nearly dead even at the finish of the Slinger Bee feature with Dickson taking the victory by a mere .078 seconds. Grant Griesbach finished third ahead of Russ Davison and Zachary Clarke. The event was stopped under the red flag when an incident between Davey Pennel and Marty Tackes while battling for the lead, sent Tackes’ car hard into the turn two wall where it rolled over on its roof. Tackes was not injured in the crash and once the car was righted, he returned to the race track and completed the feature event. Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Davey Pennel each scored victories in Slinger Bees heat races while Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.992 seconds.

Joe Mueller edged Russ Lorbiecki to win the Figure 8 race that closed the evening.