By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 20—Lowell Bennett held off a charge by Steve Apel in a green-white-checkered finish to score his second feature win of the season Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway in the PMF Landscape Supply Scout Night 60.
“We had a battle on our hands and that ’16 car (Apel) was pretty quick,” Bennett exclaimed from victory lane, “It was just a heck of a lot of fun here.”
Travis Dassow and Randy Schuler led the field to the green flag and Dassow immediately jumped to the lead followed by Mike Egan and Dale Prunty as Schuler had difficulty with his car’s handling on the outside. Conrad Morgan and Steve Apel advanced to fourth and fifth place by lap five as Dassow held a tight lead over Egan. A few laps later, Morgan dove to the inside of Prunty to take over third place as Egan began to pressure Dassow for the lead with a few looks to the inside off turn four. Egan eventually was able to pull alongside Dassow and the two ran door to door for the top spot with Egan working the inner lane and Dassow using the upper groove. With each lap that was turned, Dassow was able to edge ahead slightly off the corners to maintain the top spot as he raced nearly even with Egan while Morgan closed in from third, bringing Lowell Bennett and Apel with him as the top five ran in a close group. The leaders began to catch lapped traffic and the situation appeared to favor Dassow as the lapped machines occupied the inside lane Egan held in the lead battle. As they rapidly approached a lapped car, the two leaders ran out of room and contact between them sent Dassow’s machine looping around in turn three, drawing the caution flag on lap 32. Track officials made the unique call that the incident was the result of the lapped traffic and both Egan and Dassow resumed their spots at the front of the field for the restart, with Morgan, Bennett, and Apel lining up behind them.
Egan held the low line as racing resumed, but Dassow was able to keep his car wound up on the outside and he cleared Egan for the lead upon exiting turn two on lap 33 while behind them, Bennett used the high side to take third away from Morgan as Dale Prunty battled with Apel over fifth. With Dassow maintaining his lead, Bennett tracked down Egan for second, taking the position with an outside pass on lap 37 as Apel along with Dennis Prunty found grip on the inside lane to charge by Morgan and Dale Prunty and into fourth and fifth respectively. A spin by Ron Ragan in turn two produced the caution flag on lap 38 with Dassow leading Bennett, Egan, Apel, Morgan, and Dennis Prunty for the restart. Dassow held the top spot as the green flag appeared but Bennett out-motored him entering turn three on the outside to take command as Apel zoomed around Egan on the high side for third. Apel then ducked to the inside of Dassow in a bid for second just before Fred Winn’s car looped around in turn three to bring out the caution on lap 42. As the leaders slowed in turn two under caution, the cars of Dassow and Apel locked together, tearing off Apel’s right front fender and sending Dassow skidding up the track. Apel was able to continue on despite the damage but Dassow retired to the pit area as Bennett led the field for the restart. Bennett was on his marks and quickly launched into the lead over Apel as Dennis Prunty took to the outside to work his way around Egan for third. Bennett held a four car length advantage over Apel and Prunty as the laps wound down and appeared to be headed to an unchallenged win as the white flag appeared.
However on the final lap, Tommy Hromadka spun in turn three and was hit by Austin Luedtke. Then Jerry Eckhardt spun to the high side to avoid the incident and was met with a hard nose to nose hit from Ron Ragan’s car as the blocked track forced the caution flag, setting up a green-white-checkered finish with Bennett leading Apel and Dennis Prunty. The leaders crossed the stripe side by side as the green flew and Bennett and Apel remained door to door as Egan used the inside to take third from Dennis Prunty. Bennett cleared Apel for the lead as they took the white flag but Apel’s attempt at a cross-over move to the inside in turn one nearly paid off as he was able to tuck his nose slightly to Bennett’s left rear corner. It was not enough however as Bennett was able to charge into turn three and clear Apel as they ran to the checkered flag, taking the win about a half car-length ahead of Apel. Egan took the checkered flag in third place with Dennis Prunty coming home fourth ahead of Conrad Morgan in fifth. Dale Prunty’s first outing of the season ended with a sixth place finish ahead of Randy Schuler and Brad Dahmer. Scott Schoeni and Steven Schultz rounded out the top ten finishers.
Dennis Prunty took top honors in the super late model fast dash and Lowell Bennett was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.499 seconds.
Rob Braun proved patience prevailed in an action-packed 35-lap late model main event as he took advantage of other’s mistakes to charge to the win, celebrating both Father’s Day and a birthday with the victory.
Jake Vanoskey and Ryan DeStefano paced the field at the start but the race was quickly slowed before a lap could be completed as contact from behind sent DeStefano spinning in turn four, sweeping up six cars behind him in the chain reaction. Most cars were able to pull away from the melee with Pat McIntee’s car suffering heavy front end damage despite continuing on while the rides of DeStefano and Wayne Freimund were forced to retire from the event. Vanoskey and Dave McCardle led the field to the complete restart and Vanoskey raced to the lead, leaving McCardle to battle with Mike Graczkowski and Chris Blawat for second. Graczkowski and Blawat charged to the inside to move to second and third as McCardle fell back in line in fourth place ahead of Rob Braun. Vanoskey maintained the lead as Graczkowski made a bid for the top spot on the outside but in the process, lost second place to Blawat who snuck by on the inside. A few laps later, Blawat tried the same outside bid to get around Vanoskey and he too surrendered second back to Graczkowski who raced ahead on the inside. McCardle and Braun were also able to fill the gap on the inside, advancing forward to third and fourth place, sending Blawat back to fifth. Graczkowski again looked to the outside a few times before making an inside attempt for the lead entering turn one on lap 28. Vanoskey was able to shut the door on Graczkowski to keep the top spot but on the backstretch, Vanoskey’s car sailed into the infield grass as the result of a shove in the rear bumper and the caution flag waved. Vanoskey and Graczkowski were sent to the rear of the field for the restart as McCardle inherited the lead with Blawat and Braun in second and third. McCardle took the inside lane, leaving Blawat with the high side and the two battled side by side for the lead as racing resumed. With five laps to go, McCardle moved high on the frontstretch in an attempt to defend Blawat’s outside charge for the lead and the momentary contact between them, enabled Braun to sneak by both of them on the inside and into the lead. McCardle left the track a lap later and Braun held off Blawat to score the win. Brad Dahmer finished third while Pat McIntee and Mike Graczkowski rounded out the top five.
Dave McCardle won the late model fast dash and Chris Blawat was the fastest qualifier at 12.574 seconds.
Mike Lange led flag to flag to win the 30-lap Midwest Sportsman main event after turning back numerous challenges for the lead.
Lange quickly moved to the front on the start as Scott Shambeau lined up behind him in second while Jimmie Evans, Jack Stern, and Dan Church raced for third behind them. Behind the top five, James Swan, who arrived late after competing in an event earlier at another track, began to march through the field after starting last. Lange continued to hold off Shambeau for the top spot while Evans and Stern held onto third and fourth as Swan closed in fifth. Shambeau could catch Lange in the corners but didn’t have enough to pull off a pass as Swan continued to charge forward, moving into fourth by lap 25. Lange ran a steady race while in the lead as Swan moved to third with the laps running out for Shambeau to catch Lange. On the final lap, Swan charged around Shambeau for second and closed to Lange’s rear bumper entering turn three. Lange had enough to hold off Swan and he drove to the victory, leaving Swan to settle for a close second. Shambeau finished in third place followed by Jimmie Evans and Jay Shambeau. Scott Shambeau was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman fast dash while Gregg Pawelski was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.871 seconds.
Andy Welter won the 18-lap Thunderstock feature over Ken Schraufnagel and Eric Lingford. Al Stippich and Ryan Farrell rounded out the top five. Jake Larson won the Thunderstock fast dash and Eric Lingford was the fastest qualifier at 13.682 seconds. Alex Prunty charged from deep in the field to win the Slinger Bee feature over Braison Bennett and Dan Prunty. Nick Wagner and Russ Lorbiecki were fourth and fifth respectively. Brandon Gumm won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Alexis Strobel and Joe Shelby. Jeremy Esser and Brittiny Helmers finished in fourth and fifth. Mike Krummey won the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car event and Kurt Manthei was the Spectator Eliminator winner. Justin Poenitsch closed the evening with a win in the Figure 8 race.
This article was posted to the website on June 21st, 2010