Written by Gregg Paul
The best way to get around the Slinger Super Speedway is normally on the low side of the high banked quarter mile oval. Cars that can run well on the high side are usually a force to be reckoned with. Yet this season, the high side has proven to be a slippery situation for those who dare risk it.
Conrad Morgan was willing to take that risk and used it to his advantage, as he maneuvered around traffic in holding off both Lowell Bennett and Al Schill to capture the Old Wisconsin 60.
“Actually I think it was the traffic that helped us win that race,” said Morgan. “In the beginning Lowell was a little better than I was and hard a hard time staying ahead of him. But I could see the lapped traffic coming and I figured if I get on the outside of the race track he’s going to have to follow me around the lapped cars. Our tires cooled down a little bit and that was exactly what happened once we got around the lapped cars and he couldn’t get back up underneath me. I knew that at about lap 40-45 unless I was wrong I was going to beat him in the end.”
Yet before we get to the end, we have to start at the beginning. Cardell Potter and Jon Reynolds Jr. led the field to the green flag. However, as the cars rounded turn four, Potter lit up the rear tires and slid sideways coming to the green. That bogged down the entire inside line, as Morgan, Bennett, Brad Mueller, and Schill all found themselves in the top five.
Reynolds Jr. held the lead for the first eleven laps before Morgan pulled even. Heading into turn one on lap 14, Reynolds Jr. would get loose. That brief slip allowed Morgan to take the lead with Bennett in tow. Schill then got around Mueller for third place when Mueller had to check up when Reynolds Jr. got loose.
It was at this point where one had to wonder if this was 2009 or 15 years earlier.
The terrific trio steadily pulled away from the field and waged their own battle to decide the victory.
Morgan, had a decided advantage in working the high side, as Bennett was stronger down low. Morgan masterfully worked the traffic to his advantage and kept Bennett at bay. Twice, Bennett was able to duck inside of Morgan and pull even with him, only to have lapped traffic get in his way.
However, that didn’t mean that it all came easy for Morgan. Once Bennett got alongside him, the victory was still very much in doubt.
“I went to the top on purpose,” explained Morgan. “Because I could see the lapped traffic was coming. I didn’t care if he (Bennett) went on the bottom. He couldn’t pass me on the bottom because I knew the lapped traffic was there. It was kind of my thinking to just stay up on the high side and follow around the lapped cars and let the tires cool down. When someone is behind you and you come up on lapped cars, there’s nowhere for them to go.”
“I thought maybe we could get him passed before we got to the lapped traffic,” said Bennett. “It was taking me a few more laps than we thought. We came up on the lapped cars and my guy said, ‘You better get behind him because Albert (Schill) was back there.’ We kind of had to leave off a little bit and get behind him and it wasn’t much of an opportunity the rest of the race.”
Schill was just thrilled to run so long with Morgan and Bennett.
“It was like the old days, it was neat,” said Schill. “Nobody touched each other, everybody just doing the best they can and going through the traffic. I think we could’ve had some changes there if we got some open race track. I think would’ve been some positions changing, but that isn’t how it worked out.”
What did work out was an awesome display of driving talent from three ageless veterans who proved they can still put on an awesome show.
The Prunty brothers, Dennis and Dale rounded out the top five.
Heying started the 35 lap feature from inside the second row behind pole sitter Brad Keith. Heying would jump into second place at the drop of the green flag when Ryan DeStefano had trouble running the outside groove.
Keith maintained his lead despite heavy smoke coming from his right front wheel. However, that lead would be short lived as the yellow would come out on lap 7 when Jack Rabey’s car began to smoke heavily and drop fluids on the track.
Keith would hold the lead after the restart, but Heying would duck underneath him on lap 9 to take over the lead. Keith’s smoking right front was obviously problematic as McCardle would also get around him on lap 11.
Rob Braun and DeStefano would also bypass Keith, which led to a bold and daring move by Steven Schulz on lap 17. Schulz did the unthinkable and ducked inside going three wide in attempting to pass both Keith and Jacob Vanoskey coming off turn two to take over fifth place. Once clear of both cars, Schulz then stabilized and settled for a fifth place finish.
McCardle, who at one point was clearing catching Heying, ran a strong second with DeStefano, Schulz, and Braun rounding out the top five.
The Modifieds saw Steven Schulz do double duty and finish what he set out to do in the Late Models. Schulz continued his dominance in this division winning yet another feature as he obliterated the field, winning by over a full straightway over Ron Schmitt and Matt Pate.
Schulz dedicated his win to this friend and fellow competitor, Steve Lerbe, who recently passed away. The Double Bill team effort of Bill Tandetzke and Bill Prietzel completed the top five.
Mike Borchardt held off the hard charging Jimmie Evans to take the checkers in the Mid-American Sportsman division 30 lap feature. Evans would lead most of the first 23 laps before Borchardt took the lead on lap 24. Evans held to Borchardt’s bumper and even got a nose out front at the line on lap 28, before getting loose of the second turn and allowing Borchardt to close out the victory.
Dave Thomas drove up through the field to bring home third place money with Jay Shambeau and Mark Kissinger rounding out the top five.
Ryan Farrell led the Thunderstock division from flag to flag as he captured the 18 lap feature. Aaron Cain had another strong effort in coming home in second, with Ken Schraufnagel winding up in third. Stephanie Losiniecki finished fourth with Adam Peschek finishing in fifth.
The 4 Cylinder Slinger Bees found Alex Prunty taking the checkers over Erik Long and Carl Benn. Brandon Tackes and Joe Lang rounded out the top five.
Justin Poenitsch and his new spoiler paid off dividends, as he captured the Figure 8 Feature over Willy Van Camp and Shane “The Shark” Becker. Rick Bruskiewicz and Dustin Krebs finished fourth and fifth respectively.
This article was posted to the website on August 3rd, 2009