By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 4—Conrad Morgan, a 65-year old Hall of Famer and a legend at the Slinger Speedway, ended a drought of over three years Sunday night by racing to a popular super late model feature victory in the Old Wisconsin 60.
“I can’t even talk,” an obviously emotional Morgan told the crowd from victory lane, “Man, I know this is not the Daytona 500 but it sure as hell feels like it to me. I am just elated.”
Michael Bilderback charged to the early lead from the pole position and brought Lowell Bennett along with him into second as the field remained in a pack bunched behind them. Nick Wagner’s car broke loose in turn four on lap two amidst the tightly wound pack of cars and as it slid down the race track, the car of Steve Apel was collected in the incident as the caution flag waved early. During the caution period, Dennis Prunty headed to the pits with a cut tire from the incident. Bilderback maintained the lead on the restart as Conrad Morgan had his car turning extremely well as he rocketed by Bennett into second place. Behind the top three Ryan DeStefano, Jeff Holtz, and Mike Egan all battled for positions in the top six. Morgan began to track down Bilderback for the lead as the caution flag waved once again on lap 14 for a spin by Corey Funk in turn one. Bilderback chose the inside lane for the restart and Morgan elected to start in the outside groove alongside and as racing resumed the two raced side by side for the lead. Morgan was persistent on the high side and eventually was able to ease in front of Bilderback to take the lead on lap 18, just before another caution flag appeared on lap 19 when Tim Lampman spun in between turns one and two. This time, Morgan chose the inside lane as the field went back to green with Bilderback putting up a strong challenge from the high lane. Morgan’s car continued to handle well and he fended off the challenges from Bilderback as Bennett remained third while Egan and Holtz battled over fourth. Four laps later, the cars of Egan and Holtz touched wheels on the frontstretch, sending Egan’s car spinning across the track entering turn one. In attempting to avoid the incident, James Swan spun high on the track and backed hard into the turn one wall, while Rob Braun and Dale Prunty also piled into the incident and the race was red flagged to remove the damaged cars. Once the track was cleared and racing resumed, Morgan wasted no time in charging to the lead while Bilderback and Bennett raced door to door for second. Morgan’s lead built up to nearly a half lap while Bennett and Bilderback remained locked in their side by side battle as Dennis Prunty raced directly behind them, looking for a way to get by. The close battle for second came to an end in the waning laps as Bilderback’s car kicked loose off turn two and he spun into the infield as Bennett and Prunty went by. Morgan could not be caught as he drove to his first super late model feature win in over three years. Prunty finished in second place ahead of Bennett and Jeff Holtz. Dave McCardle turned in his best feature performance of the season and finished in fifth place.
Tom Hromadka, Dale Prunty, and Dennis Prunty all captured super late model heat race wins while Rob Braun was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.509 seconds.
Mike Lichtfeld won the 40-lap late model feature after taking the lead just past the halfway mark.
Al Stippich paced the opening laps over Adam Peschek and Dan Church as the inside lane proved to be fast early. Mike Lichtfeld, Alex Prunty, and Ryan DeStefano all worked their way forward as Stippich continued to lead. Prunty was the first to catch the top two and on lap 25, he aggressively dove to the inside of Peschek, momentarily setting up a three wide situation entering turn one. Peschek was the victim of Prunty’s decision and he spun around in turn one after contact was made between the cars and the caution flag waved. The incident moved Lichtfeld into the second position and as racing resumed, he raced past Stippich to take the lead. Dan Church, Ryan DeStefano, and Jerry Mueller all were also able to get around Stippich as the handling began to fade on Stippich’s car. Justin Poenitsch and Ryan Farrell raced for the fifth spot in a battle that lasted for several laps until Poenitsch looped around in turn two on lap 36, setting up a four lap charge to the finish. Lichtfeld was up to the task and he raced to the victory as DeStefano finished in second while Church, Mueller, and Farrell rounded out the top five.
Braison Bennett and Ryan DeStefano each won late model heat races and Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 12.588 seconds.
Kyle Chwala won the Area Sportsman feature after surviving through numerous caution flags.
Joe Shelby led the beginning laps as the caution flag waved on lap five after the cars of Mark Fogel and Ron Coppernoll touched wheels in turn four which sent Coppernoll’s car spinning across the track. Kody Hubred couldn’t avoid the incident as the contact tore the rear wheel off his car and Coppernoll’s car was struck solidly by the car of Tim Kreuser as the race was red flagged to clean up the accident. Once racing resumed, Kyle Chwala took the lead as Shelby and Fogel battled behind him. Shelby and Fogel’s cars made contact in turn two and both slammed the backstretch wall on lap 15 with the wheel coming off Fogel’s machine. Once back to green, Chwala raced to the victory while John Daley finished second and Zach Clarke took the checkered flag in third. Nick Egan finished fourth, the final car to complete the event.
Ron Coppernoll and Mark Fogel were the winners of the Area Sportsman heat races and Kyle Chwala was the fast qualifier with a lap of 13.264 seconds.
Nick Wagner won the Slinger Bee feature after holding off Brandon Tackes at the finish. Dylan Kiley-Schaefer finished third while Grant Griesbach and Rick Schaefer completed the top five finishers. Heather Stark and Nick Schmidt were the winners of the Slinger Bee heat races and Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 14.931 seconds.
Joe Mueller won the Figure 8 race over Ron Schmitt to complete the evening.
Super Late Models - Feature
This article was posted to the website on August 5th, 2013