By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug 5—Mike Egan turned back the challenges of Lowell Bennett to capture his second feature victory of the season in a wild 50-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway in which track championship contenders Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel found themselves on the sidelines after crashing together while racing for position near the halfway point.
“That was a great race and Lowell (Bennett) was all over me, “an obviously excited Egan stated from victory lane, “This is the second win and I’d like to get one more though I think.”
Mike Graczkowski raced to the early lead from the outside of the front row with pole-sitter Fred Winn slotting into second just ahead of Egan, Rob Braun, and Conrad Morgan who raced alongside each other for third. The field quickly fell under the yellow flag on lap three when Nick Ostberg looped his machine around exiting turn two as Graczkowski led over Winn, Egan, and Braun. Graczkowski and Winn fought for the lead side by side for a lap as racing resumed before Winn’s car washed wide entering turn one allowing Egan, Jeff Holtz, Rob Braun, Dennis Prunty, Steve Apel all to get by.
With Graczkowski, Egan, and Holtz racing nose to tail out front, Prunty and Apel both made their way to the inside of Braun to claim fourth and fifth respectively as Braun slid back four spots before he could get back to the inside groove. The lead cars raced bumper to bumper around the bottom groove with Holtz making a quick bid to the inside of Egan off turn two for second only to denied the position when Egan closed the door, resulting in Prunty and Apel having to jump on the binders in accordion-like fashion. With the inside groove jamming up, Prunty tried the outside but was unable to find grip as Apel filled the gap on the inside and moved alongside in a bid for the fourth position.
The top two contenders for the track championship raced door to door with Apel on the inside and Prunty on the outside while Graczkowski continued to lead over Egan and Holtz. The battle over fourth between Prunty and Apel intensified on lap 18 as Prunty worked to keep Apel pinned down on the inside between turns three and four and when the two cars exited turn four, their front wheels touched, sending both cars sliding sideways down the frontstretch. Both drivers regained control of their cars but the dispute over fourth ended abruptly entering turn one when Apel’s car appeared to fail to make the corner and both cars crashed hard into the turn one wall, ending their night as the caution waved. Graczkowski again maintained the lead for the restart but as racing resumed, Egan made a tremendous run from the outside and swept by for the lead exiting the second turn and before Graczkowski could regain his momentum, Holtz and Bennett darted to each side to grab second and third respectively with a breathtaking three wide maneuver.
Behind the top three, James Swan, Conrad Morgan, and Rob Braun also used the inside lane to race around Graczkowski who was caught in the high lane. Egan kept his car glued to the bottom of the racetrack as Bennett raced directly in his tire tracks while Holtz slammed the door on an inside bid for third by Swan, allowing Morgan to use the high groove to edge ahead of Swan in fourth just before the caution waved for a spin by Nick Wagner in turn two on lap 35. Egan remained on the bottom for the restart and he raced out to the lead as the green flag waved with Bennett latching onto his rear bumper followed by Holtz and a side by side battle over fourth between Swan and Morgan. Behind the top five, Graczkowski and Braun fought fiercely over sixth, trading defensive moves and bumper taps as the laps began to wind down. Egan remained hooked up on the bottom as Bennett made numerous attempts on the side for the lead but each time Egan prevailed off the corners.
With just four laps to go, the tussle for sixth between Braun and Graczkowski erupted as contact between the cars send Braun spinning off turn four to produce the caution flag. Egan was up to the challenge for the final four lap charge to the finish and he turned back any challenge Bennett could mount as he kept the lead while Bennett was forced to fend off Holtz from third. Egan drove under the checkered flag for his second super late model feature win of the season while Bennett settled for a strong second at the finish just ahead of Holtz in third. James Swan and Conrad Morgan completed the top five finishers while Fred Winn finished sixth. Trevor Dassow made his first appearance of the season a successful one with a solid seventh place result while Jerry Eckhardt, Mike Graczkowski, and Jake Vanoskey rounded out the top ten.
Mike Graczkowski was the winner of the first super late model heat race over Fred Winn and James Swan while Jerry Eckhardt took top honors in the second super late model heat race over Race McComb and Nick Wagner. Conrad Morgan won the super late model fast dash and Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.416 seconds.
John DeAngelis drove to his first feature victory of the season in the 35-lap late model feature, taking the checkered flag ahead of Dan Church and Wayne Freimund.
Pat McIntee paced the opening laps with Wayne Freimund and John DeAngelis using the inside lane to take second and third while Jerry Mueller worked the top groove in fourth ahead of Alex Prunty, Ryan DeStefano, and Dan Church. Friemund moved to the outside and pulled alongside McIntee for the lead while Prunty also moved to the top to race door to door with DeAngelis as the top four raced in two by two formation. Freimund cleared McIntee for the lead from the outside and DeAngelis quickly took advantage of an opening on the inside of McIntee to grab second, bringing Church along with him as McIntee was moved to the high lane directly ahead of Prunty. Ryan DeStefano also was able to make his way around McIntee to take fourth as Freimund paced the race in front of DeAngelis and Church.
A spin to the infield grass by Jerry Mueller produced the first caution flag on lap 12 and Freimund chose the inside groove for the restart, leaving DeAngelis the outside lane. DeAngelis was able to work up a strong run from the high groove to race into the lead off turn two and then barely clear Freimund for the top spot in turns three and four. Freimund slotted in line directly behind DeAngelis as Church closed in from third. Freimund remained glued to DeAngelis’ rear bumper as behind the lead duo, Braison Bennett challenged Church over third with Andy Welter and DeStefano racing for position behind them. A spin by Mark Kissinger in turn four on lap 25 drew another caution flag and this time DeAngelis chose the inside for the restart, using the low side to maintain his lead over Freimund. Bennett and Church resumed their battle for third as the raced side by side for several laps before Church was able to prevail as the laps wound down. A spin by McIntee in turn two with just two laps to go, set up a green-white-checkered finish with DeAngelis leading over Freimund, Church, and Bennett. DeAngelis drove the final two laps flawlessly as he scored the victory while Church was able to muscle his way around Freimund for second at the finish. Freimund finished third while Alex Prunty and Ryan DeStefano rounded out the top five.
Andy Welter was the winner of the late model heat race over Mark Kissinger and Jerry Mueller while Jon DeAngelis was declared the winner of the late model fast dash after a last lap, last turn incident between Wayne Freimund and Ryan Destefano resulted in DeStefano spinning and Freimund being disqualified. Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 12.385 seconds.
James Swan outdueled Ryan Farrell to win an exciting and entertaining 30-lap Midwest Sportsman feature.
Swan and Farrell raced door to door for the lead nearly all race long with Farrell using the inside groove and Swan on the outside. With both drivers racing fiercely and cleanly throughout the race, Swan was able to edge ahead on the white flag lap, taking the victory by about a car length over Farrell who led the majority of the laps prior to the finish. Behind Swan and Farrell in the top two positions, Eric Lingford finished a strong third followed by Brian Holtz and Jack Stern. James Swan also won the Midwest Sportsman heat race over Jimmie Wilson and Eric Lingford. Brian Holtz and Ken Calhoun rounded out the top five finishers. Ryan Farrell set fast time at 12.769 seconds.
John Daley claimed top honors in the 20-lap Thunderstock feature, holding off Brad Hetzel and Tyler Schley at the finish. Nick Egan crossed the finish line in fourth place while Carl Benn finished fifth. John Daley also was the winner of the Thunderstock heat race as he took the checkered flag ahead of Joe Shelby to claim the victory. Carl Benn was third followed by Tyler Schley and Nick Egan. Brad Hetzel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.456 seconds.
Brandon Tackes scored a clean sweep in Slinger Bee racing action, setting a new track record of 14.914 seconds in qualifying, winning his heat race, and then capping it off with a win in the 18-lap feature. Nick Schmidt finished in second in the feature while Grant Griesbach, Ryan Savage, and Steve Dickson were third through fifth respectively. Brandon Tackes won the first Slinger Bee heat race over Ryan Savage and Grant Griesbach while Dave Lembke won the second Slinger Bee heat over Ryan Lovald and Misty Benn.
Taylor Shellinger won the Spectator Eliminator races while Shane Becker used a last lap pass on Willie Van Camp to win the Figure 8 race. Bill Michaels won the special Celebrity race over Todd Behling and Nick Dettmann. Jim Zeirke finished fourth.
Next Sunday at Slinger Speedway is Werner Electric Rides for Kids in Race Car Night. Kids age 6 - 11 will get to ride around the Slinger Speedway High Banks in real race cars, rides will begin at 6:10 pm, so arrive early. A 50 lap Super Late Model Feature will highlight the evenings events. Late Models, Midwest Sportsman, Thunderstock, Slinger Bee's, one on one spectator eliminators, and Figure 8's will also be racing.
This article was posted to the website on August 6th, 2012