By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug 12—A week after finding themselves wrecked against the first turn wall, Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel fought for the victory in the 50-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, with Prunty edging Apel at the stripe for his fifth feature victory of the season.
“My guys worked their ass off all week in the shop putting this thing back together and I’ve got to thank everyone of them,” Prunty stated from victory lane as both drivers spent the last week making major repairs to their cars.
“We just got stuck in traffic a little bit, “Apel explained following his close second place finish, “We had the fastest car on the track but just couldn’t come home with the victory.”
Mike Borchardt Jr. and Nick Wagner paced the field to the green and the inside lane advanced early with Borchardt taking the lead and bringing Chris Blawat and Jeff Holtz with him while Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel also used the inside to race into fourth and fifth respectively. Blawat took to the high lane and pulled even with Borchardt in a bid for the lead and both drivers raced door to door until Blawat prevailed on lap four. Behind the top two, Prunty tried an outside move for third on Holtz off turn two but had his lane cut off in the process before muscling his way into third with an inside move in turn three a lap later. Before Holtz could recover, both Apel and Lowell Bennett raced past and into fourth and fifth as Prunty went to work on Borchardt for second.
The yellow flag waved on lap 7 when a traffic jam deeper in the field left the cars of Mike Graczkowski and Nick Wagner in a tangle in turn four. Blawat used the inside groove for the restart which proved beneficial as he quickly charged to the lead as racing resumed while Borchardt struggled in the outer groove as Prunty, Holtz, and Apel all raced by. In the meantime, Prunty caught Blawat out front and wasted little time in moving to the high lane, drawing even for the lead by lap 13. Prunty and Blawat raced side by side for the lead with Prunty gradually able to ease ahead slightly off the corners until finally clearing Blawat for the lead on lap 16. Behind Prunty and Blawat, Apel and Bennett took to the outside groove to race around Holtz for third and fourth while Mike Egan and Rob Braun battled for sixth directly behind them.
The caution waved again on lap 22 for Tom Hromadka’s stalled car in turn four and Prunty curiously chose the outside lane for the restart, leaving Blawat the preferred bottom lane, perhaps in an effort to keep the faster Apel from lining up behind him. The strategy nearly failed as on the restart, Blawat raced extremely tough on the inside and both he and Prunty circled the speedway door to door for several laps before again Prunty was able to gradually clear Blawat for the lead entering turn three. Once out front, Prunty was able to briefly extend his lead as Apel worked to pass Blawat for second, taking the position a few laps later using the outside lane. Prunty’s car appeared to begin to slip slightly off the turns and that combined with approaching lapped traffic, enabled Apel to close the distance between him and the leader as the laps wound down.
Apel was on Prunty’s bumper as they took the white flag and had a slight opening on the inside off turn two, but wisely chose not to force the issue and elected to make another charge off turn four. Apel’s final charge came up just short as Prunty took the checkered flag for the win with Apel glued to his rear bumper. Chris Blawat completed one of his better runs of the season with a strong third place finish while Mike Egan held off Jeff Holtz for the fourth spot, leaving Holtz to settle for fifth. Rob Braun took the checkered flag in sixth place ahead of Jake Vanoskey and Curt Tillman in seventh and eighth respectively. Nick Wagner and Fred Winn rounded out the top ten finishers.
Conrad Morgan was the winner of the super late model fast dash and Mike Graczkowski won the first super late model heat race over Chris Blawat and Mike Egan. Rob Braun and Mike Borchardt were fourth and fifth respectively. Jake Vanoskey edged Jerry Eckhardt to win the second super late model heat race while Fred Winn finished third ahead of Curt Tillman and Tom Hromadka in fourth and fifth. Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.379 seconds
Alex Prunty took the lead on lap 16 and drove to his fifth late model feature victory of the season in the 35-lap late main event, taking the checkered flag ahead of Ryan DeStefano and Casey Johnson
Justin Poenitsch and Dan Church led the field to the green flag with Poenitsch taking the early lead from the inside lane as Church slotted in behind him. Poenitsch managed to maintain the top spot despite many Church’s many looks to the inside as behind them, Alex Prunty, Ryan DeStefano, John DeAngelis, and Casey Johnson all raced side by side for position. Andy Welter’s trip through the turn four grass produced the first caution flag on lap 14 with Poenitsch leading over Church, Prunty, and DeStefano. Poenitsch chose the inner groove for the restart and once again charged to the point as racing resumed with Church once again tracking directly behind him. The complexion of the race changed a lap later when Poenitsch looped around in front of the field off turn four following contact from Church as they battled for the top spot drawing the caution flag once again. Poenitsch and Church were relegated to the rear of the field for the restart leaving Prunty with the lead over DeAngelis, DeStefano, and Johnson. Prunty and DeAngelis battled fiercely for the lead as racing resumed with Prunty on the bottom lane and DeAngelis alongside in the high groove with the left side of DeAngelis’ car glued to Prunty’s right side in the middle of the corners. After several laps of side by side racing, Prunty prevailed from the inside and claimed sole possession of the lead as DeStefano, Johnson, and Mark Kissinger moved up to challenge within the top five. A final caution flag slowed the field on lap 21 for an incident between Jerry Mueller and Dan Church in turn one and as the field lined up to restart the race, Prunty again chose the inside, leaving DeAngelis the outside lane. As the green flag reappeared, Prunty maintained the lead while DeAngelis had difficulty finding grip on the outside as first DeStefano and then Johnson slipped by on the inside and into second and third respectively. Braison Bennett also worked his way around DeAngelis to move into fourth as the laps wound down. However, there was no catching Prunty in the final laps as he drove to his fifth feature win of the season, crossing the stripe ahead of DeStefano and Johnson while Bennett and DeAngelis rounded out the top five.
Dan Church was the winner of the late model fast dash while Braison Bennett won the late model heat race over Al Stippich and Mark Kissinger. Casey Johnson and Jerry Mueller were fourth and fifth respectively. Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier in the late model division with a lap of 12.298 seconds.
James Swan continued his successful season in the Midwest Sporstman division as he drove to his division-leading tenth feature victory of the season in the 30-lap main event.
Jimmy Wilson paced the beginning laps before Ryan Farrell took over the point on lap six, bringing Swan and Brian Holtz along with him as all three used the outside groove to slice their way to the front. Swan almost immediately drove to the high groove and worked his way alongside Farrell for the lead as Holtz followed directly behind the lead duo. Swan took the top spot by lap 12 and began to extend his lead as Farrell appeared to struggle in the center of the corners which lead Holtz to pressure him for second. With Swan comfortably out front, Holtz ducked to the inside lane to pass Farrell for second on lap 21 as Chris Ratajczyk and Jack Stern advanced into the top five. Swan would not be denied however over the final laps and he drove to the convincing win while Holtz was forced to settle for a distant second. Farrell was able to hold on for a third place finish while Ratajczyk and Stern rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
Brian Holtz took top honors in the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Aaron Cain took the victory in the heat race, crossing the finish line ahead of Jimmy Wilson and Carl Benn. Dennis Eichhorst finished fourth and Dustin Krebs was fifth. James Swan also was the fastest qualifier after touring the speedway in 12.887 seconds.
Ken Schraufnagel took the lead with an outside pass on lap 14 and drove to the victory in the 18-lap Thunderstock feature.
Joe Shelby and Rick Schaefer battled for the lead in the opening laps with Nick Egan, Ken Schraufnagel, and Tyler Schley racing in formation behind them. Shelby grabbed the lead from the inside as Egan moved to second, bringing Schraufnagel with him into third while John Daley and Brad Hetzel moved up to battle with Schley and Schaefer. Egan looked to the high side in a bid to get around Shelby for the lead and that opened the door for Schraufnagel to slip by on the inside for second and before Egan could return to the low lane, Daley, Hetzel, and Schley all raced by. Schraufnagel then used the outside groove to charge around Shelby for the lead with four laps to go. Schraufnagel led the final four laps and drove to the victory over Hetzel who also worked his way around Shelby to finish second. Shelby settled for third at the finish while Schley edged Daley at the line to finish fourth.
Joe Shelby won the Thunderstock heat race over Rick Schaefer and Nick Egan while Tyler Schley and Brad Hetzel completed the top five. Brad Hetzel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.469 seconds.
Brandon Tackes turned back challenges from Grant Griesbach and Nick Schmidt to win the exciting Slinger Bee feature. Jacob Schraufnagel finished fourth and Dave Lembke was fifth. Jacob Schraufnagel won the first Slinger Bee heat race over Nick Schmidt and Brandon Tackes while Billy Ostovich took top honors in the second Slinger Bee heat over Ryan Lovald and Allen Maher. Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 14.981 seconds.
Al Roberts drove his pick-up truck to the win in the Spectator Eliminator races while Kurt Martin won the Speedway Guest Car race. Scott Goetzke held off Willy Van Camp to win the Figure 8 event to close the evening.
Next Weekend Slinger Speedway has an action packed schedule on tap with the Aflac Slinger SlamFest Saturday August 18th and the Pomp’s Tire Fan Appreciation Night Sunday evening. Saturday’s Aflac Slinger SlamFest is a crowd favorite, and the fourth running of SlamFest should bring a full house of fans to see The Gauntlet, Bus Racing, Figure 8’s, Trailer Racing, Back Up Racing, Team Cruisers and More. Sunday’s Pomp’s Tire Fan Appreciation night brings back traditional style racing with a 50 lap super late model feature headlining the evening’s activities. Prizes will be given out throughout the evening and afterwards free beer and soda will be given away.
This article was posted to the website on August 13th, 2012