By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 15—Jeremy Lepak drove to his third consecutive win after an eventful Netwurx 70-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, leading the final 42 circuits en route to his sixth main event victory of the season.
Mike Egan charged from the pole position to lead the opening laps as Gregg Pawelski and Rob Braun battled side by side for second with Dennis Prunty, Lowell Bennett, and Lepak directly behind them. Egan began to stretch his lead over Pawelski and Braun who continued to race alongside each other while Prunty chose to follow Braun on the high side, opening up the low line for Bennett to fill with the nose of his car. Prunty’s choice cost him three spots as Braun began to struggle on the high side, allowing Bennett, Lepak, and Apel to all charge around using the bottom of the speedway. A few laps later, Bennett turned under Pawelski for second and as Pawelski became caught on the outside, Lepak, Apel, and Prunty all motored by on the inside for third, fourth, and fifth place respectively. Bennett’s car washed wide a bit in turn four and this time, Lepak was able to turn underneath to grab second place as Bennett quickly fell back in line in front of Apel, only losing a single position in the process. Lepak began to gradually cut into Egan’s sizeable lead as the laps clicked off but Egan’s advantage quickly evaporated on Lap 28 when the caution flag flew after Pete Wiedmeyer and Mike Held tangled in turn four. Egan appeared to get a good restart as racing resumed, holding nearly a car-length lead over Lepak as they entered the first turn, however the flagman deemed Egan’s start not even and the caution continued to wave, aborting the restart. On the second try, Lepak was able to hold his ground on the outside and stay door to door with Egan as they raced for the lead. Lepak was able to keep his momentum up through the turns on the high side which resulted in a strong run down the backstretch and allowed him to eventually clear Egan for the lead off turn four on lap 28. Once out front, Lepak started to pull away from Egan, who sustained heavy pressure to the rear bumper from Apel in third as Bennett, Jeff Holtz, and Prunty lined up on the bottom behind them. After several laps of trying to turn under Egan for second, Apel looked to the outside on lap 42 and two laps later, he used the top groove to drive into second while Lepak enjoyed a comfortable advantage on the field out front. Lepak’s lead shrunk on lap 50 when the caution flag appeared for a second time as Jon Reynolds Jr. had something break under his car which sent it spinning in sparks in turn two before smacking the outside retaining wall hard with the left front. As the race went back to green, Apel held tough on the outside, remaining alongside Lepak for two laps before ducking in line behind him while Bennett, Holtz, and Prunty remained single file behind them in third, fourth, and fifth. The race was back under the yellow flag on lap 53 when Conrad Morgan spun in turn four after battling for position with Travis Dassow and once again Apel lined up for the restart in the outside lane next to Lepak with Bennett, Egan, Holtz, and Prunty in double-file formation behind them. As racing resumed, Apel remained even off the corners with Lepak and appeared to be able to take the lead when Egan began experiencing mechanical issues off turn four which scattered the field on the frontstretch. As the melee unfolded, Fred Winn’s car was turned nearly head on into the frontstretch wall and the car ricocheted hard off the fence with the front end totally engulfed in flames as it came to rest still burning in the infield. The safety crew put out the flames almost immediately and Winn was able to emerge from the car uninjured but the race has halted under the red flag as Egan left the speedway along with Prunty who was forced to the pits to change a flat tire. With the track cleaned, the race resumed and once again Apel held his ground on the outside, staying alongside for a full lap before Lepak eased ahead off turn two. Apel tried to quickly duck to the inside lane, but Jeff Holtz was there in third, forcing Apel to defend second place and allowing Lepak to streak away in the lead. Lepak maintained his advantage in the closing laps and drove to a five car length victory over Apel who crossed the line in second with Holtz glued to his bumper in third. Lowell Bennett finished in fourth place and Rob Braun completed one of his strongest races of the season with a fifth place result. Randy Schuler took the checkered flag in sixth and Dennis Prunty rebounded from his issues to finish seventh while Travis Dassow, Brad Dahmer, and Conrad Morgan rounded out the top ten finishers.
Conrad Morgan won the super late model qualifying race over Fred Winn and Jeff Holtz while Pete Wiedmeyer was victorious in the super late model consi as he along with second place finisher Dan Jung advanced to the main event. Mike Egan took top honors in the super late model fast dash and Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.479 seconds.
Mike Lichtfield made his first visit of the season to the Slinger Super Speedway and he left with the trophy from the late model feature, after driving to victory in the 35-lap main event.
Lichtfield battled Dave McCardle door to door for the lead in the beginning laps as James Swan and Brad Keith raced behind them, looking for a way around. Lichtfield led the first lap but McCardle had the advantage on the second circuit just before the caution flag waved for an incident involving Pat McIntee, Alex Prunty, and Dan Jung in turn three. McCardle took the inside lane for the restart but as racing resumed, Lichtfield was able to get a strong run into turn one from the high side and he cleared McCardle for the lead as McCardle immediately dove to the bottom of the speedway to keep second place just ahead of James Swan and Brad Keith. With Lichtfield out front, McCardle stuck to the bottom of the track to defend against the heavy pressure applied by Swan as behind them Ryan DeStefano advanced to fourth place while John DeAngelis Jr. battled with Keith over fifth. Many times Swan peeked the inside of McCardle and attemped to get a run for second on the backstretch but each time McCardle would slam the door shut entering turn three. Swan then took to the outside groove and moved alongside McCardle as the two of them staged a torrid battle for second featuring plenty of door rubbing on the straightaways which allowed DeStefano, DeAngelis, and Alex Prunty to move in directly behind them while Lichtfield remained unchallenged in the lead. The caution flag appeared on lap 24 for a slow spin by Brad Keith in turn three as Lichtfield led Swan, McCardle, DeStefano, and DeAngelis. Swan attempted to stay with Lichtfield on the outside for the lead, but the inside lane prevailed and Lichtfield held onto the top spot. Sparks began to appear beneath the front of Swan’s car and it dramatically slowed in turn four, momentarily stacking up DeStefano and Prunty behind him and allowing the inside lane to charge forward. Swan left the speedway as did Prunty who suffered heavy front end damage as a result of the accordion-like effect caused when Swan slowed. The race remained green with Lichtfield leading McCardle and DeAngelis. A few laps later, DeAngelis was able to work his way underneath McCardle for second and with McCardle caught in the high lane, Wayne Freimund, DeStefano, and Keith all raced by. DeStefano tried to edge his way to the inside of Freimund for second in turn four on lap 33 but as they entered the frontstraight, DeStefano’s car spun sideways off the corner to draw the yellow flag and set up a green-white-checkered finish with Lichtfield leading over DeAngelis, Freimund, and McCardle. Lichtfield was up for the challenge and he led on the restart while DeAngelis gave a valiant effort on the high side, remaining even for the lead until the exit of turn four, when Lichtfield pulled away on the inside. Lichtfield drove to the victory over DeAngelis while McCardle, Freimund, and Keith completed the top five finishers.
Dan Jung held off Pat McIntee to win the 10-lap late model qualifying race and Dave McCardle won the late model fast dash. John DeAngelis was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap of 12.423 seconds.
James Swan continued his strong season in the Midwest Sportsman division as he racked up his tenth win of the season in the 30-lap feature.
Mike Borchardt and Chris Storey led the field to the green flag and Borchardt drove into the lead using the outside groove while Storey settled into second ahead of Brian Holtz, Dan Church, and James Swan. Borchardt held a comfortable lead while those behind him raced in double-file formation when the first caution flag waved on lap four when Jordan Kane experienced a problem in turn one and hit the wall hard enough to lift the car in the air briefly before coming to rest on the apron of turn two. Borchardt kept the lead as racing resumed while Storey slipped back to third as Swan swept by on the inside as Brian Holtz moved up to challenge Storey for third. A few laps later, Swan worked his way around Borchardt for the lead while Storey and Holtz battled side by side for third. Storey’s car washed wide off turn four and with Holtz outside of him, a large gap opened up on the inside which Dan Church took advantage of and charged by both Storey and Holtz for third. Ryan Farrell was next in line and he also used the inside to pass both Storey and Holtz to take over fourth. Storey and Holtz hooked together on the backstretch on lap ten, sending Holtz’s car backward into the turn three wall where it climbed the fencing and struck the billboards before landing on the wall and Storey’s car in turn three, putting the race under the red flag. When racing resumed following the clean-up, Swan continued to lead while behind him, Ryan Farrell caught Borchardt for second and completed the pass with a move on the outside on lap 18. Farrell then set out to track down Swan for the lead as Dan Church and Andy Haver entered the battle with Borchardt for third. Swan could not be caught in the closing laps and he drove under the checkered flag to score the victory, leaving Farrell to settle for second. Church worked his way around Borchardt to finish third while Haver crossed the finish line in fourth, leaving Borchardt to finish fifth.
Scott Shambeau won the Midwest Sportsman 10-lap qualifying race over Jack Stern and Greg Beebe. Dave Wastak and Justin Kane were fourth and fifth respectively. Dan Church captured the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Andy Haver set fast time with a lap of 12.844 seconds.
Ken Schraufnagel held off Brad Hetzel to win the 18-lap Thunderstock main event.
Joe Shelby paced the opening laps as Nathan Fick and Schrafnagel began to close in. Schraufnagel and Fick split Shelby for the lead in a three-wide situation on lap eight with Schraufnagel using the inside lane to take the lead as Shelby and Fick were slowed momentarily as the three-wide racing sorted out, allowing Brad Hetzel to pass both of them to advance to second. Hetzel caught Schraufnagel for the lead and the two staged a serious battle for the top spot with Hetzel trying valiantly to make the outside lane work. However, Schraufnagel proved to be too strong on the inside and he raced to the win over Hetzel while Andy Welter advanced through the field to finish third as Nathan Fick and John Daley rounded out the top five. Earlier, Nathan Fick won the Thunderstock 12-lap qualifying race over Jake Larson and Tyler Schley. Bernie Leonard and Chris Beine were fourth and fifth respectively. Al Stippich won a thrilling Thunderstock fast dash and also set fast time for the division with a lap of 13.577 seconds.
Braison Bennett won the 18-lap Slinger Bee feature over Allen Maher Jr. and Nick Wagner. Brittiny Helmers and Dave Schmidt were fourth and fifth respectively. The race was halted momentarily under the red flag on lap 12 when Shane Westphal struck the pit entrance in turn two. Westphal climbed from his car and was not injured. Marty Tackes and Ricky Heinan each won a Slinger Bee heat race and the Slinger Bee fast dash was won by Nick Schmidt. Braison Bennett broke Nick Wagner’s long streak of top qualifying honors by turning in a lap of 15.473 seconds to become the evening’s Slinger Bee fastest qualifier.
Tanner Neuendorf won the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car event and Alex Kesich won the Spectator Eliminator races in his Subaru Impreza. Scott Goetzke held off Willy Van Camp to win the Figure 8 race to close the evening.
This article was posted to the website on August 15th, 2011