By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 18—Defending super late model track champion, Dennis Prunty captured his first feature victory of the season by winning the Pomp’s Tire 60 over Conrad Morgan Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“It feels good and it’s been a long time, “Prunty told the crowd from victory lane, “We’ve been fast all year but just had bad luck everywhere we went.”
“Everybody said Conrad (Morgan) was really flying, “Prunty continued as he described the battle with Morgan, who worked his way through the field into second to have a final shot at the win when a late caution appeared with 13 laps to go, “But they didn’t know I was taking it easy and saving my tires so I had something for him there at the end.”
“I don’t blame Dennis (Prunty) for saving his tires,” Morgan quickly quipped immediately following the winner’s interview, “Because when you start up front you can.” Prunty began the event from the fourth position, three spots ahead of Morgan.
“I tried everything I could do,” Morgan continued, “But this wasn’t the first time he was leading a race when the caution came out late and he did great.”
Eric Fransen and Michael Bilderback led the field to the green flag and while they raced side by side, Fransen was able to edge ahead at the stripe to lead as the caution waved following a spin by Tom Hromadka in turn one. Fransen picked up right where he left off prior to the caution and led the restart as the inside lane proved to be advantageous early with Dale Prunty sliding into second and Dennis Prunty tucked right behind him racing with the outside running Bilderback for third. Dale Prunty was able to peek the nose of his car toward Fransen’s inside exiting turn four and when Fransen attempted to close the door in turn one, his maneuver was met with a nudge in his left rear corner which was enough to allow Dale Prunty to take the lead. Dennis Prunty followed suit the next lap and also worked the inside line to grab second, leaving Fransen to race with Bilderback over third. The Prunty brothers began to drive away out front with Dennis pressuring Dale for the lead and when Dale’s car washed wide in turn four on lap nine, Dennis found the opening he needed to make the inside pass for the top spot. Once out front Dennis began to open up a sizeable advantage over Dale while behind them Steve Apel used the low groove to pass by both Fransen and Bilderback to move into third as Travis Dassow and Conrad Morgan also advanced forward to enter the top five a few laps later. Apel ran down Dale Prunty and latched onto his bumper in a race for second but as the race progressed into the second half, the driver on the move was Morgan, who first passed Dassow to secure fourth and then tracked down Dale Prunty and Apel to set up a three car battle for the second slot. With Dennis Prunty comfortably out front, Apel tried the outside lane in a bid to overtake Dale Prunty for second but the move backfired when Morgan instantly filled the inside lane opening and snagged third place, dispatching Apel to fourth. This time it was Morgan’s turn to try the outside to get around Dale Prunty, but unlike Apel’s bid earlier, Morgan’s car handled well in the top groove and he completed the pass to move into the runner-up spot. Once he was alone in second, Morgan noticeably cut into Dennis Prunty’s lead but appeared to be too far back to mount a serious challenge. That changed drastically on lap 47 when an apparent suspension failure on Michael Bilderback’s car sent him sailing hard into the turn one wall to produce the caution flag and erase Dennis Prunty’s advantage over Morgan. Prunty chose the inside lane for the restart while Morgan lined up alongside in the high groove and after an aborted start, the two raced side by side into turn one. Morgan held tough on the outside and he remained even with Prunty for a lap and a half before Prunty was able to push ahead exiting turn two. Morgan instantly ducked into the inside lane ahead of Apel to secure second while Dale Prunty and Dassow raced for third just ahead of Rob Braun and Lowell Bennett. Dennis Prunty would not be denied over the final laps and he drove to his first super late model feature win of the season while Morgan settled for a strong second. Apel crossed the stripe in third while Travis Dassow finished fourth. Rob Braun gained positions in the closing laps and he rounded out the top five in fifth.
Mike Egan won the super late model semi-feature over Mike Borchardt and Braison Bennett. Corey Funk and Nick Wagner finished fourth and fifth respectively. Super late model heat race wins were recorded by Jake Vanoskey, Fred Winn, and Dennis Prunty. Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 11.574 seconds.
Alex Prunty ended a two month victory drought by holding off Mike Lichtfeld to win the 40-lap late model feature.
Jack Stern used the outside lane to lead the early laps before Lichtfeld took over the top spot with an aggressive pass in turn one. After Lichtfeld took the lead, Stern tried to make the high line work but despite being persistent, he gradually faded to fifth as Ryan DeStefano, Dan Church, and Alex Prunty all raced by on the inside. While the top two remained steady, Prunty used the high lane to grab third from Church while Adam Peschek entered the top five in fifth. A hard lick into the turn three wall by Tim Lange drew the first caution flag on lap 29 and as the field lined up for the restart, Prunty took advantage of the cone as he chose to test the outside and lined up next to Lichtfeld who continued to lead. As racing resumed, Lichtfeld and Prunty fiercely battled for the lead, trading paint on some laps before the caution flag waved again on lap 31 when John DeAngelis hit the turn three wall following some hard racing with Jerry Mueller. Just after the caution was shown, Bennett looped his car in turn four and the ensuing traffic jam damaged the cars of Tyler Schley, Jack Stern, and Justin Poenitsch. Lichtfeld and Prunty renewed their battle for the lead on the restart with Lichtfeld in the low lane and Prunty working the top. Lichtfeld’s car kicked loose slightly entering turn one which in turn twitched Prunty’s car loose as well as both drivers maintained control but behind them, Dan Church’s car washed loose after he attempted to allow Lichtfeld and Prunty to save their cars. As Church tried to straighten his car, contact was made with Braison Bennett and Bennett’s car momentarily ramped over Church’s machine as he tried to pass by on the inside. The result was Bennett’s car sliding through the infield and the caution flag waved as cars scattered behind him. Officials deemed the situation was set up by incidental contact between the lead cars and all drivers maintained their positions for the restart. This time Prunty, as the leader, chose the inside line and left Lichtfeld to take the outside groove. The decision paid off as Prunty was able to charge into the lead and hold off Lichtfeld over the final four laps and secure the victory. Lichtfeld finished in second while Ryan DeStefano took the checkered flag in third. Braison Bennett and Adam Peschek rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
Ryan Farrell and Mike Lichtfeld were the winner of the late model heat races while Alex Prunty set fast time with a lap of 12.632 seconds.
Kody Hubred drove to his fifth feature victory of the season in the 30-lap Area Sportsman main event.
Ken Schraufnagel paced the early laps over Nick Egan while Mark Fogel, Kody Hubred, and Kyle Chwala sliced their way through the field. Fogel took to the high lane to drive around both Egan and Schraufnagel to take the lead and Hubred and Chwala each made similar moves a few laps later to take over second and third respectively. Hubred dogged Fogel for the lead for several laps first trying the high side to get by and then eventually taking command of the race with an inside pass on Fogel a few laps later. Chwala also used the inside lane to advance into second a few laps later while Bill Prietzel joined the lead battle in fourth. Once out front, Hubred could not be caught and he drove to the victory over Chwala who was forced to settle for second at the checkered flag. Prietzel was able to pass Fogel for third at the finish, leaving Fogel with a fourth place result. Brad Hetzel finished fifth.
Area Sportsman heat race wins were captured by Ken Schraufnagel and Kody Hubred while Kyle Chwala was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 13.279 seconds.
Brandon Tackes passed Nick Schmidt following a late caution flag to win the Slinger Bee feature. Schmidt, who led many laps of the feature, finished in second while Marty Tackes took the checkered flag in third. Heather Stark and Matthew Rose completed the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively.
Al Roberts was the winner of the Spectator Eliminator races and Ryan Lovald drove to the win in the Figure 8 event.
This article was posted to the website on August 19th, 2013