By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug 19—67-year old Al Schill held off Steve Apel and Rob Braun in a thrilling three car finish to win the Pomp’s Tire Service 50-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“How can that be...67 and still winning?” Schill quizzed the crowd from victory lane, “I was getting loose at the end and was sliding around pretty good there.”
The victory didn’t come easy as Schill first had to withstand a strong last lap inside challenge from Braun entering turn one and then had to fend off a fast closing Apel on the high side as they crossed the finish line.
“I hope when I’m 67 I can still walk, let alone win a super late model race here at Slinger,” Apel stated after his close second place finish drew him to within two points of Dennis Prunty in their battle for the track championship, “It was an awesome job by Al Schill and Rob Braun as that was a great race for the fans to see and I hope they enjoyed it.”
“Al (Schill) was wearing his stuff out and I tried to go underneath him,” Braun explaining his final lap attempt to pick up the victory, “I got on the gas just a bit too hard and that was the end of the story for me.”
Dave McCardle darted to the early lead from the pole position over Chris Blawat and Conrad Morgan and led the opening four laps before the caution flag waved when a minor traffic jam deeper in the field stacked cars up until Brady Bennett was sent spinning off turn four and into the infield. McCardle chose the inside lane for the restart but Blawat timed the start perfectly from the outside and built up enough momentum to sweep into the lead off turn two. McCardle slotted into second just ahead of Morgan as Al Schill dove to the inside of Nick Wagner to grab fourth place. Mike Egan also made his way around Wagner using the inside lane and within a few laps, Morgan worked his way to McCardle’s inside in second, opening the door for both Schill and Egan to move up. McCardle’s car spun around from the high side in turn two on lap eight, clipping the front of Braun’s car and causing Steve Apel to slam on the brakes to avoid the collision. The chain reaction continued when Dennis Prunty ran into the back of Apel and damaged the nose of his machine, leaving the track for repairs. Prunty returned to competition before the restart as McCardle’s was the only car unable to continue in the race. The inside lane was the place to be for the restart as Blawat quickly drove back to the lead as racing resumed while Schill and Egan both used the low groove to move into second and third respectively and dispatch Morgan back to fourth. While Egan worked on getting around Morgan with Braun, Apel, and Lowell Bennett directly behind him, Schill closed to Blawat’s rear bumper for the lead. As Schill began to challenge Blawat on both the inside and outside, Egan, Braun, and Bennett all made up ground to close to the leaders with Egan briefly thinking about making a three-wide pass for the lead off turn four before wisely falling back into line. Shortly afterwards, Schill had enough of a run built up on the outside to charge past Blawat upon exiting turn two to take the lead on lap 20.
As Schill began to stretch his lead, Rob Braun began his charge forward, using the outside lane to first pass Egan and then Blawat to move into second. Apel followed in Braun’s tire tracks and also advanced to third as both he and Braun started to reel in Schill for the lead. Schill’s lead was evaporating quickly as his car slid around off the corners and with few laps remaining, Braun and Apel were on his back bumper. With the white flag waving, Braun found a small opening to the inside of Schill entering the first turn and ducked his fender up to Schill’s door. However as Braun got back on the throttle, his car twitched slightly in turn two, allowing Schill to keep the lead and Apel to rocket by into second from the outside. After successfully fending off Braun, Schill then had to keep the fast closing Apel at bay as they charged toward the checkered flag. Schill drove under the checkered flag to score the victory as Apel barely edged Braun for second. Chris Blawat and Lowell Bennett were fourth and fifth respectively while Mike Egan finished sixth. Conrad Morgan and Dennis Prunty followed in seventh and eighth while Nick Wagner and Fred Winn rounded out the top ten finishers.
Al Schill won the super late model fast dash and Chris Blawat won the super late model fast heat over Dennis Prunty and Dave McCardle. Jake Vanoskey was the winner of the regular super late model heat race, taking the victory ahead of Jerry Eckhardt and Race McComb. Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 11.446 seconds.
Braison Bennett took the lead just past the halfway point and drove to his third late model feature victory of the season in the 35-lap main event.
Justin Poenitsch charged to the lead at the start, edging fellow front row started Dan Church as the green flag waved with Braison Bennett, Ryan DeStefano, and John DeAngelis following close behind. Poenitsch maintained his lead in the early going as Bennett worked his way into second place as farther back Alex Prunty and Jerry Mueller began to race toward the front, claiming the fourth and fifth positions. Bennett closed to Poenitsch’s rear bumper and made a few attempts to pass for the lead on the inside as Poenitsch’s car began to drift wide off turn four. Bennett finally took advantage of the situation on lap 19 as he was able to get a strong enough run on the inside of Poenitsch to take command of the race, dropping Poenitsch back into a battle over second with Dan Church. As Bennett led, Church went to work on Poenitsch for second while behind them, Jerry Mueller and Alex Prunty raced side by side over fourth with John DeAngelis in their tracks looking for a way around. The caution flag waved on lap 30 when Poenitsch looped around in turn two while racing with Church for second, setting up a five lap charge to the finish. Bennett was on his marks as racing resumed and he held on to capture his third late model feature win of the season while Church finished a strong second. Mueller prevailed in the tense fight for third as Prunty edged DeAngelis to finish fourth as they crossed the finish line door to door.
Dan Church won the late model fast dash and Mark Kissinger was the winner of the late model heat race over Andy Welter and Justin Poenitsch. Jerry Meuller and Brittiny Helmers rounded out the top five. Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.344 seconds.
James Swan continued his successful season in the Midwest Sportsman division as he raced to yet another feature victory, his tenth main event triumph of the season.
Chris Beine and Dennis Eichhorst led the field to the green flag and Beine led the opening laps over Ken Calhoun while Eric Lingford and Chris Ratajczyk battled for third with Brian Holtz and James Swan threading their way forward. Calhoun took over the lead on lap four with an outside pass on Beine, who fell into the clutches of Lingford, Ratajczyk, and Swan. Lingford and Swan benefited from the outside lane as they swept around Beine and into second and third while Ratajczyk also moved to the outside to pass Beine a lap later, bringing Brian Holtz with him. Swan wasted little time in continuing to use outside to work his way first around Lingford for second and then Calhoun for the lead. With Swan pulling away, Lingford and Holtz used the inside to pass Calhoun and advance to second and third respectively, however contact between them on lap 24 send Lingford spinning around in turn four to produce a caution flag. Swan lined up on the inside for the restart with Calhoun alongside and Ratajczyk and Ryan Farrell directly behind them and as racing resumed, Swan darted out to the lead. Swan was unchallenged the rest of the way and he drove to the victory over Ratajczyk while Calhoun turned in his best performance of the season with the third place result. Farrell finished in fourth while Frank Slabanek edged Lingford at the line to finish fifth.
Eric Lingford took top honors in the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and the heat race was won by Frank Slabanek. Jimmy Wilson finished second in the heat race followed by Chris Ratajczyk, Chris Beine, and Dennis Eichhorst. James Swan was the fastest qualifier for the division with a lap of 12.766 seconds.
Joe Shelby captured his first Thunderstock feature victory after a thrilling finish to the 18-lap main event where the first four cars finished in nose-to-tail formation. Following Shelby across the line, Tyler Schley edged Brad Hetzel for second who nipped Ken Schraufnagel for third. Nick Egan finished in fifth. Ken Schraufnagel won the Thunderstock fast dash and Nick Egan was the winner of the Thunderstock heat race over Ryan Savage and Nick Ostberg. Brad Hetzel circled the speedway in 13.600 seconds and was the fastest qualifier for the division.
Nick Schmidt won the 20-lap Slinger Bee feature by holding off the challenges of Dave Schmidt. Grant Griesbach crossed the finish line in third while Brandon Tackes and Marty Tackes rounded out the top five. Nick Schmidt also won the Slinger Bee fast dash while Colton Marx took the victory in the Slinger Bee heat race over Dave Schmidt and Jim Lund. Brandon Tackes topped Slinger Bee qualifying with a lap of 14.925 seconds.
Mark Kissinger drove a 1972 Chevy pick-up to the win in the Spectator Elimination races and Rick Bruskiewicz brought the evening to a close with a victory in the Figure 8 race over Willy Van Camp and Russ Lorbiecki.
This article was posted to the website on August 20th, 2012