By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 28—Jeremy Lepak picked up his seventh super late model feature win of the season in the Pepsi Championship Round 75 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and in doing so, claimed the overall three-race Pepsi Challenge Series Championship over Jeff Holtz.
“It’s just unbelievable, man these guys just give me great race cars,” Lepak stated from victory lane, “I think anybody could drive these cars, that thing was just unbelievable…I didn’t even break a sweat out there.”
Michael Bilderback and Jon Reynolds Jr. raced side by side for the lead in the opening laps with Reynolds edging ahead at the stripe from the outside while Dennis Prunty and Jeff Holtz stacked themselves directly behind the top two as Lepak lurked in fifth. Reynolds cleared Bilderback for sole possession of the lead on lap nine as Bilderback dropped in line behind him on the inside with Holtz and Prunty also moving to the inside lane while Lepak remained up top. Bilderback slipped slightly in turn four and the resulting accordion effect slowed Holtz and Prunty and allowed Lepak to advance all the way to second on the outside while Reynolds opened up a sizeable lead. As Lepak began to track down Reynolds, Prunty also took to the outside to get around Holtz in fourth and he immediately went to work on Bilderback for third while Steve Apel and Lowell Bennett made their presence known just outside the top five.
Prunty was able to turn under Bilderback for third a few laps later while farther ahead, Lepak caught Reynolds for the lead, moving to his rear bumper. On lap 27, Lepak eased the nose of his car to the inside of Reynolds’ left rear fender as the raced down the backstretch and was able to open the door on the inside to move alongside as they exited turn four. Lepak completed the pass for the lead, down the frontstretch as Reynolds swung back in line on the inside as they entered turn one. Once out front, Lepak stretched his advantage as the leaders caught lapped traffic while Reynolds began to lose ground to Prunty who was charging from third. With Lepak comfortably out front, Prunty tracked down Reynolds and took the second spot on the inside after several laps of racing side by side. Behind the leaders, Bilderback and Lowell Bennett began to slice their way forward as Bilderback looked to the inside of Reynolds for third with Bennett close behind. After three laps of side-by-side racing, with Bilderback on the inside and Reynolds using the outer groove, Bilderback’s car suddenly spun towards the infield while alongside Reynolds as they entered turn one on lap 65, drawing the one and only caution flag of the event.
The final ten lap charge to the finish was set up with Lepak choosing the inside lane for the restart, leaving Prunty with the top lane with Reynolds, Bennett, Holtz, and Apel lined up behind them. Prunty tried to get a run off the high groove by moving up the track as the green flag waved, but he couldn’t find traction and Lepak shot into the lead leaving Prunty to battle door to door with Reynolds. Prunty’s car had difficulty maintaining the pace in the high lane and he eventually exited the speedway with five laps to go, leaving Reynolds to take over second place with Holtz and Bennett behind him while Lepak pulled away from everyone out front. Lepak effortlessly drove to the victory, his seventh of the season while Reynolds led Holtz and Bennett across the stripe for the second through fourth positions with Conrad Morgan charging to fifth at the finish. Steve Apel edged Chris Blawat for sixth while Randy Schuler, Rob Braun, and Michael Bilderback rounded out the top ten. Lepak’s victory also allowed him to capture the overall Pepsi Challenge Series Championship over Jeff Holtz.
Rob Braun won the 12-lap super late model qualifying race over Chris Blawat and Mike Held as Tommy Pecaro and Terry Patnode completed the top five in fourth and fifth respectively. Jerry Eckhardt took top honors in the 20-lap super late model consi, advancing to the main event along with second place finisher Mike Graczkowski. Chris Ratajczyk finished third ahead of Jake Vanoskey and Tim Lampman. Jon Reynolds Jr. won the super late model fast dash and Lowell Bennett was the fastest qualifier at 11.457 seconds.
Brad Keith led the opening laps over Swan and Wayne Freimund with Alex Prunty and Jerry Mueller holding down fourth and fifth. Behind the top five, Ryan DeStefano’s car got out of shape momentarily on lap two and as he regained control, Dave McCardle slowed and John DeAngelis plowed into the back of McCardle, leaving debris on the speedway to produce the first caution flag. As racing resumed, Keith and Swan staged a door to door battle for the lead as Swan tried to make the outside work. When he was unable to gain progress using the high line, Swan looked to the low side and made several attempts to unseat Keith as the leader as Freimund and Mueller looked on while Prunty battled with McCardle and DeStefano for fifth. Contact between McCardle and Prunty on lap six sent Prunty spinning to the infield with the caution flag waving. Keith held onto the lead on the restart but this time Freimund was able to sneak by Swan on the inside for second while DeStefano held off Mueller, Prunty and McCardle in fourth. The caution flag flew again on lap ten when Mueller spun wildly on the front straight after contact with Prunty. Once again Keith chose the inside for the restart with Freimund now in the high lane and Swan down low behind Keith in third. The high lane did not work for Freimund and with Keith maintaining the lead, McCardle, Swan, and DeStefano all worked their way around Freimund. As Keith approached lapped traffic, McCardle and Swan caught him for the lead and all three began to weave their way through the traffic. The lapped machines conceded the racing groove to the leaders which benefited Swan as he was side by side with McCardle and with the lapped car out of the way, was able to complete the pass for second. Swan kept the pressure on Keith for the lead as the laps wound down and he looked to the inside for the top spot with four laps to go. Swan made the low groove work and he drove around Keith for the lead as McCardle filled the gap on the inside and also worked his way around Keith for second. Swan would not be challenged in the final two laps and he led McCardle across the stripe to score the win, leaving McCardle to settle for second. Keith finished a strong third while Wayne Freimund and Ryan DeStefano finished fourth and fifth respectively. Brad Keith also won the late model fast dash and Dave McCardle set fast time with a lap of 12.384 seconds.
Mike Borchardt and Jack Stern staged a door to door battle for the lead during the first fourteen laps with Borchardt able to edge ahead at the line while the field remained tightly packed behind them. Borchardt eventually took the lead alone as Stern fell in line behind him but contact between the cars on lap 17, sent Borchardt spinning to the infield to produce a caution flag. With Stern and Borchardt sent to the rear of the field, the running order was further shuffled with James Swan’s car suddenly began leaking fluid and he left the speedway leaving Jay Shambeau as the leader over Andy Haver, Ryan Farrell, and Dan Church. Haver put up a valiant effort on the outside for several laps but he began to fade as Farrell used the inside to take second place while Shambeau continued to lead. Farrell then began to look to the outside of Shambeau in a bid for the lead as behind them Church battled alongside Haver for third. As Shambeau tried to defend against Farrell’s outside run exiting turn two, the cars came together with Shambeau’s car overturning on its roof as it slid down the backstretch, shedding body panels as it bounced off the turn three wall still upside down. After several minutes, Shambeau emerged from the car uninjured while the red flag was displayed. Once racing resumed, Haver and Church inherited the top spots and they battled for the lead as Scott Shambeau and Crystal Wood moved into third and fourth. Church fended off Haver’s challenges until the final circuit when contact between the two as they approached the checkered flag sent Church’s car spinning. Track officials decided Haver was involved in the last lap incident with Church and Scott Shambeau was declared the winner. Crystal Wood finished in second place while Ryan Farrell brought his battered car home in third ahead of Aaron Cain who was fourth. Dan Church was the fifth place finisher despite the last lap spin. James Swan won the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and was also the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap of 12.745 seconds.
Andy Welter took top honors in an intense and exciting Thunderstock 18-lap feature that concluded with a three-wide finish for the victory.
Al Stippich and Nate Fick paced the field to the green flag as the caution waved quickly on the first lap when Fick spun after contact with Andy Welter and then was struck by Adam Peschek. Stippich led Ken Schraufnagel for the restart with Bernie Leonard and Carl Benn lined up behind them but the caution appeared again one lap later when Leonard and Benn locked horns on the frontstretch, sending both cars spinning. Behind them Chris Beine spun and when Nick Ostberg spun to avoid, his car slammed into Beine’s car broadside which sent Beine’s car rolling completely over before landing back on all four wheels. As racing resumed, Stippich held the lead while Andy Welter and Brad Hetzel sliced their way through the field along with John Daley and Tyler Schley. A spin by Nick Egan on lap 11 drew another caution flag with Stippich leading over Welter and Hetzel. The race was back to green for another four laps before the yellow flag appeared again on lap 15 for a spin by Nate Fick in turn four as the running order remained unchanged. Stippich and Welter raced side by side during the final three laps with Hetzel right on their bumpers. On the final lap with Stippich and Welter alongside each other, Hetzel found room on the bottom of the speedway and they charged three-wide into the third turn with Stippich squeezed between Hetzel and Welter. They remained three-wide all the way through turn four and Welter won the drag race between them to the checkered flag to score the win with Hetzel edging Stippich for second. Tyler Schley and John Daley were fourth and fifth respectively. Tyler Schley won the 12-lap Thunderstock qualifying race and Al Stippich won the Thunderstock fast dash. Brad Hetzel set a new track record in qualifying after blazing the speedway in 13.412 seconds.
Steve Dickson won the 18-lap Slinger Bee feature over Braison Bennett and Shane Westphal. Nick Wagner finished fourth after starting last and Allen Maher Jr. was fifth. Carl Benn won the first Slinger Bee heat race over Brittiny Helmers while Jimmy Lund captured the win in the second Slinger Bee heat race over Zachary Clarke. Mark Vandierdonk was the winner of the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest car race and Brad Helser scored his first Slinger Speedway Figure 8 win to close out the evening.
SUPER LATE MODEL
Super Late Model Feature—75 Laps: 1. Jeremy Lepak, 2. Jon Reynolds Jr., 3. Jeff Holtz, 4. Lowell Bennett, 5. Conrad Morgan, 6. Steve Apel, 7. Chris Blawat, 8. Randy Schuler, 9. Rob Braun, 10. Michael Bilderback, 11. Terry Patnode, 12. Mike Egan, 13. Mike Held, 14. Jerry Eckhardt, 15. Gregg Pawelski, 16. Mike Graczkowski, 17. Dennis Prunty, 18. Tommy Pecaro.
Super Late Model Qualifying Race 1—12 Laps: 1.Rob Braun, 2. Chris Blawat, 3. Mike Held, 4. Tommy Pecaro, 5. Terry Patnode.
Super Late Model Consi 20 Laps: 1. Jerry Eckhardt, 2. Mike Graczkowski, 3. Chris Ratajczyk, 4. Jake Vanoskey, 5. Tim Lampman.
Super Late Model Fast Dash: Jon Reynolds Jr.
Super Late Model Fastest Qualifier: Lowell Bennett, 11.457 seconds.
Late Model Feature—35 Laps: 1.James Swan, 2. Dave McCardle, 3. Brad Keith, 4. Wayne Freimund, 5. Ryan DeStefano.
Late Model Fast Dash—6 Laps: Brad Keith.
Late Model Fastest Qualifier: Dave McCardle, 12.384 seconds
Midwest Sportsman Feature—30 Laps: 1.Scott Shambeau, 2. Crystal Wood, 3. Ryan Farrell, 4. Aaron Cain, 5. Dan Church.
Midwest Sportsman Fast Dash—6 Laps: James Swan.
Midwest Sportsman Fastest Qualifier: James Swan 12.745 seconds.
Thunder Stock Feature—18 Laps: 1. Andy Welter, 2. Brad Hetzel, 3. Al Stippich, 4. Tyler Schley, 5. John Daley.
Thunderstock Qualifying Race—12 Laps: 1. Tyler Schley, 2. Bernie Leonard, 3. Adam Peschek, 4. Carl Benn, 5. John Daley.
Thunderstock Fast Dash—6 Laps: Al Stippich.
Thunderstock Fastest Qualifier: Brad Hetzel, 13.412 seconds (New Track Record).
Slinger Bee Feature—18 Laps: 1. Steve Dickson, 2. Braison Bennett, 3. Shane Westphal, 4. Nick Wagner, 5. Allen Maher Jr.
Slinger Bee Heat One—10 Laps: 1. Carl Benn, 2. Brittiny Helmers, 3. Erica Knutson, 4. Bill Ostovich, 5. Jake Schraufnagel.
Slinger Bee Heat Two—10 Laps: 1. Jimmy L und, 2. Zachary Clarke, 3. Carl Gebhard, 4. Scott Crawford, 5. Dylan Konitzer.
Slinger Bee Fast Dash—6 Laps: Steve Dickson.
Slinger Bee Fastest Qualifier: Braison Bennett, 15.324 seconds
Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car Winner: Mark Vandierdonk.
Figure 8 Winner: Brad Helser.
This article was posted to the website on August 29th, 2011