By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Sept. 6— Lowell Bennett turned back the challenges of Jamie Wallace and charged to his sixth super late model feature win of the season in the Russ Darrow Labor Day Special 100 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, padding his point lead in his mission to nail down his sixth track championship.
“My crew did one marvelous job as these last three weeks, this car has come alive so much,” Bennett told the crowd from victory lane, “My hat’s off to those guys in the pits as they really made it all possible.”
Conrad Morgan launched into the lead from the outside groove at the start of the 100-lap main event while Dennis Prunty and Jamie Wallace also raced into second and third respectively from the outer lane. Wallace was able to edge to the inside of Prunty a few laps later for second and he began to track down Morgan for the top spot. By lap seven, Wallace had caught Morgan and once again used an inside move to grab the position while Prunty closed in, also driving to the inside of Morgan for second a few laps later. With the top three settling down nose to tail, the fourth position was up from grabs with Brad Dahmer, Matt Kocourek, and Steve Apel contesting the spot in a tight pack. Prunty dogged Wallace for the lead for several laps before taking command on lap 16 by diving to the inside for the lead. The action behind the top three continued to be intense and the tight quarters racing momentarily gridlocked the field on lap 23 with the resulting accordion-like effect sending Brad Mueller’s machine looping to the infield as the race remained under green. While the top three remained intact with Prunty leading Wallace and Morgan, Eric Fransen and Lowell Bennett advanced to join the front runners, moving into fourth and fifth by lap 30. As Prunty maintained his lead with Wallace directly behind him, Morgan’s car appeared to lose the handle as he gradually slipped back with Fransen, Bennett, and Kocourek all working their way around the veteran by lap 50.
The caution flag waved a lap later when a tangle in turn four in front of the leaders between Gary LaMonte and Josh Bauer nearly spelled disaster Fransen as his front fender peeled back as he maneuvered his way through the incident. Prunty chose the inside lane for the restart, leaving Wallace the high line as Fransen, Bennett, and Kocourek filled in the positions behind them. As the green flag appeared, Wallace did an outstanding job of timing the start, building a head of steam entering turn one to use the outside lane to challenge Prunty for the lead as they exited turn two. After some exciting moments of door to door racing, Wallace made the high groove work as he cleared Prunty for the lead on lap 51. Bennett followed suit on the high side and passed Prunty for second place while Fransen and Kocourek held down fourth and fifth. Five laps later the yellow would appear again as Dale Prunty’s car came to a halt in turn two after experiencing a flash fire on the front straight. This time, Wallace chose the inside for the restart and much like the previous one the outside lane proved to be advantageous as Bennett was able to get a strong run off turn two to take the lead on lap 57. Wallace was able to keep Bennett honest as he remained glued in Bennett’s tire tracks while Fransen also used the high lane to get third place while Prunty found himself in a battle with Dave Feiler and Collin Bamke over fourth. Prunty eventually prevailed to keep the fourth spot while Fransen tried to track down Bennett and Wallace for the top spot. The leaders worked their way through lapped traffic and while Wallace could gain significant ground in the middle of turns three and four, Bennett pulled him off turn two and down the backstretch as the laps wound down. Bennett successfully held off the challenges of Wallace and drove to his sixth super late model feature win of the season while Wallace finished a strong second. Despite his front fender flailing in the wind, Fransen took the checkered flag with a stout third place result, just ahead of Dennis Prunty in fourth. Collin Bamke finished in the fifth position just ahead of Dave Feiler and Matt Kocourek in sixth and seventh place respectively. Steve Apel, Al Schill, and Mike Egan completed the top ten finishers.
Eddie May scored the victory in the 30-lap super late model semi-feature, taking the checkered flag ahead of Brad Keith and Randy Schuler, who edged Rob Braun at the line for third. Jon Reynolds Jr. finished in the fifth position. Jamie Wallace took top honors in the super late model fast dash and Brad Mueller topped the 33-car super late model field in qualifying with a lap of 11.404 seconds.
After turning in some strong runs in recent weeks, James Swan showed patience in the outside groove and put it all together in driving to the win in the 35-lap late model feature.
Jake Vanoskey and Dave McCardle led the field to the start with Vanoskey leading the opening lap with McCardle alongside and Swan tucked right behind them. Vanoskey used the inside to gradually ease ahead of McCardle as Swan also utilize the inside to work his way around McCardle and into second by lap five. Swan and McCardle essentially swapped locations on the track as Swan went to the outside and McCardle took to the inside as they raced door to door directly behind Vanoskey in the lead. As the trio approached a slower car, Vanoskey’s machine looped in turn one with both Swan and McCardle making slight contact with Vanoskey’s sideways car as they drove by with the yellow flag waving. The incident was judged to be created by fluid from the lapped car and Vanoskey regained the lead for the restart over Swan and McCardle. Vanoskey and Swan battled side by side for the lead as racing resumed with Swan hanging tough on the top side. After several laps of battling alongside Vanoskey, Swan’s patience in the upper groove began to pay off as he gradually began to move away from Vanoskey out front while McCardle began to have his hands full with Chris Blawat, Trevor Dassow, and Ryan DeStefano who all advanced forward to join the lead battle. Swan was able to clear Vanoskey for the lead on lap 21 while McCardle, Blawat, and Dassow lined up nose to tail in third, fourth, and fifth place respectively. Behind the top five DeStefano and Steve Schulz staged a battle over sixth that Schulz eventually won when DeStefano’s car looped into the infield off turn four on lap 26 with the race remaining green. In the closing laps, Swan pulled out to a comfortable lead while Vanoskey, McCardle, Blawat, and Schulz disputed the second position. As the laps began to wind down, Swan maintained his lead while Vanoskey found himself hung up on the outside as McCardle, Blawat, and Schulz all raced by. Swan drove to the win while McCardle held off Blawat for second. Schulz finished in fourth place and Vanoskey finished fifth. Ryan DeStefano was the winner of the late model fast dash and Trevor Dassow was the fastest qualifier at 12.378 seconds.
Pulling double-duty in two divisions didn’t slow down James Swan as he immediately followed up his victory in the late model main event with a flag to flag win in the 30-lap Midwest Sportsman feature, driving the car normally piloted by Brian Holtz.
Swan grabbed the lead at the start as Mike Borchardt Jr. and Jimmie Evans followed behind in second and third, just ahead of Gregg Pawelski and Tom Elsinger. Swan maintained his lead over Borchardt and Evans by ten lap mark as Andy Haver entered the top five, passing Elsinger for fifth. Borchardt continued to chase Swan for the lead and while he was able to keep the leader in his sights, he wasn’t able to mount a serious challenge despite Swan’s car sliding slightly loose off the corners. Behind Swan and Borchardt, Pawelski and Evans raced for the third spot as Jay Shambeau joined the top-five battle with Haver. Borchardt made a final effort for the win on the white flag lap but the move proved costly as he spun around off turn four with the checkered flag in sight as Swan charged to the win. Pawelski crossed the line in second place followed by Evans and Shambeau while Haver rounded out the top five. Earlier in the evening, Borchardt was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Pawelski was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap of 12.874 seconds.
Aaron Cain edged Al Stippich in a green-white-checkered finish to win the 18-lap Thunderstock feature.
Stippich paced the early laps over Ryan Farrell and Andy Welter while Dan Wood battled with Cain over fourth. While Stippich held off Farrell’s challenges for the lead, Cain worked his way around Wood for third and set his sights on Welter for third. A few laps later, Cain raced into third place just before the caution flag appeared on lap 16 when Rick Schaefer experienced mechanical problems and dropped fluid on the speedway. During the caution period, Farrell suddenly slowed on the track and also retired from the event with mechanical problems, advancing Cain to the runner-up spot behind Stippich. Cain had his car wound up on the restart as both he and Stippich took the white flag side by side. Stippich’s car appeared loose on the inside while Cain’s car worked well off the turns, which allowed him to pull ahead in the run to the checkered flag to score the win. Stippich finished a strong second while Welter crossed the line in third place. Stephanie Losiniecki and Dan Wood completed the top five finishers. Dan Wood also was the winner of the Thunderstock fast dash and Aaron Cain set fast time at 13.619 seconds.
Alex Prunty held off a hard charging Joe Lang to win the 16-lap Slinger Bees feature. Jon DeAngelis took the checkered flag directly behind the top two to finish third while Carl Benn and Katie DeStefano rounded out the top five finishers. Joe Lang was the fastest qualifier at 15.763 seconds. Ben Maschman won the Speedway Guest Car race and Dale Janus topped the Spectator Eliminator events. Shane Becker drove to the win in the Figure 8 race.
This article was posted to the website on September 7th, 2009