By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Sept. 9— Chris Blawat captured his first super late model feature victory Sunday afternoon at the Slinger Super Speedway in the 80-lap season championship main event while Dennis Prunty edged Steve Apel to win the track championship by a mere ten points.
“This is our first full year in the super late models and we finally got a win, it’s awesome,” Blawat stated from victory lane after passing Dennis Prunty to lead the final 23 laps, “I tried to run as clean as possible and I had a really good run on the outside on that last restart,” “It’s really special to win it like that, passing a potential track champion for the win makes it real special.”
Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel entered the double-point day tied atop the super late model point standings and Apel gained a 20 point advantage early on by setting fast time with a lap of 11.411 seconds while Prunty failed to gain any points after qualifying eleventh. Prunty cut the deficit in half by leading 57 laps of the 80-lap feature to capture the ten point bonus for pacing the most laps before eventually finishing second while Apel charged through the field from his eleventh starting position to finish third, one position behind Prunty. A 20 point difference between the second and third positions in the feature left Prunty with his first Slinger super late model track championship by ten points over Apel.
John Reynolds and Dennis Prunty led the super late model feature field to the green flag and Prunty edged ahead to grab the lead from the outside lane while Reynolds battled with James Swan for second just ahead of Blawat, Jeff Holtz, and David Prunty. Swan overtook Reynolds for second with an outside pass and Blawat repeated the move a lap later as Reynolds began to struggle on the inside. After Holtz also went around Reynolds on the high side, Reynolds dropped to the apron with mechanical issues on lap nine as the sudden slow-down caused a minor scramble behind him that sent Mike Graczkowski’s car around in turn one to draw the caution flag. Prunty chose the inside lane for the restart and as racing resumed, Swan issued a strong challenge on Prunty for the lead from the outside. Swan kept even with Prunty for three laps with each time Prunty being able to just edge ahead slightly off turn four to barely maintain the lead at the stripe. Swan eventually began to slip in the high lane allowing Prunty to claim the lead all to his own while Blawat and Holtz took advantage of the opportunity to fill the gap on the inside to move into second and third respectively. David Prunty was the next in line to take a shot at Swan from the inside, taking the position a lap later as Swan quickly dropped to the inside lane directly ahead of Lowell Bennett.
A quick tap to the rear bumper however, sent Swan right back into the outside lane and he lost another position before things settled down as he made his way back to the inside lane. With Prunty leading, championship contender Steve Apel was mired in traffic as he appeared to use patience early to methodically work his way forward one position at a time and found himself up to seventh after working his way by Dale Prunty, Mike Egan, and Brad Mueller. Apel had a minor scare on lap 35 when Dan Jung’s car kicked loose directly in front of him off turn four and skidded towards the apron as Apel and Egan drove by. Jung regained control of his car and entered turn one on the very low side in a brief three-wide situation with David Prunty and Lowell Bennett which sorted itself out as they headed down the backstretch. However as they raced down the front straightaway the following lap, Jung’s car spun into turn one after some contact with David Prunty and the caution flag waved with Dennis Prunty leading over Blawat, Holtz, Swan, and Rob Braun. Blawat once again challenged Prunty for the lead from the outside as the green flag waved but despite his efforts, Prunty maintained the lead at the stripe while Swan went to work on Holtz for third, aggressively trying to take the spot a few laps later while Braun, Mike Strupp, and Apel looked on. The battle with Holtz damaged the fender on Swan’s car which allowed Braun, Strupp, and Apel to pass him on consecutive laps as the handling on Swan’s car began to fade. With Prunty continuing to lead over Blawat, Apel began to make his move toward the front, driving up to third place by lap 57 when Eric Fransen’s car conspicuously came to a stop in turn four to produce a caution flag. This time, Blawat was able to get a strong run from the outside on the restart and he took the lead from Prunty as the championship contenders battled for the second position. Blawat pulled away over the final laps as Prunty, Apel, and Braun raced intensely for second with Prunty eventually keeping the spot with Apel close behind him. Blawat drove to his first career super late model feature win as Prunty finished second, one spot ahead of Apel which was enough to claim the track championship. Rob Braun and Jeff Holtz were fourth and fifth respectively while Mike Egan finished sixth. Brad Mueller, James Swan, and Mike Strupp rounded out the top ten finishers.
Dan Jung won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Mike Borchardt and Mike Held. Jerry Eckhardt and Jeremy Schultz were fourth and fifth. Lowell Bennett was the winner of the super late model fast dash while Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.411 seconds.
Ryan DeStefano took top honors in the 35-lap late model feature while Alex Prunty captured his first late model track championship.
Adam Peschek paced the opening laps over Justin Poenitsch and John DeAngelis while Alex Prunty and Ryan DeStefano raced close behind. A traffic jam throughout the field on lap three created a multi-car incident in turn four in which fast qualifier Dan Church sustained the most damage after striking the retaining wall head on. Peschek continued to lead over Poenitsch and Prunty on the restart with DeAngelis and DeStefano right behind them in fourth and fifth. DeStefano used an inside pass to take fourth from DeAngelis and then he and Prunty began to work their way forward, pressuring Poenitsch for second as Peschek continued to lead. Prunty and DeStefano both worked their way around Poenitsch on the inside and began to track Peschek for the lead, catching him by lap 25. Prunty again used the inside to pass Peschek for the lead and DeStefano followed before Peschek broke loose off turn two and spun to the infield on lap 30 to produce the caution flag. During the caution period, smoke began to slowly emit from Prunty’s car however, no fluid was leaking from it and he remained on the speedway for the final restart. As the green flag waved, DeStefano was on his marks and he charged into the lead as Prunty settled into second with the laps winding down. DeStefano raced to the win while Prunty’s second place finish earned him the track championship. Jerry Mueller finished third while Justin Poenitsch and Pat McIntee rounded out the top five as John DeAngelis and Al Stippich crashed hard in turn four while racing to the checkered flag for position.
John DeAngelis won the late model fast dash and Dan Church was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 12.357 seconds.
James Swan and Ryan Farrell have battled for supremacy in the Midwest Sportsman division all season long so it was only fitting that the two would race for the win and the track championship in the final feature of the season with Swan edging Farrell for the win and the track championship.
Brad Keith drove the car normally piloted by Dustin Krebs and he led the opening laps over Kenny Joosten and Brian Holtz while Swan and Farrell began to slice their way forward. Swan’s car was extremely fast on the outside line and he used it to charge into the lead by lap three. Farrell also had is car working on both high side and the low side and he weaved his way to the front, passing Holtz, Joosten, and Keith in successive laps to claim the second spot with Swan as the leader. Carl Benn spun in turn one on lap 16 and was collected briefly by the car of Jimmie Wilson as the caution flag waved with Swan leading over Farrell and Joosten. Farrell challenged Swan for the lead as racing resumed but with each passing lap, Swan turned back the challenges and continued to lead. Debris on the speedway produced the final caution flag on lap 27, setting up a three lap charge to the finish between Swan and Farrell for the victory. Farrell made a valiant effort to unseat Swan for the lead as the green flag appeared but Swan proved to be too strong and drove to the win and along with it, the track championship in the Midwest Sportsman division. Kenny Joosten finished third followed by Brian Holtz and Brad Keith in fourth and fifth respectively.
Jack Stern was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Ryan Farrell was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.804 seconds.
Ken Schraufnagel edged Brad Hetzel in a close finish to win the 20-lap Thunderstock feature after a lap 17 caution flag for multiple spins around the speedway set up a three lap dash to the checkered flag. While Hetzel had to settle for the close finish in the feature, the result helped him capture the track championship for the division. Tyler Schley recovered from an earlier spin to finish third while Joe Mueller and John Daley completed the top five. Tyler Schley was the winner of the Thunderstock fast dash and John Daley was the division’s fastest qualifier after lapping the speedway in 13.561 seconds.
Steve Dickson won the 20-lap Slinger Bee feature over Brandon Tackes and Jacob Schraufnagel. Ryan Savage and Dave Lembke took the checkered flag in fourth and fifth place respectively. Steve Dickson also was the winner of the Slinger Bee fast dash while heat race wins were recorded by Jacob Schraufnagel and Russ Davison. Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier with an impressive lap of 14.946 seconds while Nick Schmidt captured the track championship in the division.
Joe Mueller scored the victory in the Figure 8 race to close the afternoon and the 2012 season while Willie Van Camp claimed the track championship in the Figure 8 division.
This article was posted to the website on September 10th, 2012