LAMONTE OUT MUSCLES APEL AS CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE HEATS UP!
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 25—Gary LaMonte edged Steve Apel by just .017 seconds at the finish to come out on top of the slobber-knocker that was the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Speedway.
The final laps between the top two championship contenders featured plenty of door-rubbing action as their cars bounced off one another as they charged for the checkered flag and left both drivers with some pointed heat of the moment comments afterwards.
“If that’s the way he wants to race me, that’s fine, we’ll fix the car every single week and bring it back faster,” an obviously disappointed Apel told the crowd, “I hope he’s got a lot of money behind him because he’ll need it.”
“It was a pretty good battle but just that last lap where he drove me to the fence out of turn four, I know it’s for a win but I could’ve right-reared him easily but I didn’t, “ Apel continued,
“Hats off to the guys on the crew as they give me the fastest car every single week and we’ll be back next week looking for a win.”
“A couple weeks back Steve (Apel) was hitting me every week and I had a nice little heart to heart with him, “ LaMonte stated from victory lane, “He said this is a (expletive) race track and we should stay home if we don’t want to race. So we decided to come out and play. Unfortunately I drove in a little too hard and got into him but hey…that’s racing.”
Brad Mueller had the best seat in the house for the slamfest up front as he finished a close third after leading for nearly all of the first half of the race.
“I forgot what this stage looks like, I mean, it’s third but that’s alright,” Mueller said, “The guys are working hard in the shop and things are turning around a little bit. We led a bunch of
laps and I wasn’t completely comfortable with it but it’s getting better and wait until the Slinger Nationals, then we’ll be there.”
Alex Prunty and Grant Griesbach rounded out the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively. Brad Keith finished sixth followed by Chris Blawat and Ryan DeStefano while Casey Johnson and Rich Loch completed the top ten.
Casey Johnson and Brad Keith each captured victories in super late model heat races and Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier at 11.321 seconds.
Zack Riddle ended Ryan Gutknecht’s winning streak at three as he drove to the win in the 40-lap late model main event while Gutknecht continued his front running ways by finishing second. Jack Stern took the checkered flag in third followed by Brian Holtz and Shaun Scheel in fourth and fifth. Jeremy DeRuyter won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Tom Jasinski and Tyler Hromadka. Nick Roehl was fourth and Ryan Lovald was fifth. Late model heat race victories went to Zach Braun, Steven Schultz, and R.J. Braun. Zack Riddle was the fastest qualifier with lap at 12.191 seconds.
Ryan Gutknecht notched another win in the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature, holding off Kenny Joosten for the victory. Bobby Gutknecht finished third followed by Paul Wagner and Jimmie Evans. Jimmie Evans won the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Ryan Gutknecht set fast time at 12.739 seconds.
Tom Berens won the Super Beez 25-lap feature over Steve Zoromski and Jayden Buckley while Brandon Tackes and Josh Marx rounded out the top five. Steve Zoromski won the Super Beez heat race and Tom Berens was the fastest qualifier at 13.614 seconds.
Paul Reagles captured the victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature over Tom Elsinger Jr. and Matt Urban. Anthony Dorzok and Al Strobel were fourth and fifth respectively. Al Strobel and Tom
Elsinger were the winners of the Slinger Bees heat races and Paul Reagles was the fastest qualifier with a lap at 15.231 seconds.
Willie Van Camp won the Figure 8 race to close the evening. Ryan Lovald escaped injury after his Figure 8 car barrel rolled and caught fire three laps into the event.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 18—Steve Apel drove to his second feature victory of the season Sunday night in the 60-lap super late model main event on Scout Night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
The car was on rails tonight,” Apel said afterwards, “We came here on Thursday and tested when it was 95 degrees so we knew if the car was good then it would be good in a long race. The guys busted their tails to give me the best car they could give me and it’s the probably the best car I’ve had all year.”
While Apel took the checkered flag relatively unchallenged, the battle behind him for second was intense with Alex Prunty edging Gary LaMonte for the runner-up spot at the finish.
“Nobody wants to win here more than I do,” Prunty told the crowd following his second place finish, “I’m happy to be here but like I said last week, it sucks finishing second, it sucks finishing third, everybody comes here to win and that’s why we’re here. It’s been frustrating but we’re getting there and we are getting close.”
“We just got a little tight on the bottom and I thought we may have had something to the checkered flag, “said LaMonte after his side by side dual to the finish with Prunty from which he emerged with a third place finish, “But some lapped cars got in the way and Alex (Prunty) just beat us back to the line.”
Jordan DeVoy kicked off his super late model debut at the Slinger Speedway by charging from the pole position to lead the early laps of the 60-lap main event. Alex Prunty settled into second place as Steve Apel, Gary LaMonte, and Dennis Prunty all worked their way towards the front from the middle of the pack. Prunty caught DeVoy by lap six and used an inside pass to take the top spot one lap later as Apel began to close on DeVoy for second. Apel worked his way into second a few laps later just before the first and only caution flag of the race waved on lap 21 when Dave McCardle experienced a mechanical issue and slowed in turn three. Alex Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart, leaving Apel the bottom while Dennis Prunty lined up outside of LaMonte in the second row. Apel was able to get a strong run off turn four as racing resumed and when Prunty’s car kicked slightly loose, Apel was able to power by to take the lead on lap 13. Behind the lead duo, LaMonte and Dennis Prunty staged an intense battle for third that LaMonte eventually won after several laps of hard serious racing. Once clear of Dennis Prunty, LaMonte began to track down Alex Prunty for second as Apel maintained his lead. Lapped traffic proved not to be an issue in the closing laps as Apel drove to his second feature win of the season while Alex Prunty edged LaMonte at the stripe for second. Dennis Prunty finished in fourth place and Brad Keith completed a strong race with a solid fifth place finish. Brad Mueller finished in sixth just ahead of Jordan DeVoy and Grant Griesbach while Chris Blawat and Fred Winn rounded out the top ten.
Braison Bennett won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over his father Lowell Bennett while R.J. Braun finished third to transfer to the main event in his super late model debut. Jerry Eckhardt finished fourth to claim the final transfer position and Tyler Hromadka finished fifth in his super late model debut. Super late model heat races were won by Lowell Bennett, Conrad Morgan, and Alex Prunty while Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.330 seconds.
Paul Wagner took the lead on lap nine and never looked back as he drove the victory in the 30-lap Area Sportsman feature, holding off a fast closing Jake Schraufnagel at the checkered flag. Schraufnagel was forced to settle for second place just ahead of Jay Kalbus in third. Andy Wendt and Joe Shelby completed the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively. Andy Welter was the winner of the Area Sportsman heat race and Jay Kalbus was the fastest qualifier at 12.927 seconds.
Tom Berens edged Steve Zoromski in a photo finish to win the 25-lap Slinger Beez feature event. Berens and Zoromski raced door to door over the final five laps with Berens just edging ahead at the finish. Zoromski led 23 of the 25 laps of the race and finished a close second while Jayden Buckley was third. Brandon Tackes finished fourth and Al Strobel was fifth. Jayden Buckley won the Slinger Beez heat race and Tom Berens was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.737 seconds.
Tom Elsinger Jr. captured his first career feature victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bee main event, holding off a fast closing Matt Urban by a fender at the finish. Urban finished a close second and Carl Benn was third. Marty Tackes and Al Strobel rounded out the top five. Slinger Bee heat races were won by Paul Reagles and Tom Elsinger Jr. while Carl Benn was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.272 seconds.
Trevor Dassow won the Spectator Eliminator races and Rick Bruskiewicz won the Figure 8 race to close the evening.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 11—Anytime Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel battle for the super late model feature victory at the Slinger Super Speedway it’s a guaranteed show and Sunday night was no exception as the two fought fiercely for the win in the 60-lap main event with Prunty edging Apel by a fender at the checkered flag..
“We were just hanging on those last five laps and I swear the left rear tire was flat,” Prunty stated from victory lane, “I did everything I could to keep it in front.”
“I have to thank Steve Apel for letting me collect it there too because we both could’ve been going to the trunk on the last lap,” Prunty continued referring to late race contact between the two that nearly sent Prunty’s car spinning on the final lap, “I kind of came down a little bit and well, he let me know.”
“I’m a little disappointed but I knew I wanted to do it clean,” Apel said afterwards standing with his family that included his newborn son, “I got Dennis (Prunty) a couple times and I let him collect it as I thought he was going around there for a second but all around not a bad day with second place.
Front row starters Nick Wagner and Ryan DeStefano raced for the lead in the opening laps before Wagner took command from the inside groove as both Steve Apel and Dennis Prunty began to work their way forward and into the top five.
The first caution flag of the event waved on lap ten when Alex Prunty and Rob Braun tangled in traffic in turn four and on the restart, Apel wasted no time in dispatching Wagner from the lead. Following another brief caution when Fred Winn’s car went around in turn two, Apel maintained the lead while Dennis Prunty used the outside lane to move into second, bringing Gary LaMonte with him into third.
The top three raced in tight formation with Prunty making numerous looks for the lead to Apel’s inside while LaMonte remained in their tire tracks. On lap 19, Prunty finally made the inside move work as he squeaked by for the lead and when LaMonte filled the gap, Apel found himself in third. LaMonte then pressured Prunty for the lead as he edge to the inside and the two battled side by side for several laps before LaMonte’s car began to slip off the turns. A few laps later, LaMonte exited the speedway in a cloud of smoke as the caution waved again.
Prunty and Apel renewed their battle for the top spot as racing resumed and as the laps wound down Chris Blawat and Alex Prunty staged a battle of their own for third place. With two laps to go, Apel was right on Prunty’s left rear corner and a slight tap sent Prunty’s car sliding sideways off turn four. Apel allowed Prunty to gather up the car and the two raced the final lap side by side for the win with Prunty scoring the victory by a fender. Chris Blawat edged Alex Prunty for third while Ryan DeStefano finished a strong fifth. Brad Keith finished sixth and Conrad Morgan was seventh. Grant Griesbach, Randy Schuler, and Rob Braun rounded out the top ten finishers.
Super late model heat races were won by Mike Held and Ryan DeStefano while Gary LaMonte was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.402 seconds.
Ryan Gutknecht wrestled the lead away from Steven Schulz on lap 27 and drove to his third consecutive late model feature victory in the 40-lap main event. Schultz finished second while R.J. Braun advanced positions late in the race to finish third. Braison Bennett finished fourth and Al Stippich crossed the line in fifth after making a brazen three wide pass for the position on the final lap. The pass was deemed to have violated the track’s rule against three wide racing and Stippich was scored as the final car on the lead lap, moving Jack Stern into fifth. Brian Holtz finished sixth and Tom Jasinski finished seventh ahead of E.J. Waldron in eighth. Tyler Schley and Jakob Hassler completed the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.
Tom Jasinski won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Kyle Chwala and Nick Roehl. Zach Braun and Ryan Lovald rounded out the top five. Late model heat race wins were collected by Nick Roehl, Tyler James, and Adam Pescheck while Ryan Gutknecht set fast time with a lap of 12.354 seconds.
Eric Lingford held off a hard charging Ryan Gutknecht to win the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature event. Gutknecht finished second while early leader Jimmie Evans took the checkered flag in third. Bobby Gutknecht crossed the finish line in fourth and Scott Dunning was fifth. Jimmie Evans won the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Ryan Gutknecht was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.828 seconds.
Tom Berens edged George Sparkman by .097 seconds to win the Super Beez feature in a photo finish. Jayden Buckley, Brandon Tackes, and Rachel Sparkman rounded out the top five in third through fifth respectively. Tom Berens also won the Super Beez heat race and was the fastest qualifier at 13.801 seconds.
Marty Tackes scored his first career feature victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature. Anthony Dorzok was second followed by Paul Reagles in third. Matt Urban finished fourth and Brady Held was fifth. Matt Urban won the Slinger Bees heat race and Paul Reagles was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.202 seconds.
David Prunty won the Spectator Eliminator races in his Corvette and Scott Goetzke closed the night with a win in the Figure 8 race.
LaMONTE CAPTURES ROUND ONE OF THE PEPSI TRIPLE CHALLENGE AT SLINGER
Written By: Dan Margetta
Willy Van Camp won the wild Figure 8 race to close the night..