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MORGAN NETS THIRD FEATURE WIN AT SLINGER
 
By Dan Margetta
 
          Slinger, Wis., Aug. 17—Conrad Morgan led flag to flag to capture his third feature victory of the season in the 60-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
          “We’re not done yet!” the 66-year old Hall of Famer told the crowd from victory lane after holding off defending track champion Steve Apel for the win.
          Tim Lampman and Morgan led the field to the green flag and Morgan quickly established himself as the leader from the outside groove, bringing Apel along with him and into second. A touch to the left corner of Apel’s car from the right front fender of Lampman’s machine caused Apel’s car to twitch, momentarily bottling up the field as Lampman moved into second while Morgan extended his lead. Apel immediately regained control and held onto third ahead of Lowell Bennett, John DeAngelis, and Rob Braun. As Morgan continued to lead, Apel regrouped and passed Lampman for second a few laps later, opening up the inside lane for Bennett, Braun, and Dennis Prunty to all move around Lampman for position. The top five ran in nose to tail formation as Apel and the others tried to close the distance between themselves and Morgan who continued to lead. With the laps clicking off and Morgan working lapped traffic, Apel was able to gradually erase the deficit and began to close in. Bennett maintained third place while the best battle on the speedway was occurring over fourth place between Braun and Prunty. The two battled intensely off turn four and then carried the fight into turn one where both cars washed high on the racetrack, allowing Dale Prunty to charge by them. In the final laps, while Apel was able to close on Morgan, he could not make a significant challenge for the lead as Morgan drove to his third feature victory of the season. Apel finished a strong second while Lowell Bennett was third followed by Dale Prunty and Braison Bennett in fourth and fifth respectively.
          Ryan DeStefano, Dale Prunty, and Steve Apel all scored super late model heat race victories and Dennis Prunty was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 11.421 seconds.
          Dan Church battled Alex Prunty to the checkered flag to win the 40-lap late model feature.
          Steve Schulz paced the opening laps as the inside lane was the preferred groove early on as both Church and Prunty used it to advance into second and third respectively as Ricky Heinan and Mike Held rounded out the top five positions. Church and Prunty tracked down Schulz for the lead as they began a side by side tussle for second directly behind Schulz in the lead. Church and Prunty caught Schulz down the backstretch and entering turn three, momentarily split Schulz for the top spot and as they exited turn four, Prunty prevailed with the lead. Church slotted into second place while Heinan was able to get around Schulz for third. The only caution flag of the event waved on lap 37 when Schulz and Jack Stern tangled off turn two to set up a three lap sprint to the finish. Prunty chose the inside for the restart and was able to edge out front as racing resumed. However, Church was able to keep his momentum up off the corners on the outside and was able to move alongside Prunty with two laps to go. A strong run off turn two, enabled Church to take the lead as the white flag was displayed and he led the final lap to take the victory leaving Prunty with a close second place result. Ricky Heinan completed a very strong race with a third place finish while Wayne Freimund and Al Stippich rounded out the top five.
          Tim Lange and Wayne Freimund each recorded a late model heat race win and Dan Church was the fastest qualifier at 12.534 seconds.
          Kyle Chwala edged Nick Egan at the finish line to win the Area Sportsman 30 lap feature in a very close finish.
          Egan sprang to the lead at the drop of the green flag over Rich Wagner, Andy Welter, and Joe Shelby. Kyle Chwala maintained fifth place as he looked to advance forward. With Egan out front, Wagner’s car suddenly slowed off turn two, allowing Shelby, Welter, and Chwala to go by as the race remained under green. Chwala first made his way by Welter on the inside for third and then took to the outside to pass Shelby for second. Chwala then began to track down Egan for the lead, drawing to his bumper as the white flag waved. Chwala made his move on the high side entering turn one and using a strong run off turn two, eased alongside Egan as they raced for the checkered flag. Chwala’s run off turn four was enough to make the difference, as he edged Egan at the line by less than a car length to take the victory. Egan finished second while Welter was able to hold off Shelby for third, leaving Shelby to finish fourth. Paul Wagner was fifth.
          The Area Sportsman heat race was won by Kyle Chwala and he also set fast time at 13.249 seconds.
          Brandon Tackes took the top spot on lap six and went on to win the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Carl Benn and Jacob Schraufnagel. Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Paul Reagles rounded out the top five. Nicole Mueller won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Jared Deming and Triston Dorzok. Earlier Dorzok scored his first ever Slinger Bee win in the opening heat race while Jacob Schraufnagel and T.J. Graczkowski were the winners of the other Slinger Bee heat races. Carl Benn was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.753 seconds.
          Trevor Dassow drove his Mazda Miata to the win in the Spectator Eliminator races and Ron Schmitt closed the evening with a victory in the Figure 8 race.

 

DALE PRUNTY REBOUNDS FOR FIRST FEATURE VICTORY
 
By Dan Margetta
          Slinger, Wis., Aug. 10—A week after having his car completely off the ground in an accident, Dale Prunty returned to the Slinger Super Speedway and won his first super late model feature of the season, holding off his brother Dennis Prunty in the process.
          Chris Blawat and Dale Prunty traded the lead in the opening laps before Prunty prevailed from the outside lane while John DeAngelis, Travis Dassow, and Steve Apel battled behind the lead duo. Brad Mueller and Rob Braun moved up to join the battle for third as DeAngelis became caught in the high groove and dropped back. Mueller and Apel worked their way around Blawat for second and third respectively while Dennis Prunty advanced to challenge Braun for the fifth spot. Dennis Prunty took over fifth place just before the first caution flag flew on lap 27 when Rob Braun spun around while racing for position with Brad Keith. During the caution period, Keith tapped the roof of his car, taking the blame for the incident and Braun was given his spot back as Dale Prunty led Mueller, Apel, and Blawat for the restart. Prunty chose the outside lane as racing resumed and after a few door to door laps with Mueller, was able to pull ahead off the second turn to maintain his lead. Apel remained glued to Mueller’s rear bumper as the top three raced nose to tail while Dennis Prunty used the inside groove to take over fourth from Blawat. Mueller looked momentarily to the outside for the lead which opened up the inner lane for Apel to challenge for second but after his charge fell short, a slight tag to the rear bumper cover from Dennis Prunty was enough to move Apel out of the groove and allow Dennis Prunty to advance into third place. While the action for third place was occurring, Mueller was stalking Dale Prunty for the lead just before the second caution flag waved on lap 38 for an incident involving John DeAngelis in turn one. This time it appeared Mueller got the jump on Dale Prunty as the race restarted as they again raced door to door with Mueller gaining a slight advantage from the inside. Dale Prunty was tough however on the high side and with each lap, he gradually began to edge ahead until he was able to clear Mueller for the lead off turn four. Contact between the lead cars off the corner slowed Mueller’s momentum slightly, knocking him to the inside which allowed Dennis Prunty to charge from fourth into second using the upper groove as Apel, in the lower groove was blocked by Mueller’s sideways car. The Prunty brothers then pulled away to decide the race amongst themselves with Dennis making numerous attempts to pass on the inside. Dale Prunty was able to turn back the challenges however from the outside and he drove to his first super late model feature victory of the season with Dennis Prunty finishing a close second. Brad Mueller finished third while Steve Apel and Rob Braun rounded out the top five finishers. Conrad Morgan crossed the finish line in sixth place followed by Mike Egan and Lowell Bennett while Braison Bennett and Brad Keith completed the top ten.
          Jeff Holtz won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Tom Hromadka and Nick Wagner as all three moved up to the super late model feature. Pat McIntee finished fourth and also transferred to the main event. Super late model heat races were won by Tom Hromadka, Braison Bennett, and Dennis Prunty. Brad Mueller was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.403 seconds.
          Alex Prunty worked lapped traffic to his advantage and held off Dan Church for his third late model feature victory of the season in the 40-lap main event.
          Mike Held forged ahead to lead the opening laps as Alex Prunty quickly slid into the second spot with Jack Stern, Ricky Heinan, and Dan Church close behind. A minor tangle between Jerry Mueller and Andy Evraets in turn three on the third lap bunched up the field causing Tyler Schley to hit the wall hard as the caution flag waved. Prunty was ready on the restart and he was able to charge ahead of Held for the lead as racing resumed, leaving Held to fend off Church and Stern for second. Church and Stern both made their way around Held for second and third respectively before the second caution flag waved on lap 10 for a spin by Corey Funk in turn four. Prunty maintained the lead over Church on the restart as two laps after the green flag appeared, the field slowed again when Grant Griesbach was tagged in the back while trying to edge inside of Ricky Heinan for the fifth spot, causing Griesbach to loop around and collect Steve Scheel and Andy Evraets. Al Stippich was also judged to be part of the incident and he restarted from the back as Prunty and Church lined up to duel for the lead once again. This time Church was able to gain the lead as the race got underway once again but Prunty remained in his tire tracks as it was evident the two would settle the outcome. Prunty took to the outside in the final laps and he and Church raced side by side for several circuits with Church able to keep the lead from the inside. On lap 33, the leaders approached lapped traffic and with a lapped car directly in front of Church in the inside lane, it was all Prunty needed to take the lead from the outside. Prunty then drove to his third feature victory of the season, leaving Church to finish a strong second. Wayne Freimund took the checkered flag in third place while Ricky Heinan and Jack Stern rounded out the top five.
          Steven Scheel and Jack Stern each recorded late model heat race victories and Dan Church was the fastest qualifier at 12.524 seconds.
          Kenny Joosten drove to a dominating victory in the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature. Joosten led the event flag to flag and was well out front of second place Jack Stern at the finish. Jay Shambeau was third followed by Ryan Gutknecht and Scott Shambeau.
          Joosten also edged Chris Storey to win the Midwest Sportsman heat race while Jay Shambeau was the fastest qualifier in the division with a lap of 12.948 seconds.
          Dale Kiley-Schaefer won the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Nick Schmidt and Jacob Schraufnagel. Carl Benn and Matt Rose finished fourth and fifth respectively. Heather Stark was the winner of the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Nicole Mueller and Kevin Bush. Slinger Bee heat race victories were claimed by Ryan Lovald, Todd Buckley, and Dale Kiley-Schaefer. Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.729 seconds.
          A.J. Gurrola drove his Audi to the win in the Spectator Eliminator races while Rick Bruskiewicz raced to the win in the Figure 8 race over Joe Mueller and Scott Goetzke.

 
 

Super Late Models - Feature   

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 2 17P Dale Prunty Fond Du, Wi 85.00
2 9 22P Dennis Prunty Knowles , Wi 72.00
3 8 89M Brad Mueller Random Lake, Wi 62.00
4 6 16A Steve Apel West Bend, Wi 50.00
5 5 98B Robert Braun Wales , Wi 46.00
6 14 92M Conrad Morgan Waukesha , Wi 45.00
7 12 89E Mike Egan Slinger , Wi 43.00
8 15 2B Lowell Bennett Neenah , Wi 40.00
9 13 9B Braison Bennett Neenah , Wi 38.00
10 20 90K Brad Keith Slinger , Wi 36.00
11 10 9L Tim Lampman Oak Creek, Wi 35.00
12 1 26B Chris Blawat Palmyra , Wi 34.00
13 4 7D John Deangelis Hubertus , Wi 33.00
14 18 38W Nick Wagner Hartford , Wi 32.00
15 16 38H Jeff Holtz Franksville , Wi 31.00
16 19 35M Patrick Mcintee West Bend, Wi 30.00
17 17 3H Tommy Hromadka Brookfield , Wi 30.00
18 11 0D Ryan Destefano Hartland , Wi 29.00
19 3 35D Travis Dassow West Bend, Wi 28.00
     More Results

 

Late Models - Feature  

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 3 11P Alex Prunty Lomira , Wi 80.00
2 6 9C Danny Church Williams Bay, Wi 77.00
3 12 95F Wayne Freimund Elkhorn , Wi 63.00
4 5 26H Ricky Heinan Kewaskum , Wi 56.00
5 2 26S Jack Stern Slinger , Wi 49.00
6 1 72H Mike Held Hartford , Wi 45.00
7 11 66S Al Stippich West Bend, Wi 41.00
8 13 96L Tim Lange Dousman , Wi 38.00
9 14 13H Brittiny Helmers Menomonee Falls, Wi 36.00
10 9 17G Grant Griesbach Waukesha , Wi 34.00
11 8 21F Corey Funk Hartford , Wi 32.00
12 15 90L Duke Long West Bend, Wi 30.00
13 7 49E Andy Evraets Menomonee Falls, Wi 29.00
14 16 4S Stephen Scheel Lake Mills, Wi 28.00
15 4 49M Jerry Mueller Richfield , Wi 27.00
16 10 55S Tyler Schley Richfield , Wi 26.00
17 17 41H Brad Hetzel West Bend, Wi 25.00
     More Results

 

Midwest Sportsman - Feature  

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 1 47J Kenny Joosten Wonder Lake, Il 85.00
2 3 26S Jack Stern Slinger , Wi 72.00
3 7 5S Jay Shambeau Hubertus , Wi 63.00
4 4 01G Ryan Gutknecht Oak Creek, Wi 56.00
5 6 88S Scott Shambeau Milwaukee , Wi 49.00
6 5 38H Brian Holtz Muskego , Wi 45.00
7 8 66S Chris Storey Burlington , Wi 41.00
8 2 69E Dennis Eichhorst Rubicon , Wi 38.00
     More Results

 

Slinger Bees - Feature  

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 3 88K Dale Kiley-schaefer West Bend, Wi 85.00
2 2 09S Nick Schmidt Watertown , Wi 72.00
3 7 29J Jacob Schraufnagel Slinger , Wi 63.00
4 6 02B Carl Benn Menomonee Falls, Wi 56.00
5 5 98R Matt Rose Grafton , Wi 49.00
6 8 24T Brandon Tackes West Bend, Wi 45.00
7 1 2T Marty Tackes West Bend, Wi 41.00
8 11 13D Isaac Daniel West Bend, Wi 38.00
9 12 31T Todd Buckley Slinger , Wi 36.00
10 10 22B Brandon Berens Iron Ridge, Wi 34.00
11 9 30B Zach Braun Slinger , Wi 32.00
12 13 20Z Steve Zoromski Slinger , Wi 30.00
13 17 07S Alex Seidl Appleton , Wi 29.00
14 14 93S Heather Stark Watertown , Wi 28.00
15 15 12M Nicole Mueller Muskego , Wi 27.00
16 16 58B Kevin Bush Hartford , Wi 26.00
17 4 38S Rick Schaefer Hartford , Wi 25.00
18 18 75G Tj Graczkowski Jackson , Wi 25.00
     More Results

 

Spectators - Feature  

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 1 81014 A.j. Gurrola West Bend, Wi 0.00
     More Results

 

Figure 8s - Feature  

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 7 17B Rick Bruskiewicz Mayville , Wi 100.00
2 8 44M Joseph Mueller Hartford , Wi 85.00
3 6 4G Scott Goetzke Iron Ridge, Wi 75.00
4 5 67L Ryan Lovald Muskego , Wi 70.00
5 4 11V Willy Van Camp Appleton , Wi 65.00
6 1 9L Russ Lorbiecki Sussex , Wi 55.00
7 3 20B Shane Becker Hartford , Wi 55.00
8 2 6S Ron Schmitt Slinger , Wi 50.00
BENNETT TAKES THIRD VICTORY OF THE SEASON ON HARLEY DAVIDSON BIKE NIGHT
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 27—Lowell Bennett held off Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel to win the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway on Harley-Davidson Night. The victory was Bennett’s third main event win of the season.
Dave McCardle and Braison Bennett led the field to the green and the action picked up early as Bennett’s car kicked loose off turn two and slapped the outside wall. The car then veered nose first into the retaining wall, stacking up the field behind and collecting nine other cars in the process. The cars of Nick Wagner, Fred Winn, Conrad Morgan, Auston Luedtke, and Braison Bennett were done for the night while Steve Apel, Ryan DeStefano, and Mike Egan all left the speedway for repairs. Dennis Prunty’s car sustained some damage but he remained on the track as the clean-up process began. This time, McCardle and Lowell Bennett led the field as the race was restarted and Bennett quickly raced out to the lead. With Lowell Bennett out front, Dennis Prunty worked his way into second place by lap four and began to try to track down Bennett for the lead. Bennett and Prunty began to pull away from the field while McCardle, Dale Prunty, and Rob Braun raced for position behind them as Steve Apel began to work his way forward from the rear of the field. By lap 15, Apel had raced into the fourth position and five laps later, he charged into third while up front Bennett and Prunty enjoyed nearly a straightaway advantage. Bennett led Prunty by two car lengths at the halfway mark as Apel continued to close on the lead duo with Rob Braun and John DeAngelis now occupying fourth and fifth respectively.Prunty looked to the inside of Bennett for the lead on lap 43 and the leaders raced side by side as they approached lapped traffic. The side by side racing allowed Apel to close the gap to make it a three car race for the lead with the laps winding down. With five laps to go, Prunty once again looked for the lead on the inside lane but was forced to defend his position as Apel was applying the pressure from third. The battle between Apel and Prunty allowed Lowell Bennett to scoot away in the closing laps to capture the victory while Prunty held off Apel for second. Rob Braun and John DeAngelis completed the top five finishers.
Ryan Farrell won the super late model semi-feature over Tommy Hromadka and Chris Blawat while super late model heat race victories went to Curt Tillman, Mike Egan, and Lowell Bennett. Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.432 seconds.
Dan Church Jr. edged Mike Meyerhofer in an exciting and close finish to win the 40-lap late model feature.
The race was shaping up to be a battle between rivals, Church and Alex Prunty when while battling for the lead with just eight laps to go, Prunty’s car came to a rest in flames. That left Meyerhofer next in line to challenge Church for the lead and that he did, quickly moving alongside as racing resumed. Church and Meyerhofer ran door to door for the final six laps and at the checkered flag, Church was able to edge Meyerhofer by a fender to capture his fourth main event victory of the season. Steven Schulz finished with a strong third place result while Grant Griesbach turned in his best performance of the season in fourth. Tim Lange also completed a good run with a fifth place result.
Late Model heat race wins were recorded by Duke Long and Mike Meyerhofer while Dan Church set fast time with a lap of 12.587 seconds.
Steven Sauer raced to his first feature victory of the season in the Area Sportsman main event.
Sauer took the lead from Joe Shelby on lap eight as Nick Egan began to battle with Shelby for second. With 12 laps in the books, Sauer continued to lead over Egan and Shelby while Brad Hetzel and Kyle Chwala worked their way into the top five. Randy Breunig and Bill Prietzel also began to race forward and by lap 20, found themselves in third and fourth respectively behind Sauer and Egan and just ahead of Chwala. Breunig grabbed the second spot on lap 24 as Sauer continued to show the way. Sauer could not be caught in the final laps and he drove to the victory over Breunig while Egan held off Chwala for third. Prietzel completed the top five finishers, taking the checkered flag in fifth.
Area Sportsman heat races were won by Ken Schraufnagel and Kyle Chwala while Bill Prietzel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.145 seconds.
Jacob Schraufnagel was the winner of the 25-lap Slinger Bee main event as he held of Brandon Tackes for the victory.
Nick Schmidt led the early laps until he lost a rear wheel on lap 14 to produce a caution flag and by lap 20, Schraufnagel was out front over Tackes, Isaac Daniels and Heather Stark. Schraufnagel held on to score the victory with Tackes finishing second. Daniels crossed the stripe in third place while Stark and Rick Schaefer finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Steve Zoromski won the Slinger Bees semi-feature over Tristan Dorzok and Kyle Sikora while Slinger Bee heat races were won by Nicole Mueller, Marty Tackes, and Heather Stark while Brandon Tackes set fast time with a lap of 14.192 seconds.
Colton Ermer was the winner of the Spectator Eliminator races and Rick Bruskiewicz won the Figure 8 race over Ron Schmitt and Willie Van Camp.
Conrad Morgan Flashes Under The Twin Checkers At Slinger (WARN Photography)

Morgan Finds Fountain Of Youth At Slinger, Scores Second Win

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

It is not often you find race drivers in their mid 60’s still racing. It’s even more rare to find them at that age still being competitive let alone still winning. Conrad Morgan, who is 66 and a member of the Southeastern Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Fame, is still not only remaining competitive, he is winning races.

 

Morgan notched his second win of the season at the Slinger Super Speedway when he held off former track champions Lowell Bennett and Dennis Prunty over the final twenty six laps to secure the victory. Racing hard with Bennett harkens back to the days when that was a regular occurrence, but Morgan has seemingly found the fountain of youth and races just like the young buck’s of today.

 

“I feel like one, I’m not exaggerating,” said Morgan. “It feels like the older I get the younger I feel. This is great but I’m not going to pat myself on the back for winning from the front row, but when you got Lowell (Bennett) behind you for ten-fifteen laps and you can still beat him you accomplished something.”

 

Morgan may have started on the front row, but so did Mike Egan. It would be Egan who would get the jump at the drop of the green flag and jump out to the early lead. Morgan settled into second with Dale Prunty riding in third.

 

The top three quickly opened up some space between themselves and the battle for fourth, where Tim Lampman was racing with Dave McCardle and Rob Braun. As Lampman began to fade on the high side, McCardle and Braun moved by into the top five.

 

Bennett was on the move as he stormed from his eight starting spot to move into the top five by lap 4. Lampman was still fading on the high side as Bennett moved past Braun and Lampman and onto the bumper of McCardle.

 

Egan was holding a steady car length ahead of Morgan and Prunty as they put laps on the board. The trio soon had company as Bennett and Dennis Prunty were gaining on them after getting around McCardle on lap 13.

 

Nick Wagner spun off of turn three and into the infield on lap 18, but the race stayed green when Wagner was able to stay out of the racing line.

 

Egan’s car began to get loose and that allowed Morgan to look to the inside. Egan held off Morgan for now, but further back Bennett got past Dale Prunty to move into third on lap 22. A lap later Morgan got to the inside of Egan in turn one to take over the lead. Dennis Prunty would get by brother Dale and slide into fourth.

 

Morgan eased away from Egan by a car length while Bennett and Dennis Prunty were closing in on Egan. The top four remained single file for several laps as the field strung out behind them. For the next ten laps it was status quo, but soon Bennett and Prunty would find the opening to move around Egan to gain second and third respectively.

 

Bennett would pass Egan for second on lap 32, while Prunty would get by a lap later. Egan would slide back to fifth on lap 38 when Steve Apel found his way around into fourth.

 

Morgan’s slim lead would evaporate as Bennett and Prunty moved in on Morgan’s bumper. Heavy traffic slowed Morgan’s progress just enough to allow Bennett and Prunty to close right in by lap 40. As Morgan worked his way around the lapped cars, Bennett and Prunty followed in Morgan’s tracks.

 

Once Morgan cleared the lapped cars, Bennett pressed hard to try to catch Morgan. Bennett was glued to Morgan’s bumper on lap 47, but after a few laps Morgan slowly started to pull away. Perhaps seeing he needed to step it up a notch, Morgan opened up a three car length advantage on Bennett by lap 56. Bennett now had to deal with a fast closing Prunty to try to protect the second spot.

 

The final few laps would click by with Morgan easing his way to the checkers a couple of car lengths ahead of Bennett to secure his second victory of 2014 at the world’s fastest quarter mile oval.

 

“The car was really good for the first half of the race,” said Morgan. “The second half of the race it got real loose. Before the Nationals we loosened it up pretty much and we ran it that way tonight and it was too much on the loose side. I was getting a little concerned as I got sideways a couple of times coming off of four and it was starting to get loose into the corners. That’s worse than being loose off. It happens so fast sometimes that you can’t catch it.”

 

Still having Bennett chasing you down with a loose car had to be a bit unnerving, even for a long time veteran such as Morgan.

 

“I figured I could hold my own,” said Morgan. “We got into the lapped traffic and I had to go a little bit easier on the outside because it was really loose on the outside. I was watching what was going on back there. My spotter was keeping me informed about where he (Bennett) was at so I wasn’t real concerned about it but you never know.”

 

Bennett simply didn’t have the car he needed at the end of the race to give Morgan a real run for his money.

 

“Yeah I used it up pretty hard to get there,” said Bennett. “We didn’t have any yellows or anything. When I broke free we had a ways to go but we were pretty strong right up until the last ten laps. Then we started to get real free off and I knew I had to kind of just nurse it along. I had to be careful because Dennis (Prunty) was back there too and he was running pretty strong too. It was a good night for us. After we had the Thursday night win (at WIR) and second here, that’s an awesome week for us.”

 

A yellow to at least cool the tires down would have been a welcome sight for Bennett, but it wasn’t meant to be.

 

“Yeah, then I would have got side by side with him (Morgan),” said Bennett. “That part would have been nice but on the other hand I’m happy for Conrad. He’s got two wins this year. He’s ten years older than me and if that means I can still do this ten years from now that makes me pretty happy. So I’m in good shape yet.”

 

As for Morgan, he has received some helpful advice from fellow racer Dave Feiler, who gave the tips that seemed to have turned around Morgan’s fate this season.

 

“Dave has helped me tremendously,” said Morgan. “It all started about two years ago when we got the car going pretty good. At the Nationals he was a tremendous help. We owe him a lot of thanks and gratitude for being my coach and mentor as I put it the other night.”

 

If a Hall of Famer is getting good advice on how to improve his race car, then perhaps the rest of the field may still be chasing him down throughout the rest of the season.


1

92

Conrad Morgan

2

2

Lowell Bennett

3

22

Dennis Prunty

4

16

Steve Apel

5

89

Mike Egan

6

98

Robert Braun

7

17

Dale Prunty

8

7

John DeAngelis

9

9

Braison Bennett

10

9

Tim Lampman

11

66

Dave McCardle

12

6

Austin Luedtke

13

75

Fred Winn

14

0

Ryan DeStefano

15

7

Kelsey Bauer

16

61

Jerry Eckhardt

17

38

Nick Wagner

Jon Reynolds Jr. Battles Alex Prunty For 2nd (WARN Photo)

Another Sunday Goes To Church At Slinger Speedway

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

There are times it seems fitting that a racer named Church could win on a Sunday. There are times in everyone’s life where if you look hard enough you could make a reference to divine intervention making a difference. That being said it might be considered eerie to find Danny Church in victory lane at Slinger Speedway on a Sunday, then having him notice the hissing sound of air escaping one of the tires while having his picture taken.

 

Nonetheless, Church earned a comfortable victory in his Late Model over Alex Prunty and Jon Reynolds Jr. to pick up his third win of the season.

 

“I didn’t know how good we were compared to Reynolds and Prunty,” said Church. “I didn’t know how quick they were going to come through. My spotter was basically telling me run smooth laps and take it easy that I had a big lead. We were just kind of riding around there the last twenty laps and hoping that we didn’t get a caution.”

 

Mike Held and Jack Stern led the field to the green flag and Stern would take the early lead. Held slid in behind in second while Al Stippich was on Held’s bumper in third. Church moved around Kevin Kneuse for fourth and was starting to challenge Held for third as Stippich moved into second on lap 4.

 

Church would get past Held on lap 5 and a lap later get around Stippich and into second. Church then moved around Stern to take the lead on lap 8 and opened the door for Stippich to follow into the second spot.

 

A little further back, fast qualifier Jon Reynolds Jr. and Alex Prunty were climbing up through the field. Reynolds was clearing a path for Prunty to follow as they made their way into the top five by lap 6. Reynolds Jr. and Prunty continued to carve their way through the field and found themselves getting around Stippich and Stern by lap 18 into second and third respectively.

 

Once Reynolds Jr. and Prunty got to the top three they waged their own battle for the second spot. They would take turns racing side by side lap after lap with Reynolds Jr. getting the advantage coming off of the corners.

 

While the battle for second was going on behind him, Church was able to stretch out to a comfortable lead. At one point that lead grew to a whole straightaway until Church encountered lapped traffic by lap 33. That slowed Church enough to allow Reynolds Jr. and Prunty to close the gap a little, but once Church cleared traffic he was able to open up a bit more of a lead again.

 

The real battle was for second and Reynolds Jr. and Prunty were going at it lap after lap. Prunty looked to the inside but Reynolds Jr. would slam the door. Prunty then looked to the high side to attempt the pass and was met with the same results. Finally on lap 38 Prunty ducked to the inside of Reynolds Jr. coming off of turn four to complete the pass for second.

 

However Church’s lead would prove to be insurmountable as he would cruise to the checkers 1.369 seconds ahead of Prunty. The win was Church’s third of the season at Slinger and helped swing the points lead back in his favor.

 

The side by side battle between Prunty and Reynolds Jr. certainly helped Church even though he couldn’t see what was going on behind him.

 

“I obviously didn’t know exactly what was going on behind me, but my spotter just kept telling me to run smooth laps,” said Church. “We had a big enough lead and I didn’t really get to race with those guys at all so I didn’t know if we had a caution if we had a good enough car to hold them off or not. I didn’t want risk seeing the caution come out so I’m glad we went green the whole time.”

 

This was the first time this season a Late Model race went green to checkers at Slinger, but that can be both a blessing and a curse according to Church.

 

“I guess it depends on your perspective during the race,” said Church. “Sometimes you’re hoping for cautions just to bunch things back up and get a chance at the cone and maybe try to get around someone you’re working on. Usually if you’ve got a decent size lead you don’t want the cautions so it worked out in our favor tonight.”

 

The tight points race between Church and Prunty has certainly made the 2014 season exciting.

 

“Alex and I were kind of joking around about that earlier,” said Church. “We’re pretty much looking like the only division that has a real points battle going because some of the other divisions have humongous leads already half way through the season. Him and I have been going back and forth every week. One week I might get fast time and he’ll get second so I’ll make a couple points on him. Then he’ll beat me by a spot in the feature so he’ll end up getting a couple points ahead for the night. Then the next week it might be vice versa. It definitely makes it interesting.”

 

As it stands now, Church has a twenty point lead over Prunty. If Church is any kind of prophet, perhaps that will change next week.


1

  9

Danny Church

2

11

Alex Prunty

3

10

Jon Reynolds Jr.

4

66

Al Stippich

5

72

Mike Held

6

26

Jack Stern

7

26

Ricky Heinan

8

33

Kevin Knuese

9

21

Ryan Zielski

10

90

Duke Long

11

17

Grant Griesbach

12

55

Tyler Schley

13

96

Tim Lange

14

41

Brad Hetzel

15

95

Wayne Freimund

16

13

Brittiny Helmers

Dennis Prunty Picks Up Pepsi Challenge Win At Slinger Speedway

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Dennis Prunty has been plagued with bad luck so far in the 2014 season. Multiple flat tires while leading or in contention. A glowing red hot exhaust pipe that may have caused other engine issues. A dropped cylinder while still getting a top five finish. Or having to contend with a white hot competitor in Steve Apel.

 

So perhaps it was only a mild case of paranoia when Prunty came on the radio late in the race while comfortably leading both Austin Luedtke and Steve Apel, thinking something was wrong with the car that would keep him out of victory lane yet again. However, the car held together and Prunty cruised to the checkers to capture round two of the Pepsi Challenge at Slinger Speedway.

 

“The car felt good the whole night but yet it felt slow with the lapped traffic,” said Prunty. “At the end there I swear I was letting off the gas and it was just slowing down on its own like a brake was stuck on or the rear end was locking up. I was hardly touching the brake pedal and the car was slowing down on its own. That’s why I was getting a little nervous. I just made them (the crew) look at everything and see if they saw anything hot, but they didn’t see nothing”

 

Conrad Morgan and Nick Wagner led the field to the green flag with Morgan getting the early lead. Lowell Bennett slid in behind Morgan for second while Wagner was having trouble getting going on the high side as Dennis Prunty, Mike Egan, and Dale Prunty all made their way past Wagner.

 

John DeAngelis Jr.’s night of troubles got worse on lap 6 when smoke was puffing out the exhaust pipes as he pulled into the infield. The crew repaired a broker rocker arm after qualifying, but apparently something worse was wrong with the engine putting him out early.

 

Dennis Prunty got to the inside of Morgan on lap 8 to take over the second spot and closed in on Bennett for the lead. However, just before Prunty could chase down Bennett under green, the yellow would fly on lap 10 for Curt Tillman’s spin in turn three. Paige Decker could not get her car slowed up enough in time to avoid piling into Tillman’s car and suffered enough front end damage to end her night early.

 

Lowell Bennett took to the high side when the cone came out with Prunty on his inside. Bennett got the jump when the green flag waved and cleared Prunty off of turn two. Something went wrong with Bennett’s car heading into turn three as the car drifted high in the corner, opening the door for Prunty to pull alongside. Prunty was able to clear Bennett in turn one to take the lead as fluid began leaking from Bennett’s car. Bennett pulled off the next lap and dropped out after they discovered the radiator cap broke off the car.

 

As Bennett slowed in the outside lane, traffic behind him bottled up pinning Steve Apel behind the pack and allowing Prunty to open up a few car lengths over Morgan in second. Mike Egan was on Morgan’s tail and Luedtke was gaining from fourth.

 

Apel recovered from being bogged down when Bennett slowed, but was now battling Ryan DeStefano for the seventh spot behind the side by side battle for fifth between Dale Prunty and Tim Lampman. While Prunty and Lampman bunced off of each other down the frontstretch on lap 14, Apel and DeStefano did the same a few car lengths back.

 

Apel cleared past DeStefano and Lampman is short order and was gaining on Dale Prunty while Dennis Prunty was extending his lead over Morgan. Dennis then caught up to lapped traffic on lap 35 allowing Morgan to close the gap slightly.

 

Once Prunty got past the lapped cars, Luedtke closed in on Morgan to challenge for second on lap 36. Luedtke and Morgan raced side by side for a few laps until lapped traffic allowed Morgan to hold second. Dale Prunty moved past Egan to take fourth with Apel closing in on Egan to take over the fifth spot.

Dennis Prunty caught heavy lapped traffic on lap 42, but maneuvered through it relatively easily and maintained his lead over Morgan and Luedtke.

 

Rob Braun pounded the turn three wall to bring out the yellow on lap 45. Braun suffered heavy damage to the front end of his #97 car after wrecking his usual #98 the week before. Afterwards Braun would say that the car is a total loss.

 

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Dennis Prunty would take to the outside on the restart in what is fast becoming the new trend at Slinger. Morgan went to the inside, while Luedtke and Apel chose the outside. The outside was indeed the preferred option as Prunty took off when racing resumed. Luedtke followed Prunty around Morgan for second while Apel also got past Morgan for third.

 

Once out in front Dennis Prunty began to pull away from Luedtke in second. Luedtke had a battle on his hands with Apel as the duo raced side by side for second. Prunty opened up a four car length advantage over the second place battle and was pulling away as the laps wound down.

 

Despite thinking the gremlins were at it again, Dennis Prunty cruised to the checkers to pick up his first win of the season, holding off both Luedtke and Apel. Morgan brought it home in fourth with newlywed Dale Prunty rounding out the top five.

 

Dennis Prunty was Dale’s Best Man on Friday night, and Dennis proved to be the best man on Sunday night as well.

 

“I just watched my mirror and try to keep a lead,” said Prunty. “I didn’t want to give anybody any confidence. If they get too close then they get confidence and start driving in harder. I just figured I’d keep the same distance and we’d be good. I was actually just taking it easy. The car just worked that good for a change.”

 

The outside proved to be a factor once again, but Prunty said he could work the inside as well.

 

“My car is good on the inside and the outside, but on a restart the engine I have doesn’t have a lot of horsepower on the bottom end like that,” said Prunty. “So it’s not really good on the restarts on the bottom. That’s why I chose the outside. I passed Conrad (Morgan) earlier on the inside. I don’t know I think we would have been side by side a lot longer if I picked the inside but I think I still would have got him. The outside you can get wound up pretty good and coming off of four is ok now and coming out of two is awesome.”

 

Luedtke apparently had nothing left for Prunty and had all he could handle to stave off Apel.

 

“That last caution killed us,” said Luedtke. “We were really good before that, then the car just got super tight after that caution. But the guys gave me an awesome race car.”

 

While Dennis Prunty has had some awesome cars this season, it was a relief to finally bring home a checkered flag.

 

“It feels good to finally not get a flat tire,” said Prunty.


      1

22

Dennis Prunty

2

6

Austin Luedtke

3

16

Steve Apel

4

92

Conrad Morgan

5

17

Dale Prunty

6

9

Braison Bennett

7

9

Tim Lampman

8

75

Fred Winn

9

0

Ryan DeStefano

10

38

Nick Wagner

11

89

Mike Egan

12

35

Patrick McIntee

13

61

Jerry Eckhardt

14

89

Ryan Farrell

15

98

Robert Braun

16

2

Lowell Bennett

17

40

Curt Tillman

18

03

Paige Decker

19

7

John DeAngelis

Apel Wins Third Straight, Fourth Overall At Slinger Speedway

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Since the beginning of the 2014 season Steve Apel has had only one goal in mind. Winning the Slinger Nationals. Each week has been treated as just another test session to make the car perfect for the Nationals. Yet despite it still being described by Apel as a work in progress, Apel has still taken that struggling car to victory lane now for the third week in a row and fourth overall this season.

 

“It’s still a work in progress,” says Apel. “This race was a hard battle with Lowell (Bennett) and we ran a long time side by side and back and forth. We raced clean. Lowell and I love racing each other. We know we’re not going to take each other out. At times you might drive in the door on the straightaway or we might rub here and there but racing with Lowell is a treat for me. I wouldn’t want to race anybody else besides him.”

 

For the third time this season it would be Apel and Bennett battling each other for the win.

Tire Rack: Your performance experts for tires and wheels

 

James Swan and Ryan DeStefano led the field to the green with Swan getting the early lead. Just after completing the first lap the yellow would slow the field as Dan Jung got into the back of Kelsey Bauer causing her to spin in turn three. John DeAngelis Jr. had nowhere to go and drove into Bauer’s car causing some front end damage to his car. Jung admitted he caused the incident, so per the gentleman’s agreement rule Bauer was able to retain her spot in the running order.

 

Swan would get the jump as racing resumed, while Lowell Bennett moved past DeStefano and into second. Steve Apel picked up a few spots when the cone came out, then followed Bennett around DeStefano and into third on lap 4.

 

The yellow would come out again on lap 12 when Mike Egan slammed into the turn three wall, ending his night early.

 

Lowell Bennett got the jump on the restart and cleared past Swan for the lead. Apel held down third with Dennis Prunty and Tim Lampman rounding out the top five. The field then strung out single file over the next few laps before another yellow came out on lap 17. Once again Jung and Bauer tangled and brought out the caution.    

 

Swan and Bennett would race side by side for a couple of laps after the restart before Bennett would clear for the lead on lap 19. Swan would fight back on the outside with Apel looking to the inside of Bennett coming off turn two. Apel almost went three wide off of turn two, bu thought better of it as Swan and Bennett continued to race for the lead.

 

Bennett finally cleared past Swan on lap 23, and Apel jumped to the inside of Swan to try to take over second. Apel was able to take second away from Swan on lap 24 and set his sights on Bennett for the lead.

 

Apel closed in on the rear bumper of Bennett, but Bennett was able to keep Apel behind him for several laps. Bennett seemingly left an opening on the bottom of turn two as if he was baiting Apel to go low but pulled away off the corner to maintain his lead. Apel then was able to get to Bennett’s inside on lap 39 and pull even after Bennett slid wide off of turn two. The duo raced side by side with Apel actually getting credit for leading lap 40 as he inched ahead at the line. Bennett then fought back hard on the outside and cleared Apel off of turn four to take the outright lead on lap 41.

 

Conrad Morgan made his way into the top five on lap 41 as he got past Tim Lampman before setting his sights on Dennis Prunty in fourth.

 

Apel and Bennett continued to battle for the lead with Apel on the inside and Bennett on the outside. Apel was stronger on corner entry, but Bennett was able to surge back ahead coming off the corners to maintain the lead. Apel pulled back even with Bennett on lap 45, but Bennett cleared for the lead right back a lap later.

 

Dennis Prunty made the pass on Swan for third on lap 44 as Morgan closed as well. Morgan was able to make the pass on Swan for fourth on lap 49.

Back up front Apel was putting pressure on Bennett for the lead. Apel pulled even with Bennett on lap 50 and raced side by side for another lap. Apel then cleared past Bennett for the lead on lap 51 off of turn two. The leaders then caught lapped traffic which allowed Prunty to make the top three running nose to tail.

 

Once Apel cleared the lapped traffic, he was able to open up a few car lengths over Bennett in second. Bennett now had his hands full with Prunty knocking on his back door for second. Apel opened up a half straightaway lead while Prunty and Bennett raced for second.

 

Prunty looked to the inside of Bennett on lap 72, but just as he was about to try to pass they came up on the lapped car of Dan Jung and Bennett was able to hold on to second. Further back Morgan lost ground on the leaders when the 7’s of Bauer and DeAngelis Jr. raced side by side for position despite being a lap down.

 

Apel seemed headed for a comfortable victory when he took the white flag, however Casey Johnson spun off of turn two down the back stretch setting up a green, white, checkered finish.

 

Apel took the outside lane when the cone appeared, giving Bennett the inside coming to the restart. Apel got a huge jump off of turn four and easily cleared Bennett for the lead. Swan pulled off the track leaving Morgan and Dennis Prunty to battle for third, while Dale Prunty moved up to fifth.

 

Apel took the white flag again with the lead over Bennett, and before he could get back to the checkers the yellow would come out again when Rob Braun spun in turn one and backed into the outside wall. This time instead of going back for another green, white, checkered finish the race was declared over giving Apel his third win in a row and fourth overall.

 

Apel had another battle with Bennett and almost another with Dennis Prunty as well.

 

“Dennis was getting there too and I saw him in the mirror,” said Apel. “I knew he had dropped a cylinder early in the race as I could hear it when I was next to him and thought that does not sound good. Racing with those guys have been good times so far.”  

 

Apel nearly went three wide early in the race to go for the lead, but thought better of it at the time.

 

“The car was really good at the beginning of the race,” said Apel. “I wanted to get to the front and get to the lead so I could try to coast, but they ran side by side for a while and I wasn’t sure if I should try to go outside or inside. I didn’t want to make a move then have Dennis or somebody else get underneath me. I was trying to find out which guy was going to go. I thought the 97 (Swan) was almost clear and Lowell would kind of push up and I was trying to get a run on him and it was kind of like three wide on an angle. I was just letting them know I was there.”

 

Bennett has known all too well that Apel has been there, admitting defeat in the process.

 

“He was the better car tonight,” said Bennett. “We keep working on it trying to get a little better, but hats off to him. He ran a good race and I think we put on a pretty good show for the fans. My guys were saying it was a good show in the front of the race, the middle of the race, back of the race. It was all a good show.”

 

Bennett unfortunately gave Apel more of an opening on the inside than he would have liked.

 

“I couldn’t quite hold it down, it was a little tight,” said Bennett. “I knew the only chance I had was if I was gonna run him side to side just like we were the last few races.”

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1

16

Steve Apel

2

2

Lowell Bennett

3

92

Conrad Morgan

4

22

Dennis Prunty

5

17

Dale Prunty

6

9

Tim Lampman

7

38

Jeff Holtz

8

9

Braison Bennett

9

0

Ryan DeStefano

10

98

Robert Braun

11

97

James Swan

12

68

Dan Jung

13

75

Fred Winn

14

5

Casey Johnson

15

7

Kelsey Bauer

16

7

John DeAngelis

17

6

Austin Luedtke

18

66

Dave McCardle

19

48

Brad Keith

20

55

Rich Loch

21

89

Mike Egan

Apel Takes The High Road To His 3rd Win Of The Year At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Steve Apel seemingly only has one mission this season. That is to win the Slinger Nationals. Everything leading up to the Nationals is apparently just a testing session to make sure that he can take the checkers in one of the most prestigious races in the country. Yet when you consider that in six races this season at the Slinger Super Speedway Apel has three wins and three second place finishes, you have to wonder what is going to happen when he finally figures his car out.

 

Apel took the lead just before the halfway mark, pulled away to a comfortable lead, and even took the white flag, before having to survive a green, white, checkered finish to capture the victory.

 

“I thought for sure that once you got the white flag the race was over and I could just coast,” said Apel. “They said that three-quarters of the field or half the field has to cross the line before they can say the race is over. Luckily I was still able to get the job done on the restart and get ahead of them. I didn’t want to see it but it ended up being the same outcome so it put a little bit more of a show on for the fans and the last couple of laps I was still on my toes, but that’s all a part of racing.”

 

Rich Loch and Mike Egan shared the front row with Loch getting the early lead at the drop of the green flag. Egan took over the lead on lap two and brought Brad Keith and Austin Luedtke along past Loch after Loch slipped in turn two.

Egan pulled away by a couple of car lengths as the field went single file.

 

The yellow would come out on lap 12 for an incident involving Jeff Holtz and Rob Braun. Contact between the two in turn four left both cars damaged and done for the night.

 

Keith would take get the lead on the restart, clearing Egan off of turn two. Egan would fight back on the inside but would slip in turn two giving Keith the room to clear for the lead. Luedtke tired to follow Keith around Egan on the outside, but Egan recovered quickly to maintain second.

 

While Keith was holding down the lead Apel and Dennis Prunty were making their way through the field towards the front. Apel moved into the top five by lap 19 and was looking for more. Prunty, who took a provisional to start the race after getting to the track late due to his racing at Road America earlier in the day, was making progress on the high side and was close behind Apel.

 

Egan looked to the inside of Keith to take the lead back on lap 25, while Apel  got around Luedtke for third and was looking to challenge Keith for second a lap later. Apel made the pass and opened the door for Luedtke to get by Keith as well and take over the third spot on lap 28.

 

Once Apel moved into second he wasted no time in trying to get the lead away from Egan. Apel moved to the inside of Egan in turn three and cleared for the lead coming off of turn four on lap 29. Apel took off and opened up a few car lengths over Egan as Lowell Bennett and Dennis Prunty made their way past Keith and into the top five.

 

Apel was checking out on the field while Egan had his hands full with Luedtke battling for second. Prunty got by Bennett for fourth on the outside on lap 40, and continued to use the outside to his advantage and passed Luedtke for third a lap later.

 

Apel now had a half straightaway lead over Egan with Prunty continuing to move forward on the outside. Prunty pulled next to Egan coming off of turn four and raced side by side through turn two. Prunty then cleared past Egan and looked to run down Apel on lap 45.

 

Apel’s lead was slowly being cut into by Prunty. That lead was five car lengths on lap 47 and started to shrink as Apel encountered lapped traffic on lap 51. Prunty was closing in on Apel and was only three car lengths behind on lap 57. The lead was down to two car lengths on lap 58 as Apel was catching heavy lapped traffic coming to the white flag.

 

Apel took the white flag with Prunty in tow as they tried to get around the lapped cars. Then suddenly the yellow came out after Rich loch spun in turn four on lap 59. Track officials ruled that they would revert to the last completed lap, being lap 58 setting up a green, white, checkered finish.

 

When the cone appeared for lane choice, Apel chose the outside lane, leaving Prunty to try his luck on the inside. The first attempt at the restart was aborted after the cars were not even coming through three and four.

 

Apel would get a great start on the next attempt on the restart and easily cleared Prunty heading into turn one. Prunty’s car was clearly not as good on the bottom as Apel pulled away and took the checkers for the third time this season.

 

While Apel certainly didn’t want to see that yellow come out, he knew he had to do what he had to in order to keep Prunty behind him.

 

“I just wanted to keep him behind me,” said Apel. “Keep him about five car lengths back. I wanted to just try and ride and save my tires. I knew that he was pushing it trying to catch me so I figured if I just tried to ride and save my tires. I didn’t really want to see the caution at the end but sometimes it’s out of your controls.”

 

When the yellow did come out Apel knew he only had one choice when the cone came out.

 

“I knew that my car was getting tight at the end,” said Apel. “The car always usually does so I figured I’ve already lost one picking the inside so I will pick the outside and give it a whirl. If I lose it I lose it. I just had to give it a chance and see how it is on the outside at the end of a race.”

 

Prunty on the other hand, knew he was in trouble as soon as Apel chose the outside lane.

 

“I didn’t want it (the yellow) unless he was going to give me the outside,” said Prunty. “I was pretty much used up there with the set up I have in this car. I didn’t have time to practice and I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the bottom like that. It’s all right we did god being able to come home second after starting where we did today with no practice. I’m satisfied.”


1

16

Steve Apel

2

22

Dennis Prunty

3

6

Austin Luedtke

4

89

Mike Egan

5

92

Conrad Morgan

6

2

Lowell Bennett

7

17

Dale Prunty

8

97

James Swan

9

0

Ryan DeStefano

10

48

Brad Keith

11

9

Braison Bennett

12

7

John DeAngelis

13

75

Fred Winn

14

55

Rich Loch

15

38

Nick Wagner

16

3

Tommy Hromadka

17

66

Dave McCardle

18

38

Jeff Holtz

19

98

Rob Braun

Church Takes Checkers Over Pawelski At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Danny Church may have led the final twenty laps of the late model feature at Slinger Super Speedway, but it was not as easy as it may have appeared. Not only did he have his hands full battling with Gregg Pawelski, but there was the late extended yellow flag that threatened to end the race early due to exceeding the time limit. However in the end it was Church who persevered to get his second win of the season.

 

“When the restart came on and I had a chance to start alongside of him (Pawelski) I thought we might have something for him,” said Church. “I dialed a little too much front brake because I was worried about being too loose on the high side and it kind of hurt me in the long run. Then I wasn’t able to adjust it again until the next caution which is why we got a little faster after that.”

 

Jack Stern and Tyler Schley led the field to the green flag with Schley taking the early lead. Stern would fight back on the inside to take the lead on lap 5. That opened the door for Gregg Pawelski to pull alongside Schley and battle for the second spot.

 

Pawelski would complete the pass for second on lap 8 and Schley was stuck on the high side and fading back. Danny Church and Alex Prunty both got around Schley as the troubles were just beginning to mount for Schley.

 

Schley would help bring out the first caution of the race when he got loose in turn four and nudged by Wayne Freimund. Ricky Heinan then collided with Schley and climbed up over the top of Schley’s car, tearing off the nose and front fenders in the process. Schley’s left side quarter panels were also ripped from the car as debris from both cars littered the track.

 

Pawelski would get the lead on the restart from the outside, clearing Stern in turn three on lap 13. Church followed behind in third, while Ryan Miles and Alex Prunty raced side by side for fourth.

 

Pawelski began to stretch out his lead over Stern as Church and Prunty battled for third. Stern then slipped up the hill in turn three on lap 18 giving Church the room to slip by into second. Prunty also took advantage of the slip and got by Stern a lap later for third.

 

Duke Long brought out the yellow on lap 19 when he spun in turn two and stalled the car just off the racing surface. Long needed a push start to rejoin the field.

 

A lap after the restart Pawelski got loose in turn one and Church made the move to pass for the lead. Church was not quite clear coming off of turn two and Pawelski clipped the rear of Church’s car getting him sideways down the backstretch. Pawelski backed off as Church recovered and began to chase him down. Pawelski got back even with Church on the outside as the duo raced for the lead.

 

Ryan Miles brought out the yellow on lap 26 with a spin in turn four.

 

Church would get the jump on the restart with Pawelski on his tail in second. Mike Held and Alex Prunty raced side by side for third on lap 28. Church opened up a few car lengths over Pawelski while the Held/Prunty battle continued. Held would get loose in turn four, allowing Prunty to slip past and into third.

 

The yellow would come out again on lap 33 when Grant Griesbach and Tyler Schley made contact in turn two. During this caution Alex Prunty was stopped by track officials to be checked for leaking fluids. The leak was confirmed and Prunty left the track, dropping out of the race.

 

Church would get another great restart and jump out to the lead over Pawelski. As the laps were winding down, the leaders caught lapped traffic. With just two laps to go, the car of Duke Long swerved up off the bottom of the track coming off of turn two causing both Church and Pawelski to swerve to avoid Long’s car. Once they both got by, Church was able to keep Pawelski behind him to the checkers and pick up his second win of the season.

 

The turning point in the battle for the lead was the contact after the prior restart where Pawelski and Church ended up swapping lanes as well as spots.

 

“It was just a racing incident,” said Church. “Him (Pawelski) and I are friends and there’s no hard feelings there. He was the first one there to pull up next to me and give the thumbs up through the window. We just got together and fortunately we were both able to save it and move on.”

 

Pawelski chalked up the incident as trying to make the best out of a bad tire situation.

 

“I knew that my right front had kind of given up hope and I knew I could only last a few laps,” said Pawelski. “I wasn’t sure if we had a 35 lap race or a 40 lap race because I don’t driver here often. I knew I could beat him to 35 but I didn’t think I could beat him to 40. We got into each other a little bit, bounced off each other a couple of times and that took away my momentum just enough for him to sneak past me. Then honestly I just need a couple of more laps and I would have had him because my car was really getting good. I used it up a lot running the high side but it was fantastic. Dan Church is a good friend of mine, Wayne Freimund is a good friend of mine, Alex (Prunty) is a good friend of mine and it was some fun racing. I had a great time.”

 

A great race always makes for a great time.


  1.    9 Danny Church
  2.   17 Gregg Pawelski
  3.   95 Wayne Freimund
  4.   72 Mike Held
  5.     4 Stephen Scheel
  6.   17 Grant Griesbach
  7.   26 Ricky Heinan
  8.   90 Duke Long
  9.   11 Alex Prunty
  10.   55 Tyler Schley
  11.   96 Tim Lange
  12.   13 Brittiny Helmers
  13.   46 Ryan Miles
  14.   26 Jack Stern
  15.   38 Jordan De Voy
  16.   45 Steve Schulz

Apel Scores Second Win Of The Season At Slinger Super Speedway

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Steve Apel seems to be focused on one thing. Winning the Slinger Nationals. Apel keeps saying he isn’t focused on winning races before that, and he is especially not focusing on defending his Slinger track championship. The brand new car he and his team built is still a work in progress and always needing to be tweaked in preparation for the July 15th Slinger Nationals. Although after winning again at Slinger, Apel has two wins and three second place finishes in five races thus far in 2014. One has to imagine how the performance would change if the crew ever gets the car more to Apel’s liking.

 

“I think for the race we’ve hit on the sweet spot,” said Apel. “For qualifying I’ve still got a little work to do, but it’s all trial and error. Every week we try something. This time we tried something for the race again and it helped a little bit on the outside. Just fine tuning it out. We’re in the ball park, just making sure we have all our ducks in a row to get everything perfect because come the Nationals with Matt (Kenseth) being here and all the other guys that I am sure are going to be here we gotta bring our A game.”

 

Dale Prunty and Mike Egan shared the front row for the feature with Prunty taking the early lead at the drop of the green flag. Egan settled into the second spot while Fred Winn and Rob Braun battled for third and fourth respectively.

 

Contact between Braun and Winn caused Winn to spin down the front stretch and into the infield in turn one to bring out the yellow on lap 3. There was no damage done to either car, but both were sent to the rear for their involvement.

 

Prunty and Egan would race side by side as racing resumed with both taking turns leading at the stripe. First Egan for three laps, then Prunty for a pair through lap 9. Egan would reclaim the lead on lap ten, but was immediately pressured by Apel on lap 11. Apel had moved up from his seventh starting spot when the cone appeared during the first yellow, and took advantage on the outside.

 

Apel ducked to the inside of Egan on lap 12 and made the pass for the lead in turn three. Egan’s car was extremely loose in the corners and Prunty would get by for second a lap later. Fast qualifier Travis Dassow followed Apel towards the front on the caution and was able to clear Egan for third on lap 17. Dennis Prunty moved in on Egan as well and made the pass for fourth on lap 19.

 

Once Apel made the pass for the lead, he quickly pulled away from Dale Prunty in second. Dassow and Dennis Prunty raced for third over several laps before Dennis moved to the inside of Dassow in turn three on lap 27.

 

Apel stretched out his lead over Dale by three car lengths, as Dennis closed in on his brother. Dale would have to chase his car up the hill in turn two on lap 33 giving Dennis the opening to make the pass in turn three. That allowed Apel to pull ahead by a few more car lengths.

 

Apel’s lead grew to four car lengths just past halfway as the field began to string out. Apel would gradually increase his lead over the next fifteen laps until he started to encounter lapped traffic. Dennis Prunty closed back in a bit but would never seriously challenge Apel as the laps wound down.

 

Apel successfully navigated the lapped traffic and was able to maintain a steady distance between himself and Prunty as he took the checkers securing his second win of the season.

 

“The outside is so good now, so much better than it was last year,” said Apel. “The guys can run side by side and Egan and dale Prunty were running side by side for several laps. Our car was really good on the outside and I knew if Egan got by him than we could get by Dale, and that’s what happened. Dale got a little bit sideways out of two, Egan was able to clear him and I was able to get by him as well and then chase down Egan.”

 

A race that goes mostly green without any cautions tends to become a chess match among drivers waiting for a caution to make up ground instead of using up their tires. Apel was able to maintain his lead and believed that both he and Prunty were playing that waiting game.

 

“I think we were both playing the cat and mouse game,” said Apel. “For a while there I think he was trying to chase and I was trying to get going and pull away. We kind of stayed the same. At the same point I was watching the mirror and I wanted to keep him the same distance every time I came out of the corner and looked back and make sure he was in the same spot. Most of the time he was in the same spot. I could get in the gas easy and kind of baby the car and save the tires for the end. Usually it doesn’t go green for that long. I figured that there would be a caution at the end and I knew I would have to race with Dennis so I wanted to make sure I saved the best tires for the end and not use them up trying to pull away.”

 

Dennis Prunty was hoping for a caution that just never came.

 

“It’s a brand new chassis with a twenty year old set up,” said Prunty. “We didn’t have time to set it up the way we would like to. I tell you what, we were saving tires for the end waiting for that caution and it just didn’t happen. We really just came here to break the brakes in and make sure that nothing fell off the car,”

  1.    16 Steve Apel
  2.    42 Dennis Prunty
  3.    17 Dale Prunty
  4.    35 Travis Dassow
  5.       2 Lowell Bennett
  6.    92 Conrad Morgan
  7.      6 Austin Luedtke
  8.      0 Ryan DeStefano
  9.      9 Tim Lampman
  10.   89 Mike Egan
  11.   98 Rob Braun
  12.     9 Braison Bennett
  13.   66 Dave McCardle
  14.   75 Fred Winn
  15.     7 John DeAngelis Jr.
  16.   68 Dan Jung
  17.     3 Tommy Hrodmadka
  18.   26 Chris Blawat

Bennett Beats Apel For Second Time At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

The battle between Lowell Bennett and Steve Apel was sort of like déjà vu all over again. Three weeks ago Bennett and Apel staged a battle that defines what short track racing is all about. That doesn’t happen too often these days. Cars handle differently each night, drivers try different things each night, and the outcomes can be different.

 

This time Bennett and Apel staged another epic battle with Bennett once again on the high side and Apel taking the low side. Lap after lap of side by side racing without ever making contact with each other. Racing the way it should be and racing that epitomizes what makes the sport so exciting.

 

Once again Bennett was able to barely hold off Apel and collect his second win of the season at the Slinger Super Speedway. It was another classic battle without the beating and banging that can at times be associated with short track racing.

 

“We don’t have to (touch),” said Bennett. “The man is a professional. He does a phenomenal job. Al Schill and I used to race that way. I put on so many laps side by side with Al Schill and we never touched. I love racing that way. That is what racing is about and I tip my hat to people that can do that like Steve (Apel).”

 

Tim Lampman and Mike Egan led the field to the green with Egan taking off into the lead. Lampman struggled getting going and held up the inside line allowing Egan to stretch out his lead. Conrad Morgan tried to pass Lampman on the outside, but it took a few laps to get by. That also helped Egan’s lead grow.

 

Once Morgan got around Lampman on lap 5, he brought Steve Apel and Lowell Bennett along into third and fourth place respectively. Apel hooked onto Morgan’s bumper and began to reel in Egan. Bennett caught Apel and the trio was steadily closing in on Egan for the lead.

 

Apel looked to the inside of Morgan on lap 17, but Morgan held the spot. Apel again looked to the inside two laps later and finally made the pass for second.

Apel then nudged the back of Egan going into turn three and as Egan went up the track, Apel ducked inside to take over the lead on lap 20. Egan slowed up enough to slow up Morgan on the outside and allow Bennett to sneak past and into the second spot.

 

Early on Apel’s car was bottoming out in turn two and sending a shower of sparks out from behind the car. That didn’t seem to bother the car at all as Apel was able to increase his lead gradually to three car lengths. Bennett rode along in second while Morgan held down the third spot.

 

Apel seemed to be cruising, maintaining his lead over Bennett until the cautions came out on lap 48. Dennis Prunty dumped Ryan DeStefano in turn two after a heated battle between the two several laps earlier. While DeStefano’s car was facing the wrong way in turn two, Prunty pulled alongside where perhaps words or gestures were exchanged. DeStefano was originally given the black flag for instigating a three wide situation, but that was later rescinded by track officials. Both Prunty and DeStefano were sent to the rear for their involvement.

 

The ensuing restart saw Apel choose the inside lane with Bennett on the outside. Reminiscent of their battle three weeks earlier. When the green flag waved, Bennett had the advantage and took over the lead with Apel glued to his bumper.

 

Apel seemed to gain getting into the corners, while Bennett gained getting off the corners and maintaining his lead. Lap after lap Apel would stick his nose inside and pull even, only to see Bennett drive off the corners and pull back ahead. Not once during this entire battle did the cars ever touch. However, while Apel’s car was no longer sparking, the back end appeared to be bouncing more than the other cars were.

 

The last twelve laps of the race were a classic side by side battle that harkened back to the old days that Bennett had previously mentioned. In the end it would be Bennett once again getting the better of Apel when it came to the checkered flag. Bennett’s margin of victory was only 0.110 seconds. Austin Luedtke finished third with Conrad Morgan and Rob Braun rounding out the top five.

 

Bennett’s second win of the season at Slinger with a new Right Foot Chassis echoed what his other car has been able to do at Wisconsin International Raceway this season.

 

“This car has been pretty awesome all year so far,” said Bennett. “It’s kind of a copy to my Kaukauna car and that was awesome on Thursday nights. I cannot be a happier man to have two awesome race cars. These Right Foot cars are really working well for me.”

 

The off season track grinding has made for better racing and now that the rubber is starting to build up, the racing should get even better.

 

“It makes it a little better two groove racing and that’s what the fans come here to see,” said Bennett. “That two wide racing is what Slinger was popular for. We kind of lost that but I think we got it back.”   

 

Another strong run for Apel with his third second place finish to go along with a win, but the disappointment at not winning is beginning to show.

 

“Actually I am,” said Apel. “The guys were giving me crap as soon as I got into tech here. Qualified second, finished second….most guys would be happy and celebrating but our goal is to win. Second is a loss but at the same time the car is getting there. It’s getting closer, it just needs to be tweaked a little there.”

 

Apel did not want to see that caution come out, especially with how long it lasted. It definitely affected the handling of his car once racing resumed.

 

“Everything cooled down so much,” explained Apel. “The tires cooled down. When we raced 47 laps under green everything gets really hot and then you had that really long caution everything cooled down a lot. Tires shrink and grow and that’s what happened. Our stagger shrunk and the car got really tight and I just couldn’t get around Lowell. We started our tire pressures lower than we do for practice. Last week was the first time I actually sparked. We raised the car a little bit this week but it was sparking again. After 15 laps it was starting to go away. At the end of the race it won’t be sparking anymore, but a little sparking never hurt.”

 

Considering Apel has a win and three second place finishes, what is going to happen if he ever gets his car hooked up to his satisfaction?

1

2B

Lowell Bennett

2

16A

Steve Apel

3

6L

Austin Luedtke

4

92M

Conrad Morgan

5

98B

Robert Braun

6

55L

Rich Loch

7

17P

Dale Prunty

8

89E

Mike Egan

9

9B

Braison Bennett

10

22P

Dennis Prunty

11

7D

John DeAngelis

12

0D

Ryan DeStefano

13

26B

Chris Blawat

14

38W

Nick Wagner

15

66M

Dave McCardle

16

75W

Fred Winn

17

7B

Kelsey Bauer

18

9L

Tim Lampman

19

35D

Travis Dassow (DNS)

Steve Apel Leads Dennis Prunty At Slinger (WARN Photo)

Apel Trumps The Ace, Winning E.H. Wolf and Sons 75 At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Steve Apel opened the 2014 racing season at the Slinger Super Speedway with a pair of second place finishes. Those finishes were behind Conrad Morgan and Lowell Bennett who have combined to win thirteen track championships at Slinger. As the defending track champion, Apel might have been disappointed at not getting those wins, but also knew that his day in victory lane would come.  While it remains to be seen if Apel has an ace up his sleeve, he was able to keep The Ace behind him as he captured the win in the E.H. Wolf and Sons 75.

 

Apel had to survive a late race restart and took advantage of a flat tire on Dennis Prunty’s car as Apel held off Austin Luedtke to secure his first win of the season.

 

“We needed the restarts to get to the front.” said Apel. “If it would have went green we would have never won the race because it is so hard to get by guys. Everything always gets so strung out. Starting ninth you have to rely on restarts to help you out on the middle of the race otherwise you burn your stuff up getting by guys the first 20-30 laps then the next 30 you’re trying to catch guys.”

 

Al Schill and Austin Luedtke led the field to the green with Luedtke getting the early advantage. Brad Mueller and John DeAngelis Jr. swapped the third and fourth spots over the first eight laps before DeAngelis Jr. settled into third and chased down Schill for second.

 

Luedtke stretched out his lead to five car lengths over Schill by lap 16 and by half a straightaway by lap 20. DeAngelis Jr. caught up to Schill’s rear bumper and used the chrome horn on lap 23. Schill held down to the inside so DeAngelis Jr. looked to the outside to take over the second spot on lap 25.

Brad Mueller and Dennis Prunty followed DeAngelis Jr. around Schill and moved into third and fourth respectively by lap 28. Further ahead Luedtke opened up a full straightway lead as the battle for second through fourth slowed that group down.

 

The first yellow of the race came out on lap 31 for a spin by Rich Loch in turn 4. Loch spun down into the front stretch blocking the track, so Jeff Holtz spun to avoid contact.

 

As racing resumed DeAngelis Jr. got past Luedtke to lead his first ever laps in a super late model. However that would be short lived, as Luedtke would reclaim the lead on lap 34 after DeAngelis Jr. got loose in turn four and climbed the hill. That opened the door for Luedtke, Apel, and Prunty to get past.

 

Another yellow would fly on lap 37 after Tim Lampman spun after clipping the car of Al Schill as Schill was extremely loose coming off of turn four. Lampman spun down the front straightaway to bring out the yellow.

 

The cone was displayed and Apel took advantage when Luedtke took the outside lane for the restart. DeAngelis Jr. looked to get past Luedtke as well and nudged Luedtke enough to get him loose, but as they slowed slightly Dennis Prunty moved around both on the high side on lap 40.

 

Apel pulled away from the pack as the battle for second went on, and opened up his lead to several car lengths. The field started to string out single file as the laps went quickly by. As Apel began to catch lapped traffic, Prunty in moved closer. Prunty was on Apel’s bumper by lap 58 and the rivalry between the two was shaping up to be renewed once again.

 

The rivalry was looking to become even more intense when Lowell Bennett brought out the yellow with just eight laps to go when he pulled into the infield in turn one after losing oil pressure. However, during this caution period Prunty came on the radio to say that he thought he had a tire going down.

 

That proved to be a prophetic statement as once the green came out Prunty’s car was extremely loose and showering sparks on the speedway. Apel was able to pull away easily and ride to victory. Luedtke didn’t clear Prunty fast enough to stick close to Apel and had to settle for second. DeAngelis Jr was third with Mike Egan and Brad Mueller rounding out the top five.

 

Apel’s first win of the year was aided by the restarts, but Apel knows it can just as easily go against him as well.

 

“Having the restarts makes it a lot easier for me,” said Apel. “It depends on what row you’re in. Some rows go backwards and there’s nothing you can do about it. So far this year we have been lucky and picked the right row and gone forward.”

 

Luck plays a part on all aspects of racing, but facing a tough decision when the cone is out shows just how the strategy can play out.

 

“We always try to figure out what row is going to go,” said Apel. “But then you don’t want to lose spots. You don’t want to go from 8th to 12th because you picked the inside or vice versa. If everyone is going to go inside outside inside outside then I just go wherever the flow is going to go.”

 

Austin Luedtke’s second place run was definitely a tale of two different halves of the race.

 

“Just a little bit short. We were really good the first 27 laps just taking it nice and easy saving the tires,” said Luedtke. “The caution came out around lap 27 and took the bottom. I don’t know if that was the right call or not but the car just got too tight. The Johnny (DeAngelis Jr.) got past us. I caught back up to him and dived underneath him and got past him. Then another caution came out and decided our best bet was probably to take the outside. We did but I think it wasn’t the right call, but overall if I had to do it over again I probably would’ve done the same thing because if we went to the bottom it was just too tight for us.”

1

16A

Steve Apel

75

2

6L

Austin Luedtke

75

3

7D

John DeAngelis

75

4

89E

Mike Egan

75

5

89M

Brad Mueller

75

6

92M

Conrad Morgan

75

7

38H

Jeff Holtz

75

8

9L

Tim Lampman

75

9

17P

Dale Prunty

75

10

22P

Dennis Prunty

75

11

0D

Ryan DeStefano

75

12

98B

Rob Braun

75

13

26B

Chris Blawat

74

14

75W

Fred Winn

74

15

38W

Nick Wagner

74

16

2B

Lowell Bennett

66

17

714S

Al Schill

59

18

55L

Rich Loch

37

19

9B

Braison Bennett

 

Lowell Bennett Wins Alan Kulwicki Memorial At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

It was a long time since Lowell Bennett was able to park his car in Victory Lane as a winner at the Slinger Super Speedway. His last win was almost three years ago, coming in August 2011. When you have won the track championship seven times, a drought that long might make you wonder what was going wrong. However it was never a question of knowing how to drive a race car, as Bennett showed as he battled with Steve Apel for nearly fifty laps. Bennett had to work hard in holding off Apel to capture the Alan Kulwicki Memorial.

 

“You know I have had a lot of good races with a lot of the good guys here over the years,” said Bennett. “That’s what really wants to make you want to come back and do it over and over again. I love the side by side action. That to me is where it’s at. I love side by side racing. When I go to a track and it’s a one groove track it really isn’t as much fun for me. I love a two groove track.”

 

Slinger Super Speedway has long been known for its two groove racing, and on this night Bennett and Apel used both grooves to perfection.

 

Austin Luedtke and Rich Loch led the field to the green with Loch jumping out to the early advantage. The cars stayed tightly bunched for the first few laps until a yellow on lap 5 slowed the action. Braison Bennett got loose off of turn four and got together with Dave McCardle and Dale Prunty down the front straightaway before coming to a halt in turn one.

 

Coming to the green for the restart, Dennis Prunty had taken the outside lane when the cone came out and started next to Loch. Once the green waved, Prunty immediately had problems and was extremely loose on the high side. Loch jumped out to the lead as the inside lane moved past the ailing Prunty car. Two laps later Prunty brought out the yellow when he nearly hit he turn four wall due to a flat tire.

 

The field paired up for the restart with Loch and Luedtke back on the front row as the green waved. Loch got the jump heading into turn one and Lowell Bennett followed past Luedtke and into second. Luedtke fought back on the outside for a bit before Bennett finally cleared to retain the spot.

 

The yellow would fly again on lap 10 when Robert Maynor slowed under a shower of sparks before he was able to exit the track.

 

Loch once again had the inside for the restart, but Bennett was now on his outside with Luedtke and Apel in the second row. As racing resumed it would be Bennett getting the jump on Loch from the outside and taking the lead from the outside in turn two. Apel slid in behind Loch for third before being able to get past on lap 17.

 

While there is always great racing action all over the track at Slinger, most in attendance would have their eyes glued to the battle for the lead between Bennett and Apel from here to the checkers. The pair put a few car lengths between themselves and Loch in third, and then proceeded to put on a show for the remaining forty three laps.

 

Bennett’s car was working better in the high line, but on occasion he would drop a half a groove lower. When that happened Apel would get a run and dive to the inside of Bennett’s car making just enough contact to let Bennett know he was there. There were a couple of times when it looked like Apel would be able to nudge Bennett enough to make the pass, but Bennett would get a run off the corner and keep Apel behind him.

 

The chess game continued lap after lap as both drivers would alter their lines slightly in an effort to get a better run off the corners. Apel could pull even with Bennett but he could never seem to pull ahead let alone clear him. Just when you thought Apel made a move good enough to get the lead, Bennett somehow had the drive off to keep the lead.

 

Nearing the halfway point it suddenly became a three car race as Loch moved in on Apel’s rear bumper. Then it almost appeared like Bennett might be able to drive away as he slowly inched away from Apel by a car length.

 

Perhaps it was Apel just cooling off the tires as he soon moved right back in on Bennett’s rear bumper and the battle for the lead was back on.

 

Apel looked to the inside of Bennett again in turn one, this time flexing Bennett’s rear bumper cover. Bennett was able to drive off and at least temporarily put a few inches between himself and Apel. Bennett then moved up the track a half a lane as Apel began to diamond the corner in three and four, putting the pressure right back on Bennett.

 

Apel got underneath Bennett in turn three on lap 47 and pulled even again until Bennett pulled back slightly ahead coming off of turn two. Lap after lap the pair battled side by side or nose to tail and each time Bennett somehow managed to hold onto the lead. Each time Bennett cleared for the lead, by the time they got to the next corner Apel was right back knocking on the door. Every time Apel knocked on the door Bennett would slam the door shut. Short track racing at its very finest.

Eventually Apel would run out of laps and Bennett would finally see the twin checkered flags to capture the win. An awesome display of racing and driving talent from the wily veteran and the exceptional younger generation racer.

 

Bennett was quick to point out that the off season track grinding played a major part in the racing action on this night.

 

“Them grinding the track here really seems to have helped,” said Bennett. “It’s smoother where you can run up there now. I was trying to run right tight on the bottom and he’d get his nose in there and stuff. He got his nose in there one time and we touched just a little bit and I thought ‘Well I’ll just give it to him and try to outrun him up here. By him going to the bottom then he would have to change his line in on entry which then he’d get tight. I read it out and we were pretty stout up there on the high side. So I just kind of stayed that half a groove up. If he wanted to get in there I’d let him and then I’d move up a little bit more and just work it that way.”

 

Despite not being able to win, even Apel had to admit that racing cannot get much better than that.

 

“I don’t think so. Losing to Lowell Bennett it’s like two weeks ago when I lost to Conrad Morgan,” said Apel. “These guys have been here forever. There’s a reason these guys are up front. Lowell hasn’t won for a long time, but that isn’t the reason why I didn’t beat him. I was trying as hard as I could. He gave me lane to race and I raced him as clean as I could race him, put on a show for the fans and live another day. Come back next week and try it over again.”

 

While some might look at Bennett’s use of the middle lane as blocking, Apel thought of it more as great strategy.

 

“He’s a veteran. He knew if I got on the bottom and he held me down there the car would be tight,” said Apel. “It was getting tight and he did everything I would have done if I would have been in his spot. He gave me a lane and I appreciate that, but sooner or later we’ll get our win.”

 

While this wasn’t the first time that Lowell Bennett has won the Alan Kulwicki Memorial at Slinger, he still views it as a great accomplishment.

 

“That’s pretty cool stuff. I raced with Alan and we put some laps on together,” said Bennett. “To win that again in his honor is pretty cool. I’ve won that race before in years past and it’s always an honor.”

Getting any win after such a long drought had to feel good as well.

“It definitely feels good,” said Bennett. “My hat’s off to these guys. The new Right Foot Chassis that we got is kind of a copy of my Kaukauna car and the car was just awesome. Hat’s off to this crew. Two years in a row we did complete new builds. It’s a whole winter project.”

 

Hopefully for Bennett’s summer project, he will put on more races like this one.   

 

 

Church Wins On Sunday At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Some people race to church on a Sunday. One Church happens to race on Sunday. On this particular Sunday, it was probably more skill than divine intervention, but when Danny Church was bumped sideways in turn three coming to the checkers perhaps he might have prayed to keep the car going straight and hold on for the win.

 

Church was indeed able to save the car from the spin and held on to narrowly beat Alex Prunty to the checkers after Prunty nudged Church enough to get him sideways. Makes one wonder just how exactly Church was able to get the job done.

 

“Pretty much from my dirt track experience I guess,” said Church. “I basically counter-steered it and stayed on the gas hoping that it would keep spinning the tires and the tires wouldn’t catch and send me into the wall. Luckily I was able to keep the tires spinning and keep it off the wall coming to the finish.”  

 

Justin Poenitsch joined Church on the front row to start the 40 lap Late Model feature. Church would get the jump at the drop of the green flag, however the field would be slowed on lap 3 when Ricky Heinan spun in turn three to bring out the first caution.

 

Ryan Miles took the outside lane when the cone appeared and joined Church on the front row for the restart. Church would get the jump again as the green flew, clearing Miles off of turn two. However Miles wasn’t going away that quickly. He got to the inside of Church heading into turn three and raced side by side for a couple of laps. Miles would inch ahead at the line on lap 5 just as another caution came out, slowing the field.

 

Jerry Mueller lost control coming off of turn two and slid into the car of Al Stippich. Mueller slid into the infield but Stippich slid into turn three where his car was clipped by Eric Connell. Stippich car received the bulk of the damage and was done for the day. Connell pitted for repairs and came back on the track minus the left side body work.

 

Church and Miles ran side by side again as the green came out, while Wayne Freimund and Alex Prunty looked to move towards the front. Church finally cleared Miles for the lead on lap 9 and slowly stretched out the lead. Unfortunately for Church the hard racing with Miles knocked the right side body panel loose to flap in the wind as he continued to lead.

 

The flapping panel didn’t seem to slow Church down as he continued to lead. Freimund battled with Miles for the second spot, finally getting by on lap 16. Prunty ducked inside of Miles and followed Freimund past and into the third spot.

 

Prunty then got to the inside of Freimund to challenge for the second spot. Prunty would get by coming off of turn four as the cars came to the halfway mark at lap 20.

 

The yellow would come out a lap later when Justin Poenitsch slammed into the turn four wall ending his day.

 

Prunty would take to the outside for the restart, but Church would keep the lead off of turn two. The top three ran single file while Miles had his hands full with Mike Held battling for fourth. Miles and Held were side by side coming off of turn four when contact between the two resulted in both cars getting sideways down the front straightway. Miles couldn’t keep the car from sliding around bringing out the yellow on lap 27. Both Miles and Held were sent to the rear for their involvement.

 

Prunty restarted to the outside of Church again, but just couldn’t clear for the lead. The two continued to battle side by side until lap 31 when the yellow would come out again. This time it was Mike Held who slammed into the turn four wall. The impact got Held’s right side off the ground but it quickly came back on all four tires as he slid to a halt.

 

That set up a nine lap shootout to decide a winner. Church again would gain the advantage as racing resumed. Prunty tried the outside/inside move down the back stretch on lap 36, but to no avail. Church maintained his slim lead.

 

Prunty would not give up as he made one last ditched effort to pass on the white flag lap. Entering turn three Prunty got into the back of Church’s car and got him quite sideways. Church gave it the gas and kept the tires spinning and that move paid off when the grip returned as he was able to hold on for the victory. Prunty backed off once Church got sideways and gave Church the opportunity to save the car.

 

Considering all the restarts, Church was a bit surprised he managed to hang on for the win.

 

“We didn’t have a really good car,” said Church. “We got a new engine package this year and kind of varied from our set up that we ran here last year. It really wasn’t panning out for us too much today so we were chasing the car all day to get it better, but we never really did. Basically we were just fortunate enough to get the jump on the initial start to get into the lead. Once I saw Prunty in my mirror I was getting a little nervous because we weren’t that good. I knew he was faster than me. Pretty much the last 20 laps we were in defense mode trying to protect the bottom.”

 

Prunty, who switched his car number from his traditional #11 to his dad’s #39 after qualifying, was  somewhat happy with the way the finish went. Prunty’s father Dan had earlier been released from the hospital and could not attend the race that day. Prunty made the number change to support his dad.

 

“You can’t be disappointed with a finish like that,” said Prunty. “It’s the first time I can honestly say that I left everything on the track and what was left was between the 9 car’s ten foot wide back bumper and what I couldn’t do in the outside lane. There was nothing I could have done on that.”

 

Prunty did not deny the contact in turn three, but explained his rationale for backing off.

 

“The rule is if you spin out the leader on the final lap he automatically wins,” said Prunty. “Yes I could have drove through him and yes I could have been even more spectacular riding the side of his car to the flag stand. That would have been entertaining, but I also don’t have my father in the shop and I don’t have time to be fixing all this kind of stuff. Do I wish I would have got back in it hard? You bet I did but it ripped the steering wheel out of my hands and when we finally got done jumping tires I had nothing. I was doing everything I could to try to keep it straight on the track.”

 

Prunty had his take on the new track surface as well.

 

“My car was actually pretty good,” said Prunty. “Unfortunately they put down a Coke-glue syrup and the car is just not reacting well. You didn’t see anybody pass on the outside lane today. The outside lane is just garbage. I really wish they wouldn’t have done that. The grinding the track was fantastic. You couldn’t have got it any better. The track was so much fun, but when you put that Coke-syrup down it just wrecked everything. The grinding made it so that you can hang with a guy coming out of turn four. Unfortunately when he is banzai-ing it and using you as brake it’s hard to get it done.”

 

Church of course had his opinion as well.

 

“I heard rumors that they put some syrup on the top,” said Church. “Aside from the initial start I never really ran the top. Luckily I wasn’t out there enough laps to test the high side tonight. It’s definitely a smoother track, but I think for a couple of reasons it’s a lot more coarse than it used to be. I come in and I look like I ran a dirt track I’ve got so much gravel and fine mist on me. So I don’t know if it’s because it’s more coarse because it’s ground and they don’t have years of rubber on it. From our experiences so far it seems to be a lot looser than it has been. It’s smoother than it was but it was definitely a lot more slippery than it normally is.”

 

Still for it being the first race of the year you couldn’t beat the entertainment value of the racing. Once the rubber is built up more and the drivers learn what adjustments to make, the racing should be even better down the road.

Finish

Start

Car

Driver

Hometown

Race Points

1

2

9C

Danny Church

Williams Bay, Wi

85.00

2

7

11P

Alex Prunty

Lomira , Wi

72.00

3

5

38M

Mike Meyerhofer

Burlington , Wi

63.00

4

3

95.3F

Wayne Freimund

Elkhorn , Wi

56.00

5

15

21Z

Ryan Zielski

Ixonia , Wi

49.00

6

13

55S

Tyler Schley

Richfield , Wi

45.00

7

16

84V

Jacob Vanoskey

Hartford , Wi

41.00

8

11

26H

Ricky Heinan

Kewaskum , Wi

38.00

9

14

4S

Stephen Scheel

Lake Mills, Wi

36.00

10

4

46M

Ryan Miles

Crystal Lake, Il

34.00

11

6

49M

Jerry Mueller

Richfield , Wi

32.00

12

18

17G

Grant Griesbach

Waukesha , Wi

30.00

13

10

72H

Mike Held

Hartford , Wi

29.00

14

17

13H

Brittiny Helmers

Menomonee Falls, Wi

28.00

15

15

45S

Steve Schulz

Lisbon , Wi

27.00

16

9

17C

Eric Connell

Fort Atkinson, Wi

26.00

17

1

87P

Justin Poenitsch

Richfield , Wi

25.00

18

12

26S

Jack Stern

Slinger , Wi

25.00

19

8

66S

Al Stippich

West Bend, Wi

25.00

20

19

90L

Duke Long

West Bend, Wi

0.00

Morgan Grinds Out A Victory Over Apel At Slinger

 

Written By: Gregg Paul

 

Conrad Morgan has had a hall of fame career in racing. The six time Slinger Super Speedway track champion was inducted into the Southeastern Wisconsin Short Track Racing Hall of Fame this past November for his achievements in his stellar career. While the wins have not come as frequently as they once did, don’t tell the younger generation of racers that Morgan may be past his prime. Especially after Morgan led 57 of the 75 laps of the Miller Lite Spring Opener.

 

Defending track champion Steve Apel saw firsthand how Morgan can still get the job done.

 

“The dude is old enough to be my grandpa and he’s beating me on the track,” said Apel.

 

Morgan would start the feature on the front row alongside three time track champion Brad Mueller as they led the field to the green. Mueller, who said he had not started on the front row at Slinger in 15 years wasn’t able to take advantage of the great starting position. Morgan quickly cleared Mueller coming off turn two to grab the early lead.

 

Just as the field was beginning to settle in Tim Lampman looped his car in turn 3 to bring out the race’s only caution on lap 6.

Austin Luedtke took to the high side when the cone came out and would restart right alongside Morgan. Steve Apel followed Luedtke to the high side as well as Lowell Bennett.

 

When the green flag flew Morgan and Luedtke rubbed together as they entered turn one, but remained side by side for a couple of laps. In fact the first four rows remained side by side as well.

 

Luedtke would finally clear past Morgan for the lead on lap 9, while Apel would get past Mueller on the high side and slip into third. As Mueller was struggling with his car, the top three started to pull away. They would put five car lengths between themselves and Mueller before Bennett would make his way past Mueller and into the fourth spot.

 

Meanwhile back up front, Morgan was looking to get back around Luedtke on the inside in turn one on lap 27. Once Morgan cleared for the lead he began to put some distance between himself and Luedtke. That lead would open up to around four car lengths before Morgan began to encounter heavy lapped traffic on lap 35

 

A bit further back, Apel was looking to get around Luedtke for second. He finally moved Luedtke up the banking in turn one and set his sights on Morgan.

Morgan was having a difficult time initially with the lapped cars as many of them were racing side by side. Slowly Morgan began picking them off one by one, but that was allowing Apel to inch his way closer.

 

Morgan nearly lost his chance at the win when he bounce his right rear off the front stretch wall coming off of turn four on lap 40. There was the tell tale sign of white paint and concrete dust on the right rear tire of Morgan’s car. Apel capitalized on the error and moved closer, but Morgan was able to clear all the lapped cars before Apel could. Until Apel finally cleared the traffic, Morgan was able to pull away to a decent advantage once again.

 

The laps go by quickly at the world’s fastest quarter mile oval, but just as quickly as they go by for the leaders it is just as quick as they get back into lapped traffic. Morgan found himself back in traffic on lap 63. Once again the traffic was racing each other side by side and Apel was able to move in closer to Morgan as the laps were winding down.

 

Morgan was able to lap his way up to the eighth position which was actually part of the problem. Usually when you’re in the top ten you’re not about to be lapped so apparently not only were they battling for position, they were battling to remain on the lead lap should a caution come out.

 

Coming to the white flag Apel was able to catch up to Morgan’s rear bumper, but that was as close as he could get as they flashed under Ryan Flanagan’s twin checkered flags.

 

When Morgan was told of Apel’s comments about Morgan being old enough to be Apel’s grandpa, Morgan was quick-witted with his response.

 

“I hope he was thinking that when he was trying to catch me,” said Morgan. “And when he saw the checkered flags when he saw my bumper.”

 

Morgan has endured a lot since the glory days of his career. It hasn’t been that he hasn’t been competitive all this time, rather it was the racing gremlins that would snatch away chances at victory. Last season Morgan finally broke through with his first win in many years, but this win was just as rewarding if not more so.

 

“This (win) is huge,” said Morgan. “Winning that race last fall there were circumstances there where we got out front and what was going on behind us was probably attributed to the fact that we won it by as much as we did. We were like six seconds ahead on a twelve second race track. That tells you a lot. Today it wasn’t like somebody was running side by side and nobody could catch us. It was an out and out race so I feel really good about it. Standing here now it was great but when it was going on you’re trying to get by the lapped cars and they’re doing their best to get out of your way. Everybody does their best to get out of your way the same way I would if somebody is lapping me. You get into situations where two cars are running side by side going down the straightaway and there’s nothing you can do. It is stressful.”

 

Apel may have been jovial about losing a race to a legend, but the competitor in him was confident that if things fell his way he could have worked on Morgan a bit more than he did.

 

“I think if we would have had a caution at the end it would’ve been a heck of a race,” said Apel. “Conrad and I were both struggling at the end. We were about the same, so for a caution and to be able to get side by side it would’ve been a really good race. It was really close the way it was, but for the first race of the year I really can’t complain. It’s a brand new car, but we’ve got improvement. It’s a good baseline.”

 

Traffic played a role, but Apel wasn’t sure if it mattered as much as it appeared.

 

“It helped and it hurt,” said Apel. “It’s hard to race when there’s that much traffic and trying to get by guys. It kind of helped me at the end because I was able to close the door on Conrad with two to go. I gave it all I had but I didn’t want to get into Conrad . It wouldn’t have ben that close if it weren’t for the lapped cars, but it’s all part of it. It was a good showing for the first time out with the new car.”

 

The ironic thing is that Conrad Morgan works for the company that did the grinding job on the asphalt at the Slinger Super Speedway. While Morgan supervised the work there was clearly no advantage he could have gained over his competitors. However, the work that was done to the surface was definitely visible to fans as well as the drivers who raced on it.

 

“It made the inside better, “said Apel. “It made the outside better, it’s probably the same as last year. The inside and outside both got ground so it’s about the same as last year just a lot smoother.”

 

Morgan offered his own take on the work he was responsible for.

 

“The bottom of the race track is really good, but we’re having trouble getting off of four “said Morgan. “They were going to put some traction compound on it earlier today and I think they did, but I don’t think they got enough coming off of four. One and two isn’t bad but four is pretty hard to get off. That’s where I got into trouble when I bounced off the wall. I got off the corner and I thought we’re good and all of a sudden the back end comes out from under you. When the right rear hits the wall it turns the car then the front wheel hits the wall and I thought it might have been the end of the whole thing. It didn’t bother the car at all. Not at all.”

 

If bouncing off the wall doesn’t bother Morgan’s car, and if he can find a way off of turn four before his competition does, then perhaps this grandpa might be teaching the youngsters a lesson all season long.

 

Finish

Start

Car

Driver

Hometown

Race Points

1

2

92M

Conrad Morgan

Waukesha , Wi

85.00

2

3

16A

Steve Apel

West Bend, Wi

72.00

3

4

6L

Austin Luedtke

Adell , Wi

62.00

4

5

98B

Robert Braun

Wales , Wi

50.00

5

12

22P

Dennis Prunty

Knowles , Wi

46.00

6

17

38H

Jeff Holtz

Franksville , Wi

45.00

7

1

89M

Brad Mueller

Random Lake, Wi

43.00

8

6

35D

Travis Dassow

West Bend, Wi

40.00

9

16

7D

John Deangelis

Hubertus , Wi

38.00

10

7

2B

Lowell Bennett

Neenah , Wi

36.00

11

9

0D

Ryan Destefano

Hartland , Wi

35.00

12

11

18M

Robert Maynor

Hartland , Wi

34.00

13

14

88R

Chris Ratajczyk

West Bend, Wi

33.00

14

10

55L

Rich Loch

Muskego , Wi

32.00

15

18

26B

Chris Blawat

Palmyra , Wi

31.00

16

19

9L

Tim Lampman

Oak Creek, Wi

30.00

17

8

714S

Al Schill

Franklin , Wi

30.00

18

15

75W

Fred Winn

Sussex , Wi

29.00

19

13

89E

Mike Egan

Slinger , Wi

28.00

MATT KENSETH TO RETURN TO SUPERSEAL SLINGER NATIONALS
VIP Meet and Greet Autograph Tickets Available

(Slinger, WI) Matt Kenseth announced live on The LTN Hour that he will return to race in the Superseal Slinger Nationals presented by Miller Lite after a self-imposed year off. "I was in the stands watching Ross race last year and figured I might as well go back out and race 'em" said the 6 time Nationals Champion. "I missed running Slinger and I'm looking forward to returning".

With seven victories, Kenseth was NASCAR's winningest driver in 2013. He finished second in points in his first year with Joe Gibbs racing.

Cambridge, Wisconsin native Kenseth started racing Slinger-style super late models at age 18 and had immediate success at "the world's fastest quarter mile oval".

The Superseal Slinger Nationals will be held Tuesday, July 15. Last year's event paid a record $9999 to honor the late 4-time champion Dick Trickle who was famous for running number 99. Contingency awards pushed the total winnings to over $12,000 for winner Rich Bickle.

For a chance to meet Matt Kenseth, there are a limited number of VIP Meet and Greet Hospitality tickets available. VIP Hospitality tickets will allow fans the opportunity to meet Matt Kenseth, get an autograph and attend a Q&A session. Pit Pass, Food, Drink and a general admission ticket to the race will be included with the VIP Ticket. To purchase VIP tickets go towww.slingersuperspeedway.com

Advance general admission tickets for the July 15th, 2014 SUPERSEAL Slinger Nationals presented by Miller Lite are on sale now on line at: www.slingersuperspeedway.com. Fans can save $5.00 when they purchase Adult General Admission tickets in advance. The rain date is Wednesday July 16th, 2014.

Slinger Speedway is located off of Hwy 41 and Highway 144 at 280 Cedar Creek Road in Slinger, WI. For more information on upcoming events visit our web site atwww.slingersuperspeedway.com or call the track office at 262-644-5921.

2014 Slinger Speedway Schedule

Preliminary Schedule – updates will be added

April 26 - Practice Day Gates Noon – 4:00. FREE general admission to watch all 2014 divisions tune up for the season opener.

SLM: Super Late Model LM: Late Model MWS: Midwest Sportsman AS: Area Sportsman SB: Slinger Bee F8: Figure 8 *** American Super Cup Cars, Wisconsin Sport Trucks.

Special Events for kids 11 and under like penny drop, nickel drop, rides in races cars, etc will be held ½ hour before racing starts

2pm Afternoon Racing - Qualifying 12:00 Racing 2:00pm

April 27 - Sunday Afternoon 2 pm - Miller Lite Spring Opener 75 lap Super Late Model Race starting the 67th season at Slinger Speedway. FULL RACING PROGRAM with all regular divisions on hand. Rain Date May 4

May 4 – Sunday Afternoon 2 pm - full racing program

May 11 – Happy Mother’s Day Sunday Afternoon Open Practice 2 pm – 6 pm

NIGHT RACING STARTS - Qualifying 5:00 Racing 6:30pm

May 18 – Sunday Night - full racing program  

May 25 – FIREWORKS Memorial Day Special with Fireworks 75 lap Super Late Model Feature and full racing program.  Rain Date: Monday night May 26

June 1 – Full race program

June 8 – Full racing program Plus Vintage Modified racecars and drivers that helped make Slinger Famous.  

June 15 – Full race program Scout Night All uniformed scouts get in FREE!   

June 22 – Full race program

June 29 – FIREWORKS: Independence Day Celebration 75-lap Super Late Model Feature and full race program, rain date July 6.

July 6 - Full race program Miss Slinger Speedway Contest

July 13 – Prelude to the Nationals King of the High Banks Big 8 Race LM, MWS, AS, SB, F8

July 15 - The 35th Annual SUPERSEAL Slinger Nationals presented by Miller Lite - 200 lap Super Late Model Feature with NASCAR Star Matt Kenseth - Rain date: Wednesday July 16

July 20 – Full racing program 

July 27 – HD Bike Night Full Racing Program

August 3 – Celebrity Night full racing program

August 10 – Full race program

August 16 – SATURDAY NIGHT – SlamFest

August 17 – Fan Appreciation Night full racing program

August 24 – Full racing program

August 31 – FIREWORKS: Labor Day Celebration 100-lap Super Late Model Feature and full race program Super Late Model Championship Night. Rain date: Monday night September 1.  

September 7 – TUNDRA Championship plus Slinger Season Championships LM, MWS, AS, SB, F8

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