Bubba Pollard wins Slinger Nationals in his second try
Written By: Dave Kallman
SLINGER – The real Bubba Pollard showed up at the Slinger Nationals this time.
Not the one who came for the first time last year unprepared and left embarrassed.
This was the Pollard who is one of the best big-money short-track racers in the country, the one who knew what to expect and who’d done 363 days’ worth of homework. This is the one who took another five-figure payday and a trophy back home to Georgia.
Pollard chased down Ty Majeski — another of the country’s best super-late model racers — and led the final 42 laps Tuesday night at Slinger Speedway to add his name to a 38-year list of winners that includes NASCAR champions Alan Kulwicki, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth and Midwest short-track greats such as Dick Trickle and Joe Shear.
“I feel like the last three months we’ve been really working hard, and I’ve been working on this race here,” Pollard said. “This is the one I wanted.
“A lot of people say I can’t win in the Midwest. I can win. Just give us time.”
Pollard, 30, a frequent competitor in such big races as the World Crown 300 in Jefferson, Ga., and the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Fla., also won the Berlin 100 in Marne, Mich., last month.
This victory was worth $10,000 plus bonus money for leading laps.
Alex Prunty of Lomira finished second and Steve Apel of West Bend third.
After getting passed for the lead, Majeski had a chance to race Pollard on a restart on the 169th of 200 laps, but they tangled on the first lap. Majeski took the blame, which gave Pollard his spot back, and Majeski went to the back of the field.
“I thought he was giving me the lane, based on how high he entered, and he came down and I was at least at his left rear tire,” Majeski said.
“It was one of those deals (where) I didn’t want to cost us both the race. He had the better car. I was trying to make something on the restart.
“I think we had a third-place car and finished fourth.”
Pollard was complimentary of Majeski as both a racer and a sportsman. But he admitted he had no idea what was going on when Majeski stopped on the front stretch and tapped on the roof of his car to indicate he was entirely at fault.
“We don’t have that back home,” said Pollard, who is from Senoia, Ga. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that.”
Whereas Majeski and Apel didn’t do much work on their cars at the halfway break, Pollard made all the right adjustments.
His car was good when he arrived for the test day Monday, and he and his crew kept improving it until it was the best on the track when it mattered.
Potential challengers who weren’t around for the second half included four-time Nationals winner Rich Bickle, who had struggled with engine problems for days; Dennis Prunty, the 2015 Nationals winner, who had a ignition failure; and Gary Lamonte, the fastest qualifier, who pulled off before the second-half restart with electrical problems.
Any chance Alex Prunty had to challenge Pollard went away with is power steering three quarters of the way through the race.
“We had the best car on the track, and I wanted to race Bubba so hard on the outside,” Prunty said. “I just couldn’t. The steering would lock up coming into (Turn) 3 and I’d chase it up (the track) and he wasn’t giving me much room to begin with.”
No matter the outcome, Pollard was happy he came back after struggling last year, and he promised he’ll return and try to go back-to-back.
“The biggest thing is the fans,” said Pollard, who took the checkered flag for a clockwise victory lap like Kulwicki made famous. “We don’t have fans like this back home. To get introduced and the fans cheer for you, that makes you feel good.
“To come here last year and see this place packed … I want to support racetracks like that, support fans and racers.”
38TH SUPERSEAL SLINGER NATIONALS
(Starting position in parentheses)
1. (10) Bubba Pollard, Senoia, Ga.
2. (7) Alex Prunty, Lomira
3. (2) Steve Apel, West Bend
4. (8) Ty Majeski, Seymour
5. (15) Brad Keith, Slinger
6. (1) Jeff Holtz, Franksville
7. (16) Derek Kraus, Stratford
8. (19) Ryan Stefano, Colgate
9. (22) Austin Nason, Roscoe, Ill.
10. (6) Grant Griesbach, Pewaukee
11. (23) Michael Bilderback, South Beloit, Ill.
12. (21) Steve Dorer, Lakeland, Fla.
13. (9) Chris Blawat, Palmyra
14. (14) John Deangelis Jr., Hubertus
15. (12) Gary Lamonte, West Allis
16. (3) Jon Reynolds Jr., Rockford, Ill.
17. (13) Brad Mueller, Random Lake
18. (4) Dennis Purnty, Knowles
19. (17) Conrad Morgan, Waukesha
20. (5) Travis Dassow, West Bend
21. (18) Nick Wagner, Hartford
22. (20) Rich Bickle, Sun Prairie
23. (11) Andrew Morrissey, Deforest
Lap leaders: 1 Holtz, 2-10 Apel, 11-26 D. Prunty, 27-100 Apel, 101-103 Majeski, 104 Apel, 105-158 Majeski, 159-200 Pollard.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 16— Dale Nottestad passed Kyle Chwala for the lead while working lapped traffic with just under ten laps to go and went on to capture the victory in Round One of the Badgerland Challenge 50-lap late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“This is a pretty awesome deal and (car owner) Sonny Clifcorn is here and he’s not doing too good,” an emotional Nottestad stated from the victory deck as he dedicated the victory to his ailing
car owner, “This really means a lot and I appreciate everything he’s done for me. This is the best car I’ve ever had here.”
“We fell off a little bit there at the end, “Chwala told the crowd following his runner-up finish, “But we’ve been working on it and have really seemed to hit our stride these last couple weeks. To finish second to Dale Nottestad…I’m okay with that and we’ll be back.”
Jack Stern and Stephen Scheel paced the field to the green flag and Scheel edged out to the early lead as the caution flag waved early at the completion of lap one when E.J. Waldron’s car looped around exiting turn four. The race resumed for just three more laps before slowing under caution again when Andy Evreat’s car turned around off the second turn with Scheel leading over Stern and Kyle Chwala. While Scheel led as the green flag was displayed, Chwala made up the most ground as he used the inside lane to snap second from Stern then a lap later took to the outside lane to complete the pass on Scheel for the lead on lap eight. One lap after Chwala took the lead, the field was back under the yellow flag as Kyle Taylor and Ryan Lovald tangled in turn three in an incident that also collected Andy Evraets. Once again Chwala maintained the lead on the restart as behind him, Dale Nottestad and Zack Riddle began to make their charge toward the front of the field. By lap 25, Nottestad and Riddle were in the top five and looking to close on Chwala, Scheel, and Stern ahead of them when Zach Braun’s car smacked the turn two wall to draw another caution. Chwala and Scheel remained out front while Nottestad worked his way around Stern and into third place by the time the fifth caution flag waved on lap 29 for an incident between Ryan Gutknecht and Shaun Scheel in turn two. Again Chwala remained out front as racing resumed but Nottestad continued to advance forward as he dispatched Stephen Scheel for second while behind him Stern, Zack Riddle, and Jakob Hassler battled over the final positions in the top five. Nottestad closed the gap between himself and Chwala when the leader approached lapped traffic and began to challenge for the lead. As the leaders manipulated their way through the traffic, Nottestad was able to use the outside lane to pull alongside Chwala and effectively pick him behind the slower traffic to take the lead.. Nottestad then held off all challenges from Chwala to score the victory, leaving Chwala to settle for second place just ahead of Stephen Scheel in third. Zack Riddle was able to muscle his way around Stern in the closing laps to finish a strong fourth while Stern was fifth. Nick Roehl took the checkered flag in sixth place followed by Jakob Hassler in seventh and R.J. Braun in eighth. Jon Ovadal and Braison Bennett rounded out the top ten finishers.
Jerry Eckhardt won the 20-lap late model last chance race over Tom Jasinski and Ryan Lovald. Kyle Taylor and Tyler Hromadka were fourth and fifth respectively. Late Model heat race wins went to Jon Ovadal and Ryan Gutknecht while Zack Riddle and Dale Nottestad were the winners of the late model fast dashes. Zack Riddle set a new track record in qualifying by touring the speedway in 12.054 seconds.
Paul Wagner used the outside groove to take the lead of the Area Sportsman 35-lap main event following a late restart and drove to the victory.
Andy Welter and Jason Thoma raced the first 20-lap side by side and traded the lead every few laps while Paul Wagner raced in their tire tracks in third. The race slowed under caution on lap 21 when Dean Bleecker’s car looped around in turn two and Wagner took advantage of the lane choice cone on the restart, electing to take the outside lane. Welter led for a lap as racing resumed, but then spun around off turn two and into the infield allowing Wagner to take the top spot with Jay Kalbus and Thoma close behind. Wagner could not be caught in the final laps and he scored the victory over Kalbus and Jason Stark who capped off a strong race with a third place finish. Jason Thoma finished fourth and Jake Schraufnagel was fifth. Michal Gilomen won the first Area Sportsman heat race and Paul Wagner edged Terry Wangsness to win the second heat race. Jay Kalbus was the fastest qualifier.
Brandon DeLacy edged Tom Berens to win the 25-lap Super Beez feature while George Sparkman was third. Steve Zoromski and Nick Schmidt completed the top five as all top finishers raced extremely close for the entire event. Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Scott Hoeft were the winners of the Super Beez heat races and Brandon DeLacy was the fastest qualifier at 13.668 seconds.
Paul Wagner scored his second feature victory of the evening by winning the 30-lap Midwest Sportsman main event over Scott Dunning and Jimmie Evans. Jimmy Wilson finished fourth and Greg Beebe was fifth. Ryan Gutknecht won the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Gutknecht also set fast time with a lap of 12.757 seconds.
Marty Tackes edged Tom Elsinger Jr. and Matt Urban to win the highly competitive 25-lap Slinger Bees feature. Tyler DePorter and Paul Reagles rounded out the top five. Tom Elsinger Jr. and Marty Tackes also were winners of the Slinger Bees heat races and Paul Reagles set fast time at 15.319 seconds.
Willy Van Camp won an exciting Figure 8 race to close the evening as he slid across the finish line with Rick Bruskewicz as they battled for the victory.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 9—Dennis Prunty charged to the lead early and drove to a convincing victory in the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway during the second round of the Pepsi Triple Challenge.
“I’ve won this quite a few times, the one before the (Slinger) Nationals, so I’m excited and I’m thinking we’re pretty good so we will see how it goes, “ Prunty told the crowd from victory lane.
Rob Braun and Michael Bilderback brought the field to the green flag and Braun jumped out to the early lead while Dennis Prunty worked the inside lane to grab second, leaving Bilderback to battle with Ryan DeStefano, Grant Griesbach, and Gary LaMonte over third. Griesbach’s car looped around between turns one and two as the result of the hard racing for position and the first caution flag waved on lap three. Braun chose the inside for the restart while Prunty elected the outside and as racing resumed, Prunty was able to edge out front at the completion of lap four as DeStefano began to challenge Braun for second. Behind the top three, Bilderback, Alex Prunty, and Steve Apel battled over fourth and once again the close racing between them sent Prunty’s car sliding sideways through turn one as the field scattered behind to draw the second caution flag of the race. Dennis Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart and maintained the top spot as the green flag waved while Bilderback also used the outside to edge by Braun for second with DeStefano and Travis Dassow close behind just ahead of Apel and Chris Blawat. DeStefano had the inside groove working and was able to move by first Braun and then Bilderback for second place while Blawat and Apel began their move toward the front. Blawat and Apel both moved past Braun and Bilderback and into third and fourth place respectively within a few laps while Dennis Prunty stretched his lead out front. The best battle on the speedway in the closing laps was between Brad Keith and Brad Mueller as they fought for the fifth position. With the event running caution free for the final 55 laps, there was no catching Dennis Prunty as he cruised to the victory. Ryan DeStefano finished a strong second and Steve Apel crossed the finish line in third just ahead of Chris Blawat in fourth. Brad Keith edged Brad Mueller at the stripe for the fifth position and Alex Prunty and Gary LaMonte made impressive charges from the back of the field to finish seventh and eighth respectively. Grant Griesbach and Michael Bilderback rounded out the top ten finishers.
Justin Mondeik won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Randy Schuler and Natalie Decker. Jerry Eckhardt finished fourth to grab the final transfer spot into the main event and Larry Epright was fifth. Super late model heat race victories were captured by Justin Mondeik, Austin Nason, and Dennis Prunty while Gary LaMonte was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.326 seconds.
Ryan Gutknecht took the lead just past the halfway point and went on to score the win in the 40-lap late model feature over R.J. Braun who led the early laps. Last week’s feature winner Kyle Chwala finished a strong third after starting deep in the field while Jack Stern and Al Stippich rounded out the top five. Brian Holtz finished sixth followed by Nick Roehl and Tyler Schley in seventh and eighth respectively. Shaun Scheel and Brody Willett completed the top ten.
Shaun Scheel won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Ryan Lovald and Nick Wendt while Tyler Hromadka and Scott Patrick rounded out the top five. Late model heat races were won by Shaun Scheel, Nick Roehl, and E.J. Waldron while Brian Holtz was the fastest qualifier with a lap at 12.337 seconds.
Kenny Joosten won the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature event over Ryan Gutknecht and Eric Lingford. Paul Wagner finished fourth and Scott Dunning was fifth. Paul Wagner won the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Ryan Gutknecht was the fastest qualifier at 12.786 seconds.
Tom Berens scored another feature victory in the Super Beez 25-lap main event over Steve Zoromski. Jayden Buckley was third followed by Brandon Tackes and Dale Kiley-Schaefer. Steve Zoromski won the Super Beez heat race and Tom Berens was the fastest qualifier at 13.891seconds.
Terry Ciano won the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature over Matt Urban and Ricky Gebhard. Zach Greer was fourth and Brian Stanczyk was fifth. Slinger Bees heat race victories were picked up by Al Strobel and Terry Ciano while Matt Urban was the fastest qualifier at 15.184 seconds.
Scott Roberts won the Spectator Eliminator races in his 1987 Chevy Camaro and Ryan Lovald closed the evening with a victory in the Figure 8 race.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 2—The one asphalt racetrack in the state of Wisconsin that Ty Majeski had yet to win at was the Slinger Speedway until Sunday night when the Seymour, Wisconsin driver notched his first victory in the 75-lap super late model main event.
Majeski took the lead from three time track champion Steve Apel on lap 42 and took on the best Slinger had to offer before driving away to the win over Dennis Prunty and defending track champion Chris Blawat.
“We’ve always had really fast race cars here and just didn’t have the results to show for it, “Majeski told the crowd from victory lane, “We set fast time and were able to get it done in the feature. The car was phenomenal and it was just kind of a tune up for the Slinger Nationals and I think we’ve got a good piece.”
“We were racing pretty hard there and I really couldn’t tell where he was going to go,” Majeski continued, describing the battle for the lead with Apel just after the halfway point, “Once he would give me the whole race track and next time he would protect the bottom and give me the outside. I was just kind of guessing where he was going to go and I set him up out of turn four and he gave me the outside there. I was assuming he was going to let it go to the wall and we made a little bit of contact. I apologize for that as we’ve always raced really good together and I definitely didn’t want to get into him like that but overall it was a good race.”
Steve Apel and Chris Blawat led the field to the green flag and Apel quickly jumped out front leaving Apel to battle with Alex Prunty and Rich Loch while Ty Majeski and Gary LaMonte followed close behind. Apel was able to maintain the lead after a quick caution on lap nine for Brad Kossow’s looped machine in turn four and as racing resumed, Majeski began to work his way forward, moving into second place and bringing LaMonte with him into third. The second caution flag waved on lap 35 when Conrad Morgan slid through the frontstretch grass and on the restart, Apel was able to keep command of the event with Majeski right in his tire tracks. Majeski was able to edge to the inside and muscle his way into the lead on lap 42 but Apel remained determined and immediately began to return the pressure for the top spot. The two battled fiercely for the lead with Majeski barely remaining out front as the caution flag flew again on lap 43 for when Rich Loch’s car spun off turn four while racing with Grant Griesbach and Griesbach “tapped out” to take responsibility for the incident. A lap after going back to green with Majeski still leading Apel, contact between the third and fourth place cars bunched the field and the accordion effect caused numerous cars to scatter bringing out another caution flag. Majeski and Apel resumed their lead battle as the green flag appeared with Majeski keeping the lead with a strong “hole shot” into turn one from the inside lane. Apel remained glued to his rear bumper but as the two exited turn four, Apel’s car broke loose and as he spun back across the track, he was collected by the cars of Alex Prunty, Rob Braun, and Rich Loch necessitating a lengthy clean up. With Apel now retired from the event, Gary LaMonte stepped up to challenge Majeski out front but his challenge ended early with a broken trailing arm and he too exited the event. That left Chris Blawat, Dennis Prunty, and Ryan DeStefano to challenge for the runner-up spot as Majeski cruised away out front. The trio fought intensely for the second position which Prunty came away with after the three ping ponged off each other exiting turn four. Majeski proved to be too strong however and he drove to his first feature victory at the Slinger Speedway. Dennis Prunty held on to finish second while Chris Blawat was third. Brad Keith advanced late to finish a strong fourth and Ryan DeStefano was fifth.
Florida driver, Steve Dorer won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Mike Held and Jamie Wallace. Mark Eswein finished fourth and Jerry Mueller was fifth. Super late model heat race victories were captured by Derek Kraus, Dennis Prunty, and Alex Prunty. Ty Majeski was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.305 seconds.
Kyle Chwala held off the challenges of Jon Reynolds Jr. to score his first late model feature win of the season in the 40-lap main event. Jakob Hassler ran up front all race and finished third followed by R.J. Braun and Nick Roehl. Adam Peschek finished sixth and Shaun Scheel was seventh. Jack Stern, Brian Holtz, and E.J. Waldron rounded out the top ten. Late model heat races were won by Nick Roehl, Shaun Scheel, and Adam Peschek while E.J. Waldron set fast time at 12.290 seconds.
Paul Wagner drove to the victory in the 30-lap Area Sportsman feature after holding off Andy Welter and Joe Shelby in a three lap shootout after a late caution flag appeared on lap 27. Jay Kalbus finished fourth and Jake Schraufnagel was fifth. Rich Wagner and Andy Welter each won an Area Sportsman heat race and Jay Kalbus was the fastest qualifier after setting a new track record at 12.845 seconds.
Nick Schmidt broke Tom Berens winning streak by taking the win in the 25-lap Super Beez feature as Berens hsd to settle for a close second at the finish. Steve Zoromski finished third while Jayden Buckley and Dale Kiley-Schaefer rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively. Nick Schmidt also won the Super Beez heat race and Tom Berens set fast time at 13.860 seconds.
Marty Tackes picked up his second feature win of the season in the 25-lap Slinger Bees main event by holding off Paul Reagles to take the victory. Anthony Dorzok finished third ahead of Carl Benn and Al Strobel. Al Strobel and Carl Benn each won a Slinger Bees heat race and Tom Elsinger Jr. was the fastest qualifier at 15.219 seconds.
Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race after Ryan Lovald and Ron Schmitt collided in the “X” with two laps to go to close out the evening.
LAMONTE OUT MUSCLES APEL AS CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE HEATS UP!
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 25—Gary LaMonte edged Steve Apel by just .017 seconds at the finish to come out on top of the slobber-knocker that was the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Speedway.
The final laps between the top two championship contenders featured plenty of door-rubbing action as their cars bounced off one another as they charged for the checkered flag and left both drivers with some pointed heat of the moment comments afterwards.
“If that’s the way he wants to race me, that’s fine, we’ll fix the car every single week and bring it back faster,” an obviously disappointed Apel told the crowd, “I hope he’s got a lot of money behind him because he’ll need it.”
“It was a pretty good battle but just that last lap where he drove me to the fence out of turn four, I know it’s for a win but I could’ve right-reared him easily but I didn’t, “ Apel continued,
“Hats off to the guys on the crew as they give me the fastest car every single week and we’ll be back next week looking for a win.”
“A couple weeks back Steve (Apel) was hitting me every week and I had a nice little heart to heart with him, “ LaMonte stated from victory lane, “He said this is a (expletive) race track and we should stay home if we don’t want to race. So we decided to come out and play. Unfortunately I drove in a little too hard and got into him but hey…that’s racing.”
Brad Mueller had the best seat in the house for the slamfest up front as he finished a close third after leading for nearly all of the first half of the race.
“I forgot what this stage looks like, I mean, it’s third but that’s alright,” Mueller said, “The guys are working hard in the shop and things are turning around a little bit. We led a bunch of
laps and I wasn’t completely comfortable with it but it’s getting better and wait until the Slinger Nationals, then we’ll be there.”
Alex Prunty and Grant Griesbach rounded out the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively. Brad Keith finished sixth followed by Chris Blawat and Ryan DeStefano while Casey Johnson and Rich Loch completed the top ten.
Casey Johnson and Brad Keith each captured victories in super late model heat races and Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier at 11.321 seconds.
Zack Riddle ended Ryan Gutknecht’s winning streak at three as he drove to the win in the 40-lap late model main event while Gutknecht continued his front running ways by finishing second. Jack Stern took the checkered flag in third followed by Brian Holtz and Shaun Scheel in fourth and fifth. Jeremy DeRuyter won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Tom Jasinski and Tyler Hromadka. Nick Roehl was fourth and Ryan Lovald was fifth. Late model heat race victories went to Zach Braun, Steven Schultz, and R.J. Braun. Zack Riddle was the fastest qualifier with lap at 12.191 seconds.
Ryan Gutknecht notched another win in the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature, holding off Kenny Joosten for the victory. Bobby Gutknecht finished third followed by Paul Wagner and Jimmie Evans. Jimmie Evans won the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Ryan Gutknecht set fast time at 12.739 seconds.
Tom Berens won the Super Beez 25-lap feature over Steve Zoromski and Jayden Buckley while Brandon Tackes and Josh Marx rounded out the top five. Steve Zoromski won the Super Beez heat race and Tom Berens was the fastest qualifier at 13.614 seconds.
Paul Reagles captured the victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature over Tom Elsinger Jr. and Matt Urban. Anthony Dorzok and Al Strobel were fourth and fifth respectively. Al Strobel and Tom
Elsinger were the winners of the Slinger Bees heat races and Paul Reagles was the fastest qualifier with a lap at 15.231 seconds.
Willie Van Camp won the Figure 8 race to close the evening. Ryan Lovald escaped injury after his Figure 8 car barrel rolled and caught fire three laps into the event.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 18—Steve Apel drove to his second feature victory of the season Sunday night in the 60-lap super late model main event on Scout Night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
The car was on rails tonight,” Apel said afterwards, “We came here on Thursday and tested when it was 95 degrees so we knew if the car was good then it would be good in a long race. The guys busted their tails to give me the best car they could give me and it’s the probably the best car I’ve had all year.”
While Apel took the checkered flag relatively unchallenged, the battle behind him for second was intense with Alex Prunty edging Gary LaMonte for the runner-up spot at the finish.
“Nobody wants to win here more than I do,” Prunty told the crowd following his second place finish, “I’m happy to be here but like I said last week, it sucks finishing second, it sucks finishing third, everybody comes here to win and that’s why we’re here. It’s been frustrating but we’re getting there and we are getting close.”
“We just got a little tight on the bottom and I thought we may have had something to the checkered flag, “said LaMonte after his side by side dual to the finish with Prunty from which he emerged with a third place finish, “But some lapped cars got in the way and Alex (Prunty) just beat us back to the line.”
Jordan DeVoy kicked off his super late model debut at the Slinger Speedway by charging from the pole position to lead the early laps of the 60-lap main event. Alex Prunty settled into second place as Steve Apel, Gary LaMonte, and Dennis Prunty all worked their way towards the front from the middle of the pack. Prunty caught DeVoy by lap six and used an inside pass to take the top spot one lap later as Apel began to close on DeVoy for second. Apel worked his way into second a few laps later just before the first and only caution flag of the race waved on lap 21 when Dave McCardle experienced a mechanical issue and slowed in turn three. Alex Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart, leaving Apel the bottom while Dennis Prunty lined up outside of LaMonte in the second row. Apel was able to get a strong run off turn four as racing resumed and when Prunty’s car kicked slightly loose, Apel was able to power by to take the lead on lap 13. Behind the lead duo, LaMonte and Dennis Prunty staged an intense battle for third that LaMonte eventually won after several laps of hard serious racing. Once clear of Dennis Prunty, LaMonte began to track down Alex Prunty for second as Apel maintained his lead. Lapped traffic proved not to be an issue in the closing laps as Apel drove to his second feature win of the season while Alex Prunty edged LaMonte at the stripe for second. Dennis Prunty finished in fourth place and Brad Keith completed a strong race with a solid fifth place finish. Brad Mueller finished in sixth just ahead of Jordan DeVoy and Grant Griesbach while Chris Blawat and Fred Winn rounded out the top ten.
Braison Bennett won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over his father Lowell Bennett while R.J. Braun finished third to transfer to the main event in his super late model debut. Jerry Eckhardt finished fourth to claim the final transfer position and Tyler Hromadka finished fifth in his super late model debut. Super late model heat races were won by Lowell Bennett, Conrad Morgan, and Alex Prunty while Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.330 seconds.
Paul Wagner took the lead on lap nine and never looked back as he drove the victory in the 30-lap Area Sportsman feature, holding off a fast closing Jake Schraufnagel at the checkered flag. Schraufnagel was forced to settle for second place just ahead of Jay Kalbus in third. Andy Wendt and Joe Shelby completed the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively. Andy Welter was the winner of the Area Sportsman heat race and Jay Kalbus was the fastest qualifier at 12.927 seconds.
Tom Berens edged Steve Zoromski in a photo finish to win the 25-lap Slinger Beez feature event. Berens and Zoromski raced door to door over the final five laps with Berens just edging ahead at the finish. Zoromski led 23 of the 25 laps of the race and finished a close second while Jayden Buckley was third. Brandon Tackes finished fourth and Al Strobel was fifth. Jayden Buckley won the Slinger Beez heat race and Tom Berens was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.737 seconds.
Tom Elsinger Jr. captured his first career feature victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bee main event, holding off a fast closing Matt Urban by a fender at the finish. Urban finished a close second and Carl Benn was third. Marty Tackes and Al Strobel rounded out the top five. Slinger Bee heat races were won by Paul Reagles and Tom Elsinger Jr. while Carl Benn was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.272 seconds.
Trevor Dassow won the Spectator Eliminator races and Rick Bruskiewicz won the Figure 8 race to close the evening.
By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 11—Anytime Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel battle for the super late model feature victory at the Slinger Super Speedway it’s a guaranteed show and Sunday night was no exception as the two fought fiercely for the win in the 60-lap main event with Prunty edging Apel by a fender at the checkered flag..
“We were just hanging on those last five laps and I swear the left rear tire was flat,” Prunty stated from victory lane, “I did everything I could to keep it in front.”
“I have to thank Steve Apel for letting me collect it there too because we both could’ve been going to the trunk on the last lap,” Prunty continued referring to late race contact between the two that nearly sent Prunty’s car spinning on the final lap, “I kind of came down a little bit and well, he let me know.”
“I’m a little disappointed but I knew I wanted to do it clean,” Apel said afterwards standing with his family that included his newborn son, “I got Dennis (Prunty) a couple times and I let him collect it as I thought he was going around there for a second but all around not a bad day with second place.
Front row starters Nick Wagner and Ryan DeStefano raced for the lead in the opening laps before Wagner took command from the inside groove as both Steve Apel and Dennis Prunty began to work their way forward and into the top five.
The first caution flag of the event waved on lap ten when Alex Prunty and Rob Braun tangled in traffic in turn four and on the restart, Apel wasted no time in dispatching Wagner from the lead. Following another brief caution when Fred Winn’s car went around in turn two, Apel maintained the lead while Dennis Prunty used the outside lane to move into second, bringing Gary LaMonte with him into third.
The top three raced in tight formation with Prunty making numerous looks for the lead to Apel’s inside while LaMonte remained in their tire tracks. On lap 19, Prunty finally made the inside move work as he squeaked by for the lead and when LaMonte filled the gap, Apel found himself in third. LaMonte then pressured Prunty for the lead as he edge to the inside and the two battled side by side for several laps before LaMonte’s car began to slip off the turns. A few laps later, LaMonte exited the speedway in a cloud of smoke as the caution waved again.
Prunty and Apel renewed their battle for the top spot as racing resumed and as the laps wound down Chris Blawat and Alex Prunty staged a battle of their own for third place. With two laps to go, Apel was right on Prunty’s left rear corner and a slight tap sent Prunty’s car sliding sideways off turn four. Apel allowed Prunty to gather up the car and the two raced the final lap side by side for the win with Prunty scoring the victory by a fender. Chris Blawat edged Alex Prunty for third while Ryan DeStefano finished a strong fifth. Brad Keith finished sixth and Conrad Morgan was seventh. Grant Griesbach, Randy Schuler, and Rob Braun rounded out the top ten finishers.
Super late model heat races were won by Mike Held and Ryan DeStefano while Gary LaMonte was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.402 seconds.
Ryan Gutknecht wrestled the lead away from Steven Schulz on lap 27 and drove to his third consecutive late model feature victory in the 40-lap main event. Schultz finished second while R.J. Braun advanced positions late in the race to finish third. Braison Bennett finished fourth and Al Stippich crossed the line in fifth after making a brazen three wide pass for the position on the final lap. The pass was deemed to have violated the track’s rule against three wide racing and Stippich was scored as the final car on the lead lap, moving Jack Stern into fifth. Brian Holtz finished sixth and Tom Jasinski finished seventh ahead of E.J. Waldron in eighth. Tyler Schley and Jakob Hassler completed the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.
Tom Jasinski won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Kyle Chwala and Nick Roehl. Zach Braun and Ryan Lovald rounded out the top five. Late model heat race wins were collected by Nick Roehl, Tyler James, and Adam Pescheck while Ryan Gutknecht set fast time with a lap of 12.354 seconds.
Eric Lingford held off a hard charging Ryan Gutknecht to win the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature event. Gutknecht finished second while early leader Jimmie Evans took the checkered flag in third. Bobby Gutknecht crossed the finish line in fourth and Scott Dunning was fifth. Jimmie Evans won the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Ryan Gutknecht was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.828 seconds.
Tom Berens edged George Sparkman by .097 seconds to win the Super Beez feature in a photo finish. Jayden Buckley, Brandon Tackes, and Rachel Sparkman rounded out the top five in third through fifth respectively. Tom Berens also won the Super Beez heat race and was the fastest qualifier at 13.801 seconds.
Marty Tackes scored his first career feature victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature. Anthony Dorzok was second followed by Paul Reagles in third. Matt Urban finished fourth and Brady Held was fifth. Matt Urban won the Slinger Bees heat race and Paul Reagles was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.202 seconds.
David Prunty won the Spectator Eliminator races in his Corvette and Scott Goetzke closed the night with a win in the Figure 8 race.
LaMONTE CAPTURES ROUND ONE OF THE PEPSI TRIPLE CHALLENGE AT SLINGER
Written By: Dan Margetta
Willy Van Camp won the wild Figure 8 race to close the night..