Slinger, Wis., May 17-Jamie Wallace took the lead just past the halfway mark and then held off David Prunty to capture the victory in the 17th Annual Bob Fish Pontiac Buick GMC Alan Kulwicki Memorial 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
"It couldn't have ended any better," Wallace exclaimed from victory lane after scoring his second win in the prestigious event held in honor of the late Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion from Greenfield. "All the guys out here raced us clean and I have to thank them for that."
Scott Schoeni and Mike Egan led the field to the green flag, but it was David Prunty who shot into the lead from the fourth starting position, using the outside groove on lap four. Conrad Morgan also took advantage of the faster outside line and pulled into second just ahead of Egan, Schoeni, and Dale Prunty. Collin Bamke's spin in turn two on lap 11 brought out the first caution flag and on the restart, David Prunty went back to work, holding the lead over Morgan while Wallace, Dale Prunty, and Lowell Bennett charged into the top five. Morgan stayed in David Prunty's tire tracks until the yellow flag waved again on lap 22 when Rick Corso's car looped around exiting turn four. Prunty took the inside while Morgan lined up alongside and each tried to use mind games to get an advantage through several aborted restarts before Morgan prevailed on the high side on lap 23. Morgan drove extremely hard for three laps with Prunty pressuring him for the lead while Wallace began to close from third. Prunty was able to dive to the inside of Morgan to regain the lead on lap 26 and Wallace capitalized on the move, using the inside to work his way around Morgan as well and into second. The race was slowed for a third time under caution on lap 29 when Mike Egan slid backwards against the turn one wall.
Once again, Prunty chose the inside for the restart and as the green flag appeared, Wallace was able to maintain his position on the outside alongside Prunty's door as the two battled for the lead. Just past the halfway mark at lap 30, Wallace was able to edge ahead and take the lead from Prunty while Dale Prunty went to work on Morgan for third. Once out front, Wallace began to stretch his lead slightly while Dale Prunty completed the pass for third, leaving Morgan to battle with Bennett over fourth place. While Wallace kept command of the event over David Prunty, Bennett was on the move in the late stages, first passing Morgan to take over fourth place and then racing around Dale Prunty for third on lap 45. Wallace maintained his lead throughout the final laps and drove to the win, leaving David Prunty to settle for second.
"We just had too many caution laps and we didn't have the tire pressures right for that," a disappointed Prunty stated afterward. "I've never won an Alan Kulwicki Memorial and I've been trying a lot. Alan was really my hero growing up and he was a guy I was always rooting for."
Bennett finished in third place while Morgan and Dale Prunty completed the top five. Brad Dahmer drove from deep in the field to finish sixth ahead of Steve Apel and Scott Schoeni. Chris Ratajczyk and Randy Schuler were ninth and tenth respectively.
Jerry Eckhardt won the 20-lap super late model semi-feature over Ron Ragan and Joe Gross. Cardell Potter finished fourth and Dustin Oostburg was fifth. In addition to his feature win, Jamie Wallace also won the Strange Brew super late model fast dash while Dennis Prunty was the fastest qualifier at 11.559 seconds.
Steve Schulz took home top honors in the 35-lap late model feature, leading the final 25 laps en route to the checkered flag.
Schulz shared the front row with Chris Blawat and the two swapped the lead in the opening laps while Brad Keith, Dave McCardle, and Steve Apel battled for the remaining spots in the top five. With Blawat and Schulz continuing to race door to door, McCardle was able to sneak inside of Keith for the third spot by lap nine as Apel also looked to the inside of Keith for the fourth position. Using the outer groove, Schulz was able to take sole possession of the top spot on lap 10, dropping Blawat to second ahead of McCardle, Apel, and Keith. As the top five battled amongst themselves, James Swan and Rob Braun began to methodically edge their way forward and soon had the leaders in their sights. As Schulz slowly pulled away from the pack, Apel ran down Blawat for second place, taking the position by lap 28 while Swan and Braun caught McCardle and Keith in a dispute over fourth. Swan was able to move to the inside of Blawat to grab third place in the late laps as Schulz continued to lead comfortably. Schulz drove to the win over Apel and Swan while McCardle crossed the stripe in third place. Blawat barely edged Braun at the finish line to claim the fifth position.
Brad Keith drove to the win in the Strange Brew late model fast dash and Trevor Dassow topped qualifications after touring the speedway in 12.269 seconds.
Dave Thomas held off Jay Shambeau and Danny Church to win the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature.
Shambeau and Bobby Gutknecht brought the field to the green flag as the caution flag flew quickly at the completion of lap one when a jam up in the middle of the field resulted in Mike Graczkowski spinning on the frontstretch. Gutknecht was able to take the lead on the restart, but the caution flag waved once again on lap three for a tangle in turn one involving Nathan Fick, Stephen Grossman, and Steve Dickson. As racing resumed, Gutknecht led over Shambeau and Danny Church while Dave Thomas and Jimmy Evans raced close behind them. Church moved to the inside of Gutknecht on lap 11 to take the lead, bringing Thomas along with him while Evans filled the gap to challenge Gutknecht for the third spot. Thomas worked his way around Church for the lead a lap later just before the caution flag flew again on lap 13 when battle between Evans and Gutknecht for third resulted in Gutknecht spinning into the turn three wall. Thomas held onto the lead on the restart, leaving Shambeau and Church to dispute the second spot while Scott Shambeau and Jeff Holtz advanced forward and into the top five. Thomas drove to the win while Jay Shambeau held off Church for second. Holtz and Tommy Elsinger rounded out the top five.
Jeff Holtz was the winner of the Strange Brew Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Thomas set fast time at 12.645 seconds.
Aaron Cain scored his second win of the season in the 18-lap Thunderstock feature, taking the checkered flag ahead of Eric Lingford and John Daley.
Jesse Knutson led the opening lap before giving way to Andy Welter on lap two. Eric Lingford took his turn at the point, taking the lead on lap five while Ryan Farrell, Stephanie Losiniecki, and Cain followed. Cain advanced all the way to second place on lap nine when Welter developed problems and as he attempted to exit the speedway, Farrell became blocked on the outside. Cain tracked down Lingford and after a few laps of pressuring him for the lead, made the pass on lap 13. Once out front, Cain was never headed and he drove to the win while Lingford held off John Daley for second. Rick Schaefer finished in fourth and Bernie Leonard took the checkered flag in fifth.
Jerry Kulas Jr. was the winner of the Strange Brew Thunderstock fast dash and Aaron Cain was the fastest qualifier at 13.568 seconds.
Mike Lang won the 16-lap Slinger Bee feature over Derek Hoerig and Brandon Tackes. John DeAngelis and Carl Benn were fourth and fifth respectively. Hoerig was also the Slinger Bee fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 16.061 seconds. Katie Dissimo was the winner of the Speedway Guest Car event and Cody Jerge drove his Mustang to the win in the Spectator Eliminator races. Scott Goetzke took top honors in the Figure 8 race to close out the evening.
|Dave Olson - Speed Graphics Company
Aaron Cain - Fast Time
|Photos By Al Graf
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This article was posted to the website on May 20th, 2009