By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., May 22— Jamie Wallace was back in victory lane at the Slinger Super Speedway Sunday night for the first time since 2009 after capturing the victory in the 60-lap Pepsi Challenge Series Round One super late model feature.
“They did a nice job on this car,” Wallace told the crowd afterwards, “everyone involved with the crew just did a great job. This is a family event for us and it’s a lot of fun.”
Wallace and Nick Wagner brought the field to the green flag and Wallace got the early jump from the pole position to take command while third place starter Fred Winn quickly moved into second leaving Wagner to battle with Alex Prunty for third. James Swan occupied the fifth spot just ahead of an intense battle between Chris Blawat, Steve Apel, Conrad Morgan, and Dennis Prunty. Wallace maintained his lead over Winn while Alex Prunty went to work on Wagner for third, pressuring him for a few laps before completing the pass as the leaders began to work lapped traffic. Wallace weaved his way through the lapped machines and continued to set the pace while Alex Prunty and Wagner began to run down Winn for the second position. Swan kept the top four in sight from the fifth spot while Blawat and Apel raced side by side behind him with Dennis Prunty in their tire tracks. Apel muscled his way by Blawat on the inside to grab sixth while Blawat was able to power his way on the outside to fend off Dennis Prunty to hang onto seventh. Closer to the front, Alex Prunty worked his way underneath Winn coming off turn four on lap 46 to take second and as Wagner tried to capitalize on the opening and grab third, Winn tried to cover his spot and the two cars lifted together and made heavy contact with the turn one wall to produce the one and only caution flag of the event.
Wallace chose the outside lane for the restart leaving Alex Prunty the inside groove as racing resumed with fourteen laps to go. Using his discretion as the leader, Wallace timed the start to be on the throttle at the new restart line and made Prunty wait just a split second which was enough power Wallace into the lead from the outside as the field exited turn two. Alex Prunty quickly fell into line in second while Swan, Apel, and Dennis Prunty staged a torrid battle for third with Swan and Apel side by side while an anxious Prunty looked high and low in an effort to get by. Wallace drove the final laps flawlessly and scored his first Slinger super late model feature win since 2009 while Alex Prunty’s runner-up performance was his best career super late model feature result. Swan held off the two most recent track champions to net third while Apel edged Dennis Prunty in a fender rubbing battle over fourth place. Chris Blawat finished sixth ahead of Conrad Morgan and Ryan DeStefano in seventh and eighth place respectively while John DeAngelis and Brad Mueller rounded out the top ten.
Brad Mueller won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Mitch McGrath and Brad Keith as they along with fourth place finisher Rob Braun all transferred to the main event. Lowell Bennett finished fifth. Super late model heat race victories went to Brad Keith, Mike Egan, and Dennis Prunty while the ageless Conrad Morgan set fast time with a lap of 11.321 seconds.
Bobby Gutknecht won the exciting 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature as the division made its first appearance of the 2016 season.
Bobby Gutknecht and Ryan Gutknecht started on the front row and raced side by side, swapping the lead throughout most of the event. Ryan Gutknecht held the outside lane and Bobby Gutknecht worked the low line as neither could get a sizeable advantage to take sole possession of the lead. As the top two battled, Eric Lingford, Brian Holtz, and Bill Prietzel closed in to create a five car battle for the top spot as the laps wound down. On the final lap with the leaders still side by side, Ryan Gutknecht’s charge on the outside came to a halt when he broke loose in turn four and spun around, allowing Bobby Gutknecht to take the victory with Lingford finishing second. Prietzel collected the spinning Ryan Gutknecht as Brian Holtz finished third with Kenny Joosten and Jimmie Evans coming around to complete the top five finishers. Kenny Joosten and Eric Lingford each picked up a Midwest Sportsman heat race victory and Jimmie Evans nailed down his first career fast qualifier honors with a lap of 12.851 seconds.
Andy Welter remained perfect for the 2016 season in the Area Sportsman division as he drove to his third consecutive feature victory in the 30-lap main event.
Adam Blesken paced the opening laps before Ken Au took command of the race on lap eight. Au maintained the top spot until lap 14 when Welter swept by to take the lead. Welter could not be caught the rest of the way and he drove to the victory over Au and Bleskan while Jacob Schraufnagel finished fourth and Paul Wagner took the checkered flag in fifth. Earlier Adam Bleskan won the Area Sportsman heat race and Paul Wagner was the fastest qualifier after turning in lap at 13.127 seconds.
Jakob Hassler took the lead on lap eleven and drove the victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature. Steve Zoromski crossed the finish line in second place while Tom Berens finished third. Emery Waldron completed a strong run in fourth place and Matt Rose was fifth. Rick Schaefer won the 15-lap Slinger Bee semi-feature over Kyle Sikora and Carol Ostovich. Tom Elsinger Jr. and Jordan Becker rounded out the top five. Carol Ostovich scored her first career heat race victory while Rick Schaefer and Heather Stark also captured Slinger Bee heat race wins. Tom Berens set a new track record in Slinger Bee qualifying with a lap of 14.395 seconds.
Scott Roberts won the Spectator Eliminator event in his 1987 Chevy Camaro while Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race that was shortened when Ron Schmitt and Brandon Fix collided in the “X.” Neither driver was seriously injured in the incident.
This article was posted to the website on May 22nd, 2016