By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., May 23—Dennis Prunty raced around Scott Schoeni in the closing laps of the Pepsi Challenge Series Round One 70-lap super late model main event and drove to his second feature victory in a row Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“I feel exhausted, “Prunty stated from victory lane before teasing the crowd with, “I heard a lot of boos, let’s hear it again…Dennis Prunty won!” That drew a strong response from the crowd with both supporters and detractors voicing their emotions with a mixture of pros and cons. “I don’t know,” Prunty continued, “I think it’s 50-50 right now but it doesn’t matter because I just give her hell every week.”
“Honestly, that was Scott Schoeni’s race,” Prunty said, describing the battle for the win, “It was a greasy night out there with this humidity that makes it slippery and it’s tough to race side by side but we did it.”
Al Schill jumped to the early lead and paced the opening laps with Schoeni holding down second place ahead of Austin Luedtke, Josh Wallace, Rich Loch, and Prunty. Schoeni used the outside groove to make a power move for the lead, charging around Schill on lap three as Prunty worked his way around Luedtke and Wallace for third. Schoeni began to extend his lead as Prunty and Schill began to dispute second place while behind them Conrad Morgan broke into the top five by lap 20. After several laps of battling, Prunty was able to clear Schill for the runner-up position as Schoeni built up a sizeable advantage while Morgan moved into fourth place by the halfway mark and began to track down the leaders. As Schoeni began to work his way through lapped traffic, Prunty was able to gradually narrow the gap between them with Schill and Morgan edging closer to the lead as well. By lap 55,
Prunty was right on Schoeni’s bumper as heavy traffic loomed in front of them while Morgan began to pressure Schill for third. With ten laps to go, Prunty made numerous challenges as the leaders weaved their way around lapped machines with a cluster of cars directly in front of them battling for position. Two laps later, Prunty made a quick duck to the inside off turn four, pulling alongside Schoeni on the front straight before winning the battle entering turn one to take command of the race, while behind them, Morgan raced his way around Schill for third. Once out front, there was no looking back for Prunty who drove to his second consecutive victory while Schoeni capped off an impressive run with a second place finish. Morgan took the checkered flag in third while Josh Wallace and Schill rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth place respectively. Austin Luedtke finished in sixth place ahead of Rich Loch and Randy Schuler while Lowell Bennett and Mike Egan completed the top ten finishers.
Cardell Potter captured the win in the 20-lap super late model semi-feature over Jerry Eckhardt and Ron Ragan. Curt Tillman and Vincent Merry rounded out the top five. Josh Wallace was the winner of the super late model fast dash and Lowell Bennett was the fastest qualifier at 11.611 seconds.
While the super late model main event ran caution-free, the same could not be said for the late models as Pat McIntee survived a wild 25-lap feature to take home the win.
Wayne Freimund and McIntee led the field to the green flag and Freimund took the early lead as McIntee’s car skated on the outside, opening the door for Mike Graczkowski, Dave McCardle, Brad Dahmer, and Ryan DeStefano to get by on the inside. The warm temperatures and high humidity made for slick track conditions and the cars were a handful as they slid through the corners as Graczkowski began to pressure Freimund for the lead. Graczkowski grabbed the lead with a powerful inside move on lap ten as McCardle and Dahmer raced close behind the lead duo. Kelsey Bauer’s car broke loose and she nosed into the backstretch wall to bring out the caution flag on lap 12. The inside lane proved to be advantageous on the restart as Graczkowski maintained the lead while Freimund faded on the outside allowing McCardle, Chris Blawat , McIntee and Dahmer to get by. With Graczkowski out front, McCardle’s car skated off the inside two laps later as Blawat, McIntee, and Dahmer got around him two laps later. A lap after that, Dahmer and McIntee made contact entering turn one, sending both around and collecting McCardle in the process as the caution waved again. Graczkowski led Blawat, Steve Apel, and Rob Braun for the restart and after several laps of side by side racing, Graczkowski was able to hold off Blawat for the lead while Apel and Braun used the inside lane to race around Blawat for second and third. The caution flag flew again four laps later when the car of Bill Shavlik broke loose in turn two and collected Brad Dahmer with the impact tearing the right side off Dahmer’s car. Graczkowski and Apel lined up alongside each other as racing resumed and contact between the two entering turn three produced another caution flag, sending both to the rear of the field and moving Ryan DeStefano to the lead with Chris Blawat in second and McIntee in third. A lap after the green flag appeared, Blawat and DeStefano got together in turn four, sending DeStefano spinning as Apel and McIntee challenged Blawat for the lead. McIntee used the inside groove and Apel held the outside as they closed in on Blawat. Blawat’s car washed to the outside lane in turn two, allowing McIntee to scoot by and into the lead as Apel darted to the inside to also make the pass for second. McIntee held off Apel in the closing laps to score the win while Wayne Freimund finished third ahead of DeStefano and Graczkowski in fourth and fifth respectively. McIntee also was the winner of the late model fast dash and Ryan DeStefano set fast time at 12.659 seconds.
James Swan raced to a dominating win in the 20-lap Midwest Sportsman feature over Kenny Joosten and Jay Shambeau.
Mike Borchardt and Scott Shambeau took the green flag on the front row and raced side by side for a lap before Shambeau’s car broke loose in turn two, clipping Borchardt in the right rear. The impact turned Borchardt’s car over on its roof and it skidded down the track upside down as the caution flew with the incident collecting numerous cars including those of Dan Church and Gregg Pawelski. Kenny Joosten held the lead on the restart over Swan and Jay Shambeau and within two laps, Swan worked his way into the lead, leaving Joosten to battle with Shambeau for second. Once out front, Swan extended his lead and raced the remaining laps unchallenged, scoring the convincing win over Joosten while Shambeau finished third. Brian Holtz and Mike Lange crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place respectively. Earlier, Scott Shambeau won the Midwest Sportsman fast dash while James Swan’s lap of 12.809 seconds made him the fastest qualifier.
John Daley held off Ryan Farrell to win the 18-lap Thunderstock feature.
Carl Benn led the opening laps as Andy Welter and Daley charged toward the front behind him. Welter and Daley split the car of Benn in a three-wide bid for the lead on lap five with Welter coming out with the top spot over Daley while behind them, Ryan Farrell, Eric Lingford, and Al Stippich began to move into the top five. Welter held off the challenges of Daley until lap 13 when the hard racing between them resulted in Welter spinning off turn four as Daley took the lead. Daley then held off a fast closing Ryan Farrell to take the win while Eric Lingford finished third. Al Stippich finished in fourth place and Carl Benn was fifth. Ken Schraufnagel won the Thunderstock fast dash and Al Stippich was the fastest qualifier at 13.817 seconds.
Alex Prunty won the 16-lap Slinger Bee feature, taking the checkered flag over Eric Long and Tayler Gehrke. Russ Lorbiecki and Braison Bennett completed the top five in fourth and fifth. Joe Lang was the Slinger Bee fast qualifier at 15.71 seconds. Erik Gehrke won the 25-lap American Super Cup feature over Erle Hoth and Ken Jones. David Cerer finished in fourth place and Mick Ellis was fifth. Ken Jones and Mick Ellis each scored American Super Cup heat wins. Chris Hibben won the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car event and Curt Manthei was the winner of the Spectator Eliminator races in his Camaro. Jeff Wohlrabe won the Figure 8 event. The Figure 8 race was red flagged on lap 2 when Dan Emanuele barrel rolled his car three times. Emanuele emerged from his car uninjured.
This article was posted to the website on May 24th, 2010