BLAWAT BACK IN VICTORY LANE AT SLINGER!

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By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., June 5—Chris Blawat covered the field Sunday night to capture his first super late model feature victory in nearly four years in the 60-lap main event at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“We just started getting motivated this year, “Blawat told the crowd after rebounding from a crash last week to lead the final 56 laps en route to his first feature victory since 2012, “We’ve had some bad luck but the car ran great tonight.”

Pole-sitter Mitch McGrath paced the opening three laps with fellow front row starter Blawat pressuring him for the lead. Blawat worked the outside and when McGrath slid sideways between turns one and two on lap four, Blawat powered by to take command. As Blawat began to scoot away out front, McGrath found himself defending the runner-up slot against the likes of Ryan DeStefano, Brad Keith, and Steve Apel while Nick Wagner, Brad Mueller and Conrad Morgan lurked close behind. DeStefano began to edge his way to the inside of McGrath exiting the corners as McGrath’s car kicked loose but each time McGrath was able to shut the door and when the two made slight contact a few laps later, the outside groove of Apel, Mueller, and Morgan all charged by. Brad Keith and Alex Prunty were also able to make outside passes on McGrath to advance into fifth and sixth while Blawat continued to ease away out front. By the halfway mark, Blawat held a sizeable lead over Steve Apel while Conrad Morgan sliced is way around Brad Mueller for third. Blawat began to encounter heavy lapped traffic which allowed Apel, Morgan, and Mueller to close briefly but they would give up some of the ground they gained once they themselves negotiated the traffic Blawat had earlier cleared. While amidst that traffic, Morgan was able to move alongside Apel and take over second place while farther back Alex Prunty and Brad Keith were joined by Dennis Prunty in a battle for the final spot in the top five. Once in second, Morgan was able to cut into Blawat’s lead but it wasn’t nearly enough to challenge and Blawat drove under the checkered flag for the victory in the caution-free race. Morgan followed up his victory a week ago with a strong second place finish while Apel crossed the stripe in third ahead of Mueller in fourth. Alex Prunty held off Brad Keith for the fifth spot while Dennis Prunty finished seventh after advancing through the semi-feature. Nick Wagner was eighth followed by Ryan DeStefano and Dave McCardle who rounded out the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.

Dennis Prunty won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Mike Egan and Rob Braun as they along with fourth place finisher Lowell Bennett all advanced to the main event. John DeAngelis Jr. finished fifth. Super late model heat races were won by Jerry Eckhardt, Alex Prunty, and Brad Keith and Duke Long turned in the fastest time for the first time in his career after blistering the speedway in 11.329 seconds.

Al Stippich picked up his first feature victory of the season in the 40-lap late model main event.

Stippich drove to the lead at the start after pacing the field to the green flag with pole-sitter R.J. Braun. As Stippich led, Andy Evraets, Mike Meyerhofer, Mike Held, and Jordan DeVoy all worked their way forward and into the top five. The race fell under the red flag on lap 21 when Brad Hetzel’s car erupted in smoke and spun in turn one and collected several cars that had nowhere to go in the heavy smoke screen. Kyle Chwala’s car made significant contact with Hetzel’s machine and the cars of Brian Holtz, Ryan Gutknecht, R.J. Braun, and Tyler Hromadka also sustained damage in the incident. When racing resumed after a lengthy cleanup, Stippich remained on point as Meyerhofer began to challenge for the lead on the outside. Stippich was able to turn back the challenges and maintain the lead just before the caution flag waved on lap 23 when Jakob Hassler spun on the backstretch while racing with Jake Vanoskey. Once again Stippich turned back the challenges of Meyerhofer as racing resumed while DeVoy challenged Evraets for third. In the closing laps DeVoy was able to secure third place and bring along Mike Held and Ryan Gutknecht with him as Evraets fell back. Stippich would not be denied and he drove to the victory over Meyerhofer while DeVoy, Held, and Gutknecht rounded out the top five.

Late model heat race victories were recorded by Ryan Gutknecht and Ryan Farrell who once again filled-in for the injured Tyler Schley. Jordan DeVoy was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.201 seconds.

Jacob Schraufnagel completed a busy day in which he first graduated high school and then drove to the win in the Area Sportsman 30-lap feature. Schraufnagel worked his way forward and took the lead late in the event before holding off Paul Wagner and early leader Ken Au for the victory. Joe Shelby and Andy Welter finished in fourth and fifth respectively. Ken Au won the Area Sportsman heat race and Jacob Schraufnagel also was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.028 seconds.

Jakob Hassler bested Jared Deming in a thrilling battle to win the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature. Deming paced most of the event but Hassler caught him in the final laps and as the white flag furled, they raced side by side into turn one before Deming’s car slid high, allowing Hassler to take the lead and the win. Deming finished a strong second while Steve Zoromski and Matt Rose were third and fourth respectively and Jayden Buckley was fifth. Paul Reagles won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Dylan May and Kevin Christenson. Tristen Dorzok and Dale Lecus Jr rounded out the top five. Paul Reagles, Brandon Tackes, and Jared Deming all won Slinger Bee heat races and the fastest qualifier was Tom Berens with a lap of 14.398 seconds.

Dave Siehndel won the Spectator Eliminator events in his Chevy Camaro and Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race to close out the night.\

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