By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 13—Dennis Prunty topped the latest chapter in his rivalry with Lowell Bennett Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway as he charged to the lead following a late-race restart and held off Bennett for his fourth super late model feature victory of the season in the US Army/Reunion Night 60.
“C’mon, let’s hear some boos!,” Prunty played to the crowd afterwards, further solidifying his rebellious reputation, “If you’re booing me that means you want to see me race because you want your guy to beat me.”
“Lowell (Bennett) did a good job of keeping it low,” Prunty continued, explaining how he used the outside groove to take command of the race following a restart on lap 44, “He hasn’t figured it out yet…I like the outside!” “He gave it to me and I was laughing the whole time and I was like ‘thanks buddy…thanks for the win.’”
“We just didn’t quite have the same car we had before,” Bennett stated after finishing second, “I picked the bottom and we were so good on the bottom there when I was running by myself.” “I went into the corner and it just wouldn’t turn…it wouldn’t turn the whole last 16 laps. Congratulations to the Prunty crew and it was great for this crowd.”
Brad Keith and Mike Egan led the field to the green flag and the two remained side by side as the race got underway, swapping the lead at the stripe during the early laps. The rear of Keith’s car kicked loose entering turn one on lap five and caught Egan’s car as the leaders spun up the race track together, stopping just short of the pit entrance wall as the caution flag waved. Randy Schuler inherited the lead for the restart over Tommy Hromadka, Brad Dahmer, Conrad Morgan, and Bennett as racing resumed. Schuler set the pace out front as Dahmer used the inside lane to take second from Hromadka with Bennett diving to the inside of Morgan to take over fourth. Bennett’s car was hooked to the bottom of the speedway as he first moved to third place by lap eight and then three laps later, used the inside once again to charge by Dahmer for second. With Schuler maintaining his lead over Bennett, the action began to heat up further back as Prunty advanced to battle with Morgan and Josh Wallace for the fifth position. By lap 20, Schuler held a slight lead over a fast closing Bennett while Wallace and Prunty each were able to race their way into third and fourth place respectively, leaving Morgan to race with Dahmer and Jeff Holtz over fifth. Bennett remained strong on the inside and closed to Schuler’s rear bumper, pressuring him for the lead until moving to the outside lane to take the top spot on lap 22 as Wallace and Prunty began to close on the leaders. Once out front, Bennett began to pull away from the field and at the halfway mark, held a sizeable lead over Wallace and Prunty who both used the upper groove to make their way around Schuler. The leaders worked their way through lapped traffic which enabled Bennett to extend his lead as Prunty ducked to the inside of Wallace in a bid for second and clearing him for the runner-up slot a lap later. Numerous single car spins threatened to erase Bennett’s advantage but with each incident the track was clear and the race remained under the green flag.
Austin Luedtke looped his machine in turn three on lap 44 to draw the caution flag, allowing Prunty to pull even with Bennett for the restart. Bennett chose the inside lane for the late-race dash to the finish but the outside groove proved to be Prunty’s ace in the hole as he cracked the whip on the restart and charged into the first turn even with Bennett in an intense battle for the lead. Prunty was able to keep his car wound up on the outside upon the exit of turn two and he cleared Bennett for the lead as they raced down the backstretch, taking the lead entering turn three. As Bennett tried to catch Prunty in the closing laps, Morgan had one of the fastest cars on the speedway as he dove to the inside of Wallace for third place on lap 55. Once out front, Prunty could not be caught down the stretch as he held Bennett at bay to score his fourth feature victory of the season. Bennett settled for a close second place finish while Morgan completed a strong run in third place. Josh Wallace and Jeff Holtz rounded out the top five finishers in fourth and fifth respectively. Steve Apel finished in sixth place ahead of Randy Schuler and Brad Dahmer while Scott Schoeni and Tommy Hromadka completed the top ten.
Pat McIntee drove to his third win of the season in the 35-lap late model feature after taking the lead on lap 20.
Dave McCardle led the opening laps over McIntee, John DeAngelis, Chris Blawat, Rob Braun, Ryan DeStefano, and Wayne Freimund. McCardle and McIntee raced nose to tail for the lead as behind them DeStefano looked to the inside of Blawat entering turn one while Braun moved to the outside of Blawat. Blawat found himself between Braun and DeStefano as they exited turn two as Freimund tucked to the inside of all three of them, setting up a four-wide situation down the backstretch. Miraculously, all four sorted it out by the time they entered turn three as McCardle maintained the lead over McIntee and DeAngelis. At the halfway mark, McCardle held a slight lead over McIntee while Blawat and Braun moved to third and fourth respectively as DeAngelis’ car washed up the speedway exiting the turns. McIntee dogged McCardle for the lead until lap 20 when he applied pressure to McCardle’s rear bumper entering turn one and taking command of the race as McCardle’s car washed wide in turn two. After taking the lead, McIntee began to stretch his advantage on the field as Braun began to race hard with Blawat for third place as the laps wound down. McIntee charged to the checkered flag to score his third win of the season over McCardle while Braun raced his way around Blawat on the final lap to finish third. Wayne Freimund rounded out the top five.
Jake Larson scored his first career feature win by taking top honors in the 18-lap Thunderstock main event.
Larson took the lead at the start as Nathan Fick and Rick Schaefer battled door to door for second with Ryan Farrell and John Daley close behind. The side by side battle for second allowed Larson to increase his lead in the early laps. Fick was finally able to prevail in the battle for second, leaving Schaefer to race with Farrell, Daley, Andy Welter, and Eric Lingford. With Larson comfortably out front over Fick, Schaefer and Farrell made contact in the first turn which momentarily got both cars out of shape as Welter charged by. Farrell and Schaefer were able to continue as the race remained green. Larson raced the final laps unchallenged and charged to his first feature victory while Fick finished in second. Welter crossed the finish line in third place while Farrell and Lingford completed the top five. Nathan Fick won the fast dash and Eric Lingford was the fastest qualifier after touring the speedway in 13.717 seconds.
Nick Wagner was the winner of the 16-lap Slinger Bees feature over Alex Prunty and Erik Long. Taylor Gehrke and Joe Lang rounded out the top five finishers. Nick Wagner was also the fastest qualifier at 15.776 seconds. Sean Corr won the Speedway Guest Car event.
Scott Shambeau was leading over Jimmie Evans after five laps were complete in the 30-lap Midwest Sportsman main event when the skies opened up and rain began to fall on the speedway, halting the night’s program. Earlier, Jimmie Evans was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and James Swan was the fastest qualifier at 12.729 seconds. The rains washed out the remainder of the evening’s events.
This article was posted to the website on June 13th, 2010