By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 17—Dennis Prunty drove to his third super late model feature win of the season Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, holding off Lowell Bennett and Jeff Holtz to take top honors in the PMF Landscape Supply 50-lap main event.
“Let’s keep this going, “Prunty stated after climbing from his car in victory lane, “I did this for my Dad because if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be doing this so I have to say ‘Happy Father’s Day to him and all the other dads here tonight.”
Rob Braun jumped out to the early lead at start of the race with Jeff Holtz following in his tire tracks while Dennis Prunty and Mike Graczkowski raced alongside each other for third. Prunty used the inside to take the third position and with Graczkowski hung out in the top lane, Dale Prunty and Chris Blawat both made their way into fourth and fifth place respectively from the inside groove. With Braun remaining out front, Dennis Prunty worked the outside line to charge around Holtz for second place as Dale Prunty moved up to challenge Holtz for third while behind them, Lowell Bennett passed Chris Blawat for fifth.
The top six began to string out single file as the action began to heat up for seventh with Steve Apel, Al Schill, Mike Egan, Conrad Morgan, and Steven Wallace all racing in tight quarters. Braun’s lead began to evaporate as Dennis Prunty quickly closed and by lap 11, Prunty was able to duck to the inside of Braun to take over the top spot as the leaders began to catch lapped traffic. Behind the top four, Apel was able to rocket around Blawat for sixth as the close racing continued with Schill wrestling eighth away from Morgan while Wallace advanced two spots and into the top ten. Bennett was able to edge to Dale Prunty’s inside as they exited turn four and he grabbed the fourth spot while a fast-closing Apel also looked to pick up a position, working his way to the inside of Dale Prunty.
Before Apel could complete the pass however, the caution flag appeared on lap 19 when Joe Gross spun off turn two. Dennis Prunty took the inside line for the restart and as racing resumed, Braun used a strong run off turn two from the top lane to whistle around Prunty to retake the lead heading down the backstretch. A lap later, Prunty tried to return the favor with an inside move for the lead the second turn while Holtz, Dale Prunty, Bennett, Apel, Blawat, Schill, Morgan, and Wallace all raced hard door-to-door behind the lead duo. As the tight racing continued, the back of Blawat’s seventh place car swung wide entering turn one and the resulting contact with Schill scooted his machine up the racetrack allowing the side by side tandem of Morgan and Wallace to both pass by on the inside as Blawat maintained control ahead of them.
As the ripple effect of that action worked its way through the field in accordion-like fashion, the cars of Mike Egan and Graczkowski looped around off turn two and the caution flag waved for a second time. This time, Braun chose the inside line for the restart, leaving the high side to Prunty with Holtz, Apel, Bennett, and Morgan behind them. Braun and Prunty raced door to door for the top spot as the green flag appeared and when they charged into turn three, Braun’s car lost momentum for a split second causing a bumper tag situation on the cars behind him that carried through the field all the way to ninth where Schill’s car kicked out of shape after a tag from Wallace. Schill’s car then spun toward the inside and across the front of Wallace’s car, tearing the nose off in the process, producing a yellow flag and sending Wallace off the track to retire from the event with heavy front end damage.
Braun also exited the speedway and Dale Prunty followed him, having experienced a flat tire which moved Holtz to the inside lane for the restart with Dennis Prunty to the outside. With the race back underway, Prunty took the lead from the outside as Holtz began to defend second place from Bennett and Apel who ran side by side just off Holtz’s bumper. After a few looks to the inside, Apel took to the outside and swept around Holtz for second as Prunty continued to lead. The caution flag waved again on lap 26 when a spin by Jeremy Schulz on turn one collected both Jake Vanoskey and Mike Graczkowski as all three cars came to rest on the apron stuck together. Prunty took the high lane for the restart with Apel occupying the inside and the anticipated fight for the lead between them evaporated before the green flag was displayed as Apel’s car suddenly veered to the outside in turn four, the result of a flat tire, forcing him to leave the track as the field regrouped. Holtz moved alongside Prunty on the inside for the restart with Blawat, Bennett, Brad Keith, and Conrad Morgan behind them.
Holtz and Prunty ran side by side for the lead for a lap before another caution appeared for a minor incident between Corey Funk and Nick Wagner on the frontstretch but on the next restart, Prunty was able to charge into the lead from the outside off the second corner, leaving Holtz to fend off Bennett and Morgan who raced nose to tail in third and fourth, just ahead of Keith in fifth. Three laps later, the sixth and final caution flag waved on lap 30 when Tim Lampman and Fred Winn both tried to pass Nick Wagner on the inside at the same time resulting in Winn’s right front becoming lodged in Lampman’s left rear fender as both cars spun around. Prunty was able to maintain the lead on the restart and edged ahead of Holtz and Bennett while Morgan found himself battling with Schill, who rebounded from the earlier incident to race back into the top five. Bennett was able to catch Holtz for second in the closing laps but Prunty was too far ahead to be challenged and he drove to his third feature victory of the season. Bennett had to settle for second at the finish while Holtz took the checkered flag in third. Morgan and Schill rounded out the top five while Brad Keith and Mike Egan were sixth and seventh respectively. Dale Prunty, Tim Lampman, and Mark Kissinger completed the top ten finishers.
Mike Egan won the super late model fast dash and super late model heat race wins were recorded by Steven Wallace and Jake Vanoskey. Steve Apel was the fastest super late model qualifier with a lap of 11.421 seconds.
Ryan DeStefano scored the win in the 35-lap late model feature for the second week in a row, holding off Dan Church for the victory.
Justin Poenitsch and Dave McCardle led the field to the green and McCardle raced into the early lead from the outside as Poenitsch fell in line for second just ahead of Alex Prunty and DeStefano. Prunty worked his way around Poenitsch for second as McCardle continued to lead as Dan Church, Braison Bennett, and Pat McIntee also passed Poenitsch who began to fall back on the outside along with DeStefano who was also caught on the high side. Meanwhile back up front, Prunty caught McCardle and after a few checks to the inside, took to the outside lane in a bid for the top spot. McCardle and Prunty raced several laps door to door for the top spot.
McCardle wiggled slightly off turn two on lap 13 which gave Prunty a small run on the outside entering turn three, however as Prunty tried to pull back down to the inside, the nose of McCardle’s car was barely there and the slight contact sent Prunty’s car spinning around where it was struck cosmetically by DeStefano as he tried to skid to a stop. Both Prunty and DeStefano were able to continue as McCardle and Prunty were placed at the rear of the field for their involvement in the caution, leaving Dan Church and Braison Bennett to lead the field back to green with DeStefano and McIntee directly behind them. Bennett and Church batted alongside each other for the lead over the next three circuits with Bennett having a slight advantage over Church from the outside. The handle on Bennett’s outside run went away on lap 16 as the back of his car swung around in turn four, drawing a caution flag and leaving Church as the leader over DeStefano, Poenitsch and McIntee. Church and DeStefano fought for the lead as racing resumed with Church on the inside and DeStefano holding strong on the outside. On lap 19, Church had difficulty holding his car on the inside and as it walked up the track in turn four, DeStefano took control of the lead as Poenitsch raced by Church and into second. DeStefano maintained the lead in the second half of the race through two more caution periods for minor incidents and in the closing laps, the handling went away on Poenitsch’s car and he exited the track as Prunty and McCardle recovered from their earlier spin to charge back into the top five. DeStefano drove to the win over Church while Prunty worked his way back into third place just ahead of McCardle in fourth. Pat McIntee was fifth.
Justin Poenitsch won the late model fast dash and Braison Bennett was victorious in the heat race. Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier at 12.440 seconds.
James Swan won the Midwest Sportsman 20-lap feature over Ryan Farrell. Jack Stern finished third while Jimmie Evans and Dustin Krebs were fourth and fifth respectively. James Swan also won the Midwest Sportsman fast dash while Ryan Farrell set fast time with a lap of 12.725 seconds.
Brad Hetzel took the lead on lap 14 and never looked back, scoring the win in the 20-lap Thunderstock feature over Tyler Schley who barely edged John Daley at the stripe for second. Following Daley in third place was Ken Schraufnagel in fourth and Carl Benn in fifth. Carl Benn was the winner of the Thunderstock fast dash while Brad Hetzel was the fastest qualifier at 13.598 seconds.
10-year old Grant Griesbach captured his first Slinger Bee feature victory in the 20-lap main event after taking the lead late in the event when Nick Schmidt suffered a flat tire. Marty Tackes finished second ahead of Jacob Schraufnagel, Ethan Roskopf, and Ricky Heinan. Nick Schmidt and Allen Maher scored Slinger Bee heat race wins and Nick Schmidt was also the fastest qualifier at 15.233 seconds.
Ken Jones held off Cody Erdmann to win the 25-lap American Super Cup feature. David Cerer finished third and Earl Hothe was fourth. Erdmann and Cerer also scored Super Cup heat race wins while Cerer was the fastest qualifier at 15.392 seconds. Taylor Schellinger was the winner of the Spectator Eliminator races in his Mitsubishi and Paul Williams raced to the win in the Figure 8 event to close the evening.
Next Sunday come out to Slinger Speedway to celebrate Independence Day Early with the Keith’s Marina Firecracker 75. See a huge fireworks show presented by Bartolotta Fireworks Company. A 75 lap Super Late Model Feature will highlight racing, Super Late Models will be joined by Late Models, Midwest Sportsman, Thunderstock. Slinger Bee’s, Figure 8’s, and One on One Spectator Races. Gates open at 4 pm with opening ceremonies at 6:30 and racing to follow. Rain date is Wednesday July 4.
This article was posted to the website on June 18th, 2012