By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 19—Jeremy Lepak and Brad Mueller slugged it out over the final laps of the PMF Landscape Supply Scout Night 75 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway before Lepak edged Mueller by a half car-length for the victory.
“I didn’t want to touch Brad (Mueller), I don’t like racing like that, “Lepak told the crowd after the aggressive battle for the win that saw both drivers leave their marks on each other’s cars, “I wanted to be able to pass him clean, I knew we had the car to do it. I knew if I could get up on his bumper, he was pushing and pushing harder and I knew eventually I could get the run underneath him, I just had to be patient.” “I can’t say I’m real happy with him there at the end, I thought he raced me a lot harder than I raced him, but I think me and Brad are pretty good friends so I think we’ll work this deal out.”
“I left the door open for him and I shouldn’t have,” Mueller said afterwards, “I particularly am not in love with racing with him to begin with. If you want to see some sparks fly just stay here when he and I are racing together because I don’t agree with his driving style.”
Lowell Bennett paced the early laps, using the outside lane to take command of the event over Travis Dassow, Steve Apel, Lepak, and Mueller. Apel and Mueller also worked the high groove and both swept around Dassow to move into second and third as Conrad Morgan advanced to challenge the top five. Dave Feiler used the low lane to pass Lepak for sixth while Morgan was able to complete an inside pass on Dassow to take fourth as Mueller charged by Apel for second on the inside. The cars of Rob Braun and Dennis Prunty spun in turn four on lap 11 and while both were able to continue with minimal damage, the caution flag waved with Bennett leading Mueller, Apel, Morgan, Feiler, and Lepak. Bennett chose the inside lane for the restart which proved costly as Mueller launched into the lead from the outside as racing resumed while behind them Morgan, Feiler, and Lepak all were able to make their way around Apel utilizing the inside. With Mueller remaining out front, Morgan and Feiler quickly tracked down Bennett in second and by lap 30, Morgan turned to the inside in a bid to take the position with Feiler planted directly behind him. Morgan and Bennett raced side by side for three laps before the intense racing between them resulted in Bennett’s car swinging loose in turn four where it came down the track directly in the path of Feiler as both cars made significant contact as the caution flag waved on lap 33. Mueller took to the inside lane for the restart and maintained the lead as the green flag waved over Morgan and Lepak while Dennis Prunty came from the tail end of the field to challenge Apel for fifth. The race was put under the red flag on lap 43 when an apparent oil line issue on Morgan’s second place car caused flames to erupt from under the hood as he drove it on fire around to turn two before looping it around in front of the safety crew who extinguished the flames. Mueller again chose the inside for the restart, leaving Lepak to run the high line with Apel and Prunty stacked behind the lead duo as the race got back under way. Mueller held his lead as Lepak settled into his tire tracks while Prunty used the outside to flash by Apel for third. Lepak remained directly behind Mueller and made numerous looks for the lead on the inside but each time Mueller was able to maintain the advantage. On lap 60, Lepak was able to just inch the nose of his car inside the left rear fender of Mueller’s machine exiting turn two and with Lepak racing for the lead and Mueller trying to defend his position, the cars made instant side-panel contact which washed Mueller’s car slightly high as Lepak drove underneath to move alongside. After several intense laps of side by side racing, Lepak was able to drive into the lead as Mueller’s car began to tighten up a bit off the corners. Once out front however, Lepak was unable to shake Mueller, who immediately closed to hound Lepak for the top spot, applying a steady dose of taps to the leader’s rear bumper. With two laps to go, a more solid shot to the bumper from Mueller in between turns one and two sent Lepak’s car momentarily out of shape and Mueller pounced to the outside exiting turn two and the leaders took the white flag door to door. Mueller held a slight advantage entering turn one which quickly evened out exiting turn two as the two headed down the backstretch in a dead heat. Mueller again gained a slight advantage entering turn three and after one more instance of side contact between the two in the middle of turn four, the battle for the win became a drag race to the start-finish line which Lepak was able to win by about a half car-length. Dennis Prunty charged from the last starting position on the grid to finish third while Steve Apel and Mike Egan rounded out the top five. Jon Reynolds Jr. took the checkered flag in sixth and Brad Keith was seventh while Dave Feiler, Tommy Hromadka, and Rob Braun completed the top ten finishers.
Mike Graczkowski captured the win in the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Chris Blawat and Rob Braun. Randy Schuler finished in fourth place and Fred Winn was fifth. Lowell Bennett was the winner of the super late model fast dash and Brad Mueller circled the speedway in 11.555 seconds to become the evening’s fastest qualifier.
Rob Braun raced to his first feature win of the season in the 30-lap late model feature when late raced circumstances turned in his favor.
Braun was running solidly in the top five with two laps remaining as leader Alex Prunty seemed destined for his first career checkered flag with nearly a straightaway advantage on the rest of the field, when suddenly Prunty spun around exiting turn four. With Prunty’s car sliding to the infield, the lead battle turned to a scramble between Pat McIntee, Dave McCardle, Jerry Mueller, and Jon DeAngelis while directly behind them Braun, Jake Vanoskey, and Wayne Freimund also looked to join the battle. Suddenly as they entered turn one, the cars of McIntee, McCardle, Mueller, and DeAngelis tangled together and slid to the wall to produce the caution flag with two laps remaining. Braun took over the lead for the restart ahead of Vanoskey and Freimund while Prunty recovered to hold the fourth spot. Braun was on the button on the restart and he charged to the lead as Vanoskey raced with Freimund for the runner up spot. Braun drove under the checkered flag to take the win as Freimund held off Vanoskey for second while Prunty finished in fourth place just ahead of Mueller. Pat McIntee took top honors in the late model fast dash and Rob Braun was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.560 seconds.
James Swan notched feature win number six of the season as he drove to victory in the 30-lap Midwest sportsman main event.
Jay Shambeau led the opening laps over Andy Haver and Dan Church as Swan settled into fourth place at the start. Church and Swan each worked the inside groove to make their way around Haver for second and third place respectively as Shambeau continued to lead. After a few attempts to get to the inside of Church, Swan took to the high lane and made it work to advance into second place, leaving Church to battle with Haver for third. Swan remained committed to the outside line and he quickly ran down Shambeau, charging into the top spot on lap 17 as Haver held down third place over Church. With two laps to, Haver’s car looped around in turn four and the race remained green as Haver continued on. Swan drove to his sixth win of the season with Shambeau finishing second. Dan Church took the checkered flag in third and Scott Shambeau finished fourth. Mark Pluer used a late race charge to edge Jack Stern for the sixth spot. Jay Shambeau won the Midwest sportsman fast dash and James Swan was the fastest qualifier at 12.645 seconds.
Brad Hetzel edged Ken Schraufnagel to win the 18-lap Thunderstock main event.
Tyler Schley and Ken Schraufnagel paced the field to the green flag and the race quickly fell under the caution flag as Schley’s car broke loose exiting turn two and spun across the track before being struck by the car of Andy Welter. As racing resumed, Schraufnagel took the lead with Al Stippich close behind as Brad Hetzel moved into third place, just ahead of Adam Pescheck in fourth. The top three ran nose-to-tail for a few laps before Hetzel was able to turn under Stippich in turn two to take over second on lap 12. Hetzel then was able to turn under Schraufnagel and move alongside in a battle for the lead as the laps wound down. The leaders took the white flag side by side with Hetzel on the inside and Schraufnagel on the outside and the low lane paid off as Hetzel was able to clear Schraufnagel for the lead exiting turn two. Hetzel held on to drive under the checkered flag for the victory with Schraufnagel finishing second. Al Stippich finished third while Adam Pescheck and Rick Schaefer rounded out the top five. Ken Schraufnagel won the Thunderstock fast dash and Andy Welter was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.684 seconds.
Nick Wagner took top honors in the 18-lap Slinger Bee feature over Mark Johler and Brandon Tackes. Brittiny Helmers finished fourth and Dustin Ostberg was fifth. Dustin Ostberg also was the winner of the 10-lap Slinger Bee semi-feature over Marty Tackes and Daniel Schroeder. Zachary Clarke was fourth and Zack Welter was fifth. Mark Johler won the Slinger Bee fast dash and Nick Wagner set fast time at 15.491 seconds. Brady Haugen was the winner of the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car race and Tom Behrens was the winner of the Spectator Eliminator event. Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race to close the evening.
This article was posted to the website on June 20th, 2011