TWO IN A ROW FOR APEL IN YP.COM 60

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 22— For the second consecutive week Steve Apel held off Dennis Prunty to win the super late model feature, only this time he had to survive a green-white-checkered finish in the YP.Com 60 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

After remaining out front since lap 29, Apel enjoyed a half straightaway lead on the closing Prunty when Rich Loch’s car looped around in turn four as the field received the white flag, setting up the two lap dash for the victory. Apel chose the outside lane for the restart, leaving Prunty to work the low lane and as racing resumed, Prunty’s slight hesitation off turn four with his tight handling car was enough for Apel to edge into the lead and claim his second consecutive victory and third of the season.

Rich Loch and Mike Egan paced the field to the green flag and the two aggressively battled for the top spot as they rubbed fenders upon exiting turns two and four. One such rub off turn two on lap four knocked Loch’s car sideways for a moment, allowing Egan to race into the lead from the outside. Brad Keith and Austin Luedtke both went around Loch also on the outside and into second and third by the time Loch gathered up his car in the fourth position. While the front four sorted themselves out in single file, the rest of the field, which included both Apel and Prunty remained side by side as they intensely raced for track position. The intense racing in the pack produced the first caution flag on lap 12 when the traffic jam rippled through the field and kicked Jeff Holt’s car sideways off turn four where it was collected by the machine of Rob Braun. Egan chose the inside lane for the restart and began another intense battle up front with Keith while Luedtke, Nick Wagner, Loch, and James Swan followed in formation behind them. Keith eventually prevailed to grab the lead from Egan off the outside as Egan continued the pressure down low and once again the leaders made side contact as they raced off the corners. The intense racing up front allowed Luedtke, Loch and now Apel, who had sliced his way into fifth, to close in on the lead duo setting up five car battle for the top spot. More contact led to Egan’s car getting out of shape off turn two which put him into a brief three wide situation with Luedtke and Loch and as Loch lifted briefly to avoid a collision, Apel snuck by on the inside to snag fourth. With Keith continuing to lead, it was Luedtke’s turn to battle with Egan and he took to the top lane to pull alongside while Apel laid in wait, ready to capitalize on any mistakes made. As Egan and Luedtke raced side by side, Keith’s car began to wash wide off the corners from the lead and he soon fell into the clutches of Egan, Luedtke, and Apel setting up a four car tussle for the lead. Egan capitalized on his inside position to draw alongside Keith off turn two, taking over the lead upon exiting turn four and bringing Apel along with him on the low side into second as Keith and Luedtke were caught on the outside. Egan had difficulty keeping his car down on corner exit, opening the door for Apel to charge by on the inside and into the lead on lap 29. Once out front, Apel began to edge ahead of Egan, Luedtke, and now fourth running Lowell Benett, while the driver on the move was Dennis Prunty, who started the race deep in the field after taking a provisional due to his late arrival at the track after competing in an event at Road America earlier in the day. Prunty had worked his way into the top five just past the halfway point. Prunty had his car hooked up in the high line and he sliced his way first around Bennett then one by one picked off Luedtke and Egan to advance into second place as Apel remained the leader. As the laps ticked down, Prunty gradually began to eat into Apel’s lead, edging closer with each passing circuit. With Prunty appearing to run out of laps to catch Apel, the late race caution set up the exciting dash to the finish. Knowing Prunty was the strongest in the upper groove, Apel wisely chose the outside lane for the restart and was able to hold off Prunty’s charge to secure the victory. Austin Luedtke finished a strong third while Egan took the checkered flag in fourth, just ahead of Conrad Morgan in fifth. Lowell Bennett finished in the sixth position ahead of Dale Prunty and James Swan in seventh and eighth respectively. Ryan DeStefano and Brad Keith rounded out the top ten.

Braison Bennett was the winner of the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Dale Prunty and Jeff Holtz. Fred Winn and Chris Blawat completed the top five finishers. Dale Prunty, Conrad Morgan, and Lowell Bennett each captured victories in the super late model heat races while Steve Apel set fast time with a lap of 11.431 seconds.

Bill Prietzel took the lead near the halfway point in the Midwest Sportsman feature en route to victory in the 35-lap main event.

Scott Shambeau led the early laps over Chris Storey as Eric Lingford, Prietzel, and Jack Stern raced close behind. Storey and Lingford began to fade back from the outside as Prietzel, Stern, and Ryan Gutknecht moved up from the inside. Prietzel tracked down Shambeau for the lead and after several laps of door to door racing, finally made the outside lane work to capture the lead on lap 15. Shambeau battled back on the inside but Prietzel was too strong and he raced to the victory, leaving Shambeau to settle for second place. Gutknecht finished a strong third while Stern and Brian Holtz rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.

Brian Holtz won the first Midwest Sportsman heat race over Jimmie Evans while Eric Lingford held off Bill Prietzel to win the second heat race. Ryan Gutknecht was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap of 12.961 seconds.

Shortly after climbing out of his Midwest Sportsman car, Bill Prietzel immediately jumped into his Area Sportsman ride and proceeded to win the 30-lap feature in that division for his second main event trophy on the night.

Brad Hetzel led the opening laps as Prietzel worked his way into second with Andy Welter, Kyle Chwala, and Mark Deporter also moving forward. Much like he did in the earlier Midwest Sportsman feature, Prietzel again used the outside lane to sweep around Hetzel for the lead at the halfway mark. Deporter and Chwala soon joined Hetzel and Prietzel out front and the four pulled away from the field to contest the win amongst themselves. Prietzel remained strong on the outside and he raced to the win over Deporter who edged Chwala for second. Brad Hetzel finished in fourth place while Andy Welter took the checkered flag in fifth.

John Daley and Mark Deporter each recorded Area Sportsman heat race victories while Kyle Chwala was the fastest qualifier at 13.252 seconds.

Steve Dickson edged defending Slinger Bee champion Nick Schmidt to win the 25-lap Slinger Bee main event.

After several laps of racing hard for the top spot, Dickson prevailed to take the win over Schmidt while Carl Benn crossed the finish line for a strong third place result. Jacob Schraufnagel and Dale Kiley-Schaefer finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

Rick Schaefer won the 15-lap Slinger Bee semi-feature over Nicole Mueller and Bill Ostovich Jr. Kevin Bush finished fourth and Tristan Dorzok was fifth. Rick Schaefer, Paul Reagles, and Carl Benn all were victorious in the Slinger Bee heat races and Brandon Tacked was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.878 seconds.