By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 29—Defending track champion, Steve Apel held off Lowell Bennett to capture his third consecutive super late model feature victory Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway in the Keith’s Marina 75 presented by Interstate Sawing.
“It was a hot sticky night and the track was getting slick, but what a race for all these fans to come out and see,” Apel exclaimed from victory lane. “It was a heck of a battle with Lowell (Bennett) and I didn’t really want to see that last caution… but it was another ‘green-white-checkers’, “ Apel continued referring to a late caution bunching up the field to set up a two lap dash to the finish for the second week in a row.
James Swan grabbed the early lead from the outside of the front row over Ryan DeStefano, Lowell Bennett, Tim Lampmann, and Conrad Morgan as the caution flag waved at the completion of the first lap when farther back in the tightly wound field, Dan Jung and Kelsey Bauer made contact in turn three, turning Bauer’s car around where it was collected by the car of John DeAngelis Jr. Swan chose the outside lane for the restart and again he was able to use it to maintain the lead over DeStefano and Bennett as racing resumed, while Steve Apel and Dennis Prunty began to work their way forward, challenging Lampmann over the fourth spot. The outside lane proved to be advantageous early on and Bennett, Apel, and Prunty all used it to swing around DeStefano and into second through fourth place respectively while Swan continued to lead. The caution flag waved a second time on lap 12 when Mike Egan experienced a mechanical failure entering turn three and made hard contact with the outside retaining wall. Again, Swan chose the outside lane for the restart but this time it was Bennett from the inside who proved stronger as he raced into the top spot two laps after racing resumed. The top five briefly raced single file before an incident involving Kelsey Bauer and Dave McCardle in turn four brought out the third caution flag of the event. Bennett opted for the inside lane on the restart and he used it to maintain his lead as the green flag appeared while Apel also took to the inside to pressure Swan for second. Apel had his car hooked up on the inside and he cleared Swan for second as Dennis Prunty also moved up to battle Swan over third as Bennett remained out front. Once into second, Apel began to track down Bennett for the lead and made numerous attempts on the inside to take the spot, but each time Bennett proved to be too strong in the upper groove and he held onto the lead. Apel continued to apply the pressure and on lap 51 was finally able to gain enough ground on the inside to push ahead of Bennett as they raced down the backstretch to take over the top spot. The front runners stabilized shortly thereafter with Apel leading over Bennett, Prunty, and Conrad Morgan as the laps began to click off. Apel appeared to be on his way to a comfortable win when on the final lap the caution flag waved as Casey Johnson’s car spun off the backstretch while racing intensely in the pack. A green-white-checkered situation was set up and Apel chose the outside lane, leaving Bennett to take the inside. As racing resumed, Apel was on his marks and was able to clear Bennett for the lead as the field entered the first turn. With Apel out front on the backstretch, an incident deeper in the field, sent Rob Braun’s car backwards into the turn one wall, bringing the race to an end with Apel flagged the winner over Bennett, Conrad Morgan, and Dennis Prunty. Dale Prunty finished fifth ahead of Tim Lampmann, Jeff Holtz, and Braison Bennett. Ryan DeStefano and Rob Braun rounded out the top ten finishers.
Rob Braun won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Braison Bennett and Dave McCardle. Fred Winn finished in fourth while Dale Prunty was fifth. Super late model heat race wins were collected by Corey Funk, Nick Wagner, and Lowell Bennett. Brad Mueller was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 11.450 seconds.
Mike Meyerhofer made his first trip to the Slinger Speedway pay off with a victory in the 40-lap late model feature.
Steven Schulz led the early laps over Ricky Heinan, Jack Stern, and Mike Held, while Mike Meyerhofer raced into fifth. The inside groove worked best early on and Stern, Meyerhofer, Dan Church, and Alex Prunty all used it to move forward as Heinan and Held tried to hang on in the outside lane. Meyerhofer, Church, and Prunty then tracked down Stern for second as Schulz continued to lead. With Schulz out front, Church began to pressure Meyerhofer for second as Prunty raced directly in their tracks while farther back, Wayne Freimund nearly collided with the wall when Duke Long’s car got out of shape and carried wide in turn four. One lap later the caution flag waved when Long’s car looped around after contact with Freimund’s as Schulz led over Meyerhofer, Church, and Prunty. Schulz and Meyerhofer batted side by side for the lead as racing resumed before Meyerhofer was able to power ahead and into the lead from the outside groove. A few laps later, Prunty also used the outside to pass Schulz for second while Church followed suit a few laps later and took over third with another outside pass. Meyerhofer could not be caught over the final laps and he drove to the victory with Prunty taking the checkered flag in second place. Church finished third while Schulz and Mike Held rounded out the top five.
Late Model heat race wins were recorded by Wayne Freimund and Tim Sargent while Dan Church was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.544 seconds.
Nick Egan was in the right place at the right time and drove to his first career feature victory in the 30-lap Area Sportsman main event.
Egan paced the early laps, taking the lead on lap one and holding the top spot while Kyle Chwala and Mark Deporter sliced their way through the field. Chwala raced around Egan for the lead on lap 24 and appeared to be on his way to another win when with two laps to go, he suddenly left the track after losing oil pressure. That Egan to inherit the lead as Deporter pressured him. Egan was able to hold off Deporter to score his first career feature win. Deporter finished second while Joe Shelby, Andy Welter, and Rich Wagner completed the top five.
Rich Wagner and Nick Egan were the Area Sportsman heat race winners and Kyle Chwala was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.274 seconds.
Steve Dickson won the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Nick Schmidt and Jacob Schraufnagel. Carl Benn finished fourth and Rick Schaefer crossed the finish line in fifth.
Jared Deming won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Zach Braun and Nicole Mueller while Slinger Bee heat races were won by Kevin Bush, Nicole Mueller, and Nick Schmidt. Steve Dickson was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.875 seconds.
Trevor Pollom was the winner of the Spectator Eliminator races and Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race.
This article was posted to the website on June 30th, 2014