PRUNTY SCORES FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON IN PEPSI CHALLENGE ROUND TWO

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., July 6—Dennis Prunty drove to his first feature victory of the season in the 60-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway in Round Two of the Pepsi Challenge Series.

“It feels good to finally not get a flat tire,” Prunty stated from victory lane referencing the bad luck that had plagued his season until Sunday when he bested Austin Luedtke and Steve Apel for the victory. “I was watching my mirror and trying to save my tires, “Prunty continued, “the car drove itself tonight, it was awesome.”

Conrad Morgan raced to the early lead from the pole position with Lowell Bennett also using the inside lane to occupy second while Nick Wagner and Ryan DeStefano worked the top alongside Mike Egan for third. Bennett dove to the inside of Morgan entering turn three on the third lap and took over the lead as they raced off turn four while Dennis Prunty charged from the inside to bypass Egan for third. As Prunty moved forward, Egan fell into a battle over fourth with Dale Prunty and Austin Luedtke who also used the inside groove to advance forward. With Bennett pulling away out front, Dennis Prunty pulled alongside Morgan for second just before John DeAngelis retired from the event with engine issues and both Prunty and Morgan slid through turn one side by side but were able to continue their battle as the race remained green. Prunty eventually won the dual for second, working his way around Morgan on the inside and began to set his sights on Bennett for the lead. The first caution of the event flew on lap nine when Curt Tillman’s car spun sideways in turn three and was collected by the car of Paige Decker as Bennett led Prunty, Morgan, Egan, and Dale Prunty. Bennett chose the outside lane for the restart and was able to keep ahead of Prunty off turn two and down the backstretch. However in turn four, Bennett’s car washed wide, allowing Prunty to move alongside and as the two entered turn one, Bennett’s car suddenly took off towards the wall as the field rocketed by with Prunty taking over the lead. Bennett retired from the event a lap later with his car leaking fluid after reportedly losing the radiator cap. As Prunty maintained his lead, Morgan and Egan battled for second with Luedtke in their tire tracks as Dale Prunty and Tim Lampman rubbed doors over fifth with Steve Apel beginning to close in. After a few laps, Morgan won the battle for second and Luedtke worked his way into third shortly thereafter as Apel picked off cars to continue his march forward. Another caution flag appeared on lap 44 when Rob Braun suffered a mechanical problem and slammed the turn three wall as Prunty led Morgan, Luedtke, Dale Prunty, and Apel. Dennis Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart, leaving Morgan the inside and while Morgan had a strong run to the green flag, his car kicked loose off turn four which allowed Prunty to use the outside to maintain his run and clear Morgan for the lead entering turn three. Luedtke and Apel also used the outside lane late and charged into second and third respectively while Morgan raced with Dale Prunty over fourth. Apel and Luedtke battled over second in the closing laps as Dennis Prunty eased away to capture his first feature victory of the season. Luedtke edged Apel for second place at the stripe while Morgan and Dale Prunty rounded out the top five.

Ryan Farrell, John DeAngelis, and Mike Egan were the winners of the super late model heat races and Austin Luedtke set fast time after circling the speedway in 11.457 seconds.

Dan Church scored the feature win in the 40-lap late model main event, taking the checkered flag ahead of Alex Prunty and Jon Reynolds Jr.

Jack Stern and Mike Held battled for the lead in the opening laps before Stern took command of the event from the inside on lap three. Al Stippich and Dan Church also used the inside to take over second and third respectively as Held fell into a battle with Jon Reynolds Jr. and Alex Prunty for the fourth spot. With Stern remaining in the lead, Church was able to work his way to the inside of Stippich to take over second as Reynolds and Prunty made their way around Held and into the top five. Church’s car remained glued to the inside of the racetrack and within two laps of grabbing second place, he quickly maneuvered around Stern to take the lead. Once he was in the outside groove, Stern began to fade as Stippich, Reynolds, and Prunty all passed by on the inside. As Church began to extend his lead, Reynolds and Prunty raced into second and third respectively as they both passed Stippich on the inside. With Church comfortably out front, the best battle on the speedway was between Reynolds and Prunty for second as Prunty made numerous attempts to pass on the outside. After several failed attempts on the outside, Prunty was finally able to duck to the inside of Reynolds and after a few laps of door to door racing, he grabbed the second position. There was no catching Church however as he drove to the victory leaving Prunty to settle for second with Reynolds taking the checkered flag in third. Al Stippich finished a strong fourth and Mike Held charged back up to finish fifth.

Tyler Schley and Jack Stern each recorded wins in the late model heat races while Jon Reynolds Jr. set fast time with a lap of 12.486 seconds.

Kyle Chwala raced to a convincing win in the 20-lap Area Sportsman feature.

Rich Wagner and Ken Schraufnagel raced side by side for the lead in the opening laps Joe Shelby and Kyle Chwala battled for third behind them. Eventually the outside lane prevailed and Schraufnagel charged into the lead with Chwala following directly behind him to capture second place. As the leaders broke away from the pack, Chwala took to the outside groove and swept around Schraufnagel to take the lead. Once out front, Chwala could not be caught and he raced under the checkered flag to score the victory with Schraufnagel finishing second. Joe Shelby crossed the finish line with a strong third place result ahead of Rich Wagner and Nick Egan in fourth and fifth respectively.

Ken Schraufnagel won the Area Sportsman heat race and Kyle Chwala was the fastest qualifier at 13.157 seconds.

Nick Schmidt took top honors in the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Jacob Schraufnagel. Steve Dickson finished fourth after spinning early in the event and Brandon Tackes was fifth.

Jared Deming won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Allen Maher, Jaden Buckley, and Nicole Mueller while Steve Zoromski was fifth. Slinger Bee heat race victories were captured by Allen Maher, Zach Braun, and Nick Schmidt. Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.811 seconds.

Earl Hoth won the American Super Cup 20-lap feature over Brian Baldyga and Ken Jones. Andy Forster finished fourth and Derek Doerr. Derek Doerr won the American Super Cup heat race and Andy Forster set fast time at 15.355 seconds.

Andrew Patnode won the Spectator Eliminator races in his Mazda 3 while Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race to close the evening.