By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 20—Just days after his impressive fourth place finish in the SuperSeal Slinger Nationals, 66-year old Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Famer Conrad Morgan proved he still has what it takes as he held off fellow veteran Lowell Bennett to win the Pomp’s 60 super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“It feels like the older I get, the younger I feel,” Morgan told the crowd from victory lane, “when you’ve got Lowell (Bennett) behind you for ten or fifteen laps and you can still beat him, you’ve accomplished something. I’ve been racing him for 30 years and I don’t think we have ever had a run in.”
“Hats off to ol’ Conrad there,” Bennett said from his pit area after finishing a close second, “I’m 56 and he’s 66, so you guys do the math and take all the championships he and I have won and all the laps we’ve put on together, it’s a cool combination.”
Morgan and Mike Egan led the field to the green flag and Egan shot out to the early lead with Morgan easing into second ahead of Dale Prunty, Tim Lampman, and Dave McCardle. The inside lane behind the lead duo of Egan and Morgan worked well early and Lowell Bennett, Austin Luedtke, Dennis Prunty, and Steve Apel all used it to work their way forward to catch the front runners while Morgan began to pressure Egan for the lead. Finally on lap 22, Morgan was able to sneak to the inside of Egan and grab the top spot as Bennett, Prunty, and Apel all began to close in. As Morgan began to pull away out front, Bennett and Prunty raced around Egan to take over second and third respectively while Apel and Luedtke raced close behind. Apel also made his way around Egan to move into fourth as Bennett and Prunty began to reel in Morgan for the lead. As the laps clicked away, Bennett closed to Morgan’s bumper and filled his mirrors as he looked for a way around. Morgan held his ground however, and maintained the lead as farther back, Egan and Luedtke staged an intense battle over fifth. Prunty began to look for a way around Bennett which let Morgan slip away for a bit in the lead. Bennett turned back Prunty’s challenge but in doing so, was unable to catch Morgan who drove to the victory, his second of the season. Bennett took the checkered flag in second while Prunty crossed the line a close third. Steve Apel came home in fourth place while the battle between Egan and Luedtke for fifth ended off turn four on the final lap when Luedtke spun into the infield as Egan claimed the spot. Rob Braun was sixth ahead of Dale Prunty and Kelsey Bauer while Braison Bennett and Tim Lampman rounded out the top ten.
Super late model heat races were won by Braison Bennett, John DeAngelis, and Dennis Prunty. Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.427 seconds.
Jack Stern captured his first career late model feature victory in the 40-lap main event.
Justin Poenitsch led the opening laps before Alex Prunty took over the top spot on lap eight. A spin by Brittiny Helmers in turn four on lap eleven produced the first caution flag of the event with Prunty leading over Al Stippich, Wayne Freimund, and Poenitsch. Prunty held onto the lead as racing resumed as Jack Stern was the driver on the move, charging through the field to challenge the top five drivers. The second caution flag waved on lap 21 when Grant Griesbach looped his car in between turns three and four with Prunty holding the top spot over Freimund and Stern. Prunty chose the inside lane and Stern took advantage of the restart cone to line up on the outside of the front row with Freimund choosing to stay in the inside lane. As the green flag flew, Stern timed the start perfectly with a strong run on the outside and he raced by Prunty off turn two to take the lead. Al Stippich followed Stern’s lead and he passed Freimund and Prunty to move into second. Once out front , Stern would not be denied and he raced to his first career late model feature victory over Stippich and Freimund. Tyler James took the checkered flag for a strong fourth place result and Alex Prunty rounded out the top five finishers.
Late model heat race victories were recorded by Tyler Schley and Al Stippich while Jack Stern was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 12.733 seconds.
Kyle Chwala turned in another impressive night in the Area Sportsman division, scoring a clean sweep by setting fast time, winning his heat race and the 30 lap feature.
Chwala passed early leader Joe Shelby near the halfway mark and never looked back, holding off Mark DePorter for the victory. Shelby finished a strong third behind DePorter in second while Nick Egan and Andy Welter completed the top five finishers. Chwala and Shelby were the Area Sportsman heat race winners and Chwala’s qualifying lap of 13.224 seconds was good enough for fast time on the evening.
T.J. Graczkowski drove to his first career victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature, holding off a charging Steve Dickson for the win. Graczkowski took the lead while he and Dickson worked lapped traffic and was never headed en route to his first career win. Dickson finished a close second and Paul Reagles was third. Brandon Tackes and Nick Schmidt were fourth and fifth respectively. Jayden Buckley was the winner of the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Bill Ostovich Jr. and Nicole Mueller. Triston Dorzok and Kevin Bush rounded out the top five. Nicole Mueller, Dale Kiley-Schaefer, and Nick Schmidt all were winners of Slinger Bees heat races and Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier at 14.921 seconds.
Dennis Prunty brought out his souped up Trans Am and won the Spectator Eliminator races and then proceeded to defeat Al Roberts and his pick-up truck to claim the challenge money. Ryan Lovald closed out the evening with a victory in a wild Figure 8 event.
This article was posted to the website on July 21st, 2014