Slinger, Wis., Aug. 25—Dale Prunty held off Steve Apel to win the 60-lap super late model feature that was the third round of the Pepsi Challenge Series Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway while Apel’s second place finish netted him the overall Pepsi Series championship.
“It’s great to be back here…we’ve had some bad luck the last two weeks, “ Prunty told the crowd from victory lane after working the bottom groove to hold off Apel for the win.
“If he (Apel) wanted to go to the outside he could, “ Prunty continued, “I held the bottom and I know he’s racing for points so if he turned me he would have went to the back (of the field). Low and Slow I guess wins tonight.”
“Dale (Prunty) did everything he could to win tonight,” Apel stated after being crowned the Pepsi Challenge Series champion, “I just couldn’t get him on the outside, he did what he had to do and we just came up a little short.”
Chris Blawat led the opening laps over Fred Winn and Lowell Bennett while just outside of the top five, Brad Mueller and Dale Prunty worked the high lane to gain positions. While Blawat began to stretch his lead, Bennett moved up to the high lane and he along with Mueller and Prunty all made their way around the second running Winn who raced in the inside lane. Conrad Morgan, Steve Apel, and Dennis Prunty also used the high groove advance into the fifth through seventh positions while Blawat remained comfortably out front. Blawat suddenly slowed on lap 24 with a flat tire, handing the lead over to Bennett with Dale Prunty chasing him and Mueller, Morgan, and Apel close behind. Morgan and Apel worked their way around Mueller in the low lane while Prunty began to pressure Bennett for the lead. Bennett’s car began to wash up exiting the corners and Prunty was able to turn down to the inside to pull alongside as the leaders sped off turn two. Bennett and Prunty traded the lead through several laps of side by side racing and their battle soon drew Morgan and Apel to their bumpers, setting up a four car tussle for the lead. Dale Prunty edged slightly ahead of Bennett at the stripe on lap 37 with Morgan and Apel breathing down their tailpipes when suddenly Morgan’s car snapped around on the backstretch after suffering a broken axel and spun into the infield with the caution waving. Prunty and Bennett renewed their lead battle when racing resumed before Prunty prevailed on the inside lane and a few laps later, Apel also used the inside to race into second place. Brad Mueller and Dennis Prunty likewise advanced past Bennett and into third and fourth respectively before Bennett could get back toward the inside groove. Once into second, Apel tried to look both to the inside and outside in a bid to get by Dale Prunty for the lead, but each time Prunty was able to turn back the challenges. Dale Prunty remained glued to the bottom groove in the closing laps and he drove to his second feature win of the season while Apel took the checkered flag in second to win the Pepsi Challenge Series overall title and build on his track points lead with one week remaining to decide the track championship. Dennis Prunty passed Brad Mueller in the final laps to come home in third place as Mueller and Bennett rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively. Dave McCardle finished a strong sixth ahead of Rob Braun in seventh and Jeff Holtz in eighth. Fred Winn and Mike Egan completed the top ten finishers.
Dan Jung won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Jerry Eckhardt and Jake Vanoskey. Dalton Zehr finished fourth and Corey Funk finished fifth. Super late model heat race wins went to Jake Vanoskey, Dave McCardle, and Lowell Bennett. Dale Prunty was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.648 seconds.
Mike Lichtfeld chalked up his fourth feature win of the season in the 40-lap late model main event.
Lichtfeld passed Gregg Pawelski for the top spot and then held off numerous strong charges from Jeff Holtz to secure the victory. After leading early, Pawelski took the checkered flag to cap off a strong run in third place while Ryan DeStefano and Braison Bennett were fourth and fifth respectively.
Jerry Mueller won the first late model heat race and Mike Lichtfeld was the winner of the second late model heat. Braison Bennett toured the speedway in 12.605 seconds to set fast time for the division.
Mark Fogel captured his first feature victory of the season by holding off a hard charging Kyle Chwala to win the Area Sportsman main event. Mark DePorter crossed the finish line in third place while Kody Hubred finished in fourth. Nick Egan rounded out the top five in fifth. Nick Egan was also the winner of the Area Sportsman heat race and Kyle Chwala was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.349 seconds.
Jeff Holtz took top honors in the Midwest Sportsman feature event, scoring the win over Jack Stern. Kenny Joosten finished in third place and Brian Holtz was fourth despite both being involved in an early caution which sent them to the rear of the field. Ryan Gutknecht crossed the stripe in fifth place. The race was red flagged with two laps to go when Chris Storey and Jimmie Evans tangled in turn two and Evans’ car rolled over after being struck by the car of Jimmy Wilson. Neither driver was injured in the mishap as the race restarted with a green, white, checkered finish in which Jeff Holtz scored the victory. Chris Beine and Jeff Holtz each won Midwest Sporstman heat races and Kenny Joosten set fast time with a lap of 12.934 seconds.
Dale Kiley-Schaefer drove to his first feature victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bee main event. Kiley-Schaefer held off Grant Griesbach to capture the win, leaving Griesbach to settle for second at the finish while Brandon Tackes and Marty Tackes were third and fourth respectively. Matt Urban completed a strong feature run by finishing fifth. Heather Stark and Dale Kiley-Schaefer were the winners of the Slinger Bees heat races and Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 14.930 seconds.
Dennis Prunty drove the pick-up truck normally driven by Al Roberts to the win in the Spectator Eliminator events and Russ Lorbiecki capped off the evening by winning the Figure 8 race despite nearly colliding with Shane Becker in the X on the final lap.
This article was posted to the website on August 26th, 2013