By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Sept.4—Michael Bilderback drove to his first super late model feature victory Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, taking the checkered flag in the Russ Darrow 100 nearly a half lap ahead of point leader Jeremy Lepak.
“I still can’t imagine it, this is awesome,” Bilderback told the crowd from victory lane, “The wasn’t the best in practice and we did some fine tuning before the dash race and then did a little bit more before the feature and it was a rocket.” Bilderback battled with pole-sitter Jeff Holtz for the lead during the opening laps before tucking in line behind Holtz while Rob Braun, Conrad Morgan, and Steve Apel raced nose to tail behind them. Just beyond the top five, Lepak raced with Lowell Bennett for sixth while the leaders remained lined up on the bottom of the track. Holtz and Bilderback continued to race tightly together as Morgan looked for a way around Braun on the inside while at nearly the same time, Apel darted the nose of his car to the inside of Morgan, allowing Holtz and Bilderback to ease ahead slightly. Morgan was finally able to work to the inside of Braun and with the run, quickly took over third while Braun slid out of the top five as Apel, Bennett, and Lepak all raced by in the low line. After following Holtz for several laps, Bilderback made his move on lap 33, taking the lead on the inside following a slight nudge to the left-rear corner of Holtz’s car in between turns one and two.
Holtz was able to slide back in line behind Bilderback almost immediately while Morgan, Apel, Bennett, Lepak, and Eric Fransen all caught the leaders as they snaked around the speedway single file. Once out front, Bilderback began to pull away, increasing his advantage with every lap and leaving Holtz to fend off Morgan, Apel, and the others for second. Lepak was able to break free of his battle with Bennett and Fransen and he tracked down Holtz, Morgan, and Apel, latching onto Apel’s rear bumper.
A few laps later, Lepak was around Apel to move into fourth while behind them, Matt Kocourek advanced his way forward to battle with Bennett and Fransen just behind the top five, while Bilderback’s lead continued to grow. After several attempts to pass Morgan on the low line, Lepak moved to the top and drove around the veteran for third as Fransen and Kocourek had their cars hooked up on the outside, racing around Apel and into fifth and sixth respectively. With Bilderback comfortably out front, Lepak took to the high lane to work his way past Holtz for second as Kocourek also decided it was time to go, using first the inside to pass Fransen and then the outside to get around Morgan in fourth. As Lepak tried to catch Bilderback for the lead with the laps counting down, Kocourek was able to expel Holtz from the bottom lane, taking third while bringing Morgan and Fransen with him as Holtz fell to sixth. Bilderback was never seriously challenged in the closing laps and he cruised under the checkered flags to score the victory with Lepak nearly a half lap behind in second. Matt Kocourek crossed the finish line in third while Conrad Morgan and Eric Fransen completed the top five finishers. Jeff Holtz was sixth while Steve Apel finished seventh and Lowell Bennett, Jon Reynolds Jr., and Rob Braun rounded out the top ten.
Randy Schuler edged Chris Blawat with a strong outside run at the stripe to win the 20-lap super late model consi as both drivers transferred to the main event. Mike Held, Jerry Eckhardt, and Brady Bennett finished in fourth through sixth respectively. Jon Reynolds Jr. won the 12-lap super late model qualifying race over Matt Kocourek and Mike Graczkowski. Eric Franson and Rich Loch rounded out the top five. Jeff Holtz won the super late model fast dash while Lowell Bennett took top honors in qualifying with a lap of 11.307 seconds.
Mike Lichtfield remained perfect at Slinger as he scored his second late model feature win in as many attempts in the 35-lap main event.
Jon Reynolds Jr. and Jeff Holtz led the field to the green flag and Reynolds grabbed the early lead as Brad Keith and Ryan DeStefano moved up on the inside to challenge Holtz for the runner up spot. Keith and DeStefano both passed Holtz as Dave McCardle, Alex Prunty, Mike Lichtfield, and Wayne Freimund were the next drivers in line to challenge Holtz on the inside. DeStefano made two quick impressive inside moves, first snagging second from Keith and then swiping the lead from Reynolds, working the low lane on lap nine. Reynolds became trapped on the high side as McCardle and Lichtfield got by before Reynolds could get back in the bottom groove just ahead of Freimund and Prunty. Prunty muscled his way around Freimund but then quickly closed on Reynolds who was trying to work to the inside of Lichtfield. With Reynolds having to momentarily check up in his battle with Lichtfield, combined with Prunty and Freimund charging forward, the end result was Prunty’s car spinning around after getting sandwiched between Reynolds in front and Freimund in the back to draw the caution flag. Freimund and Prunty were relegated to the rear of the field as DeStefano led Keith, Holtz, McCardle, and Lichtfield for the restart.
DeStefano maintained the lead as racing resumed, while Holtz and Lichtfield gained positions in the inside lane as Keith became caught on the outside. McCardle also took to the inside groove to get around Keith with James Swan following suit and as Keith tried to get back in line behind Swan, his car was sandwiched between Swan and Jerry Mueller, resulting in Keith spinning off turn two to produce a caution flag. Once again DeStefano held onto the lead as the green flag waved but this time, Lichtfield took advantage of the inside groove, racing by Holtz for second as McCardle also used the inside lane to take third. The caution flag appeared three laps later, on lap 27 when Alex Prunty and Bill Shavlik tangled while racing for position, sending Shavlik’s car sideways towards the wall in turn three where Keith and Dan Church did a magnificent job to avoid Shavlik’s spinning car, while Braison Bennett was not as fortunate, slamming hard into Shavlik’s car. Following another quick caution for a single car spin, DeStefano lined up on the inside for the restart, leaving Lichtfield to take the upper lane. As racing resumed, DeStefano used all of his lane space as he leaned on Lichtfield who charged hard from the outside. DeStefano and Lichtfield remained glued together side by side for a full lap before Lichtfield was able to squeeze ahead exiting turn four, leaving Destefano to defend challenges from McCardle and Holtz on both the high and low lines. After another circuit, DeStefano suddenly slowed on the main straightaway and dropped to the apron as Holtz and Wayne Freimund shot by McCardle on the outside while Lichtfield extended his lead. Lichtfield could not be caught in the closing laps and he drove to the win ahead of Holtz and Freimund while McCardle and James Swan rounded out the top five. Bill Shavlik captured the win in the 12-lap late model qualifying race and Mike Lichtfield was the winner of the late model fast dash. Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier with a lap time of 12.399 seconds.
Rick Corso paced the opening laps Jay Shambeau, Kenny Joosten, Dan Church, Swan and Farrell as the field remained tightly bunched. As Corso and Shambeau battled side by side, Church slid to the inside lane across Joosten’s nose to grab third place on lap seven as Swan challenged Joosten on the outside. With Corso out front, Church and Joosten held the inside lane and Shambeau and Swan occupied the outside groove right next to them. Shambeau, Swan, and Ryan Farrell all were able to streak ahead from the outside after a slight shove from Joosten sent Church spinning off the backstretch and to the infield as the race remained green. Swan and Farrell quickly took to the inside to dispatch Shambeau from second and then both drivers moved high on the speedway to pass Corso to move into first and second place respectively just before the caution flag waved for a spin by Joe Fischer in turn one on lap 13. As racing resumed, Swan and Farrell once again drove away from the field out front as Joosten advanced into third. Farrell remained in Swan’s tire tracks and often times made a bid for the lead when Swan’s car kicked loose off the corners. However, each time, Swan was able to defend his lead on the straightaways and in the final laps he was able to hold off Farrell by about a car length to capture the win. Kenny Joosten finished third while Andy Haver and Tommy Moore rounded out the top five. James Swan also was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman fast dash and Ryan Farrell set fast time at 12.596 seconds.
Brad Hetzel advanced through the field to win the 20-lap Thunderstock feature over Tyler Schley and Carl Benn. Nate Fick took the checkered flag in fourth while John Daley finished fifth. Carl Benn took top honors in the Thunderstock qualifying race over Tyler Schley and Joe Shelby while Rick Schaefer and John Daley completed the top five. Ken Schraufnagel won the Thunderstock fast dash and Brad Hetzel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.570 seconds.
Davey Pennel scored the win in the 18-lap Slinger Bee feature in his first appearance in the division at Slinger as he held off Nick Wagner for the win. Jason Dull crossed the finish line in third while Shane Westphal and Brittiny Helmers were fourth and fifth respectively. Marty Tackes won the first Slinger Bee heat over Jason Dull and Ed Klug as Bill Ostovich Jr. and Leo Bujak finished fourth and fifth. Zachary Clarke took top honors in the second Slinger Bee heat race over Karl Gebhard and Al Strobel III. Dylan Konitzer and Ricky Heinan were fourth and fifth respectively. Davey Pennel won the Slinger Bee fast dash and Nick Wagner set a new track record in qualifying with a lap of 15.155 seconds.
Roy Bryan won the Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car race and Luke Hilgendorf drove his Subaru WRX to the win in the Spectator Eliminator races. Bill Shavlik scored his first Figure 8 race win of the season in the 10-lap event that closed the evening.
SUPER LATE MODEL
Super Late Model Feature—100 Laps: 1. Michael Bilderback, 2. Jeremy Lepak, 3. Matt Kocourek, 4. Conrad Morgan, 5. Eric Franson, 6. Jeff Holtz, 7. Steve Apel, 8. Lowell Bennett, 9. Jon Reynolds Jr., 10. Rob Braun, 11. Randy Schuler, 12. Mike Graczkowski, 13. Chris Blawat, 14. Gregg Pawelski, 15. Rich Loch, 16. Tommy Pecaro, 17. Dennis Prunty, 18. Tommy Hromadka.
Super Late Model Qualifying Race 1—12 Laps: 1. Jon Reynolds, Jr., 2. Matt Kocourek, 3. Mike Graczkowski, 4. Eric Franson, 5. Rich Loch.
Super Late Model Consi 20 Laps: 1. Randy Schuler, 2. Chris Blawat, 3. Mike Held, 4. Jerry Eckhardt, 5. Brady Bennett.
Super Late Model Fast Dash: Jeff Holtz.
Super Late Model Fastest Qualifier: Lowell Bennett, 11.307 seconds.
Late Model Feature—35 Laps: 1.Mike Lichtfield, 2. Jeff Holtz, 3. Wayne Freimund, 4. Dave McCardle, 5. James Swan.
Late Model Qualifying Race—12 Laps: 1. Bill Shavlik, 2. Jerry Mueller, 3. Jeff Holtz, 4. James Swan, 5. Brad Keith.
Late Model Fast Dash—6 Laps: Mike Lichtfield.
Late Model Fastest Qualifier: Alex Prunty, 12. 399 seconds.
Midwest Sportsman Feature—30 Laps: 1.James Swan, 2. Ryan Farrell, 3. Kenny Joosten, 4. Andy Haver, 5. Tommy Moore.
Midwest Sportsman Fast Dash—6 Laps: James Swan.
Midwest Sportsman Fastest Qualifier: Ryan Farrell, 12.596 seconds.
Thunder Stock Feature—20 Laps: 1. Brad Hetzel, 2. Tyler Schley, 3. Carl Benn, 4. Nate Fick, 5. John Daley.
Thunderstock Qualifying Race—12 Laps: 1. Carl Benn, 2. Tyler Schley, 3. Joe Shelby, 4. Rick Schaefer, 5. John Daley
Thunderstock Fast Dash—6 Laps: Ken Schraufnagel.
Thunderstock Fastest Qualifier: Brad Hetzel, 13.570 seconds.
Slinger Bee Feature—18 Laps: 1. Davey Pennel, 2. Nick Wagner, 3. Jason Dull, 4. Shane Westphal, 5. Brittiny Helmers.
Slinger Bee Heat One—10 Laps: 1. Marty Tackes, 2. Jason Dull, 3. Ed Klug, 4. Bill Ostovich, Jr., 5. Leo Bujak.
Slinger Bee Heat Two—10 Laps: 1. Zachary Clarke, 2. Karl Gebhard, 3. Al Strobel III, 4. Dylan Konitzer, 5. Ricky Heinan.
Slinger Bee Fast Dash—6 Laps: Davey Pennel.
Slinger Bee Fastest Qualifier: Nick Wagner, 15.155 seconds (New Track Record).
Westbury Bank Speedway Guest Car Winner: Roy Bryan.
Spectator Eliminator Winner: Luke Hilgendorf.
Figure 8 Winner: Bill Shavlik.
This article was posted to the website on September 5th, 2011