By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Sept. 5—Dave Feiler endured several rain delays and the challenges of Lowell Bennett during the Russ Darrow Labor Day Weekend Special Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway before being declared the winner after the skies opened up for a final time on lap 74 of the scheduled 100-lap super late model main event.
Jeff Holtz set the early pace, taking the lead at the drop of the green flag over Feiler, Eric Fransen, Al Schill, and Brad Keith as Conrad Morgan launched a stout high-groove run off turn two to move all the way to third by the second lap. Holtz continued to lead with Feiler in his tracks as Fransen found his rhythm, slipping around Morgan for third place on lap six. Feiler and Fransen began to pressure Holtz for the lead as it appeared Holtz’s car showed more hesitation in the middle of the corners than his challengers. The leader’s slight break in momentum resulted in a soft nudge from behind which crossed up Holtz’s car, sending it up the track and into the concrete upon the exit of turn two, producing a caution flag on lap ten. Feiler led Fransen and Morgan on the restart with Al Schill, Lowell Bennett, and Steven Schultz filling out the top six as racing resumed. After one lap of green flag racing, Bennett worked the inside to advance to fourth as behind him, Jamie Wallace, Brad Mueller, Steve Apel, and Dennis Prunty all battled hard over the sixth spot.
A slight drizzle began to fall on lap 22 and the rain intensified a lap later, resulting in the red flag appearing with Feiler leading over Fransen, Morgan, Bennett, and Schill. The cars returned to the speedway after track drying efforts were complete and the race resumed with Feiler at the point over Fransen and Morgan while Jamie Wallace worked his way around Schill to gain the fifth position. The field settled down for a few laps with the bottom lane being the preferred groove on the green racetrack. Randy Schuler and Austin Luedtke tangled in turn two on lap 34 and the yellow flag appeared again as very light rain continued to fall. The cars were allowed to drive to the pits to have their windshields cleaned before immediately returning to the track for the restart. Once again Feiler maintained the lead while Bennett positioned himself to the inside of Morgan’s car to take second as Wallace and Fransen lined up behind Bennett in an attempt to keep Morgan trapped in the high line. The strategy worked as both Wallace and Fransen were able to get by Morgan for third and fourth respectively as Morgan fell back into a battle over fifth with Jon Reynolds Jr. Bennett closed to Feiler’s rear bumper and made several looks to the inside in an attempt to get by before falling back in line and following in Feiler’s tire tracks as they approached lapped traffic. Feiler gained a small advantage over Bennett as they cleared the traffic but Bennett quickly closed the gap to the leader and remained planted on Feiler’s rear bumper when the drizzle began to fall once again around lap 70. The skies opened up into a downpour on lap 74 and the race was halted as several cars spun into turn one on the now slick track. Feiler was declared the winner with Bennett finishing in second ahead of Wallace, Fransen, and Reynolds Jr. Morgan was credited with a sixth place finish and Brad Mueller used a late-race run to finish seventh. Al Schill, Steve Apel, and Dennis Prunty rounded out the top ten finishers.
Terry Patnode edged Tommy Hromadka in a photo-finish to win the 30-lap super late model semi-feature while Mike Egan, Jerry Eckhardt, and Brad Dahmer followed in third through fifth place respectively. Dennis Prunty was the winner of the super late model fast dash and Brad Mueller set fast time after circling the speedway in 11.370 seconds.
Jake Vanoskey used a last lap pass to edge Mike Graczkowski to capture the victory in the 35-lap late model feature.
John DeAngelis and Mike Graczkowski swapped the lead in the early laps as they battled side by side with DeAngelis on the inside and Graczkowski using the outside with Dave McCardle and Jake Vanoskey racing in tight formation behind them. The outside lane gradually became the preferred lane as both Graczkowski and McCardle used it to charge past DeAngelis and Vanoskey and claim the top two positions. A few laps later, Vanoskey was able to turn under DeAngelis to take over third place and begin to track down Graczkowski and McCardle ahead of him. Chris Blawat moved up to challenge DeAngelis in fourth and the hard racing between them resulted in contact in turn one on lap 14 sending DeAngelis looping around and drawing the caution flag as the cars of Rob Braun and Ryan DeStefano were damaged in their attempt to avoid the incident. DeAngelis and Blawat were sent to the rear of the field for the restart as Graczkowski continued to lead as racing resumed. Once again Vanoskey’s car worked well on the inside and he was able to work his way under McCardle to take over second place as Wayne Freimund advanced to challenge McCardle for third. Vanoskey caught Graczkowski for the lead and applied the pressure in the late stages as Graczkowski’s car appeared to drive a bit loose off the turns while Vanoskey’s machine turned well on the inside. On the final lap Vanoskey was glued to Graczkowski’s rear bumper and he ran the leader hard into turns one and two which resulted in a small gap opening up on the inside of Graczkowksi’s car upon the exit of turn two. Vanoskey filled that gap on the inside and both he and Graczkowski raced door to door to turn three. Vanoskey’s car’s ability to turn good in the corners proved to be the difference as he gained a better exit off turn four and beat Graczkowski to the finish line for the win. Graczkowski finished a close second while Wayne Freimund, Dave McCardle, and Chris Blawat completed the top five finishers. Pat McIntee won the late model fast dash and Ryan DeStefano was the fastest qualifier at 12.526 seconds.
Andy Welter held off a hard charging Al Stippich to score the win in the 25-lap Thunderstock feature.
Nathan Fick led the opening eight laps before Ken Schraufnagel raced around him on the outside in turn two to take command of the race with Welter and John Daley working their way forward as well. Eric Lingford also advanced his way forward as well as Al Stippich who started last in the 17-car field and charged his way into the top five by lap 11. Welter used the outside lane to race into second place and Daley, Stippich, and Lingford all followed suit a few laps later, working their way by Fick on the outside for third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Schraufnagel became pinned on the inside by a lapped car and Welter took advantage of the situation to race around in the high lane for the lead. Stippich, Lingford, and Daley also charged by Schraufnagel to drop him to fifth by the time he could work his way around the lapped traffic. Stippich pressured Welter heavily for the lead but Welter kept his cool and held onto the top spot. As Welter and Stippich raced for the lead, Lingford and Daley staged their own battle for third place as the laps wound down. Schraufnagel looped his car in turn three on lap 23 to draw the caution flag with Welter leading Stipppich, Lingford, and Daley. Welter and Stippich renewed their battle for the lead as racing resumed and while Stippich could pull alongside Welter, he was unable to complete the pass for the lead and the two raced door to door for the lead for several laps. Stippich made a final push off turn four on the outside but Welter was strong enough to hold him off and score the win. Stippich finished second while Lingford, Daley, and Jake Larson completed the top five. Eric Lingford won the Thunderstock fast dash and Al Stippich was the fastest qualifier at 13.535 seconds.
Braison Bennett won the Slinger Bees feature as Alex Prunty and Brandon Tackes finished in second and third place respectively. Shawn Ogden was fourth and Dylan Wenzel was fifth. Dave Wacek won the Singer Bees semi-feature over Brandon Gumm and Russ Lorbiecki. Kurt Schweitzer and Tyler Schley were fourth and fifth. Bennett also was the winner of the Slinger Bees fast dash and Nick Wagner was the fastest qualifier at 15.538 seconds. Dave Behling won the Speedway Guest car race with a last lap pass for the win. The Spectator Eliminator and Figure 8 events were also rained out.
This article was posted to the website on September 6th, 2010