By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Sept. 6-Brad Mueller returned to victory lane at the Slinger Super Speedway for the first time since 2013 Sunday night by holding off Steve Apel to win the 100-lap Labor Day Weekend super late model feature while Apel’s second place finish earned him the 2015 super late model track championship.
“It was a bear, an absolute bear,” Mueller told the crowd from victory lane, “around lap 75 I told the guys we lost power steering but I’ll be able to hold them off but ‘Oh my God’ those last twenty laps were worse than twenty-five laps of dirt track racing.”
Tim Lampman charged to the lead at the start while Dave McCardle, Rob Braun, and Brad Keith battled with Dennis Prunty, Brad Mueller, and Gary Lamonte for positions behind him. Lampman was able to stretch his lead over McCardle and Braun as Prunty and Mueller picked their way forward. The much anticipated championship battle between Prunty and Steve Apel came to an anti-climatic conclusion on lap 11 when Prunty’s car apparently broke a right front wheel and he slammed hard into the turn four wall to draw the first caution flag. The incident damaged Prunty’s car enough to force him to retire from the event and eliminated him from the championship hunt. Lampman chose the inside for the restart while McCardle went to the top and as racing resumed McCardle got a slight jump from the outside. As McCardle and Lampman raced side by side into turn three, contact between the two sent McCardle’s car around and stacked up the field behind them and among those collected in the incident were Gary LaMonte, John DeAngelis, Jim Olson, Mike Egan, Jeff Holtz, and Steve Apel. Lamonte, DeAngelis, and Olson went to the pits for repairs as all the others involved remained trackside. The incident moved Mueller to the lead for the restart with Brad Keith alongside followed by Rob Braun, Dale Prunty, and Apel. Mueller launched into the lead as racing resumed with Keith settling into second while Apel worked his way to the inside of Braun for third before a half spin by Grant Griesbach in turn one produced another caution on lap 23. This time Keith was ready for the restart and he cleared Mueller from the outside to take command of the race on lap 24 while Apel edged ahead of Conrad Morgan and Rob Braun for third. Mueller dogged Keith for the lead but Keith remained strong as behind the leaders, Morgan’s car developed mechanical problems and he left the speedway as the caution was displayed on lap 31 for possible fluid left on the track from his car. This time the roles were reversed on the restart as Mueller now used the outside to reclaim the lead from Keith as the green flag waved. Apel maintained third over Braun while Mike Egan and Dale Prunty disputed fourth just ahead of Tim Lampman who had worked his way back to sixth. As Mueller remained out front, Apel caught and passed Keith for second just before Lampman’s strong run ended with a hard impact into the turn three wall on lap 62 following a mechanical failure. Mueller was able to fend off Apel on the restart to keep the lead and he was able to get away somewhat before Apel began to slowly reel him in as the laps wound down. A tangle between Mike Egan and Duke Long in turn one drew another caution flag on lap 85 setting up a 15 lap sprint to the finish. Apel pressured Mueller intensely for the lead in the waning laps and the two ran door to door for several laps before Mueller pulled away from the outside to take the victory. Apel finished second and clinched his third consecutive Slinger super late model track championship while Brad Keith finished a very strong third. Rob Braun and Dale Prunty rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
Jeff Holtz won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Mike Egan and Tom Hromadka while Jerry Eckhardt edged Randy Schuler by .008 seconds to claim the final transfer spot. Super late model heat race victories were picked up by Nick Wagner, Dale Prunty, and Dennis Prunty and Brad Mueller set fast time with a lap at 11.255 seconds, the quickest lap turned all season.
Jordan DeVoy used the outside lane to take the lead from Alex Prunty in the closing laps of the 40-lap late model feature to capture his first career main event victory.
Steven Schulz paced the first eight laps before Al Stippich took over the point with an outside move on a restart following a caution flag on lap nine. Alex Prunty ran down Stippich and grabbed the lead just past the halfway mark while DeVoy also maneuvered his way forward and into third just ahead of Mike Held. DeVoy chose the outside lane on a restart after another caution flag on lap 26 and as racing resumed he was able to outgun Prunty for the lead. Prunty battled door to door with Al Stippich over second while DeVoy extended his lead. DeVoy would not be denied in the closing laps and he drove to his first career feature victory while Stippich beat Prunty for second. Prunty had to settle for third while Jack Stern and Mike Held rounded out the top five.
Late Model heat races were won by Tyler Schley and Steven Schulz and Mike Held was the fastest qualifier at 12.318 seconds.
Jacob Schraufnagel captured his second consecutive Area Sportsman feature victory as he took the checkered flag ahead of Paul Wagner and Nick Egan. Andy Welter and Joe Shelby finished fourth and fifth respectively. Scott Hoeft and Kody Hubred were the winners of the Area Sportsman heat races and Andy Welter was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 13.064 seconds.
Nick Schmidt edged Tom Berens in a photo finish to win the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature while Dave Schmidt finished third. Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Heather Stark rounded out the top five. Jayden Buckley won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Paul Reagles, Zach Braun, and Travis Scheid. Paul Reagles, Ryan Ostenson, and Tom Berens won Slinger Bee heat races and Dale Kiley-Schaefer set fast time at 14.730 seconds.
Dave Sindehl won the Spectator Eliminator races and Scott Goetzke won the Figure 8 race.
This article was posted to the website on September 7th, 2015