By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., April 24— As the laps wound down, Dennis Prunty outdueled Steve Apel in heavy traffic to capture the victory in the season opening Miller Lite 75 Sunday afternoon at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“We just got into lapped traffic and I was following Steve (Apel), “ Prunty stated from victory lane, describing the winning pass with three laps to go, “He was slipping and sliding and I was slipping and sliding and when he went down there, I just stuck it on the outside and it worked for me.”
Alex Prunty and Gary LaMonte led the field to the green flag and they swapped the lead in the opening laps before LaMonte eventually prevailed to take the top spot from the outside lane. Brad Mueller also used the outer groove to challenge Prunty for second place, taking the position after a few laps of side by side racing and Steve Apel followed suite with a similar outside move to grab the third spot. Conrad Morgan’s car slowed to the inside on lap ten to draw the first caution flag with LaMonte leading over Mueller, Apel, and Prunty. Despite losing several positions, Morgan was able to continue in the event as the field began to form for the restart.
LaMonte maintained the lead on the restart as Mueller challenged for the top spot on the outside as racing resumed while Jeff Holtz and Dennis Prunty joined the lead group alongside Apel and Alex Prunty. Mueller was able to work the outside long enough to take the lead on lap 17 while LaMonte and Holtz remained glued on his bumper with Apel and Dennis Prunty side by side behind them. Mueller was unable to protect both the high and low side and after a nudge from Holtz in turn three, he skated up the track allowing the inside running LaMonte, Holtz and Apel to charge by and into the first three spots. By the time Mueller gathered up his car, Prunty also slipped by as the race remained under green. With LaMonte out front, Apel went to work on Holtz for second, first making a charge on the inside before moving to the outside lane to finally complete the pass. Dennis Prunty and Mueller also took to the outside to work their way around Holtz and into third and fourth respectively as Apel tried to track down LaMonte for the lead. Apel, Prunty, and Mueller were able to close on LaMonte as the leaders began to work lapped traffic as the heavy traffic took its toll further in the field as Conrad Morgan and Jamie Wallace exited the event after suffering damage as the result of contact with a lapped machine. While still in traffic, Apel used the outside groove to pin LaMonte behind a lapped car, allowing the defending track champion to take the lead and bring Prunty and Mueller along with him as LaMonte fell to fourth. Still amidst lapped cars, Prunty looked to the inside of Apel for the lead but could only pull alongside before being blocked by traffic with less than ten laps to go. With three laps to go, Prunty moved to the outside and was able to get a run alongside Apel off turn two in effect, pinning him behind the lapped machines and allowing Prunty to take the lead. Apel could only charge to Prunty’s rear bumper in the closing laps as Prunty scored the win while Apel had to settle for second. Brad Mueller finished a close third while Gary LaMonte and Jeff Holtz rounded out the top five finishers.
Rob Braun edged James Swan to win the 30-lap super late model semi-feature as they along with third place Mitch McGrath and fourth place Brad Keith transferred to the main event. Grant Griesbach finished fifth. Super late model heat race victories were recorded by Jerry Eckhardt, Jerry Mueller, Casey Johnson, and Alex Prunty while Jeff Holtz was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.239 seconds.
Jordan DeVoy won the 40-lap late model feature over Kyle Chwala and Mike Held. Earlier leader Brian Holtz finished fourth while Mike Meyerhofer was fifth.
Holtz charged to the early lead over Tyler James, Ryan Gutknecht, Meyerhofer, and DeVoy while Chwala and Held raced close behind. The inside groove worked best early on and James, Meyerhofer, and Held advanced ahead while Gutknecht and DeVoy worked the outside with Holtz still leading. As Held passed Gutknecht on the front straightaway, his right rear made slight contact with Gutknecht’s left front which edged Gutknecht into the wall to draw the first caution on lap five. Held restarted from the rear of the field while Gutknecht retired from the race as Holtz led James, Meyerhofer, Chwala, and DeVoy. Holtz maintained his lead as racing resumed while James and DeVoy were able to move forward on the inside ahead of Meyerhofer and Chwala. Tyler Schley also worked the inside to get in front of Meyerhofer and Chwala while Mike Held worked his way forward from the rear of the field. A spin in turn four by Tyler Hromadka produced a caution flag on lap 14 with Holtz leading over DeVoy, James, Held, and Schley. On the restart, DeVoy was able to power ahead of Holtz from the outside lane to take the lead while James and Schley raced for third as Held battled with Chwala and Al Stippich just behind them. As the field raced off turn four Schley’s car swung wide in the outside lane and as he corrected it, side contact with James caused James’ car to spin across the track to produce another caution flag. As racing resumed, DeVoy continued to lead over Holtz while Stippich battled with Chwala and Held for third. Holtz became caught on the outside and he faded back as Stippich, Chwala and Held battled for second behind the leader DeVoy. With just four laps to go smoke began to billow from Stippich’s car and the caution waved as fluid was on the track. DeVoy was up to the task during the final laps and he drove to the victory over Chwala and Held while Holtz and Meyerhofer rounded out the top five.
Jordan DeVoy and Justin Poenitsch each won a late model heat race and Mike Held set a new track record in qualifying with a lap of 12.053 seconds.
Andy Welter won the 30-lap Area Sporstman feature over Paul Wagner and Jake Schraufnagel while Jay Kalbus and Adam Bleskan rounded out the top five. Scott Reidner won the Area Sportsman heat race and Jake Schraufnagel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.953 seconds.
Tom Berens won the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Steve Zoromski and Nick Schmidt. Kyle Sikora won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Jayden Buckley and Jason Hennes. Slinger Bee heat races were won by Kyle Sikora and David Schmidt while Brandon Tackes set fast time with a lap of 14.933 seconds. Scott Goetzke was the winner of the Figure 8 race.
This article was posted to the website on April 24th, 2016