By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 31—Steve Apel led the final 38 laps to win the Bruce Mueller Memorial 100 super late model Labor Day Weekend feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and in the process wrapped up his second consecutive super late model track championship.

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 31—Steve Apel led the final 38 laps to win the Bruce Mueller Memorial 100 super late model Labor Day Weekend feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and in the process wrapped up his second consecutive super late model track championship.

Michael Bilderback led the opening laps over Ryan DeStefano, Tim Lampman, and Rob Braun while Steve Apel, Conrad Morgan, and John DeAngelis raced for position behind them. The inside lane prevailed in the early going as Braun and Apel used it to work their way into second and third respectively behind Bilderback who edged away slightly out front. Braun and Apel soon tracked down Bilderback and the top three raced nose to tail until Braun looked to the inside in a bid for the lead off turn four. However, by the time the leaders exited turn two, Braun’s car became extremely loose and as he regained control, Bilderback slipped away out front as those behind him including Braun, Apel, and Morgan regrouped. Apel worked the high side to pass Braun for second just before the first caution flag of the race waved on lap 26 when the field bunched up in turn four and Rich Loch’s car looped around after contact with Chris Blawat. Bilderback chose the outside lane for the restart and with Apel in the low groove, the two staged a side by side duel for the lead as racing resumed while Morgan and Braun were joined by Dennis Prunty who worked his way into the top five. Prunty then used the high lane to bypass Braun to take fourth as he joined Morgan in closing the gap to Bilderback and Apel who were still racing door to door for the lead. Bilderback and Apel traded the lead with each completed lap until the second caution flag appeared on lap 40 for a spin by Lampman in turn four. Bilderback again chose the outside for the restart and Apel was able to edge him for the lead as racing resumed for one lap before an incident involving Kelsey Bauer in turn one put the field back under the yellow flag. This time Apel chose the outside for the restart and he was able to charge past Bilderback for the lead as the green flag waved. Dennis Prunty also used the high land to advance into second and Conrad Morgan did likewise to take over third. Prunty then began to pressure Apel for the top spot, making numerous looks to the inside with Morgan sitting directly behind them also looking for a way forward. Prunty’s persistence in the low groove paid off a few laps later as he passed Apel for the lead, bringing Morgan along with him into second. The lead battle stabilized up front for a bit before John DeAngelis cut a tire in turn four and slammed hard into the retaining wall on lap 62 bringing out the red flag as his flaming car came to rest in the infield. DeAngelis quickly exited the car uninjured as the track clean up began. Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart and a quick burst by Morgan down the backstretch on the pace lap forced Prunty to accelerate quicker on the restart and the two were nearly even as they took the green flag. However, when they exited turn two, Morgan, not realizing Prunty was at his rear quarter, moved up the track resulting in both cars collecting the wall hard and drawing another red flag. Apel inherited the lead for the restart and he chose the outside groove, leaving Travis Dassow the inside lane in second. As the green flag waved, Apel worked the high side well and maintained the lead over Dassow while Bilderback held third place ahead of Braun and Lowell Bennett. Dassow tried numerous times to unseat Apel for the top spot over the final laps but was unable to make a serious charge as Apel drove under the checkered flag for the victory and at the same time clinched the super late model track championship. Dassow was forced to settle for a runner up finish for the second consecutive week while Bilderback completed a strong run in third. Lowell Bennett worked his way forward from deep in the field to finish fourth while Rob Braun took the checkered flag in fifth, but later did not pass post race technical inspection.

Nick Wagner won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Randy Schuler and Rich Loch and they along with fourth place finisher Kelsey Bauer advanced to the main event. Super late model heat races were won by Randy Schuler, Lowell Bennett, and Steve Apel while Conrad Morgan was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.323 seconds.

Dan Church Jr. drove to his sixth feature victory of the season, holding off first time visitor Alex Papini to win the 40-lap late model main event.

Gregg Pawelski paced the beginning laps, using the outside groove to race to the lead at the drop of the green flag while Alex Papini also worked the top side to grab second ahead of Ricky Heinen and Alex Prunty. Papini continued his strong run on the top side as he passed Pawelski to take the lead on lap four as Prunty joined the lead battle. By lap nine, Prunty was in second place after working his way to Pawelski’s inside as Dan Church began to advance forward, snagging the fourth spot from Heinan. The caution flag waved on lap 15 for a spin by Tim Lange in turn four with Papini leading over Prunty, Pawelski, Church, and Heinan. Papini chose the outside lane for the restart and as racing resumed, he and Prunty raced side by side for the lead with Church directly in their tracks. The lead battle intensified with Prunty digging hard from the inside and Papini holding tough in the high lane and as they drove down the backstretch Papini’s left front tire momentarily rode over Prunty’s right rear, briefly lifting Papini’s car in the air and giving Prunty the edge he needed to take the lead. Church immediately filled the inside gap and drew alongside Papini for second as Prunty took the lead. Church eventually took the spot as the leaders moved back single file with Prunty showing the way over Church, Papini, and Pawelski. The second caution flag of the event appeared on lap 29 for an incident involving Grant Griesbach and Dave McCardle in turn four and Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart, while Church pulled alongside in the lower groove. Church was strong on the inside and after a lap of racing alongside Prunty, took the lead as Papini moved up on the inside to challenge Prunty for second. Papini and Prunty rubbed fenders in their battle for second as Pawelski had his hands full defending the fourth position from Tim Sargent and Ryan Zielski. The battle for second allowed Church to scoot away in the closing laps as Papini eventually prevailed on the inside to take second. As the laps wound down, Prunty became trapped on the high side and Pawelski, Sargent, and Zielski all raced by while Papini tried to track down Church for the lead. Church would not be denied in the closing laps and he drove to the victory, his sixth main event win of the season. Alex Papini capped off an impressive first time Slinger appearance with a strong second place result while Tim Sargent finished third. Gregg Pawelski and Ryan Zielski rounded out the top five finishers.

Wayne Freimund won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Jerry Mueller and Steven Schulz as Corey Funk and Scott Patrick finished fourth and fifth respectively. Brittany Helmers scored her first late model victory by picking up the checkered flag in the first late model heat race while Jerry Mueller and Ryan Zielski were the winners of the second and third late model heats. Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 12.503 seconds.

Kyle Chwala worked hard to win the 30-lap Area Sportsman feature, taking the lead in the final three laps and holding off Jason Thoma for his ninth main event victory of the season.

Andy Welter and Terry Wangsness led the field to the green flag with Wangsness prevailing from the outside to lead the opening laps with Bill Prietzel and Kody Hubred racing close behind. The outside was the preferred lane early and Prietzel, Hubred, and Jason Thoma all used it to move into second through fourth respectively as Wangsness continued to lead. With Wangsness out front, Hubred dove to the inside of Prietzel as they battled side by side for second just ahead of Thoma while Steven Sauer and Kyle Chwala advanced forward to join the lead group. Prietzel worked the high line well and Hubred soon moved up to follow him as they tracked down Wangsness with Prietzel taking command of the race on lap nine. The caution flew a lap later for a spin by Devin Schmidt in turn four and during the slow down, Wangsness left the speedway with fluid leaking from his car leaving Prietzel to lead over Hubred, Thoma, Sauer, and Chwala. Prietzel chose the inside for the restart and with Hubred alongside, they staged an intense battle for the lead, trading paint before switching lanes with Hubred working the bottom line and Prietzel moving to the top side. Their duel came to an end on lap 13 when Hubred’s car slid in the first turn and looped around to draw the caution flag. This time Prietzel lined up on the inside of Thoma for the restart and as racing resumed, Thoma proved to be strong up top and he charged by for the lead. Kyle Chwala also worked the high lane to get by Prietzel for second while Steven Sauer and Chad Smith closed in from fourth and fifth respectively. Sauer caught the leaders to make it a four car battle up front as Thoma continued to hold off Chwala and Prietzel. With three laps to go, Chwala dove to the inside of Thoma off turn four in a bid for the lead and after a lap of side by side racing, completed the pass to take the top spot. Chwala drove to the victory while Thoma edged Prietzel for second while Steven Sauer and Chad Smith completed the top five finishers.

Michael Gilomen and Andy Welter captured Area Sportsman heat race victories while Kyle Chwala was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 13.162 seconds.

Carl Benn drove to victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature, holding off Jacob Schraufnagel to take the checkered flag. Brandon Tackes followed in their tracks at the stripe to finish a close third. Dale Kiley-Schaefer crossed the line in fourth and Matt Rose finished fifth. Zach Braun won the 15-lap Slinger Bee semi-feature over Brandon Berens and Jayden Buckley while Slinger Bee heat race victories were recorded by Zach Braun, Isaac Daniel, and Nick Schmidt. Dale Kiley-Schaefer was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 14.821 seconds.

Andrew Patnode won the Spectator Eliminator races with his Mazda and Scott Goetzke closed out the evening with a victory in the Figure 8 race.