By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 28—The box score will read Dale Prunty led all but the first lap of the 75-lap Interstate Sawing super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway to capture his first feature victory of the season.

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., June 28—The box score will read Dale Prunty led all but the first lap of the 75-lap Interstate Sawing super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway to capture his first feature victory of the season.

But the story the stat sheet cannot tell is that he held off the two most successful drivers at the track this season in Steve Apel and Dennis Prunty to accomplish the task.

“Starting on the pole and losing would kind of suck,” Prunty told the crowd from victory lane, “but starting up front and winning is good and I have to thank my crew and sponsors for all they have done.”

“I may have kind of screwed Dennis (Prunty) tonight, because I needed some rear shocks and I took them off the #42 car, “Dale Prunty continued referring to brother Dennis’ second car that was originally scheduled to be parked tonight but was quickly summoned into action when Dennis Prunty experienced problems with his #22 car in practice.

Along with defending track champion Steve Apel, Dennis Prunty wheeled that #42 car through the field as once near the front of the field both he and Apel never let Dale Prunty get out of their sight. Both Apel and Dennis Prunty swapped the second position a few times in the closing laps before staging a climactic side by side battle that ended with the two of them driving under the checkered flag in a virtual dead heat that the transponder scoring showed in Apel’s favor by mere inches.

“The car got kind of loose there at the end and I was trying to hang on and catch Dale (Prunty),” Apel explained afterwards, “I was getting close but then the car went away.” “It was a good race and I may have lost some track position in lapped traffic but Dale (Prunty) did a good job holding us off, “ Apel continued, “I was following Dennis (Prunty) and he got loose in turns one and two which let me go underneath him and then he got back around and we had a close finish.”

“It’s hard to tell in the cars, but when I looked over I was almost sure I was a little bit ahead of him (Apel), “Dennis Prunty stated following his third place run, “but the scoring said he was a little bit ahead of me.”

Lowell Bennett and Dale Prunty led the field to the green flag and Bennett edged ahead to lead lap one before Prunty raced around and into the lead from the outside groove. Dale Prunty and Bennett pulled ahead of the field slightly as Dave McCardle, Ryan DeStefano, and Nick Wagner raced to fill the top five. The first caution flag waved on lap nine when Duke Long’s car spun in turn one and collected the car driven by Jerry Eckhardt. Dale Prunty maintained his lead as the green flag appeared but a lap later, the race was back under the caution flag when John DeAngelis’ car experienced a mechanical failure as it trailed smoke on the front stretch and scattered the field behind him.

Once again Dale Prunty used the outside lane to fend off the challenges from Bennett as racing resumed. Behind the leaders, Apel and Dennis Prunty were methodically slicing their way forward and by lap 24 they both worked their way around Bennett and into second and third respectively. Three laps later, Dennis Prunty edged to the inside of Apel and took the second spot just before the event was slowed under caution again when Josh Wallace’s car stalled in turn two on lap 35. Dale Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart while Dennis Prunty and Apel both elected for the lower groove and both were able to make formidable challenges for the lead but Dale Prunty continuously was able to power ahead from the high groove. With Dale Prunty still out front, Apel and Dennis Prunty began to dispute the second spot as Apel retook the position with an inside pass while behind them, Ryan DeStefano, Dan Church, and Dave McCardle were all working on Bennett for the fourth position. DeStefano took the fourth spot while Church and McCardle also were able to pass Bennett however Bennett got the positions back when McCardle and Church made contact off turn two and upset both cars momentarily before both drivers regained control. Dale Prunty was able to work through the lapped cars as the leader while Dennis Prunty resumed his battle with Apel over second in the waning laps. Dale Prunty drove to the victory while Apel and Dennis Prunty crossed the stripe side by side with Apel earning the second spot by inches. Ryan DeStefano finished a strong fourth while Dan Church rounded out the top five. Lowell Bennett finished in sixth place followed by Jeff Holtz and Mike Egan in seventh and eighth respectively. Dave McCardle and Ryan Farrell rounded out the top ten finishers.

Josh Wallace won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Paul Shafer Jr. and Duke Long. Rob Braun and Randy Schuler completed the top five. Super late model heat races were won by Rob Braun, Lowell Bennett, and Dennis Prunty while Steve Apel was the fastest qualifier at 11.319 seconds.
Mike Held took the lead with two laps to go and drove to the victory in the 40-lap late model main event.

Corey Funk and Jack Stern led the field to the green flag and Funk grabbed the early lead as Stern’ s car rode the turn three wall on the opening lap before falling back in line mid-pack. Funk paced the first four laps before Steven Schulz was able to work his way around by using the inside groove to take the lead on lap five. Brian Holtz advanced into second place while Joe Bongiorno and Tyler Schley were close behind with Alex Prunty and Mike Held looking to move forward. A spin by Funk in turn two on lap 31 produced the first and only caution flag of the event with Schulz leading over Holtz, Bongiorno, Schley, Held, and Prunty. Held was the man on the move in the final nine laps as he picked off cars one by one until he reached the leader Schulz with two laps to go. Using an inside move, Held was able to slip by Schulz and take the lead and drive to the victory, leaving Schluz to settle for a strong second. Brian Holtz was third while Joe Bongiorno and Alex Prunty rounded out the top five.

Grant Griesbach won the 20-lap late model semi-feature over Jerry Mueller and Ricky Heinan. Jake Vanoskey and Brittiny Helmers rounded out the top five. Late model heat races were won by Jake Vanoskey, Dan Jung, and Al Stippich while Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier at 12.142 seconds.
Nick Egan drove to his third feature win of the season in the 30-lap Area Sportsman main event.

Egan took the lead from Joe Shelby just before the halfway mark and never looked back en route to the victory. Adam Bleskan finished second and Andy Welter was third. Paul Wagner and Joe Shelby completed the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.

Andy Welter also won the Area Sportsman heat race and Nick Egan was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.967 seconds.

Tom Berens held off a strong challenge from Nick Schmidt to win the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature. Schmidt had to settle for a close second place finish while Brandon Tackes was third. Heather Stark and Jakob Hassler finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

Paul Reagles won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Zach Braun and Dave Lembke. Emory Waldron and Tristan Dorzok rounded out the top five. Slinger Bee heat race wins were recorded by Dave Lembke, Brandon Berens, and Nick Schmidt while Brandon Tackes was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 14.721 seconds.

Willy Van Camp took home the trophy in the 15-lap extended Figure 8 race to close down the evening over Rick Bruskiewicz and Scott Goetzke.