By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., May 31—John DeAngelis Jr. turned back the challenges from Brad Mueller to win the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and claim Round One of the Pepsi Challenge Series.

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., May 31—John DeAngelis Jr. turned back the challenges from Brad Mueller to win the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and claim Round One of the Pepsi Challenge Series.

“I knew they were going to be really fast and I had to get going,” DeAngelis said from victory lane after capturing his second feature win in three weeks, “the traffic kind of helped me as I don’t think he (Mueller) could really get a good shot at me.”

“We were just trying to figure things out,” Mueller said after his second place finish, “We got a lot better tonight but we were bottoming out the left front of the car and I couldn’t approach the corners like I wanted to.”

DeAngelis and Mike Egan led the field to the green flag and DeAngelis was able to power into the lead from the outside as Conrad Morgan, Rob Braun, and Gary LaMonte followed with Brad Mueller, Dennis Prunty, and Steve Apel all looking to advance forward. DeAngelis and Egan were able to pull ahead slightly while the dogfight for third continued between Morgan, Mueller, Braun, and LaMonte with Prunty and Apel directly in their tracks. A half spin by Tim Lampman in turn two drew the caution flag on lap 13 as most got by unscathed except for Dale Prunty who left the speedway with right front damage. DeAngelis chose the outside lane for the restart and Egan lined up alongside followed by Morgan and Mueller in the second row. DeAngelis and Egan raced side by side for a few laps before DeAngelis once again edged ahead from the outside. With DeAngelis out front, Mueller worked his way to the inside of Egan and completed the pass for second while both Prunty and Apel advanced into the top five, maneuvering their way around Morgan and Braun. Once in second, Mueller began to track down DeAngelis for the lead while behind them first Apel and then Prunty raced around Egan to advance into third and fourth respectively. While Mueller kept DeAngelis in his sights as they sliced through lapped traffic, the real fireworks on the speedway were occurring in the battle for third between Apel and Prunty. Apel held the spot and used the outside to go around lapped cars with Prunty directly on his bumper. Prunty’s car appeared to be faster in the latter stages and he applied several solid taps to Apel’s bumper as it looked like Prunty’s car was able to get off the turns better than Apel yet both were boxed in by the lapped traffic. Mueller closed on DeAngelis in the final laps but was not able to make a serious charge as DeAngelis drove under the checkered flag for the win. Coming to the checkered flag, the battle between Apel and Prunty erupted with Apel’s car spinning in between turns three and four while racing with Prunty. Officials later awarded third place to Apel and penalized Prunty to the final car on the lead lap as a result of the contact between the cars. Conrad Morgan finished fourth and Mike Egan was fifth. Gary LaMonte and Rob Braun were sixth and seventh respectively. Prunty was placed eleventh.

Lowell Bennett won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over James Swan and Jeff Holtz as they along with fourth place finisher Ryan Farrell transferred to the main event. Nick Wagner finished fifth. Super late model heat races were won by James Swan, Ryan Farrell, and Dennis Prunty while Brad Keith topped a strong field of 29 super late models to nail down fast time honors with a lap of 11.365 seconds.

With the late model class off for the week, Kyle Chwala returned to the Area Sportsman division and led the final 12 laps to win the 30-lap main event.

Nick Egan led the first five laps before Mark DePorter tracked him down to take command of the race on lap six. Egan remained glued to DePorter’s rear bumper as Kyle Chwala, Joe Shelby, and Andy Welter raced for position behind them. While working lapped traffic, Egan was able to edge to the inside of DePorter and retake the lead on lap 16 with Chwala closing in fast from third. A lap later, Chwala used the inside to grab second from DePorter just before the first caution flag waved a lap later when Shelby’s car spun around in turn two while racing with Welter in fourth. Nick Ostberg was unable to avoid Shelby’s stalled car and slid into him as the caution waved. Egan chose the inside for the restart while Chwala immediately took to the top and as racing resumed, Chwala quickly charged around Egan and into the lead. Chwala would not be challenged from there and he drove to the victory while Welter passed Egan in the closing laps to finish second. Egan finished third followed by DePorter and Adam Bleskan in fourth and fifth respectively.

Nick Ostberg and Nick Egan each scored wins in Area Sportsman heat races while Andy Welter was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.986 seconds.

Brian Holtz won the 35-lap Midwest Sportsman feature over Ryan Gutknecht and Bill Prietzel in an event that ran caution free. Jay Shambeau and Rick Tackman rounded out the top five. Jay Shambeau was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman heat race and Bill Prietzel was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.825 seconds.

Tom Berens won the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Nick Schmidt. E.J. Waldron and Isaac Daniels rounded out the top five. Heather Stark won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Steve Zoromski and Misty Benn while Jeremy Kuhn and Tristan Dorzok were fourth and fifth respectively. Dale Kiley-Schaefer was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 14.667 seconds.

Ron Schmitt won the extended 15-lap Figure 8 race over Scott Goetzke and Shane Becker. Joe Mueller and Ryan Lovald rounded out the top five.