By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 5—Battling to regain the lead with four laps to go, Dennis Prunty edged Steve Apel to capture his fourth super late model feature victory of the season in the second round of the Pepsi Challenge Series Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., July 5—Battling to regain the lead with four laps to go, Dennis Prunty edged Steve Apel to capture his fourth super late model feature victory of the season in the second round of the Pepsi Challenge Series Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

Prunty and Matt Kocourek occupied the front row as the race began and Prunty quickly established himself as the leader from the inside lane, bringing along John DeAngelis with him and into second place which left Kocourek to battle with Conrad Morgan and Steve Apel for third. Kocourek struggled on the high side early and he began to fade as first Apel and Morgan and then later Brad Mueller and Michael Bilderback all drove by for position. With Dennis Prunty enjoying a sizeable lead, Apel tracked down DeAngelis and used an outside pass on lap 16 to take over second while Morgan, Bilderback, and Mueller staged a three-way battle over the third position. Bilderback and Morgan were both able to work to the inside of Mueller to nail down third and fourth place respectively while farther ahead Apel closed to Prunty’s rear bumper for the lead. A half spin in turn one by Gary LaMonte while racing for position in heavy traffic produced the first and only caution flag of the event on lap 31.

Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart but it was Apel who was on the button as racing resumed and he charged to the lead from the inside groove. Prunty had to fend off an inside challenge from DeAngelis to keep possession of second place while Bilderback quickly dove to the inside lane to defend fourth place from Mueller and Morgan. With Apel continuing to show the way over Prunty, Morgan made his move as he worked his way around both Mueller and Bilderback and a few laps later, Dale Prunty had his car working on the inside lane and he too passed Mueller and Bilderback to take over fifth. Dennis Prunty began to gradually close the distance between himself and Apel for the lead as the laps wound down while Morgan and Dale Prunty closed in on DeAngelis to challenge for third. With five laps to go, Dennis Prunty was on Apel’s tail as Apel’s car began to kick loose off the turns and with four circuits left, Prunty made his move, making in inside pass for the lead. Apel tried to battle back but his loose condition off the turns negated and hopes of retaking the point as Prunty drove to his fourth feature win of the season. John DeAngelis held off Conrad Morgan for third while Dale Prunty rounded out the top five finishers in fifth. Brad Mueller finished in the sixth position followed by Brian Johnson Jr. in seventh and Gary LaMonte in eighth. Michael Bilderback and Chris Blawat finished ninth and tenth respectively.

Chris Blawat won the 30-lap super late model semi feature over James Swan and Rob Braun as they along with fourth place finisher Tommy Hromadka advanced to the main event. Jerry Eckhardt finished fifth. Super late model heat races were won by Braison Bennett, Dale Prunty, and Dennis Prunty and Michael Bilderback was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.366 seconds.

Alex Papini made his first appearance on the Slinger high banks in 2015 and he drove to the victory in the 40-lap late model feature.

Jack Stern and Kyle Chwala swapped the lead in the opening laps before Chwala was able to edge ahead from the outside while behind them, Ricky Heinan, Alex Papini, Jordan DeVoy, and Alex Prunty all raced hard for position. A spin off the backstretch by Shaun Scheel while racing in traffic produced the caution flag on lap 13 with Chwala leading over Stern. The top three chose the inside lane for the restart while Papini took to the top side and the move paid off as he eased into the lead just before the caution waved again as Jerry Mueller’s car spun off turn two. Papini chose the inside groove for the restart and he maintained the lead as racing resumed while Chwala struggled on the high side allowing Stern to move by for second. Heinan, Prunty, and Mike Held also took advantage of Chwala’s high side struggles and they advanced forward from the inner groove. A few laps later, Prunty worked his way around Heinan for third and began to set his sights on Papini and Stern out front. Prunty also passed Stern for second on the inside shortly thereafter as Papini enjoyed a sizeable lead. The caution waved again on lap 31 and erased Papini’s lead as Grant Griesbach and Tyler Schley tangled in turn four. Papini and Prunty started side by side for the restart and Papini was able to hold onto the lead while behind them Chwala’s struggles in the high lane continued and his car slowed, bunching up the field and the ensuing incident heavily damaged the cars of Mike Held and Stephen Scheel as the caution waved again. Papini held the point on the single file restart but he was unable to get away from Prunty as the two prepared to settle the race amongst the two of them. Prunty closed to Papini’s rear bumper but was unable to make a bid for the lead as Papini drove to the victory. Corey Funk sliced his way forward late in the event to finish a strong third just ahead of Ricky Heinan and Jack Stern in fourth and fifth respectively.

Shaun Scheel and Kyle Chwala were the winners of the late model heat races and Jordan DeVoy was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap at 12.285 seconds.

Andy Welter won the Area Sportsman 30-lap feature and stopped Nick Egan’s win streak at three weeks.

Egan did not go quietly however as he and Welter raced door to door for the lead throughout the race with each swapping positions in the inside and outside grooves. As they drove to the white flag, the two were side by side with Egan on the inside and Welter on the outside and Welter shut the door entering turn one to turn back Egan’s challenge. Egan was forced to brake hard and Adam Bleskan raced by for second place as Welter drove under the checkered flag for the victory. Egan had to settle for third while Jim Taylor and Paul Wagner rounded out the top five.

Nick Egan won the Area Sportsman heat race and he also set fast time after circling the speedway in 13.042 seconds.

Tom Berens took the lead on lap 11 and charged to the victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature over early leader Dale Kiley-Schaefer and Brandon Tackes. Dave Schmidt finished fourth and Jacob Schraufnagel was fifth. Carol Ostovich, Jared Deming, and Heather Stark were the Slinger Bees heat race winners while Tom Berens was the fastest qualifier at 14.686 seconds.

Carl Trapp drove his 1972 Chevy Nova to the win in the Spectator Eliminator races and Scott Goetzke was the winner of the Figure 8 race. Ashley Cridelich was crowned the new Miss Slinger Speedway during intermission.