A collection of the top Super Late Model racers from around the country will take on the best of the Badger State Tuesday night in the 41st Annual Slinger Nationals. While the average race fan will never be able to compete in the prestigious event at the high-banked quarter-mile oval in Wisconsin, they can compete with other fans on 51 Fantasy powered by Dirt Draft.
With Dirt Draft, fans are given $100,000 in fictional currency to assemble a roster of five drivers in an event such as tonight’s Slinger Nationals. Your roster then goes against those of other fans, competing for points which can be redeemed for souvenirs, event tickets, a Speed51 pay-per-view broadcast and more.
While joining Dirt Draft is as simple as clicking this link, determining who will make your starting five can be much more challenging. Here is a look at some potential names to consider as you fill out your roster.
Former Champions: Naturally, names like Bubba Pollard, Ty Majeski and Dennis Prunty are near the top of the price charts for Tuesday’s contest, as former winners of the Slinger Nationals. They come with a hefty price tag, but also a legitimate shot to compete for the win – and first place points for your fantasy team.
At a much more manageable salary of $20,500, however, is Rich Bickle, a four-time champion of the event. Bickle last won the event in 2013 and has not finished in the top five in the Nationals since, but narrowly missed out with a sixth-place finish last year. If he can avoid trouble, BIckle could be a solid pickup as he looks to add another Slinger trophy to his mantel.
Local Heroes: They may not come with the name recognition of a Pollard, Majeski or Stephen Nasse, but several drivers in the Nationals field are Slinger Speedway regulars, hoping to defend home turf against the invaders and keep the trophy in Wisconsin.
The one most likely to net you a strong finish is defending track champion Steve Apel. Apel already has three wins in five Super Late Model races at Slinger in 2020, leading the track points in search of his fifth title at the quarter-mile. He has also finished in the top-five in the last five Slinger Nationals, leading 202 laps along the way.
Alex Prunty was the 2018 track champion, while other Wisconsin natives such as Casey Johnson, John DeAngelis, Jr. or Derek Kraus will also make their presence known throughout the event. Prunty may be the best value out of the local shoes, checking in at $23,600, but it’s hard to turn your nose up at Apel’s consistency, which might make him a safer pick than even a Pollard or Nasse.
Six-time track champion Conrad Morgan is also entered for Tuesday’s race. The 72-year-old veteran has never won the Nationals during the “Event Era” which started in 2000, with a best finish of second in 2015.
Bang for Your Buck: There are some drivers who could present sleeper picks for less than $21,000, with some intriguing names even well below the $20,000 mark. Certainly, the aforementioned Rich Bickle meets this criteria, but here are some other names to consider as you’re squeezing every dollar out of your roster.
Luke Fenhaus ($20,200) – The 16-year-old from Wausau, Wisconsin is a former track champion at State Park speedway and finished eighth in his Slinger Nationals debut one year ago.
Brad Mueller ($19,400) – While Mueller sits seventh in the track championship after missing one race, he has finished in the top 10 in all four of his Slinger appearances in 2020. He also has seven top-fives and 12 top-10s in the “Event Era” of the Slinger Nationals, including a runner-up finish to Lowell Bennett in 2004 and a third-place finish as recently as 2018.
Rich Loch ($16,600) – We haven’t seen Loch in the Slinger Nationals since 2016, but he finished 10th after starting second that year. Loch currently sits fifth in the Slinger Nationals Super Late Model points, with three top-fives and four top-10s.
Don’t miss out on your chance to win prizes as part of Tuesday’s Slinger Nationals. Sign up todayand watch the race on Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo