It’s been a great start to the 2016 race season for 23-year-old Alex Prunty and he hasn’t even taken a green flag yet. The Lomira, Wisconsin driver was recently named to both the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) and the PFC Brakes Team.
“I would say I was optimistic on making one of the two, but to make both is really a huge honor,” Alex Prunty told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I am so grateful to have the support from my family and being selected into the Kulwicki Driver Development Program is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am honored to carry the legacy of Alan Kulwicki, he was such an inspiration. We are a small, single car team with a strong will power to do great things with low funding.”
Prunty has seen a lot of success in his Limited Late Model the past few seasons at his home track of Slinger Speedway (WI). He’s won two championships and tallied 20 wins, which makes him the winningest driver in division history.
While Prunty dabbled in Super Late Model racing last year, the expenses were too much for him to compete competitively on a consistent basis. Support from the KDDP and #TeamPFC, however, changes that. Every KDDP driver receives $7,777 to start off their season and they will compete for a grand prize of over $54,000 throughout the season. Team PFC drivers receive $1,500 of PFC product to use on their race cars.
“Originally I was only planning on running Slinger, and even that was going to be pressing my luck with my funding,” said Prunty. “With the support of two great organizations as well as all my sponsors, it helps make the tough financial decisions of traveling a little easier.”
Not only does Prunty plans to still race full time and for Rookie of the Year at Slinger Speedway, but he plans to travel more. He is already registered for the Icebreaker at Dells Raceway Park (WI) in less than two weeks and hopes to add more stops there as well as at Wisconsin International Raceway and possibly a few TUNDRA Super Late Model Series events.
While Prunty is excited to expand his racing for 2016, something he is most excited about is climbing into a Super Late Model on a regular basis. Over the years Prunty has gotten to watch his uncles, Dennis, Dale and David race successfully at Slinger Speedway, winning three track championships and two Slinger Nationals. Now he’s excited to add his name to the list.
“Finally having the funding to be able to afford running a full-time Super Late Model schedule in Slinger means the world to me,” said Prunty. “I’ve been having a lot of flashbacks lately to when I was around 10 years old or so, and sitting in David’s cars bleeding brakes with my dad. It was always my dream for those cars to one day be mine, and now 13 years later, those dreams are coming through and I plan to make the most of every opportunity I have. I know I am blessed to have such great support and role models throughout my family, as well as financial support.”
Not only will being a part of these programs help financially, but Prunty intends to take full advantage of all they have to offer. Both programs offer social media support and driver promotion.
“Being a part of the KDDP will allow me to really branch out both through a little traveling as well as on social media. The PFC sponsorship will help allow me to properly maintain the braking system on my one-car team throughout all the races we have planned this season,” said Prunty. “The #TeamPFC will also get me extra publicity and help get my name out to the rest of the world.”
While Prunty eyes his first full season behind the wheel of a Super Late Model, his goals are simple.
“I need a win,” said Prunty. “Last year we started getting my feet wet, running the Super Late at the Dells. It really was a huge year of learning, as I have really been trying hard to understand all the new setup options in the cars with the bumpstop setups. We only ran 10 races, but the amount I learned last year was priceless. I think now we have a better feel for what this car likes, and in turn will be much more consistent.”
Prunty is scheduled to kick off what he hopes to be a busy year during the Icebreaker at Dells Raceway Park on April 17.
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @JWimm22
-Photo credit: Alex Prunty