The battle between Steve Apel and Dennis Prunty for the super late model track championship added another chapter Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway as Apel held off Prunty to win the 60-lap feature, snapping Prunty’s five week winning streak.
“We got back on track tonight and we’re back to doing what we know is right, “ Apel said from victory lane after extending his championship points lead to nine over Prunty with just five weeks remaining in the season.
Brad Mueller and Lowell Bennett brought the field to the green flag and Mueller got the jump from the inside as he drove into the lead while Apel followed his lead and used the low lane to take over second a few laps later. Bennett slotted into the third spot just ahead of Travis Dassow and James Swan. With Mueller maintaining the lead over Apel, Swan worked his way by Dassow to take fourth while behind the top five, Dennis Prunty began his charge to the front after starting deep in the field. Apel pressured Mueller heavily for the lead and the sustained challenges eventually opened up some space to the inside of Mueller and Apel pounced on the opportunity, taking command of the race just before half way. With the leaders approaching lapped traffic, Duke Long’s car appeared to have experienced a tire issue as it spun wildly off turn two sending the drivers racing behind him, including the leaders scattering to avoid. Most survived unscathed expect for fast qualifier Conrad Morgan, who’s car experienced major damage after rear-ending Dassow during the slowdown. Morgan retired from the event as Apel led Mueller, Swan, Prunty, and Lowell Bennett for the restart. Apel chose the inside lane as the green flag waved and he kept his lead with Mueller ducking in behind him for second while Prunty went to work on Swan for third. The caution flag waved again two laps later when Dassow and Rob Braun tangled in turn one. This time, Mueller moved alongside Apel as he chose the outside lane for the restart and for a few laps, the two battled side by side for the lead. Prunty quickly closed to join the lead battle as Apel settled in as the leader followed closely by Mueller, Prunty, Swan, and Bennett. While Apel maintained the lead, Prunty continued his march toward the front, taking second away from Mueller and setting his sights on Apel for the lead. As the laps wound down, Prunty was able to close the gap slightly but Apel would not be denied as he drove under the checkered flag to capture the victory. Prunty finished second while Swan capped off an impressive night with a third place finish. Lowell Benentt and Gary Lamonte rounded out the top five.
Jeff Holtz won the super late model semi-feature over John DeAngelis, Chris Blawat, and Dale Prunty as those four drivers transferred into the main event. Super Late Model heat races were won by Jerry Eckhardt, John DeAngelis, and Brad Keith while Conrad Morgan was the fastest qualifier at 11.312 seconds.
Alex Prunty scored his fifth feature win of the season by taking top honors in the 40-lap late model feature.
Joe Bongiorno and Tyler Schley set the pace at the beginning with Alex Prunty, Jordan DeVoy, Al Stippich, and Adam Peschek racing for position close behind. Bongiorno led the opening laps through a few caution periods before Prunty emerged to take the lead on lap nine. Once out front, Prunty’s main challenges came from DeVoy and Mike Held, as caution flags waved for separate incidents on lap nine and seventheen. Prunty was up to the task on each restart and he turned back challenges from DeVoy and Held to grab his fifth feature win of the season. Jordan DeVoy finished second followed by Mike Held in third and Adam Peschek in fourth. Al Stippich finished fifth.
Jake Vanoskey and Joe Bongiorno each scored victories in the late model heat races while Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier at 12.205 seconds.
Brian Holtz won the Midwest Sportsman feature after a torrid battle with Eric Lingford and Ryan Gutknecht throughout the race. Numerous times Lingford and Gutknecht aggressively challenged Holtz for the top spot, nearly moving alongside in several instances but each time Holtz was able to maintain the lead. At the finish, Holtz drove to the victory over Lingford and Gutknecht while Jimmie Evans and Scott Dunning rounded out the top five.
Kenny Joosten and Eric Lingford were the winners of the Midwest Sportsman heat races and Brian Holtz was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.874 seconds.
Tom Berens won the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature over Dave Schmidt and Jacob Schraufnagel. Matt Rose and Steve Zoromski completed the top five finishers.
Carl Benn won the Slinger Bee semi-feature over Jayden Buckley, T.J. Graczkowski, and Paul Reagles. Brandon Mennicke scored his first career win during the first Slinger Bee heat race while T.J. Graczkowski and Jakob Hassler won the other Slinger Bee heat races. The third Slinger Bee heat race action was stopped under a red flag condition when Emery Waldron’s car broke loose and swerved a hard right directly into the turn four wall which caused it to roll over on it’ roof. Waldron did not appear to suffer serious injuries in the incident and was able to climb from the car under his own power but was transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons. Tom Berens set a new track record in qualifying with a lap of 14.525 seconds.
Carl Trapp won the Spectator Elminator races in his 1972 Chevy Nova and Ron Schmitt won the Figure 8 race to close the evening.