Slinger Speedway points leader Steve Apel took his new Five Star Gen-6 Body and set fast time for the 40th Annual SuperSeal Slinger Nationals with a blistering lap of 11.147 during qualifying Tuesday afternoon. The Colgate, Wisconsin driver was just under a full tenth quicker than second-place qualifier, 15-year-old Kulwicki Driver Development Program driver Luke Fenhaus.
Meanwhile, the night got a lot longer for two drivers after their times were disallowed in post-qualifying inspection. NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Hemric, who originally qualified fifth, and eighth-place qualifier Rich Bickle, Jr. were both disqualified. Hemric was disqualified for a fuel violation, while Bickle was disqualified for a carbuerator infraction.
Apel has crossed under the checkered flag in the Slinger Nationals first in the past, but was disqualified in post-race technical inspection in 2013. While he looks to avenge that disqualification from six years ago, setting fast time against his fellow track regulars and some of the nation’s best Super Late Model drivers is a great start, and he hopes it will propel him to his first Nationals win.
“Our Wimmer Motorsports Fury Racecar has been quick all day,” Apel told Speed51.com. “It’s a great feeling being able to make the show but to get fast time is awesome. Hopefully we can keep the car in one piece and have a shot at the end.”
Three of the top five drivers in qualifying are making their Slinger Nationals debuts. Fenhaus qualified second, while Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Chandler Smith and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Hemric would end up third and fifth, respectively, prior to tech inspection. Long-time Slinger Speedway racer Brad “Jj” Mueller qualified fourth for the 200-lap main event.
Other drivers locked into the Slinger Nationals on time were John DeAngelis Jr of nearby Hubertus, Wisconsin, former Slinger Nationals winners Bubba Pollard and Rich Bickle, former NASCAR Cup Series champion and seven-time Nationals winner Matt Kenseth, and track regulars Gary LaMonte, Brad Keith, and Alex Prunty.
Following the disqualification of Hemric and Bickle, Ryan Farrell and Grant Greiesbach will be locked into tonight's 200-lap race.
Joining Hemric and Bickle as drivers who will now need to qualify through the qualifying races is defending race winner Ty Majeski, 2015 winner Dennis Prunty, ARCA Midwest Tour points leader Casey Johnson, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West points leader Derek Kraus, former Southern Super Series champion Stephen Nasse and defending ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Josh Brock.
Be sure to purchase your PPV ticket for the 40th Annual SuperSeal Slinger Nationals and catch all the action at the high-banked quarter-mile bullring. Click here to purchase your video ticket: https://speed51.com/watch-live-tonight-40th-annual-slinger-nationals/
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com Stated Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Bruce Nuttleman