Alex Prunty normally spends most of his time racing at the Slinger Super Speedway, where he has an extensive family history with multiple track championships to their name. His first-ever start outside the Upper Midwest will come in a big way, with a trip to “The Last Great Colosseum” for the Pinty’s U.S. Short Track Nationals.
He will team up with 2018 Bristol Motor Speedway Pro Late Model winner Josh Reeves and Highlands Race Team to take part in the Super Late Model portion of next weekend’s event. Since announcing his intentions of making the trip to Tennessee, he has received a lot of fan support back home in Wisconsin.
The 2018 Slinger Super Late Model champion had a deal in place with Highlands for the U.S. Short Track Nationals during its originally scheduled date in May. After it was postponed, it threw a wrench into potential plans, but ultimately, they were still able to strike a deal thanks in part to his sponsors.
“Highlands reached out to me probably back in January. We put something together and then COVID hit and everything was put on hold, waiting to see what was going to happen,” Prunty told Speed51. “We finally got some answers with what was going on in this world and we were able to put something together.
“I’m thankful that Concord Wealth Partners, Food County USA and Josh Reeves with Highlands Race Team were able to put this opportunity together for me. The support from my local fans and sponsors has really been overwhelming and has helped build even more excitement. It’s definitely a heck of an opportunity.”
Prunty has seen Bristol just once in his life, making the trip with his dad as a kid. Since that experience at “Thunder Valley,” he has wanted to return to the track in a race car.
“I’ve been to Bristol one time in my life. I was 10 years old and I’ll never forget it because my dad took me up to the backside of the grandstands and I remember we were in turn one all the way up. When I walked through the grandstands you couldn’t see the racetrack until you got about all the way through. I remember just having my breath taken away when we got up there and could see the whole track. Just how high you were, you weren’t really scared but you were shocked at how big the place is.
“It’s just a neat memory from when I was a kid, and now to get to go out there and race is just unreal to me.”
While he has made a name for himself as one of the drivers to beat at Slinger, Prunty is no stranger to success away from the quarter-mile. He is a two-time National Short Track Championships winner at Rockford Speedway (IL) in 2017 and 2018, leading all but eight laps in the two-year stretch.
With a former Bristol winner on top of the pit box for the 100-lap event, Prunty will lean on Josh Reeves during Friday’s practice session to get ready for Saturday’s race.
“I’ve been told by a lot of people that if you’re good at Slinger, you’ll be good at Bristol. I’ll be leaning on (Reeves) a lot. We have seven hours of practice to figure it out on Friday but I haven’t driven this car before, so I don’t really know what to expect.
“I’ll be doing the best I can, I know he’s extremely good at what he does and him winning at Bristol shows his reputation there. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that we’ll be competitive.”
While he has never been to a facility like Bristol, Prunty still rides into the U.S. Short Track Nationals confident he can run up front and possibly compete for the gladiator sword. When asked about his goal for the weekend, he admitted he did not have one on his mind.
“I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest with you. This all has really come together so fast. Anything I race or anywhere that I go, my goal is to be competitive and try to go win the race. I don’t think there’s a doubt anywhere with Highlands Race Team that we’re capable of running competitive and hopefully we can battle for a win.”
The Pinty’s U.S. Short Track Nationals will once again be broadcasted live on Speed51.TV. Click here to purchase your PPV ticket today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Alex Prunty Twitter