Slinger, WI – Matt Kenseth outdueled Erik Jones in a green, white, checkered finish to win his record seventh SuperSeal Slinger Nationals presented by Miller Lite title.

SLM Slinger 8 Kenseth hit 20 Jones 1 2016

Matt Kenseth puts a bumper to Erik Jones on the final lap of the Slinger Nationals. (Speed51.com / Bruce Nuttleman photo)

After the NASCAR teammates took the final restart side by side, Jones slipped Kenseth a bit high off the second turn and gained the advantage heading down the back straightaway as he led the at the white flag. However, a solid rap in the left rear corner from Kenseth in between turns one and two upset Jones’ car enough to allow Kenseth to complete the last lap pass and take the victory. Jones regained control of his car in time to edge Travis Dassow for second place. Brad Mueller and Steve Apel rounded out the top five.

“I don’t like winning races like that,” an apologetic Kenseth told the crowd from victory lane, “to be honest with you, the first time he (Jones) caught me for the lead I got moved two or three times and got bumped into from behind so on the last lap I figured the roles were reversed so I kind of just returned the favor.”

“Erik’s a great race car driver,” Kenseth continued, “We were having a heck of a battle out there,  I wish I could’ve got by him on that final restart there and got by him clean and drove away to the win.”

“I didn’t think there was that much contact on the first restart but the next time by there was a lot of contact,” a disappointed Erik Jones stated afterward, “It’s unfortunate because I thought we had the race but it is what it is.”

The initial contact of Erik Jones (20) and Matt Kenseth (8) at the Slinger Nationals. (Speed51.com / Bruce Nuttleman photo)

The initial contact of Erik Jones (20) and Matt Kenseth (8) at the Slinger Nationals. (Speed51.com / Bruce Nuttleman photo)

“I don’t know how we didn’t wreck,” Jones continued, “We’ll just move on and try again.”

“I thought we were getting lucky there at the end when they started beating and banging on each other, “ third place finisher Travis Dassow told the supportive crowd, “I thought we were going to get a shot at it,”

The 200-lap main event got off to a strange start as pole-sitter Chris Blawat dropped out of the event with mechanical trouble on the pace laps and then Jon Reynolds Jr. erupted an engine on lap five to draw an early caution flag with Ty Majewski leading over Kenseth. Majeski and Kenseth battled fiercely for the lead on the restart as Kenseth pressed hard from the outside lane and Majeski refused to give up ground from the inside resulting in both of them spinning in front of the field on lap seven for the second caution flag of the race. Erik Jones inherited the lead as Kenseth and Majeski went to the rear of the field and he set the pace through the next caution flag on lap 17 when ninth place, Alex Prunty broke a right front spindle and came to rest in the pit exit. Jones maintained the lead as racing resumed as Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel sliced their way through the field and into second and third respectively. Farther back, Majeski and Kenseth also began to pick their way forward as the stopped car of Dalton Zehr in turn four produced another caution flag on lap 52 with Jones leading over Dennis Prunty and Apel. Dennis Prunty took his turn at challenging for the lead on the restart as both he and Jones battled door to door for the top spot as racing resumed. Prunty used the outer groove while Jones kept to the bottom and the two made contact exiting turn four as both cars slid sideways before both drivers gathered up their rides as the scattering field necessitated a caution flag. Prunty jumped into the lead on the restart and paced the next 22 laps as Majeski and Kenseth continued to advance forward. Majeski tracked down Prunty for the lead on lap 76 and he locked onto the top spot through the halfway break on lap 101. Steve Apel also moved forward nicely in the first half and he found himself in second place at the half while Kenseth, Prunty, and Dassow rounded out the top five.

Majeski was the dominant driver in the second half of the race as he set the pace over Jones, Kenseth, Prunty, and Dassow . As the laps clicked by, Majeski’s lead started to shrink and Jones caught him, taking over the lead on lap 151 just before Majeski’s night ended when his rear tire went flat and he spun in turn three on lap 153 with Jones leading Kenseth and Prunty. Jones and Kenseth swapped the lead as the green flag appeared with Kenseth retaking the lead on lap 157. Jones kept Kenseth in his sights as Brad Mueller’s car came in and he methodically pick off positions to advance to third. The caution flag waved on lap 191 when Ryan DeStefano had an issue and left debris on the speedway with Kenseth leading Jones and Brad Mueller who appeared to have the fastest car on the speedway at that time. Kenseth and Jones continued their lead battle on the restart as Mueller found himself in a tussle with Travis Dassow and Steve Apel for third. Kenseth and Jones disputed the lead in the closing laps and Kenseth appeared to be on his way to victory when Jon DeAngelis Jr. and Dennis Prunty tangled in turn four just before the white flag was displayed. DeAngelis took responsibility for the incident and Prunty was allowed to keep his fifth position as racing resumed. Jones was able to wrestle the lead away from Kenseth as the white flag was displayed but then lost the top spot when he was rooted out of the way by Kenseth on the final lap.

Alex Prunty won the 30-lap super late model qualifying race over Dennis Prunty as they along with James Swan and Rob Braun raced their way into the main event. Jamie Wallace finished fifth in the qualifying race but then won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature to secure his spot in the main event. Casey Johnson finished second and claimed the final transfer spot to the main event while Natalie Decker , Ryan DeStefano, and Ryan Farrell completed the top five finishers in the super late model semi-feature. Eric Jones was the fastest qualifier of the 36 car field after turning in a lap at 11.221 seconds.

Ryan Farrell led flag to flag to win the 35-lap late model feature over Mike Held, Ryan Gutknecht, Steven Schulz, and Scott Ascher. Chester Ace won the Midwest Truck Series feature over Mike Meyerhofer and Todd Corvo. Kevin Knuese and Nick Egan rounded out the top five finishers.

 

Super Late Models – Feature    July 19, 2016
Pos Car # Driver
1 8K Matt Kenseth
2 20J Erik Jones
3 35D Travis Dassow
4 89M Brad Mueller
5 51A Steve Apel
6 42P Dennis Prunty
7 7D John DeAngelis, Jr.
8 5J Casey Johnson
9 55L Rich Loch
10 98B Robert Braun
11 48K Brad Keith
12 0D Ryan Destefano
13 97S James Swan
14 38W Nick Wagner
15 91M Ty Majeski
16 39M Andrew Morrissey
17 2M Michael Bilderback
18 87W Jamie Wallace
19 119Z Dalton Zehr
20 26P Andrew Pollard
21 11P Alex Prunty
22 14N Austin Nason
23 10R Jon Reynolds, Jr.
24 26B Chris Blawat
Midwest Truck Series – Feature    July 19, 2016
Pos Car # Driver
1 93A Chester Ace
2 77M Mike Meyerhofer
3 26C Michael Corvo III
4 33K Kevin Knuese
5 13E Nick Egan
6 5E Dave Edwards
7 28B Danielle Behn
8 8C Rick Corso
9 73W Jerry Wood
10 9P Tommy Pecaro
11 68J Dan Jung
12 36B Michael Bachaus
13 15S Gabe Sommers
14 74S Cole Scholze
15 3R Kyle Rhodes
16 13C Ross Christiansen

 

Late Models – Feature    July 19, 2016
Pos Car # Driver
1 55F Ryan Farrell
2 72H Mike Held
3 01G Ryan Gutknecht
4 45S Steven Schulz
5 19A Scott Ascher
6 4S Stephen Scheel
7 38D Jordan DeVoy
8 37W Jeff Way
9 6H Jakob Hassler
10 84V Jacob Vanoskey
11 22C Kyle Chwala
12 92B R.J. Braun
13 5W EJ Waldron
14 46J Tom Jasinski
15 99D Hunter Drefahl
16 30B Zach Braun
17 3H Tyler Hromadka
18 14R Zack Riddle
19 22W Andy Welter
20 87P Justin Poenitsch

Matt Kenseth & Erik Jones Comments Regarding Contact at Slinger Nat’ls