Prunty Edges Apel At Slinger
SLINGER Wis. — A week after finding themselves wrecked against the first turn wall, Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel fought for the victory in the 50-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, with Prunty edging Apel at the stripe for his fifth feature victory of the season.
“My guys worked their ass off all week in the shop putting this thing back together and I’ve got to thank everyone of them,” Prunty said in victory lane.
Mike Borchardt Jr. and Nick Wagner paced the field to the green and the inside lane advanced early with Borchardt taking the lead and bringing Chris Blawat and Jeff Holtz with him while Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel also used the inside to race into fourth and fifth respectively.
Blawat took to the high lane and pulled even with Borchardt in a bid for the lead and both drivers raced door to door until Blawat prevailed on lap four. Behind the top two, Prunty tried an outside move for third on Holtz off turn two but had his lane cut off in the process before muscling his way into third with an inside move in turn three a lap later.
Before Holtz could recover, both Apel and Lowell Bennett raced past and into fourth and fifth as Prunty went to work on Borchardt for second. The yellow flag waved on lap seven when a traffic jam deeper in the field left the cars of Mike Graczkowski and Nick Wagner in a tangle in turn four.
Blawat used the inside groove for the restart which proved beneficial as he quickly charged to the lead as racing resumed while Borchardt struggled in the outer groove as Prunty, Holtz, and Apel all raced by. In the meantime, Prunty caught Blawat out front and wasted little time in moving to the high lane, drawing even for the lead by lap 13.
Prunty and Blawat raced side by side for the lead with Prunty gradually able to ease ahead slightly off the corners until finally clearing Blawat for the lead on lap 16. Behind Prunty and Blawat, Apel and Bennett took to the outside groove to race around Holtz for third and fourth while Mike Egan and Rob Braun battled for sixth directly behind them.
The caution waved again on lap 22 for Tom Hromadka’s stalled car in turn four and Prunty curiously chose the outside lane for the restart, leaving Blawat the preferred bottom lane, perhaps in an effort to keep the faster Apel from lining up behind him. The strategy nearly failed as on the restart, Blawat raced extremely tough on the inside and both he and Prunty circled the speedway door to door for several laps before again Prunty was able to gradually clear Blawat for the lead entering turn three.
Once out front, Prunty was able to briefly extend his lead as Apel worked to pass Blawat for second, taking the position a few laps later using the outside lane. Prunty’s car appeared to begin to slip slightly off the turns and that combined with approaching lapped traffic, enabled Apel to close the distance between him and the leader as the laps wound down.
Apel was on Prunty’s bumper as they took the white flag and had a slight opening on the inside off turn two, but wisely chose not to force the issue and elected to make another charge off turn four.
Apel’s final charge came up just short as Prunty took the checkered flag for the win with Apel glued to his rear bumper. Chris Blawat completed one of his better runs of the season with a strong third place finish while Mike Egan held off Jeff Holtz for the fourth spot, leaving Holtz to settle for fifth.
Other winners at Slinger Sunday included Alex Prunty (late models), James Swan (midwest sportsman), Ken Schraufnagel (thunder stocks), Brandon Tackes (slinger bees) and Scott Goetzke (figure-8).