Monday, June 27, 2016

After Leading 14 laps, Alex Finishes 3rd & Remains Pepsi Point Leader Through Rounds 2 of 3!

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., June 26—Still feeling the effects of bruised ribs suffered in a hard crash a little over a week ago, Dennis Prunty toughed out his third super late model feature victory of the season Sunday night in the second round of the Pepsi Challenge Series at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“They’re still sore,” Prunty told the crowd from victory lane, “I was trying to take it easy and not get into any altercations out there.” “I wasn’t sure I wanted to race again,” Prunty continued, describing the thought process of returning to the seat so soon after the crash, “I just thought I would get in the car and take a few laps and see how it goes. I guess I still want to race.”

John DeAngelis Jr. and Mitch McGrath made up the front row at the start of the 60-lap main event and the inside lane advanced quickly as DeAngelis charged to the lead while third place starter Alex Prunty settled into second, leaving McGrath to battle with Grant Griesbach and Brad Mueller for third. DeAngelis paced the opening four laps before Alex Prunty was able to duck inside to take the the top spot as behind them, Dennis Prunty began to slice his way forward through the field. Dennis Prunty used the outside lane to pass by Griesbach and then dove to the inside to get around McGrath before pressuring Mueller for third while Alex Prunty continued to lead over DeAngelis. Dennis Prunty then swept to the inside of Brad Mueller for third place and a few lap later worked the inside again to snag second from DeAngelis. A half spin off turn four by Grant Griesbach on lap 16 drew the first caution flag with Alex Prunty leading over Dennis Prunty, DeAngelis, Mueller, and McGrath. Alex Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart and Dennis Prunty took to the low lane as racing resumed and the two fought alongside each other for the lead. Dennis Prunty’s car turned very well and found grip off the turns which was enough to propel him into the lead off turn two as DeAngelis tried to fill the gap on the inside and challenge Alex Prunty for second. Alex Prunty eventually prevailed over DeAngelis for second but their side by side battle allowed Dennis Prunty to edge away a bit. Behind the top three, last week’s feature winner Chris Blawat and defending track champion Steve Apel joined Mueller and McGrath in a race over the fourth spot. The second caution of the event appeared on lap 31 when Duke Long’s car went for a spin off turn two while racing with Rob Braun. Braun took the blame for the incident and “tapped out” allowing Long to regain his spot as the field lined up for a restart. This time, Dennis Prunty chose the outside and left the inside lane for Alex Prunty and as the green flag waved, Dennis raced into the lead while Alex had his hands full with DeAngelis and Blawat for third. Blawat was the driver on the move in the second half of the race as he used the outside to bypass both DeAngelis and Alex Prunty to advance to second place attempt to track down Dennis Prunty for the lead. The best battle on the speedway in the closing laps was over the fifth position between Mitch McGrath and Steve Apel as Apel handily worked over McGrath’s rear bumper. Dennis Prunty would not be denied in the waning circuits and he drove to his third super late model feature win of the season while Blawat had to settle for a strong second place run the checkered flag. Alex Prunty finished a solid third and John DeAngelis was fourth while Steve Apel won the battle with Mitch McGrath to finish fifth. Brad Mueller crossed the finish line in seventh ahead of Nick Wagner and Ryan DeStefano in eighth and ninth respectively while Duke Long finished tenth.

James Swan won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature as Lowell Bennett, Fred Winn, and Jerry Mueller rounded out the top four finishers who all advanced to the main event. Dalton Zehr finished fifth ahead of Jerry Eckhardt in sixth. Super late model heat races were won by Dalton Zehr, Ryan DeStefano, and Brad Mueller and Chris Blawat was the fastest qualifier after posting a lap in 11.344 seconds.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Alex Runs #39 for Dad in Father's Day Special, Falls Short of 1st Career SLM Victory

By Dan Margetta

After battling for 2nd near halfway, RF suspension damage after a hard fought battle with Steve Apel for 2nd would slow Alex to an 11th place Finish.

Slinger, Wis., June 19—For the second time in three weeks Chris Blawat found himself in victory lane at the Slinger Super Speedway after the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night.
“That car was awesome, it’s the kind of car you dream of driving, “ Blawat told the crowd afterward, “We’re having a good year here and we’ll take it.”

Grant Griesbach and Steve Apel paced the field to the green flag and Apel quickly jumped to the early lead from the outside leaving Griesbach to battle alongside Nick Wagner for second with Chris Blawat and Alex Prunty directly behind them. As Apel began to inch away, Wagner eventually took over the second spot with an outside pass on Griesbach and Blawat followed a few laps later, making a similar move on the high side to move into third. Prunty also worked his way around Griesbach and into fourth while Rob Braun began to challenge the top five as well. Apel maintained his lead while Blawat tracked down Wagner and slipped by on the inside for second just before the first caution flag waved on lap 13 when Duke Long and Mitch McGrath tangled in turn one. Apel chose the outside lane for the restart and as the green flag waved, Blawat was able to stay alongside his door through the turn from the inside groove and was able to wrestle the lead away on lap 15. Apel slid back in line behind Blawat in second while Alex Prunty charged by Wagner on the outside for third. Prunty then tracked down Apel for second and made numerous attempts to maneuver to the inside after Apel’s car washed slightly off the turns. Prunty nudged his way alongside off turn two on lap 33 but Apel held him tight from the outside and would not allow Prunty to complete the pass. On lap 36 Prunty once again dove to the inside of Apel entering turn one but as he exited turn two, the upward momentum from Prunty’s car combined with Apel turning left to line up the backstretch made for a tight squeeze off the corner and the back end of Prunty’s car looped around and he slid down the backstretch as the caution flag waved for the second time. Blawat chose the inside lane for the restart and Apel hung tough from the outside as he barely led the first lap back under green but Blawat was strong as well and he reclaimed the top spot a lap later. Behind the top two, Rob Braun moved into third place as Nick Wagner washed high through turns three and four before eventually looping around to draw the third caution flag on lap 38. Once again Blawat took to the bottom for the restart and Apel again was able to challenge from the top side as racing resumed. Apel again paced the first two laps back under green and just as before Blawat gradually worked the low side to reclaim the lead on lap 39. Rob Braun and Brad Keith began to battle over the third spot while James Swan and Ryan DeStefano joined the top five. Braun prevailed in the battle for third and then tracked down Apel for second, working him over until he was able to race by on the inside. Once into second, Braun began to slice into Blawat’s lead as the laps began to click away. Suddenly with three laps to go, Braun dropped his car to the apron and came to a halt in the infield, leaving Blawat with a sizeable lead over Apel and Brad Keith. Blawat charged to his second feature victory in three weeks as Apel finished in the runner up slot for the second consecutive week. Brad Keith finished a strong third while Ryan DeStefano and James Swan rounded out the top five. Fred Winn finished in sixth place and Grant Griesbach was seventh. Lowell Bennett crossed the finish line in eighth place while Travis Dassow and Tim Lampman completed the top ten.

Lowell Bennett, John DeAngelis Jr., and Steve Apel all were super late model heat race winners and Travis Dassow was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 11.295 seconds.


Monday, June 13, 2016

3rd Place Feature Finish, Moves Alex to 2nd in Slinger Championship Point Standings!

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., June 12—Rob Braun patiently waited in second place for most of the wild 60-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway before making his way around defending track champion Steve Apel in the closing laps to capture his first feature victory of the season.
Dave Olson Speed Graphics Photo

“We’ve had a rough year and it’s been frustrating,” Braun stated from victory lane describing his team’s effort this season, “I was in the garage until four o’clock in the morning, sitting there almost falling asleep, working on this thing trying to get it ready.”

Braun started from the pole position but it was outside front row starter, Steve Apel who quickly established himself as the leader, leaving Braun to battle Conrad Morgan for second place ahead of Grant Griesbach, Nick Wagner, and Alex Prunty. The first of many caution flags waved on lap eight when Mitch McGrath’s car looped around in turn three while battling for position with James Swan. Apel chose the outside groove for the restart and once again charged to the lead as Morgan maintained second while Griesbach, Braun, and Prunty disputed third place. Eventually the inside groove prevailed as Braun and Prunty both moved past Griesbach, dropping him into a battle over fifth with Brad Mueller. While Prunty continued to challenge Braun for third, Mueller made repeated attempts on the inside to get by Griesbach in fourth, but couldn’t complete the pass as his car would slide loose off the corners. Mueller’s car eventually broke loose off turn four on lap 27 to draw a caution flag with Apel leading over Morgan, Prunty, Braun, and Griesbach. Once again Apel chose the outside lane leaving Morgan the inside and after two aborted attempts at restarting, the green finally appeared but only for a lap as Duke Long’s car broke loose mid-pack and bottled up the cars of James Swan, Brad Keith, and Brad Mueller in turn three with Swan’s car resting atop the left side of Keith’s machine. A similar lineup for the restart with Apel again choosing the high lane and Morgan on the low side produced nearly the same results as just after receiving the green flag, Morgan’s car drifted a bit wide off turn four where it was tagged by Prunty and sent spinning off the front straightaway producing yet another caution period. Prunty and Morgan were placed at the rear of the field for the next restart which left Apel leading over Rob Braun, Griesbach, and last week’s feature winner, Chris Blawat.

After another aborted restart which resulted in Duke Long and Morgan turning sideways deep in the pack in turn four, the field finally put in some green flag laps with Apel continuing to lead over Braun and Griesbach. However, three laps later, the yellow flag would wave again for an incident between Mike Egan and Mitch McGrath in turn four on lap 31. Apel maintained the lead despite some serious challenges from Braun in the inside groove while Griesbach held off Blawat and Ryan DeStefano for third. As racing resumed, Apel used the outside groove to keep command over Braun while Blawat used the inside lane to take third away from Griesbach while Joh, n DeAngelis and Alex Prunty moved forward to challenge DeStefano over fifth. The racing action came to a halt on lap 36 when Conrad Morgan’s car pounded the turn four wall nose first before crumpling to a stop in the infield as the red flag was displayed. Morgan was assisted from his car and transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.

Once the track was cleared and racing resumed, Apel again used the outside groove to power into the lead over Braun, Blawat, and Griesbach while Prunty used the inside lane to move around DeStefano for fifth. Jon DeAngelis attempted to follow Prunty’s inside move around DeStefano but the two made contact, looping both cars down the front straight to draw yet another caution on lap 45. On the ensuing restart, Apel continued to use the outside lane to keep the lead, however, Braun wouldn’t let him get away and made repeated attempts to turn under Apel for the lead. Behind the top two, Blawat began to close from third while Alex Prunty worked his way around Griesbach and into fourth just before yet another yellow flag appeared on lap 53 for an incident between Fred Winn and Pat McIntee in turn one. This time however, Braun wasn’t ready to let Apel get away from the outside and he stayed even in the inside groove as the two raced door to door for the lead with the laps counting down. Braun was able to edge ahead slightly at the line with five laps to go and then took sole possession of the top spot a lap later as Apel pulled in behind him just prior to the final caution flag waving for debris on the backstretch on lap 57. Braun was ready for the three lap shootout and he held off Apel to capture his first super late model feature victory of the season. Apel finished a strong second and took over the championship points lead while Alex Prunty finished third and moved into second place in the point standings. Chris Blawat followed up last week’s winning run with a solid fourth place finish and Grant Griesbach scored his best super late model feature finish in fifth. Ryan DeStefano finished sixth followed by John DeAngelis in seventh while Duke Long, Brad Kossow, and Fred Winn rounded out the top ten.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Another Top 5, 5th Place in Slinger!

by Fay Hendricks

Rain may have marred many graduation celebrations Sunday, but at Slinger Speedway it merely delayed the races. Qualifying was complete and the kid's penny grab was in progress when the first of two showers dampened the arena. A rainbow declared it was over, the track was dried and the program was only delayed by a little over an hour.
Duke Long beat Brad Mueller by one-thousandth of a second to claim his first quick time in the super late model division, rolling the die to start in the fifth row for the 60-lap feature. Jerry Eckhardt, Alex Prunty and Brad Keith claimed the heat wins and Dennis Prunty headed the final four feature entries from the 30-lap semi. The inversion placed rookie Mitch McGrath and Chris Blawat in front of Ryan DeStefano, Brad Keith, Steve Apel and Nick Wagner. McGrath was ahead for the first three circuits, and Blawat was in charge the rest of the way as the contest went the distance without delay. Blawat stretched out his lead and began lapping the back markers after two dozen laps were scored. Without a caution to close up the field, the rest had to carefully choose their moments to forge ahead.

Many watched Prunty progress from the back toward the front as the laps ticked by, while Conrad Morgan made a charge from tenth to challenge as the race neared completion. Lapped traffic erased Blawat's margin as the pair threaded their way through slower mounts, crossing the final stripe with Morgan right behind. Apel, Mueller and Alex Prunty completed the top five and Dennis Prunty made it up to sixth place. Blawat was very happy to earn his second win in this division since 2012, claiming, “That's awesome.” Referring to the flaming inferno after crashing into the wall last Sunday, Blawat added, “I just had bad luck last week. It's pretty cool.” Morgan believed he was leading the race to win two weeks in a row and was quite disappointed to find out otherwise. We will never know if the outcome would have been the same if Morgan had realized Blawat was the leader.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Another 2nd Place SLM Finish in Slinger, the Streak is up to 3 in a Row for the Rookie!

JSD Photo
After starting deep in the field of the extremely competitive Slinger field, Alex was able to make his way from 14th to 2nd in just 75 laps! This being Alex's 3rd straight 2nd place finish in the Super Late Model!

Story By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., May 29—

South Eastern Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Famer Conrad Morgan notched yet another win in his impressive career as he drove to victory in the E.H. Wolf and Sons Memorial Day 75-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Singer Super Speedway.
Packed Crowd in Slinger!


After taking the lead near the halfway mark, Morgan held off a hard charging Alex Prunty his first super late model feature victory of the season while for Prunty, it was the super late model rookie’s second consecutive runner-up finish.

Sleeveless Bob Photo, Alex fights hard for 2nd place, Slinger 5/29/16
Ryan DeStefano and Fred Winn brought the field to the green flag with Nick Wagner and Mitch McGrath behind them and all spent time near the front of the field as caution flags slowed the action on lap seven and lap 22. DeStefano was out front following the lap 22 slow-down over Conrad Morgan, Gary LaMonte, and Alex Prunty, while Dennis Prunty, Jeff Holtz, and Steve Apel lurked close behind. DeStefano paced the event until just before halfway when Morgan made his move to take the lead while Alex Prunty and Holtz moved into third and fourth respectively as Dennis Prunty, Apel, and LaMonte battled for fifth place behind them. Hard racing between Dennis Prunty and Apel on lap 35 drew another caution flag and both took the restart from the rear of the field, leaving DeStefano out front over Morgan, Alex Prunty, and Holtz. Morgan went to work on the restart and a lap later, grabbed the lead on lap 36 while Apel and Dennis Prunty began to work their way forward again. With Morgan out front over Alex Prunty, Holtz was able to take third place from DeStefano who faded a bit as Apel, Dennis Prunty, and LaMonte all were able to get by for position. Morgan would not be denied in the final laps and he drove under the checkered flag to take the victory, leaving Alex Prunty to settle for second place for the second consecutive week. Jeff Holtz advanced from deep in the field to finish third while Steve Apel and Dennis Prunty rounded out the top five. Gary LaMonte finished in sixth place ahead of Ryan DeStefano and John DeAngelis Jr. in seventh and eighth respectively while Grant Griesbach and Brad Keith completed the top ten finishers.

Alex Finishes 2ND to NASCAR Star Johnny Sauter at Dells Opener!

On Saturday, Alex posted his best career finish at Dells Raceway Park in the Super Late Model Divison, finishing a strong 2nd place to NASCAR Truck Series Star Johnny Sauter!

Race Recap by Dells Raceway Park:

Nascar Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter came home to Dells Raceway Park on his weekend off to where it all began for him and captured his first feature win ever at the speedway in the Armed Forces Night Memorial 50. Sauter said in an interview with track announcer Todd Behling afterwards, this feels really good, the Dells is where it all began for me, DRP is the first place where I ever wheeled a race car and I never won a feature here before tonight. Earlier in the evening Sauter won the Assembly Products Dash, a 10 car 15 lap positioning race for the feature. Sauter started the race from the fifth row and really hustled the car to the front in a hurry to grap the $500 bonus money put up by CEO of Assembly Products Inc Ed Szelagowski Sr. in honor of Armed Forces Night & All Who Served this Great Country ! Szelagowski said he wanted to create a new level of excitement for the drivers and fans in a short race where you have to go now and it was a pleasure to see such a fantastic race and an honor to write the check to such a hard charger as Johnny Sauter.


With the feature events first five rows set by the finish of the Assembly Products Dash it was time to go racing and the front row had a pair of fives bring the field to green, Johhny Sauter and Jeremy Miller and it was Miller with the early lead. Sauter, who had yet to win a feature event at the place he called home was not going to be denied as nosed his way back to the front and by lap five it was Sauter, Miller, Mark Eswein, Tim Schendel and Alex Prunty. A couple spins brought out the caution near the midway point but on the restarts Sauter looked stong an took command of the race leaving the battle for second by the midway point of the race between Miller, Prunty, John DeAngelis Jr and Schendel. In the end it was Johnny Sauter collecting his first ever feature win at the speedway with Alex Prunty a 2016 Alan Kulwicki Development Driver Candidate finishing a strong second, followed by Jeremy Miller, Tim Schendel and John DeAngelis Jr rounding out the top five. In Earlier events it was Tim Schendel setting fast time with Sauter picking up the Dash and heat winners were Jeff Storm and Brad Kossow. Mike Lichtfeld picked up the B-Main event follwed by Corey Jankowski, Keith Tolf and Mike Breiner all earning transfer spots to the A-Main. Mark Simonsen from Crystal Lake, IL was involved in a very scary crash in the Super Late Model B-Main and Mark was transported UW Madison Hospital where he is stable & resting after surgery for a hole in aorta, broken back & ribs, and a collapsed lung. Please keep Mark in your Prayers for a speedy & complete recovery. Thank You to all the drivers, teams and fans who braved the threat of rain in the area to come out and see a great night of racing at your very own Dells Raceway Park.


Memorial 50 Armed Forces Night May 28th 2016 Results


Super Late Models - Qualify

1 21S Tim Schendel 13.281
2 5S Johnny Sauter 13.283
3 7J John DeAngelis Jr 13.285
4 11K Bobby Kendall 13.330
5 11P Alex Prunty 13.376
6 14N Austin Nason 13.399
7 5 Jeremy Miller 13.426
8 8 Josh Wallace 13.449
9 89 Ryan Farrell 13.451
10 71E Mark Eswine 13.468
11 12S Terry Schoppenhurst 13.473
12 43 Matt Kocourek 13.487
13 99G Jerry Gille 13.491
14 25S Jeff Storm 13.521
15 31J Corey Jankowski 13.578
16 66P Landry Potter 13.583
17 44L Mike Lichtfeld 13.585
18 52T Keith Tolf 13.609
19 12K Brad Kossow 13.636
20 17 Mark Simonsen 13.680
21 13 Mike Breiner 13.741
22 31DS Dale Schultz 14.218


Assembly Products SLM Dash
1 5S Johnny Sauter
2 5 Jeremy Miller
3 71E Mark Eswine
4 21S Tim Schendel
5 11P Alex Prunty
6 8 Josh Wallace
7 14N Austin Nason
8 11K Bobby Kendall
9 7J John DeAngelis Jr
10 89 Ryan Farrell

Super Late Models - Feature A

1 5S Johnny Sauter
2 11P Alex Prunty
3 5 Jeremy Miller
4 21S Tim Schendel
5 7J John DeAngelis Jr
6 12S Terry Schoppenhorst
7 25S Jeff Storm
8 44L Mike Lichtfeld
9 31J Corey Jankowski
10 43 Matt Kocourek
11 11K Bobby Kendall
12 8 Josh Wallace
13 89 Ryan Farrell
14 52T Keith Tolf
15 13 Mike Breiner
16 99G Jerry Gille
17 71E Mark Eswine
18 14N Austin Nason