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.