Tuesday, August 30, 2016

2nd Place in Slinger

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., Aug. 28— Just a few weeks after capturing his first career super late model feature win, Gary LaMonte was back in victory lane for win #2 Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway following the 60-lap main event while just five points now separate Steve Apel and Chris Blawat in the battle for the track championship with just one night remaining.

“Ever since the Nationals we’ve had something figured out and it’s giving me tons of rear grip at the end and we just kill them off the corners,” LaMonte told the crowd from victory lane, “And now that we’ve got the bugs worked out of me we’ve got a great car and have tons of confidence so we can go out and have some fun.”

Lowell Bennett and Ryan DeStefano brought the field to the green flag as Bennett led the opening laps with DeStefano right beside him. Contact between their two cars entering turn one on lap two resulted in both drivers getting sideways with DeStefano spinning around as the incident also collected track championship contenders Steve Apel and Chris Blawat along with Nick Wagner. Blawat and Wagner were able to continue but Apel, who was piloting Duke Long’s car after his own ride was severely damaged last week, retired from the event, putting a major dent in his championship points lead.

Grant Griesbach assumed the lead for the restart and chose the inside lane, leaving second place Rob Braun to take the top side with Brad Mueller, Gary LaMonte, and Alex Prunty doubling up behind them. Griesbach held the lead as racing resumed but was pressured heavily by Braun from the high lane while LaMonte used the outside lane to edge into third place ahead of Prunty and Mueller. Griesbach and Braun battled side by side for several laps before Braun eased ahead from the top groove as Griesbach’s car began to dance slightly off the corners. LaMonte also worked his way around Griesbach for second place just before the caution flag waved again on lap 14 when Fred Winn’s car went for a spin after racing with Mitch McGrath for position farther back in the field. Braun held the lead from the inside lane on the restart while LaMonte quickly fell into line behind him a lap after the green flag waved as Prunty, Mueller, and Blawat all went to work on getting by Griesbach for third. LaMonte’s car cut off the turns better than Braun’s and on lap 17 he was able to duck to the inside exiting turn two to take the lead as Prunty also worked his way past Braun for second. Both Mueller and Blawat also passed Braun for position before he left the speedway with mechanical issues as LaMonte continued to lead over Prunty. Prunty kept LaMonte honest as the leaders worked their way through lapped traffic with Blawat sitting third while Mueller exited the race after cutting down a tire while running fourth. Prunty closed in slightly in traffic but LaMonte proved to be too strong as he drove to his second career super late model feature victory. Alex Prunty finished a close second while Chris Blawat finished third and closed to within five points of Steve Apel in the battle for the track championship with just one week remaining. Brad Keith overcame mechanical problems earlier in the night to finish a strong fourth while Kelsey Dassow posted her career best finish with a fifth place run. Lowell Bennett finished sixth ahead of Nick Wagner and Tim Lampman while Jerry Eckhardt and Brad Mueller rounded out the top ten.

Super late model heat races were won by Mike Egan, Grant Griesbach, and Alex Prunty while Gary LaMonte was the fastest qualifier with a lap at 11.308 seconds.


Monday, August 22, 2016

3rd Place Rebound After Leading late in the Race

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 21— In a race that resembled a street brawl leaving many drivers with battered race cars and tempers, Chris Blawat emerged from the chaos with his fourth super late model feature victory of the season following the 60-lap Pepsi Challenge Final Round Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“It was getting a little crazy back there and I’m glad we avoided it,” Blawat stated after holding off Brad Mueller for the victory, “This has been a dream season for us.”
“It’s like a win for this 89 car,” an excited Mueller said following his runner-up finish, “I tried sticking the nose underneath Chris (Blawat) a few times there but I just didn’t have the giddy-up off the corner.”

John DeAngelis Jr. and Tim Lampman brought the field to the green flag and the inside lane proved to be the groove of choice as DeAngelis charged to the lead as Chris Blawat, Rich Loch, and Alex Prunty used the low side to advance to second through fourth respectively. DeAngelis paced the first seven circuits before Blawat was able to edge under him to take the top spot on lap eight and Loch followed a few laps later to grab second. With DeAngelis caught on the high side, Alex Prunty, Dennis Prunty, Steve Apel, and Brad Mueller all worked their way by using the bottom groove. Fred Winn’s car spun off turn four on lap 26 while racing for position with Mike Egan and the first caution flag appeared with Blawat leading Alex Prunty, Dennis Prunty, Loch, and Apel. Blawat chose the ouside lane for the restart and the decision proved costly as Alex Prunty drove to the lead as racing resumed from the bottom groove. Blawat settled into second while Dennis Prunty and Rich Loch battled for third, at one point making contact that sent their cars scattering loose but both drivers as well as those behind them maintained control as Prunty took the position. Steve Apel also moved around Loch to snag the fourth spot and Brad Mueller advanced to fifth after some side by side door rubbing laps. The caution flag waved for the second time on lap 33 when Fred Winn and Nick Wagner tangled in turn four. Alex Prunty chose the inside lane for the restart and he maintained his lead over Blawat while Dennis Prunty slotted into third ahead of Apel, Mueller, and Gary LaMonte. Behind the leaders, Tim Lampman and Ryan DeStefano rubbed fenders while racing for position in turn one and when Lampman got to turn three, a flat tire caused his car to spin, drawing another caution flag on lap 37. Alex Prunty once again held the lead over Blawat and Dennis Prunty as racing resumed but after only one lap was completed, Dennis Prunty’s car broke loose in turn four and he saved it as it skidded up the racetrack. Upon exiting the corner the field jammed together as Prunty gathered up his car with Steve Apel being forced to lift off the gas where his car was then struck by Rich Loch. Rob Braun became collected with Loch’s car while Mitch McGrath’s car leaped over Braun’s side and landed across Loch’s hood as the caution appeared once again. Apel left the track to repair body damage while Braun, McGrath, and Loch retired from the event and Dennis Prunty restarted from the rear of the field for his involvement in the incident. The race resumed with Alex Prunty still leading over Blawat and Brad Mueller with Gary LaMonte and John DeAngelis rounding out the top five. Alex Prunty continued to hold Blawat and Mueller at bay as the caution waved on lap 43 for a Kelsey Dassow spin in turn three. Once again the race only resumed for a lap before Steve Apel spun across the track in turn three while racing for position with James Swan and struck the wall hard with the left rear of his car bringing out the caution flag again. Apel’s car was severely damaged in the incident and Swan was sent to the pits for extracurricular activities under the caution flag. Alex Prunty again chose the inside lane for the restart and raced into the lead over Blawat and Mueller as racing resumed. John DeAngelis occupied the fourth spot ahead of Gary LaMonte and Dennis Prunty who advanced to sixth from the rear of the field. With the laps winding down, Alex Prunty’s car began to get loose off the turns and his car slid sideways exiting turn two, allowing both Blawat and Mueller to get by before he gathered the car up. With Blawat now leading and being dogged by Mueller in second, Alex Prunty fell into a fierce battle over third with DeAngelis. On the final lap, Mueller looked to Blawat’s inside but was unable to make a move as Blawat drove to his fourth super late model feature victory of the season. Mueller had to settle for second place while contact with DeAngelis in the fourth turn on the way to the checkered flag sent Alex Prunty spinning into the infield at the finish. Track officials penalized DeAngelis for the incident and Prunty was awarded third place with Gary LaMonte and Dennis Prunty rounding out the top five finishers. Fred Winn finished sixth ahead of Kelsey Dassow and Brad Keith. Tim Lampman finished ninth and John DeAngelis was tenth following the penalty.

James Swan won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Mike Egan and Mitch McGrath. Keslsey Dassow finished fourth and Jerry Mueller was fifth. Super late model heat races were won by Mike Egan, Rob Braun, and Brad Mueller and Gary LaMonte was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.414 seconds.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 14—With a daring pass in traffic during the final ten laps, Gary LaMonte took the lead of the 60-lap super late model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway and drove to his first career super late model main event victory.

“We came through and we’ll take it,” an obviously excited LaMonte stated from victory lane, “It’s been a long struggle and we are a small team without a lot of sponsors and we run part time, so it’s great to come out and run with these guys that are here every week.”
“I was trying to keep the heat on Rob Braun and make him make a mistake, “ LaMonte continued describing the pass for the lead on Braun, “I put myself in a bad spot and found the backstretch wall with fifteen or so laps to go but it didn’t hurt me too bad. Then we came around and I watched him and he just washed a little wide and put himself into the wall and I just dove for the hole and it stuck.”

Brad Keith and Lowell Bennett led the field to the green flag and Keith led the opening lap before caution fell on the speedway quickly as Duke Long’s car skidded into the infield entering turn one. Keith charged back into the lead on the restart with Rob Braun settling into second place and within two laps Braun was on Keith’s bumper challenging for the lead. Braun took the lead with an inside pass on lap five as Steve Apel advanced to challenge Keith for second, taking the position a few laps later while behind them Gary LaMonte and Chris Blawat battled over the fourth position. Fred Winn and Tim Lampman got together while racing hard for position on lap 8 and as the field stacked up behind them Brad y Bennett and Duke Long tangled, sending Long’s car sailing hard into the turn three wall and catch fence as the red flag was displayed. Long dropped the window net almost immediately indicating he was not seriously injured in the incident. Braun and Apel paced the field on the restart and they raced door to door for several laps and swapped the lead before Braun eventually pulled ahead. Gary LaMonte and Chris Blawat advanced into third and fourth respectively as the front runners lined up around the inside lane. With Braun stretching his lead slightly, LaMonte was able to edge to the inside of Apel to take second just before the halfway mark as Blawat held down fourth just ahead of Alex Prunty and Lowell Bennett. The caution flag waved again on lap 26 for Brad Keith’s spun car in turn two with Braun leading over LaMonte, Apel, Blawat, and Prunty. Braun maintained the lead as racing resumed over LaMonte while Blawat went to work on Apel for third. Blawat eventually took the position a few laps later while LaMonte began to track down Braun for the lead. With the laps winding down, LaMonte closed in but a small scuff off the backstretch wall caused him to lose momentum, forcing him to start his charge forward all over again. The leaders approached lapped traffic and with nine laps to go, Braun’s car clipped the frontstretch wall and as he drifted into turn one, LaMonte dove for the opening and made the pass for the lead between Braun and a lapped car as they exited off turn two. LaMonte held on for the final laps to take the victory as Braun’s car trailed smoke from the right front on his way to a second place finish. Chris Blawat finished third with Steve Apel fourth and Alex Prunty in fifth. Lowell Bennett finished sixth followed by Ryan DeStefano and Mitch McGrath while John DeAngelis Jr. and James Swan rounded out the top ten.

James Swan won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over Ryan DeStefano and Mark Eswein. Brady Bennett and Jerry Eckhardt rounded out the top five. Super late model heat races were won by Mark Eswein, Mitch McGrath, and Alex Prunty. Gary LaMonte was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.284 seconds.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Alex Makes It Back2Back Wins, Wins 1st Feature at Slinger in a SLM!

 Slinger, Wis., Aug. 7--—Kulwicki Driver Development Program competitor Alex Prunty took the lead on lap four and drove to his first career super late model feature victory at the Slinger Super Speedway in the 60-lap main event Sunday night.

“This car was just awesome tonight,” Prunty exclaimed as he exchanged high-fives with the crowd gathered around victory lane, “We work so hard on this car and we’re just a one car team to run the Dells last night and win there and then get up early this morning , and get the car switched over, it’s just an incredible feeling to be here.”
“There are just so many people with the Kulwicki program behind me to make this all possible, “ continued Prunty, who also won the night before in the Wisconsin Dells, “I’m just shaking I’m so happy.”

Travis Dassow led the field to the green flag and paced the opening laps as fellow front row starter Prunty dropped in line behind him in second just ahead of Nick Wagner, Steve Apel, and Rob Braun. The top two ran single file for a few laps while Apel worked the high side to pass Wagner for third, leaving him to battle Rob Braun and Gary LaMonte over fourth with Chris Blawat and Brad Mueller lurking close behind. On lap four, Prunty dove to the inside of Dassow exiting turn four and competed the pass for the lead, stretching his advantage as Apel worked over Dassow for second. As Prunty edged ahead, Apel took to the inside lane to take second from Dassow while behind them Braun, Blawat, and LaMonte occupied the fourth through sixth spots. Prunty began to work lapped traffic with Apel attempting to close in as Blawat caught and passed Dassow for third. Prunty methodically picked his way through the lapped traffic and never allowed Apel to close to more than a few car lengths as the driver on the move in the closing laps was LaMonte who slipped by Blawat for third. Prunty was never headed as the race ran caution free and he took the checkered flag ahead of Steve Apel for his first career super late model feature victory at the Slinger Super Speedway. Gary LaMonte finished in third while Chris Blawat crossed the finish line in fourth and Travis Dassow was fifth. Rob Braun took the checkered flag in sixth place ahead of Brad Mueller and Nick Wagner while Ryan DeStefano and James Swan rounded out the top ten.

Mike Egan won the 30-lap super late model semi-feature over James Swan and Dave McCardle. Randy Schuler was fourth and Tim Lampman finished fifth. Super late model heat races were won by Mitch McGrath, Alex Prunty, and Gary LaMonte while Brad Mueller was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 11.237 seconds.

Race Video highlights:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPoa4sNm4j4

Celebration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_lLiud2Rv0

Alex Wins 1st Career SLM Feature at Dells Raceway Park Saturday!!

Alex Prunty from Lomira, WI captured his first ever Super Late Model Feature win Saturday Night at The Dells Raceway Park in the Shangri-La Campgrounds 50 over the always hard charging Bobby Kendall of Montello WI. Prunty who needed a win to secure his point lead in the 2016 Kulwicki Driver Development Program, leads the KDDP Point Standings. Prunty holds a slim 12 point lead over Maine's Dave Farrington Jr. and California driver Jeremy Doss is in third. Prunty said afterwards I was relieved to get the win but shaking inside the car as he took the checkerd flag around in a polish victory lap, a tradition started by the late great Alan Kulwicki. The KDDP is a program that has been established by the family of late NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki to help worthy drivers along the way in reaching their dreams ¦while at the same time keeping Alan Kulwicki's memory and legacy alive.

Performance Parts Supply Super Late Models - Qual
0 No. Name Time
1 21S Tim Schendel 13.378
2 97 Skylar Holzhausen 13.418
3 11K Bobby Kendall 13.418
4 7J John DeAngelis Jr 13.435
5 11P Alex Prunty 13.442
6 71E Mark Eswein 13.516
7 52T Keith Tolf 13.570
8 12 Brad K

Assembly Products Super Late Models - Dash
0 No. Name Time
1 44L Mike Lichtfeld 10
2 2R Ken Reiser 10
3 7J John DeAngelis Jr 10
4 21S Tim Schendel 10
5 11P Alex Prunty 10
6 11K Bobby Kendall 10
7 12 Brad Kossow 10
8 97 Skylar Holzhausen 10
9 52T Keith Tolf 10
10 71E Mark Eswein

Super Late Models - Heat 1
0 No. Name Time
1 31J Corey Jankowski 6
2 31DS Dale Schultz 6
3 13B Mike Breiner 6
4 85D Danny Darnell 6

Assembly Products Super Late Models - Shoot Out
0 No. Name Time
1 21S Tim Schendel 20
2 11P Alex Prunty 20
3 7J John DeAngelis Jr 20
4 71E Mark Eswein 20
5 11K Bobby Kendall 20
6 2R Ken Reiser 20
7 13B Mike Breiner 20
8 31J Corey Jankowski 20
9 52T Keith Tolf 20
10 12 Brad Kossow 20
11 44L Mike Lichtfeld 6
12 97 Skylar Holzhausen 5

Shangri-La Campgrounds 50 Super Late Models - Feature A
0 No. Name Time
1 11P Alex Prunty 50
2 11K Bobby Kendall 50
3 71E Mark Eswein 50
4 44L Mike Lichtfeld 50
5 7J John DeAngelis Jr 50
6 31J Corey Jankowski 50
7 2R Ken Reiser 50
8 13B Mike Breiner 50
9 97 Skylar Holzhausen 50
10 52T Keith Tolf 50
11 85D Danny Darnell 49
12 31DS Dale Schultz 49
13 21S Tim Schendel 9

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Alex Wins Fast Dash, Battles to 2nd Place Feature Finish!

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., July 31--— Chris Blawat held off Alex Prunty in a five lap shootout to capture his third super late model feature win of the season in the 60-lap main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.

 “This season has been a lot of fun and this car has been awesome all year,” Blawat told the fans from victory lane, “It’s good to get a win and we’ll take it from here.”

 “I thought we were pretty close together and as the leader I set the pace,” Blawat continued, explaining his version of several aborted late race restarts between himself and the second place finisher Alex Prunty, “It is what it is, I guess.”

 “It feels great to get back into the top two, but I really wanted that one,” Prunty stated following his runner-up finish, “And it was close and we kept it clean which is what it is all about but I really, really wanted that one.”

 “We were just slipping and sliding and Chris (Blawat) was doing the same thing and it was just a matter of getting hooked up, I don’t think there was gamesmanship going on there,” Prunty stated, echoing Blawat’s explanation of the restart attempts, “I was trying to get some from him and he was trying to get some from me and it just is what it is.”

 Rob Braun and Chris Blawat paced the field to the green flag and Braun led the opening two laps before Blawat powered by on the outside for the lead on lap three. Alex Prunty advanced to challenge Braun for second and after a few laps was able to ease alongside using the bottom of the speedway to take the position. Dennis Prunty took advantage of the inside gap Alex Prunty opened and he moved by Braun for third. Steve Apel followed suit and also used the low line to advance past Braun who settled back in line in fifth. Drivers racing for position around mid-pack created an accordion like situation which sent Grant Griesbach sliding off turn four and into the infield as the race remained green with Blawat leading over Alex Prunty, Dennis Prunty, Steve Apel, and Rob Braun. Dave McCardle’s car developed problems entering turn one on lap 23 and he exited the speedway trailing fluid which produced the first caution flag. Blawat chose the high side for the restart and he was able to hang onto the lead despite numerous challenges on the inside from Alex Prunty. Dennis Prunty followed Blawat in the outside lane and eventually was able to power by Alex Prunty for second while Steve Apel and Rob Braun remained in fourth and fifth respectively. Brady Bennett’s spun car off turn two on lap 29 drew another caution flag just before the halfway point.

Blawat was quick on the button for the restart but Dennis Prunty was on top of his game as well and he swept into the lead from the inside one lap after racing resumed. Steve Apel also got around Alex Prunty for third as Dennis Prunty slightly stretched his lead over Blawat. Alex Prunty went back to work on Apel for third and after several peeks to the inside, took to the high line to make the pass as the laps began to wind down. The front runners settled down a bit and the best battle on the speedway was in the back half of the top ten as John DeAngelis Jr. and Brad Mueller wrestled for the eighth position. After several laps of hard racing, contact between the cars sent Mueller’s car looping around off turn four and the caution flag waved with just six laps remaining.

Dennis Prunty chose the inside lane for the restart, leaving Blawat the high side and the two raced door to door as the green flag appeared. Prunty’s car skated a bit loose off the turns and upon exiting turn four he drifted wide and rubbed the side of Blawat’s car before sliding into the infield towards turn one as the caution waved once again. Dennis Prunty took responsibility for the incident, which allowed Blawat to inherit the lead over Alex Prunty, Steve Apel, and Rob Braun with now five laps to go. After three aborted restarts, the race resumed on the fourth try and Blawat maintained the lead only to have the caution wave again when Tim Lampman spun in turn two after having the right rear tire go flat. Blawat and Prunty only needed one attempt to get the restart right this time and they charged into turn one side by side in a five lap battle for the win. Prunty was able to hang tough alongside in the low groove but Blawat proved to be too strong exiting the turns and he powered ahead from the outside. Blawat drove to his third super late model feature victory of the season while Alex Prunty had to settle for second. Steve Apel finished third while Ryan DeStefano edged Rob Braun for the fourth spot by inches at the line.

Super late model heat races were won by Fred Winn, Brad Mueller, and Alex Prunty while Brad Keith was the fastest qualifier at 11.359 seconds.