July 17, 2001; Slinger, WI - David Prunty parlayed a late race charge into the biggest win of his career Tuesday night at the Slinger Super Speedway as he captured the 200 lap late model feature to claim the 2001 Miller Lite Nationals Championship. Prunty, who ran in the top five all night, charged to the front on lap 193 and held off Lowell Bennett and Brad Mueller at the checkered flag.
"At about lap 150, they were racing like it was the last lap so I decided to set back a bit to save the tires and let the leaders wear themselves out," said Prunty in victory lane after leading just the final eight laps of the 200 lap event. "I knew we had the power when we needed it."
Cindy Peterson jumped to the lead from the pole position at the start of the race as Lowell Bennett, Rich Loch, Al Schill and Ken Schrader raced side by side for positions behind the leader. NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series point leader Scott Riggs momentarily nudged Rich Bickle on lap six causing the cars behind them to bunch up and the ensuing accordian effect collected Eric Fransen, Tony Strupp, Butch Miller, and Dick Trickle to bring out the first caution flag. Fransen, Strupp, and Trickle all received significant damage in the incident and were forced to leave the racetrack.
Peterson led for another six laps following the restart before Bennett took over the top spot on lap 12. Once out front, Bennett pulled away from Peterson, Schill, Schrader, and Loch as the top five became strung out. The best battle on the track was for sixth as Prunty, Ted Musgrave, Mueller, Scott Hansen, and Scott Wimmer all raced hard for position.
Wimmer lost an oil line on lap 48 which caused his car to smoke and he headed to the pits for repairs. With Bennett still holding a sizeable lead, Schill caught Peterson for second place on lap 54 while Prunty and Hansen passed Schrader to take over the fourth and fifth positions. Scott Riggs had a left rear tire deflate as the result of a cracked rim on lap 62 which ended his race.
The second caution of the race waved on lap 74 when Rich Loch blew an engine with Bennett still leading over Schill, Peterson, Prunty, and Hansen. Seventh place runner Ted Musgrave suffered a deflating right front tire on the restart and the trip to the pits to fix the problem erased his chances for a victory.
Schill stayed glued to Bennett's rear bumper on the restart and despite pulling alongside the leader numerous times was unable to make a pass as Bennett led at the halfway break and claimed a $500 bonus from Mac Tools. Prunty held down the third position at the lap 101 break with Hansen and Peterson in fourth and fifth respectively.
Schill followed Bennett for six laps as the second half of the event got underway before making an inside pass for the lead on lap 106. The top three drivers, being Schill, Bennett, and Prunty, ran nose-to-tail while Mueller and Schrader raced their way back into the top five.
Schill seemed to miss his mark entering turn one on lap 119 and drifted wide allowing Bennett to retake the lead. Prunty took over second a few laps later as Schill recovered to run in third. Donavan Morgan's spin in turn one on lap 163 produced the third caution flag with Bennett leading over Schill and Prunty.
Schill pulled alongside Bennett shortly after the restart and both drivers raced hard for the top spot while Prunty followed closely behind in third. Schill edged ahead of Bennett on lap 178 and appeared to be on his way to his first Nationals title as Prunty took over second on lap 187. Schill's car began to bobble with ten laps to go and Prunty powered by on the outside to grab the lead on lap 193.
Schill's handling problems continued as Bennett passed him for second. Schill's problems were the result of a right front tire going down and the tire eventually separated from the rim on lap 196 causing his car to come to a halt against the fourth turn wall to produce the final caution period.
Prunty held off the challenges of Bennett for the final four laps to win the event and claim the overall Miller Lite Nationals title. Mueller finished third while Schrader was fourth and Dennis Prunty scored a career best fifth place finish. Peterson crossed the finish line in sixth place while Hansen, Rich Bickle, Charlie Thon, and Kirby Kurth rounded out the top ten.
In other late model action, Tony Strupp held off Eric Fransen to win the 40 lap semi-feature as both drivers transferred into the 200 lap main event and Ken Schrader beat Scott Wimmer to win the special 15 lap NASCAR dash. Strupp also won $300 courtesy of Mac Tools by leading at the halfway point of the semi-feature. David Prunty was the fastest qualifier with a lap 11.695 seconds.
Jeff Holtz won his sixth Midwest modified feature of the year as the event was completed despite limited visibility due to fog that had set in over the racetrack.
Holtz took the lead from Ron Weyer following a restart on lap 30 of the 35 lap event. Weyer finished a close second while Dan Jung, Brian Holtz, and Steve Lurvey completed the top five..
For Complete results from the RACESTAT computer CLICK HERE
Special; Slinger, WI - This Sunday Night, July 22nd, Five Star Stock Car Bodies presents a 70 lap late model feature and full racing program in the Late Models, Midwest Modifieds, Slinger Stingers, Team Cruisers, Figure 8's, Speedway Guest Cars and Spectator races at the Slinger Super Speedway. Fans will also have a chance to win prizes through out the night.
Five Star Race Car Bodies, mission is to provide innovative products, outstanding quality and exceptional service by understanding the needs of today's racer. Five Star will also be giving a little something to the drivers on their sponsored night event.
Kids will receive a FREE T-shirt, as they come in through the gate while supplies last. Plus there will be a huge demo derby paying $500 to the winner will round out the night's action.
Drivers interested in participating in the $500 to win demo derby should call the track office at (262) 644-5921 to sign up.
Spectator gates open at 4: 45 p.m. for the Sunday event with time trials at 5:15 p.m. and racing scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The Slinger Super Speedway is located ¼ mile West of Highway 41 on Highway 144 in Slinger. For more information, call the track office during normal business hours M-F 9-5 at (262) 644-5921 or check out the new track website at www.slingersuperspeedway.com