Mueller Masters Late Model
Action at Slinger!
By Weyer / Margetta
8, 2002; Slinger, WI - Brad Mueller added his name to the
list of 2002 late model feature winners at the Slinger Super Speedway Sunday night as he
captured the win in the Eden Meat Market & Catering 60 presented by Behling Racing
Equipment and David Prunty took top honors in the 30-lap late model Race of Champions.
Mueller lined up on the outside of
the second row for the start of the 60-lap late model feature and took over the top spot
from early leader Mike Egan on lap five. Behind Egan, Chris Petersen, Eric Fransen, and
Lowell Bennett occupied the third through fifth positions as Mueller stretched his lead to
three car lengths. Fransen quickly took third from Petersen and then raced his way around
Egan for second on lap 15. Bennett followed Fransens lead and was eventually able to
maneuver his way into third place by lap 18.
The top five remained steady for a few laps while Al Schill cut his way forward from his
thirteenth starting position to grab sixth place just past the halfway point. Fransen
closed to Muellers rear bumper on lap 33 when the leader began to catch slower cars
at the back of the field. Fransen was able to get alongside Mueller but each time, he was
forced to fall back in line as lapped traffic blocked his bid for the lead.
As Mueller and Fransen raced for the lead
in traffic, Bennett gradually tracked them down and closed to within striking distance as
Egan tried to hold off a fast-closing Schill in fourth. Schill had his car hooked up in
the high groove of the speedway and took fourth place on lap 42 with Mueller still holding
a slim lead over Fransen and Bennett.
Bennett caught the lead duo as he snagged second place from Fransen with four laps to go
and began to pressure Mueller for the lead. However, The back of Muellers rear
bumper was as close as Bennett could get as Mueller posted his first feature victory of
the season. Bennett settled for a second place finish just ahead of Fransen while Schill
crossed the finish line in fourth. Egan took the checkered flag in fifth place.
The 30-lap late model Race of Champions for feature winners and dash winners from the
season, got off to a rocky start as Bennett spun on the first lap and came to rest in
front of Rich Loch to bring out the yellow flag. Conrad Morgan led John Zimmerman and
David Prunty on the single file restart as the race resumed. Morgan and Zimmerman battled
for the early lead before Zimmerman took the top spot when Prunty pressured Morgan for
second. Once he got around Morgan, Prunty quickly dispatched Zimmerman for the lead on lap
eight while Fransen also found his way around Morgan to claim third.
With Prunty pulling away in the lead,
Fransen went to work on Zimmerman and passed him for second place on lap 16 as Brad
Mueller charged around Morgan to claim fourth. Prunty continued to hold a commanding lead
over Fransen and Zimmerman by lap 22 as Mike Strupp found his groove and raced into the
top five. Strupps car was extremely fast on the inside and three laps later he
slipped by Mueller to take fourth place. Prunty could not be caught in the final laps and
scored a convincing win over Fransen and Zimmerman while Strupp finished his strong run by
holding off Mueller for the fourth position.
Strupp also won the 30-lap semi-feature as he beat Chris Ratajczyk and Cindy Peterson to
the checkered flag. Mike Pascavis and Jerry Eckhardt rounded out the top five. Mark Bitzan
won the 15-lap consolation race and Mueller took top honors in the dash. Austin Konetski
circled the speedway in 11.685 seconds and was the fastest qualifier.
The already tight battle for the track championship between Dale Prunty, Dan Jung, and
Jeff Holtz in the Midwest modified division narrowed even further after Prunty won his
sixth feature of the season while Jung and Holtz finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Ed Grober led at the start of the 30-lap event and checked out to a five car length
advantage over Dan Miller and Larry Reighbrandt. Prunty used the outer groove to catch and
pass both Miller and Reihbrandt to claim second place by lap ten. Prunty closed in on
Grober for the top spot while Jung and Holtz raced their way toward the front, taking over
the fourth and fifth spots by lap 17. Prunty stayed in the outside lane and charged around
Grober for the lead on lap 18. Once out front, Prunty could not be caught and he took the
win. Grober capped off his best performance of the season by finishing second. Miller
finished third and Jung held off Holtz for fifth.
Prunty now sits just six points behind Jung in the season standings heading into the final
point night next Sunday. Holtz is in third place, 63 points behind Jung.
Prunty and Jung staged a whale of a battle for the lead throughout the 18-lap Midwest
modified Race of Champions before Prunty edged Jung for the win at the checkered flag.
Holtz was right behind the lead duo in third place at the finish while Miller came home in
fourth place just ahead of Wes Biswell in fifth.
Russ Grade raced to the win in the dash and Prunty was the fastest qualifier after posting
a lap of 12.551 seconds.
Jason Feyereisen held off Paul Wagner to capture his fifth feature win of the season in
the 20-lap Slinger stinger feature.
Nathan Fick and Joe DeStefano Sr. began from the front row and paced the first seven laps,
racing alongside each other with the rest of the field stacked close behind them. The
side-by-side action continued until the leaders caught the tail of the field when
Feyereisen made a move into second place on lap 12.
Once he was able to break out of the pack,
Feyereisen passed Fick for the lead three laps later. Feyereisen took over the top spot
and Wagner followed his lead to also pass Fick for second place. Wagner slowly narrowed
the distance between himself and Feyereisen but could only pull up to Feyereisens
rear bumper at the finish line. Jay Shambeau made a late charge to finish third while
David Pichler was fourth. Fick fell to fifth at the finish.
Feyereisen also won the dash and Wagner set fast time with a lap of 13.376 seconds.
Rob Vandermoss edged Hank Calmes to win the highly competitive and eventful sport truck
feature. Calmes, Vandermoss, and Tom Gee swapped the lead numerous times during the 30-lap
race as the trio raced three-wide around the high banked quarter mile. Dan Vixmer crashed
hard into the turn four wall on lap ten to momentarily halt the race under the red flag.
Vixmer was not injured in the incident
after his truck briefly turned over before coming to rest on its wheels. Back under green,
Vandermoss used the outer groove to sweep his way around Calmes for the lead on lap 20.
Calmes charged back on the inside late in the race and pulled even with Vandermoss as the
white flag was displayed. The outer groove proved to work better for Vandermoss and he
edged Calmes at the checkered flag to win by a bumper. Gee finished in third place behind
Vandermoss and Calmes while Todd Schuette and Dan Hansen rounded out the top five.
Vixmer was the fastest qualifier in the division after turning a lap at 14.391 seconds.
Shane Becker won the Figure 8 race and the team of Mark and Ken Fogel won their eighth
Team Cruiser event of the season. Paul Wagner drove his Ford Thunderbird to victory in the
spectator elimination races and Bonnie Grober won the special semi-truck race.
For Complete results
from the RACESTAT computer CLICK