Prunty Wins First Feature
and Bennett Crowned Champion at Slinger!
By Weyer / Margetta
15, 2002; Slinger, WI - The 2002 regular season at the
Slinger Super Speedway came to a close with a first time winner Sunday night as Dennis
Prunty held off Lowell Bennett to win the Wallace/Post Printing 75.
Bennetts second place finish enabled him to claim his third consecutive late model
I was a little nervous with
Lowell behind me, stated Prunty afterwards, referring to having to hold off the
track champion for the win. I knew he would race me clean because hes a true
Prunty raced into the lead at the drop of the green flag while John Mueller, Donavan
Morgan, Bennett, and Rich Loch scrambled for positions behind him. The yellow flag
appeared on lap three as a spin by Mike Strupp triggered a three car incident in turn one
that involved Pete Wiedmeyer, Chris Petersen, and Joel Laufer. Back under green, Prunty
maintained his lead over Morgan as Bennett slipped by Loch on the inside to get fourth.
Three laps later, Bennett again used the
inside to pass Mueller for third as Prunty extended his lead. Prunty and Morgan enjoyed
nearly a straightaway advantage on the field when they began to catch the back markers on
lap 19. Bennett began to reel in the leaders from third place while Prunty and Morgan
maneuvered their way through the lapped traffic. Tom Hromadka and Fred Winn spun in turn
four necessitating a caution flag on lap 36.
Prunty once again was able to keep his car in the lead at the restart as Bennett
immediately dove to the inside of Morgan in an attempt to take second. Morgan and Bennett
raced alongside each other for six laps before Bennett prevailed on lap 47 while Prunty
began to drive away in the lead. Loch followed Bennett and used the inside lane to get
third place from Morgan as Bennett drove hard to catch Prunty for the lead.
Morgan fell back another spot a few laps
later when Strupp, who recovered from his earlier spin, passed him to take fourth. Prunty
extended his lead even further when Bennett had difficulty passing the lapped cars of
Hromadka and Mike Pascavis. Bennett cleared the lapped machines on lap 64 but did not
appear to have enough time to catch Prunty until a spin by Fred Winn on lap 68 brought out
the final caution flag with seven laps to go.
Prunty proved to be ready for the challenge and held off Bennett over the final laps to
capture his first career late model feature victory. Bennett settled for second place
while Loch finished in third. Strupp and Morgan rounded out the top five.
Joel Laufer scored a popular win in the 30-lap late model semi-feature over Brad Hartman,
Jerry Eckhardt, Joe Gross, and Dave Teske. Loch won the dash and Al Schill was the fastest
qualifier after posting a lap of 11.675 seconds.
The Midwest modified 30-lap feature was full of drama as Ron Schmitt scored his first
career feature win and Dan Jung edged Dale Prunty for the track championship.
Schmitt raced into the lead at the start as Ed Grober fell into second place just ahead of
a four-car battle for third involving Larry Reihbrandt, Jung, Wes Biswell, and Prunty.
Jung and Prunty entered the race tied for the points lead, meaning whichever driver
finished ahead of the other would win the championship.
While Schmitt continued to lead, Jeff
Holtz joined the fight for third place and contact amongst that tight group of cars
littered the front stretch with debris, producing the yellow flag. When racing resumed,
Schmitt and Grober raced out in front of the field as Reihbrandt held third place right in
front of Jung and Prunty who were side-by-side. Jung held the inside lane and Prunty took
to the top of the speedway over the final six laps in a torrid battle for not only the
position, but the track title as well.
Schmitt remained out front and scored his first career win and Grober capped off another
strong performance by finishing second. Jung and Prunty remained door-to-door on the final
lap with Reihbrandt directly ahead of them. Reihbrandt drifted wide and went to the high
side which briefly slowed Pruntys outside charge and at the stripe, Jung was third
followed by Reihbrandt and Prunty in a close finish. The finish gave Jung is first career
track championship by a slim margin over Prunty.
Reihbrandt won the dash and Holtz set fast time with a 12.518 second lap.
Jason Feyereisen did all he could do to catch Paul Wagner for the track championship as he
drove to victory in the 20-lap Slinger stinger feature, but Wagner secured the track title
with a third place finish.
Jason Takahani led for the first time this season as he paced the opening laps before Joe
DeStefano Sr. was able to secure the top spot on lap three. David Pichler moved up to
challenge Takahani for second place and the two made slight contact exiting the fourth
turn on lap four.
The impact send Pichler across the track
and into the front stretch wall where he was struck hard by the car of Nathan Fick in a
grinding crash that brought out the red flag. Neither driver was seriously hurt in the
incident but Fick was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.
The race was restarted with DeStefano Sr.
leading Takahani, Joe DeStefano Jr., Scott Shambeau, and John Henning. Shambeau blasted by
the top cars by using the outside groove to snag the lead exiting turn two and Feyereisen
followed suite to power into second place after restarting sixth. Shambeau and Feyereisen
pulled away from the pack as Henning raced his way into third.
Shambeau began to get loose which allowed
Feyereisen to close in. Feyereisen kept his car on the bottom and moved around Shambeau to
take the lead on lap 13. Shambeau stayed with Feyereisen but could not mount a challenge
as Feyereisen raced away to the win. Shambeau finished in second and Paul Wagner made a
late race charge to take third which was good enough to nail down the track championship
in the division. Jay Shambeau finished fourth and Henning crossed the finish line in
Feyereisen also set fast time with a 13.378 second lap as David Pichler won the 8 lap fast
Mark Fogel won the Slinger bees race that ended under the yellow and checkered flags
after Colin Bamke crashed into the turn four wall and rolled over. Bamke was not seriously
injured in the incident. The team of Joe Mueller and Dave Berndt won the team cruiser race
and Rick Schaefer raced to the win in the spectator elimination races. Dan Jung completed
his evening by winning the Figure 8 race while Jack Sutherland claimed his first track
championship in the division. Doug Averkamp took the checkered flag first in the
Port-A-John speedway guest car race.
The Coca Cola kids club season prizes were awarded to the following: 5th place die cast
car from Pioneer Plaza went to Amanda Becker from Sussex. Jessica Trzebiatowski from
Menomonee Falls won the Childs season pass and Jack Keel from Sussex claimed the remote
control car. Logan Boschae from Slinger won the bike as Adam Peschek won the grand prize
of a motorized Go Kart.
For Complete results
from the RACESTAT computer CLICK