Slinger Super Speedway - Race Report

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Kenseth Prevails to Earn Fourth Miller Lite Nationals Title!
By Dan Margetta

(Slinger, WI); July 15, 2008 - Matt Kenseth scored a hard-fought victory in an aggressive 29th Annual Miller Lite Nationals Tuesday night at the Slinger Super Speedway, his fourth overall in the prestigious 200-lap late model event.

“What a great race,” Kenseth stated after battling intensely with David Prunty for the lead before holding off Jeremy Lepak for the win. “I had a great time racing Jeremy (Lepak) there and Prunty put on a heck of a battle for the lead and we got pretty crazy there for awhile so it was a fun race.”

Photo Highlights

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Matt Kenseth (#17) topped the 29th Annual Miller Lite Nationals at Slinger Super Speedway.
5901a.jpg (13981 bytes) Matt Kenseth (#17) takes the checkered flag for a quick tour around the track after topping the main event at the 29th Annual Slinger Nationals. 5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Matt Kenseth (#17) and Jeremy Lepak (#40) battle wheel to wheel for the lead during the running of the 200 lap feature contest at the Slinger Nationals.5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Dan Jung (#0) was victorious in the Super Late Model semi-feature contest.

Jeremy Lepak (#40) set the fastest lap in qualifying for the Super Late Models. 5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Matt Kenseth (#17) showed early in the event he was going to be quick, after setting fast time for the 29th Annual Miller Lite Slinger Nationals.5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Kyle Busch turned in the second fastest qualifying lap of the evening and would later take fourth place in the 200 lap main event.5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Local hotshoe Brad Mueller (#89) netted the third fastest qualifying lap in the Super Late Models.5901a.jpg (13981 bytes) Jon Reynolds Jr. (#10) was fastest in Limited Late Model competition this evening, setting quick time. netted the Thund5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Kenny Joosten (#47) won the Midwest Sportsman feature contest.5901a.jpg (13981 bytes)
Kenny Joosten (#47) opens up the evening with a fast qualifying effort in the Midwest Sportsman division.

“It was good hard racing,” Kenseth continued, describing the fender rubbing action at the front of the field. “It was a little bit back and forth but everybody’s trying to win and that’s what you do, try to race as hard as you can every lap and these guys did a great job. They sure made us work for it.”

Kenseth, Prunty, and Lepak all took turns at the head of the field as they raced side by side and nose to tail throughout the second half of the event and shortly after taking the lead for good on lap 138, the battle between Prunty and Lepak for second place allowed Kenseth to gain the distance he needed to drive to victory. Prunty eventually fell out of contention when his engine sputtered on lap 178 while Lepak drove on to a second place finish, equaling his effort from a year ago.

“I told (David) Prunty that was awesome because we leaned on each other,” Lepak told the crowd. “That’s what Wisconsin short track racing is all about and I’m just glad we could put on a show like that for these fans.”

Dennis Prunty led twice for 54 laps and raced with the leaders all night long before coming home with a third place finish after spending most of the late laps charging wheel to wheel with Kyle Busch.

“I’m hoping ‘Rowdy’ (Busch) lets me use on his car because I want to do that again,” Prunty stated in reference to the torrid battle with Busch for the position. “That was a blast and we really needed this third place finish.”

Busch, the current NASCAR Sprint Cup point leader, qualified second to Kenseth and raced among the top ten the entire 200 lap distance before settling for a fourth place result at the checkered flag.

“We were junk before halfway and we were junk after halfway,” Busch said after his team made major changes during the allotted ten minute break at the midpoint. “We had a better car last year but we couldn’t keep tires on it so we tried something different this year. The car was turning a lot better than it’s ever have but it was just so loose off the corner you couldn’t get any drive down the straightaway. We got beat down the straightaway all night.”

Nick Schumacher backed up his feature win from Sunday night with a strong and impressive run to fifth place at the finish while Kelly Bires turned in his best Slinger performance with a steady sixth place result. Dale Prunty took the checkered flag in seventh place and Chris Wimmer, Tommy Pecaro, and defending Nationals champion Lowell Bennett rounded out the top ten. Among the other NASCAR drivers competing, Erik Darnell, Scott Wimmer, and David Stremme all exited the event before the halfway mark while early contender Rich Bickle left the speedway with damage from a crash on lap 150 and Brad Mueller retired from the race on lap 105 the result of a flat tire after racing hard with Kenseth over the fourth spot.

Dan Jung took top honors in the 35-lap late model semi-feature over Gary LaMonte and Randy Schuler. Scott Schoeni and Jeff Way completed the top five finishers. Dale Prunty was the winner of the 25-lap late model qualifying race as he along with Josh Bauer, Eric Fransen, and Erik Darnell transferred to the main event by finishing in the top four positions.

The late model qualifying race was stopped on lap three for a scary, fiery incident involving Collin Bamke. The cars of Bamke and Fred Winn made hard contact with the turn four wall while trying to avoid a spin in front of them with Bamke’s car tipped sideways and pinned against the wall by Winn’s machine. As the safety crew arrived on the scene, the cars burst into flames. In a dramatic scene, Winn exited his car and rolled to safety down the speedway while Bamke exited his car from the passenger side window and up over the turn four catch fence with assistance from his mother and safety crew members. Bamke was transported to a local hospital with shoulder, knee, and ankle injuries but later returned to the speedway to watch the main event.

A field of 42 late models was on hand and they were topped in qualifying by Kenseth, who toured the speedway in 11.359 seconds. Kyle Busch turned in the second fastest time in qualifying as Brad Mueller, Chris Wimmer, and Tommy Pecaro were third through fifth in the qualifying results.

Pat McIntee drove to his first limited late model feature victory as he took the lead of the 30-lap event on lap 18 and held off Chris Blawat at the checkered flag.

Dave McCardle paced the opening laps as McIntee battled with Blawat over second as Scott Ascher advanced to fifth place by the end of lap three. McIntee made the move to second on lap six while McCardle continued to lead as Ascher and Becca Kasten raced forward to fourth and fifth respectively. On lap 13, Ascher slowed, moving Rob Braun into the top five as McCardle led over McIntee and Blawat. McIntee had his car working on the inside and he was able to duck low to make the pass for the lead on McCardle on lap 18.

Two laps later, Blawat made his way by McCardle for second place and Kasten worked her way to third place as the white flag was displayed. McIntee held on over the final lap to take the win over Blawat. Kasten finished third while Jon Reynolds Jr. and Braun rounded out the top five. Michael Bilderback finished sixth ahead of Chris Ratajczyk and Ryan DeStefano while McCardle and Trevor Dassow were ninth and tenth respectively. Jon Reynolds Jr. was the fastest qualifier at 12.324 seconds.

Kenny Joosten was the winner of the Midwest Sportsman 30-lap feature over Dave Thomas and James Swan.

Jeff Holtz led at the start over Mike Graczkowski and Joosten while Swan and Thomas held down fourth and fifth. Joosten was able to pass Graczkowski for second place on lap 11 as Thomas advanced to fourth. A lap later Thomas was in third place while Holtz maintained his lead over Joosten. Joosten began to track down Holtz for the lead and on lap 16, maneuvered his way by for the lead. Thomas charged by Holtz and into second on lap 17, bringing Swan along with him and into third a lap later. Joosten was able to keep his lead as the front runners worked lapped traffic and he was never headed as he drove under the checkered flag to score the win. Thomas finished in second place while Swan, Holtz, and Bobby Giers rounded out the top five. Joosten was also the fastest qualifier in the division at 12.645 seconds.







29th Annual Miller Lite Nationals






Matt Kenseth (Cambridge)


Rich Bickle (Edgerton)


Jeremy Lepak (Wausau)


Josh Bauer (Random Lake)


Dennis Prunty (Lomira)


Jamie Wallace (Pell Lake)


Kyle Busch (Las Vegas,NV)


Brad Mueller (Random Lake)


Nick Schumacher (Hartford)


Erik Darnell (Beach Park, IL)


Kelly Bires (Mauston)


Pete Wiedmeyer (West Bend)


Dale Prunty (Allenton)


Conrad Morgan (Waukesha)


Chris Wimmer (Wausau)


Scott Wimmer (Wausau)


Tommy Pecaro (Markesan)


David Stremme (South Bend, IN)


Lowell Bennett (Neenah)


Mike Egan (Slinger)


Eric Fransen (West Bend)




David Prunty (Brownsville)




Brett Moffitt (Grimes, IA)




Rich Loch (Muskego)
























Dan Jung (Iron Ridge)


Scott Schoeni (Slinger)


Gary LaMonte (West Allis)


Jeff Way (Burlington)


Randy Schuler (Mequon)





LATE MODEL FASTEST QUALIFIER-Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) 11.359 seconds







Pat McIntee (West Bend)


Jon Reynolds Jr. (Roscoe, IL)


Chris Blawat (Eagle)


Rob Braun (Wales)


Becca Kasten (Mequon)





LIMITED LATE MODEL FASTEST QUALIFIER-Jon Reynolds Jr. (Roscoe, IL) 12.324 seconds







Kenny Joosten (Wonder Lake, IL)


Jeff Holtz (Muskego)


Dave Thomas (Franklin)


Bobby Giers (Wonder Lake, IL)


James Swan (Lake Geneva)





MIDWEST SPORTSMAN FASTEST QUALIFIER-Kenny Joosten (Wonder Lake, IL) 12.645 seconds