SLINGER, Wis. — At 65 years old, Conrad Morgan still knows how to get it done at Slinger Super Speedway.
The veteran racer outran defending Slinger super late model track champion Steve Apel to capture the 75-lap feature Sunday afternoon at the quarter-mile asphalt oval.
“The dude is old enough to be my grandpa and he beat me on the racetrack,” was how Apel summed it up after finishing second.
“I hope he was thinking that when he was trying to catch me,” quipped Morgan from victory lane after holding off Apel’s late-race charge. “And again when he saw the checkered flag and then saw my bumper.”
Morgan started outside of pole-sitter Brad Mueller as the green flag waved and he quickly used the upper groove to edge out an advantage while Austin Luedtke and Apel raced for third ahead of Rob Braun and Travis Dassow. An early caution appeared on lap six for a Tim Lampman spin in turn three and on the restart, Morgan and Mueller chose the inside lane while Luedtke and Apel selected the outside line as the race resumed.
Luedtke held tough in the upper groove and he and Morgan traded paint as they contested the top spot before Luedtke was able to edge ahead entering turn three on lap ten to take sole possession of the lead. Behind the lead duo, Apel also used a strong outside run to grab third place from Mueller while Lowell Bennett followed Apel’s line to overtake Dassow for the fifth spot. With the top three racing nose to tail, Bennett continued his outside charge to move around Mueller in fourth as Dassow and Rob Braun closed in.
Farther in the pack, the most intense racing was occurring between Al Schill, Rich Loch, Dennis Prunty, and John DeAngelis and while attention was focused there, Morgan slipped by Luedtke on the inside to take the lead on lap 28. Apel also worked the inside on Luedtke and took second place a few laps later as Morgan began to drive away out front. Morgan soon began to catch lapped traffic and he bobbed his way inside and outside of the lapped machines as Apel and Luedtke did the same about ten car lengths behind the leader.
As Morgan continued to negotiate the traffic, Apel began to slice into his lead gradually erasing the gap to Morgan’s rear bumper. Behind the leaders, Rob Braun advanced his way into the fourth spot while Dennis Prunty drove his way into fifth, passing Bennett, Dassow, and Mueller along the way. In the waning laps, Morgan’s car began to get loose off the corners and Apel closed to his rear bumper as the white flag was displayed but on the final circuit, Apel was unable to unseat the 65-year old veteran as Morgan held on to take the victory by a car length.
Apel had to settle for a close second place result while Austin Luedtke finished a strong third. Rob Braun and Dennis Prunty rounded out the top five finishers while Jeff Holtz was sixth ahead of Brad Mueller in seventh. Travis Dassow, John DeAngelis, and Lowell Bennett completed the top ten.
Other winners Sunday at Slinger included Danny Church (late models), Ryan Gutknecht (Midwest sportsman), Kyle Chwala (Area sportsman), Nick Schmidt (Slinger Bees), Rick Bruskiewicz (Figure 8) and Ken Jones (American Super Cups).