SLINGER, Wis. – Dale Prunty got the jump on his brother Dennis Prunty on a restart with just four laps remaining to steal the victory on Harley Nike Night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
Although the Prunty brothers were running strong all race long, they capitalized when race leader Steve Apel suddenly slowed to a stop in turn four causing the yellow flag to come out with just those four laps remaining.
It was Dale Prunty’s first victory in more than three years at Slinger.
“Yeah, it’s been about three years,” said Dale Prunty in victory lane. “Actually to win those last two were against Dennis too. I love racing with him. I love racing with all the guys here. I know Steve (Apel) pretty much had us covered but the car’s got to make it to the end to win.”
Getting to the end seemed to be hard on a number of drivers on this night.
Brad Keith and James Swan led the field to the green, but that would only last one lap as Nick Wagner would spin in turn two to bring out the first caution of the race. Wagner might have had a little help from Conrad Morgan, but Wagner was extremely loose up until the point of contact. Mike Egan, Corey Funk, and Mike Borchardt each spun to avoid Wagner’s car in the middle of the turn.
On the restart the field stayed two by two for several laps before the caution would fly again on lap 5 for a spin by Tommy Hromadka.
Keith would get the jump on the next restart and bring Lowell Bennett past Swan and into the second spot. However just as the field started to get single file, another yellow would fly on lap 10 when Chris Blawat spun in turn two. Mike Egan and Corey Funk again were there spinning to avoid, and this time Fred Winn joined in on the spinning action.
During this yellow, second place Lowell Bennett pitted due to a flat left front tire and had to restart at the tail end of the field.
Steve Apel was the first car to jump to the outside when the cone came out and restarted the race alongside Brad Keith. Apel took off like he was shot out of a cannon and grabbed the lead coming off of turn two. Apel immediately stretched out his lead over Keith by several car lengths. Keith had his mirrors full of Dennis Prunty, with Dale following close behind.
Dennis Prunty got to the inside of Keith for the second spot on lap 16 and opened up the door for brother dale to follow into the third spot. The Pruntys then set sail for Apel and slowly began to reel him back in.
Apel’s lead would evaporate on lap 23 when Fred Winn spun in turn two to bring out yet another caution. This bunched the field, and set the stage for another battle between Apel and Dennis Prunty, when Dennis chose the outside when the cone came out.
The first attempt at a restart was aborted when the field failed to stay aligned coming to the green.
The second attempt saw Apel show his strength yet again by powering his way past Prunty and into the lead. Dennis quickly ducked in behind Apel, and Dale followed in Dennis’ tire tracks. Apel began to stretch out his lead again to 3-4 car lengths until he ran into lapped traffic on lap 41.
The Prunty’s got back close to Apel one they caught the traffic, but Apel was able to negotiate the traffic a tad bit better and opened up his lead once again. In fact, once Apel cleared the lapped cars it appeared he would be well on his way to yet another victory.
However the electrical gremlins that have plagued Apel all season long reared its ugly head once again as Apel suddenly slowed coming off of turn four on lap 55. Apel lost power and coasted to a stop in turn four setting up a four lap shootout for the win.