Memorial 100, Slinger Title Go To Apel


SLINGER, Wis., — Steve Apel led the final 38 laps and won the Bruce Mueller Memorial 100 super-late model feature Sunday night at Slinger Super Speedway. He also wrapped up his second consecutive super late-model track championship.

Michael Bilderback led the opening laps over Ryan DeStefano, Tim Lampman, and Rob Braun while Apel, Conrad Morgan, and John DeAngelis raced for position behind them. The inside lane prevailed in the early going as Braun and Apel used it to work their way into second and third respectively behind Bilderback who edged away slightly out front.

Braun and Apel soon tracked down Bilderback and the top three raced nose to tail until Braun looked to the inside in a bid for the lead off turn four. However, by the time the leaders exited turn two, Braun’s car became extremely loose and as he regained control, Bilderback slipped away out front as those behind him including Braun, Apel, and Morgan regrouped.

Apel worked the high side to pass Braun for second just before the first caution flag of the race waved on lap 26 when the field bunched up in turn four and Rich Loch’s car looped around after contact with Chris Blawat. Bilderback chose the outside lane for the restart and with Apel in the low groove, the two staged a side by side duel for the lead as racing resumed while Morgan and Braun were joined by Dennis Prunty who worked his way into the top five.

Prunty then used the high lane to bypass Braun to take fourth as he joined Morgan in closing the gap to Bilderback and Apel who were still racing door to door for the lead. Bilderback and Apel traded the lead with each completed lap until the second caution flag appeared on lap 40 for a spin by Lampman in turn four. Bilderback again chose the outside for the restart and Apel was able to edge him for the lead as racing resumed for one lap before an incident involving Kelsey Bauer in turn one put the field back under the yellow flag.

Apel chose the outside for the restart and he was able to charge past Bilderback for the lead as the green flag waved. Dennis Prunty also used the high land to advance into second and Conrad Morgan did likewise to take over third.

Travis Dassow tried numerous times to unseat Apel for the top spot over the final laps but was unable to make a serious charge as Apel drove under the checkered flag for the victory and at the same time clinched the track championship. Dassow was forced to settle for a runner-up finish for the second consecutive week while Bilderback completed a strong run in third. Lowell Bennett worked his way forward from deep in the field to finish fourth while Rob Braun took the checkered flag in fifth, but later did not pass post race technical inspection.

The finish:

Steve Apel, Travis Dassow, Michael Bilderback, Lowell Bennett, Robert Braun, Braison Bennett, im Lampman, James Swan,  Ryan Destefano, Ryan Farrell, Nick Wagner, Chris Blawat, Randy Schuler, Dennis Prunty, Conrad Morgan, John Deangelis, Dale Prunty, Kelsey Bauer,  Rich Loch