SLINGER, Wis. — Defending super late model track champion Dennis Prunty captured his first feature victory of the season by winning the Pomp’s Tire 60 over Conrad Morgan Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
“It feels good and it’s been a long time, “Prunty told the crowd from victory lane, “We’ve been fast all year but just had bad luck everywhere we went.”
“Everybody said Conrad (Morgan) was really flying, “Prunty continued as he described the battle with Morgan, who worked his way through the field into second to have a final shot at the win when a late caution appeared with 13 laps to go, “But they didn’t know I was taking it easy and saving my tires so I had something for him there at the end.”
“I don’t blame Dennis (Prunty) for saving his tires,” Morgan quickly quipped immediately following the winner’s interview, “Because when you start up front you can.”
Prunty began the event from the fourth position, three spots ahead of Morgan.
“I tried everything I could do,” Morgan continued, “But this wasn’t the first time he was leading a race when the caution came out late and he did great.”
Eric Fransen and Michael Bilderback led the field to the green flag and while they raced side by side, Fransen was able to edge ahead at the stripe to lead as the caution waved following a spin by Tom Hromadka in turn one. Fransen picked up right where he left off prior to the caution and led the restart as the inside lane proved to be advantageous early with Dale Prunty sliding into second and Dennis Prunty tucked right behind him racing with the outside running Bilderback for third.
Dale Prunty was able to peek the nose of his car toward Fransen’s inside exiting turn four and when Fransen attempted to close the door in turn one, his maneuver was met with a nudge in his left rear corner which was enough to allow Dale Prunty to take the lead. Dennis Prunty followed suit the next lap and also worked the inside line to grab second, leaving Fransen to race with Bilderback over third.
The Prunty brothers began to drive away out front with Dennis pressuring Dale for the lead and when Dale’s car washed wide in turn four on lap nine, Dennis found the opening he needed to make the inside pass for the top spot.
Once out front Dennis began to open up a sizeable advantage over Dale while behind them Steve Apel used the low groove to pass by both Fransen and Bilderback to move into third as Travis Dassow and Conrad Morgan also advanced forward to enter the top five a few laps later. Apel ran down Dale Prunty and latched onto his bumper in a race for second but as the race progressed into the second half, the driver on the move was Morgan, who first passed Dassow to secure fourth and then tracked down Dale Prunty and Apel to set up a three car battle for the second slot.
With Dennis Prunty comfortably out front, Apel tried the outside lane in a bid to overtake Dale Prunty for second but the move backfired when Morgan instantly filled the inside lane opening and snagged third place, dispatching Apel to fourth. This time it was Morgan’s turn to try the outside to get around Dale Prunty, but unlike Apel’s bid earlier, Morgan’s car handled well in the top groove and he completed the pass to move into the runner-up spot.
Once he was alone in second, Morgan noticeably cut into Dennis Prunty’s lead but appeared to be too far back to mount a serious challenge. That changed drastically on lap 47 when an apparent suspension failure on Michael Bilderback’s car sent him sailing hard into the turn one wall to produce the caution flag and erase Dennis Prunty’s advantage over Morgan.
Prunty chose the inside lane for the restart while Morgan lined up alongside in the high groove and after an aborted start, the two raced side by side into turn one. Morgan held tough on the outside and he remained even with Prunty for a lap and a half before Prunty was able to push ahead exiting turn two. Morgan instantly ducked into the inside lane ahead of Apel to secure second while Dale Prunty and Dassow raced for third just ahead of Rob Braun and Lowell Bennett.