Steve Apel Makes it Three Wins in Four Weeks at Slinger

SLINGER, WI – Steve Apel took over the lead just before halfway, Sunday night in the 77-lap super late model feature. When leaders Alex Prunty and Brad Keith tangled in turn four, and drove to his third victory in four weeks at the Slinger Super Speedway.

“These guys work super hard all week long and to be able to win in front of my wife, kids, and crew guys who dedicate a lot of free time to help me, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be out here,” Apel told the crowd from victory lane, “It was an exciting win and that’s three out of the last four.”

Rob Braun made his first appearance of the season and took the lead at the start over Alex Prunty, Brad Keith, Mike Held, and Steve Apel. Braun turned back several serious challenges from Prunty and Keith in the early going but then his car twitched loose off turn four on lap eight and as everyone stacked up, Keith and Held’s cars spun to the infield as the caution flag waved. Braun “tapped out” and took the blame for the incident which meant

Keith kept his second-place position behind Alex Prunty while Held’s car sustained too much damage to continue in the race. Prunty and Keith disputed the lead as racing resumed with Apel tucked in close behind them. Prunty managed to hang onto the lead despite numerous attempts by Keith to unseat him from the inside groove. On lap 34, a slight nudge from Keith sent Prunty’s car looping around off turn four which drew the caution and placed Apel into the lead.

Prunty and Keith would battle back throughout the event to eventually finish third and fifth respectively before exchanging barbs toward one another in post-race interviews in what has the makings of a budding rivalry.

Apel continued to lead following the restart as Rich Loch, Chris Blawat, R.J. Braun, and James Swan now occupied the remaining top five positions. Loch took sole possession of second place behind Apel while Blawat and Braun raced hard over third. The top five positions remained stationary following a lap 50 caution flag that waved when the cars of Nick Wagner and Jacob Vanoskey tangled in turn four as Apel once again maintained the lead.

The caution flag flew once again just three laps after the restart as Blawat’s car kicked sideways and made contact with Braun’s machine while battling for third and looping both cars around in turn two. Blawat “tapped out” at the start/finish line signaling he took the blame for the incident which allowed Braun to keep his third place behind Apel and Loch.

Another quick caution for a single car spin on lap 63 slowed the closing laps briefly but no one really had anything for Apel as he remained out front. Alex Prunty and Brad Keith charged forward from their earlier incident with Prunty advancing all the way to third just behind Braun who was able to wrestle the position from Loch a few laps earlier.

Apel cruised to the victory while Prunty and Braun staged a side by side battle for second that concluded with Braun taking the spot by inches for his best career finish while Prunty settled for third despite spinning just after taking the checkered flag. Rich Loch finished fourth while Brad Keith was fifth. Lowell Bennett finished sixth while Jacob Gille and James Swan were seventh and eight respectively. Rob Braun and Nick Wagner rounded out the top ten finishers.

Alex Prunty won the super late model fast dash and Chris Blawat won the super late model heat race. Brad Keith was the fastest qualifier with a lap at 11.264 seconds.

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Qualifying Results

1) 48K Brad Keith 11.264
2) 72H Mike Held 11.321
3) 51A Steve Apel 11.346
4) 11P Alex Prunty 11.396
5) 92B RJ Braun 11.433
6) 98B Rob Braun 11.433
7) 38W Nick Wagner 11.437
8) 92M Conrad Morgan 11.442
9) 55L Rich Loch 11.450
10) 17G Grant Griesbach 11.474
11) 2B Lowell Bennett 11.499
12) 26B Chris Blawat 11.534
13) 97S James Swan 11.561
14) 50G Jacob Gille 11.565
15) 35M Pat McIntee 11.599
16) 84V Jacob Vanoskey 11.636

Fast Dash Results

1) 11P Alex Prunty
2) 98B Rob Braun
3) 92B RJ Braun
4) 48K Brad Keith
5) 72H Mike Held
6) 51A Steve Apel

Feature Results

1) 51A Steve Apel
2) 92B RJ Braun
3) 11P Alex Prunty
4) 55L Rich Loch
5) 48K Brad Keith
6) 2B Lowell Bennett
7) 50G Jacob Gille
8) 97S James Swan
9) 98B Rob Braun
10) 38W Nick Wagner
11) 35M Pat McIntee
12) 26B Chris Blawat
13) 84V Jacob Vanoskey
14) 17G Grant Griesbach
15) 92M Conrad Morgan
16) 72H Mike Held

Slinger Super Speedway Press Release – Story By Dan Margetta

Photos courtesy of Ron Erstad Jr.

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