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FENHAUS GETS SECOND SLINGER WIN WHILE APEL CLAIMS THE TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP IN LABOR DAY WEEKEND 100

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Luke Fenhaus
Ricky Bassman Photo

FENHAUS GETS SECOND SLINGER WIN WHILE APEL CLAIMS THE TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP IN LABOR DAY WEEKEND 100

By Dan Margetta

Slinger, Wis., Sept. 6—Youth beat experience Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway as 16-year-old Luke Fenhaus ran down track champion Steve Apel and took the lead with eight laps to go en route to victory in the 100-lap Labor Day Weekend super late model main event.

“I just made sure I hit my marks every lap and I was really fighting a loose off condition and kept spinning my right rear (tire) over and over and over,” Fenhaus told the crowd from victory lane after capturing his second Slinger super late model win in as many attempts, “so I just made sure I didn’t get the right rear hot and just got him when I could.”

Apel, who led a race high 73 laps, appeared headed for victory with a large lead until Fenhaus was able to track him down late but his second place finish was enough to clinch his fifth Slinger Speedway super late model track championship.

“The goal at the beginning of the year was to go out and win races to be in position to win the championship and that’s what we did,” Apel stated after securing his fifth championship,” We won races and only had one finish outside the top three all year so the guys behind me did a great job. It’s an honor to win five titles now and I think Conrad (Morgan-6 championships) and Lowell (Bennett-7 championships) are in sight and it’s unreal to win five let alone one so we have to thank everyone for the support.”

“I knew he was coming,” Apel stated referring to the run Fenhaus had late in the race,” he nibbled it down and nibbled it down and I was hoping I could catch lapped traffic at just the right time with ten laps to go but I couldn’t hold him off as he was just too fast.”

Ryan DeStefano finished third a week after securing his first feature win and afterwards explained he was counting on a late caution flag that never materialized.

“The car was fast and early on I let them go as go ahead but my car was good and if a caution had come out, who knows, but I think we would have had a battle,” DeStefano said, “For what we have been able to do in the last few weeks here is pretty amazing.”

Dave McCardle continued to capitalize on an improved season as he led the opening 17 laps of the super late model feature as John DeAngelis, Alex Prunty, and Rich Loch all battled for positions behind him while Apel, Fenhaus, and DeStefano all worked their way forward from deep in the field. Apel’s car was hooked up in the outside groove and he used it to sweep past cars and gain positions before tracking down McCardle for the lead with another outside pass on lap 18. McCardle held his own in second while Loch occupied third just head of Prunty and DeStefano who found themselves in a side by side battle over fourth with DeAngelis, Brad Keith, and Fenhaus all in the mix as well. Prunty’s car kicked loose off turn two on lap 25 and he slid to the infield to draw the caution flag. Apel maintained the lead on the restart as Loch and DeStefano used the outside groove to get around McCardle while Fenhaus waited a few laps for things to settle down before he began to pick off cars and advance ahead. With Apel streaking away out front, and DeStefano holding second over Loch, Fenhaus began to methodically move up spots one car at a time until he found himself in second place just past the halfway mark. Apel enjoyed a large lead and he began to work lapped traffic as Fenhaus began to gradually erase his lead. Fenhaus drew closer and closer until he was on Apel’s bumper with 15 laps to go and the two leaders threaded lapped traffic as the laps wound down. On lap 91 the two pulled off an inside-outside split of the lapped machine of Steve Dorer with Fenhaus taking to the low groove and Apel remaining up high. The two raced side by side through turns three and four and on the frontstretch, Fenhaus was able to friction slide his rear bumper across Apel’s nose to clear him for the lead. Once out front, Fenhaus drove away a bit and raced to the victory as Apel crossed the line in second place. Ryan DeStefano finished third while Alex Prunty rebounded from his earlier incident to charge back up to a fourth place finish and John DeAngelis was fifth. R.J. Braun finished sixth followed by Brad Keith and Rich Loch in seventh and eighth place respectively. Nick Wagner and Steve Dorer rounded out the top ten.

Rich Loch won the super late model fast dash and Brad Keith was the fastest qualifier with a lap turned in 11.245 seconds.

Ryan Gutknecht won the 50-lap late model feature Tom Berens and Jacob Nottestad.

Tom Jasinski led the first 13 laps of the late model feature before Gutknecht was able to pass by and take command on lap 14. Jack Stern, driving the #30 car normally piloted by Zach Braun, Jacob Nottestad, Zach Prunty, and Tyler Schley all spent time challenging in the lead pack before a lap 20 incident on the frontstretch heavily damaged the cars of Schley, Prunty, and Mitchell Haver. Gutknecht fended off a challenge from Berens as racing resumed and he was able to pull away while Nottestad advanced into third place. Gutknecht drove to the victory over Berens and Nottestad while Joe Shelby completed a strong race with a fourth place finish and Jack Stern was fifh.

Jerry Eckhardt and Ryan Gutknecht won the late model heat races and fast qualifier honors went to Zach Prunty after he turned in a lap in 12.123 seconds.

Bobby Gutknecht led every lap of the 35-lap sportsman feature but he had all he could handle from Dale Lecus Jr. who finished a close second. Paul Wagner finished third ahead of Brian Holtz and Jay Kalbus in fourth and fifth place respectively. Jay Kalbus was crowned the sportsman track champion for the 2020 season. Bobby Gutknecht won the sportsman heat race and Brian Holtz was the fastest qualifier with a lap turned in 12.693 seconds.

Colin Saegert drove to his first career Slinger Bee feature win in the 25-lap main event over Misty Benn and Brandon Tackes. Brady Held finished fourth and Ricky Gebhard was fifth. Dylan Gagliano won the first Slinger Bee heat race after the top three runners all broke out under the allotted 15.2 second lap time in the final laps. Brandon Mennicke won the second Slinger Bee heat race and Marty Tackes set fast time with a lap at 15.226 seconds.

Steve Wick drove the Raceway Bar and Grill entry to the win in the Bar Cars race. Al Strobel drove a Chevy Corvette to the Spectator Eliminator race win as he outdueled a Jaguar in the finale and Rick Bruskiewicz won a wild Figure 8 race to close out the evening at 9:30 pm. 
 

UPTOWN MOTORCARS SUPER LATE MODELS

Feature

100 laps | 00:00:00Presented by Uptown Motors

PosStartDriverHometownCar
110Luke FenhausWausau, WI4F
27Steve ApelWest Bend, WI51A
39Ryan DeStefanoHartland, WI0D
44Alex PruntyLomira, WI11P
53John DeAngelisHubertus, WI7D
612RJ BraunWales, WI98B
78Brad KeithSlinger, WI48K
85Rich LochMuskego, WI55L
96Nick WagnerHartford, WI38W
1014Steve DorerLakeland, FL10D
111Dave McCardleMenomonee Falls, WI66M
1211Jerry MuellerRichfield, WI49M
1313Chris BlawatPalmyra, WI26B
1416Jacob VanoskeyHartford, WI84V
1515Rob BraunWales, WI92B
16 (DNF)2Conrad MorganWaukesha, WI92M

LATE MODELS

Feature

50 laps | 00:00:00

PosStartDriverHometownCar
14Ryan GutknechtOak Creek, WI01G
26Tom BerensSlinger, WI99B
39Jacob NottestadStoughton, WI97N
43Joe ShelbySlinger, WI74S
51Jack SternSlinger, WI30S
65Cole ThomasFranklin, WI91T
713Jerry EckhardtJohnson Creek, WI61E
810Ryan CraineHartford, WI99C
92Tom JasinskiPewaukee, WI46J
1011Tyler HromadkaColgate, WI3H
11 8Zach PruntyLomira, WI39P
12 7Tyler SchleyRichfield, WI55S
13 12Mitchell HaverWest Bend, WI13M

SLINGER BEES

Feature

25 laps | 00:00:00Presented by Mueller’s Sales & Service

PosStartDriverHometownCar
12Colin SaegertTheresa, WI43S
26Misty BennMenomonee Falls, WI19B
35Brandon TackesWest Bend, WI24B
49Brady HeldIron Ridge, WI04H
57Ricky GebhardOconomowoc, WI10G
64Brandon MennickeSlinger, WI11M
710Tyler CusterStratford, WI57C
88Marty TackesWest Bend, WI24M
93Tracy NeuIron Ridge, WI15N
101Dylan GaglianoColgate, WI7G
1111Jonathan PetittWhitewater, WI50P
1216Al StrobelIron Ridge, WI14S
1315Billy BraunWales, WI31B
1412Brian StanczykWest Bend, WI23S
1514Tim FieberCampbellsport, WI921F
1617Georgia LacroixKenosha, WI95L
1713Evan HasslerColgate, WI3H

FIGURE 8S

Feature

10 laps | 00:00:00

PosStartDriverHometownCar
17Rick BruskiewiczMayville, WI17B
26Bill ShavlikWest Bend, WI0S
34Ryan LovaldMuskego, WI67L
45Nick OstbergWest Bend, WI1O
53Carl BennLISBON, WI01B
68Robert WalderaWaukesha, WI29W
71Scott GoetzkeIron Ridge, WI4G
82Seth OmernickBelgium, WI63O
9Eli GoreckiElkhorn, WI83G

SPECTATOR ELIMINATORS

Feature

00:00:00

PosStartDriverHometownCar
11Al StrobelIron Ridge, WI090620

SPORTSMAN

Feature

35 laps | 00:00:00

PosStartDriverHometownCar
12Bobby GutknechtOak Creek, WI10G
23Dale Lecus, Jr.Caledonia, WI99L
35Paul WagnerIron Ridge, WI53W
47Brian HoltzMuskego, WI38H
58Jay KalbusWatertown, WI27K
64Andrew MeyerhoferMenasha, WI14M
79Natalie HaverWest Bend, WI3H
81Adam BleskanMenomonee Falls, WI11B
6Jake SchraufnagelSlinger, WI29S

BAR CARS

Feature

6 laps | 00:00:00

PosStartDriverHometownCar
16Raceway *Slinger, WI60
21Sidetracked *Oak Creek, WI2
37Finish Line *Slinger, WI16
43Hank’s *Hartford, WI11
54Sheryl’s 175 *Slinger, WI175
62Foolery’s *Okauchee Lake, WI00
75Slippery Rail *Allenton, WI13

Ricky Bassman Photo

By Dan Margetta

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