Dennis was fast qualifier, started 8th, and finished 4th at DRP for TUNDRA 4
2nd in the points race, Dennis is only 3 points out of the lead at DRP, with one race left.
HERE'S THE FULL STORY...
ZEHR PARLAYS PATIENCE INTO TUNDRA REPEAT
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis (August 25, 2012) -
When the going gets tough, Dalton Zehr gets going. Zehr and pole-sitter
John Zimmerman were the only two drivers not involved in a caution in
TUNDRA Round Four Saturday at Dells Raceway Park. In the end they were
the only two to lead laps in the Advanced Engine Concepts 80.
After the fifth caution on lap 26 claimed drivers from second on
back, Zehr emerged for a single file restart in the second spot.
Although he challenged at the drop of the green Zehr had to bide his
time until he was able to take the lead on lap 50 and pocket his second
straight TUNDRA win.
"Zimmerman was tough to pass," Zehr explained. "Originally I thought
it was going to be a breeze because he was giving such a wide lane out
there, but when I got out there, it tightened up."
Grabbing the lead from Mike Egan, the former track champion enjoyed
one of his strongest runs since returning to DRP last season. Zimmerman
broke away slightly to leave the field to battle until the first caution
fell for Steve Lichtfeld on lap four.
From his third-place spot on lap four, Bobby Kendall picked the
outside line for the restart and immediately challenged Zimmerman.
Kendall found out early what Zehr would learn later - Zimmerman was
ready to repel those who tested the top line. Kendall held the outside
line for nearly ten laps until another caution fell on lap 14 for a
Terry Schoppenhorst spin.
Although he looked strong on the outside before the caution, the
temptation of selecting the bottom line was too much for Kendall to pass
up. Leaving the outside lane vacated allowed Dennis Prunty to slide to
the top line for a restart in the third position. Behind Prunty was Rich
Bickle, who was developing a history with the TUNDRA Round Two winner.
The field sorted out at the drop of the green allowing Kendall to
keep the second spot behind Zimmerman. As he closed in to challenge,
attention turned toward Bickle and Prunty who started jousting back and
fourth for the third spot.
Just as Kendall approached Zimmerman for another challenge, James
Swan made contact with Mike Egan while racing for fifth. Swan gave Egan
his spot back, but had not made his final appearance near the front of
The caution also claimed Landry Potter and Dan Lensing. As Lensing
tried to avoid, he caught the hood of Potter's machine and went
airborne. Lensing continued but brought out another caution just three
laps later on lap 25 when his right rear tire failed and he hit the
front stretch wall.
Behind Zimmerman frustration was poised to boil over. After racing in
close vicinity through the first 25 laps Bickle and Prunty scrapped for
second in a furious manner. Prunty worked the outside with very little
room for error. After making contact on several occasions over the lap,
Prunty came out with second. However, Bickle tapped the back bumper of
Prunty enterting turn three. Unable to save his machine Prunty spun in
front of the field out of four, brining the remaining drivers to a
The wreck was worst for Terry Schoppenhorst who was right behind the
battle. He sustained major damage and could not continue. Although Zehr
wasn't damaged, he wasn't immune to the melee in front of him.
"It was a big pileup in turn four there," Zehr said. "We were lucky
to be one of the ones who got hit in the back not in the front and
didn't have the radiator taken out."
Only eight cars paced around DRP during the caution laps while others
made repairs or were done for the remainder of the event. Even Bickle
and Prunty, who were both able to continue, were able to restart in the
After the restart Zehr challenged, but was turned back by Zimmerman
by lap 32. While the top two broke away, the line of Swan, Bickle and
Prunty moved back toward the top five. After moving around Kenny Reiser
for third, Swan, making his Super Late Model debut at DRP, closed the
gap on Zehr.
Seeing his rear view mirror fill with a baby blue nose, Zehr decided it was time to roll the dice.
"Eventually (Swan) caught up to us and it was go time," Zehr said. "I
jumped to the outside and if I wouldn't have made that pass, I probably
would have ended up tenth. It worked out though, we were able to make
the pass and build up a lead."
Swan followed to the second spot just two laps later and seemed as
though he might have had something for Zehr. Although Zehr proved to
have the superior machine, Swan again forced Zehr to alter his plans.
"Swan broke free and it was time to put the hammer down," Zehr said.
He also discussed some handling conditions with Swan after the race
completed. "He started losing the front end of his car before I started
losing the back end on mine. If I lost mine five laps earlier, it might
have been different."
Without incident over the final 25 circuits, Bickle followed Swan to
third and Prunty rounded out the top four. Ken Reiser passed Zimmerman
in the final laps to complete the top five.
In similar position to his wins in the Alive For Five Super Late
Model Series last season, Zehr had seen these scenarios before - just as
he referred to in an article leading up to TUNDRA Round Four. He said
the roughest race in the Midwest is like every race in Florida. With
rain looming Zehr might have felt like he was in the Sunshine State
"We kept taking the outside on the restarts with all the cautions,"
Zehr said. "Every time we picked the outside we would go forward a
position, but we would go to back and it wouldn't stay green long enough
for us to move back up. It all panned out in the very end."
Most importantly for Zehr, however, was his ability to capture the
point lead. Zehr embraced starting behind the invert in Round Four and
said he looks forward to it again in the fifth and final round as he
tries to lock up his first career championship
"We were really chasing points tonight and early in the race it
didn't look so good," Zehr said. "We did everything we could do to put
ourselves in contention."
The fireworks between Bickle and Prunty crept into Victory Lane.
Bickle explained why he and Prunty got so physical early in the race
even though both seemed to put it behind them over the second half of
the race. Bickle's confession was met by a boisterous mixed-reaction,
inciting the crowd of Prunty faithful to serenade him with boos as
With a point battle that features Zehr holding a three point lead
over Prunty and eight point lead over Bickle, the fireworks and emotions
have seemingly only just begun and will most certainly boil up over the
next two weeks.
TUNDRA Rounds out the 2012 season Saturday, Sept. 8 at Dells Raceway Park. Champions will be crowned in all five divisions.
Dells Raceway Park is located at N1070 Smith Road, five minutes
north of downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., off highway 12-16. For more
information including the latest news, the 2012 schedule and more visit www.dellsracewaypark.com.
Dells Raceway Park
N1070 Smith Road
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Phone: 608-253-RACE (7223)
Race Day Times - Saturday Night
Pit Gates Open: 1:30 • Fan Gates Open: 4
Qualifying: 5:15 • Racing: 7 p.m.
Special Event Pricing
Adult (16 and older) $15, Seniors: $13, Student (ages 10-15) $10, Kids age 6-9 $5, Age 5 and under free
For more info about Dells Raceway park, click here
Another bad night for the DDP Racing Team at Slinger Super Speedway.
On lap 18 of the Super Late Model Feature race, Dave McCardle and Rob Braun go around in turn 2, which causes a small pile up, where the front of Dennis' car was damaged. Dennis finished 7th.
Will he race next week? Stay tuned!
Dennis Gives his August 12th, 2012 Super Late Model winning Trophy to a young fan!
PRUNTY HOLDS OFF APEL FOR FIFTH SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE WIN ON Werner Electric Night!
Photo courtesy of Speed Graphics
SLM Feature Winner Dennis Prunty with Daughter Gwen
Click here to visit Speed Graphics website and see more Slinger race photos
Article By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug 12—A week after finding themselves wrecked against
the first turn wall, Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel fought for the
victory in the 50-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the
Slinger Super Speedway, with Prunty edging Apel at the stripe for his
fifth feature victory of the season.
“My guys worked their ass off all week in the shop putting this thing
back together and I’ve got to thank everyone of them,” Prunty stated
from victory lane as both drivers spent the last week making major
repairs to their cars.
“We just got stuck in traffic a little bit, “Apel explained following
his close second place finish, “We had the fastest car on the track but
just couldn’t come home with the victory.” SLM FT Steve ApelMike
Borchardt Jr. and Nick Wagner paced the field to the green and the
inside lane advanced early with Borchardt taking the lead and bringing
Chris Blawat and Jeff Holtz with him while Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel
also used the inside to race into fourth and fifth respectively. Blawat
took to the high lane and pulled even with Borchardt in a bid for the
lead and both drivers raced door to door until Blawat prevailed on lap
four. Behind the top two, Prunty tried an outside move for third on
Holtz off turn two but had his lane cut off in the process before
muscling his way into third with an inside move in turn three a lap
later. Before Holtz could recover, both Apel and Lowell Bennett raced
past and into fourth and fifth as Prunty went to work on Borchardt for
second. LM Dash Winner Danny ChurchThe
yellow flag waved on lap 7 when a traffic jam deeper in the field left
the cars of Mike Graczkowski and Nick Wagner in a tangle in turn four.
Blawat used the inside groove for the restart which proved beneficial as
he quickly charged to the lead as racing resumed while Borchardt
struggled in the outer groove as Prunty, Holtz, and Apel all raced by.
In the meantime, Prunty caught Blawat out front and wasted little time
in moving to the high lane, drawing even for the lead by lap 13. Prunty
and Blawat raced side by side for the lead with Prunty gradually able to
ease ahead slightly off the corners until finally clearing Blawat for
the lead on lap 16. Behind Prunty and Blawat, Apel and Bennett took to
the outside groove to race around Holtz for third and fourth while Mike
Egan and Rob Braun battled for sixth directly behind them. SLM Dash Winner Conrad MorganThe
caution waved again on lap 22 for Tom Hromadka’s stalled car in turn
four and Prunty curiously chose the outside lane for the restart,
leaving Blawat the preferred bottom lane, perhaps in an effort to keep
the faster Apel from lining up behind him. The strategy nearly failed as
on the restart, Blawat raced extremely tough on the inside and both he
and Prunty circled the speedway door to door for several laps before
again Prunty was able to gradually clear Blawat for the lead entering
turn three. Once out front, Prunty was able to briefly extend his lead
as Apel worked to pass Blawat for second, taking the position a few laps
later using the outside lane. Prunty’s car appeared to begin to slip
slightly off the turns and that combined with approaching lapped
traffic, enabled Apel to close the distance between him and the leader
as the laps wound down. MWS Dash Winner Brian HolzApel
was on Prunty’s bumper as they took the white flag and had a slight
opening on the inside off turn two, but wisely chose not to force the
issue and elected to make another charge off turn four. Apel’s final
charge came up just short as Prunty took the checkered flag for the win
with Apel glued to his rear bumper. Chris Blawat completed one of his
better runs of the season with a strong third place finish while Mike
Egan held off Jeff Holtz for the fourth spot, leaving Holtz to settle
for fifth. Rob Braun took the checkered flag in sixth place ahead of
Jake Vanoskey and Curt Tillman in seventh and eighth respectively. Nick
Wagner and Fred Winn rounded out the top ten finishers.
DENNIS RETAINS POINT LEAD AT SLINGER BY ONLY 8 POINTS DUE TO CRASH
Not a good night for DDP...The night started out good, Dennis qualified 2nd, started 7th, was working his way up, got up to 4th, then as they passed lap 18 Steve Apel got loose and took Dennis out in turn 1, pushing them both up into the wall between turns 1 and 2, then Dennis' car had an exhaust fire. Accident or Intentional? Watch the video and you decide. Click here to see Dan Margetta's video of the crash