Tuesday, August 27, 2013


 Rookie Of The Year Battle Heats Up In 
The Waning Days Of The Season
by Gregg Paul
The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment and Lester Buildings 2013 crop of rookies vying for the top spot have a lot of pride, prestige, and awards to shoot for this season. The pride and prestige of being named the top rookie in any given year is always reason enough to fight to win. However, the awards package that the ARCA Midwest Tour has supplied definitely makes it more than worthwhile to throw your hat in the ring.

Those awards consist of a free engine lease for the 2014 season from McGunegill Engine Performance, a bare chassis from Pathfinder Chassis and $2,500 in tech support, an "A" body package from Five Star Bodies, and a $5,000 Roltek transmission.

Certainly a prize list such as this, has garnered the attention of those drivers competing for the awards.

"This is a pretty good deal that's actually better than winning a championship at most tracks," said Dennis Prunty. "My track championship didn't do anything like that."

Team Spiked Island Touring Star and current Rookie points leader James Swan concurred with Prunty's assessment on the rookie program.

"The Midwest Tour rookie of the year program is second to none," said Swan. "The awareness and list of possible contingency prizes make it so worth giving it everything you have! With the exceptionally high level of competition and knowledge among my competitors, I never thought I would have a chance at being this year's "ROY" because this is my first year driving a super late model."

Team Vita Ice Touring Star Jeremy Miller added his take on the rookie program.

"The rookie program has great incentives to it," said Miller. "Pathfinder Chassis giving you a chassis. Roltek Transmissions, McGunegill going to let you use a motor, these incentives are great. It's definitely worth trying to run the series full time."

The 2013 Rookie battle began as a race amongst five drivers. Through attrition and the perils of racing the battle has left just three drivers in contention for the coveted rookie title. Heading into the Marshfield 100 at the Marshfield Motor Speedway on August 31st, James Swan holds a twenty point lead over Dennis Prunty. Jeremy Miller is in third place, 67 points behind Swan.

Each contender has had their share of ups and downs throughout the 2013 campaign. Each has missed making the starting lineup for a race. Each has had their share of good and bad finishes as well. Jeremy Miller set fast time at Madison International Speedway for the Border Wars 2, and has one top five and three top ten finishes. Unfortunately Miller failed to start two feature events and has had bad luck in several others.

"We started the year with a brand new car and ended up destroying it at Madison," said Miller. "We rebuilt the car and just have been struggling ever since. We had a few hit and miss runs where we ran decent, then the next race we'd struggle. I'm definitely taking my rookie lumps, I know that. It's just been one of those years where I'd wish I could forget it. I've never had a year like this, I'm used to season after season of running for points and have quite a few championships and then this year I had a lot higher hopes than where we're at. I know the competition is a lot tougher "

Prunty never figured he would be in a position to contend for the rookie title, yet has persevered through the hardships this season.

"We really had no intention on racing the full season," said Prunty. "There were some conflicts in the scheduling and we were just going to take it easy and do whichever ones we could and see how it goes. We went to Toledo and finished in 7th and thought we'd be in the top five in points, and thought we'd have a shot at this. We've had some horrible luck and I am surprised I am as close as I am being only 20 points out. We broke the rack in Madison, broke an axle in Wausau, had the engine missing at the Milwaukee Mile, and go to Grundy and had a mishap. So it's pretty amazing that we're within 20 points."

James Swan looks at the ARCA Midwest Tour in a whole new light now that he is competing in it. Swan leads the rookie points, but it is mainly due to his consistent finishes. Swan has only one top ten, but has been the highest finishing rookie at several other events.

"I am even more impressed with the ARCA Midwest Tour than I was before," said Swan. "I have always looked from the outside at the Tour, as the ultimate racing series in the country. Now that I've been racing with the series, I've come to realize that most of the fans I meet during the autograph sessions have the same opinion! The owners, competitors, sponsors, and officials are all so professional, it's no wonder the Tour has prospered, and continues to grow."

Swan discussed how his rookie rivals have impacted his racing throughout the season.

"I've been in Jeremy Miller's shadows for the few years that we've raced together," said Swan. "Dennis Prunty has been racing super lates for a while, and even won a championship! I didn't know enough about Bobby Kendall or Nick Barstadt, but they were equally competitive. I've always raced, and not worried about the points, because when you try and make things happen, that's usually when accidents or mistakes happen."

Prunty is hoping his luck can change and he can make a run at closing the gap between he and Swan.

"If I have some good luck towards the end of the season, maybe I can be right in there," said Prunty. "As far as the other competitors, we really thought Jeremy Miller would have had it wrapped up from day one, but he's had some bad luck and hasn't been up in there that much. James Swan is 20 points ahead of me and he's done a lot of traveling in the past and I think he'll be pretty good here these last few races."

James Swan is so impressed with how things have gone with the Midwest Tour, that he has already made plans regardless of how the rookie battle works out.

"I've been asked by a friend if I thought I had a chance of winning a Midwest Tour race, and I said maybe I could get lucky and luck into one," said Swan. "I've also said that there are probably ten drivers that I may never beat, but my team and I never give up! I also believe that we are getting better by understanding the cars, and procedures, and even making friends as a bonus. We are all so proud to be a part of this series, that we will be back again next year, no matter what the outcome is this year."

Jeremy Miller knows he has his work cut out for him if he wants to gain ground on Swan and Prunty, but that has not slowed his determination or effort to make a late charge at the title.

"There are a lot of race tracks I've never been to with a super late model and there's so many different things that you do to those cars than you do to a limited late that I am used to running," said Miller. "The competition is tough. I'll gain some points here, have a bad run and fall out of a race and they gain points on us. It's kind of one of those things if you gain ten, then you lose ten the next week. If you have one good run where you qualify good, run in the top five, you gain a ton of points if your competitors don't have a good day. By no means are we out of the deal yet. It's just going to be a tall order to take. We definitely have to get our program better before we start worrying about anybody else."

There are three races remaining to see just what that outcome will be. The race within a race will be a battle to the finish between drivers who by this time are no longer rookies, yet yearn to wear the crown as Rookie Of The Year.

Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwest tour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).

Learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, by logging on to arcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at  (630) 212-6022  or Tim Olson at  (612) 327-5831  or Steve Einhaus at  (262) 729-4111  or e-mail Tim Olson at tim@arcamidwesttour.com or Steve Einhaus at steve@arcamidwesttour.com.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned 30 ARCA national champions in 60 seasons since 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season.

Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in four professional touring series and local weekly events.

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2013 Midwest Tour Marketing Partners: SCAG Racing, Lester Buildings, Calypso Lemonade, Spiked Island Adult Lemonade, DOC 360, Menards, Advanced Engine Concepts, AP Racing, Bassett Wheels, Best Buy Stores, B&B Racing Engines, Butlerbuilt, Choice Hotels, Comp Cams, Crane Cams, Fel Pro, Ferodo, Fivestar, Ford Racing, Hedman Headers, Hypercoils, i-gogs, Intercomp, JE Pistons, Joe's Racing Products, JRI Shocks, Lane Automotive, Lefthander Chassis, Miller Welders, Performance Friction, Quartermaster, Racing Electronics, Roltek Transmissions, Schaeffer's Oil, Simpson, Sunoco Race Fuels, The Swiss Colony, Pathfinder Chassis, McGunnegil Engine Performance,  RaceTeamGear.com, Tesar Engineering, Tilton/Sonic, Ultra Cool Brake Fans, VDL, Wegner Automotive, Hoosier Racing Tire, Alan Kulwicki Musuem, Gandrud Chevrolet, and Rock Auto.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Join Dennis as he fights for Rookie of the Year
ARCA Midwest Tour - Marshfield 100, 
Saturday, August 31, 2013  

Marshfield Motor Speedway - 10853 Cty. Rd. H, Marshfield, WI. 54449
For more info, click here to visit their website.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dennis wins Super Late Feature at Slinger! August 18, 2013

After a lot of bad luck during the 2013 racing season, 
Slinger Super Speedway defending track champion, 
Dennis Prunty, is back in Victory Lane!  
                                                   Photo by Alex Prunty Racing

By Dan Margetta
Slinger, Wis., Aug. 18—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. Dennis Prunty would not be denied over the final laps and he drove to his first super late model feature win of the season while Morgan settled for a strong second. Apel crossed the stripe in third while Travis Dassow finished fourth. Rob Braun gained positions in the closing laps and he rounded out the top five in fifth.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ARCA Midwest Tour Continues this Friday in Norway!

Follow Dennis as he continues to compete in the ARCA Midwest Tour... this Friday, August 16th, 2013 in Norway Michigan, in the DOC 360 100 Lap Super Late Model Event at Norway Speedway!

The Speedway is located between State Hwy 141 and US Hwy 2 just south of town on US Hwy 8 at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds.  Google Map
Tentative Schedule for Friday
Norway Speedway Timeline Schedule subject to change 
12:00PM Pit Gate Opens
1:30PM ARCAMT Practice Begins (60Mins)
2:30PM Break 30 Mins
3:00PM ARCAMT Practice #2 Begins (45Mins)
3:45PM Practice Ends
5:00PM Qualifying Begins ARCAMT
5:30PM Local Practice Begins
6:00PM ARCAMT Autograph Session Begins
6:15PM Local Qualifying Begins
6:50PM Opening Ceremonies
7:00PM Racing Begins:
ARCAMT Qualifier #1- 20 Laps
ARCAMT Fast Dash – 15 Laps
Norway Street Stock Heats
ARCAMT Last Chance- 20 Laps
Norway Fab Four Heats
Norway Street Stock Feature
ARCAMT DOC 360 100
Norway Fab Four Feature

Admission Prices: 
$10 adults
$7 students 7 and up
FREE - Children 6 and under and Active Military**

**ID required
Member - $15
Non-member - $25

For more info, visit the track's website by clicking here.
Questions can be directed to the tracks email at: norwayracing@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

ARCA Midwest Tour Border Wars at MIS Aug. 10 & 11, 2013

Join Dennis at Madison this coming weekend, August 10 & 11th 
as the ARCA Midwest Tour and the Arca CRA battle it out 
in the Mid-Summer Border Wars 150 SLM Challenge!

The ARCA Midwest tour and the Arca CRA Super Series Battle it out for Border Wars. 
This is one of only two combined Midwest Tour / CRA events in the country this year.
Watch Super Late Model Drivers from all over the Midwest Battle it out on Wisconsin's Fastest Half Mile
along with the SCAG Power Equipment Midwest Truck Tour and the INEX Legends
Saturday, August 10th
Open Practice Noon - 5:00 PM (Admission for fans is free)
Sunday, August 11th
Border Wars (ARCA Midwest Tour vs. CRA Super Series) plus Midwest Trucks and Legends
Gates Open at 11:30 AM / Practice 11:30 / Qualifying 2:15 / Racing at 4:00
For more info about MIS (Madison International Speedway) Click Here to visit their website.