DENNIS PRUNTY SCORES WIN #4 IN PEPSI CHALLENGE SERIES ROUND 2!
By Dan Margetta Slinger, Wis., July 5—Battling to regain the lead with four laps to go, Dennis Prunty edged Steve Apel to capture his fourth super late model feature victory of the season in the second round of the Pepsi Challenge Series Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.
Prunty and Matt Kocourek occupied the front row as the race began and Prunty quickly established himself as the leader from the inside lane, bringing along John DeAngelis with him and into second place which left Kocourek to battle with Conrad Morgan and Steve Apel for third. Kocourek struggled on the high side early and he began to fade as first Apel and Morgan and then later Brad Mueller and Michael Bilderback all drove by for position. With Dennis Prunty enjoying a sizeable lead, Apel tracked down DeAngelis and used an outside pass on lap 16 to take over second while Morgan, Bilderback, and Mueller staged a three-way battle over the third position. Bilderback and Morgan were both able to work to the inside of Mueller to nail down third and fourth place respectively while farther ahead Apel closed to Prunty’s rear bumper for the lead. A half spin in turn one by Gary LaMonte while racing for position in heavy traffic produced the first and only caution flag of the event on lap 31.
Prunty chose the outside lane for the restart but it was Apel who was on the button as racing resumed and he charged to the lead from the inside groove. Prunty had to fend off an inside challenge from DeAngelis to keep possession of second place while Bilderback quickly dove to the inside lane to defend fourth place from Mueller and Morgan. With Apel continuing to show the way over Prunty, Morgan made his move as he worked his way around both Mueller and Bilderback and a few laps later, Dale Prunty had his car working on the inside lane and he too passed Mueller and Bilderback to take over fifth. Dennis Prunty began to gradually close the distance between himself and Apel for the lead as the laps wound down while Morgan and Dale Prunty closed in on DeAngelis to challenge for third. With five laps to go, Dennis Prunty was on Apel’s tail as Apel’s car began to kick loose off the turns and with four circuits left, Prunty made his move, making in inside pass for the lead. Apel tried to battle back but his loose condition off the turns negated and hopes of retaking the point as Prunty drove to his fourth feature win of the season. John DeAngelis held off Conrad Morgan for third while Dale Prunty rounded out the top five finishers in fifth. Brad Mueller finished in the sixth position followed by Brian Johnson Jr. in seventh and Gary LaMonte in eighth. Michael Bilderback and Chris Blawat finished ninth and tenth respectively.