Feisty Dave Feiler has had a fast car at the Slinger Super Speedway all season long. His partnership with Gerry Gunderman is proving to be force to be reckoned with. Feiler set fast time in qualifying the first two weeks but couldn’t back that up with a win in the feature.
Last week Feiler’s teammate Jeremy Lepak took home the victory, while Feiler struggled.
Tonight, Lepak set fast time, but Feiler was right behind him. Yet when the checkered flag fell on the E.H. Wolf & Sons Memorial Day 80, it was Feiler who finished first, holding off Dennis Prunty, Lepak, and the quickly rolling fog.
“Those guys were really putting the heat on and I didn’t know how fast we should actually do the pace as far as them coming up through there,” said Feiler in Victory Lane. “It’s nice to actually finish a race as we’ve had some troubles here. The car has been good as far as qualifying and stuff, but this is pretty exciting.”
It might not have been very exciting at all for Feiler had traffic not worked to his advantage.
Rob Braun and Dennis Prunty shared the front row at the drop of the green flag, with Prunty jumping out to the early advantage. Braun seemingly held up traffic on the inside lane and Conrad Morgan followed Prunty into second place.
Feiler, who started from the tenth spot, quickly moved his way through traffic and found himself in fifth place by lap 6. As Braun began to slip back, Eric Fransen and Jon Reynolds Jr. moved into third and fourth place respectively.
Meanwhile, Dennis Prunty began to stretch his lead to half a straightaway.
Rich Loch would spin in turn two on lap 17, but that would not bring out the yellow.
Feiler would work his way around Fransen for third place on lap 21, and two laps later Lepak would also get around Fransen for fourth place.
The two Gunderman cars kept forging towards the front with Feiler sliding past Morgan on lap 30. Lepak would do the same on lap 33.
The pair would begin to reel in Prunty and on lap 58, Feiler would find the high side to finally get around Prunty to take over the top spot.
Prunty, who had led the previous 57 laps, would not go down without a fight. Prunty would stick to Feiler’s bumper and try to find a way to make his move. However, Lepak had ideas of his own in making a move on Feiler, and put pressure on Prunty for second place.
Once Lepak got a nose underneath Prunty on lap 61, it looked like the Gunderman stable would finish 1-2. Prunty was not about to let that happen, as he worked hard on the outside and finally cleared Lepak on lap 71.
By this time Feiler opened up a five car length advantage over Prunty and Lepak.
Lapped traffic would help Prunty get right back on Feiler’s rear bumper. Feiler would use the car of Randy Schuler as a pick and hold off Prunty as they came to the checkers.
Feiler made it look easy at times, but was quick to point out that it wasn’t as easy as it seems,
“No, it’s never easy,” said Feiler. “It took us awhile to get to Prunty, but once we got there and around him, I basically just took my time. Traffic was rough, but it was ok. I’m not complaining. Obviously those guys were racing a little bit too. We were a little loose off and if we can tighten that up this car is going to be really really good.”
For Dennis Prunty, second was disappointing yet rewarding.
“I kind of expected it, you know,” said Prunty. “I got way out there in front and knew Feiler was coming. I didn’t know if I could hold him off, but was hoping for some lapped traffic and thought I might be able to use that to hold him off. Dave’s car was fast and he raced clean. It’s always disappointing to finish second but just glad to have the car in one piece.”
Once Prunty got back to Feiler’s rear bumper, was there any thought of moving him out of the way?
“There is no rule on it but as a gentleman’s agreement I thought I’m not going to do anything now,” said Prunty. “To be honest with you, if he hadn’t passed me clean I would’ve got him back in lapped traffic. Since he passed me clean I thought I’d just follow him through this.”
Jeremy Lepak held onto third place, while Conrad Morgan and Eric Fransen rounded out the top five.
Brady Bennett captured the win in the semi-feature, holding off Josh Wallace. Both drivers elected to transfer to the feature.
Brad Keith got the victory in the Limited Late Models passing Pat McIntee on lap 21 before holding off a furious challenge from Wayne Freimund. Keith would lead the final 14 laps in picking up his first win of the season.
Dave McCardle would finish in fourth place, while Jake Vanoskey rounded out the top five.
James Swan continued his dominance in the Mid-American Sportsman division, picking up his fourth consecutive feature win of the season. While Swan may make it look incredibly easy, he definitely had to work for this one.
Swan was stuck behind both Jay Shambeau and Jimmie Evans and for most of the laps, could not find a way to get by. On a couple of occasions, Swan even looked to go three wide in an effort to pass both cars, but he thought better of that.
Finally on lap 24, Swan would pounce when Shambeau slipped up the banking in turn three and opened up the door. That would prove to be all the opening Swan would need, as he would cruise to the victory from there.
Ryan Farrell would finish a distant second, with Evans coming in third. Brain Holtz and Scott Shambeau would complete the top five.
The Thunderstocks found a pair of drivers looking for their first career wins. Brad Hetzel and Adam Peschek ran side by side for several laps late in the event. Peschek would grab the lead, only to lose it a few laps later when he got really loose off of turn four. This allowed Hetzel to retake the lead.
Hetzel survived a late race restart and held off John Daley to pick up his first career win. Andy Welter would wind up in third, while Adam Peschek and Bernie Leonard would round out the top five.
Brandon Tackes held off a fast charging Nick Wagner to take the checkers in the four cylinder Slinger Bees division. Wagner, who by virtue of his victory last week started shotgun on the field, quickly worked his way into contention. However on this night Tackes would hold him off to pick up the win.
Marty Tackes would come home in third place with Tom Helmers finishing in fourth. Erica Knutson would round out the top five.
Scott Ascher would easily win in the Speedway Guest cars.
Scott Goetzke took advantage on the drop of the green flag and easily pulled away to take home the win in the Figure 8 division. Dustin Krebs would hold off the challenge of Brandon Wolf to finish a distant second. Justin Poenitsch would wind up in fourth place with Russ Lorbiecki coming home in fifth.
Results of the E.H. Wolf & Sons Memorial Day 80
1 40F Dave Feiler
2 42P Dennis Prunty
3 40L Jeremy Lepak
4 92M Conrad Morgan
5 5F Eric Fransen
6 10R Jon Reynolds Jr.
7 38H Jeff Holtz
8 2B Lowell Bennett
9 98B Rob Braun
10 89M Brad Mueller
11 89E Mike Egan
12 16A Steve Apel
13 26B Chris Blawat
14 12G Mike Graczkowski
15 55L Rich Loch
16 72S Randy Schuler
17 8W Josh Wallace
18 111B Brady Bennett