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Apel Edges Van Der Geest to Win Kulwicki Memorial at Slinger

Steve Apel held off a determined Levon Van Der Geest to win the 77-lap Current Electric Alan Kulwicki Memorial Elite Eight Super Late Model Series feature Sunday night at the Slinger Speedway.


hero image for Apel Edges Van Der Geest to Win Kulwicki Memorial at Slinger

Steve Apel held off a determined Levon Van Der Geest to win the 77-lap Current Electric Alan Kulwicki Memorial Elite Eight Super Late Model Series feature Sunday night at the Slinger Speedway.

Van Der Geest, who charged to the lead at the start and pulled away to a three second advantage, appeared to be on his way to his first career Slinger feature victory until a caution for an incident off turn four on lap 50 allowed Apel and the rest of the field to close in. On the restart, Apel and Van Der Geest battled side by side before Apel was finally able to prevail using the outside groove. Van Der Geest kept Apel in his sights and gave him a slight shove off turn four with two laps to go, but it was not enough as Apel raced to the victory. Jacob Nottestad advanced from deep in the field to finish within striking distance in third place while Alex Prunty and Dennis Prunty finished fourth and fifth respectively.

“Levon (Van Der Geest) did a heck of a job and I think I kind of stole that one from him, that was his race to lose,” Apel told the crowd from victory lane, “I’m glad he didn’t dump me there as I was using the whole track and kind of expecting it, but his first win is going to come. It’s good to be back in victory lane and winning the Kulwicki Memorial is special.”

“With the luck we’ve been having here I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy with a second place finish,” Van Der Geest stated afterwards, “It feels so good to get a podium finish here. We’ve had a lot of speed over the last year but we just couldn’t catch a break with our luck and today was the perfect day to do it in such a special race like the Kulwicki Memorial.”

“I did get into him (Apel) a little there at the end but I was just giving it all I could but if there’s anyone I don’t mind finishing second to it’s Steve Apel.”

“It was fun watching Levon (Van Der Geest) and Steve (Apel) go at it and we just weren’t quite good enough to get them,” third place finisher Jacob Nottestad said after charging through the field from his tenth starting position,” We set fast time, won the dash and almost got a clean sweep tonight.”

Dennis Prunty was fifth, Nick Egan finished in the sixth position and Grant Griesbach was seventh followed by Brad Mueller and R.J. Braun in eighth and ninth respectively. Rob Braun finished tenth. Jacob Nottestad won the Elite Eight Super Late Model fast dash and also was the fastest qualifier for the evening with a qualifying lap of 11.319 seconds.
Paul Wagner won the 35-lap Sportsman feature over Brian Holtz and Dale Lecus Jr. Sportsman heat races were won by Ryan Sielaff and Brady Held while Jake Schraufnagel was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap in 12.729 seconds.

Tom Elsinger Jr. won the 25-lap Slinger Bees feature over Brandon Mennicke and Cooper Bodendorfer. Ricky Gebhard finished in the fourth position and Anthony Dorzok was fifth. Jason Clope crossed the finish line in the sixth position ahead of Al Stroble in seventh and Kendall Becker in eighth. Matt Wandrey was ninth and Nathan Lemberger was tenth. Slinger Bees heat races were won by Al Strobel and Brian Stanczyk while Ricky Gebhard was the fastest qualifier with a lap time of 15. 209 seconds.

The hobby stock division made its annual stop at Slinger and Charles Vian Jr. drove to a convincing win in the 25-lap feature. Tony Ciano finished second followed by Scott Reidner in third and Tucker Bodendorfer in fourth. Matthew Thoma finished fifth. Tony Ciano and Tucker Bodendorfer were the hobby stock heat race winners and Ciano set fast time with a lap time of 13.788 seconds.

Joshua Zacharias was the winner of the 20-lap Slinger Sixers/High School Racing Association main event. Mitchell Berg finished second and was the top high school racer in the event. Caleb Arneson was third followed by Collin Keller in fourth and Brandon Gumm in fifth. Joshua Zacharias and Mitchell Berg were the winners of the HSRA/Slinger Sixers heat races and Zacharias was the fastest qualifier with a lap time of 15.717 seconds. Zacharias was also named the champion of the division and Jackson Martindale was named the champion of the High School Racing Association racers.

Super Late Models – Feature 77 Laps 1. 51A-Steve Apel , Slinger, WI[7], 2. 23V-Levon Van Der Geest , Merrill, WI[1], 3. 97N-Jacob Nottestad , Janesville, WI[10], 4. 11P-Alex Prunty , Kewaskum, WI[9], 5. 42P-Dennis Prunty , Allenton, WI[13], 6. 13E-Nick Egan , Lomira, WI[3], 7. 17G-Grant Griesbach , Waukesha, WI[2], 8. 89M-Brad Mueller , Random Lake, WI[11], 9. 92B-RJ Braun Jr, Wales, WI[5], 10. 92R-Robert Braun Sr, Wales, WI[17], 11. 77S-Riley Stenjem , Utica, WI[16], 12. 66M-Dave Mccardle Jr, Menomonee Falls, WI[4], 13. 55L-Rich Loch , Franklin, WI[14], 14. 92M-Conrad Morgan , Waukesha, WI[8], 15. 89EMike Egan , West Bend, WI[12], 16. 38W-Nick Wagner , Hartford, WI[6], 17. 48K-Brad Keith , West Bend, WI[15]

Hobby Stocks – Feature 25 Laps 1. 28V-Charles Vian Jr, Sparta, WI[4], 2. 86C-Tony Ciano , Janesville, WI[8], 3. 26R-Scott Riedner , Waunakee, WI[6], 4. 05B-Tucker Bodendorfer , Muskego, WI[5], 5. 9T-Matthew Thoma , Jefferson, WI[7], 6. 3M-Kevin Memoli , Belvidere, IL[2], 7. 19S-Jarrod Sutherland , Encinitas, CA[3], 8. 16S-Shane Strothman , South Beloit, IL[1]

Slinger Bees – Feature 25 Laps 1. 33E-Tom Elsinger Jr, Germantown, WI[6], 2. 11M-Brandon Mennicke , Slinger, WI[8], 3. 64B-Cooper Bodendorfer , Muskego, WI[1], 4. 10G-Ricky Gebhard Jr, Oconomowoc, WI[9], 5. 69D-Anthony Dorzok , Menasha, WI[11], 6. 3CJason Clope , Racine, WI[7], 7. 14S-Albert Strobel , Iron Ridge, WI[12], 8. 20X-Kendall Becker , Hartford, WI[4], 9. 08W-Matthew Wandrey , Germantown, WI[10], 10. 52N-Nathan Lemberger , Hartford, WI[13], 11. 20K-Travis Kreuser , West Bend, WI[2], 12. 23S-Brian Stanczyk , West Bend, WI[3], 13. [DQ]19B-Misty Benn , Lisbon, WI[5], 14. [DQ]44STodd Snow , Belvidere, IL[14]

HSRA (Sixers) – Feature 20 Laps 1. 16Z-Joshua Zacharias , Madison, WI[8], 2. 2B-Mitchell Berg , Mindoro, WI[7], 3. 12A-Caleb Arneson , Melrose, WI[6], 4. 97K-Collin Keller , Kewaskum, WI[5], 5. 85G-Brandon Gumm , Kewaskum, WI[4], 6. 197T-Travis Kreuser , West Bend, WI[14], 7. 13M-Jackson Martindale , Stillman Valley, IL[11], 8. 27W-Xander Weeks , Sauk City, WI[12], 9. 72FMark Fogel Jr, West Bend, WI[1], 10. 98F-Landin Frye , Kendall, WI[3], 11. 12H-Ethan Hedgecorth (Kling) , West Bend, WI[10], 12. 59X-Rick Buss , Sullivan, WI[9], 13. [DNS]05D-Ryatt Dobbratz , Elroy, WI[2], 14. [DNS]29X-Vincent Snyder , Sullivan, WI[13]

-Slinger Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America