Braun Takes Round Two of Slinger Elite 8 Series

The youthful R.J. Braun held off veterans Brad Mueller and Lowell Bennett

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Slinger, Wis., May 29—With a combined ten track championships of experience among the drivers chasing him, the youthful R.J. Braun held off veterans Brad Mueller and Lowell Bennett to win the E.H. Wolf and Sons Memorial Day Weekend 75-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Speedway in Round Two of the Elite Eight Super Late Model Series.

Braun took command of the event from early leader Brad Mueller on lap 39 and then held off some serious challenges for the top spot from Ryan DeStefano through the race’s middle stages. The handling on DeStefano’s car began to fade late in the event and Mueller was able to reclaim the second spot while Lowell Bennett advanced forward around DeStefano and into third place. Mueller tried to close the gap to the leader in the waning laps but Braun proved to be too strong as he drove under the checkered flag for the victory over Mueller and Bennett.

“I can’t thank Steve Apel and his crew enough as after the opener we rebuilt this car and it’s still fast, “ Braun told the crowd from victory lane, “And those guys behind me I used to watch race here when I was little.”

“We built this new car over the winter and I’ll tell you what, these guys did an awesome job ,” Mueller said afterwards, “We only ran 20 laps of practice on Friday and 20 laps of practice tonight and to come out of the box this fast is awesome.”

“I just turned 64 so I’m taking it,” Bennett exclaimed regarding his third place finish and his first podium visit in some time, “That’s a brand new old race car as we built that in 2012 and with the crew’s help it made a difference. I’m very thankful to be standing here today and it makes me feel young again.”

Ryan DeStefano took the checkered flag in fourth place while Rich Loch was fifth. Derek Kraus finished in sixth place followed by John DeAngelis Jr. and Brad Keith in seventh and eighth respectively while Jacob Nottestad and Nick Wagner rounded out the top ten finishers.

Michael Bilderback won the 20-lap super late model semi-feature over Dave McCardle and Nick Egan as those three along with fourth place finisher Levon VanDerGeest transferred into the main event. Curt Tillman finished fifth. Jacob Nottestad won the Mac Tools fast dash and Alex Prunty was the fastest qualifier after turning in a lap in 11.315 seconds.

Ryan Gutknecht won the 40-lap pro late model feature over Ryan Craine and Mitchell Haver. Tom Berens finished fourth and Jeff Holtz rebounded from an earlier incident to finish fifth. Zach Prunty crossed the finish line in sixth place and Jerry Mueller finished seventh ahead of Jacob Vanoskey in eighth. Jeremy Bentz was ninth and Tyler Hromadka was tenth.
Jerry Mueller and Jacob Vanoskey each captured pro late model heat race victories while Tom Berens set fast time with a lap at 12.130 seconds.

Brian Holtz passed Brady Held for the lead in the 35-lap sportsman main event following a late restart and drove to the victory. Dan Calhoun and Andrew Meyerhofer used late race charges to finish second and third respectively while Brandon Tackes and Paul Wagner completed the top five finishers. Sportsman heat races were won by Brett Butler and Tom Elsinger Sr. and Paul Wagner was the fastest qualifier after lapping the speedway in 12.694 seconds.

Brian Hillringhouse led flag to flag to capture the victory in the 25-lap Slinger Bee feature with Tom Elsinger Jr. finishing second and Brandon Mennicke crossing the finish line in third. Misty Benn was fourth and Ricky Gebhard was fifth. Mitchell Strobel won the first Slinger Bee heat race and Ricky Gebhard won the second heat race while Tom Elsinger Jr. turned in the fastest qualifying time of 15.236 seconds.

Rick Buss won the Slinger Sixers feature event in a close race with Joshua Zacharias who finished second. Mark Fogel Jr. finished third and Brandon Gumm was fourth followed by Collin Keller in fifth. Joshua Zacharias won the Slinger Sixers heat race and Rick Buss was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 15.942 seconds.

The Figure 8 drivers contested their main event on the infield “B” Track instead of the normal Figure 8 course and Bill Shavlik won the ten lap main event.

-Slinger Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Ron Erstad, Jr.