Jesse Bernhagen turned back the challenges from a determined Mike Held and Dennis Prunty to win the 50-lap Uptown Motor Cars Pro Late Model feature Sunday night at the Slinger Speedway.
Bernhagen and Held found themselves battling for the top spot following a caution with 14 laps to go after leader Zach Prunty’s car spun around in turn four following a nudge on the bumper from Ryan Gutknecht as they contested the lead. With the top two sent to the rear of the field, Bernhagen and Held swapped the lead several times over the closing laps as Dennis Prunty closed in third. Held made a final charge to Bernhagen’s inside with a strong run off turn two with four laps to go and both cars got squirrely after contact was made while both drivers maintained control. It was enough however for Bernhagen to edge ahead and capture the victory with Held and Prunty close behind in second and third respectively.
“Mike (Held) was really good on the short runs and I did chop him a little bit coming off turn two,” Bernhagen said from victory lane, “I wasn’t aware he got such a good run so I’m sorry for that one.”
“When we raced side by side we ran really clean,” Bernhagen continued, “There was nothing wrong with what happened. To hold off Mike (Held) and Dennis (Prunty), that’s a pretty cool top three and just to beat those two guys it was the hardest I’ve worked in the bottom groove there in awhile.”
Behind the top three finishers, Tom Berens took the checkered flag in fourth place followed by Billy Braun in fifth. Tyler Hromadka was sixth followed by Ryan Gutknecht in seventh and Mitchell DelCamp in eighth. The top ten finishers were completed by Jerry Eckhardt and Mitchell Haver in ninth and tenth respectively.
Pro Late Model heat race wins were recorded by Jakob Hassler and Ryan Gutknecht while Mike Held was the fastest qualifier with a lap time of 12.164 seconds.
Jake Schraufnagel and Dale Lecus Jr. staged a door to door battle for the Sportsman 35-lap main event before Schraufnagel was able to edge ahead from the outside lane at the checkered flag to score the win. Lecus settled for a close second while Brady Held finished directly behind the top two in third place. Brian Holtz finished fourth and Carl Benn was fifth. Alex Lopacinski led early before finishing sixth while Brandon Tackes was seventh and Dean Olla finished eighth. Brett Butler crossed the finish line in ninth and Tom Elsinger Sr. was tenth.
Tom Elsinger Sr. and Brad Held were the winners of the Sportsman heat races and Jake Schraufnagel set fast time with a qualifying lap of 12.617 seconds.
Kyle Reidner made his first Slinger appearance of the season and drove to a dominating win in the 30-lap Slinger Beez feature. Nick Schmidt finished in second place followed by Carl Benn in third. Paul Reagles and Marty Tackes completed the top five in fourth and fifth respectively. Todd Buckley was sixth while Brandon Tackes and Al Strobel finished in seventh and eighth. Rick Schaefer was ninth and Brian Hillringhouse finished tenth.
Nick Schmidt and Todd Buckley won the Slinger Beez heat races and Kyle Reidner was the fastest qualifier after circling the speedway in 13.640 seconds.
Joshua Zacharias won the 20-lap Slinger Sixers feature over Ryatt Dobbratz who was the top finishing High School Racing Association driver. Jackson Martindale finished third while Ethan Kling and Brandon Gumm completed the top five. Mitchell Berg finished sixth followed by Collin Keller and Caleb Arneson in seventh and eighth respectively. Mark Fogel Jr. finished ninth and Xander Weeks was tenth.
Slinger Sixers heat races were won by Ryatt Dobbratz and Joshua Zacharias and Zacharias also was the fastest qualifier with a lap time of 15.863 seconds.
Sportsman – Feature 35 Laps 1. 29S-Jake Schraufnagel , Slinger, WI, 2. 99L-Dale Lecus Jr, Caledonia, WI, 3. 04H-Brady Held , Iron Ridge, WI, 4. 88H-Brian Holtz , Muskego, WI, 5. 01B-Carl Benn , Lisbon, WI, 6. 89L-Alex Lopacinski , West Bend, WI, 7. 24B-Brandon Tackes , West Bend, WI, 8. 02O-Dean Olla , West Bend, WI, 9. 21B-Brett Butler , West Bend, WI, 10. 33E-Tom Elsinger Sr, West Bend, WI, 11. 9S-Simon Seyfert , Saukville, WI, 12. 32R-Randy Ruth , Menomonee Falls, WI, 13. 53W-Paul Wagner , Iron Ridge, WI, 14. 32S-Ryan Sielaff , North Prairie, WI, 15. 51T-David Teske , Richfield, WI
Super Beez – Feature 25 Laps 1. 189R-Kyle Riedner , Lodi, WI, 2. 09X-Nick Schmidt , Watertown, WI, 3. 01B-Carl Benn , Lisbon, WI, 4. 25RPaul Reagles , Colgate, WI, 5. 24M-Marty Tackes , West Bend, WI, 6. 8B-Todd Buckley , West Bend, WI, 7. 24B-Brandon Tackes , West Bend, WI, 8. 14S-Albert Strobel , Iron Ridge, WI, 9. 11S-Rick Schaefer , West Bend, WI, 10. 84H-Brian Hillringhouse , Oak Creek, WI, 11.15N-Tracy Neu , Watertown, WI
HSRA (Sixers) – Feature 20 Laps 1. 16Z-Joshua Zacharias , Madison, WI, 2. 05D-Ryatt Dobbratz , Elroy, WI, 3. 13M-Jackson Martindale , Stillman Valley, IL, 4. 12H-Ethan Hedgecorth (Kling) , West Bend, WI, 5. 85G-Brandon Gumm , Kewaskum, WI, 6. 2BMitchell Berg , Mindoro, WI, 7. 97K-Collin Keller , Kewaskum, WI, 8. 12A-Caleb Arneson , Melrose, WI, 9. 72FMark Fogel Jr, West Bend, WI, 10. 27W-Xander Weeks , Sauk City, WI, 11. [DNS]22R-Jason Ruth , Milwaukee, WI, 12. [DNS]59X-Rick Buss , Sullivan, WI
Pro Late Models – Feature 50 Laps 1. 28B-Jesse Bernhagen , Willard, WI, 2. 72H-Mike Held , Hartford, WI, 3. 42P-Dennis Prunty , Allenton, WI, 4. 99B-Tom Berens , Slinger, WI, 5. 31B-Billy Braun , Wales, WI, 6. 3H-Tyler Hromadka , Colgate, WI, 7. 01GRyan Gutknecht , Oak Creek, WI, 8. 16D-Mitchell Delcamp , Germantown, WI, 9. 61E-Jerry Eckhardt , Johnson Creek, WI, 10. 7H-Mitchell Haver , West Bend, WI, 11. 39P-Zach Prunty , Lomira, WI, 12. 21S-Scott Shambeau , Milwaukee, WI, 13. 6H-Jakob Hassler , Colgate, WI, 14. 22L-Nick Lemberger , Germantown, WI
-Slinger Speedway Release
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America