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Alex Prunty Starts Slinger Defense With Win

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Published in Racing
Sunday, 28 April 2019 20:17

SLINGER, Wis. – Even after winning a track championship and accomplishing a feat done only once before in 70-plus years of racing at Slinger Super Speedway, Alex Prunty still thinks he has something to prove.

That’s why he’s back to defend his super late model title and his defense got off to a good start Sunday.

Prunty won the second of the twin 50-lap super late model features during Slinger’s opening day. His uncle, Dennis, won the first 50-lapper. Alex Prunty finished fourth in that feature.

In victory lane, Alex Prunty said it was a long, but busy offseason.

“We changed a lot of stuff,” he said. “We kind of went back to the drawing board. People look at our year last year and I know we won the championship, but I wasn’t happy. I want to be top of the chart speed and qualifying was a struggle. We changed a lot of stuff.”

With last season’s championship, Prunty joined Miles Melius as the only drivers to win a track championship at Slinger in three divisions. Melius won the midget title in 1949, stocks in 1954 and won five modified titles between 1958 and 1967. Prunty, in addition to his super late model title in 2018, won the Slinger Bees title in 2010 and the limited late model title in 2012 and ’15.

To him, some critics still weren’t impressed.

“Last year was a year where a lot of people looked at like we lucked into it,” he said. “This year, it’s kind of wanting to prove and verify yourself. A lot of the great champions have won two times.”

Would that be enough? Prunty believes no, even if he were to win three in a row. That’s why he continues to come to the track and compete, even after accomplishing the one feat he wanted to do since he was a 6 years old.

“This is our 11th year here and I’m still trying to prove myself,” Prunty said.

– Also picking up feature wins Sunday during the Slinger oener were Jacob Nottestad (limited late model), Ryan Gutknecht (sportsman), Steve Dickson (Slinger Bees), Steve Zoromski (Super Beez), Ryan Lovald (Figure 8) and Mick Ellis (American Super Cup Series).

“It was a hell of a battle,” Nottestad said, who also revealed he’ll be doing a full season at Slinger. “It’s a good start to the year.”

– Sunday’s festivities kicked off a season-long celebration at Slinger. This year, the village is celebrating 150 years since its founding, originally known as Schlesingerville. On Sunday, in addition to the twin 50-lap features, there was a 50-lap limited late model feature. It was the first time since 2006 the Slinger opener had a pair of features for the super late model division. Al Schill and Dennis Prunty won those races.

– Slinger’s 72nd season of racing got off to a quick start with Jerry Mueller breaking the track record in the limited late models (11.929 seconds). Mueller said it was his first fast time in 18 years.

– As a celebration of the past, more than 70 current and former track champions were united for a group photo. Among the champions on hand were Willie Goeden, Al Schill Sr., Rich Bickle Jr., Mark Ritger, Lowell Bennett and Johnny Ziegler.

– The new was also celebrated Sunday with the Wisconsin debut of Five Star RaceCar Bodies’ new late model body. It had already debuted on the East Coast, as well as in Arizona and Washington.

“We were exceptionally pleased with how they looked on the track,” said Steve Einhaus, sales manager for Five Star.

The new body was the first redesign by the company in 15 years. The noticeable difference for the fans was the revamped nose, which includes a clear distinction between Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.

Alex Prunty is one of those drivers with the new body and he said he didn’t notice too many differences one way or the other as far as performance on the track. In the first 50-lapper, he said he struggled with some of the handling, but made some adjustments ahead of the next 50-lapper and was strong from the onset of the feature.

Dennis Prunty won the other feature with an older body style.

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