Rich Vleck, DUNDEE, NY, (May 3, 2013)- 10 years ago, when the Patriot Sprint Tour began, Justin Barger was a up-and-coming teenager that still had a lot to learn about sprint car racing; but on Friday Night, the 10th Anniversary of the first Patriot Sprint, event, he put on a clinic to reinforce why he one of the best in the Northeast.
Barger, of Montrose, NY, led all 25 laps of the Patriot Sprint Tour America Series opener at Black Rock Speedway for his fourth career win at the 4/10-mile oval. Barger was able to keep a healthy lead throughout, even though some late-race restarts made his task a little more tenuous.
“We pretty much nailed it from the beginning tonight, we didn’t change too much,” Barger stated in Victory Lane. “I love coming to this race track, you can move around a lot even for a small race track. It is pretty racey.”
The defending PST Canada Series Champion won his heat race from the outside pole, easily qualifying him for the A-Main redraw, where he once again drew a starting spot on the outside of the front row. Upon Starter Scott Hixson’s green flag, Barger used his momentum on the top to move around Polesitter Bruce DeWick off the second corner and set sail around the speedway.
By the fifth lap, the Carillo Rods/ JE Pistons/ King Motorsports No. 5 was already in lapped traffic, but it did not seem to phase him as he continued to grow his advantage over the DeWick, Scott Kreutter, Jason Barney and Robbie Stillwaggon, the four drivers that would covet the runner-up position at different points in the feature.
Stillwaggon had command of second place and was making ground on the bottom line when a caution flag on lap 23 for contact between Chuck Hebing and Clint Ide tightened up the pack. This would result in one last restart that Barger would have to endure.
“I didn’t like to see the last yellow or the red (for a Steve Collins soft tip on to his side),” noted Barger. “Robbie drove up next to me on that last caution and I had already seen that his wing was in his trunk so I knew he was sliding around there so I just rode out the last few laps.”
In the final two circuts, Stillwaggon was solid on the bottom, but did not have enough time to get the drive off the bottom built-up that he needed to contend for the win. Barger would hold on for the win by three car-lengths.
“This is pretty cool 10 years later,” added Barger in reference to the anniversary of the first Patriot Sprint event. “That race was won by my girlfriend’s father (Tom Taber), so this is pretty special.”
With the win, Barger has now extended his streak of top-five finishes at BRS to seven straight.
Robbie Stillwaggon was pleased with his runner-up showing at a track where in his last appearance there did not qualify for the feature. The run was especially gratifying for the Burlington, NJ driver after starting back in seventh place.
For the second week in a row, as well as the second-straight race at Black Rock, Jason Barney completed the podium in third. The Constantia, NY driver noted afterwards that he played it safe with his setup which inhibited his ability to chase after the win, or even hang on to second place.
The battle from fourth place on back was ever-changing, but Jared Zimbardi was able to drive up from eighth starting position to hold on to the position. Zimbardi looked impressive winning his heat race after starting in fourth, as did Bryan Howland, who rounded out the top five.
Scott Kreutter faded back to sixth, just ahead of Tommy Wickham, who lost two spots on the final lap to place seventh. Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame crossed in eighth while nine-time BRS winner George Suprick was ninth. Brad Knab would complete the top 10.
Brandan Warner and Dave Just were unable to start the feature as engine failures in their respective heat races would knock them out of competition on a beautiful spring evening.
In weekly class competition, there must be something about the cool spring air that just suits Chris Daugherty, because for the second season opener in a row, he could not be touched, as he walked away to the sportsman win.
Daugherty led all 20 laps and survived a pair of late-race restarts to hold off three-time track champion Donnie Lawson and defending champion Brady Fultz and put the No. 45 in Victory Lane for the first time at Black Rock since last June.
“The track was absolutely terrific,” exclaimed Daugherty. “It was great to win on opening night last year so to do it again is awesome. I won last week at Woodhull so it’s a good start to the season.”
Daugherty started on the pole by virtue of his dominating win in heat race one. Donnie Lawson and Brady Fultz showed glimpses of superiority, but Daugherty continued to stay steady in the middle groove to have Lawson and Fultz place second and third, respectively. Dale Welty and Ray Bliss completed the veteran top five.
Bruce Miller dominated the late model division, keeping his No. 80 glued to the inside groove of the track and driving away from Defending Track Champion John Waters to score the victory.
Miller had just one win last season at BRS and finished fifth in points, something he might consider a down year for him. After the 20-lap feature, it appeared that 2013 might be a little better for Miller in Dundee as he was the class of the field.
As Miller dominated out front, a spirited battle was on for the runner-up spot, with John Waters getting the best of Jason Knowles for second. Brady Wondering and Brian Knowles completed a strong top five.
Rich Sharpsteen had a track-high nine wins last season, winning the 4-cylinder division track championship, but after moving up to the street stock division for this season had different expectations. Sharpsteen noted in Victory Lane, “Never in a million years did I think we would be here tonight.”
Sharpsteen made a nifty move on his teammate Dylan Cecce on lap 18 and then held off Jeremy Potzbrebowski on the final restart to claim the popular victory.
Cecce took the early race lead but Jake Karlnoski charged to the lead on lap nine. Karlnoski’s reign in front would be brief when second-place-running Jeremy Potzrebowski spun the leader around, sending both to the back. Cecce would inherit the lead back but with Sharpsteen now in second, his winning ways clicked back into gear.
Sharpsteen saw his opportunity with three laps remaining after running the prior three laps right behind his teammate, as he took the lead though, Potzrebowski worked his way back into second and made the final few laps nerve-racking for “The Flyin’ X”.
Potzrebowski tried hard on the outside on the final lap but would settle for second as Cecce crossed in third. Gene Balmer and Nate Daggett rounded out the top five.
In the first two years of competition at the Black Rock Speedway, the IMCA Modifieds have seen a host of different winners, a list that added a new name to the list as the third season of the division begin.
Jake Maynard invaded BRS for the first time and went wire-to-wire to claim the win in his No. 69. Maynard held a healthy advantage for much of the race, but in the final three laps, he struggled in lapped traffic, allowing J.J. Courcy and Rich Karlnoski to close. The three were practically glued together on the final circuit, but Courcy and Karlnoski would have to settle for second and third, respectively.
James Kreidler III dominated the Signs Plus of Kanona 4-cylinder feature, stretching his advantage to over a half-track for much of the race to assert his contention for the championship in the division this season. Del Cummings crossed in second place and had a solid advantage over Rick Horton, who was third.
To kick off the night, the Black Rock Bandits got their season started with Brandon Kinner claiming his first career win. Kinner jumped out to the early lead but saw division veterans Joey Rodbourn and Allison Teed chase him down. As the trio came to the completion lap four, Kinner made contact with his two challengers, knocking out both Rodbourn and Teed, while the leader escaped unblemished. Matt Mashewske and Desiree Force would take the opportunity to take podium positions.
In the final race of the night, the FWD 4-cylinder event had four cars fighting for the lead down to the final lap. Jeremy Trank was leading and was working hard to hold off Craig Mahrt when Mahrt spun him out heading down the backstretch. Even though Mahrt crossed the line first, he would be disqualified, which meant that Adam Delgrosso, who moved by David Kinner off the final corner, would earn the win.
For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.
Black Rock Speedway Results: 5/3/2013-
Knappy Auto Body, Greg’s Auto Night
Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Justin Barger (5), 2. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 3. Jason Barney (87*), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Bryan Howland (51), 6. Scott Kreutter (52), 7. Tommy Wickham (75), 8. Kevin Ward Jr. (13), 9. George Suprick (87), 10. Brad Knab (38), 11. Derek Jonathan (81), 12. Vinnie Vitale (X1), 13. Clint Ide (3), 14. Chuck Hebing (45), 15. Steve Collins (67), 16. Dave Wickham (80), 17. Bruce DeWick (22D), 18. Geoff Quackenbush (25), 19. Scott Just (54JX), DNS: Dave Just (54J), 21. Brandan Warner (10B).
Lap Leaders- Barger 1-25.
Hoselton Auto Mall Crate Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- CHRIS DAUGHERTY, Donnie Lawson, Brady Fultz, Dale Welty, Ray Bliss, Ricky Newton, Chris Fisher, Ross Vleck, Rob Humpherys, Ron Cartwright Jr., Nicole Hoag, Brent Ayers, Ron White, Loren Lincoln, Chris Silvers, Lance Keesey, Scott Waters, Gary Hotelling, Fran Hilton (DNS).
Lap Leader- Daugherty 1-20.
Heat Winners- Daugherty, Lawson, Fultz.
Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- BRUCE MILLER, Jason Knowles, John Waters, Brady Wonderling, Brian Knowles, Jared Hill, Steve LaBarron, Quinn Sutherland, Sparky Hills, Carl Cleveland, Brandon Smith (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Br. Miller 1-20.
Heat Winners- Br. Miller, Waters.
Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- RICH SHARPSTEEN II, Jeremy Potzrebowski, Dylan Cecce, Gene Balmer, Nate Daggett, Jeremy Perkins, Jake Karlnoski, Larry Fenton Jr., Les McCann, Carl Cleveland, Joe Curren.
Lap Leaders- Cecce 1-8, Karlnoski 9-12, Cecce 13-17, Sharpsteen 18-20.
Heat Winners- Cecce, Potzrebowski.
IMCA Modified Feature (20 Laps)- JAKE MAYNARD, J.J. Courcy, Rich Karlnoski, Phil Yaw, Dave Yehl, Todd Stone, Bruce Tinsley, Rich Howard Jr., Rob Wilcox, Scott Sebring, Shane Davidson.
Lap Leaders- Maynard 1-20.
Heat Winner- Tinsley, Karlnoski.
Signs Plus of Kanona/ Watkins Glen NAPA 4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- JAMES KREIDLER III, Del Cummings, Rick Horton, Chad Ayers, Brian Grant Sr., Jayson Smart, Scott Bradley, Russ Wassner, Brandon Ameigh, Chris Mashewske, Erica Bell, Mike Ziarno, Kailey Crandon, James Kreidler II, Bruce Kinner, Zach Teed, Ray Speicher, Brian Thompson, John Hand Jr., Billy Cagle, Bobby Teed (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Kreidler III 1-20.
Heat Winners- Kreidler III, Cummings, Bradley.
Front Wheel Drive 4 Cylinder Feature (10 Laps)- ADAM DELGROSSO, David Kinner, Jeremy Trank, Craig Mahrt (DQ).
Lap Leaders- Trank 1-9, Delgrosso 10.
Heat Winner- Mahrt.
Home Necessities Bandits (10 Laps)- BRANDON KINNER, Matt Mashewske, Desiree Force, Joey Rodbourn, Allison Teed, Austin Harvey, Brandon Mathews (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Kinner 1-10.