May 10, 2008 12:32 AM EDT
Ron Cartwright Jr. Dominates Modified Feature at Black Rock
By RICH VLECK
DUNDEE, NY - - Ron Cartwright turned his misfortune in the first two races of the season into a trip to Victory Lane on Friday, making the third time a charm.
Cartwright dominated the Marbles Automotive Modified portion of the night at Black Rock, presented by Finger Lakes Auto, Truck & Marine NAPA and Seneca Beverage, leading all eight laps of his heat race and all 25 laps in the feature.
“We’ve had a motor problem, flat tires, you name it, we’ve had it,” said Cartwright. “It’s just great to be back in Victory Lane.”
When starter Scott Hixson unfurled the double-checkered flags, the No. 2B had a half-track lead over his nearest competitor. It was clearly the perfect night for Cartwright. While Cartwright drove away from the pack, the battle was hot and heavy for the entire feature for the runner-up spot.
Dale Welty, Donnie Lawson, John Pfeffer and Mark Bristol swapped second spot on multiple occasions, with Lawson ultimately landing the runner-up spot. Pfeffer would steal away third on the final corner to capture the Finger Lakes Auto, Truck and Marine NAPA Up-and-Comer Award. Welty and Mike Mahaney would round out the top-five.
Craig Gardner’s night started off on uneasy terms when he was forced into the backstretch wall after the completion of his heat race, but things quickly turned around in the Hoselton Automotive Sportsman Feature.
Gardner jumped into the lead on lap three and as the rest of the field swapped spots on a contstant basis, the Swarthout Recycling No. 14s drove away to a half-track lead by the half-way point.
On lap 14 though, Gardner made significant contact with the lapped car of Rob Lerch and suddenly his breakthrough win was in peril. Things would work out just fine for as he would cruise to his first career win.
“Brian and Jamie Swarthout, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be able to get last place,” said Gardner, whose previous best was a sixth place run two weeks early. “I had no idea that I was that far ahead, I just kept my mind on going forward.”
As Gardner was going forward, the dogfight was on for second on back. In the end, defending champion Brady Fultz rebounded from a disappointing heat race to come across in second. Justin Wright came from the back to place third, with Todd Henderson and Daryl Hilkert completing the top-five.
Jeremy Wonderling started Friday at the Hospital, where his son, Carson Madsen, was born. He ended the long day in Victory Lane.
“Mr. Excitement” was the beneficiary of a lap 11 incident between race leaders Rich Karlnoski and Quinn Sutherland, that saw Karlnoski spun around and Sutherland sent to the back. The result would be Wonderling out in front, a place he would stay the remainder of the event.
Dave DuBois came home in second for the second race in a row, ahead of Tim Schram, who finished third for the third week in a row. Rounding out the top-five Mikey Wonderling and Jon Rivers completed the top-five.
Rich Sharpsteen pulled off the hat trick in the Labatt Blue Street Stock Division, taking the lead on lap five and cruising to the win yet again.
Sharpsteen cruised over Chris Fisher, Jared Hill, Dan Matthews and Nicole Barzee, who completed the top-five.
Joe Povoski completed the night once again in Victory Lane, as he cautiously waited for the holes to open up, finally taking the lead with six laps to go.
Povoski found himself in a tight battle with Ray Speicher, Jack Ayers and Rich Sharpsteen for the lead. After clearing Ayers and Sharpsteen, Povoski quickly pounced on Speicher, moved around him and set sail.
It was the third straight win for Povoski, completing a four-pack of full-fendered hat tracks for 2008. Behind the No. 1j was Ayers, Speicher, Sharpsteen and Terry Povoski.
Dylan Cecee continued his dominance of the Home Necessities Bandit Division, winning his third feature in as many tries this season. Cody Morehouse, driving the Rich Sharpsteen Flyin’ X on the night, challenged Cecee but ended up second. Josh Wallenbeck had his best career finish, coming home in third.
Racing resumes next Friday when Home Necessities, along with T&R Towing, present a full card of racing action, including the Firefighter Enduro and Spectator Races.