Jun 5, 2009 11:09 PM EDT
Lawson Smokes Sportsman, Karlnoski Back in Victory Lane
By RICH VLECK
Donnie Lawson looked like it would be just another Friday Night at Black Rock going to Victory Lane. But on a lap 16 caution he began to notice that his power steering was going, making things even tenser considering Todd Henderson was on his rear bumper.
The Woodhull, NY resident scored his sixth win in seven tries in the sportsman class on the final night before October run under an open tire format.
“With five to go the steering started to go, it got a little but we were able to hold on,” noted Lawson. “We’ve had a great car here, we’ve been really happy with it.”
Henderson had begun to close before the only yellow flag of the event on lap 16 but perhaps was going to run out of time. On the restart though, Lawson stretched his advantage over the field instantly and set sail to the win.
“This has been a great start to the year, but we aren’t going anywhere,” proclaimed Lawson. “Just because we go to Hoosier’s next week doesn’t mean we are leaving.”
Behind Lawson and Henderson was Brady Fultz for a solid third place showing. Early leader Brandon Butler and Loren Lincoln completed the top-five.
Rich Karlnoski, who lives just up the hill from the track, couldn’t remember if it was 2002 or 2003 the last time he had won a feature at his hometown track, all he knew on Friday was that he was happy to be back in Victory Lane.
The veteran competitor dominated the 20-lap Late Model event in his No. 55x, coming out of the box after repairing major damage to his car to score a popular win.
“We are a low buck team but we work hard and try to do things right,” noted Karlnoski in Victory Lane. “It’s been a while since we were here, it’s nice to be back.”
Karnloski and fellow veteran Dale Welty put on an epic battle in their heat, with Welty making the pass on the final lap. Karlnoski made sure it wasn’t that close in the feature, as he maintained a half-track advantage over the field throughout the 20-lap caution-free event.
As Karlnoski had an easy drive out in front, a great-three way battle for second raged to the finish with Dan Cobb coming from the back of the pack to finish runner-up for the second straight week. Brandon Smith moved up to third for the second week in a row while Dale Welty and Mikey Wonderling would complete the top-five.
Frank Guererri Jr. scored his fourth street stock win of 2009 and his second in a row in dramatic fashion in his No. 113. The Ovid, NY competitor had to pass one of his toughest rivals in the late stages of the race to do it.
Fisher took the lead on the second lap and had to work as hard as he could to keep Guererri at bay. With eight laps remaining, a caution flew allowing for a restart that would decide the event.
After laps of trying to pass on the bottom, Guererri swung around the outside of the defending division champion to take the lead and hold on for the win.
Behind those top two was Jason White in a solid third, with Carl Cleveland and Jayme Gilbert rounding out the top-five.
Ray Speicher got the lead on the first lap in the Signs Plus 4-Cylinder event and took off to capture his second win at Black Rock in 2009 and his first in a point race.
Speicher had no issues in his No. 14 as kept a group of fierce competitors at bay on the final restart of the race on lap 11 to pick up the checkered flag.
Joe Povoski would try all he could in second but come up just short. Rich Sharpsteen II would hold off Terry Povoski for third while Chad Ayers rounded out the top-five.
Dylan Cecce moved up four spots on the opening lap of the bandit feature and used a lap two restart to take a stranglehold of the lead and never look back. It was the Bath, NY Teenager’s sixth win of the year in seven tries. Josh Wallenbeck and Brian Wilson completed the podium positions.
Towards the end of the night, it was Mark Schenck scoring the convincing win in the $1,000-to-win Enduro.
Black Rock Speedway Results: 6/5/2009-
Hoselton Auto Mall Crate Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- DONNIE LAWSON, Todd Henderson, Brady Fultz, Brandon Butler, Loren Lincoln, Craig Gardner, Fran Hilton, Chuck Winslow, Ross Vleck, Damon Walker, Josh Butler, Bill McKelvey, Ray Bliss Jr.
Lap Leader- B. Butler 1-4, Lawson 5-20.
Heat Winners- Henderson, Lawson.
Freedom Village USA Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- RICH KARLNOSKI, Dan Cobb, Brandon Smith, Dale Welty, Mikey Wonderling, Quinn Sutherland, Nate Daggett, Chris Peacock, Tracey Rhoads, Dave DuBois, Bob Buono, Wally Wade (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Karlnoski 1-20.
Heat Winners- Smith, Welty.
Labatt Blue Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- FRANK GUERERRI JR., Chris Fisher, Jason White, Carl Cleveland, Jayme Gilbert, Josh Parker, Jim McAfee, Jared Hill, Jeremy Perkins, Nick Robinson, Gene Parker, Mike Schroeder, Rob Parker, Rich Bixby Jr., Kevin Morrison, Tim Sebring, Dan Smart (DNS), Rich Sharpsteen I (DNS), George Parker (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Gilbert 1, Fisher 2-16, Guererri 17-20.
Heat Winners- Guererri, Fisher, Hill.
Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- RAY SPEICHER, Joe Povoski, Rich Shaprsteen II, Terry Povoski, Chad Ayers, Dave Matwiejow, Brett Crawford, Del Cummings, David Ahouse, Scott Bradley, Brent Ayers, C.J. Winslow, Cody Moorehouse, Brian Thompson, Harry Ayers, Jason Barrett, David Ahouse, Phil Yaw, Erica Bell, Andrew Wolfe (DNS), Russ Wassner (DNS), John Agnew (DNS), Jordan Siri (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Speicher 1-
Heat Winners- Speicher, T. Povoski, Sharpsteen.
Ladies 4-Cylinder Feature (10 Laps)- NICOLE KNICKERBOCKER, Erica Bell, Jamie Schuyler, Sarah Potter, Amanda Scholtsick, Paula Wallenbeck.
Lap Leaders- Knickerbocker 1-10.
HomeNecessities Bandits (10 Laps)- DYLAN CECCE, Josh Wallenbeck, Brian Wilson, Zach Teed , Josh DuBois, Noah Harrington, Cody Clemens.
Lap Leaders- J. Wallenbeck 1, Cecce 2-10.
FWD 4-Cylinder Enduro (30 Laps)- MARK SCHENCK, Gary Baker, Ronnie Hill, Jamie Freeman, Jeff Brown, Buzzie Weber, Randy Graham Jr., Keith Keuer, Mark Sincock, Adam Delgrosso, Scott Rodbourn, Ernest House, Kurt Baker, Cody Baker.
Lap Leaders- G. Baker 1-3, Schenck 4-30.