Jun 12, 2009 10:38 PM EST
Fran Hilton scores popular win in Sportsman
By RICH VLECK
Fran Hilton is the definition of a sportsman racer. He is a clean racer with a low-dollar operation that carries a smile on his face. The “Nice Guys Finish Last” statement was thrown out the window on Friday Night as he scored the popular sportsman win.
The gentlemen from Geneva took the lead on lap two and held a steady advantage over fellow veteran Loren Lincoln for his first win at Black Rock in a long time when he was still running a small-block modified.
“Track was good, car handled great, couldn’t ask for much more,” noted Hilton in Victory Lane. “It didn’t matter where I went, the car was perfect.”
Youngster Marcus Dinkins defeated Hilton in the first qualifying heat and lead the first circuit of the first feature under DIRTcar Sportsman Rules in 2009, but Hilton was up to the challenge running the bottom and would snatch the lead away. Lincoln looked as if he would be the third leader on the third lap, but after Hilton held him off that time, he began to create space and move closer to the win.
As Hilton and Lincoln pulled away, Marcus Dinkins had third in control until a mechanical issue on the final lap forced him to limp home. His misfortune would allow
Craig Gardner to pick up third ahead of Todd Henderson, who was fourth in a borrowed ride. Brady Fultz rounded out the top-five, beating point leader Donnie Lawson who had trouble all race long.
Bob Buono lost the lead early in the Late Model Feature, but would get it back on lap nine in lapped traffic and then hold off a hard-charging Dale Welty to pick up his first win in two years in dramatic fashion.
Buono, of Wayne, beat the No. 92x of Welty by about two feet at the line to pick up a popular victory. It was a win which Buono stated in Victory Lane was a long time overdue.
Buono took the lead running the very bottom of the track early on but stayed steady in the middle of the track during the 20-lap caution-free event. Fellow veteran Welty then used the inside lane to close in substantially. He just ran out of time in the event though, as he had to settle for second.
Dave DuBois charged back up to third place while Glenn Whritenhour and Rich Karlnoski would complete the top-five.
Chris Fisher got back to his winning ways in the $500-to-win Street Stock Feature for the full field that was on hand. Fisher, of Bluff Point, quickly drove to the front, making the pass on Carl Cleveland for the lead on the second lap and held a solid advantage behind a great battle behind him the rest of the way.
It was the second win of the year for the 2008 Champion, helping him to cut in to the point lead of Frank Guererri. Guererri would cross in third, behind Cleveland, who was a strong second. Locals Jared Hill and Jason White completed the top-five.
Rich Sharpsteen II scored his second win of the year in the always-exhilarating Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Feature, taking the lead half way through the race and surviving a restart on lap 19 to pick up the win.
Sharpsteen was stuck in the back in the opening laps as he was stuck on the inside, but the “Flyin’ X” finally moved up to his familiar position at the top of the speedway and began his charge to the front.
Sharpsteen made a three-wide pass on Joe Povoski and Brett Crawford for the lead on lap 10 and held them off by staying smooth on the top. Crawford would hold off the Povoski brothers for second, with Terry moving by Joe on the final lap for third. Dave Matwiejow completed the top-five.
Dylan Cecce made it looks easy again in the Bandit feature as he charged to the lead on lap two and took off for his seventh feature win of the year. Behind him was an intense battle, with Brian Wilson scoring in second, David DuBois in a season-best third, first-timer Val Stephens in fourth and Jamie Eldredge Jr. rounding out the top-five.
The Midstate Vintage Stockcar Club made their annual visit as well on Friday night with Jim Hilimire picking up the win in the Hobby/Sportsman Race while John Kuleszo scored the victory in the modified class.
For the third straight week, Nicole Knickerbocker completed the night of action in Victory Lane, winning the Ladies 4-Cylinder Event. Knickerbocker took the lead on lap six in thrilling fashion, completing a three-wide pass on early leader Jamie Schuyler and Paula Wallenbeck.
Next week will be the $1,000-to-win Dart Machinery Freedom Open Late Model event, which should draw a large crowd. For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.
Black Rock Speedway Results: 6/12/2009-
Ira Wyman Fuels Night
Hoselton Auto Mall Crate Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- FRAN HILTON, Loren Lincoln, Craig Gardner, Todd Henderson, Brady Fultz, Donnie Lawson, Marcus Dinkins, Josh Butler, Brandon Butler, Bill McKelvey, Ross Vleck.
Lap Leader- Dinkins 1, Hilton 2-20.
Heat Winners- Dinkins, Lincoln.
Freedom Village USA Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- BOB BUONO, Dale Welty, Dave DuBois, Glenn Whritenhour, Rich Karlnoski, Mikey Wonderling, Dan Cobb, Brandon Smith, Nate Daggett, Chris Peacock, Craig Cobb, Quinn Sutherland.
Lap Leaders- Wonderling 1-7, Buono 8-20.
Heat Winners- DuBois, Karlnoski.
Labatt Blue Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- CHRIS FISHER, Carl Cleveland, Frank Guererri Jr., Jared Hill, Jason White, George Parker, Rob Parker, Mike Schultz, Kevin Morrison, Jim McAfee, Scott Sebring, Jeremy Perkins, Josh Parker, Jayme Gilbert, Rich McIntyre, Brett Crawford, Nate Peckham, Bruce Kinner, Kevin Clark, Rich Bixby Jr., Gene Parker, Rich Sharpsteen I (DQ), Mike Schroeder (DNS), Jarod Brown (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Cleveland 1, Fisher 2-20.
Heat Winners- Fisher, Sharpsteen, Peckham.
Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- RICH SHARPSTEEN II, Brett Crawford, Terry Povoski, Joe Povoski, Dave Matwiejow, Chad Ayers, Del Cummings, Scott Bradley, Brad Rathbun, Phil Yaw, Brent Ayers, C.J. Winslow, Bobby teed, Todd Hayward, Chad Winslow, Brian Thompson, Ray Speicher, Joe Cron Jr., Cody Moorehouse, Jason Barrett (DQ), Jack Ayers (DNS).
Lap Leaders- C.J. Winslow 1-7, Crawford 8, J. Povoski 9, Sharpsteen 10-20.
Heat Winners- Sharpsteen II, T. Povoski, Speicher.
Ladies 4-Cylinder Feature (10 Laps)- NICOLE KNICKERBOCKER, Paula Wallenbeck, Jamie Schuyler, Sarah Potter, Devin Dean, Amanda Schultsick.
Lap Leaders- Schuyler 1-5, Knickerbocker 6-10.
HomeNecessities Bandits (10 Laps)- DYLAN CECCE, Brian Wilson, David DuBois, Val Stephens, Jamie Eldredge Jr., Josh Wallenbeck, Zach Teed, Cody Clemens, Noah Harrington, Lisa Cornish.
Lap Leaders- Eldredge 1, Cecce 2-10.
Midstate Vintage Stockcar Modified Feature (15 Laps)- JOHN KULESZO, Rob Casti, John Applebee, Rich Applebee, Frank Blanchard, Bill Holmes (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Applebee 1-8, Kuleszo 9-15.
Midstate Vintage Stockcar Hobby/Sportsman Feature (15 Laps)- JIM HILIMIRE, Bob Williams, Ray Demolin, Ron Hadden, Bob Whipple Jr., Paul Applebee, Gordie Wood (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Whipple 1, Hilimire 2-15.
Heat Winners- Williams, Kuleszo.
Teachers Enduro Winner (6 Laps)- Michael Pratt.