May 1, 2010 03:25 AM EDT
“Cobra” Chuck Hebing Takes a Bite Out of ASCS Patriot
By RICH VLECK
The best day of 2010 in terms of weather just may have been that in terms of racing in New York State as well, as a perfect sky helped to foster near-perfect race conditions
It had been nearly two years since Chuck Hebing had won a Patriot Race, seemingly an eternity for the winningest driver in the history of the series. But if there is one track that “The Cobra” has had command of over the years, it is Black Rock; and if there is one date when he performs the best, it is the opening night. On a clear night, the stars aligned for Hebing for a win and a track record to go along with it.
Hebing, of Ontario, NY, moved underneath hometown favorite Tim Kelly coming to crossed flags and pulled away in his No. 45 for his 31st career Patriot win. It capped off nearly a flawless night for the two-time series champion.
“Cobra” dominated the first heat race of the season, as he attacked a tacky track and laid down a 12.954 second lap the second circuit around to break the Black Rock Speedway track record and become the first to run a lap in the 12 second bracket. After drawing a 7th place starting spot for the feature, he was carefully aggressive to get to the front.
After a rough start to the 25-lap A-Main in which Gary Kriess flipped hard into the backstretch fence, Bobby Breen cut down a tire and Jared Zimbardi and George Suprick wrecked out of the event, once things got running under green flag conditions, the cream began to rise to the top.
A caution flag on lap eight altered the face of the event when Zimbardi and Jeff Cook came together. Tim Kelly had led up until that point, but Steve Poirier was setting up his bid to take the lead right when the caution flag waved. On the restart though, the driver that would begin his attack on the leader would be Hebing.
With a lapped car of Bruce DeWick between Kelly and his chasers, Hebing saw the opportunity to move into second and quickly moved underneath Poirier, as well as DeWick to begin to analyze Kelly. When what would be the final yellow flag unfurreled on lap 12 for the No. 21L of Trevor Lewis spinning, Hebing was ready to strike.
On the restart, Hebing dove hard underneath Kelly entering turn four, but drifted up the track. Kelly moved his VFL Energy No. 12 down to the bottom but as the two entered turn one, Hebing has the preferred line and had set sail.
“I knew (Kelly) was leaving the bottom lane open, and I knew I had to drive it way in there to get underneath him,” noted Hebing after the event. “I got a great pull off the corner and that was huge because it was tough to pass out there tonight.”
Over the second half of the race, all of which was running consecutively under green flag condition, the track quickly began to slick off, which played right into Hebing’s hands. The top wing on the Wilkins RV No. 45 was set up with much more angle than other cars, so when the track altered, the leader was in an even more commanding position. This was definitely something that Hebing was ready for as he collected his fifth career BRS win.
“This was like the old Black Rock tonight,” he added in Victory Lane, alluding to the track circa 2004, where the speedway was ultra fast and had a thinner groove.
The win was the fourth season opening Patriot Win for “Cobra” in the last five seasons. After somehow going winless with the series for the first time ever in 2009, he quickly made sure that trend did not continue on a pristine spring afternoon and night.
As Hebing checked out, a dejected Tim Kelly fought hard to preserve a runner-up finish. Despite being consistently in the top-five last season, including three runner-up showings, the quite veteran from nearby Rock Stream has been getting anxious to break out of a winless drought that has gone one much longer than anyone could imagine.
Defending ASCS Patriot Champion Bryan Howland put together another championship type run as he figured out how to get his No. 51 moving forward and finish third, right behind Kelly at the line.
Scott Bonnell was flying through the pack early on, advancing from 16th to 4th and passing Howland by lap 8; on that restart though, “Flyin’ Bryan” would move back around the No. 3B and then moved by Steve Poirier, whose No. 28FM has began to go away.
As the race settled, Poirier would make his long trip from Quebec pay off with a fourth, his best career finish at Black Rock. Bonnell would round out the top-five for his best run at BRS since his historic win in the 2003 Fall Nationals.
Don Adamczyk continued his improvement at the Dundee oval with a track-best sixth. Lance Yonge, another local favorite, was seventh, with Alain Bergeron taking home eighth.
Kevin Nouse ran up from the B-Main to cross in 9th in his first career Patriot start. Jessica Zemken won the Demaree Fruit Farms Four Laps of Fame Dash and rounded out the top-10.
Trevor Lewis’ spin when coming together with Don Adamczyk in a battle for sixth would end up resulting in an 11th place for the driver of the No. 21L. It was the first time in 14 starts the Upper Black Eddy, PA hot shoe has ever finished outside of the top-10 at Black Rock.
Rob Richmond Jr. was a driver without a racetrack at the end of 2009 when Genesee Speedway closed; his new focus became Black Rock Speedway for 2010 and in the second regular season race completed what he set out to do- win.
Richmond, of Rochester, outdueled Ron Cartwright Jr. over the final three laps to win the 25-lap Hoselton Sportsman Feature. The two leaned on each other coming to the white flag, but Richmond was not ready to let this opportunity slip by.
After starting in fifth, Richmond quickly moved through the pack and by the time the second lap was completed, had taken the lead from Brett Buono. He checked out on the field until a lap 18 caution for Serenity Sutherland would allow Cartwright, who had fought his way up to second, to start on the rear end of the No. 93jr.
Even though Richmond scooted away initially, Cartwright was able to set up a big run on the leader, who started to develop a push on corner entry. They evened up over the final two circuits, with Cartwright leaning on Richmond off of turn four with a lap remaining.
Richmond made his car as wide as possible entering turn one for the final time and got far enough ahead to prevent a bonsai run by Cartwright. He would win and to say the lead was jubilant.
After the top two was Loren Lincoln, who steadily moved up through the pack. Defending Champion Donnie Lawson was fourth, with Steve Gray rounding out the top-five.
Jeremy Wonderling hit his stride to round out the night in the Insinger/Sunoco Race Fuels Feature, driving underneath Jason Knowles on lap 12 and leading the rest of the way for his first win of the season.
Wonderling was getting great bite off the bottom and appeared as if he would pull away, but Bryce Davis, driving a Steve Dixon No. 50 with a tapped-on 94, used the middle line to give him a bid at the lead. He would come up just a lap shy of making the pass for the lead, but sure made it interesting as he chased out the benchmark of the division at Black Rock.
Jim Johnson made a wild pass to get up front early on and would cross in third. Jason Knowles, who led more than half of the race, would hold off his father, Larry, for fourth.
Bob Buono stayed on top of his game in the American Racer Tire Street Stock Class., holding off Chris Fisher in a spirited battle throughout the second half of the event. Buono started in eighth and took the lead from Rich Sharpsteen I on the eighth circuit.
Not long after inheriting the lead, Chris Fisher, who won the week earlier, was up to second after starting in 11th; but that as far as he would advance this time around.
With 25 street stocks in the pits, a bonus $300 was added to the winner’s share, which made the action even more intense. As the laps winded down, Buono held steady in the middle line, making it tough for Fisher to make any headway.
As the top two duked it out for the win, Andy Fisk would rally back up to third. Jimmy Grant and Carl Cleveland fought hard back to the line to round out the top-five.
Rich Sharpsteen II jumped out in front of the Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Feature on lap four, but with defending champion and most-recent winner Terry Povoski reeling him in, “Fatboy” had to be flawless to pick up the win.
Sharpsteen made an important move with 5 laps to go while in lapped traffic to keep Povoski at bay; but a debris caution on lap 17 would make it a shootout to the finish.
Povoski had been gaining ground on the top, but on the final lap elected to make a bid on the bottom line, but got his No. 4 loose off the final corner and allowed the “Flyin’ X” to get the momentum back to the line.
Joe Povoski was a solid third, with Del Cummings running up to fourth. Chad Ayers completed the top-five.
Noah Herington picked up his second win in as many weeks but had to work even harder this time to hold off Zach Teed in the Home Necessities Bandits.
Herington made the move to the top spot on a lap eight restart but Teed would not give up as they battled right to the checkered flag. Teed made a move to the bottom entering the final set of corners, but got crossed up as the two youngsters ran each other clean to the line. Lisa Cornish was solid for a career-best third place showing.
Black Rock Speedway Results: 4/30/2010-
Abtex Corp. Night
ASCS Patriot A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Steve Poirier (28FM), 5. Scott Bonnell (3B), 6. Don Adamczyk (21), 7. Lance Yonge (17J), 8. Alain Bergeron (8B), 9. Kevin Nouse (00), 10. Jessica Zemken (14), 11. Trevor Lewis (21L), 12. Bubba Broderick (5), 13. Blake Breen (8), 14. T.J. Newton (57), 15. Bruce DeWick (22D), 16. Justin Barger (32), 17. Jeff Cook, 18. Bobby Breen (9), 19. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 20. Jared Zimbardi (35), 21. Gary Kriess (92), 22. George Suprick (5v).
Lap Leaders- Kelly 1-12, Hebing 13-25.
B-Mains (Top 6 Transfer to A-Main)- 1. Jeff Cook (10), 2. George Suprick (5v), 3. Blake Breen (8), 4. Kevin Nouse (00), 5. Bruce DeWick (22d), 6. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 7. Nick Schaluch Jr. (38N), 8. Joe August Jr. (47), 9. Dave Wickham (80), 10. Shane Ely (90), 11. Chris Muhleisen (10M).
Demaree Fruit Farms/ Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Jessica Zemken (14), 2. Trevor Lewis (21L), 3. Lance Yonge (17J), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Bubba Broderick (5), 6. T.J. Newton (57).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Don Adamczyk (21), 3. Gary Kriess (92), 4. Trevor Lewis (21L), 5. Scott Bonnell (3B), 6. Bubba Broderick (5), 7. Kevin Nouse (00), 8. George Suprick (5v), 9. Dave Wickham (80).
Race 2: 1. Justin Barger (32), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Steve Poirier (28FM), 4. Lance Yonge (17J), 5. Bruce DeWick (22D), 6. Jeff Cook (10), 7. Blake Breen (8), 8. Shane Ely (90), 9. Chris Muhleisen (10M).
Race 3: 1. Bobby Breen (9), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Jessica Zemken (14), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. T.J. Newton (57), 6. Alain Bergeron (8B), 7. Nick Schlauch Jr. (38N), 8. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 9. Joe August Jr. (47).
Hoselton Auto Mall Crate Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)- ROB RICHMOND Jr., Ron Cartwright Jr., Loren Lincoln, Donnie Lawson, Steve Gray, Brady Fultz, Brett Buono, Damon Walker, Trevor Sutherland, Fran Hilton, Ross Vleck, Serenity Sutherland, Rob Parker, Katelyn Kane, Brent Ayers, Steve Swarthout, Dave Yehl, Todd Henderson, Matt Richmond, Jeff Frasier, Bryan Faulkner, Randy McCulloch (DNS).
Lap Leader- Buono 1, Richmond 2-25.
Heat Winners- Fultz, Lawson, Hilton.
Insinger/Sunoco Fuels Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- JEREMY WONDERLING, Bryce Davis, Jim Johnson, Jason Knowles, Larry Knowles, Dave Miller, JJ Mazur, Jeff Chesebro, Josh Smith, Quinn Sutherland, Chris Peacock, Adam Ashcroft, Eric Greenleif, Mike Wonderling, Dale Welty, Rich Karlnoski.
Lap Leaders- J. Knowles 1-11, J. Wonderling 12-20.
Heat Winners- Johnson, J. Knowles.
American Racer Tire Street Stock Feature (20 Laps)- BOB BUONO, Chris Fisher, Andy Fisk, Jimmy Grant, Carl Cleveland, Nate Peckham, Andy Fisk, Larry Fenton, Jim McAfee, Rob Parker, Les McCann, Harold Fenton, George Parker, Joe Knapp, Ron Mogavero, Nate Daggett, Dan Smart, Mike Jackson, Rich Sharpsteen I, Jared Hill, Kevin Morrison, Josh Parker, Dylan Cecce, Frank Guererri Jr., Jason White (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Sharpsteen 1-7, Buono 8-20.
Heat Winners- Fisk, McAfee, Daggett.
Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- RICH SHARPSTEEN II, Terry Povoski, Joe Povoski, Del Cummings, Chad Ayers, Ray Speicher, Russ Wassner, Jeff Clarkson, Tyler Siri, Chris Ayers, Kailey Wassner, Mike Ziarno, Val Stephens, Rob Wilcox, Brian Thompson, Scott Bradley, Pat Toupin.
Lap Leaders- Bradley 1-3, Sharpsteen 4-20.
Heat Winners- Sharpsteen II, T. Povoski, C. Ayers.
Home Necessities Bandits (10 Laps)- NOAH HERINGTON, Zach Teed, Lisa Cornish, Val Stephens, Cody Clemens, Allison Teed, Evan Stiles.
Lap Leaders- Z. Teed 1-7, Herington 8-10.