May 19, 2012 12:35 AM EDT
John Waters Claims BRP Dart Challenge Series Race at Black Rock
Dundee Residents Fultz, Karlnoski and Kreidler All Claim Wins
Rich Vleck, DUNDEE, NY, (May 18, 2012)- John Waters has pretty much dominated anything related to 360 Late Model racing thus far in 2012 and that trend continued in a resounding way Friday Night as he held command over a strong contingent of cars.
Waters, the defending BRP Dart Challenge Series Champion, scored his third win at Black Rock in as many attempts in the 25-lap Challenge Series 2012 Opener. Each week Waters has had to work hard for the win but on this beautiful night not only was he battling tough competitors, he also had some mechanical gremlins to overcome.
Waters took the lead upon the drop of the green flag and would hold command for the first eight circuits. Jason Knowles was up to the challenge though as he would take the lead on the ninth lap before Waters took it back briefly on lap 11. Knowles would re-establish himself on top but the complexion of the race would change on lap 14.
While Knowles held a quality lead, Mikey Wondelring, who was battling for second, had a mechanical issue and came together with Waters, who collected his teammate Steve LeBarron in the process. It looked as if Waters had an issue near his right front corner but it did not seem to affect him.
“I felt it wobbling a little there,” reflected Waters in Victory Lane. “We had some transmission problems in the heat so I just was hoping it would hold together.”
Not only did the car hold together on the final restart of the race on lap 15, Waters would rim-ride around the 2010 Champion to take the lead back for good.
“We’ve had some good luck of late. Jason ran me real hard and was tough to keep out of the lead.”
In the waning laps, Jason Knowles was able to hang on for second, but not without an intense challenge from Bruce Miller, who was coming fast but would have to settle for third. Jeremy Wonderling was fourth, holding off Jared Hill, who went to the back for an opening lap incident but would rally to round out the top five.
Five laps into the sportsman feature, Brady Fultz was mired deep in the pack, outside of the top 10, and it appeared as though he would not take back-to-back trips to Victory Lane. He would work his way into fifth though by a lap 12 caution and two laps later was in front of the field and setting sail on the pack.
Fultz, from Dundee, scored his second win in a row in dramatic fashion, using a lap 13 restart to jolt from fifth to second using the top of the track and then crossed underneath early leader Dale Welty to jump in front just before the completion of lap 14. Fultz would not have any issue bringing it home for the win from there.
“This car is a rocket ship aint it,” proclaimed Fultz in Victory Lane. “I thought someone cut my right rear down early in the feature but I was able to get a few spots and then the door opened up so I had to take it.”
The Troyer No. 70 had to start 15th due to handicapping and in the early portion of the race, with the majority of the cars using the bottom line; things were slowed up by an accordion effect. On the second restart of the race on lap five, Fultz, along with Donnie Lawson, started picking off handfuls of spots on the high side using the top. While Lawson could not hold the spots he picked off, Fultz was able to hang near the top five for until a lap 12 caution flag when he could reset and jolt in to the lead.
As Fultz took off from the pack, Gary Hotelling completed a solid night of racing with a fine second place showing. Jim LaRock crossed in third but would be disqualified upon post race inspection. That would move Ray Bliss Jr. up to a third place finish with Karl Comfort and Loren Lincoln completing the top five.
Bob Buono scored his second win of the year in the street stocks as he led a wacky race down the stretch. There was a five or six car battles for the lead for much of the first half of the race but on lap 12 things changed when Nate Daggett, Chris Fisher and Jake Karlnoski, the three cars running second through fourth on the track, all came together and knocked each out of contention for the win. It appeared that the incident would allow Buono to cruise to the win, but Rich Sharpsteen I, who had his own incident on lap nine, would apply pressure to the No. 64 down the stretch before having to settle for second. Somehow Chris Fisher and Nate Daggett would rally to place third and fourth, respectively, ahead of Jeremy Perkins.
After coming close to a win on numerous occasions over his first year and a half running and IMCA Modified, local favorite Rich Karlnoski finally found his way into Victory Lane on Friday after a dominating performance in the 20-lap feature.
Karnloski, from just down the road, started ninth but was up to second by the end of the first lap, then drove by defending champion Mike Smith to complete the second lap. Smith attempted to make a challenge on the race’s only restart on lap 14 but a mechanical issue would force the No. 96 pitside; from there it was smooth-sailing for Karlnoski as he claimed his first feature win since he won in a late model in June of 2009.
Shawn Bruce was able to cross in second for the third time this year while Phil Yaw, Bruce Tinsley and Jared Spaulding completed the top five.
There was plenty of 4-cylinder action on the night, with James Kreidler taking the spotlight as he won his feature on both the oval as well as the road course for his first wins at his hometown track.
Kreidler led all 20 laps of the 4-cylinder standard feature, keeping Ray Speicher at bay down the stretch to put his No. 79k in Victory Lane. Teammates Scott Bradley and Del Cummings would place third and fourth, respectively, with Russ Wassner completing the top five.
In the special 30-lap 4-cylinder Road Course event, Kreidler would take the lead by lap three but would be penalized four positions during the race’s first caution period on lap four for cutting a segment of the course. On the restart, Kreidler would get caught behind a tractor tire demarking the hairpin turn on the backstretch and would move to last. He remained persistent though in the longer event and that persistence would pay off in the final corner.
Nate Peckham, who also had spent time near the back for various reasons, took the lead on lap 15 from Brian Grant and had held as much as a seven second lead before Kreidler began to shrink the interval. On the final lap, Peckham got caught behind a lapped car and perhaps being unaware that Kreidler was coming, did not get off the final corner at optimal speed, setting up a drag race to the finish, where Kreidler was able to prevail.
The unique race was well-received by most of the competitors as well as the fans as a different way at watching dirt racing. Aside from Kreidler and Peckham, the other cars to finish on the lead lap were Brian Grant and Erick Bell while Russ Wassner was once again fifth.
The road course event was not the only time on Friday Nate Peckham led when taking the white flag but did not win. In the front wheel drive 4-cylinder feature, Peckham had the lead with one lap left but darted in to the pits, handing the win to Zack Curren. In that division’s heat race, Peckham slowed on the final lap while leading.
To kick off the competitive racing for the night, Brandon Matthews became the third different winner in the bandit division in as many weeks with a convincing victory in the 10-lap event. Matthews had battled an ill-handling race car up until Friday but finally got things figured out and became a feel-good story as he scored his second career win over Noah Herington and Justin Eldridge.
Black Rock will take Memorial Weekend off before getting back to action June 1 and 2 with monster trucks returning to The Rock. Friday’s portion will include a full racing card while Saturday is Wreckapalooza which will include a demolition derby. For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.
Lap Leaders- J. Waters 1-8, J. Knowles 9-10, J. Waters 11, J. Knowles 12-14, J. Waters 15-20.
Heat Winners- Hill, B. Knowles, Sutherland.
Hoselton Auto Mall Crate Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- BRADY FULTZ, Gary Hotelling, Ray Bliss Jr., Karl Comfort, Loren Lincoln, Donnie Lawson, Ross Vleck, Serenity Sutherland, Josh Livingston, Brent Ayers, Josh Butler, Fran Hilton, Kris VanNordstrand, Chris Silvers, Joe Cook Jr., Dale Welty, Randy McCulloch, Chris Daugherty, Dan Mathews, Trevor Sutherland, Nicole Hoag.
Lap Leader- Welty 1-13, Fultz 14-20.
Heat Winners- McCulloch, Hotelling, T. Sutherland.
Lap Leaders- Cecce 1-4, Karlnoski 5-7, Buono 8-20.
Heat Winners- Cecce, Perkins.
Lap Leaders- Smith 1, Karlnoski 2-20.
Heat Winner- Karlnoski, Bruce.
Signs Plus of Kanona/ Watkins Glen NAPA 4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- JAMES KREIDLER III, Ray Speicher, Scott Bradley, Del Cummings, Russ Wassner, Riley Ellison, Zack Teed, Jayson Smart, Jeremy Trank, Chad Ayers, Rick Horton, Chris Ayers, Billy Cagle, Erick Bell, Stacey Smith, Rich Sharpsteen II, Brian Thompson (DNS), David Kinnner (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Kreidler 1-20.
Heat Winners- Kreidler, Sharpsteen, Cummings.
Front Wheel Drive 4 Cylinder Feature (12 Laps)- ZACK CURREN, Carl LeBarron, Jamie Eldridge, Brian Grant, Steven Rogers, Alyssa Duby, Nate Peckham.
Lap Leaders- Grant 1-3, Curren 4-8, Peckham 9-11, Curren 12.
Heat Winner- LeBarron.
4 Cylinder Road Course Feature (30 Laps)- JAMES KREIDLER III, Nate Peckham, Brian Grant, Erick Bell, Russ Wassner, Chad Ayers, Jamie Eldridge, Del Cummings, Rich Sharpsteen II, Steve Rogers, Alyssa Duby, Chris Ayers, Jeremy Trank, Scott Bradley, Rich Horton, Zack Curren, Riley Ellison, Jayson Smart, Zack Teed, Billy Cagle (DNS), Stacey Smith (DNS), David Kinner (DNS), Brian Thompson (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Horton 1-2, Kreidler 3-4, Horton 5, Peckham 6, Horton 7-10, Grant 11-14, Peckham 15-2, Kreidler 30.
Home Necessities Bandits (10 Laps)- BRANDON MATTHEWS, Noah Herington, Justin Eldridge, Brandon Kinner, Trista Teed, Desiree Force, Joey Rodbourn, Lance Irwin, Allison Teed (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Matthews 1-10.