Jul 24, 2011 12:47 PM EDT
Brady Fultz and Jason Knowles Return to Victory Lane at Black Rock
Rich Vleck, DUNDEE, NY (July 22, 2011)- A pair of former track champions in their respective division got to the front in the late stages of their features and headlined an elite group of winners on an extremely warm night.
Taking center stage on the night were the late models, who returned after a week off for a 25-lap feature event as part of the Dart Machinery BRP CanAm Challenge Series. The event would find the largest car count in the season for the division and some great competition.
Jason Knowles, of Painted Post, the defending track champion, captured his first win at Black Rock in 2011 as he moved by John Waters on lap 21 and held on from there to score the big victory.
Knowles had to start in seventh in the feature event but steadily moved his way up through the stout field to establish himself in the front.
“It started out as a tough race with a bad draw but it worked out,” stated Knowles in Victory Lane. “I need to learn a little bit more so I can get more of these!”
Jeremy Wonderling, another former track champion, had the top spot until a lap 14 restart when John Waters was able to get by. Waters was solid on a lap 18 restart, but Knowles began to build up his momentum and two laps later moved in to the top spot.
Waters was able to hang on for the runner-up spot, his fourth top-two finish in five BRS starts this season. Recent winner Jared Hill was third while his teammate Mikey Wonderling was fourth. Jeff Chesebro completed the top-five.
In sportsman action, Brady Fultz became the first driver in the division to claim their third feature win of the season. Despite having the most wins, the win was still a relief for the Dundee Native.
“It’s been a long time,” declared Fultz in Victory Lane. “The car was just hooked.”
After winning the first two events of the season back in April, the 2007 Track Champion had a bit of dry spell despite scoring quality runs throughout the summer. He started in sixth, but it took him until lap 16 to take command of the field.
The race was slowed early by two quick cautions, including a multi-car encounter on lap three. From that point on the race would run caution-free, forcing Fultz to run down Russell Morseman III over the second half of the event. Despite by a half-straightaway behind Morseman on lap 11 when he took over second, Fultz was able to complete the pass in just over five laps.
Morseman would hang on for a runner-up showing, with point leader and defending champion Donnie Lawson third. Heat winner Loren Lincoln and recent winner Ray Bliss Jr. completed the top-five.
Nate Daggett has been solid all year long in the street stock division, but until Friday had yet to grace Victory Lane. Daggett made no question about it in the 20-lap event though as he scored his second career win leading wire-to-wire.
Daggett, of Dreseden, started on the outside pole and quickly jumped into the race lead, but Chris Fisher and Bob Buono, the top two in points, would also move to the front quickly and remain within striking distance, but Daggett stayed to the top of the track and blasted around for the win.
A late-race restart on lap 16 would make Daggett hit his marks with the field tightened up but once again the wheelman of the No. 3D hit his marks and he would earn the trip to Victory Lane, where he aptly stated that it was still pretty hot.
Fisher would hold off Buono for second and in doing so take back the point lead. Invader Doug Jones and trucker Rich McIntyre rounded out the top-five.
For the sixth race in a row, and the ninth time in 10 events, Mike Smith of Arkport could not be denied in the IMCA Modified Feature, as he would score the win in the 20-lap event.
Smith would move up to second by lap five but would have to chase down Rich McNeal Jr., who had handed over his ride to Smith last month to allow him to hang on to the point lead. On that night, Smith would charge from the back to score the win, and the same would happen on this hot night.
Smith had broken a spring on his potent No. 96 in the heat race, forcing him to start back in eighth for the feature. Once he got in front though there was no looking back. McNeal would hold on for second while division rookies Phil Yaw, Dave Yehl and Rich Karlnoski completed the top five.
Brandon Morseman captured his second win of the season in the 4-cylinder division, taking the lead on the second lap from Val Stephens and leading the rest of the way to hold off point leader Dylan Cecce for the victory.
Cecce, who had moved into second on lap three, and after the final caution of the event on lap five, the final 15 laps of green flag action would see the “Flyin’ X” peaking to the inside of the No. 44, however could not build up enough momentum to complete the pass.
Behind Morseman and Cecce was recent winner Scott Bradley, Val Stephens and Rick Horton to round out the top five.
At the beginning of the night, Lance Irwin finally shrugged off his bad luck to break through and pick up his first career bandit win. Irwin would lead from start to finish becoming the fifth different winner in the division this year.
Irwin was trailed by Zach Teed, who finished second and in the process would close ground on his cousin Allison Teed for the division point lead. Brandon Matthews would score a career-best third-place finish.
Racing action takes a week off this weekend with the Professional Rawhide Rodeo taking center stage for two nights of action this Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.
Hoselton Auto Mall Crate Sportsman Feature (20 Laps)- BRADY FULTZ, Russell Morseman III, Donnie Lawson, Loren Lincoln, Ray Bliss Jr., Randy McCulloch, Fran Hilton, Steven Swarthout, Brent Ayers, Trevor Sutherland, Serenity Sutherland, Chad Dailey, Tom Keyes (DNS).
Lap Leader- Swarthout 1, Morseman 2-15, Fultz 16-20.
Heat Winners- Lincoln, Morseman.
Lap Leaders- J. Wonderling 1-13, Waters 14-20, L. Knowles 21-25.
Heat Winners- Mikey Wonderling, J. Wonderling.
Lap Leaders- Daggett 1-20.
Heat Winners- Daggett, Fisher.
Lap Leaders- VanAmburg 1-2, McNeal 3-11, Smith 12-20.
Heat Winner- VanAmburg.
Signs Plus of Kanona/ Watkins Glen NAPA 4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- BRANDON MORSEMAN, Dylan Cecce, Scott Bradley, Val Stephens, Rick Horton, Del Cummings, Ray Speicher, Ray Cornish, Chis Ayers, Bob Bonham, Joe Knapp Sr., Billy Cagle, Brian Thompson, Ryan Nichols, Mike Ziarno (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Stephens 1, Morseman 2-20.
Heat Winners- Horton, Morseman.
Home Necessities Bandits (10 Laps)- LANCE IRWIN, Zach Teed, Brandon Matthews, Lisa Cornish, Joey Rodbourn, Allison Teed, Trista Teed, Joey Giardina.
Lap Leaders- Irwin 1-10.