For Immediate Release
By Billy McKinney and Christie Hrdlicka
BARBERTON OHIO: The stage was set and the weather was great as drivers from four states piled into Barberton Speedway for six divisions of thrilling racing. To help accompany racing was the fact it was fathers’ day weekend. Drivers young and old had their fathers on their mind. One driver, Jimmy McKinley even had a throwback to a car his father worked on. With drivers wanting to do well for their dads and racing on the line, it was time to shine!
Ryan Bille impressed his father with a win in the Bandolero division. Hailing from Girard PA, Bille started shotgun on the field and had his work cut out for him. As the Ed Tenney green flag flew for the field, it was Steve Mitch leading the field. Mitch led for a couple laps while drivers behind him battled it out. Three and four wide racing went on behind Mitch as drivers such as Chris Breads, Bille, and Mason Surgener worked through the pack. The trio battled past Mitch and made it a three-way, tri-state, fight for the lead. All hailing from different states (none of them Ohio), the three traded tricks as each tried to get the jump on the other. Bille began to pull away from the two behind him and set his car on cruise control as the two behind him developed handling problems. As the checkered flew, Bille made PA proud by taking home the win. New York’s Breads took home second while Michigan’s Surgener grabbed third..
Michigan’s Greg Rudzik brought home the Legend feature after a nail biting battle with 2017 champion Cale Grimes. Madalynn Minnear got the jump at the start and led the opening circuit. Behind her, Rudzik and Grimes bobbed and weaved through traffic and the duo grabbed the lead on lap three with Rudzik over Grimes. From there, it was on! Lap after lap, the two did everything in the book to gain the advantage over on another. Attempting different breaking zones, corner entries/exits and trying to out-restart each other, the two did not separate the entire feature as they battled it out in front of a packed crowd. As the laps wound down, Grimes pushed the issue harder and harder, recording the fastest laps of the race and never letting the red #17 of Rudzik away by more than a couple inches between their bumpers. The laps wound down and Rudzik took home the win, but it was a close one!
The ground pounding modifieds took to the racing surface and Norm Taylor recorded win number two on the 2018 season. Norm Taylor put on a clinic as the race went flag to flag and he led every circuit. Grabbing the lead on the outside, Taylor led while hard racing filled his mirror. Bryce Allensworth held the silver position while Dave Dobbins, Bob Sibila and Aaron Prater challenged him for second place. Allensworth knew it was time to go and pulled on the pack and began reeling in Taylor. As the laps wound down, Allensworth’s car began pushing slightly and could not catch Norm Taylor’s silver and blue #32. Norm picked up his second win as Allensworth took home second and Sibila rallied to third.
Jeff Kuykendall brought home his first win of the season as he outlasted everyone in the Street Stock feature. Tim Schmitt and Rick Pereces held the first two spots when the green flew, but neither stayed up front long. Cyler Bertram sneaked past for the lead as trouble broke behind them. A massive wreck involving multiple drivers in turn three brought the race to a stop as the red flew. When the carnage was collected, Bertram led what was left of the field to green. Behind him, Jeff Kuykendall went three wide on the outside to snag second place. The move was times perfectly as the red flag flew once more as Dennis Wood went flying into the infield after suffering an axle failure. While Wood was unhurt, his day was done. Kuykendall and Bertram restarted on the front row and Kuykendall made the outside his line as he sped past Bertram. As the laps wound down, the car count wound down as wrecks, mechanical failures, and plain dumb luck sidelined most of the field. Kuykendall outlasted all of it and brought home the feature win.
Tony Urdiales made it three in a row in the late model feature as he out drove the competition. When the green flag flew, Nick Chmara led early but was passed by Roger Smith. The 2017 champion was still looking for his first win and looked to have the car to beat until a yellow for Aaron Prater set Smith against Urdiales. The duo restarted, and Urdiales grabbed the lead on the outside line. While Urdiales led, the race looked to be a Saturday drive as he inched his way ahead of the field. The late race yellow came out for a spin in turn one which required a cleanup. During the yellow, Jeff Mundell pulled off with overheating issues bringing the field a tad smaller. The green flew for the remaining drivers and Urdiales took home his third win after a hard battle to the checkers.
Kylee Wood took home her second win of the season, snapping the streak for the compact division where no one driver had repeated winning yet this year. Wood ended that and impressed her father, Dennis in the process. When the green flew for the 18-car compact field, racing got intense from the start. Wood worked to the lead by lap one while three and four wide racing occurred behind her. Bre Garrett held second place for a while and looked to reel in Wood before getting swallowed by the hornets’ nest that was the pack. Oliver Racing teammates Noah Patterson and Clayton Oliver worked past Garrett and began to attempt to reel in Wood. The duo ran out of laps as the checkers waved for Wood. In a race that lasted only eight minutes, running flag to flag, Wood displayed professional driving skill and won the race for everyone on her crew and her sponsors.