For Immediate Release
BARBERTON OHIO: The stage was set. The drivers were there. The weather was cloudless. The fans were there. And the stars aligned. This was it. Midseason championship night was here. On the line? Fame. Bragging rights. Double points. Momentum moving forward to the end of the season. For some, glory. Others? Defeat. Who cashed in nicely on Midseason championship night? Let’s find out.
Ryan Bille kicked things off nicely as he continued his hot streak in the INEX Bandolero division. Upon the drop of the green flag, the many youngsters of the division sped off into turn one. The race got stopped almost as fast as it began as a multicar incident drew out the red flag. Involved was 2017 champion Chris Breads and young Kylie Archer. Both drivers were okay, but Breads’ car was not. While he went pitside, the race resumed. Steve Mitch held the lead for the opening circuit, but it was ‘Racin’ Mason Surgener in his #42 surging to the lead on lap two. He led through the race’s second caution but eventually lost it to Bille around halfway through the race. Ryan Bille began stretching out his lead from there on and took home the win in front of a packed house. He bowed to the fans and thanked all for coming
In 2017, the big talk in the Legend division was the dominance of the Millers early on in the season. Tonight, the MPM team brought three cars and they looked to get back to their winning ways. Zack Miller brought that home for the team, but it was not easy. Upon the drop of the green flag, the race was hard and exciting for the fans. While the drivers fanned out, it was Lars McElravy grabbing the lead. McElravy led several of the race’s early circuits but lost it to Miller as he pushed high in turn two. From there on, it was Zack Miller leading. Miller began pulling away and showed he was the one to beat on this midseason championship night. While he led, he didn’t try to win barely, he began lapping through the field. As he worked lap traffic, time seemed to fly by and before he knew it, the race was over. He had picked up the win and put an exclamation mark on tonight’s Legend edition of the midseason championship night.
The modifieds came into tonight with a tight points battle. Whomever took home the win got a nice advantage on their competition with the double points. Dave Dobbins cashed in on that. When the green flag fell, Bryce Allensworth took the field of loud ground pounding modifieds into turn one and the race got off to a blistering pace. Allensworth laid down fast laps and held off challenges from his Burden Racing teammate Aaron Prater. Prater matched his teammate’s tire tracks until the race’s first yellow. From there, the race went from good, to edge-of-your-seat thrilling. When the green flag fell, Prater and Allensworth battled hard for the lead, but going into turn three, Prater was sent spinning, bringing the race back to yellow. Prater looked to have broke something and pulled pitside. This allowed Dave Dobbins to move up to 2nd. When the race once again went green, Dobbins and Allensworth raced close, hard, and scraped along the backstretch trying to gain a precious advantage over one another. Going into turn three again, Allensworth locked up the brakes but hit Dobbins, sending the duo spinning. Race control had Allensworth serve the penalty for the incident, and the race resumed with Dobbins in the lead. He would lead from there all the way to the end and picked up his first win of 2018.
Fans were catching their breath while the Street Stocks came on to the track. Historically, new faces had been visiting victory lane, and tonight was no exception. Matt Hicks, grandson of the legendary Charlie Childress, picked up the win on his grandfather’s birthday. When the race got going, Hicks had the race well in command. As he stretched his lead, his only competition was Dennis Wood. Wood worked on the back of Hicks and the duo stretched their lead over the field by a straitaway. The two raced through the race’s halfway point and started to notice a big black bumper appearing in their rearview. It was the bumper of Roger Arbogast. As the laps ticked away, the #88 of Arbogast reeled in the front two but ran out of time. Coming to the white flag, Hicks led the other two, and coming off of turn two, extended that lead as Wood hit the wall. Hicks picked up his first ever win in his unsponsored #04 while Wood came home in second and Arbogast took third.
The Late Models were a star-studded pack of cars and Tony Urdiales picked up his third win of the year. Before the event, points leader Roger Smith encountered engine problems and could not make the race. While the race went green, Dave Martin led the field down and looked to have his 94th feature win. That was, until, he lost it to Tony Urdiales just before halfway. Urdiales, second in points, got to leading and looked to cut into Smith’s points lead and pick up the win. The laps ticked away and Urdiales began stretching his lead. Lapping cars left and right, his lead was more than half a track and he had the race wrapped up. When the checkers fell, he took home the win and was greeted by a huge supporter. Chad Wise had finally been cleared from the hospital after his incident and was there supporting the RPM team of Urdiales and Arbogast in the SS division. He excitedly took pictures with Urdiales and was happy to be back at the track.
The Compacts came off of one of the most exciting races last week and the momentum continued this week. Noah Patterson, Crislip teammate to Clayton Oliver, took home the event’s win. When the green flag fell, Scott Kitchen led the opening circuit and looked to have quite the hot rod. His lead continued until the race’s first yellow bunched up the field. He, then, had to hold off 2010 champion Tim Farrar. Farrar made a move to the high side but was blocked by Kitchen. This opened the bottom for third place Patterson. Patterson went low and got both Kitchen and Farrar after a lap long battle. Farrar fell into second, and Kitchen fell back into a battle for third with Clayton Oliver. Oliver worked around Kitchen and worked on Farrar. The duo battled for a couple laps until Oliver got into second place. Oliver began reeling in his teammate but could not. The race ran out of time and it was Patterson picking up his first ever A-main win.