For Immediate Release
By Billy McKinney
BARBERTON SPEEDWAY: Man and machine graced Barberton Speedway for a night to remember. With a few events before season championship, this week was the ‘make it or break it’ week for those wanting to get a points advantage. Big name drivers joined some of our weekly divisions and the mix of big name and talented weekly drivers made it a noteworthy night.
Ryan Bille was unstoppable in the Bandolero division. When the green flag dropped for the field Steve Mitch, the youngest driver in the division, led the field. Mitch was passed by veteran Madison Lengyel early in the event. Lengyel, looking for some sort of momentum to turn her season around, led many laps until Bille moved around her in turn four. Bille got to leading as Lengyel stalked him in the second position. She eventually lost her position to 2016 and 2017 champion Chris Breads. Breads knew he had only a few laps to go and began to reel in Bille. As the laps wound down, Breads tried everything to get the lead but ran out of time. Ryan Bille took home the win and is still undefeated on the season.
Aaron Mulrooney took home his second Legends feature victory of 2018 and proved he was still in the hunt for a championship. When the green flag fell for the Legends, Anthony Price led the field of hungry drivers into turn one and led the opening lap until a yellow bunched up the field. On the restart, Lars McElravy took over the lead over Mulrooney and Triston Borkoski. Borkoski moved into second position and began reeling in McElravy. His momentum was stalled as 2017 champion Cale Grimes got around both drivers and took the lead of the event. Grimes began leading the bulk of the event while positions swapped behind him. He looked to have the event won until Mulrooney reeled him in late. Mulrooney worked over the back of grimes until he got the run he needed and passed him. Mulrooney took the lead and took home the win over Dan Shively.
The Modifieds had some star power in the field as TJ Stineman took the win. When the green fell, the ground shook as the power of the Modifieds was unleashed. Stineman had the lead over Brad Copen. The duo ran nose to tail for a couple of laps until John White moved into second position. White was followed by Bryce Allensworth, Copen, and Spencer Stineman. The front five became a train of six as Dave Dobbins reeled in the pack. The six cars began to thrill the fans as they ran right up on one another lap after lap. TJ Stineman kept White and the challengers in check as he had an answer for any of their challenges. As the laps wound down, it appeared that White was going to make one more charge, but he ran out of time. TJ Stineman took home the feature victory.
The Street Stocks were headlined by Roger Arbogast’s win. When the green fell, Tim Schmitt worked the outside line on last week’s winner Jim Raines III. While Schmitt began leading, the action behind him got intense. Three wide racing ensued as positions swapped faster than a driver could switch hats. Schmitt found his rearview full of Roger Arbogast around halfway but a yellow put the two side by side on the restart. The restart put Arbogast in front as Schmitt fell back a little. Cyler Bertram moved into second position and Jeff Kuykendall moved into third. Kuykendall worked past Bertram and began to reel in Arbogast. Running laps faster than the leader, Kuykendall tried everything to get Arbogast but fell short as laps wound down. Roger Arbogast took the win.
Tony Urdiales won the late model feature and padded his points lead. The green fell and Larry Baker led the opening circuit. He was passed by 2017 champion Roger Smith. Smith stretched his lead out as the field raced three wide behind him. He survived many laps until Gary Whipkey made contact with him. Smith spun around and Whipkey took the penalty. Smith kept his lead and led the field following the restart. Behind him, Tony Urdiales moved into second position and stalked Smith. He made his pass on Smith going into turn one around halfway. Urdiales began to stretch his advantage on the field as Whipkey moved into second. Whipkey reeled in Urdiales and the two began to put on a battle royale. With a lap to go, Whipkey tried to mount a charge but came up short as Urdiales took home yet another win on the season.
The Compacts moved onto the track with the largest sized field and Natalie Collier took her second win of the season and in a row. When the green flag fell, Andrew Scott passed polesitter Sierra Stewart to lead the opening several laps. Positions swapped in the three wide hornets nest that was the field behind Scott. Andrew Scott broke out of his time and had to serve a penalty which handed the lead over to Scott Kitchen and Tim Farrar. The duo restarted and Kitchen took advantage of the inside line to pull on Farrar. Natalie Collier moved up into second position and worked Kitchen’s outside. She passed him and began to stretch her lead until a yellow with two laps to go set up a dramatic green-white0 checkered finish. When Collier led them to the final green, she stuttered a little which handed Kitchen the lead. At the white flag, Kitchen had the lead but Collier mounted one more charge. She worked his inside and passed him while Sheldon Sommers followed in tow. Sommers tried to get Collier but ran out of lap as Collier pulled it off of turn four and toward the checkered flag.