For Immediate Release
By Billy McKinney
BARBERTON OHIO: Once again, the skies cleared just in time to give drivers time to race and fans time to cheer them to victory. Plenty was at stake this week. Some drivers wanted to snap winless streaks. Others wanted points toward the season finale. Others wanted to simply turn their seasons around and make something, anything, happen to help benefit their racing operation. With a huge race looming, momentum moving forward would help any driver in any division!
Chris Breads had a burning 2016 and 2017 pair of Bandolero championships but 2018 looked to be one to forget. With only a heat race win to show, and a couple wrecks, Breads needed a good run to catch breakout driver Ryan Bille. When the race began, Madison Lengyel sped out front and had the lead locked up for several of the event’s opening laps. Lengyel was eventually passed by Breads who commanded the event. He looked to have it put away before halfway but Ryan Bille made a move low off of turn four to take the lead. Just after Bille took that top spot, the yellow fell for a spin off of turn two. On the restart, Bille had a great short run car, but Breads began reeling him in after a couple laps. Just as Breads was about to make a pass with five to go, Jesse Adams Jr and several others spun off of turn four setting up the race’s final restart. Once again, Bille got the monster run early in the run to the checkers, but Breads kept with Bille. On the white flag, Breads moved low on Bille and got alongside him on the backstretch. Bille let up early in turn three to try and cross over and get under Breads. He did just that and the two set up for a side by side finish. At the line, Breads won it by nine inches!
Cale Grimes was another driver who had a spectacular 2016 and 2017 Legends campaign. With one championship in 2017 and a runner up in points the year before, he needed a win in 2018 to help lock up his championship run for this year. All eyes were on him but it was Michigan’s Greg Rudzik who played spoiler and won his 2nd event of the year. When the race started, Grimes snuck around Austin Tapia early in the event and commanded the bulk of the race. While racing behind him got wild, it was one Greg Rudzik lurking in the shadows and tire tracks of his fellow racers. Rudzik moved up into 2nd around halfway and began stalking Grimes. With five laps to go, Rudzik began to make moves high to set up for a pass. He kept with Grimes and the moves paid off. At the white flag, Rudzik made the pass going into turn one. Grimes rallied high and the two were side by side on the backstretch. Coming through the east end of the track, Rudzik was able to make his car turn better and got the run better than Grimes and took the win.
Car owner Dan Burden fielded two modified entries, and both found victory lane early in the year. Lackluster runs had stalled their momentum but changes in setup and shifts in crew and driver kept the team crisp and full of life. Bryce Allensworth kept the team smiling as he picked up hist first win since before midseason championship. When the green flag fell, He led the field down next to teammate John White. The race ran for only three laps before the first yellow fell when White and Norm Taylor made contact sending the duo pitside. The ensuing restart set Allensworth against Tim Gulatta and Matt Marlowe. Marlowe moved up behind Allensworth but the two made contact and sent Allensworth spinning. Marlowe served the penalty and Allensworth stayed up front. On the restart, Allensworth pulled away from Bob Sibila and took the win.
The Street Stocks were star studded this week and Dennis Wood took the win. Though #22 had glory, all eyes were on Cyler Bertram and Roger Arbogast. The two were locked in a heated points battle and raced harder than anyone else. When the green flag fell, Tim Schmitt commanded the field. He led the opening laps while Arbogast and Bertram worked through the field. The two made contact which resulted in Bertram breaking. Arbogast continued and set his sights on Schmitt. Working low on 2nd place Tim Westerfield, he got a run and began reeling the #42 of Schmitt in. A yellow fell for a spin near the back which bunched the field up. On the restart, Schmitt got the run of a lifetime and pulled ahead of Arbogast. While he led, Dennis Wood moved low of Arbogast and moved into position two. He began reeling Schmitt in and caught a break when a yellow fell for a spin. On the restart with only a few laps to go, Wood made a power move high and passed Schmitt. He led from there and took home the win.
The Late Models had a very strong field of fast competitive drivers and fans were having a hard time picking out a winner. John Ambrose thought different. He took the race with a commanding win. The race started with Doug Mate getting the early lead. Mate kept the event in check through the early few laps until Jesse Adams took the lead. Adams led through to the race’s first yellow when he lost the lead to Ambrose. The race had a long green flag stretch that allowed Ambrose to check out by half of a lap. Behind him, Mate, Adams and Jeff Taylor all put on a battle for 2nd. They lucked out when a late yellow bunched them up with Ambrose. The restart ensued, and Ambrose did not let any of them touch him. He took home the win just one week removed from a rough week.
The Compacts sped onto the track and it was go-time. Tim Farrar won the event while rain moved toward the area. When the green flag fell, Chuck Scott led the field to green over Farrar. Farrar moved around Scott early and left the mayhem of the three and four wide racing behind him. He began checking out while Noah Patterson, Natalie Collier, and Sheldon Sommers all stalked behind him. A yellow for a spin in three kept the field bunched up. Collier moved high on Farrar and was about to pass him when a flat tire derailed her quest for four wins. Farrar had to hold off Patterson from there on out. While Patterson had the motor, Farrar had the cornering speed and the two duked it out for precious tenths and inches on one another. With two laps to go, the rain came and a wreck halted the race. Several drivers offered feedback and said the track was not lost. Officials decided to let them run the final two laps after cleaning up and Farrar was able to pick up his first win in quite a