Oct 25, 2009 01:20 PM EDT
BRS Regulars Donnie Lawson and Chris Fisher Score Big Wins, Bryce Davis Breaks Through in BRP CanAm Late Models
By RICH VLECK
The 2009 Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship came to an end Saturday night at Black Rock Speedway and it was Donnie Lawson doing what he had done all season long to win the Owasco Beverage Labatt 30 Championship while Chris Raabe did all that he needed to capture a second straight overall season title.
As Lawson dueled with ’09 Black Rock DIRTcar track champion Todd Henderson to collect the $1,000 top-prize, Raabe kept series runner-up Ryan Susice in sight throughout the event to earn an even bigger honor when he sits at the head table during DIRTcar Racing Northeast’s ‘Night of Champions’ awards banquet in November.
“I’d have to say this is the biggest win of my career,” declared second-generation driver Lawson from Woodhull, N.Y. following his sixth DIRTcar victory of the season at the Yates County oval. “Even though we’ve won some 358 (Small-Block Modified) races, this has to rank right at the top being a tour show.”
Competing for just the third time ever at Black Rock, Raabe was content to escape with a 16th-place finish which was good enough to outlast Susice in the final points chase with only 45 marker separating the talented twosome after 17 extra-distance tour stops.
“We’ve had a lot of trouble here at Black Rock, flat tires and stuff, so going home in one piece and with another championship is still okay in the big picture,” figured Raabe, 18, after joining Steve Hall (1996 & ’98) and Russ Hefti as the only repeat Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman champions in 20 years, with Hefti (2005-06) the first driver to claim back-to-back titles. “It kinda stinks sometimes racing for points, you can’t take chances anywhere. When you get under a guy you gotta back out of it, so just finishing actually becomes more important than where you finish when its all over.”
Canadian invader Luke Carleton jumped out to an early advantage from his pole-position start and held off an early bid by third-place starter Lawson aboard his Morgan's Auto Repair no. 11 Bath Chiropractic Associates/TEO mount. Western New York traveler Mark Chiddy got upside to bring out a rare red flag on lap 4 and on the ensuing restart it was Lawson ducking under Carleton to take the top spot exiting turn two.
Unable to qualify through his heat and the consolation round, Raabe had filled out the final row of the 30-car starting grid then watched as Susice pitted after the stoppage to replace a soft tire and rejoin the rear of the field. Going into the event, Susice needed a victory to stand any chance of stealing away the overall Mr. DIRTcar points crown, while 20th or better for Raabe would lock up the title outright for the ‘Teenage Tornado’ from Napanee, Ont. aboard owner Gary McColman’s no. 01 Scott’s Industrial Services-TyRoute Communication/TEO entry.
Back under green with Lawson moving to the point, Carleton was quickly shadowed by Henderson, Steve Gray and Black Rock regular Loren Lincoln. Susice and Raabe were mired near the back of the pack in their own battle when the lone female qualifier, Katelyn Kane, was tapped from behind in turn four by Chris Silvers to require the only caution of the race on lap seven.
Henderson closed in on leader Lawson a third of the way through and when the halfway mark was reached had moved the HR3 no. 18H Valvoline/Bicknell machine out front in pursuit of his second checkered flag of the season. Henderson used the lapped car of Jeff Hand as a moving pick, sweeping high out of the fourth corner with Lawson sandwiched in between to nose ahead as the threesome crossed the stripe to complete lap 14. Lincoln, Carleton and Gray were scored next when the scoreboard flashed 15 with radar once again showing rain in the distance.
Traffic remained thick as the leaders navigated through the open lanes. This time it was Lawson blasting high out of turn four using the lapped car of Silvers to forge the final lead change as Henderson dropped to second with 19 laps complete.
With Lawson and Henderson running uncontested in the top two slots, Gray overtook Carleton for fourth on lap 22 and set his sights on third-place Lincoln in the closing stages. Not only did Gray complete his climb up to the show position on the final circuit, Justin Wright mirrored the move as he slipped past Carleton with 17 cars finishing the distance in the 25-minute main.
“I thought (Todd) had me, I’m not good in lapped traffic and he knows it,” remarked Lawson, following his 12th victory of the season in Dundee. “I was just able to get it back this time.”
“I knew there was a guy up high, so for him to get a shot up there would’ve been hard because there was a guy blocking the top lane. I Knew if I could just ride behind ---think it was the #65 car (Boyd MacTavish)--- I would be alright. Still wasn’t comfortable about it, saying I was would be a lie. You just hope it’s the right choice, and I’ve made the wrong decision in lapped traffic a lot of times in my life so far,” Lawson admitted.
Winner of a tour-best five Mr. DIRTcar Championship trail races this season, Raabe chose to ride it out once the feature got underway as a Top-20 finish was all he needed to claim the overall title.
“All in all it was a great season, 20 wins, a couple track titles and a 2nd consecutive Mr. DIRT Championship, that’s pretty neat,” said Raabe, who last year became the youngest overall champion in DIRTcar’s 34-year history, and this time around is now the youngest ever to garner consecutive crowns.
“Last year we had about the same number but this season we won more bigger races. We also won out West where Ryan was probably the favorite. Going in we were really looking to match what we accomplished last year so our success this season just reinforces what we did and shows it wasn’t a fluke,” added Raabe, who already plans to be back in 2010 trying to ‘threepeat’ unless additional sponsorship support during the off-season allows otherwise.
Finishing behind Raabe (1651) and Susice (1606) in the final 2009 Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Championship point standings are Jipp Ortiz (1494), Justin Wright (1074), Dan Wiesner (1316), B.J. Willard (1282), Adam Turner (1249), Greg Panunte (1243), Mark Chiddy (1156) and Sammy Reakes IV (1096), who won the ’09 opener at Black Rock in April.
Chris Fisher added his name to an impressive list of drivers to claim the Street Stock World 100 as he fought hard to hold off Nate Peckham and claim the 5th Annual Running of this Fall Tradition.
Fisher, the 2008 Black Rock Champion from Bluff Point, NY, took the lead back from Butch Green on lap 85 and would withstand the challenges from Peckham all the way back to the line to score a $2,000 payday.
In an event that included a fuel stop on lap 51 that turned in to a 40-minute stoppage for a brief shower, Fisher was in the top three the entire way and kept himself with anyone who showed moments of brilliance.
Bob Buono, another local who started up front, jumped in to the lead on the opening lap and despite handing the lead over to Chris or Eric Fisher on a pair of occasions, would quickly get back in to lead in his No. 8x and look to capture an elusive victory in this event. Buono could hold a comfortable advantage over the rest of the stout field, but a soft right rear would cripple his chances and put the race up for grabs.
Butch Green was the next driver that showed his muscle and looked to be the class of the field late in the event. The Thunder Mountain Champion won his consolation event and charged through the pack to take the lead on lap 71. As he completed lap 85 though, his front end would fail and allow Fisher and Peckham to scoot on by.
When the race restarted with 10 to go, it appeared that Peckham, who had charged from 7th to 3rd effortlessly on a lap 70 restart, would have the better car; but he could not hook up the No. 90 on the cushion well enough to get by the Fisher’s Tree Service No. 37.
As the 2008 and 2005 BRS Track Champions raced in to turn three and four for the final time, Fisher moved to the middle to block and would get back to the stripe for the big win.
After the top-two, Dave Mannise crossed in third but was later disqualified; as a result the top-five would be completed with Dan Hoffman Sr., Frank Guererri Jr. and Andy Fisk.
Bryce Davis, of Canisteo, NY, became the newest driver in a long list of competitors to capture their first BRP CamAm Late Model Series Tour win at Black Rock Speedway as he left the second half of the 30-lap feature to capture the $1,500 top prize.
Davis moved under Glenn Whritenhour just after halfway and would hold off a hard-charging Jeff Chesebro to make his flight up from Atlanta worth it.
The college student down in Georgia had been close on a number of occasions in tour events, but he had to wait until the final race of the 2009 season to make it work.
As Davis beat Chesebro back to the stripe, Wayne Robertson, the winner from August, would come across in third. John Waters would charge up to fourth, with early leader Glenn Whritenhour holding on to a top-five finish.
Bruce Miller, a two-time BRS winner in 2009, won his heat despite starting scratch on the field. He drew the pole position and took the option to start at the back in the feature to see if he could claim a bonus $1,000 in the ISKY Racing Cams Challenge. Miller would have to race past 23 cars in order to claim this bonus.
Miller was halfway to the front when Larry Knowles came around in front of him and the two made contact. Not only would it end the night for Miller, it would also knock out any championship hopes that Knowles had for 2009.
Chris Stockham lead all 15 laps of the Xcel 600cc Modified Feature but it was far from easy as he worked feverishly to hold off Brad Szulewski to the finish.
Behind those top two were Nick Mady, George Loux and Sean Beardsley.
Jim Radney rocketed up to the front of the pack in the 18 lap Ray Turner Memorial New York Modified Midget Feature Event.
Radney, of Honeoye Falls, let his girlfriend Shannon Doran ran in the feature and ran up through the from the back in a caution-free event to move by leader John Smith on lap 14 and pull away for the win in his No. 95.
Smith would hold on for second with Nick Cooper, Darryl Ruggles and Matt Smith completing the top-five. Jim Lafler would capture the NYMM title on the night.
To cap off the night, Terry Povoski continued his strong 2009 season with a dominating performance in the 4-cylinder feature. After just missing out on a heat win, Povoski moved by Jon Wallenbeck on lap four and would hold off the driver that defeated him in the qualifier in comfortable fashion for his 10th win of the year.
Wallenbeck would hold on for second with Russ Wassner, Wendel Washington and Ray Speicher completing the top-five.
Racing is not yet done at Black Rock as there are still two big days of racing on November 6 and 7. The Saturday portion will include the $10,000-to-win 4-Cylinder Enduro, the return of the modifieds with the Big Block/Small Block Shootout and an open sportsman challenge. For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.
Black Rock Speedway Results: 10/24/2009-
Owasco Beverage and Naples Valley Auto Parts Night
Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Race #17 – Black Rock Speedway, Oct. 24, 2009 “Owasco Beverage Labatt 30 Championship” Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 3 11 Donnie Lawson/Woodhull,NY($1,000)
2 8 18h Todd Henderson/Canandaigua,NY
3 5 29g Steve Gray/Middlesex,NY
4 10 2 Loren Lincoln/South Bristol,NY
5 4 19w Justin Wright/Piffard,NY
6 1 26h Luke Carleton/Port Colborne,ONT
7 7 70 Brady Fultz/Dundee,NY
8 14 66 Dan Wiesner/Geneva,NY
9 16 85h Rob Humphreys/Elbridge,NY
10 20 k38 Ryan Susice/Ransomville,NY
11 11 77jr. B.J. Willard/St.Catharines,ONT
12 15 0 Jipp Ortiz/Ransomville,NY
13 21 11j Alan Fink/Pennellville,NY
14 2 58L Jim LaRock/Seneca Falls,NY
15 9 14s Craig Gardner/Watkins Glen,NY
16 30 01 Chris Raabe/Napanee,ONT
17 18 65 Boyd MacTavish/Ransomville,NY
18 12 44 Gary Hotelling/Middlesex,NY
19 26 ff3 Rod Mullen/Rexville,NY
20 27 92 Adam Turner/Picton,ONT
21 17 24b Brett Buono/Dundee,NY
22 25 7 Chris Silvers/Elmira,NY
23 23 8 Gus Hurlburt/Canandaigua,NY
24 28 24 Rick Willsey/Elmira Heights,NY
25 24 2k Katelyn Kane/Syracuse,NY
26 29 25 Jeff Hand/Penn Yan,NY
27 6 28w Sandy Pembleton/Lewiston,NY
28 13 32 Greg Crooker/Savona,NY
29 22 m1 David Marcuccilli/Cayuga,NY
30 19 54 Mark Chiddy/Boston,NY
LAP LEADERS: Carleton (1-3), Lawson (4-13), Henderson (14-18), Lawson (19-30).
CAUTIONS: 1 (lap 7); 1 RED FLAG (lap 4).
HEAT WINNERS: Willard, Gardner, Henderson, Carleton.
CONSI WINNER: Fink.
CARS ENTERED: 36.
DID NOT QUALIFY(6)
30-Damon Walker/Penn Yan,NY
Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature, top 3 re-drew)
#1: Willard, LaRock, Pembleton, Crooker, Br.Buono, Hurlburt, Turner, Kane, J.Butler.
#2: Gardner, Gray, Lincoln, Wiesner, MacTavish, Raabe, Walker, B.Butler, Bo.Buono, Hand.
#3: Henderson, Wright, Lawson, Ortiz, Chiddy, Birosh, Silvers, Willsey, Mullen.
#4: Carleton, Fultz, Hotelling, Humphreys, Susice, Povoski, Fink, Marcuccilli.
Consolation Round (12 laps, top 9 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Fink, Marcuccilli, Hurlburt, Kane, Silvers, Mullen, Turner, Willsey, Hand, J.Butler, Raabe, Walker, Povoski, B.Butler, Birosh (DNS), Bo.Buono (DNS).
Guaranteed Starter: Raabe.
Street Stock World 100 Feature (100 Laps)- CHRIS FISHER, Nate Peckham, Mike Schultz, Dan Hoffman Sr., Frank Guererri Jr., Andy Fisk, Eric Fisher, Ron Hawker, Dan Carpenter, Jim McAfee, Rich Green, Jesse Kent, Butch Green, Scott Sebring, Bob Buono, Rich Talada, Larry Fenton Jr., Billy Rampe, Jared Hill, Dylan Cecce, Dave Pope, Russ Marsden, Nick Robinson, Carl Cleveland, Jimmy Grant, Josh Parker, Josh Nobriga, Bill Miller, Adam Ashcroft, Phil Norman Jr., Kevin Boynton (DNS), Dave Mannise (DQ).
Lap Leaders- Buono 1-37, E. Fisher 39-46, Buono 47, C. Fisher 48-51, Buono 52-70, B. Green 71-84, C. Fisher 85-100.
Heat Winners- Mannise, Buono, C. Fisher, Nobriga, Hoffman Sr., E. Fisher.
Consolation Winners- Marsden, B. Green, Talada.
Did Not Qualify- Mike Williams, Daryl Krebs, Dan Hoffman Jr., Nick Rizzo, Tony Pangrazio, Russell Morseman III, Jim McAfee, Terry Potzrebowski, Rich Sharpsteen I, Doug Jones, Matt Pfalzer, Leroy Lewis, Kurt Baker, Chris Jacobs, Leroy Lewis, Steve Faulkner, Steve Sharpsteen, John Gagner, Phil Norman Jr., Hiram Clayson, Dan Scott, Jarod Brown, Hank Buchanan, Rich Bixby Jr., Ross Lurcock, Ajay Potrzebowski, Wade Mason, Chris Moss, Rick Frisco.
Marble’s Automotive Pole Position ($75)- Mannise
Hoselton Automall Half-Way Leader ($50)- C. Fisher
Suzuki Motorcycles & Atv’s Hard Charger ($100)- Guererri
Bixby Homes Hard Luck Award ($50)- Grant
ISKY Racing Cams BRP CanAm Series Late Model Feature (20 Laps)- BRYCE DAVIS, Jeff Chesebro, Wayne Robertson, John Waters, Glenn Whritenhour, Dave DuBois, J.J. Mazur, Brian Knowles, Greg Galligan, Quinn Sutherland, Nate Daggett, Adam DePuy, Mikey Wonderling, Dale Welty, Larry Knowles, Mike Wonderling, Jim Johnson, Bruce Miller, Jason Boyle, Jon Rivers, Jon Lichy, Carl Shetler, Jeremy Wonderling, Jason Knowles.
Lap Leaders- Whritenhour 1-15, Davis 16-30.
Heat Winners- M. Wonderling Jr., Johnson, Miller.
Consolation Winner- J. Wonderling.
Did Not Qualify- Brandon Smith, Bob Bartlett, Chris Peacock, Greg Young, Tony Harris, Rich Karlnoski.
Xcel 600cc Modifieds (15 Laps)- CHRIS STOCKHAM, Brad Szulewski, Nick Mady, George Loux, Sean Beardsley, Paul DeRuyter, Loren Ward, Spike Smith.
Lap Leaders- Stockham 1-15.
Heat Winner- Stockham.
Ray Turner Memorial New York Modified Midget Feature (18 Laps)- JIM RADNEY, John Smith, Nick Cooper, Darryl Ruggles, Matt Smith, Alysha Ruggles, Ken Wills, Tyler Walker, Jim Lafler, Kirsten Dombrowski.
Lap Leaders- Smith 1-13, Radney 14-18.
Heat Winners- Cooper, J. Smith.
4-Cylinder Feature (20 Laps)- TERRY POVOSKI, Jon Wallenbeck, Russ Wassner, Wendel Washington, Ray Speicher, Brian Grant, Erica Bell, Brent Ayers, Jeff Clarkson, Val Stephens, Rick Amidon, Rich Sharpsteen II, Jack Ayers, Tracey Dunn, Kailey Wassner, Brett Crawford (DNS), Terry Ostrander (DNS).
Lap Leaders- Sharpsteen 1-2, Wallenbeck 3, Povoski 4-20.
Heat Winners- Wallenbeck, Sharpsteen.