One can be certain that summer is here now, after the ninety degree temperatures this weekend. The high temps and the recent track cleaning were enough to slow down the cars, most at least, on Saturday. It has been a year for speed and broken track records. Those that were here for qualifying witnessed the Figure Eight record being broken, but for the first time this season all the other records remained safe. In fact they were not contested much at all.
In the Spee-D-Metals Limited Late Model division Billy Roberts set the fast time for an impressive fifth week in a row. Roberts, fresh off a feature win last weekend, entered the night seeking his first preliminary race win. While one can be sure that he was seeking a win, he was most certainly looking to gain on Duane Bates the division points lead. Charles Durst started the racing night off with the dash win. Davey Lawson took the checkered in the heat win. Bates took his first preliminary race of the season by winning the pursuit race. Durst and Lawson paced the field to the green. Bates made an early move to get around Lawson and was quickly gaining on Durst to challenge for the lead. Everything came to a halt, literally, on lap six when a spinning Durst made the field pile up behind him. Bates was able to stop before driving through Durst, but Lawson was not. Lawson drove under the black Monte Carlo piloted by Bates, taking Lawson out of the feature. Durst still held the lead on the following restart and would hold off Bates and Roberts to take his first feature win. Bates would finish second, Roberts third, Mickey Caranci took home fourth, and Lawson was fifth. Bates added to his points lead over Roberts, which now stands at 25.
In Street Stock action it was Josh Way setting fast time on the night. After missing the dash last weekend, Way was back and out qualified the field by over one tenth of a second. This week it was point’s leader Joe Coursen that missed the dash. Keith Platz held off Johnny Canter for the dash win. Jake Shipman started his evening off with a win in the first heat race, while Earl Goldy was the winner of the second heat race. Shipman continued his night by winning the pursuit race. Fred McCord and Shipman started on the front row of the 30 lap feature race. Shipman jumped to the early lead and opened up some track between him and McCord. The first caution came out on lap ten for Mike Henderson, who was back in action after an accident in the ‘Shootout by the Shore 150’. On the ensuing restart Shipman had his hands full holding off Rodney Reynolds and Scott Skufca. All the while Coursen and Way were making their way to the front. With Reynolds and Skufca fighting for second, Shipman was able to take a bit bigger lead and drive to his first street stock victory of his career. The youngster not only captured his first win, but also took over the points lead. Shipman now leads Coursen by 38 points.
Charles Herrmann was returning after engine woes to start the season. He hit the ground running, and fast. Herrmann started his evening by claiming the track record, setting the new fastest time for the division at 14.240. That time was fast enough to put him in the street stock dash at second fastest qualifier. However, it was Kevin Malek taking the first win of the night and the first of his rookie season. Justin Bever was back at the track and won the first heat. Chad Davis held off a charging Joe March to claim the second heat. Joe Malek, brother of Kevin, also made his first appearance to victory lane by winning the pursuit. Chuck Sadar led the feature to the green, but was quickly passed by Jason Simak. Simak, feature winner on the delayed Opening Night, was closely followed by Mike Reed. Chad Davis found his way from the middle of the pack to the back bumper of Reed. The two made contact on lap on lap 3, which gave Davis second and the opportunity to go after Simak. After a few laps of trying each lane to get around Simak, Davis found an opening and took over the lead on lap 9. The rest was history, as Davis opened up a huge lead and drove to his second career win and his first of the season. Reed retained the top spot in points and with just two weeks left of racing in the first half of the season his lead over Randy Lette stands at 161 points. Note, the most points that can be made in one night is 150.
If we at Lake County Speedway had a Power Rankings for our drivers, like NASCAR does, then Kelly Horst would be number one. The kid has been on fire and was unstoppable again on Saturday. Horst started his evening by setting the fast time. Dylan Atwell beat Horst for the dash win, his second in a row. Tim Cloutman was the winner of the first heat race, Mike Liddy won the second heat, and Gary Drake Jr. won the third heat. Horst came from the tail of the pursuit race and on the final lap passed TJ Schinke for the win. Cory Flender started on the pole with David Guynn for the B main feature. However, Cloutman came from the fourth place starting position to take the lead on lap 1. He led until lap 9, when Ben Call took over. Joe Combs had followed him, after Call passed him going to the front. Combs gave him a run for the win, but did not have enough to get back around him, as Call held him off for his first feature win of the year. In the A main feature Aaron Van Dalen was back and accompanied Matt McCord to start the feature. Van Dalen took the early lead and held off Drake Jr. for a while, but Drake found his way around him and took over. Point’s leader Matt Weigand was giving Drake a run, until a caution on lap 12 brought the field back together. The restart gave Horst the opportunity to get back with the pack, which was just what he needed. Within three laps Horst was second and after a few more challenging Drake for the lead. The two battled for the last five laps of the race. Horst used a great run into three to propel him out of turn four and to the win, just beating Drake to the line. It was his second victory in as many weeks and his career. He used the pursuit and feature wins to cut into Weigand’s point lead, which is now only 14 points.
Last week it was Melvin Martin who dominated, this week it was Ryan Brenner’s turn. Brenner was win less entering the night, but at the end of the evening had a win in each of the four races. Brenner won from the pole in the dash, heat, and pursuit. He held off Allen Filkins Jr. for the dash, Mike Reed for the heat, and Filkins Jr. again for the pursuit. Allen Filkins brought the field to the green to start the feature. Jeff Smith Jr. did not let him stay up front for long, taking the lead in the early goings of the 15 lap affair. At the same time Brenner was working his way from the middle of the pack to the front. On lap five Brenner took the lead and was not bothered the rest of the race, as he took home his first feature win of the season. Mike Reed left the race after an accident on lap 11 and did not finish the feature. However, a few good finishes earlier in the night helped him from losing a large portion of his points lead to Allen Filkins Jr. He left the track with an 87 point lead, just 8 points less than what he started with.
The second of four scheduled skid plate races was held this past Saturday. Tim GIllette was back from Pennsylvania, seeking his second skid plate feature win. This time he came with his sons Keith and Corey, both of whom were racing for to celebrate their birthdays. Gary Drake Jr. was the early leader of the ten lap event. His lead was short lived as Ryan Brenner caught him and took over the lead on lap three. Brenner took a good sized lead and looked as if he had it in the bag. Entering turn three, and coming for the checkered flag, Brenner lost control and spun into the infield. TJ Schinke was right there to take over the lead and had only a few hundred feet to take the win. Tim Gillette would take second, Henry Russo was third, Allen Filkins Jr. fourth, and Corey Gillette was fifth. Thanks to all the drivers that came out to run the skid plate race on Saturday. The next skid plate race will be August 4th.
The staff and management at Lake County Speedway would like to thank the fans and drivers that came out this past weekend. We would like to welcome everyone back this coming weekend for Autograph Night. Come for your opportunity to get on the track with the drivers and their cars to meet them and get their autograph. Join us Wednesday night for public go-kart rentals from 4:00-9:00pm at the track, click here for more details.
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