Weather more suited for late March greeted the ARCA Truck series as they made their return to the smallest track on their 2012 schedule. Twelve trucks made up the field for the Lincoln Electric 100 presented by Bowden Manufacturing. Danny Jackson broke the track record, previously held by 2011 ARCA truck champion Paul Hahn, putting down a new time of 12.955. He became the second track record holder to be under the 13:00 second mark, joining Spee-D-Metals Limited Late Model driver Billy Roberts. Jackson entered the race having won the past two races and held the points lead. Rookie driver Chad Poorman took an early lead in the race. For 80 laps he was unchallenged by the field until a late caution bunched the field up. This gave 64 year old Steve Christman the chance to get a run on Poorman and take he eventually took over the lead. Christman was challenged by Shawn Szep during the final laps, but was unable to make a move for the win. The win was Christman’s first in the last three seasons. ARCA race results, story, updated points.
In Spee-D-Metals Limited Late Model division action it was Billy Roberts setting a new track record. Roberts knock almost an entire tenth off his past track record, setting the new time at 12.699. Question is now how much faster can he go now? Charles Durst started the racing off by taking first in the dash. Davey Lawson was back in action and took the win in the heat race. Durst held off Lawson for his second win of the night in the pursuit race. For the feature it was Durst and Roberts starting on the front row. Roberts used a great start over Durst to get the inside lane going into turn one. When the field came out of turn two Roberts had the lead and kicked it into overdrive. With the open track ahead of him, Roberts cruised to his first victory of the season and became the fifth different winner of the season. Reigning champion Keith Platz did not participate in Saturday’s racing and lost the points lead to Duane Bates. Platz fell back to fourth in the standings and now trails Bates, Roberts, and Durst.
Keith Platz may have left the late model at home, but he was still racing Saturday. Instead he was behind the wheel of the Marine Worx Monte Carlo owned by R.C. Combs. He has not had a lot of seat time in the car, running only a few laps in a short showing last Monday for the Shootout by the Shore 150. He had most people fooled after setting a new track record at 14.061, breaking Earl Goldy’s record from last weekend. Maybe that motivated Goldy. Goldy entered the night with only one feature win. He now has a few more after taking the dash win and a later taking the heat win. Fred McCord won his first race of the season, winning the second heat race. Not to be the only first time winner, youngster Jake Shipman held of Scott Skufca to win the pursuit race. Denver Shackelford was back in a racecar for the first time since running the Figure Eight last year and led the field to the green with McCord to start the feature. McCord took the early lead and battled with Johnny Canter and Josh Way to keep it. It was short lived as Way made his way around Canter and shortly after took over the lead. Way had the lead, but for the first time this season he was not off the clock. He was the fifth fastest qualifier and failed to make the dash race. Four laps into leading the race Way broke out of his qualifying time and was sent to the tail. During the same time Joe Coursen and Skufca tangled to bring out the caution. Shipman gained the lead after everything settled, but found himself dealing with Coursen for the lead. Shipman gave Coursen a run, but was unable to keep him from the front. Coursen would go on to lead the final twelve laps of the feature en route to his third feature win of the season, his second in a row. Shipman would hold on for second, Way came back to finish third, Canter took fourth, and Skufca rounded out the top five.
It was the return of Chad Tekavic, 2011 Figure Eight Champion, and he joined fellow ‘hero’ Mike Reed. Tekavic is a local fireman with the Painesville Township fire department and Mike Reed is a lieutenant deputy sheriff with the Lake County Sheriff’s department. Both were recognized with many other fire, EMT, and police personnel on hand for their service in our communities. As he has all season thus far, Reed set the fast time for the evening. In his first race back since October’s Cavalcade, Tekavic took the win in the dash race. Chuck Sadar took the heat and pursuit wins. Veteran and past champion driver Joe March lead the field to the green, during what was the rainstorm of the year thus far. March jumped out to a big lead and ‘weathered the storm’ to take his first win of the season. Chad Davis piloted his way to second, Tekavic took third, Randy Lette was fourth, and Reed rounded out the top five. Lette moved to second in the points standings and now trails Reed by 113 points.
Kelly Horst out qualified the field by at least three tenths of a second. He was not much of a contender for any of the preliminary races though. Dylan Atwell won the dash race. Joe Combs took his third heat race of the season, as Mike Reed Jr. took his first heat win. Reed Jr. also took his first pursuit win of the season. Only one feature was run this past Saturday for the Sam & Tommy’s Factory Four division. It was the largest field thus far, with seventeen cars starting the feature. David Guynn and Jack Hribar lead the field to the green. It took two attempts to get the race started, but more cautions soon followed. Once the field sorted out it was Combs in the lead and Horst hot on his tail. Combs tried to hold off Horst as the rain started to fall. Horst made his move on lap eight, just a few laps before the sky opened up and the rain started coming down. The race was shorted by six laps on completion and Horst took his first feature win of the season. Combs came in second, Reed Jr. in third, Gary Drake Jr. finished fourth, and Matt Weigand came in fifth. The win for Horst brought him to within 41 points of Weigand for the lead.
Melvin Martin is not new to the Renegade Eight division. His last start in the division was last season in July, but in his four appearances he had zero wins. All that changed for him on Saturday. Martin drove to an easy win in the dash race. He jumped out to an early lead in the heat race and held off Chris Morgan for the win. Later in the pursuit he again got an early lead and this time held off Allen Filkins for his third win on the night. He was setting up for a ‘sweep’, but had his work cut out for him in the feature. Being it was his first night out he was starting in the back, with Filkins started on the pole. Filkins did not stay up front for long. Mike Reed, winner of three of the four features this season, was making his way to the front in a hurry. Reed got around Filkins on lap four and left the field behind for his fourth feature win of the season. Last week’s winner Chris Morgan took home second, Ryan Brenner came in third, Jack Hribar fourth, and Allen Filkins Jr. was fifth. Reed added to his point’s lead, which now stands at 95 points over Filkins Jr.
The staff and management at Lake County Speedway would like to thank the fans and drivers that came out this past weekend and give a special thanks to all the members of our local fire, EMT, and police squads that attended the races this Saturday. We would like to welcome everyone back this coming weekend for Faith and Family Night and our second Skid Plate Race of the season. 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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