By Ryan Dyson
April 29th, 2017
The 2017 Spring Nationals resumed on April 29th with the second day of action featuring feature races for the Super Stocks, Trucks, TransAxle V8 Stocks, Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks and a full event for the Open Wheel Modifieds.
Open Wheel Modified qualifying started the event as the drivers took to the track for a 5 minute session where they attempted to lay down their best time. Barry Newman set the fastest time with an 18.780 as the only driver to crack the 18 second bracket. Jay Christie qualified in the second position with Justin Demelo rounding out the top 3. A single heat race was ran for the division, which started straight off of qualifying times. Barry Newman jumped out the the early lead and by halfway had a straightaway lead on Justin Demelo. Newman won the heat race over Demelo and Christie.
The 25-lap main event for the Open Wheel Modifieds was the last event for the Spring Nationals Weekend as Mike Hamacher started on pole. Off of turn 2 the pole sitter wrecked hard and made significant contact with the inside wall, ending his event as Jay Christie assumed the top position. On the restart Barry Newman moved past Christie on the outside and immediately checked out. While Newman led, Demelo pressured Christie for second position until contact sent Christie around in turn 1 on lap 11. After the restart the top three cars remained on top of each other while racing for the win. In the end it would be Barry Newman holding on for the win over Christie and Demelo.
The Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks were the first on track for feature race competition as Jason Moesker led the field to the green flag alongside Cole Howard. Craig Cole jumped to the early race lead as the rest of the field followed behind 3 and 4 wide at times. By lap 5, Steve Lovie had moved into the 3rd position. Brian Brooks, Bill Brekelmans and Ben Davey began battling for the third position very hard by lap 10, however it was Brekelmans winning the war. The battle for the race lead heated up shortly after as Cole and Lovie swapped the position numerous times. The fight for the lead allowed the top 5 drivers to close in, creating a heated battle for the top positions. On lap 20, Chris Cambridge was turned off of the 4th corner, and made hard contact with the inside wall, destroying the #89 machine. Steve Lovie maintained the lead on the restart, however the battle for second heated up as Derek Moesker moved past Brekelmans. On lap 26 the caution flag was displayed once again as Shane Gibson stalled off of turn 2. The restart allowed the top 5 cars to all restart together, setting up an amazing finish between Lovie and Moesker who split a lapped car and finished side by side. Lovie would edge Moesker by a few feet and go back-to-back on the weekend. Don Armstrong finished third, Ron Proulx fourth, and Bill Brekelmans rounded out the top five.
In a wild turn of events post-race, Steve Lovie had his car claimed by another driver. Lovie declined the claim, forfeiting his winnings and points for the event. By not accepting the claim Lovie will also be suspended for one series event.
The TransAxle V8 Stocks were up next on the event card for their 35-lap main event which saw Manuel Ferreira lead the field to the green flag. Nathan Taback started on the outside of row one with defending champion Barry Watson third. Ferreira let the race early as Watson pressured, and then took the top position on lap 3. Taback followed through for second position. By lap 15 the battle for the lead heated up as Taback pressured Watson, searching high and low for a way around. Cody Payne forced his way around Ferreira on lap 18 before the caution flag came out on lap 19 for a spin by Shawn Fucile. The caution came out again on lap 23 for a spin in turn 3, re-racking the field once again. On lap 25 several cars got caught up in turn 4 including Jeremy Taggart, Kyle Mezenburg, and Cody Payne. All cars received damage in the incident, some with significant amounts. The caution flag was displayed again on lap 29 as Fereirra stalled off of turn 2, Watson continued to lead at this point. After the restart, Taback was able to stick on the high side and led lap 31-33. The two drivers remained side by side to the finish, where Watson edged Taback for the victory by inches. Trevor Sommers rounded off the podium in the main event.
The Demar Aggregates Truck Series ran their 35-lap feature race, starting with Kevin Lay on the pole position. Lay held the top position early on as Rick Verberne pressured from behind with Tom Zagorodny following behind. The caution came out on lap 7 as Connor Van Steensel stopped in turn 4, just as Rick Verberne looked to the inside of Kevin Lay for the lead. On the restart Rick Verberne was able to advance to the top position as Lay fell in behind and chased. By the halfway point the field had spaced out as they chased Verberne. By 10 laps to go the battle for second place was heating up as Zagorodny pressured Kevin Lay from behind, however on lap 26 the #77 machine slipped off of turn 2 and lost all the time he had gained. In the dying laps of the event Verberne saw his lead shrink as Lay closed the gap, however time would run out and Verberne would complete the weekend sweep. Lay would finish second, Zagorodny third, Mickey Brydges fourth, and Rob Windis rounded out the top five.
The Ground Masters Super Stocks took to the track for their 35-lap main event next in the racing card with Kris Lawrence leading the field to the green flag. Darrell lake started second, Jake Sheridan third, and Kenny McNicol Jr completed the front two rows. Lawrence would lead the opening few laps until Jake Sheridan took the lead on lap 3 and immediately was pressured by Kenny McNicol Jr. After a few laps on the outside, Sheridan was able to get back to the bottom and clear McNicol Jr as David McCullough moved into third behind them. By the mid-point in the race the field had formed single file and drivers from the rear began moving forward, including Gary Adriaensen. On lap 24 David McCullough made a bold move around McNicol Jr to take second place as the battle for fourth went three wide. On lap 28 McCullough appeared to blow a tire in turn 1 and slipped before entering the infield while the race resumed under green flag conditions. Jake Sheridan went on to score his first career Delaware Speedway feature race in his familiar #52 as McNicol Jr settled for runner up, Darrell Lake third, Trevor Collver fourth and Matt Rouble fifth.
The next event for Delaware Speedway is Friday, May 5th when the Case N’ Drum Oil Late Models, TransAxle V8 Stocks, and Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks hit the track once again, all battling for championship points. The event kicks off at 7:30pm, advanced tickets are available on http://www.delawarespeedway.com