BLAIR OPENS FASTRAK NE TITLE DEFENSE WINNING OVER $3,000 IN SEASON OPENING "SUPER NATIONALS" WHILE GENCO EARNS $1,200 FOR B FEATURE WIN AS A ROARING KNOB RECORD 47 CARS PARTICIPATE
By Mike Leone
March 31-April 1, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Markleysburg, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series opened their sixth season at the beautiful and scenic Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on Saturday and Sunday. The event was Part I of II for the inaugural "Super Nationals". Despite rain showers in the forecast beginning with Friday's open practice, drizzle through much of Saturday, and rain holding off until just after the races were completed on Sunday, 47 cars from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, Maryland, and Canada competed in race #1 of 25 of the 2012 season.
Max Blair began his quest at his unprecedented fourth FASTRAK Northeast Touring Series title in grand fashion leading all but the first lap to capture the 40-lap "Super Nationals I" A feature on Sunday afternoon. Blair had to fend off two of the region's best Super Late Model racers in Sammy Stile and David Scott for the $3,000 win plus earned an additional $120 in bonus monies and the $100 Genesis Shocks "Top Dog" certificate. While his 13th career Northeast Touring Series win tied him atop the all-time standings with Mike Pegher, Jr., amazingly it was Blair's first Touring victory in over nine months!
"I'm thrilled to start off 2012 this way and to be able to defend the championship," expressed the 22-year-old Centerville, Pa. racer. "It means a lot to win at Roaring Knob as we've really struggled here over the years. I just kept looking at the scoreboard and counting down the laps. I knew Sammy and David were back there, and the restarts were a tough deal, but I just had to stay on the bottom."
Wayne Robertson grabbed the lead from the pole-position with Blair, sixth starting Stile, eighth starting Mike Pegher, Jr., and Scott filling out the top five after one lap. Blair made what would be the winning pass on lap two driving to the inside of Robertson in turn two.
After losing two spots on the initial lap, Scott was able to gain one back on lap three taking fourth from Pegher. It was a five-car race for the lead on lap five. The top spots remained unchanged as the leaders approached lapped traffic on lap 12. The first caution occurred with 13 laps scored when Joe Moyer spun.
Back under green flag conditions, Stile took over second from Robertson before Justin Tatlow slammed the fence slowing action with 14 laps completed. Seventh starting George Kowatic got a great restart when action resumed racing past Scott, Pegher, and Robertson for third. Scott and Kowatic raced hard side-by-side on laps 19, 20 and 21 before Scott edged back ahead for third on lap 21 and Robertson for fourth on lap 22.
While the battle was on for third between Scott, Robertson, and Kowatic, Blair and Stile pulled away. After eight green flag laps, John Flinner Jr., who was subbing for Josh Holtgraver, slowed to bring out the caution with 22 laps scored. When green replaced yellow, Scott continued his way back to the front taking second from Stile.
With 15 laps to go, Blair, Scott, Stile, and Robertson distanced themselves from the field. Scott began to close in on Blair on lap 27 and appeared like maybe he'd have a shot to overtake the leader; however, a spin by Billy Stile III with 31 laps scored would ruin his chance.
Two more cautions would slow action over the final nine laps as Stile and Scott swapped second and third three more times during that period. Their battles allowed Blair to go unchallenged to his first career Northeast Touring Series win at Roaring Knob in his Specialty Products/Rohrer Trucking/Moody & Son Welding/Genesis Shocks-sponsored #111.
Sammy Stile, who made his first FASTRAK start, edged Scott- the 2009 Northeast Touring Series Champion. Robertson held off a great run by fellow New York racer Chad Ruhlman to earn fourth. Ruhlman, who also made his first ever FASTRAK start, made his way forward from the 19th starting spot in the Terry Suppa-owed #4s.
After getting as high as third, Kowatic dropped to sixth at the finish over Roaring Knob standout John Over. Will Thomas III came from 16th to eighth in his first ever Roaring Knob start. Butch Lambert came back from an early spin to finish a solid ninth. Damian Bidwell, who won the inaugural K&N "Cold Air Induction Dash" on Saturday, earned the Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger on Sunday as he passed 15 cars to finish 10th!
After taking a year off, Jason Genco returned to FASTRAK in grand style capturing the 25-lap non-qualifier feature. Genco came from the eighth starting spot for the $1,200 victory holding off FASTRAK rookie Brad Kling.
"This pays well and we can really use the money," stated the Jamestown, New York driver. "We put on the right tires; I bided my time and waited for the car to come me. I have to thank everyone for helping out and the fans for coming out."
Pole-sitter Shane Weaver led the first five laps until a caution for a spin by Mike Opalinski slowed action. When racing resumed, Louie Krushansky, Tim Sears, Jr., and Jamie Brown passed Weaver for the top three spots. On lap 12, it was three-wide for the lead with Sears and Kling moving into first and second. A caution with 12 laps completed was what Genco needed as when green replaced yellow he entered the mix taking the third position.
Following a caution with 15 laps completed, Genco made his winning pass as Kling followed in second. Three more cautions slowed Genco's run to the finish for his biggest career victory in his Jamestown Heating & Air/Kia of Jamestown/Kozy Corner Cleaners/Big Chief Carpetland-sponsored #29J. It was Genco's third career "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series as he became the all-time winner in the now third year program and takes the early point lead.
Kling was a close second in his debut in the John and Janet Powell #100. Nico Dabecco, who started ninth, had a great run finishing third after passing Russell Baird, Jr. for the spot on lap 16. Dabecco earned the $100 highest finishing Pace Performance "Futures Cup" bonus from defending champion Ryan Montgomery. Jamie Brown was fourth with Andy Spooner fifth after starting 13th.
On Saturday, Mike Pegher, Jr. set fast time and earned the $500 High Gear Speed Shop fast qualifier award. Pegher also won one of the $40 Sprout's Pick-A-Part heat races and on Sunday earned a free Hoosier Tire for being the last running car on the lead lap at the finish presented by Utsinger's Towing.
Other $40 Sprout's Pick-A-Part heat race winners on Saturday were Scott, Joe Martin, Blair, and Over. Over also earned an additional $100 from Slavic Signs & Graphics for winning the fifth heat race. Martin was the recipient of the Brake Man "Tough Brake of the Night" after crashing hard on the final lap of the feature on Sunday in his brand new Wylie Race Car. B main winners on Sunday were Montgomery and Billy Stile III.
Special thanks to Doug Horton of High Gear Speed Shop for gathering approximately $1,600 in bonus monies over the weekend! The additional contributors not already mentioned included Billy Stile Motorsports, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Brighton Speedway, Cossell's Auto Sales, K2 Engineering, Russell Baird Racing, SBC Trucking, Schaeffers Racing Oil, Smithley Racing, Stile Marine, Stile Tax Service, and Tom Seiger Refinishing.
The 47 cars was an all-time record for FASTRAK at Roaring Knob, which began its fourth season under FASTRAK! The previous high car count at Roaring Knob was 40 for a Northeast Touring Series event on October 8, 2010.
"We can't thank everyone enough for their support of the inaugural Super Nationals," stated sixth year Northeast Co-Director Vicki Emig. "From owner Rick Jones taking the chance on this event, to the great turnout of drivers for being the earliest opener ever despite a non-conducive forecast all weekend, and Doug Horton and all of the additional contributors who added support of the event. The racing was great all weekend! Hopefully Super Nationals II in October will be even bigger!"
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Race #1 (40 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111) 2. Sammy Stile (2s) 3. David Scott (McGee 13) 4. Wayne Robertson (Knapp 20) 5. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 6. George Kowatic (5) 7. John Over (K2) 8. Will Thomas III (9) 9. Butch Lambert (27) 10. Damian Bidwell (17) 11. Troy Shields (11) 12. Darren Peters (1P) 13. Joe Moyer (LeComte 32) 14. Dan Angelicchio (14) 15. Ryan Montgomery (12) 16. Jason Knowles (4) 17. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 18. Joe Martin (55) 19. Billy Stile III (51) 20. Ricky Meglaye (5) 21. Billy Henry, Jr. (McGee 21*) 22. Mike Lewis (98) 23. John Flinner, Jr. (Holtgraver 00) 24. Chad Wright (6) 25. Justin Tatlow (Kratts 81) 26. Nolan Dalton (D2)-DNS. (Note: Damian Bidwell took a Series provisional & Mike Lewis took a Track provisional.)
Non-Qualifier Race (25 laps, $1,200 to-win): 1. Jason Genco (29J) 2. Brad Kling (Powell 100) 3. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 1G) 4. Jamie Brown (135) 5. Andy Spooner (8) 6. Louie Krushansky (23) 7. Kris Southern (K2) 8. Russell Baird, Jr. (17) 9. Bryant Hank (28) 10. Tim Sears, Jr. (Kingsley 3T) 11. Jeff Broniszewski (08) 12. Jorden Peters (11P) 13. W.L. Stile (2$) 14. Lauren Longbrake (27) 15. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x) 16. Mike Opalinski (66) 17. Bobby Rohrer (11) 18. Adam Sixt (6T)-DNS 19. Richard Logan, Jr. (33L)-DNS 20. Eric Wilson (27)-DNS 21. Corey Metheny 11c)-DNS. (Note: Nico Dabecco replaced Dan Karalagas on Sunday.)
High Gear Speed Shop Qualifying (Track record Robbie Blair 17.01 10/9/10): 1. Mike Pegher, Jr. ($500) 17.058 2. Billy Stile III 17.060 3. Chad Wright 17.176 4. Max Blair 17.197 5. John Over 17.261 6. Nolan Dalton 17.297 7. Joe Moyer 17.316 8. Joe Martin 17.321 9. John Flinner, Jr. 17.328 10. Sammy Stile 17.393 11. Dan Angelicchio 17.395 12. Wayne Robertson 17.406 13. Darren Peters 17.427 14. Mike Lewis 17.459 15. Ryan Montgomery 17.476 16. Damian Bidwell 17.480 17. Ricky Meglaye 17.485 18. Bobby Rohrer 17.501 19. George Kowatic 17.515 20. Butch Lambert 17.584 21. Will Thomas III 17.585 22. David Scott 17.588 23. Troy Shields 17.680 24. Chad Ruhlman 17.748 25. Lauren Longbrake 17.781 26. Billy Henry, Jr. 17.795 27. Adam Sixt 17.827 28. Kris Southern 17.831 29. Richard Logan, Jr. 17.845 30. Jason Knowles 17.846 31. Jason Genco 17.864 32. Russell Baird, Jr. 17.917 33. Justin Tatlow 17.918 34. Jamie Brown 17.946 35. Shane Weaver 17.966 36. W.L. Stile 17.969 37. Mike Opalinski 17.988 38. Dan Karalagas 18.042 39. Louie Krushansky 18.051 40. Brad Kline 18.055 41. Jeff Broniszewski 18.153 42. Jorden Peters 18.299 43. Eric Wilson 18.368 44. Tim Sears, Jr. 18.479 45. Andy Spooner 18.737 46. Corey Metheny NT 47. Bryant Hank NT
Sprout's Pick-A-Part Heat Winners: Pegher ($40), Scott ($40), Martin ($40), Blair ($40), Over ($40 + $100 from Slavic Signs & Graphics)
K&N Cold Air Induction Dash: 1. Damian Bidwell 2. Justin Tatlow 3. Mike Lewis 4. Billy Stile III
B Main Winners: Montgomery, B. Stile
Lap Leaders: Robertson (1), Blair (2-40)
Car Count: 47
Genesis Shocks "Top Dog": Max Blair
Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger: Damian Bidwell (+15)
Utsinger's Towing Hoosier Tire Giveaway: Mike Pegher, Jr.
Brake Man "Tough Brake of the Night": Joe Martin
Pace Performance "Futures Cup" Flyin' Ryan Montgomery Racing Top Finisher: ($100): Nico Dabecco
2012 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Results
Date/Track/State/Winner/# of Wins/To-Win Amount/Car Count
April 1 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (PA) Max Blair (1)/$3,000/47
The next race for the Sweeney Chevrolet FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will be back at Roaring Knob on Friday, April 20 joining the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
2012 FASTRAK Northeast marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tires, Original Pizza Logs, K&N Filters, The Brake Man, Utsinger's Towing, Precise Racing Products, Genesis Shocks, VP Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, H&H Racing Equipment, High Gear Speed Shop, Hyperco, Jake's Golf Carts, Lincoln Electric, Wrisco Aluminum, and Wylie Race Cars.
You can reach co-directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone at the FASTRAK Northeast office at 724-964-9300 724-964-9300 . E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. The office is open daily late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. For more information, check out the FASTRAK Northeast website at www.fastraknortheast.com. Become our fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fastraknortheast.