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Zimbardi Pads Patriot Sprint Points Lead with Win at Mercer Raceway Park
by Lou Long
Fink, Jones, and Loghan also Triumph Mercer, PA (May 31, 2014): Jared Zimbardi scored the victory in the ASCS Patriot Sprint Tour event hosted at Mercer Raceway Park by Bonnell's Rod Shop. The triumph allowed Zimbardi to stretch his lead in the standings for the touring series. He ran third earlier in the season in a 410 Sprint Car race at the track, and said that it was an important learning experience.
Kyle Fink, the points leader in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, captured his second win of the season, after a spirited battle with Lonny Riggs and Jimmy Holden. C.J. Jones copped the Outlaw Sprint Warrior main, presented by Bonnell's Rod Shop. Chris Loghan, the last racer to arrive on the grounds, took the nightcap for the Rock Concrete Modified Lites.
"It was going to get interesting in lapped traffic," Zimbardi said. "I was pretty good around one and two on the high side, but I guess he (Steve Collins) made it a little easier for me." Indeed, Collins clipped a lapped car, spinning both, and that gave Zimbardi control of the event. He almost gave the race away by making an adjustment to his top wing. "I slid the wing back on that last restart and the thing hooked up so much I just about drove over the frontstretch cone."
Canadian Mitch Brown and Dr. Steve Collins brought the field down to the green flag, but Dennis Wagner took advantage of his superior knowledge of the track to make a bold move from the third position to challenge for the lead. Collins rode the cushion to the front, though, and Wagner and Brown were battling hard for the second spot. As the filed crossed for the first lap, Wagner spun wildly into the infield with a flattened left front tire.
That gave Collins the point for the restart, with Brown, Zimbardi, Paige Polyak, and George Suprick in tow.
Zimbardi hung close to the leader as they closed in on the rear of the field. Collins looked to the inside to lap a car, and that opened up the top for Zimbardi. He got a strong run off turn two and it looked like he would enter turn three with the lead. However, a caution nullified his move.
Collins regained the point for the restart, with Zimbard behind him. Polyak had moved into third during the eight lap skein. Brown continued to hold off Suprick and Parker Evans. Collins got away cleanly, and he maintained a cushion of several car lengths as he approached the rear of the field once again.
This time, though, he had difficulty getting by the slower machines. Collins closed in rapidly on a car coming through the third and fourth corners. He made contact as they came off turn four, sending both cars around. Another back marker had nowhere to go, and struck Collins' disabled car.
Collins' misfortune put Zimbardi up front, with Polyak, Brown, Suprick, and Evans right behind. Polyak looked to the inside as the leaders roared into turn one, but Zimbardi had enough smoke to pull away coming off turn two. Polyak got another shot at Zimbardi on the final restart, with four laps remaining, but Zimbardi was well prepared. He led the way for the final circuits.
Zimbardi, Polyak, Brown, and Suprick were the first four to cross the finish line. Joe Trenca moved up to fifth in the final standings.
Scott Kreutter turned in a solid performance for sixth. Dennis Wagner reovered from a pair of flat tires to earn seventh. C.J. Jones was eighth. Parker Evans slid back to ninth, with Todd Hoddick in tenth.
Heat wins for the touring 360 Sprinters went to Todd Hoddick, George Suprick, and Jared Zimbardi. Paige Polyak won the dash. There was no B Main.
Five young drivers were at the front of the field for the start of the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Kyle Holden grabbed the early lead, with Makayla Guicace nipping at his heels. Max Smoker and Jeff Schaffer, Jr. were battling for third. Meanwhile, Frankie Guidace and Lonny Riggs were on the charge.
After a brief caution, for hard luck driver Rich Whitney, Riggs blasted into the lead. Guidace followed him into second, and now the veteran drivers were moving to the front in rapid succession. Eric Gabany and Jimmy Holden joined the party, and Fink and J.R. McGinley were coming as well.
When the race was slowed again, on lap seven, Guidace surrendered the second spot. He pitted and attempted to re-enter the event, but he drove by an official and was disqualified from the remainder of the race.
Riggs led after the restart, but now it was Gabany applying the pressure. They ran side by side for several laps, with the lead changing at the scoring loop. Immediately behind them, Jimmy Holden and Kylke Fink were locked in a battle for third. Fink was able to work his way to the front, and was challenging Riggs for the lead
when another caution was displayed.
One lap after racing resumed, Fink dropped to the inside and surged ahead of Riggs as they came off the fourth turn. Now, Riggs had Holden to contend with. McGinley got to fourth, and Gabany slid back to fifth.
After Holden dispatched Riggs, he took off after Fink. As the final laps clicked away, Holden began to close on the leader. He made a final charge coming through turns three and four on the last lap, but Fink had enough of a cushion to claim the win.
Riggs held on for third, with McGinley and Gabany next in line. Shawn Fleeger ran sixth. Shayne Izzo topped Jeff Schaffer, Jr. for seventh. Kyle Holden and Max Smoker completed the top ten.
A pair of 66's were the heat winners in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds. Kyle Fink and J.R. McGinley were the pilots, of course. There was no B Main.
In the Bonnell's Rod Shops Outlaw Sprint Warriors, newcomer Dan Demyan surprised all in attendance by leading the first ten laps of the contest. C.J. Jones was hounding him most of the way, though. Jones got around the rookie driver to lead lap eleven, and there was no stopping him.
Jimmy Morris, last week's winner, was coming through the field after starting twelfth. He reached second, and started to close the gap on Jones, but he did not have enough laps to reel him all the way in. George Hobaugh turned in another fine run, finishing third, and was mixing it up with Jones and Morris at various stages of the race. Cody Bova and Andy Feil were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Mike Miller led Greg Dobrosky to the stripe. Kotie Kirkbride registered an eighth this night. Eric L. WIlliams and Evan Kornbau completed the top ten.
Jimmy Morris took one of te preliminaries in the Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors. The other went to Andy Feil. Points leader Michael Bauer flipped violently in turn two during his heat race. He was not hurt, but the car was too badly damaged to repair for the feature.
Chris Loghan battled George Englert for the lead early in the Modified Lite Feature presented by Rock Concrete. Loghan opened up a wide margin once he passed Englert. Englert remained in second, but lost the position to Shane Pfeuffer late in the race. Pfeuffer was unable to catch Loghan, though.
Behind Loghan, Pfeuffer, and Englert came Chris Frank and Jacob Bova. Chad Shearer, Mike Flockerzi, Jason Johnson, Cory Webb, and Dan Cain were the next five finishers.
Both heats in the Rock Concrete Modifeid Lites were cut short by incidents on the final lap. Darrin Gallagher flipped at the end of his event. He was unhurt and did start the feature event.
Mercer Raceway Park will have a blockbuster program on June 6. It will be a Saturday Night Live! program, with Crate Late Model added to the card. So, that will be seven classes of cars in action. Regular event ticket pricing will apply.
ASCS Patriot Sprint Cars: Jared Zimbardi, Paige Polyak, Mitch Brown, George Suprick, Joe Trenca, Scott Kreutter, Dennis Wagner, C.J. Jones, Parker Evans, Todd Hoddick, David Just, Dane Lorenc, Brad Knabb, Clint Ide, Scott Just, Derek Jonathan, Paul Habeck, Jeremy Barnard, Steve Collins, Tyler Graves.
Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds: Kyle Fink, Jimmy Holden, Lonny Riggs, J.R. McGinley, Eric Gabany, Shawn Fleeger, Shayne Izzo, Jeff Schaffer, Jr., Kyle Holden, Max Smoker, Richard Whitney, Kevin Sevacko, Makayla Guidace, Kyle Martell (DNS), Brian Schaffer (DNS), Gary Smoker (DNS), Frank Guidace (DQ).
Bonnell's Rod Shop Outlaw Sprint Warriors: C.J. Jones, Jimmy Morris, George Hobaugh, Cody Bova, Andy Feil, Mike Miller, Greg Dobrosky, Kotie Kirkbride, Eric L. WIlliams, Evan Kornbau, Devin Litwiler, Chad Matthews, Mike Marano, II, Ken Rossey, Matt Cain, Dan Demyan, Cody Braden, Michael Bauer (DNS), Alex Paden (DNS), Sye Lynch (DNS).
Rock Concrete Modified Lites: Chris Loghan, Shane Pfeuffer, George Englert, Chris Frank, Jacob Bova, Chad Shearer, Mike Flockerzi, Jason Johnson, Cory Webb, Dan Cain, Josh Deems, Shane Webb, Preston Roach, Darrin Gallagher.