Monday, June 8, 2015

2nd Place Run Brought to Hault While Racing for Lead After Leader Tangles With Lap Car

Mike Held survived a wild 40-lap late model main event to capture the victory in a caution-filled race.

Brian Holtz and Kyle Chwala paced the field to the green flag and Holtz led the first two circuits before the caution flag waved quickly a lap later when Corey Funk tagged the wall on the backstretch and came to a stop in turn four. As racing resumed, Chwala was able to wrestle the lead away from Holtz while behind them Al Stippich, Alex Prunty, and Mike Held all raced for position. With Chwala out front, Prunty eventually worked his way into second and began to track down the leader. With Chwala and Prunty running nose to tail on lap ten, a lapped car suddenly slowed in turn four directly in front of them and as Chwala ran into the lapped car, Prunty slid hard into the frontstretch wall as the caution waved again. Chwala was able to continue despite front end damage while Prunty was through for the evening. The caution flew once again three laps later when Held experienced a problem in turn four and left the speedway and returned before the restart and without losing a lap. Chwala and Holtz resumed their battle for the lead with Ryan Zielski, Tyler Schley, and Grant Griesbach all racing hard behind them. Another caution flag appeared on lap 22 when Jack Stern came to a stop off turn four with Chwala leading over Holtz, Zielski, Schley, and Greisbach. With each restart, positions shuffled with the caution cone as drivers such as Mike Held and Jordan DeVoy moved up by choosing the outside lane. As racing resumed, Chwala remained out front with the lead pack remaining tightly bunched with close quarters racing throughout the top running cars. With Chwala enjoying a rather comfortable lead in the final ten laps, further back, Tyler James spun off turn two while racing with Al Stippich and the race remained green with James’ car resting in the infield until James exited his machine to constitute a caution flag on lap 34. On the restart, Chwala kept the lead but behind him, contact between Holtz and DeVoy scattered the field on the frontstretch and the caution waved again as Zielski also was forced to leave the track with damage. The final five lap dash to the finish was set up with Chwala leading over Greisbach, Held, and Schley. Held pressured Chwala heavily in the final laps with Griesbach right in their tracks and on the final lap, contact between Held and Chwala forced Chwala high allowing Held to pass underneath exiting turn two. As they charged into turn three, Held drifted wide with Chwala outside him and Griesbach took advantage of the inside opening to make a bid for the win. Held won the drag race to the checkered flag with Griesbach finishing second and Chwala third. Schley finished fourth while Jerry Mueller was fifth.

Ricky Heinan and Brian Holtz each picked up a win in the late model heat races and Mike Held was the fastest qualifier with a lap of 12.254 seconds.