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posted September 23, 2002 05:14 AM
Aukland Top Renegade In "Pittsburgher 100"!!!
(By Bret Emrick)
PITTSBURGH - Rick Aukland of Zanesville,OH scored his fourth Renegade DirtCar Racing Series sanctioned main event win of the season Sunday capturing the $22,000 to win "14th Annual Pittsburgher 100" at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway near Pittsburgh,PA. Starting from the pole aboard the Ostrom's Painting and Sandblasting/GVS Racing/Malcuit Racing Engines/Rocket Chassis No. 12 Aukland Racing Pontiac Grand Prix, Aukland and outside pole sitter Steve Francis traded the lead three times in the first 40 laps of the race before Aukland moved in front for good on lap 41.
Once in front Aukland motored to a four car length margin of victory over 20th starting Rick Eckert. John Flinner, who started 15th, finished third with 14th starting Chub Frank fourth and Bart Hartman fifth. Rounding out the top ten finishers were Jeremy Miller in sixth with Tim Hitt seventh trailed by Francis, 17th starting Mike Balzano and Keith Barbara.
"We needed this bad", stated the very happy winner. "It's been a struggle lately but this feels great. I have to thank the folks at Rocket Chassis for a great car. This is a brand new car and we just had to keep adjusting it until it felt comfortable. The Malcuit engine worked great as well. I have to thank my only crew member Steve who has gone beyond the call of duty this year. And, the folks at Ostrom's and GVS for all of their help".
The original start of the 100 lap chase was called back when Aukland fired too soon bringing out the caution for the false start. On the second attempt contact in turn two sent Matt Urban and Bob Close spinning to bring the caution out before lap one could be scored. The third time was the charm as Francis raced past Aukland to lead lap one with Hartman exploding from eighth to third at the end of the first lap with Barbara and Mike Johnson trailing.
Francis opened up a three margin over Aukland when Francis encountered lapped traffic on lap 9 allowing Aukland to close on Francis. The caution waved on lap 10 when fast qualifier Davey Johnson blew his engine dropping him from the event. The top ten restart order at this point saw Francis with the lead trailed by Aukland, Hartman, Barbara and M. Johnson then Chris Madden, Miller, Hitt, Steve Baker and Eckert.
One lap after going back to green Miller worked his way past M. Johnson for fifth as Aukland put heavy pressure on Francis for the lead. Aukland used the top groove to power past Francis exiting turn two to take the lead on lap 12. Francis would come right back though regaining the top spot on lap 14. Miller continued his move to the front taking fourth from Barbara on lap 17 and one lap later M. Johnson roared past both Barbara and Miller for fourth.
Francis ran down the backmarkers on lap 23 with Aukland three car lengths back. Miller got the fourth spot back on lap 24. With 25 laps in the books Francis was the leader with Aukland second then Hartman, Miller and Madden followed by M. Johnson, Eckert, Barbara, Baker and Hitt. The race stayed green for the next several laps with Francis using the bottom groove while Aukland raced the top side. Lap 40 saw Francis get trapped by lapped traffic allowing Aukland to take the lead on lap 41 which he would never give-up the rest of the way.
Caution on lap 42 for Baker who slowed in turn two paused the frentic pace. One lap after going back to green Francis dropped to third as Hartman roared past with Madden and Eckert moving into fourth and fifth respectively. Baker looped his car in turn four on lap 44 to bring out another caution. Eckert shot past both Madden and Francis to take third on lap 45. At the mandatory halfway fuel stop the top ten running order had Aukland with the lead followed by Hartman, Eckert, Francis and Madden then Flinner, Barbara, Miller, Frank and Hitt.
A four car incident in turn three once the green flag reappeared slowed the pace again. Eckert powered past Hartman on the restart to nab second. Caution again on lap 59 for a slowing M. Johnson and on lap 60 for Balzano's flat tire stalled the pace. One lap after going back to green Flinner exploded into third. Caution again on lap 67 for Lou Bradich's slap of the turn one wall slowed the pace once more.
Flinner moved into the second spot on lap 68 but Aukland had opened up a sizeable advantage. With 25 laps remaining Aukland led by nearly two seconds with Flinner second, Eckert third, Frank fourth and Hartman fifth trailed by Rod Conley, Hitt, Madden, Urban and Balzano. Five laps later the caution would wave again as Barbara slowed in turn one. On the restart Eckert worked his way past Flinner for second. Aukland again opened up some distance on the field but Eckert had closed to within four car lengths when the races final caution flew on lap 98 when Conley suffered a right front flat tire sending him hard into the turn three wall. Eckert could never mount a challenge to Aukland over the final two laps with Aukland taking the win.
The two-day $75,000 purse event drew 76 drivers to the high-banked 1/2 mile speedway. Saturday's action saw Davey Johnson earn the CARRERA SHOCKS "Challenge the Clock" time trial award with an event record 18.408 second clocking. BRODIX,INC. heat race wins fell to Hitt, Hartman, Mark Banal, Madden, Jim Zarin and Baker. Balzano and Eckert opened Sunday's racing with victories in the twin MASTERSBILT RACE CARS "B" Main events while Aukland scored the ISKY RACING CAMS dash.
Renegade DirtCar Racing Series Report For 9/21/02 & 9/22/02
Race No. 29-2002 Season-"14th Annual Pittsburgher 100"
Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway-Pittsburgh,PA-1/2 Mile Oval
$75,000 Purse-$22,000 To Win-100 Lap Feature
Showing Finish Pos.,Start Pos.,Car #,Driver,Laps Completed,Reason Out (if any) and Purse Money Won
1. (1) #12 Rick Aukland 100 Running $22,100
2. (20) #1E Rick Eckert 100 Running $7,050
3. (15) #48 John Flinner 100 Running $5,000
4. (14) #1* Chub Frank 100 Running $3,500
5. (8) #75 Bart Hartman 100 Running $3,000
6. (3) #24 Jeremy Miller 100 Running $2,570
7. (7) #68 Tim Hitt 100 Running $2,200
8. (2) # 1 Steve Francis 100 Running $1,780
9. (17) #E1 Mike Balzano 100 Running $1,550
10. (4) #93B Keith Barbara 100 Running $1,460
11. (23) #30 Steve Shaver 100 Running $1,350
12. (10) #1M Chris Madden 100 Running $1,200
13. (6) #2J Mike Johnson 100 Running $1,210
14. (24) #Won11 Rob Blair 100 Running $1,210
15. (16) #1U Matt Urban 100 Running $1,150
16. (25) # 7 Matt Miller 100 Running $1,190
17. (21) #07R Brent Rhebergen 99 Running $1,180
18. (22) #71R Rod Conley 98 Accident $1,170
19. (27) #84 Al Atallah 98 Running $1,100
20. (11) #1Z Jim Zarin 98 Running $1,000
21. (13) #09 Lou Bradich 86 Mechanical $1,000
22. (9) #T8 Mark Banal 62 Mechanical $1,000
23. (28) #77 Alex Ferree 50 Accident $1,050
24. (12) # 0 Steve Baker 44 Mechanical $1,000
25. (26) #93X D.J. Miller 44 Mechanical $1,050
26. (17) #29 Rick Heim 31 Mechanical $1,000
27. (18) #04 Bob Close 28 Mechanical $1,000
28. (5) #19J Davey Johnson 10 Engine $1,050
Time Of Race: 1 Hr. 20 Mins.
Yellow Flags: Ten-Laps 0,10,42,44,50,59,60,67,80,98
Red Flags: One-Lap 50 (Mandatory Fuel Stop)
Lap Leaders: Two-Francis 1-11,Aukland 12-13,Francis 14-40,Aukland 41-100
OUTERWEARS CO. "Hard Charger of the Race": Eckert
ROCKET CHASSIS "Rookie of the Race": None
Provisional Starters: Shaver,Blair,M. Miller,D.J. Miller,Atallah,Ferree
Car Count: 76
CARRERA SHOCKS "Challenge the Clock" Time Trial Award: D. Johnson 18.408 secs.
BRODIX,INC. Heat Race Winners: Hitt,Hartman,Banal,Madden,Zarin, Baker
SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRE Heat Race Bonus Winner: Banal
TEAM SMART Heat Race Bonus Winner: None
MASTERSBILT RACE CARS "B" Main Winners: Balzano,Eckert
ISKY RACING CAMS Dash Winner: Aukland
Doug Foster Wins Friday Night Pure Stock 30, Schwartzmiller Takes Amateur Stock Invite.
Saturday Steel Block Limited Late Win Taken by Sonny Conley
Friday, September 20, 2002
Pittsburgh, PA - Doug Foster, McKees Rocks, went wire to wire to pick up the Pittsburgher Pure Stock 30 Lap Invitational held Friday night at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway. Stacie White took second from Bobby Whitling on the final lap and sixteenth starting Darrell Bossard crossed the line fourth with Shawn Bryan completing the top five. Finishing sixth was Craig Kamicker, thirty-third starting Dave Ferringer charged to seventh, Ron O'Patchen was eighth, Brian Scheller ninth and Butch Lambert was tenth. Heat race winners were Foster, Jake Simmons, Frankie Schneider and Kamicker. Charlie DiLoreto won the Dash and Mike Chruszcz was the winner of the B-main. Forty-six entries attempted to make the thirty-four car starting field.
Pittsburgh's Bob Schwartzmiller got by Joshua Langer on the ninth circuit and went on to pick up the narrow victory in the Amateur Strictly Stock nightcap Friday evening to conclude day one of the Pittsburgher weekend. Skeets Levandosky finished third, Henry Wilfong was fourth, and Davy Lee rounded out the top five. Six through ten were Ian Tomei, Jim Moore, Steve Mills, Butch Levandosky and Ken Puglisi. The heat race was taken by Tony Capo.
Saturday's 30 lap Steel Block Limited Late Model Invitational was dominated by New Martinsville WV's Sonny Conley who went flag to flag for the $700 win. Kurt Halbedl was second, Scott Gunn third, Paul Davis fourth, and Mike Cecere was credited with fifth. Completing the top ten were Jim Stephans, Tony Musolino, Neal Isiminger, Jesse Burroughs and Duane Popham.
Popham and Tony Sinicrope won the heat races.
Steel Block Limited Late Model Invitational (Saturday, Sept. 21)
Heat Race Winners: Duane Popham, Tony Sinicrope
Feature (30 Laps): 1) Sonny Conley, 2) Kurt Halbedl, 3) Scott Gunn, 4) Paul Davis, 5) Mike Cecere, 6) Jim Stephans, 7) Tony Musolino, 8) Neal Isiminger, 9) Jesse Burroughs, 10) Duane Popham, 11) Bobby Castelveter, 12) Bill Cunningham, 13) Tony Sinicrope, 14) Tom Schirnhofer, 15) Terry Porter, 16) Rich Gasparovich, 17) Brian Laraway (DNS)
Hover Racing Pittsburgher Pure Stock 30 Invitational (Friday, Sept 20)
Heat Race Winners: Doug Foster, Jake Simmons, Frankie Schneider, Craig Kamicker
Dash: Charlie DiLoreto
B-Main: Mike Chruszcz
Feature (30 Laps): 1) Doug Foster, 2) Stacie White, 3) Bobby Whitling, 4) Darrell Bossard, 5) Shawn Bryan, 6) Craig Kamicker, 7) Dave Ferringer, 8) Ron O'Patchen, 9) Brian Scheller, 10) Butch Lambert, 11) Jeff Walters, 12) Darryl Robison, 13) Joe Anthony, 14) Jason Johns, 15) Jason Fosnaught, 16) John Cain, 17) Jeff Dillinger, 18) Larry Marks, 19) Wayne Johnson, 20) John Hobbs, 21) Charlie DiLoreto, 22) AJ Poljak, 23) Rod Laskey, 24) Wayne Daniels, 25) Steve Sickles, 26) Wayne Carbo, 27) Frankie Schneider, 28) Steve Yuran, 29) Joe Kelly, 30) Robert Lipinski, 31) Jeff Natak, 32) Jake Simmons, 33) Mike Chruszcz , 34) Dave Beck
Amateur Strictly Stock Invitational (Friday, Sept. 20)
Heat Race Winner: Tony Capo
Feature (12 Laps): 1) Bob Schwartzmiller, 2) Joshua Langer, 3) Skeets Levandosky, 4) Henry Wilfong, 5) Davy Lee, 6) Ian Tomei, 7) Jim Moore, 8) Steve MIlles, 9) Butch Levandosky, 10) Ken Puglisi, 11) Tony Capo, 12) Rancy Sprouse