By Rich Vleck
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (August 28, 2010) – In baseball, Reggie Jackson was dubbed “Mr. October” for his late-season performances. In the Patriot Region, Bryan Howland’s late-season excellence could earn him the title “Mr. August.”
Howland, of Auburn, NY, capitalized on a slight bobble by Tim Kelly on lap 18 to take the lead and drive away to score his fourth ASCS Patriot win of the season to capture the Insinger Race Fuels King of the Southern Tier Crown while strengthening his championship point lead in the process. Already the only driver to win multiple Patriot features at Stateline, Howland would win on the final Saturday in August for the third year in a row on the NY/PA Stateline.
Before the three-time series champion claimed the win at the high-banked 1/3-mile he would have to narrowly escape an incident with 19 laps completed to put his Filtrec Corporation No. 51 Maxim in Victory Lane.
Don Adamczyk jumped into the lead on the opening lap of the 25-lap A-Main, but Tim Kelly would use the bottom line coming off turn four to lead the second lap. Howland would move into second the next lap but would take a few laps to close in on Kelly’s No. 12.
Howland began to apply pressure just before the first caution flag of the race flew on lap 11 for Kyle Moffit spinning in turn three. Howland was primarily on the top of the track, while Kelly was on the bottom. Even though the momentum was greater on the top, the cushion in turn four was so high that Kelly would prevail each time they crossed the start/finish line to complete another lap.
“I knew Tim had a good car because he started in the same row as me and got to the lead so quick,” Howland said after the race.
On the lap 12 restart, Howland began to pressure Kelly each turn of each lap; still it was the No. 12 pulled ahead each lap. On lap 18 though, Kelly slipped up off the bottom in turn two and as he searched for the bite Howland had enough of a run to not only get ahead of Kelly, but shut the door in the next set of corners to eliminate the chance of any instant rebuttal.
The next lap, the top two came out of turn two and saw Bob Reis’ No. 4 slowing in the middle of the backstretch. Howland went to go to the outside of Reis to avoid him, but with the hole closing would get squeezed into the wall. Since he did not stop though, he would be able to reassume his spot out front.
On the ensuing restart, Howland went back to the top of turns three and four, which was exactly what Kelly and Jared Zimbardi wanted to see, as they dove to the inside and nearly stole the lead away. The next lap around, Howland went back to the bottom and not only protected the line, but began to drove away.
“Once I got around Tim, I thought I could drive away but he kept coming back to the inside,” added Howland after the race. “I knew I had to do something different.”
In what was his 18th career ASCS Patriot Win, the 23-year-old put together some veteran moves to assure his win. For a four lap series after acquiring the lead, Howland mixed up the line he would take in each corner and kept the veteran Kelly guessing. It paid off as Kelly could not set up a guaranteed run to take the lead back. By the time the checkered flags fell, Howland had built up a healthy advantage to pick up the win.
In addition to the win, Howland locked up his second crown of the season. Entering the night, all he had to do was finish in the top-five to do so but that was not the focus once the feature began.
The win was not without disappointment for the Howland team though, as the contact with Bob Reis and the wall on lap 19 resulted in a damaged rear end.
For the third straight year now, Howland has taken a tight point battle with Jared Zimbardi at the beginning of August and all but sewn it up with consistent top runs and plenty of wins.
Tim Kelly’s second-place finish was bittersweet at the site of his last two A-Main wins seven and eight years ago. In scoring his seventh-straight top-10 finish, the Rock Stream, NY driver perhaps came the closest he ever has to his long-awaited first win on the Patriot tour. It was his fifth runner-up showing in the last 13 months.
“I can’t complain. We had a good run,” said the modest Kelly after the race. “We always seem to run good here and we had a good setup tonight.”
Jared Zimbardi’s first attempt with a new shock package put him in the mix after winning his heat and finished third for his best Patriot showing since July 3. “The Juice” had a strong run on the lap 12 restart on Howland for second but spent the next six laps engaged in a terrific battle with Bubba Broderick for third.
Zimbardi again made a bid for the lead on the lap 19 restart on the bottom and would spend the final five laps stalking Kelly’s No. 12 for second.
Broderick, the June winner at Stateline, drove up from his eighth place starting spot to finish in fourth after fighting hard to earn each spot.
Insinger Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Contender Dylan Swiernik made his first trip to Victory Lane holding the checkered flag as he won the Four Laps of Fame Dash and utilized the track time to run up to a top-five finish.
Jason Barney finished sixth in his first Patriot start of the year in his first trip to Stateline. Barney made a final lap pass around early leader Don Adamczyk for the spot as Adamczyk, who won his National Parts Peddler Heat Race, was seventh.
Kyle Moffit rallied from his spin to finish in eighth while Todd Hoddick recorded his best career Patriot finish in ninth. Dave Wickham completed the top-10 for the second time in his last three starts.
The A-Main would have just two caution periods. The only other stoppage on the night was on lap one of the Four Laps of Fame when Bob Reis got into Bruce DeWick, sending DeWick’s car aimlessly into the infield, where Brandan Warner would get caught up in the incident.
ASCS Patriots Results: 8/28/10, Stateline Speedway, Busti, NY.
Insinger A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Jared Zimbardi (35), 4. Bubba Broderick (5), 5. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 6. Jason Barney (87), 7. Don Adamczyk (21), 8. Kyle Moffit (7), 9. Todd Hoddick (49), 10. Dave Wickham (80), 11. Gary Troutman (44), 12. Kyle Lefelhoc (5v), 13. Bob Reis (4), 14. Jay Groves (25), 15. Brandan Warner (10B), 16. Ross Vleck (2), 17. Bruce DeWick (22D).
Lap Leaders- Adamczyk 1, Kelly 2-17, Howland 18-25.
Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 2. Bob Reis (4), 3. Kyle Lefelhoc (5v), 4. Dave Wickham (80), 5. Bruce DeWick (22D), 6. Brandan Warner (10B).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Don Adamczyk (21), 2. Bubba Broderick (5), 3. Todd Hoddick (49), 4. Tim Kelly (12), 5. Bruce DeWick (22D), 6. Brandan Warner (10B), 7. Dave Wickham (80), 8. Jay Groves (25), 9. Ross Vleck (2).
Race 2: 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Kyle Moffit (7), 4. Jason Barney (87), 5. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 6. Bob Reis (4), 7. Kyle Lefelhoc (5v), 8. Gary Troutman (44).
Insinger Race Fuels King of the Southern Tier Final Standings (Top-10)- 1. Bryan Howland 697, 2. Bubba Broderick 651, 3. Jared Zimbardi 643, 4. Tim Kelly 635, 5. Don Adamczyk 594, 6. Kyle Moffit 455, 7. Dylan Swiernik 438, 8. Vern Wasson 424, 9. Gary Troutman 412, 10. George Suprick 384.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top-5)- 1. Jared Zimbardi 37, Tie-2. Don Adamczyk and Bubba Broderick 29, 4. Shawn Donath 27, 5. Tim Kelly 26.
ASCS Patriot Points (Top Ten): 1. Bryan Howland 2,228, 2. Jared Zimbardi 2,146, 3. Tim Kelly 2,081, 4. Bubba Broderick 2,060, 5. Don Adamczyk 1,764, 6. Vern Wasson 1,378, 7. Bobby Breen 1,171, 8. Kyle Moffit 1,131, 9. Shayne Ely 1,021, 10. Blake Breen 986.