By T.J. Buffenbarger
Kalamazoo, MI – (Saturday July 16, 2011) – Before Saturday night’s Must-See Racing 50 at Kalamazoo Speedway Brian Gerster had run seven wined sprint car races and won six of them. Gerster upped each of these stats by winning the feature for the seventh time in Dick Meyers Mopar powered Hoffman chassis.
Gerster survived multiple caution flags and two red flags after starting 10th, taking over the lead after Jimmy McCune encounter mechanical problems near the midway point of the event of the Biosbased Must-See Racing Series event.
“It’s a lot of fun to be able to run this car for Dick Meyers,” said Gerster. “Back when I was racing midgets you would have to drive the cars in really hard to keep up the momentum and (Meyers) has a car that I can do that with here.”
After the initial start was called off for a spin by Nathan Bevard, McCune led fellow front row starter Tom Tolbert into turn one as Jason Cox and Jacob Wilson raced for the second spot. Wilson took over the runner up position on lap two and Cox found himself battling with Ryan Litt, Troy DeCaire, and Gerster for third. Little dropped Cox back to third on lap five coming off turn four while DeCaire and Gerster followed suit one lap later.
By lap eight McCune started to encounter slower traffic, but the slower cars did not hold up McCune as he maintained a straightaway advantage. Behind McCune Litt started putting pressure on Wilson for second off the fourth corner to complete lap 10, but could not make the pass. One laps later Litt completed the pass to take over the runner up spot through turns three and four. By lap 15 Gerster passed Wilson for third and started to close in on Litt.
On lap 17 the first red flag appeared when Wilson spun in turn two towards the left side of the car and tipped over. Wilson was uninjured and was able to restart the event.
The second red flag happened moments later with Jason Cox spun and Jason Blonde has nowhere to go, clipped Cox and slammed into the turn two wall, tossing his car on its side at one point to bring out the red flag. After taking a moment to catch his breath Blonde exited the car under his own power. Cox rejoined the field after going pit side for repairs.
With the cushion of three lapped cars McCune pulled away during the restart while Gerster took over the second spot from Litt. After another restart following a spin by Mike Larrison, McCune continued to maintain his advantage until disaster struck on lap 20 when McCune slowed to a stop due a broken driveline. McCune retired pitside as the caution waved, handing the lead to Gerster.
After a yellow for Bevard slowing on lap 26 the field settled down and a great race ensued for second position between Litt, DeCaire, Geoff Kaiser, JoJo Helberg, and Jason Cox racing up through the field after his earlier incident to challenge for a top five spot. Even with his front wing collapsed Cox took fifth from Helberg on lap 45.
Up front through it was all Gerster cruising through slower traffic to take the victory. Litt, DeCaire, Cox, and Kaiser rounded out the top five.
Gerster was the fastest qualifier over the 24-car field with a lap of 10.673 seconds around the 3/8-mile oval at an average speed of over 126.487 miles per hour. Tolbert, McCune, and Bevard won heat race events while Helberg won the B-Main.
Biobased.us Must-See Racing X-Treme Sprint Car Series
Kalamazoo Speedway – Kalamazoo, MI
Saturday July 16th, 2011
Qualifications: 1. 50m – Brian Gerster, 10.673; 2. 7 – Jojo Helberg, 10.678; 3. 26B – Jeff Bloom, 10.735; 4. 82 – Travis Minea, 10.749; 5. 64 – Geoff Kaiser, 10.793; 6. 07L – Ryan Litt, 10.816; 7. 1 – Troy DeCaire, 10.889; 8. 40 – Jason Cox, 10.893; 9. 07W – Jacob Wilson, 10.915; 10. 2T – Tom Tolbert, 10.950; 11. 88 – Jimmy McCune, 10.951; 12. 10B – Jason Blonde, 11.053; 13. 59 – Brian Olson, 11.169; 14. 8B – Dave Baumgartner, 11.207; 15. 26P – Aaron Pierce, 11.208; 16. 6 – Mike Larrison, 11.246; 17. 18 – Jim Sheets, 11.272; 18. 9S – Nathan Bevard,11.285; 19. 20K – Kyle Flint, 11.351; 20. 75C – Jerry Caryer, 11.446; 21. 10S – Tim Cox,11.580; 22. 10K – Ron Koehler, 11.863; 23. 37 – Hank Lower, 11.932; 24. 0 – Doug Dietch, 12.329
Heat Race #1 (8 Laps): 1. Tom Tolbert, 2. Brian Gerster, 3. Brian Olson, 4. Troy DeCaire, 5. Mike Larrison, 6. Kyle Flint, 7. Ron Koehler, 8. Travis Minea (First five finishers transferred to the “A” Main event)
Heat Race #2 (8 Laps): 1. Jimmy McCune, 2. Jason Cox, 3. Dave Baumgartner, 4. Geoff Kaiser, 5. Jim Sheets, 6. Hank Lower, 7. Jerry Caryer, 8. JoJo Helberg (First five finishers transferred to the “A” Main event)
Heat Race #3 (8 Laps): 1. Nathan Bevard, 2. Aaron Pierce, 3. Jeff Bloom, 4. Jason Blonde, 5. Ryan Litt, 6. Jacob Wilson, 7. Doug Dietch, 8. Tim Cox (First five finishers transferred to the “A” Main event)
B-Main (12 Laps): 1. JoJo Helberg, 2. Jacob Wilson, 3. Jerry Cayrer, 4. Kyle Flint, 5. Hank Lower, 6. Tim Cox, 7. Ron Koehler, 8. Doug Dietch (First five finishers transferred to the “A” Main event)
“A” Feature (50 Laps): 1. Brian Gerster, 2. Ryan Litt, 3. Troy DeCaire, 4. Jason Cox, 5. Geoff Kaiser, 6. JoJo Helberg, 7. Aaron Pierce, 8. Kyle Flint, 9. Brian Olson, 10. Jacob Wilson, 11. Mike Larrison, 12. Hank Lower, 13. Jim Sheets, 14. Jerry Caryer, 15. Nathan Bevard, 16. Jimmy McCune, 17. Jeff Bloom, 18. Dave Baumgartner, 19. Jason Blonde, 20. Tom Tolbert.
Lap Leaders: McCune 1-20, Gerster 21-50.
Hard Charger: Flint (+10)