From Mike Mallett
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. (September 5, 2016) – Chuck Hebing got off to a very slow start with the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints to kick off the four race Labor Weekend stretch for the series. The former champion struggled to get rolling racking up two finishes that were extremely out of character for him. He finally got things rolling on Sunday night with a podium finish before everything came together on Monday night at the Weedsport Speedway.
Hebing redrew the pole starting position for the 30-lap, non-stop A-Main. He dominated the event leading from start to finish with his only challenge over the course of the race being traffic. Hebing was able to lap all the way up to the top ten during the event while pocketing the $2,075 winner’s share.
“The track really worked out for good me,” said Hebing. “Al (Heinke), Betsy (Angelone) and Mohawk Northeast have treated me pretty well. They are good customers of mine. They take good care of my daughter (Kelly). To win at their track means quite a bit to us.”
Sammy Reakes began the race alongside of Hebing at the front of the field. Reakes tried to work the bottom lane going into the first turn but he couldn’t keep pace with Hebing as he slammed the cushion on the high-side of the speedway. He exited the second turn and put nearly three car lengths on Reakes before getting to turn three. That would be the closest the field would be to him again in the feature.
Hebing set such a quick pace that he caught traffic by the fifth lap. At that point he had to test the ability of his No. 45 to move around the racing surface. Although he preferred the top lane, it didn’t seem to matter what line he chose as he was able to move around. Several times he was forced to make three-wide moves to keep up his pace.
Hebing had checked out by the time the race reached halfway. While Hebing was in a league of his own on this night, the action for second got intense from this point forward as Reakes, Billy VanInwegen, Jeff Cook and Coleman Gulick fought it out. The position changed hand several times over the next five laps while Hebing continued to maneuver in traffic perfectly.
“I was going real good, lapped traffic was going real good,” stated Hebing. “I started making some mistakes the last five laps. I started getting patient. I should have got back up on the gas.”
The event reached the final stages with a new challenger emerging for the second position. Mark Smith, who started sixth, found his groove at the top once everyone at the front started working their way to the bottom. He came into his own with three laps to go as he went from fourth to second.
Unfortunately for Smith it was too little, too late as Hebing was gone. He went on to score his second win of the season and his first in ESS at the facility. Smith, of Sunbury, Pa., capped off his impressive weekend settling for second in his Patrick Vigneault owned Mach-1.
“I was waiting for Chuck (Hebing) to slow down and wait for me so we could make a race out of it,” joked Smith. “I guess he was being a little greedy and didn’t want to wait. It was a good run. We didn’t get going there until towards the end of the race.”
VanInwegen, of Sparrowbush, N.Y., had a career best ESS finish coming across the line third while piloting Mike VanDusen’s No. 56 in only his second 360 Sprint car start.
“We had a blast out there,” commented VanInwegen. “I’m usually happy being on the other side of the spectrum running with the big-blocks. This is a fairly new deal for us. This is only my second 360 start. I had a blast. At one point we got to second. It’s so awesome to drive these cars. I can’t be more thankful for the opportunity to do it.”
Jason Barney came from the 12th starting spot in the caution free race to finish in fourth while Cook held on to finish where he started in fifth.
Mach 1 Chassis A-Main – Chuck Hebing ($2,075), Mark Smith ($1,200), Billy VanInwegen ($825), Jason Barney ($825), Jeff Cook ($860), Danny Varin ($715), Mike Mahaney ($550), Coleman Gulick ($425), Bryan Howland ($515), Paulie Colagiovanni ($450), Sammy Reakes IV ($400), Tommy Wickham ($350), Darryl Ruggles ($325), Steve Collins ($300), Matt Billings ($300), Parker Evans ($350), Jonathan Preston ($300), Ryan Turner ($325), Dave Axton ($375), Keith Granholm ($300), Cory Turner ($325), Josh Azzi ($325)
Did Not Qualify – Kelly Hebing, Dylan Swiernik, Derrick Juliano, Gordy Button
Lap Leaders – C. Hebing (1-30)
Car Mate Trailers Heat 1 – VanInwegen, Wickham, Smith, C. Hebing
Car Mate Trailers Heat 2 – Cook, Varin, Collins, Reakes IV, Axton, Azzi
Car Mate Trailers Heat 3 – Howland, Barney, Ruggles, Gulick, Colagiovanni, R. Turner
Creekside Entertainment/Cobra Coaches Dash – Mahaney, Axton, Colagiovanni, C. Turner, R. Turner, Azzi
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main – Evans, Billings, Granholm, Preston
Beard Sewer and Drain Best Time – C. Hebing, Varin, Barney – $25
Lacaillade Masonry B-Main – Evans ($50)
Creekside Entertainment/Cobra Coaches Dash – Mahaney ($100), Axton ($75), Colagiovanni ($50), C. Turner ($25), R. Turner ($25), Azzi ($25).
Insinger Fuels Hard Charger – Barney (8 pos.) $50
Engler Machine and Tool Halfway – C. Hebing $50
E&V Energy – Barney, Howland $50
Ohsweken Speedway 21st Anniversary – C. Turner $50
Fondations 55 Pick 5 – Cook $35
Car Mate Trailers Heats – VanInwegen, Cook, Howland $25
911 Restoration – Howland, Reakes IV $25
Hoosier Tires – Cook $200
Vahlco Wheels – Varin $190