WAYNESFIELD, Ohio (8/26/17) – All five weekly classes converged for the final time in 2017 at Waynesfield Raceway Park in Waynesfield, Ohio. The event dubbed “Championship Night” marked the final points race of the 2017 season. For the UMP Modifieds, Tough Trucks, and Compacts, Saturday’s event marked the end of a long summer of racing. Before anyone could write-off the season, points were still up for grabs for tight points battles coming into the weekend.
The Indian Lake Outfitter Compacts headlined the racing program Saturday running for $300 to win. The 15 lap A-main was brought to green by Devon Hower and Brandon Weigt. The start did not get very far as a caution flag flew for the 7 of Weigt in turn one. David Yoder, making his return to Waynesfield, cut a tire coming to the green flag forcing his 95 to the pits for the restart. With both Weigt and Yoder no longer in the front, Hower led the field to green with Rob Sharpe to the outside. Hower won the drag race into turn one and led the opening lap of the main. Austin Scott, who started on the inside of row three, made his way through the field early on in the race and was ready to battle for the lead. Scott managed to secure the lead away from Hower. Scott held the lead for a majority of the race as Justin Durflinger, who came into the A-main tied for the championship, shuffled back in the pack. Hower lost a bumper exiting turn two which brought out the final caution of the race. Coming to the final lap of the race, Joey Wintrow managed to get around Scott to take his first ever victory at WRP. Robbie Tuttle finished in a close second with Austin Scott finishing third. Justin Durflinger picked up the unofficial points championship. Rob Sharpe and Austin Scott claimed the heat race victories.
The Quest Federal Credit Union Non Wing Sprint Cars took the track for 25 laps of racing. Lima’s Ty Tilton led the field to green alongside the 1J of Jeremy Shambaugh. Tilton won the drag race into turn two and led the opening lap. Tilton would hold the lead for the first three laps of the A-main until Drew Rader took the lead away. Rader came into the weekend just seven points behind Luke Hall in the standings. Once Rader secured the lead, Lee Underwood began to make a run for the second spot. Underwood’s move was a success with just five circuits in the books. Underwood’s 24L was hooked up and flying on the bottom side of the track as Underwood worked to catch Rader for the lead. The two drivers went wheel to wheel, Underwood on the bottom and Rader on the cushion. Lap traffic began to build as the field approached the halfway point. Lap traffic separated Underwood and Rader as they weaved their way through. As the top two drivers worked lap traffic, current points leader Luke Hall took the third spot. In the end, Rader came away with the A-main, his third on the season. Underwood came home second. Hall came home third and picked up the unofficial championship. Kyle Simon, who came into the weekend third in points, claimed a heat race along with Luke Hall.
The Performance Powder Coating AMSA Mini Sprints took the track for their final tune-up before the $500 to win race over the Labor Day Weekend holiday. Eddie Mehl and Taylor Cox led the field to the opening green flag. The driver scheduled to start on the outside of row 2, Chris Bounds, took the lead and claimed the opening lap. Bounds came into the weekend just eight points back in the point standings. The driver leading the standings, Brad Strunk, held the second spot. Strunk managed to catch Bounds and took the lead early in the main. The first of two red flags flew. The first was thrown for the 88 of Tayte Williamson and the 33 of Andrew Heitkamp. Heitkamp and Williamson got tangled exiting turn sending both of them tumbling upside down. Both drivers climbed out under their own power. Back under green, Chris Whipple, who started dead last in the main, lost an engine coming down the front stretch. The retired engine left a trail of slick oil on the top groove of the track. The yellow was thrown so official could absorb some of the oil from the racing surface. The final red flag of the race flew for the 17 of Dustin Downard. Downard tipped over exiting turn four in a crash. The late race incidents did nothing to Strunk giving him his second win on the season. Chris Bounds finished second with Anthony Haas taking third. Tayte Williamson and Anthony Haas took home the heat races.
The Satellite Connections UMP Modifieds saw an impressive 30+ cars sign in to compete. The 20 car A-main was brought to green by the 1W of Scottie Williams and the 20M of Josh Morton. The opening of the race was plagued with cautions causing three complete restarts to get the main underway. The cautions involved many drivers in the race including Troy Cattarene, Tom Treon, Bill Griffith, Scot Gerdeman, and Jim Post. Once the race did go green, Williams took the lead and led the opening lap. A three-way battle quickly formed with Williams, Morton, and Brian Post all going for the top spot. The battle lasted for just under two laps before Post came away with the lead. Morton, riding the coattail of Post, moved into the second spot. Another series of yellow followed for Chris Ullery, Jim Post, Bill Griffith, Tom Conrad, and Terry Grilliot. On the final restart of the main, Post held the lead. Williams muscled his way back into second with current point lead Jeff Koz sneaking into third. The race would finish with Brian Post taking the victory and a trip to victory lane presented by Tim Hogan’s Carpet and Flooring of Lima. Scottie Williams finished in second with Jeff Koz finishing in third and picking up the unofficial championship. Bill Keeler, Lenny Guyton, Tom Conrad, and Brian Post picked up the heat race wins. David Treon, Jr. and Donnie Miller claimed the B-mains.
The Block Insurance Tough Trucks rounded out the night of racing. Current points leader Chris Hicks and Kelcey Helmig led the field to the opening green flag. Hicks took the lead and led the opening lap. The Helmig duo began to battle for the second spot. Kelcey and Devon went door to door with just two laps in the books. As the pair of 17’s battled into turns one and two, a large smoke cloud formed behind the 82 of Kevin Knittle. Knittle lost his engine coming into turn three dropping loads of oil along the cushion. Before anything could be done, Ben Hower got loose in the oil slick and went head-on into the outside retaining wall in turn four. All trucks were brought to a halt as Hower’s truck was removed from the track. Back under green, Devon Helmig began to battle with Frankie Weigt for the runner-up spot. Helmig claimed the second spot as he set his sights on the leader. Helmig pushed his truck to the max and claimed the lead from Hicks with just five laps remaining the main. In the end, Devon Helmig came away with the A-main victory. Chris Hicks came home second with Gage Twining finishing in third. Chris Hicks picked up the track championship before announcing his retirement from the truck class. Davon Helmig and Gabe Twining picked up the heat races.
The final event of the 2017 season at Waynesfield will take place next Sunday night, September 3rd. The rescheduled Summer Sprint Sizzler is a sprint car lover’s dream event. The event with feature four divisions of sprint car racing including a $4000 to win NRA Sprint Invader A-main, $2500 to win F.A.S.T 410 race, $1000 to win F.A.S.T 305 race, and a $500 to win AMSA Mini Sprint A-main. Tickets from the rained-out event earlier in July will be honored. Full ticket information can be found on the Waynesfield Raceway Park website.
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Non Wings – Quest Federal Credit Union
Heat 1 – (8 Laps)
1. 23S-Kyle Simon ; 2. 5A-Toby Alfrey ; 3. 2DI-Dustin Ingle ; 4. 1J-Jeremy Shambaugh ; 5. 12-Kent Wolters ; 6. 71C-Barney Craig
Heat 2 – (8 Laps)
1. 9N-Luke Hall ; 2. 24L-Lee Underwood ; 3. 74-Drew Rader ; 4. 42-Ty Tilton ; 5. e99-Gage Etgen ; 6. 17-Kevin Myers
A-Main 1 – (25 Laps)
1. 74-Drew Rader ; 2. 24L-Lee Underwood ; 3. 9N-Luke Hall ; 4. 2DI-Dustin Ingle ; 5. 23S-Kyle Simon ; 6. 42-Ty Tilton ; 7. 1J-Jeremy Shambaugh ; 8. 5A-Toby Alfrey ; 9. e99-Gage Etgen ; 10. 12-Kent Wolters ; 11. 17-Kevin Myers ; 12. 71C-Barney Craig