By Kalita Landis
Hanover, Pa. (8/30/19) – Mike Bittinger doesn’t over-react to track conditions before the start of a 358 Sprint Car feature event. It’s better to keep emotion in check in order to make the right decisions.
So, when Bittinger took one last look at the racing surface at Trail-Way Speedway Friday night, he knew exactly what to do when he got back to his pit area.
The Abbottstown ace made just the right change. From there, he dominated the 25-lap A-Main, leading every lap to secure his third Trail-Way win of the season and 20th overall at the speedway.
“I walked up to the track, and it was pretty narrow, for the most part,” Bittinger said. “I walked up at the last second, and I normally don’t react to what I see because the track is going to do what it does.
“I went back and lowered the nose of the car all the way back down to free it up, so it’s easy for the old guy to drive … Just run around as hard as you can, and we did that.”
And did it well.
Bittinger jumped out front and built a 1.182-second lead over Kyle Rohrbaugh by the completion of Lap 1. Todd Rittenhouse Jr. And Dylan Norris were in tow.
The first caution of the race occurred on Lap 4, when Joe. Trone Jr. spun in Turn 4. He was able to restart and tagged the rear.
Bittinger left a little early on the restart, and the caution was thrown. On the next attempt, he hit his marks and built another lead over the field. Meanwhile, 12th-place starter Steve Owings got around Cody Fletcher to take over seventh by the time the lap was scored.
Owings was coming forward and made his way to sixth by Lap 5. He was challenging for a spot in the top five, when Dylan Norris spun in Turn 4 on Lap 6, and he was left with nowhere to go. Both Norris and Owings were able to restart at the back of the field.
Nothing changed up front. Bittinger was still the class of the field and built another lead over Rohrbaugh. David Holbrook slipped by Rittenhouse for third and started to close on second place.
Bittinger started to encounter lapped traffic just past the halfway point. Owings, meanwhile, was the show coming through the field. He was up to sixth by Lap 17 and blew into the top five by the 20th circuit.
But, Owings’ chance at challenging for a win ended three laps later. He was attempting to pass Andrew Hake, when he caught the lapped car’s back end and flipped in Turns 3 and 4. He was OK. Rittenhouse had a flat right rear during the red flag and went to the pit area.
On the restart, it was all Bittinger. He cruised over the final three circuits and took the win by 1.958 seconds over Rohrbaugh, who had the best finish of his career at the speedway. Holbrook, Cody Fletcher, and Tim McClelland completed the top five. McClelland earned Big Mike’s Crabhouse Hard Charger honors.
“I’m kind of glad I didn’t get into heavier lapped traffic, because I used a lot of brake trying to pass those few lapped cars that I passed,” Bittinger said. “I really had to get in hard on the brake, and it started to get soft on me, so that yellow at the end … I didn’t want it, but then again, it got the lapped cars away.
“Clean track always helps, because you can enter as hard as you feel like you can enter. You’ve got cars in front of you, and you’re kind of at their mercy when they roll out. When the track is only halfway up, you can’t really move around a lot.”
Like Bittinger, Jayden Wolfe got out front early and led all 20 laps to capture the 600 Micro Sprint main event. It was his first career Trail-Way victory.
Point leader Jesse Snyder made it close at the end, finishing .358 seconds back. Bradley Weber, Mike Rynard, and Zane Rudisill completed the top five. Jim Young, who finished sixth, is now 22 points behind Snyder heading into the last point race of the season next Friday night.
In 270 Micro Sprint action, Billy Logeman had the most dominating performance of the night, besting the field in the 20-lap affair by 3.080 seconds.
Logeman, who has raced on and off at Trail-Way the last 10 years, was never challenged over the race distance and wired the field for his first career 270 win at the track. Nicholas Whitesel was a distance second, followed by Cory Myers, Zachary Glass, and Jeff Arigo.
Aaron Beard continued the trend of the night, when he led all 20 laps in the Street Stock feature. It was his first win of 2019 and second overall at the speedway.
Jeremy Stremmel, Sam Gallagher, Danny Beard — Aaron’s father — and Ryan Smith completed the top five.
Roland Brown led all 20 laps in the Classic Car feature. Neal Reamer, Chad Stine, Joe Brown and Jim Rost completed the top five.
Ricky Weaver Jr. claimed his second consecutive 100-lap Enduro victory. Weaver raced around Justin Bittle on the 50th lap and held on for the remaining laps to take the checkered flag.
Roy Denike, Ron Marsh, Terry Hartlaub and Dennis Harrison completed the top five.
Friday, August 30, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOOSIER TIRE MID ATLANTIC 358 SPRINT CARS
Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 93-Mike Bittinger, ; 2. 12K-Kyle Rohrbaugh, ; 3. 77-David Holbrook, ; 4. 66A-Cody Fletcher, ; 5. 6-Tim McClelland (Big Mike’s Crabhouse Hard Charger), ; 6. 99-Joe Trone Jr, ; 7. 44-Dylan Norris, ; 8. 51-Austen Treuchet, ; 9. 17-Andrew Hake, ; 10. (DNF) 18-Todd Rittenhouse Jr, ; 11. (DNF) 35-Steve Owings, ; 12. (DNF) 48-Nat Tuckey, ; 13. (DNF) 10T-Brody Treaster, ; 14. (DNF) 2D-Dylan Orwig, ; (DNS) 34-Mark Van Vorst.
Lap Leaders – Mike Bittinger (1-25)
358 Sprint Car Heat 1 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify) – 1. 48-Nat Tuckey, ; 2. 44-Dylan Norris, ; 3. 93-Mike Bittinger, ; 4. 77-David Holbrook, ; 5. 66A-Cody Fletcher, ; 6. 99-Joe Trone Jr, ; 7. 6-Tim McClelland, ; 8. 2D-Dylan Orwig, .
358 Sprint Car Heat 2 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify) – 1. 35-Steve Owings, ; 2. 18-Todd Rittenhouse Jr, ; 3. 12K-Kyle Rohrbaugh, ; 4. 10T-Brody Treaster, ; 5. 51-Austen Treuchet, ; 6. 17-Andrew Hake, ; 7. (DNF) 34-Mark Van Vorst, .