Chuck Hebing topped Friday night’s season opening ASCS Patriot main event at Dundee, New York’s Black Rock Speedway. – Jay Fish photo
From Rich Vleck
DUNDEE, N.Y. (April 30, 2010) – It had been nearly two years since Chuck Hebing had won an ASCS Patriot race, seemingly an eternity for the winningest driver in the history of the series. But if there is one track that “The Cobra” has had command of over the years, it is Black Rock; and if there is one date when he performs the best, it is the opening night. On a clear night, the stars aligned for Hebing for a win and a track record to go along with it.
Hebing, of Ontario, NY, moved underneath hometown favorite Tim Kelly coming to crossed flags and pulled away in his No. 45 for his 31st career Patriot win. It capped off nearly a flawless night for the two-time series champion.
“Cobra” dominated the first heat race of the season, as he attacked a tacky track and laid down a 12.954 second lap the second circuit around to break the Black Rock Speedway track record and become the first to run a lap in the 12 second bracket. After drawing a 7th place starting spot for the feature, he was carefully aggressive to get to the front.
After a rough start to the 25-lap A-Main in which Gary Kriess flipped hard into the backstretch fence, Bobby Breen cut down a tire and Jared Zimbardi and George Suprick wrecked out of the event, once things got running under green flag conditions, the cream began to rise to the top.
A caution flag on lap eight altered the face of the event when Zimbardi and Jeff Cook came together. Tim Kelly had led up until that point, but Steve Poirier was setting up his bid to take the lead right when the caution flag waved. On the restart though, the driver that would begin his attack on the leader would be Hebing.
With a lapped car of Bruce DeWick between Kelly and his chasers, Hebing saw the opportunity to move into second and quickly moved underneath Poirier, as well as DeWick to begin to analyze Kelly. When what would be the final yellow flag unfurreled on lap 12 for the No. 21L of Trevor Lewis spinning, Hebing was ready to strike.
On the restart, Hebing dove hard underneath Kelly entering turn four, but drifted up the track. Kelly moved his VFL Energy No. 12 down to the bottom but as the two entered turn one, Hebing has the preferred line and had set sail.
“I knew (Kelly) was leaving the bottom lane open, and I knew I had to drive it way in there to get underneath him,” noted Hebing after the event. “I got a great pull off the corner and that was huge because it was tough to pass out there tonight.”
Over the second half of the race, all of which was running consecutively under green flag condition, the track quickly began to slick off, which played right into Hebing’s hands. The top wing on the Wilkins RV No. 45 was set up with much more angle than other cars, so when the track altered, the leader was in an even more commanding position. This was definitely something that Hebing was ready for as he collected his fifth career BRS win.
“This was like the old Black Rock tonight,” he added in Victory Lane, alluding to the track circa 2004, where the speedway was ultra fast and had a thinner groove.
The win was the fourth season opening Patriot Win for “Cobra” in the last five seasons. After somehow going winless with the series for the first time ever in 2009, he quickly made sure that trend did not continue on a pristine spring afternoon and night.
As Hebing checked out, a dejected Tim Kelly fought hard to preserve a runner-up finish. Despite being consistently in the top-five last season, including three runner-up showings, the quite veteran from nearby Rock Stream has been getting anxious to break out of a winless drought that has gone one much longer than anyone could imagine.
Defending ASCS Patriot Champion Bryan Howland put together another championship type run as he figured out how to get his No. 51 moving forward and finish third, right behind Kelly at the line.
Scott Bonnell was flying through the pack early on, advancing from 16th to 4th and passing Howland by lap 8; on that restart though, “Flyin’ Bryan” would move back around the No. 3B and then moved by Steve Poirier, whose No. 28FM has began to go away.
As the race settled, Poirier would make his long trip from Quebec pay off with a fourth, his best career finish at Black Rock. Bonnell would round out the top-five for his best run at BRS since his historic win in the 2003 Fall Nationals.
Don Adamczyk continued his improvement at the Dundee oval with a track-best sixth. Lance Yonge, another local favorite, was seventh, with Alain Bergeron taking home eighth.
Kevin Nouse ran up from the B-Main to cross in 9th in his first career Patriot start. Jessica Zemken won the Demaree Fruit Farms Four Laps of Fame Dash and rounded out the top-10.
Trevor Lewis’ spin when coming together with Don Adamczyk in a battle for sixth would end up resulting in an 11th place for the driver of the No. 21L. It was the first time in 14 starts the Upper Black Eddy, PA hot shoe has ever finished outside of the top-10 at Black Rock.
ASCS Patriots Results: 4/30/10, Black Rock Speedway, Dundee, NY.
A-Verdi A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Steve Poirier (28FM), 5. Scott Bonnell (3B), 6. Don Adamczyk (21), 7. Lance Yonge (17J), 8. Alain Bergeron (8B), 9. Kevin Nouse (00), 10. Jessica Zemken (14), 11. Trevor Lewis (21L), 12. Bubba Broderick (5), 13. Blake Breen (8), 14. T.J. Newton (57), 15. Bruce DeWick (22D), 16. Justin Barger (32), 17. Jeff Cook, 18. Bobby Breen (9), 19. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 20. Jared Zimbardi (35), 21. Gary Kriess (92), 22. George Suprick (5v).
Lap Leaders- Kelly 1-12, Hebing 13-25.
B-Mains (Top 6 Transfer to A-Main)- 1. Jeff Cook (10), 2. George Suprick (5v), 3. Blake Breen (8), 4. Kevin Nouse (00), 5. Bruce DeWick (22d), 6. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 7. Nick Schaluch Jr. (38N), 8. Joe August Jr. (47), 9. Dave Wickham (80), 10. Shane Ely (90), 11. Chris Muhleisen (10M).
Demaree Fruit Farms/ Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Jessica Zemken (14), 2. Trevor Lewis (21L), 3. Lance Yonge (17J), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Bubba Broderick (5), 6. T.J. Newton (57).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Don Adamczyk (21), 3. Gary Kriess (92), 4. Trevor Lewis (21L), 5. Scott Bonnell (3B), 6. Bubba Broderick (5), 7. Kevin Nouse (00), 8. George Suprick (5v), 9. Dave Wickham (80).
Race 2: 1. Justin Barger (32), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Steve Poirier (28FM), 4. Lance Yonge (17J), 5. Bruce DeWick (22D), 6. Jeff Cook (10), 7. Blake Breen (8), 8. Shane Ely (90), 9. Chris Muhleisen (10M).
Race 3: 1. Bobby Breen (9), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Jessica Zemken (14), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. T.J. Newton (57), 6. Alain Bergeron (8B), 7. Nick Schlauch Jr. (38N), 8. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 9. Joe August Jr. (47).
ASCS Patriot Points (Top Ten): 1. Chuck Hebing 150, 2. Tim Kelly 142, 3. Bryan Howland 135, 4. Steve Poirier 130, 5. Scott Bonnell 125, 6. Don Adamczyk 122, 7. Lance Yonge 119, 8. Alain Bergeron 116, 9. Kevin Nouse 113, 10. Jessica Zemken 110.