The ARDC Midgets kicked off the Memorial Day weekend with their annual trip to Penn Can Speedway in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and it was Steve Drevicki making an exciting last lap, last turn pass to pickup his first Midget win.
The start of the feature saw Tim Buckwalter bolt from his pole starting position into the lead. Buckwalter was followed by Dusty Heistand, outside polesitter Mark Gilmore, Steve Drevicki and Steve Craig.
Buckwalter looked strong and at times was able to open up a lead over Heistand, while the battle on the track was for the third position.
The wide, multi-groove track allowed Craig, Gilmore and Drevicki to swap the position back and forth over the next few laps until lap eight when Drevicki grabbed and held the spot. Drevicki immediately started to track down Heistand for the runnerup spot.
As the battle near the front raged a trio of drivers, who were handicapped to the back due to their point standings, where making a wild charge to the front.
Seventh starting Nick Wean, Ryan Watt who started twelfth and current point leader, Brett Arndt toured the oval three wide with Watt riding his number 17 well above the cushion.
By the seventeenth lap, Watt had closed onto the rear of Drevicki and as the two raced for position, Watt slid high in the fourth turn, losing several spots.
All the dueling behind him, allowed Buckwalter to open a comfortable lead over Heistand but on the 20th lap Buckwalter went high in the fourth turn and slowed, turning the lead over to Heistand.
Over the final five laps, Drevicki stalked Heistand looking for an opening. The two took the white flag nose to tail with Drevicki going low into the first turn. Coming off the second turn, Drevicki found some bite and rocketed down the back straight and used the momentum to get under Heistand in the third turn.
The two raced the final two turns side by side when Drevicki powered into the lead coming off the final turn to claim the win by less than a car length.
“I was able to get beside him earlier but got into heavy stuff and my car bogged down” Drevicki would later say about setting up the final pass. “Dusty was really fast but I was just able to get under him again and get by him in the end.”
Finishing behind Drevicki and Heistand were Ryan Watt, Steve Craig and Nick Wean.
Rounding out the top ten were, Brett Arndt, Drew Heistand, Mark Gilmore, Brenden Bright and PJ Gargiulo.
Heat races for the 22 Midgets went to Tim Buckwalter, Steve Drevicki and Dusty Heistand.
PENN CAN NOTES After his win Drevicki was not able to stop in victory lane because he had lost his brakes. He returned to the front stretch for his interview after the next feature was run. Drevicki dedicated the win to his grandfather, who recently passed away. Steve Craig’s fourth place finish was his best since ARDC took off the wings. The third heat race side by side dual between the Heistand brothers, Dusty (low groove) and Drew (high groove) was worth the price of admission. ARDC’s crew of rookies, continue to impress with Mark Gilmore and Brenden Bright finishing in the top ten while Keith McIntyre Jr. entered Fridays action eighth in points. ARDC driver representative, PJ Gargiulo briefs the newcomers before each race on the nuances of each track and complimented them on their good early season performances.
PENN CAN SPEEDWAY May 27, 2011 ARDC MIDGETS (21 Entries)
1) 19 Steve Drevicki, 2) 6 Dusty Heistand, 3) 17 Ryan Watt, 4) 55 Steve Craig, 5) 78 Nick Wean, 6) 46 Brett Arndt, 7)12 Drew Heistand, 8) 81 Mark Gilmore, 9) 88 Brenden Bright, 10) 51 PJ Gargiulo, 11) 83 Bruce Buckwalter Jr., 12) 77 Alex Bright, 13) 16 Dave Shirk, 14) 8 Keith McIntyre Jr., 15) 4 Shane Penny, 16) 61 Parker Evans, 17) 01 Steve Bull, 18) 28 Greg Fitzpatrick, 19) 52 Tim Buckwalter, 20) 99 Justin Grosz, DNS 33 Ryan Smith