From Mike Mallett
FULTONVILLE, NY – Even with all of his feature wins and championships, Bobby Varin still did something on Friday night at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park that he had never done before. The Sharon Springs, N.Y., native joined Lance Yonge as the only two drivers to ever score Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint (ESS) victories at the quarter-mile Montgomery County oval.
Varin first held off the challenges of Kevin Ward Jr. and then he battled his way through traffic to keep current series point leader, Chuck Hebing, behind him. Varin drove a Pete Demitraszek owned No. 00 to the victory after only a handful of Sprint Car starts. He also went out and captured the Modified main-event after winning the 25-lap ESS feature.
“Driving this Sprint Car is the most fun you can have in a race car,” commented a smiling Varin after the feature event. “The Modifieds are fun and I really love watching the Modifieds and racing three and four wide but driving one of these Sprint Cars with your butt sitting in the seat, there is no feeling like it. I have to thank Pete Demitraszek and his wife and their son Matt for the opportunity to drive this car.”
Varin scored the pole position as a result of the redraw but at the green he was forced to work for every inch of racetrack. On the start Varin dove low into turn one while Ward, who started on the outside front row, went to the outside and stayed alongside.
They were side-by-side for the lead when the only caution came out before lap two could be completed as Steve Poirier, who is battling the flu, spun in turn one all by himself while running in the top five.
On the ensuing double-file restart, Ward got a slight edge on Varin going into turn one and held onto the lead by the time they came around to complete the second lap by inches over Varin at the line. He was able to lead lap three as well before Varin finally reasserted himself in the top spot with four laps complete.
“I could see him and I could see his shadow,” commented Varin about Ward. “Even when I couldn’t see him I could see the light change as the shadow from his wing came across my car. I knew he was there. He’s a good runner and he’s won some races. I don’t know these guys well but you have to trust they have their own line. I did all I could to hold my line and not wreck him or wreck myself. It was great racing and we gave each other room.”
On lap seven Varin encountered very heavy slower traffic and he nearly got bottled up exiting turn two. He was able to slide up and get to the outside lane before Ward could fill the opening on the high-side to take the lead.
As Varin worked traffic, Hebing was on the charge from his sixth starting position. Using traffic to his advantage, Hebing slide up in front Ward in turns three and four in traffic to move into second with only nine laps complete in the A-Main.
Varin continued to set the pace at the half-way point of the feature with Hebing starting to mount his charge. Varin did what he had to do in traffic and Hebing did the same allowing him to close in as the laps clicked off.
With five laps left, Varin found himself in three-wide traffic with Hebing only a few car lengths behind. Over the course of those last few laps, Varin followed Yonge on the high-side of the speedway and Hebing was never able to take a serious shot at taking the win away from Varin.
“Lance (Yonge) is a good runner and I couldn’t believe I was coming up to lap him,” commented Varin. “He was fast on the high-side and he was getting by some of the other slower cars. That allowed me to follow him and sneak by some of the slower lapped cars as well.”
Hebing remained hot and the ESS point leader with his second place finish. The Ontario, N.Y., driver continues to click off top five finishes. Hebing has had only one event throughout the 2011 season in which he has finished outside the top ten in ESS competition.
“We are happy to have another good finish,” said Hebing after driving his Ford powered Maxim to a second place finish. “You can’t have bad finishes if you are trying to finish good in the point deal. We had a chance to win the race too but we had a lot of problems with lapped cars tonight.”
Ward relinquished second to Hebing but it was another strong finish for the Port Leyden, N.Y., driver. The 2010 Rookie of the Year was pleased with the finish with his Rider powered Maxim.
“It was a real good night and I’m happy to have a podium finish again,” stated Ward after the event. “The best thing about the night is the car handled well. We’ve struggled with the short track setup the last couple of weeks. I know the last few races we’ve had some trouble getting the car hooked up but I’m happy we got going on a small-slick track tonight.”
Edinburg, N.Y., driver, Cory Sparks got back on track after a rough weekend one week ago with a fourth place finish and Jason Barney, of Brewerton, N.Y., came from 12th starting position to complete the top five in his HG Associates powered X-1 Race Car.
ESS/Glen Ridge Notes: Kyle Dutcher made his first ESS start of 2011…Both Jared Fink and Mike Stelter found their sprints on their wings during heat one…Fink broke a bone in his arm but was treated and released from the hospital shortly after…Stelter loaded early to head home and fix his homebuilt mount to get ready for Fulton the next night…A special raising of the flag was done for Matt Demitraszek who returned from Afghanistan, Matt is the son of Pete Demitraszek who owns Varin’s car and is also a Glen Ridge official…After two years of successful ESS events at the Ridge, a return date in 2012 is set.
Lucas Oil A-Main – Bobby Varin, Chuck Hebing, Kevin Ward Jr., Cory Sparks, Jason Barney, Steve Poirier, Shawn Donath, Matt Tanner, Lance Yonge, Jeff Cook, Russ Bennett, Tyler Rand, Jami Russell, Dave Wickham, Kyle Dutcher, Kory Gurney, Dick Spadaro. DNS – Jared Fink, Mike Stelter.
Lap Leaders – Varin 1, Ward Jr. 2-3, Varin 4-25.
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 1 – Sparks, Yonge, Donath, Barney, Gurney, Fink, Stelter
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 2 – Hebing, Ward Jr., Rand, Bennett, Wickham, Dutcher
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers Heat 3 – Varin, Cook, Poirier, Tanner, Russell, Spadaro
Cobra Coaches Dash – Yonge
Westward Painting Co. Halfway – Varin $100
WestFront Construction Hard Charger – Barney (7 pos.) $50
Ohsweken Speedway Winners Bonus – Varin $50
Mohawk Racing Parts Pick 5 – Barney $50
Car Mate Custom Built Trailers – Sparks, Hebing, Varin $25
HG Associates Fast Time – Hebing (12.820) $25