Bryan Howland Superb in Patriot Sprint Challenge at Woodhull

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From Rich Vleck

WOODHULL, NY (July 30, 2011)- Bryan Howland’s short list of Patriot Sprint Tour tracks in New York State that he was winless at got even smaller on Saturday when he captured his first career win at Woodhull Raceway.

Howland, of Auburn, NY, moved by George Suprick on lap 10 and stayed solid to the end to earn his 20th career Patriot Sprint Tour (PST) A-Main win of his stellar career. Because “Flyin’ Bryan” was utilizing a PST-legal 360 engine, his win was worth a hefty $2,500.

Howland tried the top of the high-banked 1/3-mile in the opening laps but soon realized the bottom would be the fast lane the rest of the event. He stalked Suprick until the pair of past Patriot Champions reached the back of the field. On lap 10, as Suprick closed in his protégé Clint Ide, Howland found a line to the inside of the No. 87 in turns one and two and darted into the lead.

“This is a big win,” stated the 24-year-old driver making his final start before his wedding next Saturday. “To get by George especially, a two-time winner here, he’s got this place figured out so to get lucky and get him in lapped traffic is just awesome.”

Despite feeling a bit of luck, the four-time and defending Patriot Champion made the right adjustments to get by Suprick, including sliding the wing back early in the event, a maneuver that was rather arduous.

“I pulled that wing back as far as I could to tighten it up but I have to do that on the straightaway and it was tough to let go of the steering wheel tonight with the track the way it was.”

Suprick and Howland each won their National Parts Peddler heat race and then drew the top two starts in the A-Main. They stayed even for much of the feature, with Suprick’s car quicker on the many restarts while Howland’s No. 51 would come to life after a few laps.

“I just tried to roll the corners because they are so tight, but it is such a racy track so you have to be smooth,” noted Howland who is notoriously one of the best at that quality on tour.

With the win, Howland also secured the Insinger Race Fuels King of the Southern Tier for the second year in a row.

Suprick, of Clarks Summit, PA, was satisfied with his second place showing, recognizing after the event that one mistake in lapped traffic was all that a Champion like Howland needed to capitalize.

In the closing laps, Suprick started feeling pressure from Bobby Howard, who was the third heat race winner of the night. Howard, of Enola, PA, had a spirited battle with Jared Zimbardi for third for much of the race until Zimbardi’s left rear tire began to go soft. Once Howard put his No. 49 into third, he began to apply pressure on Suprick but just ran out of time.

Scott Kreutter would also be able to get by Zimbardi in the closing laps for a fourth-place showing. For much of the race, Kreutter would be engaged in a exciting battle with Kyle Drum for fifth-place.

Zimbardi would marginally expand his PST point lead with his second fifth-place showing of the year at Woodhull. “The Juice” felt longer green flag runs might have enabled him to get up to second.

Just behind Zimbardi was his brother-in-law Kyle Drum who was sixth, as he was in his other Patriot start this year at Eriez.

Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Winner Chuck Brion would drive up to seventh, holding off Tim Kelly in the final laps. Jamie Bodo would charge from 19th to 9th while Tracy Potter rounded out the top-10 in his first start of the year.

With 20 sprints in the pits, including 9 410s, the balance between the engines was evident with the top six split evening and six 360s in the top 10.

Defending Woodhull Challenge Winner Dan Shetler did not have the night he hoped for as he got tangled up in the final caution of the race on lap 23 while running seventh and would be forced to the infield with a flat left rear tire.

The only red flag of the feature occurred on lap 21 when Vern Wasson spun and collected Mark Ide, who tipped over his No. 2. Wasson also turned over his No. 5 just after the completion of heat race two.

Another impressive crowd filled the grandstands built into the hillside at the Steuben County Oval on a picture-perfect night.

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Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 7/30/11, Woodhull Raceway, Woodhull, NY.

Insinger A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. George Suprick (87), 3. Bobby Howard (49), 4. Scott Kreutter (52), 5. Jared Zimbardi (35), 6. Kyle Drum (22R), 7. Chuck Brion (5B), 8. Tim Kelly (12), 9. Jamie Bodo (76), 10. Tracy Potter (11T), 11. Shayne Ely (V8), 12. Robbie Shuttleworth (11), 13. Brad Knab (38), 14. Jeff Frasier (99), 15. Steve Collins (67), 16. Clint Ide (3), 17. Dan Shetler (7K), 18. Vern Wasson (5), 19. Mark Ide (2), 20. Don Adamczyk (21).

Lap Leaders- Suprick 1-9, Howland 10-25.

Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Brion, 2. Shetler, 3. Potter, 4. Adamczyk, 5. Ely, 6. Shuttleworth.

National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-

Race 1: 1. Howland, 2. Adamczyk, 3. Drum, 4. Shetler, 5. Potter, 6. M. Ide, 7. Bodo.

Race 2: 1. Suprick, 2. Collins, 3. Kelly, 4. Shuttleworth, 5. Brion, 6. Wasson, 7. C. Ide.

Race 3: 1. Howard, 2. Kreutter, 3. Zimbardi, 4. Ely, 5. Knab, 6. Frasier.

Patriot Sprint Tour Championship Standings (Top 10)- Zimbardi 1510, Kelly 1382, Kreutter 1298, Adamczyk 1201, Knab 1192, Collins 1095, Howland 1070, Brown 1006, Ely 1005, Frasier 848.

Insinger Race Fuels King of the Southern Tier Series Final Standings (Top 10)- Howland 430, Zimbardi 414, Kelly 411, Kreutter 406, Adamczyk 387, Ely 378, Frasier and Knab 357, Collins 349, Wasson 238.

Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Standings (Top Five)- Wasson 17, Collins 14, Zimbardi 13, Ely 12, Wickham and Suprick 11.

Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Knab 35, Wasson 25, Kreutter 22, Zimbardi and Collard 21.