Beaber Bests the Monster Half Mile at PPMS

bosscroppedFrom Aaron Fry

Without a doubt, racing is a family affair. Tonight, the BOSS series had three sets of “father/son” teams on the race track at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. In the end, a memorable victory lane would feature a jubilant first time series winner in Gibsonburg, Ohio’s Tony Beaber who was joined in victory lane by his father, Johnny Beaber who himself finished 11th place. Beaber later said he had grown up in victory lane as a child at PPMS when his father had won there. Beaber then said, “to stand next to him again 30 years later in the same spot, WOW!”

The 20 lap A-Main would find Dustin Smith and Aaron Middaugh bringing the 20 car field to the green flag. Smith, piloting the Lou Gagliardi owned #91 was driving in relief of the injured Mark Cassella, and Smith wasted little time in charging to a commanding opening lap lead with third starting Adam Miller in hot pursuit. An early caution would fly on lap 2 for a stalled Gary Rankin on the frontstretch.

Back under green, second running Adam Miller took a dive to the bottom in an attempt to wrestle the lead from Smith, with Miller leading briefly through turns 1 and 2, but Smith was able to slingshot back into the lead off the high side. Once again Smith began to open up a comfortable lead, but contact with the wall was made in those early laps leaving Smith nursing a damaged race car throughout the remainder of the event. Working lap #7, Mike Miller of Wapakoneta, Ohio was able to slip inside Smith to lead, but Smith was able to once again use the high line momentum to power his way back to the lead. However, the race’s second caution flew working lap #9 when Adam Miller spun in turn #1. Scoring reverted back to the last completed lap, putting Mike Miller back to the lead.

At this point, eighth starting Tony Beaber had worked his way to 3rd while 9th starting Andre Layfield would restart 5th. As the action resumed, Mike Miller rolled off into turn 1 as the leader, but a determined Dustin Smith once again rode the high line to briefly retake the lead off of turn 2 and down the back straight. But by the time the field came off turn 4 to complete lap #9, Miller had once again taken command. The third caution then flew when Adam Miller spun for a second time.

The next restart found Miller and Smith still waging their battle at the point with Smith high and Miller low. Then from nowhere, Tony Beaber came right through the middle groove to make it a 3 car race for the lead down the back stretch. Entering turn #3, with the front of the pack now 3 wide, 9th starting Andre Layfield was running against the outter wall and rapidly closing to make it a 4 car race for the lead. During the 10th lap, Smith, Beaber, and Mike Miller all claimed the lead for part of that circuit.

By lap #12, Beaber had claimed the outright lead of the event, but now all eyes were on the black #21 of last year’s winner Andre Layfied of Grafton, West Virginia who had been reeling in the lead pack for several laps. Layfield finally cleared Mike Miller to claim second, but then found himself unable to get any closer to the leader. Then, with just 5 laps remaining, Beaber rode a little too close to the wall in turn 1 and 2 and made significant contact, slowing his speed momentarily. As the laps wound down, Layfield found himself suddenly closing on the lead and with the white flag in the air, he decided it was going to be “wreckers or checkers.” Layfield finally got a little too close to the wall down the backstretch making heavy contact and spinning the #21 going into turn 3.

That 4th and final caution then set up a one lap shootout for the win. But Beaber was not to be denied as he held off a very determined Dustin Smith on the final lap with Mike Miller, Kirk Jeffries, and Chad Wilson rounding out the top 5. Heat race events were won by Mike Miller, Dustin Smith, and Andre Layfield. Tony Beaber has now vaulted into the series points lead as the series now moves on to another doubleheader weekend July 5-6 at Lernerville Speedway and Sharon Speedway.

Heat #1 Finish – Mike Miller, Tony Beaber, Adam Miller, Chuck Wilson, Charlie Cornelius, Shelia Rankin, Brandon Matus

Heat #2 Finish – Dustin Smith, Kirk Jeffries, Chad Wilson, Johnny Beaber, Adam Cruea, Michael Fischesser, Gary Rankin

Heat #3 Finish – Andre Layfield, Brandon Spithaler, Aaron Middaugh, Arnie Kent, Jim McMillin, Brent Matus

Feature Finish – 1) Tony Beaber, 2) Dustin Smith, 3) Mike Miller, 4) Kirk Jeffries, 5) Chad Wilson, 6) Brandon Matus, 7) Brandon Spithaler, 8) Arnie Kent, 9) Michael Fischesser, 10) Charlie Cornelius, 11) Johnny Beaber, 12) Adam Cruea, 13) Chuck Wilson, 14) Sheila Rankin, 15) Aaron Middaugh, 16) Jim McMillin, 17) Brent Matus, 18) Andre Layfield, 19) Adam Miller, 20) Gary Rankin

Horne Performance Hard Charger: Brandon Matus

Buckeye Machine Hard Luck: Aaron Middaugh

Ernies Radiator Steel Block Bonus: Johnny Beaber

Hoosier Tire Bonus: Tony Beaber

American Racer Bonus: Dustin Smith