By Kalida Landis
HANOVER, Pa.: David Holbrook entered Friday’s Championship finale at Trail-Way Speedway with a shot at wearing the 358 Sprint Car season crown.
The task was far from simple. The Parkton, Md., ace had to finish enough spots in front of point leader at track kingpin Steve Owings.
Holbrook did his part.
In a one-night dash for the title that also included Dylan Norris, Holbrook led every lap of the 25-Lap 358 Sprint Car feature. It was his second win of the 2020 season and 11th of his career.
As for the title, Holbrook’s win wasn’t enough. Owings came from 10th to second in the final rundown and beat Holbrook by a mere five points.
“We were alright,” Holbrook said. “We struggled a little bit earlier in the year, and for me to hold this guy [Owings] off standing down here to the left of me is an accomplishment to our team.
“I think I hit my marks just right, and we had the car perfect. Anybody could’ve drove it tonight. It was just hold the gas down and hang on.”
Owings, a three-time winner at the speedway this season, carved his way to the front in short order but fell short of overtaking Holbrook. Still, it was enough to lock up his third Trail-Way Speedway championship in the last four years.
“Hats off to the guys,” Owings said. “They work their tails off through the week. Once I got past Dylan for second, I knew I just needed to stay there, and I knew I didn’t really need to do anything stupid to come home as the champion.
“Holbrook was running a good pace. He had it hung out there, and we took it a little cautious there at the end. There were a lot of cars there, and if I needed to pass him, I probably could’ve stood back up on it, but he did a great job.”
Continued Owings, “It’s awesome for those guys to win again tonight. It’s pretty cool when you think about it … there were only three cars that won this year. If the points would’ve counted last week, we wouldn’t have had to run this race. We should’ve been out in the cruise lane tonight, but it all worked out.”
Holbrook started on the outside-pole of the race and beat Andrew Hake through the first and second corner to take the early lead.
While Holbrook pulled away from the field, Owings was making his way to the front. By the time the second lap was scored, the champ advanced from 10th to fifth.
Dylan Norris was in the mix, taking second from Hake on the sixth circuit. Owings followed, and the chase was on for the top spot.
The problem was that Holbrook was gone. By the time Norris and Owings took second and third, Holbrook had built a three-second lead.
Owings was on the move and disposed of Norris for second on Lap 7. He caught a break on Lap 8, when Hake stopped in Turn 2 to bring out the caution.
Holbrook’s lead was gone, and Owings stuck his nose under Holbrook in the corners on Lap 11. Traffic came into play on Lap 12, and Holbrook led by .596 seconds.
“The top was really good there at the beginning,” Holbrook said. “I guess it was a lot of people moving around. Then halfway or three-quarters of the way, I saw his nose, and the top was getting dirty.
“I was kind of getting wheel spin off the corner, and I knew I had to move it down in one and two. The top was still good in three and four, and the lapped cars were right around the bottom, and you could just buzz right around them.”
It worked to perfection. Holbrook opened up a 1.317-second lead on Lap 16, but Owings got up on the wheel and closed in lapped traffic two laps later.
Owings was making another bid for the win on Lap 19, but Holbrook got around a group of lapped cars in Turns 1 and 2. Meanwhile, Owings got held up, which cost him the win.
Holbrook held the position for the rest of the way and took the victory by .492 seconds. Owings, Mike Bittinger, Norris, and Tim McClelland completed the top five.
“We moved up to the 410s about five or six years ago, and they just handed it to me,” Owings said. “I got my ass beat.
“It was nice to come back and at least say, ‘I can drive and run consistent,’ which we have done. We’re still going to dilly-dally with the 410s a little bit, probably at the end of this year, but we’ll definitely be back next year. I love this place, and I think it loves us, so we’re definitely going to come back.”
In 270 Micro Sprint action, Adrian Shaffer collected the victory in the 20-lap event. Meanwhile, Bill Laughman won the track championship in the division.
Polesitter Brent Bull led at the start of the main event and held it until Lap 15 when Brock Whisler stopped on the backstretch to bring out the caution.
On the ensuing restart, Shaffer made contact with Bull going into Turn 1. Bull rode the wall and nearly flipped. He landed back on his tires and kept going, but Shaffer, of Hellam, Pa., led the final five laps to earn his second career 270 Micro Sprint victory.
The incident dropped Bull to 13th, and combined with Laughman’s eighth-place finish, cost him the track championship.
Russ Shoop fell back to second on the initial start but stormed back out front on Lap 2 and led the rest of the way to capture the 20-lap Street Stock feature.
Jimmy Combs made it close at the end, falling .226 seconds short at the end. Still, it was enough for Combs to win the 2020 track championship by 13 markers over Chris Transeau.
Matt Worley started second in the 15-Lap Limited Stock main event and cruised to the win over Chad Weaver and Nick McDaniel. Robbie Carroll finished seventh, which was good enough to lock up the track championship.
Friday, September 11, 2020
For Immediate Release
358 SPRINT CARS
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 77-David Holbrook; 2. 35-Steve Owings; 3. 12-Mike Bittinger; 4. 44-Dylan Norris; 5. 6-Tim McClelland; 6. 59S-Steve Wilbur; 7. 12K-Kyle Rohrbaugh; 8. 1-Cody Phillips; 9. 66A-Cody Fletcher; 10. 23-Justin Foster; 11. 99-Joe Trone Jr; 12. 77K-Steven Kisamore; 13. 8CR-Mason Chaney; 14. 17-Andrew Hake; 15. 45R-Brett Rose; 16. U2-Billy Heltzel Jr.
Lap Leaders: David Holbrook (1-25)
358 Sprint Car Heat 1 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 17-Andrew Hake; 2. 44-Dylan Norris; 3. 59S-Steve Wilbur; 4. 6-Tim McClelland; 5. 23-Justin Foster; 6. 66A-Cody Fletcher; 7. 77K-Steven Kisamore; 8. 8CR-Mason Chaney.
358 Sprint Car Heat 2 Finish (10 Laps/All Qualify): 1. 77-David Holbrook; 2. 35-Steve Owings; 3. 12-Mike Bittinger; 4. 1-Cody Phillips; 5. 12K-Kyle Rohrbaugh; 6. 99-Joe Trone Jr; 7. U2-Billy Heltzel Jr; 8. 45R-Brett Rose.