By Steve Ovens
(SUSQUEHANNA, PA) – Every once in a while, the stars line up just right for a race team and their driver. With a fantastic crowd on hand pulling for one of “their local drivers” Penn Can Speedway and the Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment CRSA Sprints crowned a first-time CRSA winner at a place he knows so well.
Spencer, NY competitor Kyle Pierce and his father/crew chief Cliff have put many laps on Penn Can Speedway in their past. They came up from micro sprints and wingless sprints but tackled the next step up by strapping a full wing atop their 305 Sprint Car and started making strides in the 2020 season.
The Pierce team traveled with the CRSA Sprints in a Covid-19 affected schedule and took part in weekly sanctioned competition at Paul Cole’s Land of Legends Raceway. They ended the season with an incredible podium finish at Land of Legends Raceway in September and have only built on that momentum coming into 2021 with a crop of new marketing partners supporting the effort.
It was as perfect a night as you can have. Pierce was fast in hot laps, won his heat race and drew the front row for the 25-lap feature in front of an electric Penn Can Speedway crowd. Pierce and Dana Wagner, who has really taken a liking to Penn Can these last few trips to PA, did battle for the top spot while veteran Jeff Trombley attempted to let the race come to him.
Defending series champion Darryl Ruggles and last August’s Penn Can winner Josh Flint both had tough nights as they would both end up on the hook on Lap 16 for a red flag. Flint tagged the inside wall, sending his Hannay Reels No. 41J up into Ruggles who had nowhere to go and sending Ruggles on his lid with heavy damage. Ruggles’ night was done, while Flint changed a tire and returned to the field.
On that particular restart- Trombley had finally seized his opportunity by moving from 3rd to take the lead from Pierce. Unfortunately for Trombley, the red flag appeared and sent the field back to the previous restart order.
From laps 16 to 25, Pierce set sail as he left Wagner and Trombley to duke it out for second place. As Pierce exited Turn 4, the Penn Can faithful went bananas as they got to celebrate a guy some call a “hometown guy” as he celebrated his first CRSA victory.
“This is (the culmination) of a lot of hard work and people helping us out last year to get us rolling good. I can’t even put into words how excited I am,” noted Pierce who was trying to take it all in.
“My dad’s been working his tail off on this thing and we finally struck a good balance to get around here today. With both of us teaching and coaching it makes it hard but he helps put the time in and this wouldn’t be possible without him.”
Trombley knew he was that close to getting a win to start 2021.
“The car was good and I got a good run on those guys on that restart and I’m glad we could at least put on a good show for the fans. The track crew did an awesome job tonight- no dust, multiple grooves it was really great.”
The feel good story of the night was Dalton Herrick and his Kiser Sand and Gravel No. 29. Herrick had a throttle linkage come apart twice in 2020, ending potential good runs at “The Can” but that was not to be on this night as he came home third.
“We’re just excited to get the car going good and working on it and building every week. Any time you can finish third with these guys you consider it a win.”
Next on the schedule for the Super Gen Products CRSA 305 Sprints is the first of three trips to Land of Legends Raceway. VanBortel Trucking has kicked in an extra $500 to the purse for positions 3-22.
The CRSA 305 Sprints are powered by Super Gen Products with their Champion Power Equipment located in Newark, NY. Associate sponsors for the 2021 CRSA 305 Sprints include Midstate Basement Authorities, CNY Farm Supply, the Maguire Family of Dealerships, Powdertech Powdercoating, Hoosier Racing Tires, Insinger Performance with their Stinger Race Fuel and is owned and operated by Mike Emhof Motorsports.
For more information on the series, results, points and 2021 schedule please visit our website www.crsa.myracepass.com
Please visit the Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment CRSA Sprints on Facebook (@CRSAsprints) and on Twitter (@CRSAsprints).