By Kalida Landis
HANOVER, PA – Steve Owings is used to winning early and often when it comes to 358 Sprint Car competition at Trail-Way Speedway.
Weather didn’t help through the early stages of 2021. That pushed Owings’ first win at Trail-Way to June 25. But since then, the Westminster, Md., driver has been on point and a fixture in Victory Lane.
It happened again Friday night. Owings charged to the front and earned his fifth win of the season at the Hanover, Pa., facility by winning the 25-Lap Night of Champions program for the 358 Sprint division.
“We had a slow start this year, but it’s finally come on here at the end,” Owings said. “Normally, that doesn’t happen for us, but we’ll go on.
“I just want to thank everyone who came out tonight. This is the first time I’ve won this race and the championship, so we don’t have to share with anyone this year.”
Owings lined up fifth on the grid but moved up to third when David Holbrook’s top wing came loose while lining up to start the feature. He wasted little time getting to the front. By the time the first lap was complete, he was already up to the second position.
Meanwhile, Jayden Wolf was setting the pace. He beat Nat Tuckey into the first corner and speeded down the backstretch with the lead.
Owings closed to within .157 seconds, but he couldn’t take the lead. Wolf did a masterful job off the corners sliding up in front of the track kingpin.
The process continued over the next seven laps despite a pair of cautions. Finally, Owings was able to blow around Turns 3 and 4 on a Lap 10 restart to take the lead.
“He was running the perfect line,” Owings said. “I was better coming off of four and off of two, but he slid in front of me each time. I couldn’t get any momentum.
“That restart, he got off of the throttle too quick, and we ate him up. He’s going to be a hell of a racer. He’s going to be something special before too long.”
Once out front, Owings opened up a big lead. His pace was slowed on the 15th circuit when Wolf and Kody Hartlaub got together battling for the runner-up spot at the flagstand.
That wasn’t the worst of it for the leader. Owings’ top wing started to go sideways on Lap 17, and it gave the field a chance.
Owings thought otherwise. The field never had a chance, as the leader continued to negotiate the Trail-Way surface and took the win by 1.290 seconds at the finish.
Cameron Smith beat David Holbrook to the finish for second. Nat Tuckey and Riley Emig completed the top five.
In Street Stock competition, Kody Sites started fifth and, like Owings, carved his way to the front to take the win in the 20-Lap affair.
Danny Beard started on the pole and grabbed the early lead. Meanwhile, Sites took his time getting to the front. He surged into third on Lap 4 and was stalking the leaders.
Sites made his move on Lap 8. He shot to the inside of Sammy Rial and Beard to take the lead by the time the lap was complete.
Three cautions didn’t stop Sites’ progress. He led the rest of the way and took the win over Rial by .573 seconds. The second-place finish allowed Rial to lock up the season championship.
Chad Weaver led every lap of the 15-Lap Limited Stock feature, but his march to Victory Lane was far from easy.
Robbie Carroll made things difficult and was all over the leader throughout the race distance. Cody Klinedinst came on late and slipped by Carroll, but he finished .284 seconds behind Weaver at the finish.
While Carroll lost the runner-up spot on the last lap, he did capture his fourth straight Trail-Way championship. Justin Oberlin and A.J. Hoffner completed the top five in the final rundown.
Bill Brown Jr. stormed from 10th to the front and earned the win in the Classic Car main event. Dylan Brown and Jimmy Combs completed the podium.
Friday, September 24, 2021
For Immediate Release
358 SPRINT CARS
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 35-Steve Owings; 2. 69-Cameron Smith; 3. 77-David Holbrook; 4. 22B-Nat Tuckey; 5. 33-Riley Emig; 6. 11H-Hayden Miller; 7. 12K-Kyle Rohrbaugh; 8. 19D-Wyatt Hinkle; 9. 14K-Hannah Riser; 10. (DNF) 13-Bo Gordon Jr; 11. (DNF) 7W-Jayden Wolf; 12. (DNF) 2-Kody Hartlaub; 13. (DNF) 12-Mike Bittinger; 14. (DNF) 69X-Justice Forbes; 15. (DNF) 6-Tim McClelland; 16. (DNF) 55-Tony Hippensteel II.
Lap Leaders: Jaden Wolf (1-10), Steve Owings (11-25)
358 Sprint Car Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 35-Steve Owings; 2. 6-Tim McClelland; 3. 11H-Hayden Miller; 4. 7W-Jayden Wolf; 5. 12-Mike Bittinger; 6. 33-Riley Emig; 7. 19D-Wyatt Hinkle; 8. 55-Tony Hippensteel II
358 Sprint Car Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 2-Kody Hartlaub; 2. 22B-Nat Tuckey; 3. 77-David Holbrook; 4. 69-Cameron Smith; 5. 69X-Justice Forbes; 6. 13-Bo Gordon Jr; 7. 12K-Kyle Rohrbaugh; 8. 14K-Hannah Riser