Trent 'brakes' into Victory Lane Hanover PA - Don Trent made his second career trip to victory lane in the Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series on Saturday night at Trail-way Speedway. Trent, a Honeybrook...
Trent 'brakes' into Victory Lane
Hanover PA - Don Trent made his second career trip to victory lane in the Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series on Saturday night at Trail-way Speedway.
Trent, a Honeybrook PA native, took the feature lead from Tracy Miller on lap 17. Miller, Temple PA, came to the front on lap 3 stealing the top spot from polesitter Steve Lenig.
Further back in the pack were the fast moving cars of Marc Dailey and Dave Shirk. Michele Miller joined the battle for the sixth position. The car of Ed Stimely Jr. advanced from the rear of the field to compete in the top 5. In any given event, ARDC may have a different winner. The intense level of racing that was delivered was highly evident that any driver could walk away with the win.
Fans remained intensely fastened to their seats as the heart-pounding laps continued to accumulate.
Sixteen year-old Ryan Smith of Kunkletown made his first wingless start and performed double duty on race night. Smith operated the No. 54 midget owned by former ARDC Iron Block Champion Shawn Burke as well as his own 250cc micro sprint. The young operator plans to run for Rookie of the Year honors in 2004.
Smith would battle most of the race with Steve Craig and Carey Becker. He would finish ninth.
Further back, Scott Zipp, veteran campaigner Lew Blair and Kathy Kurtz diced for position. It was five way battle as Robert Goernor and Chris Rupp joined in.
For 20 consecutive laps, the ARDC Midget contenders delivered a fast-paced, heart-pounding race. Four cars, including Trent, Miller, Lenig and ARDC Drivers Champion Ray Bull were battling for the lead when the caution flew for Miller. Miller's car spun in turn 4 bringing out the first and only caution of the 25-lap feature. Back under green flag conditions Don Trent floored his No. 18 entry with the intention of out-running Bull and maintaining the lead on the restart. Entering turn 1, Trent realized the impact of his decision when the brake pedal fell onto the floor.
'I bounced off the cushion,' said Trent, 'and then tip toed thru the next two turns.' After taking the checkered flag, Trent gave race fans a jubilant celebration as he exited the car.
'This is a sweet feeling,' Trent exclaimed. He credits Pop Earnshaw (Leigh Jr.) for dialing in the No. 18 car. Leigh Earnshaw Jr, is a four-time ARDC Drivers Champion in his own right. 'That was fast,' he said, 'the car handled so nice. I lost track of where I was.' Trent couldn't believe he had won his second career feature and finished the season on the highest note. The young team plans to make a championship run in 2005 with a third generation of Earnshaw turning wrenches.
The ARDC Midget contenders wrapped up the year at Trail-way Speedway following a rained out show in mid August. Trent enjoys the track, and looks forward to defending his win next season. 'I need to thank Doug Starrett, Bryan Kobylarz and the entire race team,' said Trent who has had a season of highs and lows following a strong run in 2003. Trent wraps up the year with an eighth place finish in the Drivers Championship.
Ray Bull concluded the season with a runner-up feature finish. He clenched his fifth consecutive ARDC Drivers Championship at Little Valley Speedway earlier in September. His Mega Motorsports team would also earn their second consecutive Owners Championship title in 2004.
Both the No. 18 of Trent and Mega Motorsports car No. 22 were teched by an independent source. Both cars were found to be legal.
Heat 1: (1) Tracy Miller, (2) Steve Buckwalter, (3) Michele Miller, (4) Carey Becker, (5) Ryan Smith, (6) Robert Goernor, (7) Lew Blair, (8) Ed Stimely, (9) Jeff Schell
Heat 2: (1) Ray Bull, (2) Steve Lenig, (3) Don Trent, (4) Steve Craig, (5) Dave Shirk, (6) Marc Dailey, (7) Kathy Kurtz, (8) Scott Zipp, (9) Chris Rupp
Finish (1) Don Trent (2) Ray Bull, (3) Steve Buckwalter, (4) Ed Stimely, (5) Steve Lenig, (6) Marc Dailey Car (7) Dave Shirk, (8) Michele Miller, (9) Ryan Smith, (10) Steve Craig, (11) Carey Becker, (12) Scott Zipp, (13) Kathy Kurtz, (14) Tracy Miller (15) Robert Goernor, (16) Lew Blair, (17) Chris Rupp, (18) Jeff Schell