By Debi Domby The ACDelco Murray's Super Car Series traveled to the Central PA Speedway Saturday night for their fifth race of the season. The winner, Harold Fair Jr, won the race from the pole position. It wasn't an easy race for the...
By Debi Domby
The ACDelco Murray's Super Car Series traveled to the Central PA Speedway Saturday night for their fifth race of the season. The winner, Harold Fair Jr, won the race from the pole position. It wasn't an easy race for the Canton, Mich. driver as he was fought throughout the 100 lap event, first by rookie Ted Johnson and then by veteran Glenn Gault.
The top eight cars fell into tight formation with Johnson applying heavy pressure to Fair Jr. Johnson finally got the nose of his car under Fair Jr's when the first of nine cautions flew on lap 14. The yellow was for Dave Kuhlman and Freddie Campbell when they tangled while battling for fifth place. Kuhlman hit the backstretch wall head-on and was through for the night, Campbell was able continued.
The race for third heated up between Scott Baker, Jason Mignogna and Glenn Gault when the green flag came out. Mignogna finally got around Baker for third and after a six lap side-by-side battle Gault passed Baker for fourth.
After a yellow flag on lap 32 Gault moved passed Mignogna and duo set sail for the lead pair of Fair Jr and Johnson. The four cars raced nose to tail for seven laps before a caution flew when Campbell's right front let go putting him into the wall. Campbell retired from competition with right front clip damage.
Gault's Orange Blossom Special was unable to move around the car of Ted Johnson even though they battled for many laps. At the halfway point Johnson's car drifted up and Gault was able to take over second place. Three laps later Johnson found himself stuffed into the first turn wall, a victim of a blown right front tire.
The rash of problems with the right front tire necessitated a red flag for tire inspection by the Goodyear technicians. Any driver who felt they had a potential problem with their tire was allowed to pit and change the tire. As long as they only changed the right front tire they were allowed to resume their previous position.
The duo of Fair Jr and Gault hooked up and drew away from the rest of the field. The eighth caution on lap 76 erased a half lap lead they had over the third place car of rookie Douglas Ehret, who had started 19th.
Len Couvillion was another victim of a right front tire, blowing his tire and slamming into the first turn wall on lap 89. The car briefly caught fire when the fuel pump line broke. Another red was thrown to again check the right front tires of all the cars.
Although Gault tried everything in the book he was unable to get around the car of Harold Fair Jr, coming up a half car length short. Tonight's win was Fair Jr's third win of the season.
Nearly half of the 21 starters experienced right front tire problems during the course of the race. Freddie Campbell, Ted Johnson and Len Couvillion all received right front clip damage after tires blew on their mounts and they slammed into the wall. Dave Kuhlman was involved in a non tire related accident and also received front clip damage.
Sixteen cars surpassed the old track record of 18.342 , set May 29, 1999 by Scott Baker. Central PA Speedway was repaved last November.
Harold Fair Jr was one of the drivers who went in and changed his right front tire. With tonight's win the driver of the Lefthander Chassis/Phil Harper Motorsports Monte Carlo took over the points lead. "I'd like to thank my crew and family for everyone's hard work getting my car back together for tonight. I'd also like to thank ACDelco and Murray's for sponsoring our series. The Goodyear tires were good, except for the right front. I think maybe it was a little too soft for the new surface here at Central PA (Speedway). I changed my tire and the crew said that the rubber was pulling away. They estimated that I probably could've made another 20-25 laps before it went. Other than that the car ran great all race long," said the driver from Canton, Mich.
Glenn Gault received the Holly Fast Qualifier award for his record setting lap of 17.61. Gault aboard his American Title & Trust/Gault Heating/Tabone's Snow King Monte Carlo also pitted for a new right front tire. The Hubbard, Ohio resident has completed every lap this year and along with Harold Fair Jr is the only driver to run every lap in 2000.
Rookie Douglas Ehret who finished a career best third, received the Penske Hard Charger award for moving up 15 positions. "I had two goals tonight. One, to finish the race and two, not to get lapped. I really enjoyed the track and my car kept getting better and better. There were so many grooves and my car stuck wherever I put it. I had a blast. At one point my crew chief told me to follow Freddie (Campbell). I learned a lot from following him. I was one of the drivers to change my right front tire. The one we put on was used at the last race for the entire night. It made the car a little bit pushy but I could handle it. I'd like to thank Mike Hennessy for racing me clean," said the driver of the Auto Trader Magazine/AMSOIL/R&R Carb Service Grand Prix.
Did the new white numbers break Mike Hennessy's jinx? The Chardon, Ohio driver has had a string of bad luck this season. Maybe tonight's fourth place finish is a preview of better things to come for this young driver. His bad luck might've gone the way of the tire the team lost off the hauler on the way to the track.
Aaron Hulings took over the lead in the Rookie of the Year standings tonight. Aaron brought his HRP Motorsports Taurus home in fifth place for the second race in a row. The Rockford, Mich. driver is tied for fourth with Freddie Campbell in overall points.
Jimmer Seger & Dave Houpt made their retturn to the series after an absence of four years. Seger finished sixth while Houpt finished 15th ~~ Tim Bainey Jr, Mike Walls made their first appearance finishing seventh and 20th respectively. ~~ Shawn Schaefer was also in the pits but suffered suspension damage in a crash during hot laps.
Brett Reaume finished a career best 11th aboard his Westside Performance/Robertson Grand Prix.
Rookies: Kyle Edwards finished tenth after starting 15th. ~~ Brad Perry hit the frontstretch guardrail during the feature and finished 17th after starting 21st.
The next ACDelco Murray's Super Car Series race will be at Tri City Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 5. <pre> Finish: Harold Fair Jr, Glenn Gault, Douglas Ehret, Mike Hennessy, Aaron Hulings, Jimmer Seger, Tim Bainey Jr, Scott Baker, Tom Hernly Jr, Kyle Edwards, Brett Reaume, Greg Taylor, Steve Seegott, Len Couvillon, Dave Houpt, Jason Mignogna, Brad Perry, Ted Johnson, Freddie Campbell, Mike Walls, Dave Kuhlman DNR: Shawn Schaeffer
Holley Fast Qualifier Award: 32 Glenn Gault, 17.61 (among 21 drivers) Penske Hard Charger Award: 14 Douglas Ehret (R), 15 position Lap Leaders: 71 Harold Fair Jr, 1-100
Fair Jr, 118; Gault, 117; Kuhlman, 98; Campbell, 90; Hulings (R), 90; Baker, 88; Hernly Jr, 85; Johnson (R), 81; Edwards (R), 77; Mignogna, 74