Porter King of the ASA Jennerstown 250 Mountain JENNERSTOWN, Pa. (August 14, 2004) - Nestled among the Pennsylvania mountains is the 0.522-mile Jennerstown Speedway. Toby Porter was the king of the mountain during the running of the ASA ...
Porter King of the ASA Jennerstown 250 Mountain
JENNERSTOWN, Pa. (August 14, 2004) - Nestled among the Pennsylvania mountains is the 0.522-mile Jennerstown Speedway. Toby Porter was the king of the mountain during the running of the ASA Racing Jennerstown 250.
It was Porter's first ASA National Tour career win, and it came in his 23rd start. The Greenville, S.C., native has had his share of bad luck this season so far, so it was an even sweeter visit to the winner's circle. Needing a change of luck, Porter strapped a stuffed rooster to his roll cage two races ago at Madison International Speedway. Since then, the team has had three consecutive Top-5 finishes, something for the driver to crow about.
"We've struggled at times, but man, now it's paid off," exclaimed the driver of the No. 11 Meijer Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "We worked hard, and had a good car tonight. Thanks to Meijer's, Tony's, Stouffers, Edy's and Ron Daniels (car owner). If it wasn't for them we wouldn't be here tonight."
Porter became the second ASA National Tour driver to capture his first career victory this season, and is the eighth driver to win in the nine events contested this year showcasing the parity among the teams in the series.
Pit strategy helped Porter take the lead on lap 112 of the 250-lap contest. ASA National Tour rules specify that each team must make a minimum of two stops; Porter took advantage of an early caution to make a stop-and- go pit stop on lap 3. From there, his second stop came on lap 68 when he took a fuel load. Incredibly, he ran the entire race on the same set of BFGoodrich Tires, leading the final 138 laps and held off drivers with much fresher rubber.
"I had a good car, even in practice, and I knew it," Porter claimed. "Whether or not I could hold them off I didn't know. It was pretty nerve-wracking there towards the end, especially for your first win."
Porter started the event in the 10th position, and stayed ahead of Bryan Reffner in the No. 80 Menards Chevrolet for a 0.420-second margin of victory. He led the most laps of the event.
Reffner pitted for right side tires on lap 112, handing the led to Porter and coming back out in fourth place at the time. Though he had fresher rubber, and tried both the inside and outside lines, he could never get his car underneath Porter.
""We just got tight," the 1995 ASA National Tour champion explained. "We had a fast race car. My hat is off to Toby. He ran a great race on those tires. We just didn't have a chance."
Reffner hasn't visited the ASA winner's circle since 1995 and he wanted the win just as badly as Porter.
"I wanted it really bad," he claimed. "Worse than you can even imagine. I mean, second is good, but it still isn't good enough for this team because we needed a win. It's coming, but it just seems to be forever getting here."
The rest of the top ten included Mike Garvey, Reed Sorenson, Mike Eddy, Kevin Cywinski, Stephen Leicht, Casey Smith, Tim Sauter and Rich Loch who recorded the first Top-10 of his career.
The ASA Racing Jennerstown 250 saw three lead changes among four drivers, and 16 of the 33 starters finished on the lead lap. There were nine cautions for 50 laps.
The BFGoodrich Tires Halfway Leader award was given to Porter, who also received the Cool Shirt "Cool Move of the Race" award for being able to hold off the field with considerably older tires.
The VP Fuels "Hard Charger of the Race" was Mike Garvey who moved up 18 positions from his starting spot of 21st. Carl Hartman, crew chief on Reffner's No. 80 Monte Carlo, was the SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Race. It was his second time receiving this award this season.
There was a red flag period lasting for approximately 30 minutes for the clean-up of a spectacular accident involving the No. 74 of Jay Middleton and the No. 70 Ford of Mark Mitchell. Racing hard together, it appeared as though Mitchell was pushed high up on the backstretch wall and his right tires climbed up the retaining barrier. The No. 70 went up on the driver side and then rolled onto the roof, sliding to a stop at the entrance of Turn 3. Middleton's Chevrolet slammed into the wall and sustained severe front end damage.
During the offseason Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway was repaved, and most thought that it would make the facility extremely fast. Butch Miller proved the foreshadowing correct as he shattered the track record of 18.597-seconds with a fast lap of 18.493-seconds on the way to winning the Jani-King pole. This was the 51st Jani-King pole in Miller's career, adding to the total he has atop the all-time list.
"That was a pretty good lap considering I drove really stupid today," Miller said of his qualifying effort in which he was the very first car on the track. "I think for once we got lucky. You figure drawing number one qualifier is bad; I think today it was an advantage." The cloud cover that had cooled the track during Miller's run later broke slightly with the sun heating the track for those qualifying later in the afternoon.
There were two local classes racing prior to the ASA National Tour this evening as well. Garry Wiltrout won a 50-lap Super Late Model feature, and Rick Boyer narrowly beat Dusty Rhoads to the checkered flag in a near- photo finish in the 25-lap Late Model race.
The next event for the ASA National Tour is Sunday, August 29 at The Milwaukee Mile. The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
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