Andrews Moves Closer to RRS LM Title With Win at Little Valley (Little Valley, NY) Todd Andrews from Eldred, PA, is one race away from a big payday after capturing the 30 lap Regional Racing Series Late Model Feature at Little Valley on ...
Andrews Moves Closer to RRS LM Title With Win at Little Valley
(Little Valley, NY) Todd Andrews from Eldred, PA, is one race away from a big payday after capturing the 30 lap Regional Racing Series Late Model Feature at Little Valley on Saturday, September 11th. If he wins the RRS title, which he leads, and the Little Valley title, which he also leads, he will win bonus money from Little Valley and McKean, whose title he won last week. Both tracks agreed to double the point fund payout for anyone winning both the RRS title and their track title. After his win on Saturday, he needs only a decent finish on Saturday, September 25th at Little Valley to accomplish the feat.
Ed Carley from Freedom took the lead at the start with Andrews second. The two staged an entertaining dice for the lead for several laps, with Andrews running his patented low line, while Carley preferred the middle of the track. As Carley eventually established a lead, Dutch Davies from Warren, PA, moved up to contest Andrews for second. David Scott also entered the fray, driving the No. 78 Rod Maloy car.
By the halfway point, Carley still led with Scott second, Andrews third and Dutch Davies back to forth. The pivotal event occurred on lap 17, when the caution flew for a John Haggerty spin in turn four. Andrews had claimed second just prior to the yellow and was lined up on Carley's bumper for the restart. At the drop of the green Andrews made a determined move under Carley to take the lead, which he maintained to the end, weathering a caution on lap 24 in the process. At the line it was Andrews comfortably in front, Dutch Davies in second after taking the spot from Carley on lap 25, Scott, and Mike Wonderling rounding out the top five.
Regarding his penchant for running low, Andrews observed, "That's where we had to pass, but you can see after I got out front where I had to be. We ran all over. You have to do what you have to do." Regarding the pass for the lead on the restart, he explained, "On a restart you slow the pace down so you have a shot going into the first turn to take the lead from the bottom."
Carley admitted that the lap 17 restart did him in, noting, "I'm not a restart kind of guy. I need long runs to get in a rhythm. He just got us, but that's experience. He just drove right under me, and I knew it was all over.
Carley did double duty this night, driving the Kyle Bradigan Super Stock to its second victory in a week, as he won last Sunday night at Genesee in a BRP Can Am Super Stock Series event. Carley battled polesitter Bruce Miller from Wellsville through a succession of early cautions before taking the lead on lap 4. He then outpaced Miller and the rest of the field en-route to the victory, weathering three restarts in the process.
Carley built a big advantage after a lap eight caution, only to see a late race yellow flag erase the lead and give Miller once last shot at the win. Miller tried gamely, but Carley held on for the win, with Miller second, followed by newly crowned McKean champion Todd Rice, Paul Grigsby, and Bob Dixon completing the top five.
Carley observed, "We didn't change anything from the other night when we won at Genesee. We've just been searching, and we found a combination that works really well.
I'm going to pass that on to my customers. That's what I do. I build chasses, and I turn everything that I learn over to my people."
The 15 lap Street Stock Feature had the closest finish of the night as Tom McFall from Allentown withstood furious challenges from Ryan Learn out of Franklinville and Steve Dixon from Smethport, PA, the entire race to record the win. McFall, driving the former Damon Lewis No. 00 car that he purchased ultimately for his son, went wire to wire, but it certainly wasn't easy, as Learn applied heavy pressure through most of the distance, with Dixon chipping in as well.
Learn got a final run coming out of turn four on the last lap and drag raced McFall to the finish, with McFall, prevailing by less than a car length. He remarked, "I've been racing a long time, and I don't worry about what's going on behind me." About the competition, he added, "I must say one thing. We've got some hellacious young drivers coming up that are darn good. My hat's off to them."
The ARDC Midgets were also on the card, and they staged two 20 lap features, one with wings and one without. In the first, the wingless event, a red flag on the first lap for a five car jingle slowed things, but when they got to racing, the No. 9 of Steve Lenig from Selinsgrove, PA took the early lead. Four time champion Ray Bull soon took over the top spot and seemed poised to repeat the victory he had in the ARDC's last visit to Little Valley.
However, Steve Buckwalter from Royersford, PA, had other ideas, erasing a large lead held by Bull's No. 22, and taking the top spot on lap 17. From there he drove away to the win. He commented, "I knew my car was going to come in about half way through, and it was just a matter of sticking with him until the tires came in. The car just locked down and went forward." He did allude to an oil pressure problem, noting, "We had a little trouble with the motor. The oil pressure dropped down about forty pounds. It slowed me a little bit, but I've got a case of oil. We'll dump it in and try it again (with the wing)."
Bull, from Bloomsburg, PA, explained what happened to his ride, saying, "I went for trying to save the car a little bit instead of running it hard. We got high up on the temperature and the motor started acting funny half straightaway. I started backpedaling. It got two to go and I ran him (Buckwalter) pretty hard then, but it was just too late."
In the second, race, with the wings, Bull prevailed, but needed help. After another red flag start, for a gentle flip by Tracy Miller, Ed Stimely Jr. from McVeytown, PA, took the lead from Steve Craig from Levittown, PA, on lap 5 and drove out to a seemingly insurmountable lead as Bull tried to mount a challenge from the back. Bull moved into second on lap 11 and two laps later the caution flew for a spin in turn one, erasing Stimely's huge lead and placing Bull right behind him for the restart. Bull wasted no time taking the point, moving into the top spot in turn three as Stimely hit a bump that cost him some momentum. Bull then drove away over the remaining laps to take the win, and clinching his fifth straight ARDC Championship.
About his chances to run down Stimely without the caution, Bull observed, "No, I couldn't have caught him with seven laps left and a whole straightaway. I could have been considerably faster and not been able to catch him. Eddie did a good job, and I had trouble getting through the pack. Once I did I felt that I could open it up pretty good, but Eddie was going really good, and I don't think I'd have ever caught him without the yellow."
Stimely gamely explained his feelings when the caution cost him his huge lead, saying, "I knew them guys would be right there. The car was starting to go away a little bit there and I thought, 'Stand on the gas and hope for the best.' I saw him stick his nose up around the outside, and figured, 'Well, I'm done.'"
NOTES: There was a fine crowd on hand for the show, which honored former drivers as part of the annual Old Timer's Reunion. Among those on hand for the festivities were Vern Harriman from Buffalo, NY, who won the final big car race at Little Valley in 1952; Fran Pezzimenti from Allegany, NY, a veteran of Olean Raceway; Dick McRossan from Buffalo, NY, who raced at LVS in the early 50's; Bob Miley, from Kent, Ohio, who won a feature at LVS in 1957 beating several "Offies" with a Henry J.; Leon Rumshag, a longtime midget competitor, with the famous "Turret Top" before cages were common; and Denny Lott from Hartsville, Ohio, who won the midget feature at LVS in 1968 in the famous "Pop Bottle" No. 11 Offenhauser........Drivers passed the helmet for injured driver Rod Maloy and raised over $800.......There was a healthy car count, with 93 cars in the pits on a perfect night for racing.......Little Valley's final show of the season will be the RRS Late Model (30 laps- $3,000 to win) and DIRT 358 Modified (25 laps- $2500 to win) doubleheader on September 25th. Titles in all classes will be decided, as well as a Syracuse spot and Victoria All Star spot for the 358's.
Late Model Finish: (30 laps) Todd Andrews, Dutch Davies, Ed Carley, David Scott, Mike Wonderling, Kirk Bradley, Dick Barton, Ron Davies, Dan Stone, Mickey Wright, Rick Briggs, Bob Close, Brent Rhebergen, Doug Ricotta, Matt Lux, Miles Stitzinger, Travis Asel, John Haggerty, John Lacki, Brady Wonderling, and Chad Ruhlman. Heat winners were Bradley, Ron Davies, and Scott.
Super Stock Finish: (20 laps) Ed Carley, Bruce Miller, Todd Rice, Paul Grigsby, Bob Dixon, Andy Miller, Matt Cobb, Alan Wais, Shawn Ferdinand, Tim Rockwell, Tim Dunham, Chad Arnold, Bob Bartlett, Butch Talbot, Jason Schoonmaker, Darren Kish, Dustin Croft, Don Wagner, TJ Shaw, Ron Baker, Tom Schnarz, Jeremy Wonderling, Rick Tingue, Dave Miller, Jack Harrington, and Don Krug. Heat winners were Arnold, Bruce Miller, and Dave Miller. Consi winner was Dixon.
Street Stock Finish: (15 laps) Tom McFall, Ryan Learn, Steve Dixon, Jason Schoonmaker, Kevin Pangrazio, Andy Michael, Tony Colantino, Rob Stromecki, Mike Numeracki, Justin Tatlow, Kelly Frederes, Steve Fields, Shawn Tidd, Mike Coast, Josh Silliman, Ron Hebner, Lance Palmer, Colin Kulpa, Josh Smallidge, Chuck Biniarz, Doug Cobb, Ben Ingalls, Josh Wilcox, Mike Asel, and Mike Holford. Heat winners were Palmer, Michael, and Learn.
ARDC Wingless Finish: (20 laps) Steve Buckwalter, Ray Bull, Ed Stimely Jr., Steve Lenig, Michelle Miller, Dave Shirk, Fred Schell, Scott Zipp, Kathy Kurtz, Tracy Miller, Don Trent, Carey Becker, Mike Miller, Lew Blair, Jeff Schell, and Steve Craig.
ARDC Winged Finish: (20 laps) Ray Bull, Ed Stimely Jr., Steve Craig, Don Trent, Michelle Miller, Jeff Schell, Dave Shirk, Scott Zipp, Fred Schell, Carey Becker, Kathy Kurtz, Steve Buckwalter, Tracy Miller, and Lew Blair.