Pocono Mountain resport 2001-09-09

ST JOHNS, PA. Host track standout Jim Buzinski, spent most of the race either in the lead, or battling for it. Buzinski moved to the front on lap 53, and lead the rest of the way, sending the Buzinski Steel ...

ST JOHNS, PA. Host track standout Jim Buzinski, spent most of the race either in the lead, or battling for it. Buzinski moved to the front on lap 53, and lead the rest of the way, sending the Buzinski Steel #22 to victory lane in the 1st 100 lap Street Stock Shootout at Pocono Mountain Speedway.

A total of 35 drivers were entered to compete in the event, from the host track, and representing Mahoning Valley Speedway, Wall Stadium, Tioga Motorsports Park, and Kauneoga Speedway.

Tioga's top gun R. J. Zacharias took the early from the outside of the front row, while Wall Stadium's Ron Frees slipped to 2nd from the pole. Buzinski was 3rd, followed by Wall's Jason Duvall and Mahoning Valley's Mick Serfass.

A caution on lap 2 slowed the race before it really got started. On the restart, Zacharias held the lead, while Buzinski moved up to 2nd. The two drivers put on a great show for the fans, running side by side in the battle for the lead. Zacharias held the inside line, forcing Buzinski to attempt the pass on the high side. Eventually Zacharias would carry enough speed down the straightaway to take the lead, and Buzinski would drop back in line.

Another caution on lap 12, again brought the pack together. Once back under the green, Buzinski again was on the outside of Zacharias. Though Buzinski lead two laps during the green flag run, he wasn't able to complete the pass and Zacharias moved back in front.

A few more yellows marked the first half of the race, with Zacharias and Buzinski leading the field to the 10-minute mandatory caution at lap 50. Wall Stadium's Richie Gould, worked his way up through the field, for 3rd at the halfway break. Pocono Mountain's Mike Odwazny and Scott Meckes rounded out the top 5.

A couple laps into the second half, Zacharias got a little loose in turn 2, allowing Buzinski to grab the inside line. The two ran were side by side down the back straight and into three. By the time they reached the line, Buzinski was out in front. Gould pulled up behind Buzinski to keep Zacharias up high, taking 2nd, while Zacharias dropped in line in 3rd. Odwazny slipped back in the field, allowing Meckes and Mahoning Valley's Frank Hoffman to move up to 4th and 5th.

The second half of the race was not kind to some of the drivers who had been having strong runs. Five cautions flew over the last 50 laps, with the final one on lap 77. On lap 59 Meckes brought out the caution, when transmission problems put him out of the race. Gould headed to the pits with a flat tire during the lap 77 caution.

Following the final caution, Buzinski was able to put some distance on the field, cruising unchallenged to take the checkered, with Zacharias taking 2nd. The pair evenly split the bonus lap money, taking home $1,530 and $1,230 for their 1st and 2nd place finishes. Both Buzinski said afterwards, and Zacharias agreed, "this was the biggest race I've ever been in". With both Buzinski and Zacharias already having guaranteed starting spots in the Race of Champions, Hoffman's 3rd place finish earned him a spot in the October classic. Mahoning Valley's Todd Ahner and Wall's Keith Flores making late race charges to take 4th and 5th. Frank Katona picked up the hard charger of the race, starting 31st and finishing 15th.

All and all, the comments from the pits and grandstands were positive. The management team and the speedway will be busy during the off season to make next years event even bigger.

STREET STOCK SHOOTOUT (100 LAPS): JIM BUZINSKI, R.J. Zacharias, Frank Hoffman, Todd Ahner, Keith Flores, Richie Gould, Bob Kibler, Jason Duvall, Mike Odwazny, J.R. Roth, Bill Hunana, Scott Strohl, John Hager, Ron Frees, Frank Katona, Jerry Karp Jr, Brian Jones, Brian Fletcher, Robert Fink, Richard Beers, Jamie Smith, Chris Burge, Jeff Hager, Scott Meckes, Mick Serfass, Dave Imler, Jennifer Kutz, Jerry Hannon, Donny Hartzell, Lou Mitchalk, Mike Sweeney, Mark Corbisiero.

-pms

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Series Stock car
Drivers Michael Sweeney , Brian Jones