Toledo Midget Results 1999-09-19

Toledo, Ohio, 9-19-99 - Among some extremely stout participants, Steve Thinnes stood on the gas Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway charging from the ninth position to victory lane to capture the ARCA/UMARA sanctioned 30 lap main event while Gene...

Toledo, Ohio, 9-19-99 - Among some extremely stout participants, Steve Thinnes stood on the gas Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway charging from the ninth position to victory lane to capture the ARCA/UMARA sanctioned 30 lap main event while Gene Lee Gibson, even despite mechanical troubles, reigned as the ARCA Auto Value Midget Series champion for the second consecutive season. With IRL and USAC Midget drivers Ronnie Johncox and Andy Michner inches away waiting to pounce on their opportunity to take charge, Thinnes never bobbled on his way to the winner's circle taking his 3rd series victory of the season. "I knew if I bobbled even a little, those guys would race by me like I was standing still," said Thinnes in victory lane. "I knew they were there because I could hear them, and I had a good idea who they were so we had to work it hard to the end. I'd like to thank ARCA and UMARA for all the racing and all the fans that came out to see us. This place is the closest thing to a superspeedway that we get and it's awesome to drive. If they'll have us back, we're definitely coming." Johncox finished a length away in second with Michner in his immediate rears for third. Second generation driver Brice Kenyon was fourth and ARCA Midget standout Gary Harrell raced hard from the 15th position to complete the top five.

Defending ARCA Auto Value Midget Series champion Gene Lee Gibson was relegated to the 21st finishing position in the main event completing only one lap resulting from a blown engine. Regardless, Gibson had already accumulated enough points throughout the year to earn his second consecutive ARCA Midget Championship title. "It always feels great to be lucky enough to be the champion," said the second generation open-wheel standout. "We've always sort of bounced around racing a lot of different classes from supermodifieds to Silver Crown cars without ever really chasing any particular crown so these are extra special. I'd like to thank my father who's always been an inspiration to me, and is really the brains behind the chassis design and set-up. I'd like to thank my wife who puts up with this racing grind. We're racers from the start, and that's not going to change so it's important to me to have someone who understands that. I'd like to thank ARCA for a great series and Auto Value for the title sponsorship, and UMARA. They're a great bunch to race with and we sure enjoy the co-sanctions and the extra competition. They always bring plenty." Former ARCA Midget champion and veteran Jerry Nemire led at the onset from his outside front row starting position and began to pull away from the field and looked strong up through lap eight before the engine expired making way for Thinnes who had already raced his way to the front. Thinnes then refused continual challenges for the remainder of the event to earn the well deserved victory. Jason Fuller, with his sixth place finish, won the 1999 ARCA Auto Value Midget Series Rookie of the Year honors. Veteran Nick Fornoro finished seventh ahead of two-time ARCA Midget Champion Rick Harrell who finished eighth. Phil Rutledge and Rich Corsen completed the top ten.

                        1999 ARCA AUTO VALUE MIDGET SERIES EVENT #14                    
                        Toledo Speedway, Toledo OH                      
                        Official Results, 9-19-99                       
FIN     STR     CAR                             
POS     POS     NO      DRIVER/RESIDENCE        
                        TEAM & CAR      LAPS    STATUS
1       9       48      Steve Thinnes                   UMARA   30      Running
2       6       8       Ronnie Johncox/Jackson MI       
                        Johncox Motorsports VW                  30      Running
3       10      26      Andy Michner/Indianapolis IN    USAC    30      Running
4       11      69      Brice Kenyon/Lebanon IN 
                        McLeodUSA Esslinger Hawk                30      Running
5       15      4       Gary Harrell/Temperance MI      
                        R&M Towing-TJ Roofing-Kayo Lumber Hawk  30      Running
6       5       9       Jason Fuller/Plymouth IN        
                        Suspension Spring-Pro Shocks-Hogue Hawk 30      Running
7       8       3       Nick Fornoro    
                        Gary Mullings Motorsports               30      Running
8       16      1       Rick Harrell/Lambertville MI    
                        Kayo Lumber-Total Prep Solution Hawk    30      Running
9       12      97      Phil Rutledge/Troy MI   
                        The Vette Shop-Duggan's Irish Pub Pont  30      Running
10      17      15      Rich Corsen                     UMARA   29      Running
11      2       87      Matt Estep                      UMARA   29      Running
12      19      55      Don Moore                       UMARA   28      Running
13      21      24      Dave Thompson/Minooka IL        
                        Savage Racing-MAC Tools VW              24      Ignition
14      14      5       Larry Gibson/Richwood OH        
                        Gilliland Body Shop-Dotson's Chevy      24      Handling
15      7       38      Dave Baumgartner/Ottawa Lake MI 
                        Autocraft Engines-Linne Enterprises Frd 23      Handling
16      1       16      Jerry Nemire/Erie MI    
                        Nemire-Yager Racing Brayton Beast       8       Engine
17      13      3       Mike Astrauskas/Sand Lake MI    
                        Doherty Sales Autocraft Beast           8       Engine
18      20      92      George Wessell  Wessell Motorsports     8       Handling
19      18      97      Ike Beesley     Beesley Racing          5       Engine
20      3       61      Aaron Fike/Galesburg IL UMARA           5       Accident
21      4       0       Gene Lee Gibson/Richwood OH     
                        Gibson Racing Autocraft                 1       Engine
                        FAST QUALIFIER:  Andy Michner 15.980 seconds                    
                        HEAT WINNERS:  Dave Baumgartner, Larry Gibson, Nick Fornoro                     
                        NEXT EVENT:  Championship Awards Banquet 11-13-99

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Aaron Fike , Ronnie Johncox , Jerry Nemire , Dave Baumgartner