Buckwalter masters Penn Can Susquehanna PA -- Steve Buckwalter walked away with his first feature win of the season when the Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory Midget Series visited Penn Can Speedway on Friday July 9. Buckwalter, a Royersford PA...
Buckwalter masters Penn Can
Susquehanna PA -- Steve Buckwalter walked away with his first feature win of the season when the Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory Midget Series visited Penn Can Speedway on Friday July 9.
Buckwalter, a Royersford PA native, utilized his pole position start and never looked back. He quickly moved to the high side in the turns and began to pull away from the field. Starting outside the front row was Tracy Miller, Reading PA. 'H & G did my motor and it is running good,' said Buckwalter who recently experienced some frustrating finishes in ARDC Midget competition. He credited VRP Shocks for helping to hook up his car.
Miller would pull off the corners under Buckwalter but she did not have the advantage going down the straight-aways.
The first caution of the feature event flew on lap 5, for Don Trent and Ray Bull. Trent of Honeybrook PA manned the No. 49 for Starrett Racing. Both cars were heavily damaged in turn 3 and unable to continue. The drivers were uninjured.
The feature event started on a bad note for Mega Motorsports. Rookie Carey Becker's car was damaged when a push truck ran over the back right side and broke the shock, nerf bar and left some bent sheet metal near the top of the roll cage. Becker of Reading PA would join the field during the caution on lap 5.
Back under green, Buckwalter was in charge. He continued to open a lead on the field each lap by. The second caution would fly on lap 14 when the car of Michele Miller slowed on the front stretch. On the restart, the action was in turn 2, as Andy Martin of Lancaster dropped a tire and three midgets spun to avoid a mishap. Martin, a micro sprint driver was operating the No. 7 of Miller Racing. 'I was scared a bit in warm-ups,' said Martin, 'the car was pushing and I did not throw it hard enough to slide.' But even with the caution, Martin loved being in the midget. 'This is awesome,' he said, 'I am definitely interested in running a midget.' Martin drives a 250 cc micro sprint and a 600 cc micro sprint at Lanco Speedway and Linda's Speedway. He took the night off from points racing at Linda's Speedway for the unique opportunity and couldn't be more pleased. Martin was running in the seventh position at the time of the caution where he was battling with Mike Miller and Shawn Burke.
Back to green flag racing and it was all Buckwalter. Behind the leader, the fight for second and third was a four-car battle and no one was giving up. Tracy Miller held the runner-up position until lap 17 when Dave Shirk, Mohnton PA slid by. 'I wanted to stay out of trouble and be patient,' he said.
After Shirk claimed the third running position, he could see the next battle he would face. Shirk snuck past Tracy Miller and tried to catch Buckwalter. 'Mike (Miller) was showing his nose on the bottom,' said Shirk who was unable to pull away. 'I wanted him to pass me on top and he did,' said Shirk. 'The track was slick and we could have used more gear,' Shirk continued but the smile on his face spoke volumes. He was pleased with his third place finish for Mega Motorsports.
Running in the mix, were Phoenixville driver Fred Schell and rookie Frank Polimeda. Polimeda held the fourth position until lap 18. After being passed by Miller, he was freight trained by Schell and Burke as well. Polimeda would pass Burke and be in sixth position when the checkers fell.
As lap 25 came to an end, Mike Miller held the second place position. Mike praised both the track and driver Steve Buckwalter. 'Steve puts a lot of hard work into all my cars,' said Miller. 'They are all 5 identical,' Miller continued. The season started a bit frustrating for the No. 5 team and he was very pleased that their hard work was paying off. 'Steve is a great driver that started in micros and made the right progression into a midget. He drives clean and he is very good at setting up the car,' said Miller.
Buckwalter on the other hand gave credit to the track. 'It is a perfect midget track, it is not overly big, it is the perfect short track,' said Buckwalter who was making his first visit to the fast and slick Penn Can Speedway. Buckwalter was also overly impressed with the track officials. 'They treated us very well,' he said.
The Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series moves on to Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday night July 24. The midgets will complete a Twin Twenty program when the make their annual trip to the western PA facility. The winged and wingless event is a staple at the track operated by Vicki Emig.
Best wishes to ARDC member Jeff Schell who had minor surgery on Friday morning.
Mason's Racing Ignitions Heat 1: (1) Steve Buckwalter, (2) Tracy Miller, (3) Dave Shirk, (4) Frank Polimeda, (5) Don Trent, (6) Steve Lenig, (7) Mike Miller, (8) Shawn Burke, (9) Chris Rupp
Hanks Performance Products Heat 2: (1) Ray Bull, (2) Scott Zipp, (3) Fred Schell, (4) Michele Miller, (5) Andy Martin, (6) Lew Blair, (7) Steve Craig, (8) Carey Becker, (9) Robert Goernor.
Feature Finish: (1) Steve Buckwalter, (2) Mike Miller, (3) Dave Shirk, (4) Tracy Miller, (5) Fred Schell, (6) Frank Polimeda, (7) Shawn Burke, (8) Scott Zipp, (9) Steve Craig, (10) Steve Lenig, (11) Lew Blair, (12) Carey Becker, (13) Andy Martin, (14) Michele Miller, (15) Robert Goernor, (16) Don Trent, (17) Ray Bull, (18) Chris Rupp.