Bull takes Twin Twenties, Buckwalter Sweeps third Elizabeth City NC - The Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series was welcomed to North Carolina by a host of true Southern race fans. The fans braved the...
Bull takes Twin Twenties, Buckwalter Sweeps third
Elizabeth City NC - The Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series was welcomed to North Carolina by a host of true Southern race fans. The fans braved the sweltering heat and rising heat index to enjoy a 20-lap wingless and winged feature event.
Underway as the sun began to take cloud cover, it was Ed Stimely Jr., McVeytown that lead the midgets around the smooth dirt oval in wingless competition. Fred Schell, Phoenixille, sat on the pole and quickly settled into second. With only one lap in the books, the caution flew when three cars collected in turn 2.
The cars of Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee NJ; Lew Blair, Hatboro PA; and Tracy Miller, Reading PA were involved and all able to restart.
Back under the green flag, Marc Dailey, Brownsburg Ind., and Don Trent, Honeybrook PA were making strides toward the front. Behind these drivers the competition was heating up the track. Steve Lenig, Selinsgrove PA; Ray Bull, Bloomsburg PA; Mike Miller, Birdsboro PA and Michelle Miller, Temple PA all diced for position.
The victor would be Bull, who found himself in third place ahead of Dailey and Trent by lap 5. Bull would also pass the second place car the following lap.
As Schell and Dailey began to fade back thru the traffic, Steve Buckwalter, Royersford PA, was moving toward the front. Buckwalter slowly took one position at a time.
The racing action in the back of the main pack was also hot and heavy. Bryan Kobylarz, Birdsboro PA was out in action and fighting hard with Scott Zipp of Bridgeport PA. Rookie contenders Dave Shirk, Mohnton PA and Carey Becker, Reading PA kept Blair and Tracy Miller digging for position as well.
Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee NJ, was also impressive in his first midget start. Polimeda advanced and joined the battle between Kobylarz and Zipp on lap 8.
The caution flew on lap 13, when Dailey's No. 7 suffered some motor problems.
Bunching up for the restarts, Bull got a jump on Stimely and took the lead. 'I got him on the restart,' said Bull. 'Sometimes it is better to be in second.'
While Bull and Stimely pulled dead even on the backstretch, Stimely fluttered in the turns. 'We were a little loose in the center of the turns, and I just got beat,' said Stimely, who remained impressed with his cars capabilities.
Bull and Stimely set the pace for what would become a third place shootout. On the restart Schell occupied third place. Stalking behind Schell and waiting for his opportunity was Buckwalter.
Closely settled behind Buckwalter were Trent and Mike Miller, all of whom were hoping for a chance at the leaders. As the laps began to fade, Buckwalter grabbed third place from Schell and took off after the lead cars while Mike Miller slid past Trent for fifth.
Bull claimed his second feature win of the 2004 campaign in wingless competition by adding yet another win to his resume. Bull is a multi-time winner and fan favorite at Dixieland Speedway.
Wingless Feature Results: (1) Ray Bull, (2) Ed Stimely Jr. (3) Steve Buckwalter, (4) Fred Schell, (5) Mike Miller, (6) Don Trent, (7) Steve Lenig, (8) Bryan Kobylarz, (9) Michele Miller, (10) Steve Craig, (11) Frank Polimeda, (12) Dave Shirk, (13) Scott Zipp, (14) Tracy Miller, (15) Carey Becker, (16) Marc Dailey, (17) Lew Blair, (18) Mark Lawshe
The Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series concluded the evenings program at Dixieland Speedway with their Winged Feature.Race Fans braved the threat of incoming thunderstorms to watch all the intense action.
Lew Blair, Hatboro PA, led the midgets to the green flag. Tracy Miller, who started third would dive to the inside of Blair and take the lead. She led the drivers at a blistering pace past the flagstand for the first lap.
The drivers were quickly slowed to a stop after Mark Lawshe took a hard ride on the guardrails in turn one. Also collected in the incident were the cars of Fred Schell, Carey Becker and Dave Shirk. Shirk was the only driver that was able to restart. Becker and Schell suffered damage, the heaviest damage was to Lawshe's No. 95.
After firing the cars, Tracy Miller led second generation driver Steve Craig, Levittown PA to the flag. Blair restarted third directly ahead of Lenig. Zipp rounded out the top 5 on the restart.
Bull and Buckwalter were on the move. As laps began to tick away, Bull climbed one position at a time from his 12th place starting spot to find himself second on lap 6. He would take the lead from Tracy Miller on lap 7.
By lap 7, Buckwalter was in eighth position battling with two his team cars, occupied by Mike and Michele Miller. The three entries would swap position for three laps.
The caution flew on the next lap when the second place car of Tracy Miller got turned around in turn 2. The field would pass without incident. Miller would refire and join the rear of the field.
Craig and Lenig would race on the heels of Bull as the green flag flew. Michele Miller occupied fourth place at that time behind Blair. Buckwalter made his move and took the position from her on lap 9. He would slide pass Blair the very next lap for fourth.
Swapping position behind the top 5 cars were Stimely and Mike Miller and Trent. Charging hard was Polimeda and Shirk.
Lenig moved past Craig on lap 14. Blair had slid back two more positions and was now being challenged by Polimeda, with Mike Miller in the mix.
As Bull and Lenig began to open up some distance on the field, Buckwalter continuously looked for an opportunity to get pass Craig.
On lap 18, Scott Zipp got turned around in turn 4 and brought out the caution setting the stage for a green-white-checkered finish.
With the cars bunched together the crowd was on their feet. Bull punched the gas and the midgets were underway. Lenig held onto second while Buckwalter put the challenge to Craig. Buckwalter would leave turn 4 with third place.
Stimely would slide into the fourth spot regulating Craig to fifth. On the final lap Michele Miller and Blair were in position while the eighth place car of Polimeda suffered a mechanical glitch an loss of speed. Polimeda would finish 13th.
Bull addressed the large crowd in attendance and thanked Red Swain for hosting great midget racing. 'There is a lot of excitement here,' said Bull. 'Both ends of the track were good tonight'
For Lenig, it was fun. 'I like this place,' he said and as for Bull, 'We'll get him.' Lenig is up to that challenge.
Buckwalter was overly satisfied with his third place finish. 'My motor was breaking up on the straight-aways. I just took opportunities as they came,' he continued.' Buckwalter credited Ed Heffline for dialing in his Miller Racing entry.
Gathering at Dixieland Speedway is always fun for the midget drivers. It allowed us an opportunity to catch up with some supporters of ARDC. Doug Craig, veteran racer was on hand to watch his son race. Past car owner Doug Starrett and his wife Claudia also stopped by. Lady racer Kathy Kurtz was down South to help the Miller sisters. She tells us that she will be racing again later in this season. She is currently sidelined as she recovers from wrist surgery.
Winged Feature Results: (1) Ray Bull, (2) Steve Lenig, (3) Steve Buckwalter, (4) Ed Stimely, ( 5) Steve Craig, (6) Michele Miller, (7) Lew Blair, (8) Mike Miller, (9) Don Trent, (10) Dave Shirk, (11) Tracy Miller, (12) Scott Zipp, (13) Frank Polimeda, (14) Fred Schell, (15) Carey Becker, (16) Mark Lawshe, (17) Bryan Kobylarz, (18) Marc Dailey DNS
The American Racing Drivers Club will be back in action on Saturday May 29 at Thunder Mountain Speedway.