New Egypt NJ -- Ray Bull claimed top honors in the 'Twin Twenty' event which resulted in dual photo finishes. For Bull, the track brings some special memories. Bull won his first ever-midget race on the 1/3-mile track when the midgets last...
New Egypt NJ -- Ray Bull claimed top honors in the 'Twin Twenty' event which resulted in dual photo finishes. For Bull, the track brings some special memories. Bull won his first ever-midget race on the 1/3-mile track when the midgets last competed at New Egypt Speedway in 1998.
New Egypt Speedway presented the midget contenders with a dimensional racetrack that requires concentration. There is an opportunity to pass; it is not just a flat track. Mike Miller enjoyed the first couple of laps during his first ever visit to the track. The Speedway offers a unique 5 turns. The first feature had a special setup, and the track was slick. The second feature was quite speedy as the midget cars gained traction.
Although Bull ended his evening on a positive note, it began with a somber moment. The Ray's Yamaha 'Polaris' Victory American Racing Drivers Club Midget Series lost long-time supporters Hank Genzler and Walter Chernokal.
Donning black armbands and stickers on their midget cars. The drivers saluted their friends with an empty pole position on the pace lap, bringing an eerie silence over the large crowd.
The first feature of the night kicked off wingless three and four wide racing for the pole position. Ed Stimely Jr darted to the lead on the first lap with Mike Miller, Reading PA in toe. The men moving to the front included Steve Buckwalter, Royersford PA and Ray Bull, Bloomsburg PA.
In the mid pack, it was Dave Shirk, Mohnton PA and Steve Lenig, Selinsgrove PA dicing for position.
Bull took the lead from Stimely on Lap 5 and never looked back. Gaining from the outside was Miller and Buckwalter. The first caution of the race flew on lap 12, for a spinning car in turn 2. Back under green the action was even more intense as the lead cars were all bunched together. Bull maintained the lead as Buckwalter moved into second.
The third and fourth place battle between Stimely and Miller was side by side each lap. Stimely, running the high line was hammer down. 'I don't like the bottom,' said Stimely, 'They give us horsepower to make the engine run, not to run on the bottom like a lawnmower.'
When the red flag flew on lap 17 for Lenig, the field would again be lined for a fast paced finish. Lenig rolled his midget in turn 4, after getting off-balance. He was able to restart, following the tumble.
With only three laps to go, Buckwalter continued to charge. There was no breathing room between the top machines. On the restart, Don Trent, Honeybrook PA had engine troubles. Trent had surpassed the third place car on his way to a podium finish. He would be denied when his car suffered motor trouble.
The photo finish showed Bull edging Buckwalter by mere inches. 'This is dedicated to Hank (Genzler) and Walt (Chernokal),' said Bull, 'they are watching over us and will be missed.'
The exciting twist to this unique finish was the side by side placement for third. Mike Miller would prevail at the line for third place. 'The car was hooked up great,' said Buckwalter. For Miller, the finish is an incentive. 'We need to make Ray (Bull) try harder,' he concluded. Stimely said, 'I knew it was close.'
Rounding out the top 5 in the wingless event was Stimely and Craig. Rookie Dave Shirk suffered damage when he was running in the top 5 and had no alternative but to pull off the track.
Later in the evening, the 'Mighty Midgets' of ARDC were welcomed back to the track for a winged race. After a lead lap crash that ended the night for the Miller Sisters, Dave Shirk led the event for the first two cycles. Stimely reached for the outside and passed Shirk for the lead on lap 3. Miller denied Stimely lap 4 as he took the point. With Bull waiting in the wings, he took the lead the next time by.
Side by side thru the turns, Miller and Stimely were driving no holds barred. Buckwalter was making mad dives at the track and gaining on the leaders. Lenig, Shirk and Zipp kept the battle brewing in mid pack.
Bull pulled away from the field for a few laps, and then Buckwalter began to real him in. Buckwalter took second place away from his car owner Mike Miller on lap 15. Inching ever closer to Bull, Buckwalter would be denied when a lapped car took his line. 'It is too close not to win it,' said Buckwalter who was disappointed with the evening's events.
Rounding out the winged top five was Stimely and Shirk.
The next ARDC event will be a winged show at Grandview Speedway on Sunday June 27.
Congratulations to Tawny and Brad Hons who were married on June 12. The couple worked previously with the midgets of Randy Mausteller.
Congratulations to Frank Polimeda. Polimeda, a rookie with ARDC also runs a modified at Wall Stadium. He finished 12th in the event on Saturday. Don Zrinski, a new midget driver replaced Polimeda for the evening.
Visit the website www.ardcmidgets.com for all the latest news.
ARDC would like to extend sympathies to the families of our fallen friends. There are no words to replace the men (Genzler and Chernokal) that showed a deep passion for midget auto racing. As we continue for the remainder of the season, they will remain in our thoughts. Both gentleman were at the track whenever possible. They will be missed. On another sad note, we have learned of the passing of Bill Singer, another good man. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Singer family.
ARDC Wingless feature: (1) Ray Bull (2) Steve Buckwalter (3) Mike Miller, (4) Ed Stimely Jr., (5) Steve Craig, (6) Fred Schell, (7) Michele Miller, (8) Chris Rupp, (9) Chris Morway, (10) Steve Lenig, (11) Carey Becker, (12) Scott Zipp, (13) Don Zrinski, (14) Don Trent, (15) Dave Shirk, (16) Tracy Miller, (Billy Courtwright -- DNS)
ARDC Winged feature: (1) Ray Bull, (2) Steve Buckwalter, (3) Mike Miller, (4) Ed Stimely Jr., (5) Dave Shirk, (6) Steve Craig, (7) Chris Morway, (8) Scott Zipp, (9) Don Zrinski, (10) Carey Becker, (11) Jeff Schell, (12) Steve Lenig, (13) Tracy Miller, (14) Michele Miller, (Chris Rupp -- DNS)