Bryan Wall emerges victorious from wild Little Trees 150 at Watkins Glen; no injuries in two spectacular crashes; Kobyluck takes series lead by one point Watkins Glen, N.Y. - Bryan Wall broke a long winless streak by capturing Saturday...
Bryan Wall emerges victorious from wild Little Trees 150 at Watkins Glen; no injuries in two spectacular crashes; Kobyluck takes series lead by one point
Watkins Glen, N.Y. - Bryan Wall broke a long winless streak by capturing Saturday afternoon's Little Trees 150 presented by Pepsi at the Watkins glen International road course. Wall's fifth career Busch North Series victory and second at the Glen came on a wild afternoon when the series' mandatory green flag finish rule resulted in eight extra laps being run before the checker was shown, and two major accidents produced lengthy red flag periods.
Wall took the lead under caution when the dominant driver of the day, Dale Quarterley, ran out of fuel during the added laps. Dennis Doyle recorded his best career finish by taking second, 1.329 seconds behind Wall, while Greg Schaefer continued his outstanding season by coming home third. Brad Bennett, returning to the Busch North Series for the first time since 1998, was fourth, and Joey McCarthy completed the top five with a personal-best fifth place.
Matt Kobyluck rode a roller coaster of highs and lows to take sixth, but regained the Busch North Series point lead by one marker over Brad Leighton. Andy Santerre, Bill Penfold, Tracy Gordon, and Mike Olsen were sixth therough tenth. Wall averaged 75.000 mph for 2 hours, 17 minutes of racing, although the race took over four hours to complete including red flag periods. There were six caution periods for 21 laps, as seven drivers exchanged the lead eight times.
Bud Pole winner Quarterley led 49 laps and appeared unbeatable when Bryon Chew's stalled car sent the race into overtime. The first attempt to run a green-white-checker finish saw second place Leighton spin in turn one, dropping to a 12th place finish in an eerie replay of the 2001 edition of this race. Then Rick Bell's stalled car extended the event further, until Quarterley ran out of gas, prolonging the end yet again. Wall, who took on a critical splash of fuel when he pitted for a suspected cut tire shortly after the half-distance mark, pulled away from Doyle and Schaefer in the last two laps.
The race was less than half a lap old when a massive pileup at the top of the esses (turns 3 and 4) eliminated seven cars on the spot and sent fur more to the garage for repairs. Troy Williams flipped in the melee, but like the other drivers involved, he was examined and released at the track care center.
Later in the race, Dennis Demers, running in the top ten, flipped in turn 2 after contacting the outer barrier. Repairs to the safety barrier required the red flag to be displayed again, but Demers was also released after examination at the care center.
Quarterley earned the Gatorade Front Runner Award in addition to hi Bud Pole. Rick Bell, who became the first rookie to led a lap this season, was the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race, and Schaefer captured the Flowmaster Star of the Race award for position improvement.
Kobyluck entered the day 22 points behind Leighton, but gained 23 points to take the lead by a single point after 12 of 19 races. Santerre is third, 58 points down entering this Saturday night's inaugural visit to Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y.