ATTICA, OH - Alvin Roepke and Jeff Shepard traded the lead five times Saturday night at Attica Raceway Park in the All Star sprint 30-lap Attica Ambush preliminary feature. At the end it was the inside groove which was faster for Roepke than ...
ATTICA, OH - Alvin Roepke and Jeff Shepard traded the lead five times Saturday night at Attica Raceway Park in the All Star sprint 30-lap Attica Ambush preliminary feature. At the end it was the inside groove which was faster for Roepke than Shepard's outside groove. Both drivers survived near spins and still finished one-two in the event.
"I looked pretty stupid then," Roepke said of his near spin on lap three in which he lost the lead. "I can't believe nobody hit us. I can't believe we won this." His crew on the green No. 99 consists of Joe, Mike, Doug and Charlie with sponsorship from Mountain Dew.
"I never tried the bottom, I was just too loose the whole time," runner-up Shepard recalled. "This is a brand new race car. We spent all night trying to get this one going. I ran off the track, he did a donut, everyone was making mistakes and we still ran second. That's as hard as I could go. I went off the backstretch three or four times," he concluded standing beside the Imperial Packaging No. 92.
The huge crowd on hand saw Attica track champion Roepke start from the pole with Shepard alongside. Chad Kemenah and Mark Keegan made up row two with Rob Chaney and Jason Johnson in row three. Tenth starting Greg Wilson hit the frontstretch wall on the initial start, collapsing his front end, causing the start to be called back. The second attempt saw Barry Ruble and Shawn Chaney collide, and the third start saw Byron Reed get sideways on the backstretch and collect Kelly Kinser, who flipped. When the green finally appeared, Roepke took the lead with Shepard close behind. Lap three saw Shepard dive low under the leader in turn three and then Roepke went high in turn four to try and grab the cushion and he overcorrected, turning sideways and falling back to third behind Shepard and Keegan. Lap six saw Shepard slip off the high side of turn four, allowing Roepke to get by Keegan and then the leader to lead a circuit before Shepard gathered it back up and took command once again.
Shepard ran Attica's high groove while Roepke kept it close in the low groove, with Keegan still within striking distance in third. Shepard held command until the halfway mark when Ropeke got a great run off turn four in the bottom groove and snared the lead on lap 16. A Todd Kane spin on lap 19 slowed the action again, with Roepke on top over Shepard, Keegan, Rob Chaney, Chad Kemenah, Kenny Jacobs and Wilson, who came from the tail after hitting the wall on the original start. Kemenah took fourth on lap 23 from Chaney, and Wilson grabbed fifth on lap 27 as Roepke began opening up a nice lead on Shepard. His margin of victory was two-thirds of a straightaway at the finish.
"I had a little talk with Alvin before the feature," third place Keegan said. "I said 'the All Star guys come in here, let's show them what we're all about. Just don't give up, we're just as good as they are."
Kemenah finished fourth with Wilson fifth, Chaney sixth, followed by Jacobs, Dean Jacobs, Eric Hysong and 20th starter Mike Wagner.
The Crown Battery heat fell to Kenny Jacobs, the B&B Products heat went to Wilson, the Engler Machine and Tool heat was won by Butch Schroeder in the Dick Sabo 8s and the TP Wings heat fell to Todd Heller. Dean Jacobs won the United Aluminum Window Sales & Consulting B Main. Brandon Martin took a nasty flip off turn one in his heat after riding over a wheel. He was transported to the hospital with back and neck pains. Jody Keegan and David Harrison flipped at the start of the B Main, but both were okay. Aaron Middaugh also flipped in the B and was uninjured as well. Martin Excavating awarded $100 to Jason Johnson for quick time and Best Motorsports paid Rob Chaney's Stan Courtad No. 9x $50 for second quick time. Third quick for Mark Keegan was worth $50 from Metal-Pro Manufacturing.
Jeff McCoy won the 15 lap limited late model main over Mike Marteney, Jim Gingerey, Joe Ryan Jr. and Steve Sabo.