ALLSTAR: NCRA: Weekend notes 2001-06-18

FRANKLIN, PA - Highlights of the inaugural All Star vs. NCRA Eastern Challenge '01 saw 91 different drivers compete in five nights of action in Ohio and Pa. Cannonball and K-C saw their largest spectator turnouts of the year, and Tri-City's...

FRANKLIN, PA - Highlights of the inaugural All Star vs. NCRA Eastern Challenge '01 saw 91 different drivers compete in five nights of action in Ohio and Pa. Cannonball and K-C saw their largest spectator turnouts of the year, and Tri-City's crowd was huge. Lance Dewease's pair of dominating wins were impressive, as was Dean Jacobs' performance and that of NCRA driver Gary Wright at Cannonball. Equally impressive was Rob Chaney's first career All Star win, worth $7,000, at K-C over a persistent Rodney Duncan. Greg Wilson's first career All Star win at Tri City was also special as WIlson became the 125th driver to win an All Star main since 1980. Car counts were excellent, with 48 at K-C, 42 at Lincoln and 42 at Tri-City.

The tour saw the NCRA bring seven cars east to Bedford, and six to the rest of the tour. Aaron Berryhill, Mike Goodman, Earnest Jennings, Gary Wright, John Sernett and youngsters Jerrod Wilson and Sean Walden each made the 15-19 hour tow east. Goodman had the best NCRA finish at Bedford, 14th, then dropped off the tour. Berryhill, Wright and Sernett also made the feature at Bedford. Wilson's Bedford visit marked his first time ever on a half-mile oval and only his fifth ever 410 sprint race. He is a two-time national mini sprint champ with six years mini-sprint experience. It was also Walden's fifth 410 start. On the other end of the spectrum, Earnest Jennings has been racing since 1953! Wilson's best run came Sunday at Tri-City when he held off Central Pa. driver Mark Smith to transfer to the A main through his heat.

Wright ran out of tearoffs in the Bedford main, even though he had 21 on his helmet.

At Lincoln, only Berryhill qualified for the A Main, eventually finishing 17th and Wright was added to the starting lineup as a provisional, but dropped out and finished last. At Cannonball, all of the NCRA drivers made the show, with Wright finishing third, Sernett 15th, Walden 16th, Wilson 17th, Berryhill 18th and Jennings 24th. Berryhill used a provisional starting spot to start the main at K-C and ended up 15th, one spot behind Wright.

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NCRA Chief Pit Steward Tommy Knight from Tulsa, OK had never traveled further east than Missouri in his life until Wednesday. He was very impressed with the scenic Pa. mountains and marveled at the tunnels on the Pa. Turnpike, the first time he ever went through a highway tunnel.

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Kenny Jacobs earned the Kriner Engines Quick Time award Saturday night at K-C Raceway. He was aboard Hoosier tires, rather than his traditional Goodyear's.

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Friday at Cannonball, Ed Lynch Jr. stopped his car on the track in frustration during the A Main. He got out of the cockpit and looked at his unresponsive throttle petal, and found a huge rock under it. Wednesday at Bedford Lynch broke a ring and pinion, eliminating him from the main on lap seven while running in the top five.

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The All Star sprint show car was very popular among younger race fans at all five venues. The machine was constructed with parts donated by the All Star sponsors and other racing component manufacturers. Children are allowed to sit in the car and dream of being a race driver. The show car is towed to all events inside the series' Haulmark tee shirt trailer.

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Chad Kemenah related that his machine kept getting looser and looser at Bedford, costing him the lead in the event. Kenny Jacobs said he had a good race car Wednesday at Bedford, but he "lost concentration for a second," and hit the wall flattening a tire and bending several suspension components, which ruined the handling of his machine. Brian Ellenberger and his crew, led by Steve Anderson, spent Thursday at Sean Keen's shop in Carlisle, PA, straightening out the frame of his car after Wednesday's Bedford crash. Ellenberger then proceeded to crash again at Lincoln, continuing his string of recent bad luck.

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All Star regular Barry Ruble arrived late at Bedford on Wednesday, but his machine would not fire due to no oil pressure, so he was forced to watch the evening's action from the pit area. Greg Wilson also arrived after time trials and made the main after starting last in the B Main. He was delayed due to building a brand new Maxim for the five-race series. He was involved in the lap two crash with Mark Smith and Mike Wagner, officially giving him a 25th place finish in his old car. Wilson debuted the new machine at Lincoln, but had problems getting it sorted out all night long. Curt Michael's 17.398 second lap Wednesday at Bedford was a new track record as track officials could not ever recall time trialing sprint cars on the 5/8 mile oval in its 63 year history!

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Lance Dewease's Bedford and Lincoln wins made him the 12th different All Star feature winner in 16 events this season. It marked the 14th career All Star feature win for Dewease. Dean Jacobs became the 13th winner in 17 events and Chaney the 14th in 18 events.

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At K-C, track officials were displaying drawings of their new press box. Construction of the much larger building will begin next month.

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Following a rainout on May 18, the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars return to Attica Raceway Park to makeup that event this Friday June 22. As a special added bonus for race fans, following time trials several of the stars of the All Star circuit will be set up at tables on the horse track in front of the grandstands signing autographs and meeting the fans. A special Rookie driver autograph session will be held too. The series then travels to Florence, KY. on Saturday June 23. (end)

-All Stars

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Series Sprint
Drivers Kenny Jacobs , Aaron Berryhill , Dean Jacobs , Greg Wil , Chad Kemenah