Yet Another ESS/URC Challenge Event Falls to Kramer Williamson. @by Dean Reynolds DELMAR, DE. - United Racing Club veteran and many-time champion Kramer Williamson went the entire 2000 season without an A-Main victory, that is, until the final...
Yet Another ESS/URC Challenge Event Falls to Kramer Williamson. @by Dean Reynolds
DELMAR, DE. - United Racing Club veteran and many-time champion Kramer Williamson went the entire 2000 season without an A-Main victory, that is, until the final event this past Saturday. Taking the lead from Fred Kennedy on lap 11, the Palmyra, Pa. veteran went on to capture the 25 lap, $2500 to win Empire Super Sprint/URC Challenge Series event at the Delaware Int'l Speedway.
The victory was Williamson's career win #60 in URC sanctioned events and also marked an incredible sixth tally in ESS/URC Challenge events which makes him the winningest driver. Following Williamson across the line was fellow URC mates, Brian Seidel, Glenn Clarke, Fran Hogue and Midge Miller.
For the first time ever, the Challenge Series was a part of the Delaware State Championships with warm weather greeting all in attendance.
"We needed this, plain and simple." noted a relieved but smiling Williamson afterwards. "It's been a tough season but I have to give credit to the entire Patterson family. They have hung tough all year and I'm glad I could finally bring home a win for them."
At the beginning of the 2000 season, Williamson was still shopping for a ride. After the first URC event, Wayne Patterson stepped down from the seat of his father's machine and Tom Patterson brought in Kramer. A season filled with ups and downs, Kramer took a top 10 in the final points but went through nearly 30 events without a win.
When the best from ESS and URC get together, Williamson seems to dig down for a little bit extra and Saturday in Delaware was no different. "I like these challenge events and running against the ESS boys. It gets me fired up knowing you can beat the best from two clubs instead of one. It just gets this old guy going." said Williamson.
Indeed Kramer was fired up. Starting in ninth, the Patterson owned #33 was up to fifth on lap three, fourth on lap five, second by lap 10 and in just one more tour of the Delaware half- mile, he was leading. That lead was never challenged dispite several late race cautions on the hard and abrasive oval.
"Being around for so many years is a help since the track was so different than what we are used to." noted Kramer on what is usually a heavy surface down in the Southern tip of Delaware.
"You have to keep the car strait and save the tires today. Alot of guys just aren't used to that. Maybe I should be an asphalt driver or something, I kind of like these type of tracks." Note: Williamson's right rear tire had no tread left and most likely would have gone flat if a few more laps were needed.
Delaware native Becca Anderson lead the first seven laps before she spun to avoid an already spun Tim Hogue. Under ESS and URC rules, if a car stops on the track no matter what the condition, that car starts tail. A tough break for the Rolling Wheels Challenge Series winner. This put team co-owner Kennedy on the pole and he lead the next three laps before Williamson snuck under for his turn at the top spot.
Kennedy hung on to second until his tires went after a lap 18 restart allowing Clarke to grab second. While Clarke has logged many a lap at Delaware, he just didn't have enough to close in on Williamson and then he also lost second on the very last lap to Seidel.
At the checkered flag it Williamson bringing his Buck Buckley built sprinter home for the victory. Ironically, the 60th career win ties him with Buckley who was an URC standout in the 70's and 80's. The runnerup finish for Seidel clinches his first ever URC Championship, Clarke's third place finish marked a strong ending to a successful career as he will hang up his helmet to spend more time with the family. Fran Hogue was in for fourth with Miller home for fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Mike Haggenbottom, who won the ESS/URC Challenge Series points, Curt Michael, Greg Coverdale, George Suprick and Rob Dietrick as the highest finishing ESS runner.
Four cautions slowed the event: Lap seven when Tim Hogue spun with leader Anderson also involved. Anderson slowed on lap 18 to bring out the second caution, Jon Eldreth spun on lap 20 and Bill Brian Jr. also looped his sprinter on the lap 20 restart. That spin was costly as Brian was in third at the time. After the checkered flag was waved, the most serious accident occured as Anderson came together with Dave McGough on the backstretch with Trevor Lewis also involved. Anderson's #56x flipped over hard but she was alright. Also of note, Lewis was running in third when he did a 360 spin on lap 23 ending a fine run for the URC rookie.
Winning the heat events were URC regulars Williamson, Miller, Pete Green and Lewis. URC's Danny Massey won the C-Main with ESS' Bill Coffey taking the B-Main honors.
ESS/URC CHALLENGE NOTES: A total of 39 cars entered the event...28 from the URC camp, 9 from ESS with Central Pa. 410 star Lenny Thompson again aboard the Locuson #97 and KARS star Kevin Welsh...The 24 car A-Main starting field was made up of 18 URC drivers, five from ESS and Welsh...This event was the last to be held on a racing surface for the 2000 season for both organizations. The Empire Super Sprints will hold their annual banquet this Saturday in East Syracuse, N.Y. while the best from the United Racing Club will be honored on December 2 in Bridgeport, N.J.
Heat 1 - Kramer Williamson, Glenn Clarke, Fran Hogue, Tim Hogue, Greg Coverdale.
Heat 2 - Midge Miller, Fred Kennedy, Dan Kaszubinski, Brian Seidel, Mike Haggenbottom.
Heat 3 - Pete Green, Becca Anderson, George Suprick, Dave McGough, Curt Michael.
Heat 4 - Trevor Lewis, Rob Dietrick, Bill Brian Jr., Jon Eldreth, Lance Yonge.
C-Main - Todd Wise, Danny Massey, Len Thompson, Doug Emery.
B-Main - Bill Coffey, Kevin Welsh, Danny Massey, Mike Stelter.
Did Not Qualify - Wise, Bubby Kerrick, John Barnett, Chuck Wilde, Jim Martin Jr., Brian Bittingham, Dick Spadaro, Emery, Scott Baker, Ian Borden, Thompson, Alain Bergeron, Scott Pursell, Tim Higgins, Jeff Busby.
A-MAIN - WILLIAMSON, Seidel, Clarke, F. Hogue, Miller, Haggenbottom, Michael, Coverdale, Suprick, Dietrick, Kaszubinski, Coffey, Eldreth, Welsh, Stelter, Massey, Kennedy, Yonge, McGough, Lewis, Anderson, Brian Jr., T. Hogue, Green.
Lap Leaders - Anderson 1-7, Kennedy 8-10, Williamson 11-25.