Dave Gable marks return to KARS 358-Sprint competition with win MECHANICSBURG, PA - Dave Gable ended a four-year winless streak Saturday night when he survived a caution-filled 25-lap Doorways Unlimited KARS 358-Sprint Series feature at Silver...
Dave Gable marks return to KARS 358-Sprint competition with win
MECHANICSBURG, PA - Dave Gable ended a four-year winless streak Saturday night when he survived a caution-filled 25-lap Doorways Unlimited KARS 358-Sprint Series feature at Silver Spring Speedway.
Gable had been racing with URC since 1999, the year of his last win. This season, he's turning his attention back to the KARS Series, and is happy with the early results of that effort.
"In 1998 (his last year racing with KARS before moving to URC) driving the #7, I was legitimately in a position to win three races. I thought if we ran competitively this year, a win would come," Gable said after the race. "It feels good that the win came in my second race. Starting on the pole helped, and I know it won't always be that easy."
Gable lined up for the feature in front of #14 Will Urkuski, winner of the second heat race, #12 Timmy Long and #5 Rusty Pressley, who won the first heat race.
The cautions came out early as two up-and-coming 358-Sprint drivers, both 16-year-old high school students getting their feet wet in 358-Sprint competition, experienced trouble in the corners. #15 Adam Wilt spun in turn four on laps 1 and 3, while #66N Nate Hammaker spun in turn three after two laps were on the books.
With Gable leading the way, Pressley moved into second by lap 2, using the inside line on the first restart to pass Urkuski on the frontstretch. Seventh starting #28 Keith Prutzman, the third heat race winner, moved into third by lap 5. Further back in the field, #8D Billy Dietrich was beginning his advance to the front from the 12th starting spot. He was running in fifth when red flag came out with 10 laps down for soft roll-over by #66H Dale Hammaker.
The incident occurred when #88 Kirby Sites got sideways in turns 3 and 4, leaving Hammaker with no place to go. Overall, it wasn't a good night for the Grantville driver and points leader going into the race. Earlier in the night, he was chasing down Urkuski for the lead in the second heat race when his rear end broke.
Prutzman tried to get around Pressley on the ensuing restart, but the Lewisberry driver stayed to the high side and kept Prutzman at bay. A second red flag came out two laps later when #45 Kevin Nagy jumped the cushion in turn 4 and flipped onto the retaining wall and then back onto the track. Nagy was uninjured after the wild ride.
"I didn't want to see those yellows because I kept seeing Rusty (Pressley)," Gable said. In reality, the stoppages worked to Gable's advantage by keeping him from having to contend with lapped traffic for much of the race.
The cautions hurt Pressley, however, because each gave Dietrich and #11C Cory Haas, now up to fifth from his 20th starting spot, opportunities to close on the front runners.
When green flag racing resumed, Dietrich began putting pressure on Prutzman for third, when caution came out again on lap 15 for #49 Bobby Howard, who spun in turn 1. Dietrich was finally able to get by Prutzman on lap 17. And a caution came out again one lap later when #7 Mike Ressler slowed to a stop with a flat tire.
Dietrich then set his sites on Pressley, making a successful pass in turns 1 and 2 with seven laps remaining. Haas and Pressley then began trading positions, with Haas making a pass stick and taking over third behind Gable and Dietrich with five laps left. Some great racing took place between Dietrich and Haas for second position, with the drivers trading positions and running side-by-side several times over the remaining laps.
Gable took the checkered, followed by Dietrich and Haas. Pressley and Prutzman rounded out the top five.
Haas was the Mt. Joy Pennzoil Stop 'n Go Oil Change race hard charger after advancing 17 spots. Haas was forced to start 20th after a power steering pump problem prevented him from finishing his heat race.
Keith Prutzman is the new KARS points leader.
Brian Eichelberger, who was unable to start the feature after wrecking in his heat race, won the drawing for a Goodyear right rear tire to be given away at each race. Eichelberger also was awarded a $50 gift certificate from B&B Oval Products, which will be given to the first alternate at each KARS feature event.
KARS sprinters will be back in action Friday, May 9 at Big Diamond Speedway.
Heats: Rusty Pressley, Will Urkuski, Keith Prutzman
Feature: 1. Dave Gable 2. Billy Dietrich 3. Cory Haas 4. Rusty Pressley 5. Keith Prutzman 6. Will Urkuski 7. Tim Hershey 8. Shawn Floyd 9. Danny Richcreek 10. Alan Spriegle 11. Kirby Sites 12. Timmy Long 13. Nyles Berkes 14. Nate Hammaker 15. Mike Hamer 16. Mike Ressler 17. Bobby Howard 18. Kevin Nagy 19. Dale Hammaker 20. Dan Dietrich 21. Adam Wilt
DNS: Brian Eichelberger