Little Valley race report 2002-05-26

Ron Davies blitzes field in Tri State Championship Race at Little Valley. (Little Valley, NY) Ron Davies, from Warren, PA, who didn't qualify for the first race of the series and finished nineteenth in the second, made a stunning pass for the...

Ron Davies blitzes field in Tri State Championship Race at Little Valley.

(Little Valley, NY) Ron Davies, from Warren, PA, who didn't qualify for the first race of the series and finished nineteenth in the second, made a stunning pass for the lead on a lap 5 restart, drove to a big lead an then staged a dramatic battle with previous night's winner, Bob Close, from Eldred, PA, to win the final race of the first round of the Tri-State Championship Series for dirt late models at Little Valley Speedway on Sunday night, May 26th. Davies threw caution to the wind, sticking his No. 71D on the extreme outside to power past leader and polesitter, Bob Close, after moving to second from his sixth place starting spot in the early going. He led the rest of the way, sometimes by close to a straightaway, but some late race drama kept the issue in doubt until the final three laps of the 33 lap feature.

Close started on the pole by virtue of the redraw and immediately took command until a lap five caution when Greg Fenno from Erie, PA, stopped against the turn two wall. Davies was outside Close on the restart and electrified the crowd with his pass for the lead. He opened a comfortable lead, but that evaporated on lap 7 when Rick Isadore from Smethport, PA, suddenly came to a halt near the same spot in turn two that Fenno did.

On the revstart, Davies chose the outside, with Close underneath. Close appeared to jump the start and took the lead, but Davies hung his car on the outside once again and shot back into the lead in turn two, a move that had the crowd cheering wildly. Davies re-established his advantage until a lap 10 caution bunched the field once again. The restart saw Davies leading Close, Dick Barton, Todd Andrews, who started tenth, and David Scott, followed closely by defending MACS Champ Mike Blose, who started thirteenth.

Davies checked out on the field when the race resumed, surviving a caution on lap 16 in the process. He was holding nearly a straightaway lead when the final drama was set up by a caution on lap twenty-nine, when the No. 33 of Scott Haus from Hamburg, PA, stopped in the now fateful turn two.

When the race resumed Davies jumped the cushion in turn three, allowing Close to barrel underneath to take the lead as he roared down the front chute. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Davies reappeared, flying up on the inside, and retaking the lead on the backstretch, a move that had the crowd roaring. By the time everyone had a chance to exhale, Davies had driven off, and at the line he was over a half a straight away ahead of Close. Todd Andrews finished third, followed by Barton, and Scott to round out the top five. The win was worth $3333 to Davies.

Davies explained his strategy, "All the time I've been here I've always been an outside guy. The track just had enough traction that we could get the job done out there tonight. When Bobby (Close) passed me and was on the outside, the only move I had was on the inside. We just had a run on him. He pushed a little bit, and we got back by him." The move startled Close who never expected it. Davies continued, "When he got out of his car to congratulate me, he said, 'I never thought you'd ever pass me on the bottom." He also explained what happened when he jumped the cushion. "I couldn't turn. My car was getting tight on me, and I just couldn't get the thing turned under power."

Close was clearly in awe of Davies accomplishment, noting, "When it comes to big race tracks like this, when you can barrel it in there, Ron's the master at it. He's a whole lot braver than I was. If I'd run her in there like that I'd have probably knocked the wall down. I could run out there, but I don't have as much nerve as he's got."

He also thought he had the race won when he passed Davies late in the race, adding, "I thought I had him because I thought I was going to take the top lane away from him, and the next thing I know he came right back at me on the bottom. The man just doesn't give up, and he knows the limits of his race car. He can get her done. He jumped the cushion probably ten times going into four, and it didn't matter. He got right back the next time. He drove her in there the same as he did the last time. If it stuck, great, and if it didn't, he didn't care. He's good when it comes to this kind of race track."

In other action, young Andy Miller from Wellsville, took the lead on lap seven, and then held off a hard charging Bill Holmes from Chaffee, to capture the 20 lap Super Stock Feature. It was his first ever win at Little Valley. Wayne Mohawk also won his first race at the facility, when he passed leader Rick Tingue from Machias on the front straight of the final circuit in the 15 lap Street Stock Feature, and Kenny Foster from Great Valley won the 8 lap school bus race.

NOTES: There were 103 cars in the pits: 32 street stocks, 39 supers, and 32 lates. The event played to a near capacity crowd on a clear comfortable evening.The Tri-State Championship Series continues the weekend of July 12, 13, and 14 at Raceway 7, McKean County, and Little Valley. The new twist is that the cars will run "topless.".. The next action at Little Valley will be the Open Cockpit Reunion on Friday, June 14 at 7:00, featuring the Empire Super Sprints, led by seven time champions Mike Woodring from Eden, NY, and his teammate, rookie Erin Crocker, who is quickly establishing herself as a top driver in the 360 division. There will also be a $1000 to win Super Stock event, a $500 to win Street Stock feature, a School Bus race, and a vintage car display, with a number of guests who drove open cockpit cars in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.


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Series Stock car
Drivers Erin Crocker , David Scott