Chad Ruhlman Scores in Late Models at Little Valley (Little Valley, NY) Chad Ruhlman from Clarendon, PA, won his first Little Valley feature ever, capturing the 30 lap Regional Racing Series late model event and a $4,000 winner's check on...
Chad Ruhlman Scores in Late Models at Little Valley
(Little Valley, NY) Chad Ruhlman from Clarendon, PA, won his first Little Valley feature ever, capturing the 30 lap Regional Racing Series late model event and a $4,000 winner's check on Sunday, May 30 before a capacity crowd. Ruhlman started 14th in a talented 20 car field, worked his way into the lead on lap 19, and then cruised to the win over Brent Rhebergen from Clymer, who collected $2,000.
Rick Isadore took the lead at the outset, bolting ahead of polesitter Andy Kania, while Todd Andrews held second. Isadore held the lead through two cautions before Dutch Davies shot to the front on lap 3, after starting sixth, passing Andrews and Isadore on the same lap. He then drove out to a big lead while his brother Ron was on the charge from tenth, taking over second on lap 13. Ron closed in on Dutch in lap traffic on lap 17, but suddenly spun in turn four to bring out a caution. Ron explained, "I caught a rut and spun out. I just went in and caught it wrong. It took us out of the race."
Ruhlman had been working his way forward and was lying second on the restart, with Rhebergen in third. Rhulman took the lead in turn two, lost it, and then reclaimed it on the front stretch. On lap 20 Rhebergen got by Davies to take second, with Bob Close moving into third on lap 22 after picking his way forward from ninth. Rhebergen couldn't close the gap in the final circuits as Ruhlman won comfortably. With Rhebergen, Close, Dutch Davies, and Ed Carley completing the top five. Andrews faded to sixth at the end, while Ron Davies recovered from his spin to finish a hard earned seventh.
An exuberant Ruhlman declared, "It was pretty racy tonight. Everybody kind of stuck to the bottom and the first couple laps I went right to the top, just trying something. To beat people like Ron Davies on the top here is something else." Of the battle with Dutch Davies, he noted, "We switched over as a gamble. Dutch had been running the top, and he kind of went down on the bottom, so I figured if I could get him back up in the groove the upper side kind of went away. They're going to fight until the bitter end. You know, the Davies', Rhebergen, and Andrews. They don't let you sleep out there." He explained how he was able to run down Dutch Davies, who enjoyed a big advantage, adding, "He'd been running the top, and I saw the top was starting to go away. They already slicked over the bottom, so I figured the next best thing was head right through the rough. I'm pretty sore right now, but the rough was the way to go."
Rhebergen, who finished a strong second, explained his strategy, "The way the race track was, it was real fast right around the bottom, and we were glad we got to start on the inside, but we were awful deep because we thought the other guys were going to do that same thing. Some of the other guys were a little too tight, and they pushed up. We just kind of held back and ran as smooth as we could, and it got us a good finish."
Third place finisher, Bob Close, had this to say about his night, "It was just a matter of hitting the rut down there in three and four right. You hit it wrong you were going to get passed by somebody. If you hit it right you were going to pass somebody. Other than that, the race track was in good shape. I'm happy with it (third). We've had a bunch of DNFs and picked the wrong tires for the second night in a row, but that's all right. It would have been nice to win it, but I'll take third."
The Super Stock event was the first race in the BRP Can Am Super Stock Series and a robust 45 cars showed up, which required five heats and two consis to set the field for the 20 lap feature. Canadian Darren Kish from Pt. Colborne took the lead from the pole and had things pretty much his own way in the early stages, building a good lead over Tim Dunham. A caution on lap 7 saw Dunham head for the pits, surrendering second to Andy Miller who had worked his way up from seventh.
From there, Kish and Miller fought for the lead with Miller running high while Kish hugged the bottom in a classic battle that lasted several laps before Kish pulled away to take the apparent victory, with Miller second, Tim Rockwell third, and Bill Holmes who had to start near the back after qualifying in the consi, making a great run to cross the line fifth. However, tech inspection revealed that the Kish machine had a wheelbase that was too short, and he was disqualified, making Miller the winner of the $750 first prize, with Rockwell, Holmes, and Scott Behrens rounding out the top five in the final accounting.
Greg Oakes from Franklinville was victorious in the 20 lap RRS Sportsman race, picking up the $500 winner's check when the leaders, Randy Hall and Rich Michael encountered a lap car while battling for position on lap 15, giving him the lead. The two made contact and Michael suffered a flat tire, while Hall was crippled a short time later, taking them out of contention. Oakes was never threatened in the final five laps. He said this about his good fortune, "You take your good luck with your bad luck. We've had our share of bad luck. It sure seems good to get some good luck on our side."
The fifteen lap street stock feature was a barn burner as Steve Dixon from Smethport, PA, followed up a win at McKean the night before and won for the first time at Little Valley, after three years of trying. He took the lead from Kevin Pangrazio on lap 7 after starting eighth, holding off Damon Lewis and Lance Palmer to record the win, worth $500.
NOTES: There were 137 cars in the pits- 20 late models, 45 super stocks, 34 street stocks, and 28 modified sportsman......The crowd was one of the largest in recent memory, with standing room only in certain places, on a perfect night for racing, clear and comfortable......The turnout was even more impressive when you consider it was running against the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte and a MACS Late Model race at a nearby track......The Can Am Super Stock Series got off to a great start despite the DQ, with that hefty car count and some intense racing which saw plenty of side by side action. Their next race is Friday, June 18th at Freedom Raceway in Delevan, NY.
Late Model Finish: (30 laps) Chad Ruhlman, Brent Rhebergen, Bob Close, Dutch Davies, Ed Carley, Todd Andrews, Ron Davies, Jeff Hoffman, Jogn Haggerty, Rick Isadore, Mark Osburn, Rod Maloy, Andy Kania, Bump Hedman, Ricky Hunsinger, Kirk Bradley, Mike Wonderling, Brady Wonderling, John Venable, and Doug Ricotta. Heat winners were Carley and Rhebergen.
Super Stock Finish: (20 laps) Andy Miller, Tim Rockwell, Todd Rice, Bill Holmes, Scott Behrens, Jason Dupont, AJ Young, Bob Dixon, Don Wagner, TJ Shaw, Wayne Adamczak, Jack Harrington, Ron Baker, Kyle Bradigan, Todd Shaw, Tim Dunham, Matt Cobb, Jim Mazur, Bruce Miller, Todd Hansen, Chad Arnold, Jr. Peters, Tim Schram, Alan Wais, and Terry Pangrazio. Darren Kish DQ. Heat winners were Bruce Miller, Kish, Schram, Rockwell, and Jeremy Wonderling. Consi winners were Pangrazio and Holmes.
Sportsman Finish: (20 laps) Greg Oakes, Keith Bidwell, Brent Rhebergen, Paul Geiger, Ryan Bright, Joe Watson, Tim Peterson, Eric Ensell, Charlie Wichell, Shawn Freeland, Dan Stives, Jeffrey Hellwig, Brett Smith, Dave Phearsdorf, Wade Mohawk, Randy Hall, Adam Ashcroft, Carl Mohney, Bo Clark, Rich Michael, Bob Nugent, Chad Silleman, Buzz Phearsdorf, and Scott Pangrazio. DNS Jim Myers, Darren Palabori, and Bernie Pangrazio.
Street Stock Finish: (15 laps) Steve Dixon, Lance Palmer, Rocco Conte, Jason Schoonmaker, Ryan Learn, Josh Smallidge, Mike Murphy, Mike Carney, Chuck Biniarz, Tony Witter, Doug Cobb, Danny Bastedo, Josh Silleman, Kevin Pangrazio, Ron Hebner, Cliff Johnson, Damon Lewis, Pat Clark, Lee Wulff, Andy Michael, Josh Wilcox, John Layfield, Joe Rajski, and Mike Asel. Tony Colantino DQ. Heat winners were Dixon, Schoonmaker, Wulff, and Lewis. Consi winner was Learn.