LIMITED NATIONALS TO CRAIG RAYVALS AS TWO SETS OF LEADERS CRASH IN FRONT OF HIM The front wasn't exactly the place to be on several occasions of the the 10th annual Price Chopper Limited Nationals Saturday night. But, when Craig Rayvals...
LIMITED NATIONALS TO CRAIG RAYVALS AS TWO SETS OF LEADERS CRASH IN FRONT OF HIM
The front wasn't exactly the place to be on several occasions of the the 10th annual Price Chopper Limited Nationals Saturday night. But, when Craig Rayvals inherited the lead on lap 39 of the 50 lapper, he stayed moved away from everyone else and came away with his first-ever win of the year-end Limited event.
Jeff Bartlett had the pole and he too led the field in his division to the green and the early lead. But Shawn Walker in the 68 came up with the top spot soon thereafter on lap 5. Yellow, and then red flew for a mean looking accident in between one and two that involved Shawn Muldoon, Denny Wheeler, Star Matteson, Gregg Davis, Billy Izyk and Pitt Watson among others. Muldoon, who had lost a motor in his 80 in practice on Friday was in the 90,but unfortunately, his bad luck continued as he found the 96 of Wheeler on top of his borrowed car. Muldoon was shaken in the incident but was okay. After the cleanup, Walker regained his lead but was quickly menaced by newly crowed Rookie of the Year Danny Kapuscinski. The sixteen-year old high school student masterfully played Walker inside and out. Like a seasoned veteran, Kapuscinski just waited patiently for a way around. But, after several side-by-side attempts failed, the 00 found a new foe in Dan Ferlito. Ferlito and Kapuscinski swapped the second place spot on several occasions with Walker just a nose out front of them. Kapuscinski retook second place from Ferlito on lap 26 and once again proceeded toward Walker.Just behind, 2001 track champion Mark Regan had put the 69 into third with Craig Rayvals, Jim Guyle, J.J. Andrews and Billy Izyk in a tight line waiting for chances to move up.
On lap 30, Walker and Kapuscinski got a little too close and both ended up waiting for hooks off turn two. The rest of their race was to be spent in the pits instead of out front.
Deja vu would prevail soon thereafter. Ferlito took control on the restart while Mark Regan closed in in second. Rayvals, Guyle and Andrews ran right behind as Billy Izyk and Mike Bond battled for sixth.
On lap 34, a precautionary yellow flew for a limping Mike Bond who had a tire going down and was heading for the pits.
Only one lap got by before a striking scenario took place - literally. This time, Dan Ferlito got a love tap from the 69 of Regan, who was fighting to get by. Ferlito was in the wall and Regan went to the back.
Now the race belong to Canadian Rayvals in the 94 Still racing with all they had were Jim Guyle, Andrews, Izyk, Mike Gardner, Gregg Davis and Andy Noto. One more yellow slowed Rayvals' march to victory and that came with ten to go for a three-car tangle between Guard Nearbin, Pitt Watson and Jack Patrick. Only Patrick was penalized to the rear here.
It was all Rayvals now as he put his foot down, leaving Andrews, Izyk, Davis and Gardner behind. The two longest races of the night went to two Canadians driving number 94s and the north of the border fans onboard expressed their delight with a thunderous applause.