The USPRO Racing Series made its first appearance in Indiana when the series visited the Angola Motor Speedway Saturday night. A different driver graced victory lane for the fifth time in five races. Rookie Mike Carter won his first ever stock car...
The USPRO Racing Series made its first appearance in Indiana when the series visited the Angola Motor Speedway Saturday night. A different driver graced victory lane for the fifth time in five races. Rookie Mike Carter won his first ever stock car race.
Carter qualified second but drew the number one chip giving him the pole position. Mark Kortz who was the fast qualifier drew the number two chip, giving him the outside pole position.
When the green flag dropped, Carter immediately pulled out to a several car length lead over Kortz, where he would remain for the entire race.
It was a strange race as every caution bred a caution on the restart lap. A total of nine cautions, including two red flag periods occurred in the first 28 laps. The final 22 laps ran all green.
The first of two red flags flew for a frightening accident on lap 19. Bill Tomlinson, who was trying to avoid the lapped car of John Musser, was forced high into a non-existent groove in turns three/four. The right side tires slid over the top-side of the turn sending the car violently into the tire wall protecting the end of the grandstands/frontstretch wall. After hitting the tire wall broadside, the car ricocheted off of the tires and flipped onto its side but thankfully the car settled back on its wheels without going all the way over. He was briefly unconscious but alert when the safety crew helped him from his car. He was placed in the ambulance and driven to his pits.
When the green flag was again displayed, Carter, Kortz, Robbie Johnson picked up where they left off, running nose to tail.
Rob Buckley and Rick Everidge put on a hotly contested race for fifth, running side-by-side until the second red flag was thrown on lap 28 to transport Tomlinson to the hospital. He was treated and release Saturday night for a a bruised shoulder and ribs and a concussion.
Carter and Kortz raced closely when the race resume, with Johnson running third several car lengths off of Kortz's bumper.
Another tight battle was for fourth between Bob Varney, Buckley, Rick Everidge, Brent Hook and Steve Shlater Jr. The quintet ran nose to tail with Varney leading the group for 15 laps before Buckley got under Varney. Over the next couple laps, Varney drifted back to the end of the line with a very tight handling car.
At the checkered flag, Carter bested Kortz by about a car length with R. Johnson in third. Buckley, Everidge, Hook and Shlater Jr finished fourth through seventh. Coming down for the checkered flag Varney, Dave Peffers and Shaun Whitney tangled and spun. Peffers and Whitney recovered to finish eighth and ninth while Varney dropped to 10th.
Tonight was Mike Carter's first ever stock car win. Previously Carter's only wins had come in go-karts and in the Michigan Legend Series. In 1999, Mike won the Michigan Legends Championship and also the Springport Speedway Legends Championship. His only experience prior to this season with a heavier vehicle was racing with the ARCA Truck Series. "I am ecstatic about the win tonight. To win in only our fifth Late Model race is really something. You believe you can win every race, but honestly I didn't expect it this early in my stock car career. I really want to thank Champion Chevrolet, they're the driving force behind my team. Prior to this I ran the ARCA Truck Series and although there's no similarities between the car and truck, the traveling I did with that series has helped me coming to these new tracks. It's points of points leader Mark Kortz.
Mark Kortz was the event's AMSOIL Fast Qualifier for the second time this season. His other fast time award came at Midvale Speedway. "The car was good on long runs, unfortunately there were few of those during the first half of the race. Mike (Carter) was stout tonight. He did a good job. He ran right where he needed to stay in front," said the driver of the Air Force, Phelps Towing, Speedway Motors Taurus.
Rookie Robbie Johnson finished third tonight after winning the last race. "The car was good, just not good enough. My car was set up for the longer green flag runs and there just wasn't enough of those tonight," said the driver of Birch Run Machine, Sign Depot, Bus Stop Inn Monte Carlo.
Rob Buckley finished fourth in the Olde Tyme Deli Monte Carlo. "The car was sweet tonight. Every race so far we've had a car that capable of running in the top three. I had a lot of fun racing side by side with Rick Everidge all those laps. This is the first time I've ever seen this track, but the car ran really well," said the driver from Mason, Mich.
Rick Everidge and Brent Hook, who finished fifth and sixth tonight, along with race winner Carter are the only three drivers to finish all 250 possible laps this season. Both Robbie Johnson and Buckley have missed two races this year, but have finished every lap of the three races they've participated in.
Dave Peffers finished a career best eighth in his unsponsored Monte Carlo.
New to the series tonight was local driver Fred Elkins. The Helmer, Ind. driver got as high as eighth before handling problems forced him to the pits eight laps from the end of the race. His Elkins Housing, Basement Replacement sponsored #28 is only the second Grand Prix to race on the series (along with Rick Everidge's team).
Note: Top seven starting positions determined by a blind draw by the top seven qualifiers; Points include qualifying, feature and entry points.
Points as of:
July 20, 2003
1 -- 113 Mark Kortz 568
2 -- 44 Mike Carter (R) 565
3 -- 17 Brent Hook 532
4 -- 61 Bob Varney 531
5 -- 63 Rick Everidge 516
6 -- 72 Shaun Whitney (R) 505
7 -- 92 Steve Shlater Jr 489
8 -- 3 Bill Tomlinson (R) 470
9 -- 57 Dave Peffers (R) 462
10 -- 15 James Johnson (R) 459
11 -- 56 Mike Simon (R) 433
12 -- 14 Robbie Johnson (R) 341
13 -- 48 John Musser (R) 341
14 -- 43 Rob Buckley 336
15 -- 04 Jason Holibaugh (R) 257
16 -- 58 Galen Beauch 187
17 -- 14 Fred Campbell 121
18 -- 28 Fred Elkins 84
1 -- 44 Mike Carter (R) 565
2 -- 72 Shaun Whitney (R) 505
3 -- 3 Bill Tomlinson (R) 470
4 -- 57 Dave Peffers (R) 462
5 -- 15 James Johnson (R) 459
6 -- 56 Mike Simon (R) 433
7 -- 14 Robbie Johnson (R) 341
8 -- 48 John Musser (R) 341
9 -- 04 Jason Holibaugh (R) 257