The Lee USA Speedway opened its NASCAR Whelan Series regular season this past Friday night. Fans were treated to competitive racing action in all four divisions.
The big news in the Benson Hardware Small Block Super Modifieds was the driver change in the potent Witkum Brothers #21. Defending champion Tommy Tombarello Jr. will pilot the #21 for the 2013 season. Tombarello was without a ride until last Wednesday when asked to take over for Wayne Helliwell Jr., who could not run the entire season due to a schedule conflict.
The Witkum machine got off to a great start leading the first half of the 30 lap feature until Ryan Gath used the lapped car of Bob Webber Jr. as a pick to vault into the lead and on to victory over Tombarello and Sparky Maciver. The win was Gath’s second straight after prevailing at Oktoberfest last year.
Jim Piaseczny got the jump on Kyle Sawyer at the start of the David’s Race Cars Hobby Stock feature and led the entire distance as an intense battle for second ensued. Patrick Tanguay and Randy Washburn fought their way to second and third respectively , but could not quite catch Piaseczny, who went on to win the 25 lap race.
The popular youngTravis Hollis won his first ever American Auto Parts Iron Man feature e vent from the pole. Hollis kept his machine going straight leaving a mad scramble for second behind him. At the conclusion of the 15 lap contest, Wayne Purington was second and Tyler Mitchell third.
In the 30 lap Prime Storage Late Model Sportsman feature event, Grant Aither wrestled the early lead away from Ryan Green in a 7 lap door to door duel. Ryan remained a close second until being tapped by JR Baril entering turn one, taking both drivers out of contention. Nick Mianiatis held on for second and Alby Ovitt was third.
Next Friday night May 10, the first round of 4 spectator drag events will complement the regular weekly program. The event will be limited to the first 18 drivers to register and the field will be whittled down through a round robin eliminator process that race director Bob Watson says could result in a three abreast final elimination race in which the top two will receive trophies. All cars must be street worthy.
Bob Yurko has done a great job on his first Lee USA Speedway video production of the 2013 season . The Governor’s Cup 150 video is currently on sale and subsequent events will be captured each week by his 4 camera crew. Vidoes can be purchased behind the front stretch grandstand and starting next week, can be viewed via wide screen TV in the beer tent thanks to Bentley’s Replay,
On May 17, the E-Keys for Cars Classic Lites will join the program for their first of five events. A $1,000 point has been put up by DBT Inc. for the miniature racing machines. George Helliwell has won the past 12 in a row. Eddie Gilman and Chris Sullivan are some of the 20 other drivers expected to compete.
Gates will open at 5PM next Friday night . The first heat gets the green flag at 7PM. Admission is $12. Kids and Seniors get in for $10 and kids are always free.