Late Race Charge Propels Michael to Opening Night Victory
Story By: TIM MORAN / URC SERIES MEDIA
Photos By: JIM BROWN / RACERSGUIDE.COM
Sweedsbore NJ.- April 10, 2017-Curt Michael used a sputtering Davie Franek and a late race charge to pick up his 1st Capitol Renegade United Racing Club victory of 2017. With 26 cars in the pit area for opening day, after hot laps brought on a lot of changes in the pit area. Defending race winner and URC champion Davie Franek pulled out his back up Franek Auto Sales #28f after his primary mount threw a rod in hot laps. New York traveler Paulie Colagiovanni changed tail tanks after hot laps and new 360 driver Chris Allen cracked a block as well.
With a total of 26 cars in the pits, 3 heat races were used to determine the feature line up and there was no consi due to Joe Michalski from JR Michalski Heating and Air Conditioning put up the extra money for a 26-car starting field. The three heat winners were first time heat race winner Justin Whittall aboard the Pioneer Auto Body, Enterprise, World Wide Bearings #67w, Derek Locke aboard the Dellingers, Long’s Mowing #77 and the final heat race winner was won by the #63 Schearers’s VW & Audi Specialties of Josh Weller.
New this year, each driver in the invert will draw a pill to determine their starting position for the feature event. With 3 cars from each heat race making the invert from a total of 9 drivers drew pills and the Quality Auto Body #89 of Robbie Stillwaggon and the #28f of Davie Franek made up the front row of the first A-Main of 2017. Stillwaggon who won the previous 2 nights in North and South Carolina was looking for the weekend sweep and had positioned himself perfectly to sweep the weekend. At the drop of the green, Franek got the jump on Stillwaggon but the race quickly went red for the #22 of Troy Betts who went for a hard ride down the front stretch finally coming to a stop just past the start/finish line. The #47 of Defending URC Rookie of the Year Adam Carberry’s car failed to fire, so he also headed to the pits along with the #67w of Justin Whittall due to a bent front axle.
On the restart, Stillwaggon looked like a force to be reckoned with as he put the #89 solidly out into the lead followed by the 28f of Franek who made his move going into turn 3 wrestling the lead away from Stillwaggon. On lap 4, the #15 of Mark Bitner pulled into the infield after running in the top 5. A lap 11 caution for the smoking #88B of Andy Best brought Stillwaggon to the back bumper of Franek. On the restart it was the 5g of Curt Michael who made his move going from 4th to 2nd within a lap using the high side lane, Michael then settled into the 2nd position just behind Franek.
A lap 14 caution for a spinning Jonathan Swanson and a lap 16 caution for a smoking Paulie Colagiovanni put Michael on the back bumper of the defending URC Champion Davie Franek. A lap 17 restart saw the 28f of Franek jump out to the lead while the 73b of Brett Michalski made a daring move down the backstretch positioning him into 10th from his 18th starting position. Meanwhile Michael took a peek under Franek on lap 22 as the two cars entered turn 3, setting up Michael to make a high side run coming off of turn 4 just 1 lap later. Michael then cruised to his first win of 2017 followed by Davie Franek, Robbie Stillwaggon and Derek Locke who had a solid run and the 747 of Davey Sammons completing the top 5.
The Capitol Renegade United Racing Club will now be back in action in 2 weeks on Saturday night April 22nd at the Selinsgrove Speedway.
Results: 1. 5G Curt Michael, 2. 28f Davie Franek, 3. 89 Robbie Stillwaggon, 4. 77 Derek Locke, 5. 747 Davey Sammons, 6. 63 Josh Weller, 7. 45 Kevin Nagy, 8. 33B Bill Unglert, 9. 39 Steve Buckwalter, 10. 73b Brett Michaelski, 11. 7 Ed Aikin, 12. 7K Kris Lilick, 13. 1Q Thomas Radivoy, 14. 24 Mike Haggenbottom, 15. 10c Paulie Colagiovanni, 16. 56 Chris Coyle, 17. 90 Matt Tanner, 18. 17j Jonathan Swanson, 19. 88B Andy Best, 20. 15 Mark Bitner, 21. 71 Chris Allen, 22. 1 Bobby Scherff ($200 305 Bonus), 23. 22 Troy Betts, 24. 67W Justin Whittall, 25. 47 Adam Carberry