THOMAS AND ANDRES SECURE STARTING BERTHS IN SKYSCRAPER EVENT
Story By: Deb Smith/Bridgeport Speedway
Photos By: Jim Brown/RacersGuide.com
Luke Thomas and Ken Andreas secured starting spots in Bridgeport’s inaugural Skyscraper event next weekend with Friday night wins in Spirit Auto Center Speedway action on Friday night. Travis Bieber earned the first Spirit victory of his career in the Speedway All-Star Bagel Stop Slingshot feature event while Rick Burnham earned his first victory in i2M Four Cylinder Enduro action. Christopher Allen, Sr. picked up his first win of the season in the Eight Cylinder Enduro event.
Friday night did not start out like Luke Thomas would have liked. A flat tire sidelined him from his qualifying heat, forcing him to race his way into the field through the back of the first consolation event. That gave Thomas a starting spot inside the eleventh row with a long way to go in the twenty lap feature event.
The field was plagued with caution flags during the first half of the race. Before one lap could be scored, multiple cars were involved in a turn four incident. Rich Keller grabbed the lead on the start but it was 2017 600 Micro Champion, Matt Smith who led the field to the completion of lap one. Smith took the half way sign as the race leader over Thomas, Tyler DeVault, Kyle Spence and Mike Rutherford who drove from the back of the pack following a trip to the pits as a result of the lap one incident.
The restart for a lap fourteen caution set-up a three way battle for the lead as DeVault went to the inside of Smith while Thomas took the high line. Thomas emerged as the race leader and led the rest of the way to the checkered flag, capturing his fourth win of the season followed by Smith, DeVault, Rutherford and Spence. The win put Thomas on the top of the 2017 feature win list with his fourth victory.
Ken Andreas raced side by side with Alex Swift for the lead in the 270 Micro feature event as they completed the first lap. Andreas moved ahead on lap two and then raced to his third win of the 2017 season. Andreas was unaware of the challenges that came from the field as Nick Skias had the Widdoss No. 28 sailing on the high side to challenge for the lead as he sailed by Kyle Weiss on a lap fourteen restart. Skias got a little to high and wide, causing him to lose ground on the leader with just a few laps remaining.
Andreas took the win over Skias, Weiss, Swift who was behind the wheel of the Blanda No. 15 and 2017Champion, Tyler Reinhardt.
By virtue of their Friday night wins, both Thomas and Andreas are promised starting positions in this weekend’s Skyscraper main events. Should either driver not qualify for the race, they will be added to the starting line-up.
Travis Bieber wanted to continue the family tradition after his brother Brett raced to his first Spirit victory early this season. Bieber came out on top of a battle with the Partite brothers, crossing the finish line ahead of Rich Partite, Lou Partite, Chris Gall and Emery Hawkins for the win.
Rick Burnham was a first time winner in the i2M Four Cylinder Enduros as he led the field to the checkered, taking the win over Todd Francis and Joe Garey.
Chris Allen, Sr. picked up his first in the Eight Cylinder Enduro event, taking the lead early and pulling away from second place Lee Allen with Vinny Troia taking third.
Big weekend of racing awaits at the Spirit Auto Center Speedway this weekend with a Friday night practice, qualifying on Saturday and main events on Sunday. All indications are for this is be another premier event offered at the Logan Township facility.
600CC MICRO SPRINT FEATUE (20 laps): 1. Luke Thomas, 2. Matt Smith, 3. Tyler DeVault, 4. Mike Rutherford, 5. Mike Linderman, 6. Kyle Spence, 7. Jeff Hartman, 8. Richie Keller, 9. Jermain Godshall, 10. Steve Bracall, 11. Damon Paul, 12. Ryan Quakenbush, 13. P.J. Williams, 14. Colin White, 15. Joe Bednarek, 16. T.J. Greve, 17. Bradley Brown, 18. Nick Walton, 19. Gary Bozowski, 20. Geordon Marrero, 21. Billy Calvert, 22. Doug Snyder, 23. Justin Murphy, 24. Lee Nardelli, 25. Joe Kay, 26. Jesse James Bartleson, 27. Jim Tippin, 28. Matt Davis, DNQ – Patrick Ely, Brandon Pavel, Wayne Scott, Nick Havens, Jason Muldowney, Dave Nelson, Rebecca LaMothe, Nathan Smith, Ed Wolf, Josh Conover, Corey Andersen, Dave Damiano, Chris Fenimore
270CC MICRO SPRINT FEATURE (20 laps): 1. Ken Andreas, 2. Nick Skias, 3. Kyle Weiss, 4. Alex Swift, 5. Tyler Reinhardt, 6. Logan Diehl, 7. Steve Coslop, 8. Sami Schenck, 9. Billy Gray, 10. Rich Keller, 11. Sam LaMothe, 12. Colin Bustard, 13. Bill Murphy, 14. Joe Dopke, 15. Marco Michetti, 16. Tom Landwher, 17. Dan Lane, 18. John Wagner, Jr., 19. Ryan Heim
SPEEDWAY ALL-STAR BAGEL STOP SLINGSHOT FEATURE (20 laps): 1. Travis Bieber, 2. Rich Partite, 3. Lou Partite, 4. Chris Gall, 5. Emery Hawkins, 6. Dave McCullough, 7. David Bell, 8. Dave Morrell, 9. Robin McTighe, DNS – Steve Schenker
i2m FOUR CYLINDER ENDUROS (20 laps): 1. Rick Burnham, 2. Todd Francis, 3. Joe Garey, 4. Scott Dunn, 5. Kevin Revilla, DNS – Andrew Hertz